Wow, how time flies. But also thinking of where I was when I first hit “publish” for this blog makes me laugh! I had no idea what I was doing…I just wanted a cool little piece of the internet to call my own. But now, a year later, its so cool to see where I am now in the blogging world, and how my dreams have changed along the way.
So, it’s been just over a year when I really think about it…oops, time just flew so quick I didn’t even remember when my blog anniversary was exactly.
Like I said, my motivation for starting Steel & Chiffon back a year ago is definitely so different from where it is now. If you were following along when I first started, you’ll remember it was a “His & Hers” blog that I wanted to start with Paul. We wanted to talk about a giant handful of things from recipes, to DIY, to gardening, to handy-man tips. OMG, I’m exhausted just thinking about how broad those topics are! Fun fact, originally “Steel & Chiffon” was supposed to represent men and women. Get it, steel=men, chiffon=women…
But then, with Paul and I getting engaged, married, and us moving all in the course of 3 months, of course the blogging life was put on hold for the time being. Paul started school again shortly after and didn’t have time to write, so I decided to redirect the blog to focus on my passion. Not having a job at the moment meant I poured all of my time and energy each day into research. I realized that I wanted to write to women who have struggled or are struggling with body image and restricting eating to feel whole and accepted by themselves and others. I wanted to share my story with a past life of unhealthy habits and encourage women going through a similar thing. But also, I wanted to bring joy and creativity to the kitchen with healthy meals to start people on the road to loving food, in a healthy way, and loving their bodies.
Like I said, starting out, I hadn’t a clue about what I wanted with starting a blog. Nor did I know what starting a blog really entailed! I didn’t know that you had to have a hosting site as well as the wordpress site. Nor did I know a thing about SEO or how to market through social media. I thought, all you have to do is write, take a photo, and publish and people will come. I’m embarrassed at my first post…wait, not embarrassed, just amazed at where I am now compared to then. Not that I’m really anywhere, but just that I look back at that post and think to myself all the ways I’ve grown since then.
If you’re looking to start blogging, I want to share 5 things I’ve learned along the way to maybe just give you a little insight to what a year of blogging may look like. And if you’re not looking to blog, maybe this will just give you perspective of what blogging entails.
- Research first, and then keep researching. Some people jump right into blogging after they’ve decided to start. That’s what I did. I had no idea what it meant to start a blog. But if you want to make it serious, do the research first to know what you’re getting into. But then, even after you start, don’t stop looking for ways to improve your skills! A cool thing is there’s blogs with the sole purpose of helping others start blogging…start there! Here’s three I read when I first started blogging and still reference and engage with today: Market Beautifully, Humble & Whole, and Wonderlass. Be a sponge! Soak up all the information you can get your hands on whether it be podcasts, e-courses, or just reading.
- Post quality over quantity. I look back when I first started and I was stressing out trying to post 3-4 times a week, but the content I posted was not my best work. Some people say to post frequently in the beginning, and I completely agree with that, but if 3 times a week is too much for you to be able to give quality work, then it’s better to only post 1-2 times. Just find a schedule that works well for you and stick with that.
- Blogging is more than just blogging. When I first started, I anticipated only having to write a post here and there and immediately grow a following. But, it’s so much more than that! Especially if you want to reach more people with your content! It entails joining groups on facebook and interacting there, and consistently posting on Instagram and following others with your same niche. It’s researching (see #1) to find your crowd and figuring out how to reach those people. It’s a lot of work! I made the quick assumption (like a lot of people do) that blogging would be a breeze. But it’s not…it’s frustrating and sometimes I want to throw in the towel! But then I remember, I’m not here for the large crowd, I’m here to share my message and even if just one person is touched by my writing, I’m satisfied.
- Be genuine. A lot of people only share their best moments when blogging and posting to social media. But what people really want is to see you, the real you! The no makeup, dirty house, running late, you. They want to see that they’re not the only ones with bad days. They want to see that someone else is struggling in a similar way that they are. So, don’t only show the good times, or the pristine kitchen or a perfect face. Be YOU! That’s the most beautiful thing you can give.
- Find a community to support you. Find your crowd both in your everyday life as well as online. Find people with similar goals to reach out to and bounce ideas off of. Like I said, it can get discouraging at times, so you need people in your life to pick you back up and give you a little extra boost.
So, whether or not you decide to take up a new hobby or start full force into the blogging world, I hope these 5 tips will help you get started. It really is so fun to create online, and it’s amazing to be able to write and share recipes for people all over the world to read.
Tell me this…have you ever had the thought to start a blog? What’s holding you back? What is your passion that you would write about?
Also, be sure to check out the Steel & Chiffon Facebook group yet? Join the group for a great community of women striving to be healthy from the inside out!
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