I can't believe it's been a whole years since I started this blog. Somehow it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago, all at the same time. I had always loved to write and found myself craving a creative outlet outside of work when I decided to make a blog. I reached out to friends asking for advice, but would anyone want to read my thoughts? In the past year I've learned a lot about myself, blogging and social media, and I want to share my experience with you.
4 Things I Learned In My First Year Blogging
1. The hardest part is actually making the time to write
In Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft he says "the scariest moment is always just before you start," and I definitely believe that is true. There were a few months in the past year where I only posted once or twice and that really disappoints me! I know I have plenty of blog ideas, I just didn't take the time to sit down and actually write them out. While I may not be publishing two blogs a week, every week, anytime soon, I now understand that even if I spend only 15 minutes putting pen to paper (or fingers to my keyboard in this case), the post practically writes itself. If you're passionate about something, you have to make the time to do it and that's what I plan on doing in the year to come.
2. Find and embrace your local blogging community
I was slow to start out in the Seattle blogger community, but that's because I felt really intimidated to hang among people with established blogs and thousands of followers. I slowly started attending events, mingling with those who I recognized from social media and introducing myself to new faces. I'm lucky in that the Seattle blogging community is so welcoming and its members actually work to support one another, where bloggers in larger cities like New York and San Francisco can be competitive and elitist. Now I can attend events knowing that I'll see some people I know or get to meet more members of the community.
3. Photos are essential to a successful blog
This is the photo I used for my very first blog post on The Modern Mosaic.
Since I was just starting out, the camera on my iPhone worked well enough. But as I started planning posts that would require more detail and a higher resolution, I knew I needed to step my photo game up. Luckily, it wasn't much later that Tori Westrick (@toriwestrick) reached out to me on Instagram asking if I'd like to do a photo session with her and her boyfriend, Shaun Turley (@sturley). They have taken so many great photos that have really helped me bring more eyes to my content.
I look forward to doing more photo sessions with them and my relationship with other local photographers is growing. I also decided to upgrade my day-to-day photos by buying a new camera! While I had wanted the quality that DSLRs provide, I didn't want the weight of the camera and lenses. Thanks to a recommendation from a coworker, I decided to buy the Sony Alpha NEX 6L 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera. It's light and will be perfect for my Instgram pictures or quick photo sessions. Stay tuned for all of the photos coming to The Modern Mosaic in the next year!
4. Social Media is key to promoting your posts
You'd think since social media is literally my job, I would have understood how to utilize it completely before I started this blog. I knew a lot about social media but using it to promote a blog was completely new to me. What started out with a few Instagram posts and tweets, has turned into a well-oiled machine between The Modern Mosaic's Facebook Page (you should like it if you haven't already!) Pinterest boards, Google+ posts and even better Instagram pictures. Want to know how to better utilize social media? I'll be starting a social media tips and tricks series on The Modern Mosaic soon!