So The Beaux Diaries has just turned one! I can't believe I have been blogging for a whole year. This time last year I hit publish on my very first blog post and I remember feeing so excited and nervous at the same time. Excited that I finally plucked up the courage to start my own beauty blog and so nervous that no one would read it!
For me blogging is a way of escaping the stresses of everyday life. I started it after some sad personal circumstances and needed a hobby to take my mind off of things. Plus its a way for me to combine my passions of beauty, writing and creativity. I never would have though it would have so much impact on my daily life and how much I really enjoy blogging. Or for the opportunities it's brought me. I can't believe how much it's evolved (started out as a beauty only blog L's Beauty Spot and now after a redesign its The Beaux Diaries with lifestyle thrown in). So on reflection of my 1st year blogging I thought I'd share 10 things I've learnt during my first year.
1. Blogging is HARDWORK
Seriously hard work. I knew when I started this blog it was going to involve some hard work and commitment but I never dreamed it would be so involved. Its not just write a few lines, take some pretty pics and hit publish... There's the planning, researching, taking pictures, editing, writing, retaking of pictures, promoting posts, responding to emails and comments, and don't get me started on SEO, DA and Google Analytics. I'm not complaining, I was just a bit naive as to how much hard work it actually is!
2. Blogging is Time Consuming
Linking in with the above. Blogging is so time consuming. I could easily be a full time blogger I would love that.... I could fill my days up quite easily with blogging tasks and writing content, except it doesn't pay the bills. I work 4 days a week, have 2 little boys and find it so hard to squeeze in the time to blog. I take my hat off to girls who work full time and have successful blogs. I don't know how you do it. Girls I salute you. Because for me there is never enough hours in the day.
3. The Blogging Community is AMAZING
I didn't even know there was such a thing as a blogging community until I stumbled upon a beauty blogging chat on Twitter. Since then I've discovered tons of amazing chats, forums, groups, girl gangs all with bloggers out there who all have the same questions, queries worries, and concerns about their blog and most of all - all have the same interests; share the passion for blogging and new beauty releases. And the best part? They are sooooo friendly and supportive. I've made some pretty fab friends through blogging and to this I am so grateful. These wonderful girls like, share, comment on posts and are super supportive and friendly. They are all amazing and there's a few super special ones too. You know who you are. You girls ROCK.
4. I love a good brainstorm.
I love planning and I find a good brainstorming session really fun and motivational. I tend to plan my posts at the beginning of the month and have endless notebooks and planners with brainstorming notes in. I find it really useful to refer back to if I'm lacking a little inspiration during the month.
5. Social Media is Key
Without social media getting your blog posts read would be pretty impossible. I've never really been one to be online 24/7 I like my privacy and to be honest I'm too busy to sit on twitter all day. Plus I always worry I'm annoying people with my tweets! But if you want your posts read then promoting through social media is so important. Twitter chats, Instagram, and Facebook groups have all massively helped my get my blog posts out there. I'm certainly no expert but a little retweet here and there can do wonders. I've recently discovered Stumbled Upon (which is pretty awesome for upping those page views) and I'm obsessed with Pintrest but have not really used it to promote my blog. (Currently working on this). I'm also working on having more of a social presence - emphasise on working on. Rather than just being spammy and just posting about the blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - all advice welcome please!!
6. Fellow Bloggers Inspire Me
There are so many shit hot bloggers out there. I've been reading blogs for years but in this last year I've discovered so many amazing bloggers with awesome photography, content and beautiful blog designs. This is why I follow so many of you on Bloglovin - daily inspiration right there. If ever I'm feeling a little blank I take to reading blogs. And I don't just mean for content ideas. I'm talking outfit inspiration, delicious recipes and lust worthy travel destinations. Leave me you links in the comment section below there's always more room for inspiration.
7. Flat Lays Rule
If you've been reading my blog for a while or follow me on Instagram you'll probably notice I'm a huge flat lay fan. Nothing quite like a aesthetically pleasing flat lay with great composition that's easy on the eye. Plus I find them super easy and are definitely my go to photography style.
8. You Do Not Need Fancy Schmancy Equipment to Blog.
I was a little worried when I first started out that I didn't have the latest DSLR or Macbook Air. As long as you have the passion, creativity, access to a computer and a camera (or camera phone) you can blog. My laptop is so old it really does need updating but it works for now. I got a shiney new Olympus Pen Camera for my birthday but I'm still learning how to use it and still prefer to use my Iphone 6s to take pictures. There's so many hacks and blogging tips out there on how to edit your photos I don't think you need to splash out straight away.
9. Consistency Is So Important.
I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks due to illness, work and family commitments and I've probably been forgotten in this big crazy world of blogging. Timelines move so fast and bloggers are producing engaging content everyday. To stay on top of things and see an increase in followers and growth you really need some sort of consistency. This was one of my main blogging Goals for 2016 and one I'm ashamed to say I'm failing at. Through no fault of my own my health has been awful lately and blogging has taken a back seat. I'm always coming up with ideas and planning new posts but sadly they haven't made it on to the blog. MUST. TRY. HARDER. Now there's nothing wrong with taking a break every now and again - Its good to step back a reflect. I'm just saying I feel disappointed I haven't been able to produce as much content as I would have liked. Quality over quantity. I guess.
10. Tea And Chocolate Are Essential
OK maybe not essential but they certainly boost my morale whilst working on a post. (FYI I've just demolished half a box of Cadbury's Heroes) But I find a good cuppa and some snacks make me happy whilst tapping away at my keyboard. Maybe I should have called this title: Blogging is bad for weight gain haha. (Mine anyway). *unwraps more chocolate* Ok I'll shut up now....
On a final note I'd just like to say how much it means to me that you take the time out from your busy day to day lives to read and comment on my posts. I've been overwhelmed by the love and support from family friends and all my readers. I Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, it really does mean the world. Keep your eyes peeled in the very near future for a give-away to celebrate my little blog's birthday and here's to the next year from The Beaux Diaries.
Thanks for reading
*Photo credit 1 & 2 From We Heart It