5 Things I've Learned Through Blogging


1.  If you've experienced it, others probably have too.

Every time.  EVERY SINGLE TIME that I am afraid to hit publish on a post (examples here, here and here), you remind me why I shouldn't be.  That's right- you.  The reader.  The number one most favorite compliment I receive is when people tell me that they love my blog because I'm real and honest.  Because I don't try to just show a perfect life.  You guys are constantly reminding me that every time I feel a little shitty, it's okay, because I'm not alone.  And hey, neither are you.

2.  Not everyone will love you.

This was a hard one to swallow as I'm someone who likes for people to like her.  But as I've grown in the blogging world, I realized that it's okay if someone doesn't like me, or if they stop reading my blog or unsubscribe from my newsletter.  I don't like everything or everyone all the time- so why should I expect you to?  What I write won't be everyone's cup of tea.  So if my blog dwindles down to just my mom and sister (who better never stop reading!), that's okay.

3.  You will get your feelings hurt.  But you'll also have a full heart.

I've been criticized and had my feelings hurt by comments I've received.  And sometimes they made me question why I continue to write.  And then I remember- because I love to.  I love this little space I've grown and made my own.  And besides?  For every one critical comment I receive, I get about a thousand from you amazing people who just want to lift me up.  Reading your comments and emails can make the darkest day seem bright, and I'll never be able to thank you enough for that.

4.  Sometimes all you can offer is yourself.

Bloggers compare themselves to other bloggers.  It's just something that we do.  And we're always trying to be bigger and better and reach more people.  So we go and we read those posts "how to get more readers" and we implement those tactics- only to watch our numbers stay right where they are.  I can't tell you how many posts I've read saying that I need to make sure that my content is worth it for my readers- that I need to offer you something or teach you something.  And then I sit and rack my brain trying to figure out how to make it "worth it" to come here each day.  At the end of it all, I realize that what I have to offer you is just myself.  Just my words on a screen.  If you're coming here to solve a problem, or learn a new skill, or find the key to everlasting happiness, I'll save you time and let you know that you won't find it here.  But I will promise to be open and honest.  I'll give you insight into my life as a wife and mom.  I'll let you know when I have a shitty day, or when my day is filled with joy.  But that's it.  That's all I can offer you, and I hope that it's enough.

5.  You know what's best for your own blog.

I recently completed a blog audit.  Essentially I had a more successful blogger take a look at what I was doing out here in the blog world and give me tips- because let's face it, we could all use some.  And as I sat back and read her thoughts, I realized that I agreed with some and I didn't with others.  And that's okay.  Because this is MY blog.  I've been writing here for three years and I have a pretty good idea of what you guys like to see.  And you know what I realized that is?  Me.  And my family.  You are here because you are invested in me.  So while she had some good tips, I know that they aren't right for my blog.  So no matter what anyone tells you- whether it's for your own blog, or for life- just know that you DO know what's best, even if sometimes you doubt yourself.

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Photo by Jeff Sheldon, Graphics by Sarah Hartley