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Hi There!

It’s been one full year since I started blogging, and honestly, I can’t believe how fast the time went by! Actually, it’s been more like a year and a week, but who counts, right? Anyway, the first year of any major event — and starting a blog definitely qualifies — is usually remembered in some way, and although I was fortunate enough to be able to mark the occasion by hosting a giveaway with some blogging buddies, I also wanted to write little post about it. So, I’m just going to list a few things that I learned during my first year of blogging.

Research, Research, Research

I have to admit that I kind of jumped into blogging without understanding everything about it. I still don’t understand everything, but I learned a lot along the way. Even though I had read some blogs before I started my own, and I had even written content for some, I didn’t know just how big of an undertaking blogging really was. There are millions of blogs out there and numerous options in terms of blogging types, designs and styles. After I started my own blog, I began to really notice what I liked about some other blogs, and then I started trying to improve my own.

Buy your Domain Early

Ideally, you should buy a domain and then start a blog. But, how many of us do things right the first time? I’m still on Blogger, but I just recently switched to a custom domain, and although it wasn’t really difficult, I did have to change all of my links and ad tags, and I had to start over in terms of ranking. This may not even be a problem for everyone, but if you do want your own domain name, you can avoid any hassles if you do this early.

You can Find a Tutorial for Almost Anything Online

Once I decided to start customizing the way my blog looked, I found so many great tutorials on how to get the look I wanted. From social media buttons to favicons, the information is all there.

Pictures are Important

This may not apply to all blogs, but for many DIY, food and lifestyle blogs, it’s important to have awesome photos. And really, you don’t have to have a top-of-the-line camera! My first pictures were pretty bad, but after reading everything I could about staging and photography, I was able to improve the way they looked — with the same camera! I use PicMonkey for editing and graphics, and I don’t have the upgraded version. Oh, and you definitely should watermark your photos!

Be Social

Blogging is not a solitary job. You may write in the privacy of your own home, but you have to connect with other bloggers. Join linkups, and leave comments — you may form some great relationships this way. And, if someone leaves a comment for you, try to visit that blogger and return the favor. Also, don’t be afraid of social media. I finally got Instagram, and I love it!

Be Open to Different Things

I started out blogging about DIY projects, home decor, crafts and the occasional recipe, but being a mom, it was probably inevitable that I started blogging about parenting and kid crafts. On a whim, I wrote about the loom band phone case my daughter made for Mother’s Day, and it’s my highest viewed post today! I also found another audience with no-sew clothes for my daughter’s American Girl Doll — you never know what your viewers may be interested in. In fact, some of my simplest projects have received the most views.

Get Support

Everyone needs support, and this is so true when it comes to blogging. There are a lot of blogging groups on Facebook and Google Plus, and you can also start your own! Personally, I have to say that the SITS Girls is a wonderful group because there are so many different bloggers to connect with, and you can find the answer to just about any blogging-related question.

Be Yourself

This is probably the most important thing I’ve learned about blogging. You can’t be something you aren’t, because it will show in your writing. And, you should never compare yourself and your progress with that of another blogger! Believe me, it’s so tempting, but you don’t know that person’s story, so don’t ever feel discouraged if you feel your own blogging progress isn’t measuring up.

I’m not a major foodie, and I don’t try to tackle everything myself — My husband and I do a lot of DIY projects together. I love writing about easy recipes and projects that anyone can do. Somehow, I make this work for me. Oh, and I do like to sneak my kids in the blog every now and then. 

I still have a ton of stuff to learn, but that’s part of the fun — there’s always something new! 

And, I want to say thanks to everyone who has read my blog during the first year. I so appreciate it, and I sincerely  hope that you will keep coming back! Oh, and a ton of thanks to my family for putting up with it all!

Hugs to all!
Dee šŸ™‚

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  1. The Charm of Home says:

    Great tips! I agree.

  2. Sheila E says:

    The first year presents many learning opportunities. I am at one and a half years…and have made so many nice blogging friends. The house and home niche is a very nice one…with lots of Fun and helpful people. Sheila@mykentuckyliving