About a month ago Style Lemon celebrated its first birthday. We didn’t have the time to make it into an actual thing back then so last week we finally combined it with our celebration of our first year in the new apartment, got ourselves a cake, some car candles and had ourselves a merry little Sunday party.
This past year has been a literal whirlwind of ups and downs and somewhere in the midst of all that I finally got around to starting my own blog. I’ve wanted my own little place of creativity for so long that once I finally had it I literally poured all, and I mean all, my energy into it. It wasn’t always easy and it took tons of organization especially because our schedules are a bit hectic and my darling little one had her own share of minor health problems at the time. But we got through it and it’s literally been one of the best things for me as I feel I finally found my calling and am getting closer and closer to where I want to be both personally and professionally. I also learned a few things along the way that might be helpful to some of you that already have blogs, are thinking of starting one, or are maybe just in the same boat as me and can simply relate to it.
What you get from your blog is proportional to the time you put in it. On days when I’m rushing and don’t have the time to put a lot of creativeness in my posts, well let’s just say those usually don’t do as well as the posts I’ve really, really worked on. So I try and prepare as much in advance as possible in case I run out of time. For me this means getting up early sometimes to work on my images in Photoshop because those take more time for me than the text itself. It’s not ideal but it’s what I’m working with. Also, I take notes. Tons and tons and tons of notes. I have days when I’m literally out of ideas and so writing things down definitely helps when inspiration runs low. Then there are days when posting is just not an option and so I’ve had to learn not to beat myself up about that either.
However, this brings me to my next point…
Consistency. As much as I try not to beat myself up if a day goes by and I just couldn’t get around to posting, consistency is still the key to good reader interaction. It doesn’t only help with your readership and has people coming back to your blog, it also helps you get in the groove of things and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Invest in a great blog layout. If you want your blog to do well, are thinking of converting it into a mini business or even if you just want it to reflect you and the content you’re looking to share, a great design is important. Your blog is an investment and you should treat it as such.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Ha, you’re all laughing now because this is easier said than done. I mean we’re all human here and to say that you’re always 100% comfortable and never spend a second comparing yourself to others is, quite frankly, a lie. If you’re like me and you loooooove reading blogs it’s really easy to get caught up and start comparing yourself to others. Like, really easy.
And so instead of getting down on myself and thinking “oh that person is just so much better or more creative than me” I’ve made a conscious decision to just not go there. I literally say “STOP” to myself because there is no point. I’m not that person and that person is not me. I have something to offer and that’s different from what they have to offer and that’s that. I’m constantly looking of ways to improve the blog, the content, to get better at creating fun images and to introduce new and interesting things to my readers. So instead of thinking that someone is better than me and get all negative I try to convert it into inspiration, which would in turn make me better. Also, I think the blogging community in general incorporates this sense of mutual support and I love that. I think linking to other blogs when I like a particular post is important, especially if it complements my own content.
Blog Statistics. I check my stats everyday in order to stay on top of who’s reading the blog, which posts were popular and which posts weren’t and to see how my readers interact but I try not to obsess over them too much. I think it’s important to know what’s happening to your blog so you can make it even better and NOT so you get all negative and down on yourself. It’s important to note here however, that if you go days without posting, your readership will most likely decline. Don’t despair, they’ll come back but it’ll take you a few days to get back in the swing of things.
Get Creative. To be perfectly honest I wouldn’t necessarily call myself creative in a visual sense. I love writing and discovering anything pretty, from clothing to interior design to DIY’s but I’m not necessarily always there myself. Or better yet, I wasn’t there myself. This blog helped me broaden my horizons immensely. I’ve taken up Photoshop and even though I’m completely self-taught at this point, I absolutely adore it and would love to get even better this year. I’ve learned that posts with pretty images and pictures a.k.a posts that really look good, are a lot more fun to read than those who aren’t (this of course excludes this enormously long dissertation on the things I learned during my first year of blogging). Believe it or not, I also started cooking and experimenting with foods and recipes and I absolutely love it. Plus I’m sort of thinking DIY’s might be my next mission. All thanks to my little web home.
Last but not least, I wanted to thank everyone for making Style Lemon’s first year so special and for reading along. It’s been a blast and I hope it continues to get even better…