A month has come and gone since I launched Speaking Dee, and in a word, it’s been illuminating. I’ve loved moments, become frustrated by others and at times felt utterly defeated. Before I published the blog I spent the vast majority of my time preparing to launch it. Day after day, I lived and breathed this blog. I dedicated all of my time to it, but still, my task list continued to grow.
Whether it was getting all my photos shot and edited, or writing at all hours of the day, I never really stopped. It seemed there was a never ending volume of preparation involved. No sooner had I grasped the necessity of SEO optimization (for posts AND photos) than I was up to my eyeballs in social media branding articles.
Before publishing my site, I read countless articles chalk full of tips for new bloggers. I pinned idea after idea to my Pinterest boards and compiled tons of information on how to start a successful blog. But not once, did I do any research into what comes after you launch a blog.
There were, of course, certain things I had planned to do afterward; like create a schedule for posts on the blog and social media alike. Well, I won’t lie, I have not created any kind of schedule for myself. Instead, I’ve spent the past month focusing heavily on creating the “perfect” content and looking at numbers, ALL of the numbers. The Google Analytics data, my Pinterest analytics…and most detrimental of all to my sanity, Instagram’s analytics.
I was essentially drowning myself in…analytics.
It was exhausting. I as a human being became exhausting. You know it’s bad when you start to annoy yourself, but I just couldn’t help it! Everything was becoming a numbers game to me.Prior to blogging, my main creative outlet was Instagram. Which must be said, is a game in itself…and not always easily played.
I always enjoyed taking photos with my phone, editing and sharing them with like-minded people. I’ve always found Instagram to be a really friendly community (with a couple anomalies, of course) and I genuinely love the creative way in which it connects me with people I wouldn’t ordinarily know. Suddenly though, once the blog had launched, I became kind of obsessed with my numbers. I was constantly comparing my data to that of other bloggers of a similar location and/or niche.
I’d become so consumed with my Instagram analytics, that I almost started overlooking the bigger picture…the blog itself. And the initial joy I felt creating it. Not to say that it was lost, just buried in numbers and unfair, unrealistic comparisons. I think one of the reasons I was so concerned was because Instagram had always been the place I housed my creativity and part of me assumed if this new venture “failed” there, then it had failed in general.
To state it simply, I was putting all my eggs in one basket and beating myself up when they didn’t all fit. I had to start focusing on pulling myself back to the thing that made me happy in the beginning. The blogging part of blogging.
It’s been one hell of a month for me, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m grateful for the lessons and I’m excited to see what next month teaches me! Until then, here are my takeaways from my first month of blogging:
Numbers Are Not Everything
Yes, this one is obvious in lieu of my earlier statements, but I feel really strongly about it. I confess I was so caught up with one social media platform, that I didn’t realize I had started to build a (small) audience on other platforms. When I started spending less time worrying about Instagram and more time enjoying Bloglovin’, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook Groups I found I was able to connect and make more friends within the blogging community. Some blogs that have quickly become favourites of mine, I might not have discovered using Instagram alone. I definitely learned a lesson on limiting myself this month! My goal next month is to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Just enjoy what inspires me and let the numbers be what they may.
Organization is VERY Important
Okay, confession…my personal home life has mildly been neglected since the launch of the blog. I don’t stick to any kind of cleaning schedule, and to-do list tends to get out of control quickly. I can definitely say that having a clear plan of how to combine work and blog life, along with a schedule for each, would have benefited me hugely going into this. But, live and learn! I’m planning to dedicate some time in early May to putting a routine in order for myself. Hopefully, come June things will be a little less chaotic, I’m sure my boyfriend would appreciate a little more calm :D.
I Am Me, And That’s All I Need To Be
Something I found myself totally guilty of this past month, was the comparison game. At times, I wasn’t even comparing myself to any specific blog or brand…but more to the general idea of what I thought my blog should be. At some point, I stopped being inspired by other sites and started pressuring myself to be similar. You know what happened when I did that? I developed a huge creative block. Every idea I had seemed stupid or too difficult (in my irritated state) to explore any further. I would get frustrated and agitated trying to be something I wasn’t, and it definitely got old fast. At the end of the day, I’m a zany, thrifty, and slightly disorganized girl who will always be 5 to 15 minutes late. The biggest hurdle I have to overcome is remembering to be myself above all else. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true AF. #LiveAuthentic, baby!
So those were the biggest takeaways from my first month of blogging! If you’re a blogger, what was your biggest challenge in the first month? Or even if you’re not, what were your biggest hurdles about a new endeavour, and how did you overcome them?