4 things I've learned about blogging & happy birthday a hundred tiny wishes

I was telling a co-worker that I am a blogger and they asked me how long I had been blogging. I told them that I had only been blogging for a couple of years. But you know what.. it's funny how life can sneak up on you...  I looked back and yep, 

Happy 4th birthday/blogiversary, 

a hundred tiny wishes!

*Well, belated birthday...
Monday was the day, four years ago, that I published my first post. Granted it was a 30 by 30 list, and I am almost 32 now, but what-evs! (btw, that post turned into a 101 in 1001) It's so hard to imagine where all the time has gone in the past four years. Sure, a ton has happened in my personal life, but that can wait. Today's spotlight is a hundred tiny wishes: the hobby that I started to escape my life as a full-time mom, student, and wife. 

In the past four years, I have poured my heart and soul in to the posts of this blog. Sadly though, until this year, I had never been into "serious-blogging" (aka own domain, great photography, blog design), and I had never believed that I could actually make money with my hobby either. I really wish I could have figured that out a lot sooner!!

Since I figured that out, I have been able to work with various brands on sponsored content, make money, receive products, and even attend PR events. In my reality, the past year for me and the blog have been the most fruitful yet. AND in the past year, I have learned some rather informational things about blogging...

1. All it takes is ONE VIRAL POST to make your page views jump. 

I am not one of those bloggers that care about my page views. Sure, I will look at my Google Analytics from time to time, but I don't flip out when the numbers take a dip. Well, maybe I do, when I am wanting to work with a brand. But anyways, about a month ago I was looking at my page views, and I saw a HUGE surge. I had no idea what was going on... then I saw my post on an ad on Facebook. A sponsored blog post that I had written was being promoted by the company and my blog was benefiting because of it. The company thought that my post was awesome enough to spend money on it, and I am STILL benefiting from it!

2. Sometimes DIY is not a good choice. Especially when it come to blogging.

When I first started blogging, I thought I could do everything myself. I started out with a "blogger" blog (which still is, btw), and I saw that it was so user friendly. I was able to customize everything myself, and what I couldn't, I just rigged up something to help in Photoshop. I started to learn basic, and I mean basic, HTML. I was learning a new skill, but I still yearned for a more professional looking blog. And I knew I couldn't do it myself. So I reached out to a few blog designers and then finally bought a template that I could customize myself. It was so much easier! Eventually I would like to get into learning more advanced HTML, but right now, I will just leave it to the professionals!

Related post: Ten must read posts on blogging

3. NEVER sell yourself short.

When it comes to blogging, a lot of people think that they don't have what it takes to be a great blogger, aka make the money. But the thing is: you do. So what if you don't have a dslr, I don't- I take all of my blog pictures with my Samsung S7. So what if you aren't a fashionable gal, I'm not- I use a lot of Pinterest inspo and my own style just takes over. So what if you aren't a great writer, I'm not- you just need to be able to find your voice and tell a story. Basically don't underestimate yourself and your abilities. EVER.

4. Don't put yourself into a box.

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know about social media promotion, essential Facebook groups, media kits, photography, etc, but the one thing that I kept reading was that I NEEDED to have a niche. Every blogger would say that having a niche was essential, so I started to label myself as a "lifestyle blogger". In reality, I posted about beauty, parenting, style, travel, and life in general, so in retrospect, I guess that is what a lifestyle blogger does. The thing is though, I didn't want to put myself into a box. I wanted to post about what I wanted to post about- whether it be about my new favorite nail polish, or a recipe that I liked, or why I would never own an Iphone.

My point is: do what you want- don't put yourself into a box with a label. Be you and write about what you want to write about!

Here's some of my favorite posts from the past year:

As I said, the past year has been amazing, and I want to thank ALL of my readers, followers, and subscribers! Because without you, I wouldn't be here. So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! xoxo

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