Hey guys! I’m back!! June is here and almost gone and I’m back. Did you miss me? With summer here and working daily on the blog and social media I decided to take a much-needed break. Sometimes you need a vacation or just unplug from daily life now and again. Now that I’m back I got to thinking about my blogging schedule and I realized I ran out of room! Planner room that is! Another year has gone and I had to shop for a new organizer and planner! Yes, I’m old fashioned and like to actually put pen to paper and jot my “to do list” down in pen or marker! You know I’m an artist at heart, right?
After picking up a new planner and filling in dates, I realized “oh snap! It’s been 2 years!” Yes! This month marks two years to the month when I started this blog. Can you believe it? Where does the time go? I’ve really learned a lot over the past two years and still continue to learn daily. Thinking about the new lessons I’ve learned since starting two years ago, I figured it would be the perfect time to share with you my thoughts on the subject. If you missed my other post 14 lessons learned after 18 months of blogging, go check that out too.
I hope you have a few minutes, grab a snack or take a short break from your work routine because this post is a long one! Perfect reading material for the commute or occupying that 10 minute break. I now have 2 years of blogging experience under my belt. That means I have an additional 6 months of life experience to add since the last time I checked in, so let’s get into it. Here are 15 life lessons I’ve learned after 24 months of blogging! Let me know if any of these points resonate with you too.
1) Stay organized and have a plan
One thing I have always prided myself on is being organized. I’m not quite so OCD organized but definitely know how to prioritize what needs to get done and figure out how to do the task at hand most efficiently. Yes, I’m that girl in the grocery store with a list.
Quite honestly, the older I get the more I realize, I just can’t “wing it” and remember everything. I’m bound to forget, so using a list and a planner with goals helps me stay on track and be consistent. I like the old-fashioned method with paper and pen, but if you have a digital calendar method that works for you, then by all means, use it!
If it’s one thing readers and followers appreciate is consistency.
2) Longer isn’t always better
When I first started blogging, it was quite intimidating. I did not start this journey as a professional writer however felt that my experience and voice could be relatable to someone out there in the big world. I had a voice and someone had to resonate with what I had to say even if I didn’t write a long book sized blog post.
What I have discovered along the way is that sometimes the most impactful posts are some of the short and sweet ones. For example, my inspirational Monday quote posts have been quite a hit. A little inspiration goes a long way with shares and comments alike. Essentially, it’s not so much quantity of content but quality.
3) Revamping old posts is a lifesaver
Speaking of posts, one thing you will appreciate being a blogger with some experience under your belt is revamping old posts. Hallelujah! This never came to mind until I was reading another blog about tips and tricks to use when blogging. Why didn’t I think of this?
As a blogger and a person with a personal life and commitments of daily life, stuff happens! Emergencies happen, plans fall through or the power goes out in your city. Now what? With deadlines looming and no time to do research, you can use an older post and spruce it up. This has been a lifesaver for me. When I say lifesaver, I mean there have been a number of times where life just happens and the day is over before you know it and you are too tired to even think!
Revamping an old post for me included using the same content but sprucing it up to make it relevant in present day and adding new images and new pins. This is much easier than starting from scratch. Plus, it’s a great way to get exposure to a post that may have otherwise been ignored the first time around.
4) The magic happens when you aren’t obsessing over numbers
One thing you will begin to understand is that there is some importance in numbers, especially if you are starting a blog for the purpose of making money or becoming an influencer.
Honestly, my intent in starting Impurrfectlife is to just share my voice in hopes another pet parent could relate to my feelings and also not feel alone and feel validated. With time and a growing base of followers, new opportunities have presented themselves.
When I began blogging and published my first few posts I anticipated comments and engagement quickly. Rookie mistake! That’s not how it works. It takes time, using the best keywords, engaging on social media and other blogs to get that type of feedback. And let’s not forget a little luck to boot!
What I have learned over the past 24 months is that when I changed my mindset and did not obsess over the number of followers, that’s when the magic happened.
I found that when I just keep my head down and do the work, repeat and engage and repeat this over and over the results will come. When you are too busy putting in the work, the rest will follow. The key thing to remember is that anything worth having does take time.
My following is small compared to other mega bloggers but that’s okay. One constant that has remained since I started is growth. It’s like the tortoise and the hare. I’m getting there little by little in my own time. Although numbers do mean a lot it is not everything.
Remember, why you started in the first place. Most bloggers just want to make an impact in the world, and quite frankly that doesn’t require mega numbers, just a listening ear.
5) Algorithms are always changing
Between Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest I’ve learned that the algorithms for ads and posts being shown to a certain audience is always changing. Personally, I’m not one for overly stressing about the intricacies of algorithms other than figuring out what’s the best time frame for posting on social media and how does the information I post get to the reader.
What I have come to understand is that cash is king; meaning ads and posts that are sponsored or paid for tend to be more easily accessible and put in front of a vast audience as compared to unpaid posts.
What’s the loophole? Since video is becoming more widely popular over written text, I’ve come to learn that using videos in my social media posts and blog posts, tend to get more engagement over just text. Using engaging video or great images does get results.
The good news about this is that it’s free! Who doesn’t like that? So, learning to find a way to beat the way the algorithms are set up is helpful. I still have so much to learn in this department but I do see results, so I’m sticking to it.
6) The unexpected “Tag”
Has this ever happened to you? The unexpected tag. I’m minding my own business and get an alert on social media that I’ve been mentioned.
Most tags are harmless however sometimes you may find yourself in the middle of a war. Especially if you collaborate with a third-party. Has this ever happened to you? You collaborate with a third-party. A customer using that third-party has a complaint, so they post all over social media and include you in the process? Scary.
So, what’s a girl to do? Keep calm and get all the facts first. Sometimes the loudest people on social media are the most negative. Often times the most support, positive people are silent (and probably shaking their heads) and living their lives minding their own business in peace.
The best thing I’ve learned to do is empathize, acknowledge and monitor. Luckily, this worked well for me but it just goes to show that as a blogger gaining more views from others, you can unknowingly get caught up in some drama. Whew!
7) Engaging with others means staying informed
This leads me to my next lesson; engaging with others means staying informed. One thing I tried to do when starting my blog was watch video and read posts from experienced bloggers. I tried to make note of what NOT to do based on others experience.
The same principle applies here. By posting and commenting on group forum and other blogs, you can learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do based on other’s experiences. From use of images online, to avoiding scams and learning about new pet related issues in the headlines, interacting and engaging online helps me stay informed about what’s going on in the world.
8) Burnout is real
If you read my prior post 14 lessons I’ve learned after 18 months of blogging, you know that one of the lessons I pointed out was “It is a lot of work!” This is true. I do something 6 to 7 days a week related to my blog. Whether that means writing, sharing, posting, commenting, or planning, I’m always doing a little everyday to build my blog.
I wrote about my experience of feeling like I was doing too much in my other blog post called Why I had to quit: A lesson in learning to put myself first. At the time I was working a 9 to 5 job, commuting, blogging and doing volunteer work. It was too much.
Sometimes you have days where you just can’t write or don’t want to at all. Hey I’m human! Sure, I have a blog, but I need a breather. Sometimes you are just not in the mood to write or have writer’s block.
And then there is my daily life. Yes, I have a blog but I’m also married and a wife so, I have a personal life too. In addition to taking care of things around the house, I currently do part-time work online from home. Although I don’t have a full-time 9 to 5 job now, I understand what it’s like to balance and juggle both.
In my experience juggling so many things didn’t last long and something had to give. You can read about that in my post Lessons learned the day I left my job and met one special fan. This leads me to my next point.
9) Don’t forget to unplug, Take a break
What I’ve learned in this journey is that putting yourself first is key to keeping your sanity and good mental and physical health. I learned to listen to my body and take time off to just unplug. Leaving my corporate life behind was a huge boost, but you can easily over work yourself from home being stuck to the keyboard, and that’s not healthy either.
I’m working on that to be honest. It’s summer time and I have work to do in the fitness department. Can you relate? And now that it’s a new season, and I’ve rested, I am searching for new opportunities to build my career. (So, if you know anyone with a job posting like Play with my kittens and get paid, contact me!)
10) Patience pays off
Remember when I talked about not paying attention to the numbers so much? Well one lesson I know to be true is patience does pay off. It’s taken me two years to build a small following. Granted, I’m not a mega blogger however my niche is quite unique as I talk about dealing with grief after losing a pet and art!
Despite that I’m happy that being consistent is paying off. As you may or may not know, I’ve slowly incorporated sharing my art and designs in the blog since the start of the year. The reception to my designs has been great.
With this interest I decided to start a separate sister page on Facebook called ImpurrfectlifeArt where readers interested in my art can follow what I’m doing and buy if they choose. Art is one way I found healing after my pet passed away. By creating a new channel for others to view my work meant a new opportunity to try; selling designs on tees, accessories and home decor on Redbubble.
This is where the patience pays off. Aside from word of mouth, it took 6 months to get to a place where sales started to manifest. That took patience! Some artists are very fortunate and do not have to wait at all before getting sales. That’s not my story. Everything in due timing. If you want to check out my portfolio of works, you can visit my Redbubble shop here.
With that said, I came to realize my next life lesson after 24 months of blogging…
11) There is a lot of trial and error before finding success
Let me just say that in my experience, it has taken a lot of trial and error to find what works and what does not work with blogging. One vital part of that research is listening and observing.
Thanks to my readers’ comments and sharing input, I am able to see what works and what does not. I shared a little bit of my experience about what doesn’t work in my last Confession Time: I failed post. Did you miss that one? Check it out.
Sometimes what you think will work great, flops. And on the other hand, that which you think will not be a big deal, gets the most response and engagement.
Sometimes you find that issue with blogging and posting too. I have found that over the past two years my posting frequency and schedule has changed slightly. This is due to figuring out what I can handle as well as what my readers are responding favorably to. I am a person who likes to keep their promise so I will always let my readers know what they can expect. For example, when I first started blogging I posted 2 days a week. Now it’s 2-3 days a week.
*Announcement interlude: Since returning from hiatus today, you can now expect posts from me two days a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’ll continue to deliver inspirational quote content at the start of the week and follow-up with art and pet related content mid-week. Okay, now back to the topic at hand!*
So, the big lesson to take away is that you only live once so you might as well give your idea a try to see what happens. If it doesn’t work, try a different strategy or something new. Don’t give up.
12) You don’t have to say “yes” to everything
I am definitely a person that believes if you put quality content out there, people will come. This also means the spammers and sellers will come too. If you are a blogger that has years under your belt, you know exactly what I mean.
After 24 months of blogging, I’ve learned that you do not have to say “yes” to everything. Working in corporate life for a long time, sometimes you have to say ‘yes’ to stuff you really don’t feel like doing. However, I’ve learned that having your own blog, YOU can do what you want (within legal & ethical reasoning of course).
As a blogger with some experience you may find you get messages in your inbox for a favor or collaboration offer that has nothing to do with your niche. I’ve even heard of some bloggers or vloggers being offered thousands of dollars to be bought out, only to decline the offer. I’m sure you’re asking, “Why turn down that kind of money?”
At the end of the day, I’ve come to understand that 1) Not all money is honest money 2) Not everyone has pure intentions 3) Many people are only looking for links back to help their own site rank online 4) Many want to just run a site and take advantage of the following you have acquired without doing the ground work 5) Some people have a vision for a blog is not in alignment with your values and lastly 6) It is best to go with your gut.
I can’t emphasize the last point enough. At the end of the day, be cautious and go with your gut. Do your research and see if what others are offering is in line with your own values. At the end of the day, you have to be the one responsible for your own blog and reputation and most important, sleep sound in good conscience at night. You can say “no” if the opportunity does not feel right and that’s okay.
13) Never stop learning and growing
After two years of blogging, at times I still feel like a newbie. I engage with a community of great bloggers and sometimes feel I’m so far behind as compared to others that started after me.
And then I have to dial back and remember, everyone’s journey is different.
I also have to remember I have a very unique niche as well. I celebrate my fellow bloggers accomplishments because I’m happy for them, but it’s also an inspirational example of what is possible. And that’s awesome.
To see so many different ways people achieve success and their goals only gives me more motivation to press on and remember why I started. Communicating and sharing ideas and experiences only helps me learn and grow on my journey. And isn’t that really what life is about?
“The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.” ―T. D. Jakes
14) Enjoy the ride.
After two years I’ve learned along the way to enjoy this journey. I have to celebrate the small milestones along the way because, like the day you were born, you’ll only get this one moment in your life and then it will be gone. Each milestone is a little celebration along the way in this marathon called life.
I have learned to acknowledge and appreciate the not so pleasant moments and take them as learning lessons to understand what doesn’t work and try something new.
Second, I have learned to appreciate the present moment and level where I’m at and know that someone else in the world has also been where I am and has gone on to improve too.
I am learning that sometimes the ones that can really lift you up the most are the people you have never had the pleasure to meet in person.
Sharing is caring. Life is full of ups and downs and storms, but after everything is said and done, the clouds part and the rainbows do appear.
Admittedly I don’t know everything, but I’m willing to have an open heart and mind and listen. I am resourceful enough to figure out a solution and if I don’t have one, I’ll find the one who does.
I am grateful to have had two little furballs in my life named Precious and Dusty. They have been a part of my life for over 20 years collectively and helped inspire this blog.
I’m thankful for the ability and the opportunity to have the freedom to start this blog and share my voice and experiences with other pet parents.
Most of all, I appreciate all the support, well wishes, likes, shares and dialogue exchanges with my readers and fellow bloggers.
For it is in all these moments together that make this journey in my blogging life such a fantastic wild ride. And for that I say “Thank you”.
Last but not least…
15) The best blog posts are from the heart.
The number one lesson I have learned to date after 24 months of blogging is the best posts are the ones written from the heart (like this one!)
One thing I now understand is that the most impactful posts that readers resonate with the most are those that are written when I’m brutally honest, vulnerable and have an open heart. It’s really something quite special.
At the root of it all is love. I love sharing content with people from all walks of life. I love animals, art, and have found a new love of blogging too. Who knew this would be a part my life today?
So, those are my 15 life lessons learned after two years of blogging. Can you relate to any of these lessons? Tell me how long have you been blogging? Are there any other lessons you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about your own personal life lessons learned when it comes to blogging.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to read my other related blog post: 14 lessons learned after 18 months of blogging. Don’t forget to pin and share this post with a friend!
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