What I've Learned My 1st Year Blogging
Updated: Nov 9, 2020
366 days and 34 blog posts later, here we are. Exactly one year ago today I launched Rose Colored Living, and boy has it been an exciting journey!
I want to start out by thanking all of YOU. I know it's said often, but without each of you who visit the blog, read posts, like and share, this space would not be what it is today. Your love, support, and subscription to my content truly means so much and it never goes unnoticed.
In today's post I am reflecting on what I've learned over the past year, how blogging has helped me grow personally, and my hopes for the future ahead.
Staying True to Myself
When I decided to sit down to write this post I went back to my very first post titled, How I Ended Up Here, and was surprised to read that all my words still stand true today.
"Creating this blog means creating a bigger space to discuss the things I'm passionate about. A place to start conversations and share what brings me joy." - August 2019
I'm someone who likes to reflect on each passing year. Through this experience it has been important to measure growth, but it's also very important for me to evaluate if I've stayed true to myself through the process. I say that because the blogging world is full of trends to be followed, but for me personally I didn't want to just follow the pack, I wanted to pave my own road.
That meant photographing content in clothing that I felt best in, even if it wasn't the latest trend. Choosing an aesthetic that was truly me, even if it looked different than other blogger friends. Turning down opportunities that would have provided immediate growth, but didn't align to personal interests. It meant doing things because I felt it would provide value and build relationships instead of doing things just to gain followers.
I'm sharing this with all of you, fellow blogger or not, because it can be applied to anyone starting a new venture, opportunity, business, career, etc. Trust me, staying true to yourself, your goals, and your dreams is key to feeling fulfilled - especially with a project you are passionate about.
More Than Just Pretty Pictures
Since I am a naturally creative individual, launching a blog was always a personal goal of mine, but truthfully this past year has taught me that blogging is SO much more than just pretty pictures and posts.
It's been a learning experience in so many ways. I've had to learn how to build a website - yes, everything you see was built by me personally. When I made the decision to launch a blog, I wanted to do it right. Yes, there are many tools and platforms you can use to help create the framework, but I didn't want to just use the stock version. I wanted the website to fit my vision, not the other way around. As a marketing professional, I've worked on websites for years. The biggest thing I've learned is that visitors want it to be 2 things: easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
That said, I am constantly exploring ways to improve the user experience for all of you who visit. I've learned how to build out content, integrate apps like Instagram and LiketoKnow.it, create beautiful monthly newsletters that are branded to match the website, set up a subscription form and welcome email for new subscribers, brainstorm new ideas, and write a LOT. It's been a lot of work, but I'll let you in on a big secret, it never feels like work to me.
I love this website - it's truly my passion project. It's the one place where I feel like 100% me. If I want to post on a topic, I do. If I want to change things up on the website, I can. If I need to take a break, it's up to me.
I'm a busy gal and I'm sure many of you are too. There will always be excuses why it's not the right time, but we should still never forget to make time for the things that truly bring us joy in life.
Lets Get Personal
To me, blogging is about creating a connection and truly speaking to your audience. When someone reads my post, I want them to feel like we are having a conversation. That means opening up and sometimes being vulnerable. Putting your thoughts out there into written word can be intimidating. Will I say the wrong thing? Will someone be offended? Does this make sense? Should I share this much?
Simply put, it can be really hard to open up. But what I have found is that my most personal posts are the ones that receive the most positive feedback and create the best connections. When I wrote about postponing my wedding, I couldn’t believe how many of you personally messaged me to share how my blog post helped you make a decision about your own nuptials. When I shared my experience getting the Shingles virus, I’ve since been able to help others going through the same painful illness.
Knowing that my little blog posts could help even one person is truly the best feeling in the world.
So What’s Next…
1 year down and hopefully many more to come! I have no plans on stepping away from blogging - it's too much fun to leave this party early!
Launching the monthly newsletter back in June was an exciting milestone in my blogging journey and something I hope continues to grow. I have exciting plans for the upcoming holiday season, some new ideas being brainstormed, and maybe even a special collaboration😉...always something to keep things fun, fresh, and exciting.
So just as I started, I extend the sincerest thank you for being here. I'm so happy to share this space and my thoughts with all of you. -Samantha