I can’t believe I get to share that December 29th is my 1 year blog-versary! I took a chance 1 year ago today and shared my first post talking about goals for the year and woo-ee this year didn’t quite pan out like a lot of us thought. Starting a new adventure, and unbeknownst to me, three months before the pandemic, actually was an added relief to the stress, anxiety, and trouble 2020 brought my way.
Sharing on the blog today a few things I learned my first year of blogging, some struggles that I persevered through, and a new set of goals for the year ahead.
This post contains affiliate links. View disclosure here.
How it started
It was nearing New Year’s Eve 2019 and I was thinking how much I was treading going to work later in the week. It was a very toxic work environment and I couldn’t help but think there was something more I was missing out on. I had a few hobby blogs here and there before, but they never matriculated into anything. Flash forward a few years and I just knew starting mandbee.com was going to be a turning point and I would stick this one out for the long haul.
I really was searching for an activity that challenged me mentally and creatively, where I was solely responsible and in control. I did have the gym for stress relief, but I was really looking for something that exercised my mind, and thank goodness creating a lifestyle blog did exactly that.
Build it right the first time
I researched like crazy before my site launched and still research all things blogging because I was so scared I would screw something up and be up a creek without a paddle. Lucky for me I was up a creek only for a short amount of time and turned myself around. I talk in length about this, and why I switched my blog platform shortly after launching my blog, from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.
I am no expert at this, but I do feel 100% about my choice in buying my site’s domain name, Siteground web hosting, site theme, and using WordPress for my blog from the get-go.
Knowledge is power
I am a huge believer in “knowledge is power” and you are always going to be the student. There will be no time in your life where you will never learn something new!
My free time now consists of blogging podcasts, Facebook blogging groups, and reading marketing tactics from the blogging stars on Saturday mornings. The best learning sources I have found, and are FREE, are the many blogging groups on Facebook. My tip is to join as many as possible and take advantage of the engagement boosting posts.
Blog tools I use
Hootsuite – Social media management tool to share your posts across all your channels [I use a free plan]
Planoly – Instagram management tool I use to visually plan out my posts [I use a free plan]
Adobe Lightroom + Lightroom mobile – Photo editing software I use to edit all blog posts.
Instagram Text Spacer – How I create line breaks for Instagram captions.
Adobe Illustrator – graphic design software
Click-up – Project management software [I use a free plan]
Jumprope – My growing favorite social media app where I share how-to’s and recipes. Really great tool to create videos for different social channels in one place.
Canva – Graphic design software I use exclusively for Pinterest pins
Premiere Rush – Video editing tool for social media
Inshot – Video editing tool for social media
Google Analytics – Measure how your site is performing and site analytics
Influenster – Review products and participate in product campaigns