Today marks my 400th blog post. I’m kind of stunned that I’ve stuck with it for this long. Stunned and weirdly proud, that is.
Last night, feeling saucy and over-confident, I installed a new WordPress theme all by myself. Okay, it wasn’t completely by myself because I texted Lisette about a dozen questions first. But still, just me and the code. And if you had clicked over this way around 7:39pm last night, you would have found a seriously effed up blog and could probably hear me screaming “oh, shit!” through the screen. But alas, here we are and all is well.
When I started blogging, my standards were low. My content was crap, my design was rough and pieced together, I didn’t know what a button was or why I needed one, and I had no idea there were all these things you could do to grow and improve your blog. It’s turned out to be worlds different from I thought it would be.
1. A cute dog. Archie’s popularity has rubbed off on me. He is re-pinned like crazy on Pinterest and pictures of him are liked way more than any others on my Instagram. He also gives me something to take pictures of to use on the blog. Basically it’s Archie’s blog. I’m just here to type since he’s lacking thumbs.
2. A cooperative boyfriend or friend. Who do you think takes pictures of me? That lovely task falls to the boyfriend. I don’t know how other bloggers do it but I have to set the whole photo shoot up, then take test shots of N, then we trade places and he takes my pictures. Sometimes he mocks me during this time by posing like a fashion blogger. Jerk.
3. A DSLR. It seems like all the top blogs have high quality pictures. It’s a thing. As much as I didn’t want to invest $700 into blogging, I did because I knew that I’d use this camera to document life. I have! After one photography class I feel much more confident with my photography skills. I love taking pictures and it’s made my blog more visually appealing.
4. Thick skin. Sometimes people aren’t nice. I wasn’t ready for that but I put myself out there for people to read about my life and make commentary. It is what it is.
5. Exceptional time management and organizational skills. I’m a work in progress on this one. I was unprepared for the number of comments I’d get, the amount of time sponsorship takes, and generally how long it takes me to write and edit a decent post. If I’m not one day ahead, I get behind. And then I get apathetic about the whole dang thing. Like I said, I’m a work in progress. I have a planner (a simple one from Office Depot, none of this $50 planner nonsense), an idea notebook, and my phone with me at all times. You never know when an idea will strike!
6. Basic knowledge of HTML code. For that first time when Blogger spacing really screws you, you’ll need to know what to add or delete to fix it. Now that I’m on WordPress it’s a little easier because the code doesn’t look so funky. Still, you can’t be dependent on others to help you with super basic stuff.
7. Social media. I had no idea how important social media was to growing your blog and interacting with followers. I’m not always good at it. I try to be but I have my on days and I have my off days. Anyone else like that? I’m inconsistent but I know it is an important element of blogging. And don’t even get me started on Facebook (insert eye roll here). It’s a necessity but not one I love.
There are still things I’m discovering every day that are essential to blogging. Things other bloggers do that I had no idea were a part of this whole thing. It’s madness, I tell ya.
What didn’t you know you needed to be a blogger?