A year ago, when I began this blog, I totally envisioned being where I am today—not far from where I started. Blogging is hard. There’s a lot of time and e ffort involved in creating a successful blog. It goes way beyond just writing. Your domain name, your web site design, your navigation and your content are just a few factors that play a part in your continued success. In addition, there are a lot of skills, a lot of responsibilities and a lot of self-motivation that go into sustaining a site that people want to read.
Not that I’m a failure, but I’ve only just scratched the surface. In the year since starting my blog, I’ve traveled to 11 different cities and three different countries. And when I’m not traveling, I’m working a full-time job, trying to maintain a fitness routine, working on freelance projects and spending time with friends and family. Notice I didn’t mention blogging. That’s because I’m not prioritizing my time correctly, and that affects the amount of attention I’m able to give to this blog.
But I’ve learned so much, and I’m excited to step into Year Two of the blog with renewed hope. I realized I just started Rose Colored Karina kind of aimlessly, not really having a clear direction on where I wanted to take it, what exactly I wanted to write about or what my intention was for the blog.
The Biggest Takeaways
Through a lot of research, a lot of trial and error and a lot of revisions, today, I’m encouraged to move the blog forward with these takeaways:
- Prioritizing your blogging time will be the key to success
- The motto: if you build it, they will come, does not apply to blogging
- Besides being a good writer, you also have to be good at: web design, web development, social media, marketing and photography
- Pinterest is more important for blogging than people actually think
- I have more men readers than women, which in turn should affect my content and social media strategy
- SEO is still relevant, and my SEO plug-in is my most helpful tool
- No matter how much time you spend on any specific post, people aren’t going to care about everything that you write
- Just because you think you know everything, you really don’t
- Every little win counts
- Competitive research is everything
My list of How To’s
Over the past year, I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve taught myself. Rather, what the internet has taught me. My google searches have looked something like this:
“how to add an image to a sidebar in Activello”
“how to create a pinnable image”
“how to add social icons to Activello template”
“how to market a blog”
“how to edit an image in Activello”
“how to enhance SEO in a blog”
“how to add text overlay to an image”
“how to create a subscribe pop up”
“how to create an email list”
“how to take a good picture”
“how to cite images”
“how to work a canon rebel in manual mode”
There is so much information out there, that it’s hard to pinpoint what will work for me. I’m reading a guide on how to make my blog better. And I hope to really commit more time to my blog in Year Two. My plan is to do more networking, create even more content, create better content, take better pictures, leverage social media more effectively and to take time to write and learn. It’s a lot to ask of oneself, but setting goals for myself is something that I take pretty seriously. The challenge will be holding myself to it.