This past week I celebrated my one year blogiversary. When I first started this blog, I made a commitment to myself to give it a shot for a full year. It has been an incredible journey getting through this year of blogging. There have been major ups and big-time downs. But in all those months of writing, I have learned so much. So for this celebratory post, I wanted to take on a different angle, and share everything I’ve learned during my first year of travel blogging.
It takes way more time that I thought it would
When I first started blogging, I figured I would be dedicating maybe an hour a day between writing and sharing blog posts. Never did I imagine my schedule would also include managing a Facebook page, scheduling tweets, editing photos, posting at specific times on instagram, designing graphics for Pinterest, researching, editing, engaging in collaborations with other bloggers, etc. There are days I work 10 or more hours on this baby!
Balancing social media is not easy
Speaking of all the time that blogging takes, I have had to learn a lot more about social media since starting this blog. Facebook has always been my #1, but I’d never had any other social media accounts before. I honestly hate twitter. But I keep it up, posting every two hours, every day because I know it helps my blog. I still haven’t figured out how Google+ really works…
Comparison really is the thief of joy
Biggest issue. Right here. I am constantly surfing through other travel blogs and comparing mine to them. The more I compare my blog layout, my travel experience, my stats, my writing skills with other bloggers the more I become discouraged. It’s hard to stay focused on my goals and my success when constantly comparing my blog with others.
Graphic design is fun as heck
I never knew graphic design was so much fun! I feel like I’m actually pretty okay at it too. I wish I would have taken some graphic design classes back when I was in college. But for now, I’m enjoying the little bit that I get to do.
Coding makes me want to rip my hair out
Not a coder. The little bit that I learned back in the days of Myspace are nothing compared to the coding involved in managing a whole website. For the most part, I try my best not to have to deal with it. But there are some parts that are unavoidable and make me want to explode- I’m looking at you, Google Analytics…
Writing makes me happier than I thought it did
I’ve always enjoyed writing when I was able to use my own words and imagination. But since I began blogging, I’ve found a certain comfort in getting to write down my experiences. There is such a rush of energy after finishing my final edit of a post, and marking it as ready for publishing.
Photo editing is a thing
Did you guys know about that? Apparently having nice photos is a thing that people like. My photography skills have improved big time since I started this blog. I’ve also learned how to use Adobe Lightroom to really get those pictures glowing. Did anyone else notice the quality of my photos improving?
I am extremely privileged
I may not be able to say that I’ve traveled everywhere (yet…) but I have been so blessed to see as much of the world as I have. Blogging has helped me realize that there are many people in the world who will never get to see much outside of their home communities. I hope that through my blog, I can show people some amazing parts of the world.
The blogging community is awesome
I have met some really encouraging and inspiring people in the blogging community. I don’t know that I would have had the courage to keep blogging through the year without people in the blogging community. It’s comforting to know that we are all in the same boat, and that my struggles and successes are not just my own.
Following your dreams sucks sometimes
Guys, lets be real here. Everyone tells you to go follow your dreams, but they often leave out the part that it is sometimes really sucky. Success will probably not just be plopped into your lap. You’re going to have to fight and pick yourself up off the ground time and time again. But if your dream is something you are truly passionate about, it will be worth the fight in the end…at least that’s what I hear.
I have insanely supportive people in my life
I don’t even know how I can put my gratitude into words. I am astonished by the amount of support I’ve received from the people in my life. My family and friends who read and share my blog posts. And my incredible husband, who has supported me so much in blogging full time these last few months. Blogging has opened my eyes to the number of people in my life that actually care about my happiness and my success, and let me tell you- that is an amazing feeling.
So what now? The year of commitment is over. What does that mean for Archives of Adventure?
Well, through my struggles and successes I have realized that I really enjoy blogging. In fact, I have been working hard, trying to make travel blogging my career. I have grown immensely since my start, but there is still much to be done before I can officially call travel blogging my occupation. And honestly, I need your help to get there.
When you read my posts, you’re helping.
When you like my Facebook page, you’re helping.
When you follow and like my photos on Instagram, you’re helping.
When you share my posts on Facebook or Twitter, you’re helping.
When you comment on my posts, you’re helping.
When you pin my posts on Pinterest, you’re helping.
When you invite your friends to like my Facebook page, you’re helping.
When you sign up for emails, you’re helping.
When you tell your friends to check out my site, you’re helping.
When you follow me on Twitter, you’re helping.
When you purchase items through my links, you’re helping.
When you give encouraging words, you’re helping.
Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me during this first year of blogging. I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes me during year two!