Do you remember in my last post how I mentioned that I’m bad at celebrating holidays? Well that applies to my own milestones as well. Because it just so happens that Friday was my four year anniversary of blogging – and I totally missed it. Oops! But better late than never right?
To celebrate my 4th blogging anniversary, I decided to share with you guys some of the lessons I’ve learned about blogging over the years. Maybe one of these years I’ll actually learn how to put up posts on time!
1. Don’t be scared to make a big change: This year I changed my blog name, got my own domain, and went self hosted. I’m not going to lie – it was pretty intimidating and I had to pay for some help since that kind of stuff is way over my head. But I’m so glad I did it. I feel like my new blog fits my vision a lot better and therefore has given me a lot more confidence when sharing it with others and pursuing blogging opportunities.
2. Find your focus: When I first started blogging, I had no idea what my niche was. I would post about new recipes, recipes I tried from other blogs, my workouts, my thoughts on health topics, and other tidbits from my life. And looking back, I can admit that it was unfocused and sloppy! So over the years I experimented with fitting in different niches – I tried being an eating disorder recovery role model, then I focused on posting about my nutrition program, then I tried to be more of an exercise blog, and finally I turned back into a food-centric blog. But it wasn’t really until I became Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen that I gained a strong vision of my blog as a food blog focusing on food I eat, make, and experience, with a dash of nutrition thrown in there for flavour. Now that I have that focus, I find it a lot easier to design my posts to fit with that vision.
3. You don’t have to blog about everything: This goes hand-in-hand with #2. Once I found my focus, I stopped posting about every aspect of my life because not everything I do is going to fit within my blogging niche. I went for a run yesterday, but am I going to post about it? No – I’m not a running blog. I had a fun weekend in London with my old roommates – but am I going to post about it? No – I’m not a lifestyle blog. Sometimes even if topics fit within my niche, I still don’t post about them because I don’t have the time, I didn’t bring my camera with me, or I just plain don’t feel like it. And hey, that’s a good enough reason for me.
4. Get a bit personal: No matter what kind of blog you write, throw some personality in there. Otherwise reading your blog will be a total snooze. I made that mistake at one point. I thought that in order to be a more serious food blog, I had to cut out anything personal from my posts. Wrong-o. Readers like to connect with the author – that’s what keeps them coming back!
5. Don’t be a lemming: Within any category of blogs, you’re going to find a lot of bloggers doing the same thing, whether that be all cooking with the same ingredient, trying out the same workouts, posting discussions on the same topic, or participating in the same link up. It can be tempting to follow the crowds and just do what everyone else is doing, but guess what? It’s okay to be different. Do your own thing and let yourself stand out!
6. It’s better to post less good quality content than more half-assed content: As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I don’t have as much time to blog this year because of my internship. And sure I probably could have kept up with posting 3-4 times per week if I really wanted to, but the quality of my posts would have really suffered. So instead I opted to post more like twice a week which has allowed me to put a lot of effort into writing posts I can be proud of. And as a result I’ve had more of my recipes shared on social media, more opportunities to work with companies, and more posts accepted to recipe sites than ever!
7. Just because your blog isn’t professional quality, that doesn’t mean it’s not good: Sure we all want to be like those big bloggers who have followers in the millions, take gorgeous quality photos, and make a decent salary off their blog alone. But before we compare ourselves to them, we have to remember that often their job is their blog so they have the luxury of investing a lot of time in it. And even if you’re not at that point (yet?), it doesn’t mean your blog isn’t good. You’ve still got good content, a unique voice, and a following of readers who have connected with you and enjoy reading your blog – so be proud of that!
8. Blog because you love it: Not to become popular, not to make money, and not to get a book deal. Because they might not happen. So ultimately it has to be your love of blogging that keeps you going – that’s what has done it for me!
I probably should have added a 9th lesson to say that I’ve learned that other bloggers and blog readers are amazing. Seriously. Thank you all so much for continuing to read and support my little corner of the internet. I’ve enjoyed connecting with each and every one of you! And if you haven’t commented yet – please do, hey? I’d love to hear from you!
Do you agree with any of the lessons I’ve learned? What have you learned from blogging?