Turning One: 10 Things I’ve Learned My First Year of Blogging

I never thought I was any kind of writer and I certainly never considered myself worthy to write anything to publish on the World Wide Web.

That was until the year 2015 when I turned something five. I made a list of 45 things I wanted to do that year, hence the birthday.

And starting a blog was on the 45.

This yearning to write came on strong but I went forward with hesitation because I thought, I’m not really a writer. But deep down I wanted to leave a legacy through my writing, documenting life and taking note of those things we take for granted that make life worth living, hoping that I would encourage someone along their journey.

While there’s so much to celebrate here at Blog By Tracy, here are just a few things I’ve learned in this incredible year of writing and sharing life with you.

1.Write When You Want

I’ve learned not to force it. When my authentic voice is giving me the silent treatment, I wait. When I have something to say the topic comes and the words pour out.

2.Be Moved By Gratitude

I don’t really know if what I write about is ‘a niche’ or not, but I write about the sweet life and what makes this life so sweet to live and brings us joy. What I do know is that when I have more gratitude I have more joy.

Being able to focus on what brings me joy or going through something hard and being able to ultimately see the good in it is just the point.

That’s why I want to share it with you. And writing about it here only helps me to focus on just that, the sweet things. Read more about My Blog Story here.

3.Feed Your Appetite To Learn

Since I started blogging I’ve had an insatiable hunger to learn, learn, learn. It’s like I’m in the Kindergarten of Bloggers but I want to be a third grader.

I may be a little impatient but I’m learning to take it easy, soak it in and learn from those who do it right. Don’t rush it. This blogging thing takes time. I find free webinars and read all the great material that is available on line.

4.Setting Goals Actually Works

As with anything in life, it’s good to have a plan. But honestly I’ve never been an intentional goal setter, and I mean as in writing them down at the start of every month and breaking them down to weekly steps. For the first time in my long life I tried this, and it worked!

By writing a monthly post series called Today. Tomorrow: Goals & Gratitude.

I’ve really been able to focus on some personal + blogging goals. Publishing them gives me a bit of accountability too.

5.You Will Get Better With Practice

Writing has never come easy to me. But like anything in life it gets easier with practice and it has.

This year I was able to participate in Write 31 Days.

But more than that, it causes me to stop and be thankful for those blessings in my life, some that I may not consider to be ‘blessings’ but thankful nonetheless.

It was the greatest writing series that provided a bit of community to learn from and share posts with.

I was inspired by so many great bloggers and the structure was nice too. Every evening I wrote a little something.

6.It Is What You Make It

Much like life, blogging is what you make it.

I quickly learned that operating a blog takes a lot of work and it’s a big commitment to keep it active. But anything worthwhile takes time.

It can be fun or it can be stressful. I chose to let it inspire me to document life and to write for the sake of writing. Not to stress out over it.

Whether I have one or one hundred readers, it’s gotta be fun or why do it.

7.Embrace the Curves

The learning curves that is.

I’m still on it and I’m not quiet where I need to be, but I’m better than I used to be. So there. That’s good.

Seriously, I continue to be challenged by blogging in a good way. Today I’m using programs I had not heard of a year ago.

I can edit graphics, install plug in’s and operate Word Press. Bam!

8.Look for Resources On Line

There are so many amazing tutorials and blogger pros available on line. And then there’s YouTube for just about anything. A couple of my blogging favorites are:

Helene In Between

Melyssa Griffin

SITS Girls

Bloguettes

9.Community is King

Whether it’s your hobby, a sport, a book club, or your church, it’s better when you find your people. Your tribe. It just makes life more fun doing what you love; they help you grow and can light your way.

10.Comparison is Crummy

Comparing myself to others is not something I normally do, well much. But in this blogging thing, I did.

The gremlins in my head have gotten the best of me on occasion.

She’s a beautiful 27 something with fresh ideas. Why didn’t I think of that? I’m not that fashionable. My food pictures suck. What can people learn from me? Well, you get the picture.

I seldom enter the gremlin battlefield, but when I do it can get ugly.

Comparison is useless. It accomplishes nothing. I have to drop it and leave it. Then remember why I write. For me. For you. Then go on and do it.

 

This past year of blogging has been a joyous ride no doubt. I’ve learned so much, but mostly I’ve learned to let myself be vulnerable. I won’t go all Brene Brown on you here (I love her BTW) but there’s something to the ‘v’ word.

There’s freedom in being real and honest. A relief of fear that feels sort of like dropping a 30lb backpack you’ve been toting around.

So whatever it is you’re challenging yourself to do, blogging or not, stay the course my friend and look for the joy in the journey.

23 Comments

  1. Congrats on one year! It’s amazing how much you learn from blogging and just how fast a year flies by! I’m glad this was on your list of 45!

  2. Happy blogaversary! My blog will be turning one in August and I can’t believe what a trip it’s been!

  3. It is what you make it is so important!!

  4. Love this! I think #10 is the biggest lesson I’ve taken from blogging. It’s very easy to get caught up in the comparison game because there are just so many people doing something similar. Happy 1 year!

  5. Loving this! My blog recently turned one too, and it made me realize how far I’ve come. I’ve evolved so much as a writer by blogging, but I also learned a ton of things! Blogging has opened new doors for me, and I’m so glad I made the choice of involving myself in this.

    Amelie | http://awanderersadventures.wordpress.com

  6. These are all so true! Congrats on blogging!

  7. Thank you for the article. It comes at a very needed moment for motivation.

  8. I love that you made yourself vulnerable with this post (which would be my one BONUS observation if I broke down my inaugural year in blogging). It’s a crazy, scary adventure. But, little by little, if we aim to get better one day at a time, it all comes together and boom … success sneaks up on us. Good luck in the years to come … keep pounding the keyboard and keep focusing on the happiness and success that this blog will bring!

  9. Comparison is crummy -> YES!!! It is exactly that which has caused so many of my blogging friends to quit. They never feel like they are good enough even though they are awesome because they get too caught up in comparing themselves to other bloggers. You have to shine you own light and share your own voice.

  10. You have learned quite a lot in the one year you have been blogging – and they are all great things that will help you to grow even more! It took me a while to stop comparing my blog to others – as long as you love what you write about, it’s all that matters!

  11. I love this post. This is inspiring. I hope your all effort going to make you success on everything you do. Thanks for sharing, ad happy blogging.:)

  12. Hi Tracy! I have been blogging just for personal reasons for about 10 years and just recently decided to FINALLY see if I could maybe have someone other than friends and family read my thoughts. >_<

    I found your link in The Badass Solopreneur Society Facebook group so community IS king! ^_^ I love how you broke this down here and the links you provided throughout! I know my biggest thing is the GOALS and being clear and WRITING them down! Thanks!

  13. Happy Blogiversary! This is a great list of blogging lessons!

  14. Happy anniversary! I’m half way to my year mark, and even though there are days where I feel like I’m hitting a wall, I’m always really excited when I think about what I’ve learned in such a short time.

  15. Love this! Happy one year 🙂

    xoxo, Jenny

  16. Yes, yes yes! All of those things and more. I love the “Community is King” part best, I think. I have met some amazing virtual friends on my journey, and it’s been a blast catching up with them and reading/supporting their work and passions. Happy Anniversary!

  17. This is good to read right now. I sometimes feel like everyone else is ahead of me but really we all have our own path and while I want to work hard I should also be patient and enjoy the ride.

  18. These are all so spot on! I love that you wait for your voice to come – that’s something I’m just allowing myself to do!

  19. Congrats on reaching the 1 year milestone! “Write what you want” that’s something I always tend to forget over the years. I think all of these tie together to make the joy in blogging. In order to have fun you need to wirte what you want & be free of comparison. Love this post.

  20. “Whether I have one or one hundred readers, it’s gotta be fun or why do it.” – I completely agree! 🙂

  21. Congratulations! Good luck on the new chapter and more success to come.

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