Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most

6 Tips from 6 Months of Blogging

20 Comments

simple actionI’ve just hit my six month blogging mark and had a few thoughts that I thought were worth writing down and sharing.  Sorry for the selfie—I asked The Hubs to take a close-up of my hands with a short depth of field (so I would be blurry in the background) and this is what I got.  Good composition though!

1.  Think long and hard about making the switch to being self-hosted.  I go back and forth about whether or not to migrate to a self-hosted site.  Like most things, there are pro’s and con’s to both.  I’ve done my homework and have talked to at least one website developer about making the switch.  I don’t feel that I’ve fully exhausted all my options on my WordPress.com hosted site quite yet so for the time being, I’m staying put.  I’ve also heard you need to carve out a lot of time to work out the quirks when you do migrate and things just seem to keep coming up (ain’t that the story!).

2.  If you feel passionate about something, write about it.  You just never know what your readers are going to identify with.  I was shocked that my har har post about DIYing a bacon doughnut garnered so much attention on a blog about home design!  My point is, it’s worth trying to blog about new things if it’s something you care about.  And I care about bacon and doughnuts.  Deeply.

3.  Create your own recipe for success.  Before launching Brave New Home, I did tons of research about blogging and fast tracks to blogging success.  Some of that good advice stuck and others, well not so much.  For me blogging is still about community and my pursuit of creating an authentic home.  It’s not about rushing through a project to be able to participate in a link party (though I have to remind myself of that sometimes).  When it starts becoming choresome, I know I’m doing something wrong.  Create personal blogging goals so you can measure your own personal success. 

4. Find your flow and make sure to incorporate it into your blogging routine.  Flow is that rare state when time doesn’t exist (e.g. What?!  I’ve been on Pinterest for two hours?  I thought I was just gone for a commercial break!). Of all aspects involved with blogging, photo editing still provides me the greatest sense of flow.  I feel giddy just knowing I have a new batch of photos to edit.  So when blogging starts to feel choresome, I open a batch of photos (or stage a photoshoot) and get to Photoshopping.

5.  Use other bloggers as a resource.  I’ve been blown away by the interactions I’ve had with fellow bloggers.  I’ve not reached out to a single blogger without receiving some sort of response.  Most of my emails go a little something like this: “Hi!  I absolutely love your blog!  How did you make that thingy on the right clickable?”  Response: “Omg, I wish I had someone to help me when I first started blogging!  Here is tons of useful information for you.  And here’s some more.”  I’ve really felt accepted into the blogging community and am enjoying all the new bloggy friendships I’ve made.  It’s not easy finding a group of people who care about finding the right shade of white for your bathroom walls as much as you do : ]

6.  Don’t play the comparison game.  I’ve reached that happy (and sometimes elusive) point where I’m comfortable in my own little cozy corner of the blogosphere.  I no longer look at other blogs longingly and try to compare how many subscribers we have.  Or Facebook followers.  Or any other quantitative measure of blogging “success.”   And boy is it comfortable.  Like favorite jeans and t-shirt comfy.  It’s not complacency.  Far from.  I still have my own personal goals I’m working towards.  Some of those goals are shared by other bloggers, some of them not.  So it’s only natural that our blogs would reflect that.

Fellow bloggers, any recent realizations you’ve had?  Any of my tips ring true for you?

Advertisements

Author: Jennifer @ Brave New Home

Hi! I'm Jennifer from Brave New Home (www.bravenewhome.com). I blog about overcoming fear and transforming a house into a home one DIY project at a time.

20 thoughts on “6 Tips from 6 Months of Blogging

  1. #2 – Insanely true! How you can write about something that you think no one will care about and suddenly it’s the post that hits a nerve for so many people out there. I love honest and courageous posts that go against the grain or speak for when others sometimes can’t.

    #6 – I love how you say you’re comfortable in your own corner of the blogosphere. It’s one of the biggest comforts to finally find a spot on your own virtual pages and be happy with it. That’s a huge step and I’m totally there with you!

    Congrats on your blogiversary!

  2. Love this post, Jennifer! It so resonated with me. I too struggle with comparing myself to other bloggers at times when I really just want to love what I do and love connecting with awesome ladies like you. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. What a great post -and I agree with you about everything and I’ve been contemplating whether I should self-host as well.
    For only being at this for 6 months you sure have the hang of things and your blog is great! Thanks for being so inspiring!
    Good luck,
    Julie of http://www.JulieLovesHome.wordpress.com

  4. Congrats on 6 months! I forget sometimes that we started blogging around the same time. Although this may be cheating, I’ll say that every single one of these resonated. I literally nodded my head as I read through this.

    #1 is definitely true, and I’m glad to hear that you’re really weighing the pros and cons of migrating and recognizing how much time it will take. Now, hopefully I haven’t scared you off with my story. But know that when the timing is right for you, I’ve got your back, and will definitely be a sounding board and resource (as much as I can be) when you need it.

    #2 made me think of my own experience of coming home after a trip to the used bookstore in our town and then feeling inspired to write my “Romanced by Bookstores” post. Although it’s not really “crafty” in theme, the words just spilled out of me, and I was shocked and amazed at how much engagement it created in readers in the comments section. So, yes! We must let our passion fuel our writing. Be it about bacon or books.

    #5 – Yes and yes! You’ve been such a great source of encouragement and inspiration to me…and I seriously don’t think that I would love blogging half as much as I do if it weren’t for the peeps who regularly read and comment on my posts and vice versa. I was just talking to my husband tonight about how blogging has allowed me to meet so many other like-minded women, and I think it has helped ease my transition to a new city where I didn’t have that many friends I.R.L. And blogging friends ARE real friends (I’ve determined).

    Thanks for this post! Got me thinking…and it got me excited for all that lies ahead for you and me both, girl.

    • I’ve loved and appreciated following along in your migration story! It’s good to know how much time you need to set aside for that type of project. I’ve recently taken on more roles in my personal life and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. I actually read another blog post you recommended about why a blogger (on Blogger) decide not to migrate and found myself nodding along which made me think maybe I’m not ready quite yet.

      I totally feel you on point number five. I started blogging a bit out of isolation myself (when my husband was gone for military training I knew I needed something to fill all those nights I was at home with a sleeping baby). I know you’ll have lots of IRL friends in no time : ]

      I’m totally excited for our blogging journey, too, Lauren! I’m so glad to have lovely bloggy friends like you to share it with!

  5. I definitely relate to number 6. I have a screen saver on my computer that says “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”. It reminds me everyday :) Happy 6 month blogiversary!

  6. Great tips! Totally agree with you when you say you have to truly enjoy what you are writing about. I haven’t been blogging too long either and I am constantly learning new things about the “blogging world”. Good luck in your continued blogging success!
    xo Mollye

  7. Congrats Jennifer! Happy 6 months! I think you are doing a great job with your blog :) I remember we started around the same time. I think my blog is just a couple months older. I agree with you whole-heartedly that blogging supposed to be fun and not a chore. I also think it’s really important not to compare your blog to someone else’s, especially if they have been around a lot longer. It’s definitely not a competition. The blogging community has been so kind and accepting and it is nice to find people that are just as crazy about design and want to share it. Keep on doing what you love. Blogging is such an adventure, isn’t it? xo Kristin

    • Thanks, Kristin! It totally is an adventure and new experiences keep on coming—it’s like a whole new world is unfolding for me. I’ve loved seeing your blog evolve. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you next : ]

  8. Firstly, HAPPY 6TH MONTH BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY!
    Secondly, you look stunning ( and a wee bit girl next door gorgeous) in the photo. Love it!

    I am so happy that you are in a good place with your blog. I think the one thing I have learned the most is that it is possible to meet other bloggers that can become your own personal cheerleaders in all things blog related. Building a strong community of blogs and incorporating your own into those communities is key. Networking aside, it really does make this much more fun and worthwhile. I sincerely appreciate all of my blogging buddies, you included!

    Here’s to continued happiness and success with your blog and home.

  9. Great post Jennifer and congrats on your half year blog anniversary. You have some really valid points here. Its easy to get caught up when you first start out (as I personally fell victim to this) of trying to rush through projects just to get a post in. You enjoy it so much more if you just go with the flow and just blog about things as they naturally come to you, not the other way around…there is not timer that’s going to go off if we don’t get something done in time. The day I started doing that, it became fun again..and since most of us aren’t making much in the way of money out there..we’re supposed to be doing it for the fun, right!? I personally have really enjoyed following you the last 6 months, you have a wonderful eye and your honesty about your project successes and fails really makes you someone many can relate to (myself included)

    • Thanks, Christina! That’s a great reminder! I would like to monetize my blog but not to the point where I have to compromise the content or stop enjoying what I’m doing. Thanks for your perspective—I’m glad to count you as one of my blogging buddies!

  10. Love this post! And your pic is adorable! Totally hear you about the write what you love part. Some of my most popular posts have been the most random too! And as for making the switch to self-hosted…it’s not so fun. I did it a little over a year ago AND changed my blog name (when I started I used my full name as the URL…doh!). I’m still cleaning up messes from the switch. But I LOVE the flexibility of self-hosting. And changing the code to make the blog mine. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for your blog in the future…it’s one of my “must reads”.

    • Thanks, Angie! Isn’t that the truth? It goes both ways, I’ll post something late at night and expect to wake up to lots of views and comments only to find it wasn’t all that well received. So we just gotta do what we love to do and cross our fingers that our readers identify with it : ] Did you switch to WP.org? If I do ever make the switch, I might be coming to you for tips—hope you don’t mind! Thanks for your last comment—your blog is a must read for me, too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s