I started this blog exactly 5 years from today. Time has flown. When I started this little space, I had a different name, lived in a different city and was in a completely different chapter of my life. I was recently out of college, I was recently engaged and was in school finishing up pre-requisites for graduate school. Since then we have moved 4 times, got married, started and finished my masters degree, and passed my occupational therapy licensing exam. We are both working full time and currently settled in the little town of Newmarket enjoy life as 2. This blog has been a labor of love and I cannot believe 5 years later I am still blogging, but I am so glad I am.
I have loved meeting people through blogging and I have learned a lot about myself along the way. I thought I would share 5 things I have learned since I started.
1. It takes work- blogging is a combination of hustle & love.
When I started this blog, I blogged when I felt like it, sometimes twice a day, sometimes once a week. There was no schedule, no plan, no editorial calendar, just writing when I had something to share. After a while I made it a goal to put content up every day, it was exhausting and draining. I finally have found a balance of planning out at least three posts per week and if I have more to share then I do it, if not I don’t stress about it. Writing consistently certainly draws in more of an audience and has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. If I had not spent a few years putting up so much content I am not sure my blog would be where it is today. This happy balance has allowed me to stress less and have a somewhat life/work balance.
2. You cannot stop dreaming.
I have always had big dreams for this space. This space where I get to share exactly what I want and no one can tell me not to. I get to do all the things I love in this space. I get to create, photograph, write and connect with others. Every year I set big goals for this space and every month I look at those goals and set small ones for the month. 2016 has been amazing for growing this space and it all started with one dream which spiraled into others and I continue to keep dreaming big for this little space.
3. Numbers mean nothing.
In the beginning you wish you had more followers, more readers, you wish the number on Google analytics said people stayed and read more of your hard work. You wish there were more comments and more people reaching out to answer questions at the end of your post. You wish people shared more and showed more love. Well, I could care less about numbers at this point. I simply love sweet little comments and connecting with others. The stress of numbers is too much, there is so much more!
4. It is okay to change your writing style and content- as you grow, your blog grows.
I still blog about a lot of the same topics as when I started this blog. However, I have definitely grown into this space more and have found things I love to share and how to share them. I know that I love posts that include Aaron’s thoughts, my job, photography and books. I have a lot of trouble posting very personal posts and posts about controversial topics, but those tend to spark the most interest so I am getting more confident in those areas! But honestly, as my life has changed, so has this blog and it’s okay, your blog can grow with you.
5. Consistency matters, but taking breaks is okay.
Like I said above posting frequently and expectedly will show results. People like to know what to expect and people will like to know that content will be coming. However, mental blocks happen, life happens, busyness happens and it is okay to take a step back. This is not my full time job, but it takes a lot of time. From the photographing, planning, writing and editing, you can get burnt out and sometimes a break is what you need from it all. I took a few unintentional months off, was struggling to come up with content and after a few months off I came back completely refreshed. Breaks are needed, don’t feel bad about taking a break.