One year ago today I started my blog. I am so excited to be celebrating this milestone!
I thought this post would be perfect timing to share with you a few things that I have learned along the way.
How It All Started…
I started my blog last August when I was working as an administrative assistant with very little to do (snooze fest to say the least). I was looking for something to do, an outlet to occupy my time. I’ve always loved to write (my degree is in PR), organize, plan events, decorate. Do you see where I’m going with this? AH-HA! I thought to myself, why don’t I start a blog about my passions and hobbies. I was inspired by Julie Powell, who started blogging about cooking, a passion and hobby of hers. Her blog then turned into a book and then a movie – Julie and Julia (If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It is great!) Over the course of the next few months, I was blogging about everything – how-to’s, organizing, DIY projects, decorating, planning events, food and bits and pieces of my life. During those first few months of blogging, I had comments that said “you should write a book!” “Do you have a business or are you starting one?” Those encouraging comments inspired me to follow my dream of owning my own business. In December of 2011, my blog was taking off and I decided it was time quit my job. I realized it was time to focus on my blog and start my business. And here we are today, one year later…
Spreading the Word…
When you blog, you hope that someone is reading. Anyone??? At first you feel like you are just writing and your words are going into blog outer space , but then, all the sudden, you have followers!!! I can’t tell you how excited I was when I had my first follower.
I started the blog on August 8th of 2011 and didn’t receive my first comment from someone other than my mom or mother in-law until August 30th of 2011. Less than a month, which was a surprise to me, someone was finally reading my stuff other than my family and friends. I was averaging 100 views per day and posting almost daily.
I must give credit to a few major things that have helped my blog and business grow:
My Mom: My mom has always been one of my biggest supporters and because she loves to talk and share details about her amazing life (and children), she started sharing with her friends, co-workers, strangers at Target about my blog. Thanks mom for sharing and spreading the word! Please keep it up!!!
Features: During this last year of blogging, I have spent hours researching how to make my blog better. The answer = have great details, great pictures, a cohesive concept to the blog and get featured. With that in mind, I revamped the blog, which took a couple of weeks and I lost a few viewers per day. However, once I started uploading pictures on Houzz and Pinterest, my views per day increased and I began to receive more comments and followers.
Pictures: I learned quickly that pictures are what makes a blog, what keeps readers interested in the blog and why people continue to return for more. This last year I’ve been using my iPhone camera, which isn’t always the best quality, but if you shoot in natural daylight (at least try) and capture the details in the picture, readers will come back looking for more of your great ideas!
Consistency and Frequency: Once you have followers, they can be notified by e-mail about your recent post. I always receive more traffic on days I post. I try to post 3-4 times per week. The last few weeks have been busy with the move and all, so I haven’t been posting as much. However, that is all about to change. My goal is to start posting 5 times per week. Aren’t you excited???
Social Media: I suggest using outlets like Twitter and Pinterest. In today’s society, technology is everywhere, so in order to keep your blog and business successful, being a part of social media is almost mandatory.
Website: One of the best and obvious ways to stand out from the rest of the bloggers is to build a professional looking and attention grabbing website. When I first started the blog, I was using WordPress.com at my host. I then decided to give my blog and official business name, Planning Makes Perfection. I purchased a domain name from godaddy.com and forwarded it to my wordpress.com account. That way, when you typed in www.planningmakesperfection.com it would bring you straight to the blog. As the blog grew and I started my business, I realized I needed a website that would have a link to my blog. In my opinion a website should be professional and more on the formal side, where as a blog is more relaxed, fun and festive.
- More ideas and inspiration
- Create more of a custom page that will allow me to create a header, logo, new fonts and colors
- I would love to have sponsors, which will possibly bring freebies to the readers
- Add reader’s spaces
- Expand my online shop
- Add contributors
Well, there it is…things that I have learned along the way the last year!
Thank you again for all your support. Please keep spreading the word around about Planning Makes Perfection, please keep reading, please post comments and please please please feel free to e-mail me anytime with your stories.