Friends, guess what today is? It’s my first blogoversary! That’s right, Three Chatty Cats got its start one year ago today on January 20, 2016.
That date seems like so long ago, yet also just yesterday. First off, I can’t believe that it’s already 2017. And that a whole year has gone by with my blog is amazing (to me, anyway).
While I still have a lot to learn about blogging, I thought I’d take this time to share what I’ve learned this past year. So, if you’re new to blogging or an old pro, I hope something from this list speaks to you.
6 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging
1) Blogging is Hard
Well, it’s not hard in the sense of ‘I can’t do this’ type hard. It’s more like, ‘It’s hard to write quality content, take good photos and post on a regular basis’ hard. It amazes me when I see a blogger who posts 4, 5, 6 or even 7 days a week. How do they do it?
When I first started, I posted about three times a week. And my life had basically become my blog. I hadn’t read a book in months, I was always at my computer and all my free time was devoted to working on my blog, be it writing, formatting or researching. So, I recently decided to take a step back and post less frequently so I could truly enjoy when I do blog.
2) Blogging is Fun
With all of that said, there’s no way I would’ve made it a year of blogging if I didn’t find it fun and enjoyable. The experience of crafting a post, taking photos and seeing it all come together is exciting. Each post is a mini accomplishment. Yes, some posts are better than others, but the feeling of putting something out there for consumption can be daunting. And when I see that first comment roll in, it is gratifying. Do you feel that way, too?
3) Stats and Pageviews Aren’t the Be-All and End-All of Blogging
This lesson learned for me goes hand in hand with #2. Blogging is and should be fun. Obviously, we write for other people to read our posts. Otherwise, we’d just have a journal. But playing the stats game can be draining. Do I have awesome stats? That’s a big fat nope. And if I constantly worried about stats and pageviews, I’m not sure I would keep blogging. Of course, I’d like to increase my numbers. But with the types of posts I currently publish and the amount of time I’m willing to set aside for blogging, I don’t see a big increase coming my way. So, while I will pay attention to stats to know which posts work or not, I don’t plan on worrying about stats anymore. Que sera, sera. Amiright?
4) Planning Ahead is Always Good
Okay, this one I may not have conquered yet. I know I should plan ahead, but I just haven’t managed to do it consistently. It’s the lack of planning that has taught me how important planning ahead is for a blogger. For example, I missed mentioning Sophie’s Gotcha Day in November. And I didn’t even realize it until a month later. It was November 29th, btw! I have a million calendars – I just need to start using them effectively. Planning ahead will definitely be something I work on for my second year of blogging.
5) Blogging Opens Doors
One recent post I did was about decorating a Rose Parade float. Had it not been for blogging, this opportunity would not have come about, so directly anyway. And there’s another opportunity that has come my way that stemmed from blogging that I get to announce very soon! Although that’s a bit cryptic, just know that blogging has provided me with opportunities that wouldn’t have occurred without Three Chatty Cats.
6) Fellow Bloggers are Some of the Best People
I cannot say enough nice things about the fellow bloggers I’ve met, either online or in person. Having attended BlogPaws last year in June – I’ll admit that I was nervous as a newbie – but everyone was so nice and welcoming. And you don’t have to even meet someone in person to know and feel how supportive and kind they are. A quick email, a nice comment left on a post – it’s gestures like this that can keep a blogger going at times. And I’ve definitely looked to fellow bloggers for inspiration and support throughout the year. Thank you to everyone who has shown kindness and support during my first year.
I’m excited to continue my blogging journey into a second year with Three Chatty Cats. And because I enjoy blogging so much, some of you may know that I also launched Cat Lady Alley in November last year.
For Cat Lady Alley, I’m trying to up my game with photography, as that blog lends itself to other photos beyond just my cats. To assist with that goal, I now have a mini studio set up at the house, which will come in handy for both blogs actually.
In the upcoming year, I also hope to work more with brands. In fact, just this month I signed up to be a Chewy Influencer, which I’m excited about (the cats are, too!).
It will be fun to see where blogging takes me in 2017. Had you asked me last year on January 20th if I thought I’d be where I am today with my blog, I would’ve said no. This past year, I’ve highlighted people and groups in the rescue world, shared my cats’ antics and received two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose nominations.
But my proudest moment so far with Three Chatty Cats was when someone told me that my profile piece truly made a difference for them in what they’re doing with rescuing cats. That’s all I could ever ask for.
How long have you been blogging? Do you have any tips to share?