WHAT HAVE I LEARNT FROM MY FIRST YEAR OF BLOGGING?


Five Foot Seven is one year old! *Pulls out the party poppers and puts on a bright pink cardboard party hat* In the last year we have seen: one name change, nearly twenty collaborations with brands and bloggers, 35,000 views, three hundred comments, and lots and lots of redesigns. Looking back, that's actually quite a lot to happen in a year- and is far more than I was expecting to achieve. The last year seems to have flown by, and it seems like only a few months ago that I set up this little blog as a
proper place for me to post content and write- something which I am still very passionate about. I have learnt some lessons in my first year of blogging which I felt could work quite well in a post, not only for myself to look back on in the future, but also to others who may be starting out on their blogging journey. 

A SIMPLE, CONSISTENT, AND EASY TO NAVIGATE LAYOUT IS KEY
The pre-set blogger templates are fine when you're just finding your feet with everything, but when you get into the swing of things, you want to have a pretty sidebar, banner along the top and all things like that. You want to make it more personal to you- after all, it is your own little space. It can be quite easy to get carried away, but having a simple layout that is easy to navigate is what visitors to your blog will want. They don't want to get lost in a crowded page where photos are left right and centre, overlapping the side bar etc. Another thing to remember, and something which I have yet to quite grasp is consistency. Consistency in not only the layout, but also content, photography, all things like that. Since starting Five Foot Seven, I must have tried out at least six different templates, changing them after I got bored of them. Something I've come to learn is that your blog is your brand, and changing it up regularly can cause your brand to become forgettable since it lacks consistency. Having finally recently purchased my first template (instead of using free ones and customizing them myself), I'm hoping that that will stop me from constantly changing the theme, making Five Foot Seven more memorable and consistent. In short, it's all about the aesthetics of your website. The first thing people will see before they even look at a post is the overall look of the page, and making it simple, clean and easy to use will make them want to read on and possibly revisit in the future.

WRITING IS SOMETHING THAT I ENJOY. LIKE, REALLY ENJOY
This is a bit more of a personal point, but I have come to learn that I really enjoy writing. I've enjoyed reading and writing from a young age and have been studying Creative Writing for the last year at college, but writing this blog has shown me that writing is actually a hobby of mine. I love to do it. Quite a lot of the time, I'm thinking about what post I can come up with next, or I'm actually noting down sentences which I can use in the future. It's opened my eyes to the thought that possibly- just possibly, I might like a career that involves writing and being creative. Whether that be a career in journalism, PR, or even just continuing to write here. Unlike most of my friends, I don't know what I want to do once I leave college, but writing here has helped me to decide that maybe creating work like this is something that I could do with my life (What a dramatic statement lol soz).

NOT EVERYONE WILL UNDERSTAND IT
Even now, despite blogs having been around for years and many people becoming incredibly successful as a result of them, some people still don't understand why you run a blog. When you tell someone that you have a blog, you sometimes feel as if the person you have told is looking down on you, judging you for not having 'a proper job'. I think there is a misconception that blogging is just for people who don't like to socialize much, and that all blogs still look like the simple templates that Blogger offer. Many don't understand what is involved, and how much time and effort goes into projects like a blog. Obviously some people do understand, and it's always great when somebody wants to know more about what you do on your blog, but there are people who don't quite get it. I've just learnt to accept it because at the end of the day, not everyone will understand what you do, but that's okay.

DON'T TRY TO DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE
As I will mention in my next point, blogging takes time and you are only one person, meaning that you can't be expected to do everything at once. I think this is not only a blog lesson, but something I have learnt to apply to life in general. Being a people-pleaser is exhausting, and sometimes accepting that you can't juggle everything is okay. Setting a schedule for each thing on your to-do list is a way to ensure that everything gets done, and also makes sure that you're not juggling writing a post, answering an email, editing your coding and taking a photo for the post you're writing all at the same time. Do you get what I'm trying to say? You don't have to make yourself available 24/7. If you're out and about with friends, leave that email that's just popped into your inbox until the morning and answer it on Monday. Turning things down and saying 'No I can't do that right now' is okay too. You are only one person, and trying to do everything at once is likely to result in a poor final result.

SUCCESS DOES NOT COME OVERNIGHT!

Having a blog takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you're passionate about making it work. In the last year, I think I've been extremely lucky to receive the opportunities that I have. Even if you have the most beautifully designed blog and lots of good content, it doesn't guarantee you success, and it's quite likely that you won't see lots of visitors overnight, or even within the first few months or maybe even longer. It takes time and patience, and you have to have the drive and perseverance to continue with it, even if you're not seeing the results you would like. Engaging with others helps to build up a following which in time, will help to lead to the success of your blog. In a post I wrote a while ago, I gave a list of some of my favourite places to talk with other bloggers, and you can read that here. I obviously can't give advice as to how to achieve success, as everyone will see success at different levels, but for me, what I have achieved in this first year is successful and more than I had imagined could happen. 

So to summarise, there are lots of lessons I have learnt over the last year and many of them I will apply to life outside of Five Foot Seven. I feel as if the last year has been a big learning curve for me as a blogger, but lots of the things I have learnt have been really beneficial and will allow me to grow personally and as a blogger. I feel as if we've had a good first year here on Five Foot Seven and hopefully there will be lots more to come, and things will continue to get better and better. The last thing to say is thank you, whether this be your first time reading a post of mine, you've read before, or you're just a friend of mine snooping around to see what I actually do on my blog. Thank you. I'm sure that there will be more exciting things to come over the next year and hopefully even longer.

Is x

23 comments:

  1. I've learned too not to try and do everything at once. I'm glad I learned to slow things down a bit!

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  2. These are absolutely motivating! I think my first year of blogging was a struggle because I always thought you had to force yourself to keep up! It's nice to know that other people also had such a productive first year!

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  3. This is really a great article to read for newbie's like me. I have to keep reminding myself that those page views and subscribers don't happen overnight and to stick with it. Really happy for your success over your first year. Keep it up!

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  4. That was so beautiful to read. I feel as If I was reminiscing with you <3

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  5. I love it! I'm quickly approaching my one year blogging anniversary and have been so surprised with the wonderful things my blog has taught me and the success I have found.

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  6. Great insights - I've been at it for 4+ years and it's always a rollercoaster filled with delights and surprises!

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  7. Great post! I been blogging for almost a year now and I can really relate to a huge part of this post! Love it!

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  8. Thanks for sharing. I'm in my first year of blogging so this has proved useful!

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  9. I love this. I've only been blogging for a couple of weeks now, and I am starting to learn all of these things as well. Especially about it's success. Thank you for showing me I and others are not alone!.

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  10. Great advice :-) And THANK YOU for having a name/URL option for commenters! It's awesome when bloggers make it more simple to engage with their posts.

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  11. This is such a honest and true reflection on the first year(S) of blogging. I know at first that I tried to do everything, and I definitely didn't do it all well! Instead it's best to work on things slowly and gain a deeper understanding of each facet before trying to juggle everything!

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  12. great tips. thanks for sharing. you have a beautiful layout

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  13. Great read! We are only 6 months in and we can totally relate to your post! Especially not trying to do everything at once, which I am very guilty of!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I just started a new career as a writer. I am even going back to school to get my MFA! This post was very inspirational as far as always keeping your eyes open for ideas. I loved what you said about writing down sentences that you might use in the future. All in all, you have given me a ton of inspiration for my blog. And some insight on how to do mine better (it's all about the pictures...yours are so crisp and clean)! Thank you for this post. And I look forward to reading more from you.

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  15. Sometimes is hard to think we have to be patience while we get sucess. But the wait while we work is very rewarding.

    -Yulissa

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  16. Awesome post, love the "don't try to do everything at once" Def true, you're only one person! :) Thanks for sharing what you've learned.

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  17. Congratulations on a terrific first year. It's always inspiring to read about other bloggers experiences. :)

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  18. Nice blog, have a good day

    http://elegant-e.blogspot.com/
    https://www.instagram.com/elegant_e_blog/

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  19. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to try to do everything, because it's just not possible! xx Adaleta Avdic

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  20. I just celebrated one year as well! Congrats. Your last two points are spot on for me. I tried to do too many things at once, so I did what I was good at first, and now that I know what I'd like to improve, I'm working on it. Congrats again and cheers to a successful year 2!

    Courtney | thirty30courtney.com

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  21. Wow that's a lot of readers. Great blog hopefully when My blog is a year old I will have the same success. Thanks for inspiring me!

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  22. I just started a couple of months ago and it's so much fun, I actually don't really care that much about numbers but of course it's nicer when all your work is actually seen by some people after all.

    I just try to remind myself to keep going and see it as a thing I'd like to come back and scroll through when I am old and grey even if I might not become very successful in the end.

    Leah / www.sunmoonwars.com

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  23. Great post and some fab tips in here that any blogger can benefit from. I'm the same, writing is something that I really enjoy which certainly helps when you are a blogger!

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