May is a pretty exciting month for me. My wedding anniversary comes first on the 18th, and then 6 days afterward is my birthday. (My husband suggested May for our wedding because he thought he could combine anniversary and birthday gifts. Silly boy.)
Now, I have even another cool milestone to celebrate!
I purchased the domain name for FlipFlopWeekend on May 10, 2017. This means that FlipFlopWeekend is celebrating its first anniversary!
Technically, the ‘blogiversary’ may be a bit of a gray area. I purchased the domain on May 10, but didn’t publish a post until May 12. AND I had a site a few years back ( that was pretty terrible), so I had some posts transferred from that blog…but it doesn’t count. So, I am claiming May 10.
Let me tell you, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. But, the reality is that this year completely blew me away!
So, in honor of my first year, I wanted to share some of the valuable lessons that I wish I had known on day 1. Whether you are a beginning blogger yourself, thinking of starting a blog, or been at for a bit and just need some reminders: here ya go!
1) Don’t be an island unto yourself
I love islands, and tropical feels. But, being a loner in the blog world doesn’t work. In fact, it kinds sucks and you’ll get burnt out and give up easily.
There are a lot of people who helped me out on my blog journey this year, but there are definitely a few who really stepped up to give me advice, collaborate with me, help me out of some tech scrapes, or share some connections. So, a huge shoutout to the following peeps:
This girl is my Disney mom blog BFF. We co-admin a Facebook group, Disney Fans and Bloggers Unite, and would love to have you join us!
Flav was my first coach, mentor/blog friend. He promotes small business and entrepreneurship and coaches others on how to be their own boss. At the beginning of my blog, when I ran into a number of scrapes, he answered each and every dumb question I could think of via Facebook messenger. He is an upstanding guy and a wealth of knowledge. Check out his site or join his Facebook group, Side Business Ideas: SideHustle & Blogging.
I didn’t set out to be mostly Disney. My blog still covers Food, General Travel, and Florida. But, truthfully, Disney drives the vast majority of my traffic and I have enjoyed getting to know other Disney bloggers who share my love of the House of Mouse.
Dustin from Steps To Magic is an incredible Disney blogger who reached out with a request to join my Disney Pinterest Group Board. We chatted a bit online, he shared some advice…and it has been a Disney blogosphere camaraderie since. I appreciate his tips, ideas, and feedback. If you want more Disney magic in your life, definitely check out his site.
One of my first friends in the blogosphere, Gina is a fellow mom and Orlando local who also blogs about the fantastic things to do in Central Florida for kids and families. So, let’s just say… she gets me. Our blogs are pretty simpatico. She has been amazing about connecting me with some local contacts for collaborations and giving me tips on what is going on in the area. Click here to check out MomExploresOrlando.
And FINALLY, Scrivs with Dare To Conquer
This is a biggie.
When I started with FlipFlopWeekend, I tried to do it as cheaply as possible.
After all, It was a hobby, right?
I wasn’t going to make any money at this, right?
But, then I realized I loved it. And was getting frustrated when all the free courses and lessons left me hanging and I just needed some guidance. I stumbled upon the Billionaire Blog Club (Which is now Dare To Conquer)and struggled with the thought of spending money on it. But, he offered an amazing Black Friday sale, so I decided to take the leap.
This is what happened:
Pretty amazing, right!?
Paul Scrivens aka Scrivs has created multiple successful blogs in a variety of niches, so he created Dare To Conquer to share his knowledge. He doesn’t have a course for just one thing. He has courses for all aspects of blogging at one price. But, the selling point is the community.
When you join DTC, you have access to an online slack community of other DTC members who are all working together to build successful blogs.
24/7 you can log in and ask questions, offer support, get feedback on your pins and posts…and occasionally just shoot the breeze with other people who ‘ get’ what the hustle is like.
Plus, Scrivs is an active member. He doesn’t take your money and just walk away.
In fact, a couple of months ago, I had a post do something really really haywire in my WordPress dashboard. I was thinking I would need to pay a developer to fix it. I popped into DTC and Scrivs himself began directly chatting with me and spent HOURS working on it to help me solve the problem..for free. That’s the kind of guy he is and the kind of program he runs. It’s amazing. Needless to say…I recommend.
Even if you’re not ready to commit to DTC, I highly recommend signing up for one of his free bootcamps, like the 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp…located on his DTC site.
Because I wanted to give you more than just my perspective, and because the BBC folk are so awesome, I reached out to those with awesome blogs that are over a year old and asked them what they wish they knew their first year blogging. I am continuing my list with their nuggets of valuable wisdom to help you press through your blog journey.
2) Write What People Want To Read
“I wish I had known that I should be writing about popular topics that people are interested in and not try to come up with magical unicorn posts 3 times a week!”
MaryBeth (Blogger for 5 years)- Lifestyle For Real Life
Find out what works in your niche and put your own spin on it. People know what they like, so find out what that is and write about it. When you try to be super duper unique… or post all about you… all you’re gonna get are crickets. I can guarantee it.
3) Have a Strategy
“I wish I knew that you could make money by utilizing a proper strategy from the very beginning.”
Ashlynn ( Blogger for 5 Years)- Enjoying Simple
Even after a year, I struggle with this. I still get terrible ‘blog A-D-D’ but know that strategy is key. At least have a semi-figured out gameplan of what you want your blog to look like and become.
4) Be Patient!
This is a popular comment:
“Patience! Blogging will take a lot more patience than you are expecting! You expect to see quick results, but even the smallest change takes time.”
Sasha ( Blogger for 16 Months)- Life’s Carousel
“Patience is key. Don’t hop around from one “expert’s” advice to another. Write every day, Pin every day and remember that success takes time.”
Susan (Blogger of 5 Years) – Woman of Noble Character
5) Go With The Flow
“I also wish I had known that the ups and downs in pageviews are normal and you have to learn to accept the downs and just keep plugging away, writing good content that people are searching for and promoting it to the right people.”
MaryBeth (Blogger for 5 years)- Lifestyle For Real Life
6) Consistency is Key
“Find a way to be consistent when working on your blog. I did so many start/stops on mine that it took longer before it became successful than if I had just stayed consistent.”
Christina ( Blogger of 4 Years)- Sam and Maddie
Write every day and make sure your audience knows what to expect from you. Maintaining consistency will keep you continually growing!
7) Embrace Pinterest
“Unquestionably, it is the power of Pinterest. I had no idea that Pinterest would be the driving force behind my blog traffic.”
Diana ( Blogger of 2 Years)- Sew Very Crafty
When I first started blogging, I thought Pinterest was still just for recipes. I had to realize it was a search engine. The reality is that once I realized how to harness the power of Pinterest with FlipFlopWeekend, it has become THE most significant source of traffic for my blog. If you are a blogger, you pretty much MUST utilize Pinterest.
To learn how I increased my traffic with Pinterest, check out this post!
8) Know When It Isn’t Working…and That You Need To Fix It Or Try Again
“I was running scandiasia.dk for 6 years but recently said goodbye to it. Now, I am starting funkawaii.com. I wish I had known if my old blog had money potential or not. How big is the audience? What kind of products to sell? What’s the strategy? Because I believe each niche has a different approach. You just can’t start a hobby blog and expect it to become money, unless you’re lucky. Hobby blog usually stays hobbies, it takes work to do something about it!”
Koko (Blogger of 6 Years)-Funkawaii
9) Don’t Make It More Complicated Than It Needs To Be
“Keep things simple. Don’t hop on every webinar you hear about and try to learn absolutely everything you can. Choose who to take advice from and learn from and then listen to what they say. Don’t try to do everything at once. It really is a marathon, not a sprint (as cliche as that sounds). And to start seeing results, you need to focus on one thing at a time. Set one goal. Crush one goal. And then move onto the next.”
Brianna (Blogger of 1.5 Years)- Spiked Parenting
Great tip from @SpikedParenting “To start seeing results, you need to focus on one thing at a time. Set one goal. Crush one goal. And then move onto the next.” #focus #crushit #bossgirlbloggers https://t.co/erSqYb2L39
— Keri|FlipFlopWeekend (@flipflopweekend) May 11, 2018
10) Celebrate The Milestones!
“I would say trust the process and write good content. Celebrate every little milestone you reach and be always ready to set goals that are way out of reach. Because those are the goal you’re gonna hit faster than you’d think with hard work and commitment. Blogging is enjoyable and you may choose to blog because you love it but you won’t love everything about it all the time. Be ready to stay committed even then and keep your perspective.”
Hilda ( Blogger of 2 Years) – Real Mom Help
Congratulations on wherever you are at in your blog journey! I would love to hear about your struggles, victories and lessons learned in the comments!