11 Lessons I have Learned after 5 Years of Blogging
Hey guys! I am back from hiatus, and I have a reason to celebrate. Impurrfectlife celebrates 5 years this month! Boy how time flies! If you would have told me after the loss of my cat Dusty, I would create a blog and have it impact others’ lives for over 5 years, I would tell you that you must be mistaken. I am not that girl.
But life’s challenges and experiences often take us on paths not traveled before and this happens to be my journey. Thanks to those that have been on this journey with me for the past 5 years. And if this is your first time visiting my blog or you are new to my blog, just to catch you up, this space I have created is a space for bereaved pet parents and animal lovers.
Impurrfectlife was created out of my grief after losing my heart cat Dusty to cancer. It was the most heart-wrenching experience I have lived through to date. Creating this blog to chronicle my journey to finding healing after pet loss so others could find validation and support was my intention. Over the years sharing my feelings ranging from pain, guilt, sadness to finding happiness, joy and laughter has been a wild ride.
I have learned so much about myself and the compassion and kindness of others in this journey. I have grown so much as a person and learned new skills and talents in the process. Am I a professional counselor? No, but I just happen to be a Jersey girl with a personal experience to share hoping others know they are not alone. It is my goal to help use my journey to help heal hearts along the way.
With that said, here are 11 lessons I have learned after 5 years of blogging. Let me know if you can relate to any of these lessons in the comments below. In no particular order, let’s dive into the valuable life lessons I have discovered.
1) Taking ME time is important.
I always knew taking time for self-care was important however actually implementing that is a different story. Over the course of 5 years, I would take mini-breaks here and there but not several weeks or months. And then the pandemic occurred and made me (and many of us) re-evaluate what is vital and important in life.
Aside from paying attention to relationships and family, self-care is just as important. Preserving your mental sanity, de-stressing, and doing things you enjoy is important. Also, taking time to meditate, get adequate rest and relaxation is important to help your body replenish itself and heal.
This is one thing I have learned over the past 5 years, and I am trying my best to do better at listening to my body and taking time off when needed.
2) Write when you are inspired.
Next, one of the challenges with blogging is sticking to a schedule and being consistent. Moreover, having the inspiration to write is a whole other ball of wax.
I always want to put out content I know others can find value in and find useful. Life is too short to waste on useless information or even false information. I have learned to only write content as I feel inspired because that is when you get the “meat and potatoes” of the content and not just a few sprinkles.
Newsflash, not feeling inspired is okay! It is a part of life. Bloggers and writers alike do not always feel motivated to write every single day or every single week. Life happens. Sometimes you hit a wall or are in a funk.
So how do I deal? When I am experiencing periods of missing inspiration, I like sharing life quotes or repurpose older content and republish older posts.
3) Feedback is helpful to keep you on the right path.
Piggybacking off the point of lacking inspiration, sometimes your audience can help you out. Adding to the lessons learned after 5 years of blogging is getting audience feedback.
Obtaining feedback from your readers is priceless. Keeping an open mind and listening to what your readers want and enjoy is vital to a positive blogging experience for you and for your readers. What I find most helpful is that in areas in which you feel are lacking you may come to realize you are having a great impact and vice versa.
Having feedback from your readers through surveys or post comments is valuable and appreciated. It is a great way to gauge you are on the right path or if you need to dial it back and re-evaluate your path.
I am so grateful to have the feedback and comments from my readers and those passing through as it helps me grow as a person and understand my voice is impacting others in a positive way.
4) Focus on 1 or 2 social platforms
I do not know about you but when it comes to social media, I can barely keep up with the new trends. Tik Tok and Clubhouse, etc. are all new to me. I am a Generation X gal and very familiar with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram but constantly learning about new and trending platforms. Honestly, it can be overwhelming. However, over the years what I have learned is this…
One. Stick to what you know. And two, diversify your content on multiple platforms but primarily focus on one or two. In the end, your tribe will find you.
It is too easy (and overwhelming) to try to post content on four or five platforms. Believe me, I have tried. When I first started blogging, I was that girl posting multiple times per week on as many as 4 platforms. However, what I learned the hard way is burning the midnight oil on both ends did more harm than good for my health and psyche.
Knowing that I can put my energy and focus into two platforms and still built my audience slow and steady is okay. Rome was not built in a day.
I learned to enjoy the journey and not create a social media posting schedule for myself that I could not maintain. It just will not work.
At the end of the day, I learned to find a healthy medium of posting a few times per week on two maybe three platforms and get traffic organically. At the end of the day, your tribe will find you.
5) Do what makes you happy.
Speaking of organic, I have learned to do what makes you happy. One of the lessons learned after 5 years of blogging I’ve discovered is never allowing others or the status quo to dictate how you operate at the sacrifice of your own health, happiness, and well-being. I know this is easier said than done, but life is too short to do what makes you miserable.
I have learned that writing and creating art makes me happy. And I have also learned that forcing myself to write content when I do not feel like it or when I am not inspired makes me miserable.
My best content is written from the heart…often time on a whim. Are you the same way?
Participating in things that bring you joy on your own terms is magic.
6) Writing and blogging is a craft that takes work.
Another life lesson on this journey over the past 5 years of blogging has included working on my craft. Writing and blogging is a continuous journey of learning and growing. I make mistakes, miss proofreading errors here and there and that is okay. I am human. After all, I am not perfect but rather an imperfect person trying to reach perfection in her craft.
Over the past 5 years I have learned to not be ashamed of my mistakes and failures but use them as learning tools to do better and in some cases try a new direction. Blogging has not only helped me improved my writing skills but also introduced me to other skills like media marketing, digital graphic art creation, and more.
Can you relate?
7) Authenticity is golden.
Part of what I have learned along the way is being honest and authentic is golden. Remember when I mentioned that some of my best content comes from the heart? I know this to be true. I wrote a post about dealing with the heart-wrenching guilt of losing a pet and it became of my most viewed posts to date. So many people let me know the post resonated with them and they too had similar feelings and experiences. Sharing my authentic experience reminded me we all are in this boat called “life” together.
We have more in common together than that which separates and divides us. There is a sense of community out of grief. People identify with realness and the ugly truth no matter what it is. Chances are they too have lived through the same experience and can identify with it too. This is what makes being honest and authentic priceless.
8) Consistency is key.
When learning to build your blog and audience, I have learned that slow and steady wins the race. You will experience peaks and valleys but remaining consistent is key when blogging. Also, I find keeping your audience and readers informed is important too.
People like routine and predictability so they can organize their time accordingly. Reading your blog or viewing your content is important to your readers but also knowing they can rely on knowing when you post your content is valuable. Being reliable helps you not only maintain your audience but gain new readers.
Sticking to a posting routine builds trust, reliability and continues to build your online legacy of content.
9) Positivity wins.
Whether you are living life after grieving the loss of a pet or a person, it is important to look at the silver lining. This is one of the most important lessons learned after 5 years of blogging. It is to be grateful and practice gratitude.
I remember when my pet Dusty first showed signs of her terminal illness and had an episode. I prayed nothing serious would present itself when making my way to the vet. Her episode was so bad I thought I would lose her within the same week.
However, being prayerful, faithful, optimistic, and grateful for every minute, by some miracle Dusty was granted an additional three months with us together before she earned her angel wings.
The lesson I learned, despite your circumstance, find gratitude and positivity in all things. If that means, you gain more time with sick loved ones, or they are no longer in pain suffering, or you have re-established a long-lost connection- positivity wins.
Your mindset and outlook on life is a powerful thing. How you view the world and operate in it is reflective, in part, of your mind and spirit. So, if I had any words of wisdom to share, I would say, operate on a higher vibration.
10) Always learning and trying new things.
Blogging was brand new to me years ago and although I had heard of blogging, I never explored it until thinking of sharing my voice with others. Over the past 5 years, I have educated myself on blogging, researching, creating graphics, eBooks and so much more.
Yes! You read that right. I am self-taught. Never think that your current circumstance is indicative of the rest of your future. The one thing that many of us have access to is the world wide web. And guess what? Most of anything you want to know about is available online.
If you need to know how to cook or find a recipe for dinner? You can find recipes on Pinterest. Do you need to know how to decorate in a small space? Check out YouTube. Do you want to know what’s trending now? Check out Twitter.
My point is anything you desire or want or even remotely curious about can be found online now. One caveat to know is it is important to find multiple sources for information. Vet your information too. Not all information is accurate or valid information so do not fall into that trap if you can avoid it.
I spent many days and weeks researching and learning about blogging on YouTube and Google. These are just some of the topics I explored when thinking about starting a blog.
How to start a blog?
What mistakes do new bloggers make?
Lessons learned from bloggers.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
Is blogging dead?
What is a niche?
Can you make money blogging?
What is a hosted blog?
How do I create pinnable images?
How to create a video on YouTube?
And so much more.
This is just the tip of the iceberg but aspects I explored early in my journey.
Over the past 5 years, I have learned to never fear trying new things. At the very least you know you tried and will never have to wonder ‘what if’ later in life. Sometimes it takes many failures, to find something that sticks and does well. In the process, you are gaining new skills, becoming more open-minded, and diversifying your portfolio.
11) My voice has value to others.
Lastly, one of the most rewarding and valuable lessons I have learned in this 5-year journey of blogging has been my voice does have value.
When I first started thinking about blogging, I was hesitant. Why? I figured, “Who is going to care what I have to say?” But I have learned that no matter how insignificant you may think your voice is, someone is listening. Someone can relate. There is always someone out there that identifies with how you tell your story and finds value in it.
Sharing my journey to finding joy and healing after the death of my heart cat Dusty resonated with many pet parents. Sharing my perspective on a variety of aspects including grief, loss, inspirational quotes, and much more that gave people a sense of hope and validation, they too will get through this difficult time.
That makes all the challenges and trials so worth it. Knowing I have found my own little tribe sharing a common ground of being animal lovers and pet parents navigating the challenges of life together brings me joy.
This sums up my lessons learned after 5 years of blogging. Blogging has provided me a voice to share with the world and I have learned many lessons along the way. This journey has only helped me grow and evolve as a person. Leaving a legacy of impacting others with positivity, inspiration, and healing is special. That is the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. That is what I am doing one post at a time.
Share your thoughts
Did any of these blogging lessons resonate with you? Are you a new blogger or a blogging veteran? Are you a pet parent or animal lover? Can you relate to any of these life lessons? What is one life lesson you have learned in the past year? I would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment below.
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Curious to learn more about my lessons learned while blogging? Check out these other posts below: