The Top 10 Things I Learned From 10 Years of Blogging
This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this blog up and running. Thank you for your support!
March 8, 2022
Wow, Lush to Blush is 10 years old! The official date was last week on March 4 and I had the best private celebration with gifts from my bestie and dinner with my partner. I feel like I’ve been blogging forever, but at the same time, in an industry that is constantly evolving, I feel like I’m learning something new every day. It’s a little difficult to put this post together because I have learned so much over the years, and much of it now is like second nature. But I’m excited to share what I’ve come up with. Here are the realities of blogging as a job: the top 10 things I have learned from 10 years of blogging and content creation!
1. Authenticity is Key
This is something I have always said and will continue to stand by. There is no point in blogging or posting on social media if you’re not being authentic. One) there’s no fun in faking it and Two) readers and followers will be able to tell and will be turned off. Instead of doing what works for other people, find what feels right and natural for you. This is something that has become even more relevant in today’s social media world of trends. Jumping on a trend isn’t going to get you engaged followers who are actually interested in your content.
2. It’s ok to Pivot
In fact, it’s natural. This goes hand in hand with being authentic. We all grow and we all change, so chances are, your audience is evolving as well. Yes, it’s possible you will lose some readers and followers as time goes on, but you will also gain new audience members who are genuinely interested in your content and in turn, will connect with you on a deeper level resulting in a more highly engaged audience that converts. Before I bought my home in 2020, I very rarely posted about home decor, but since it was natural for me to share the progress on decorating my new home, I did so. And my audience loved it! More about my personal pivot here.
3. Owned Channels should always come first
As we have begun to see, social media isn’t always going to be around. The Instagram craze is over and it has quickly been replaced by TikTok, which is apparently aiming to take out YouTube next. We have no control over this shift and years of effort put into Instagram is slowly becoming meaningless. When you focus on your blog, you own that content and have complete control over every aspect. There is no algorithm you have to try to beat – simply create quality content and Google takes care of the rest.
4. It Takes a Village
Long gone are the days of the one-woman show! Of course, it can still be done, but more and more people are becoming specialized in web-based platforms and content that hiring many tasks out can be the most beneficial choice. Content creators are expected to create professional-level work that in the past required an entire team to create. An extra pair of hands or two can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to pitching and content creation. It’s ok to realize you can’t do it all!
5. Success Comes in Waves
I might break a record with an all-time high earning month and then the next month I might not make anything. It happens all too often and is extremely common in the freelance and entrepreneurial worlds. Because of this, it is very easy to get down, worried, and stressed about money and the future of a business. This is one of the many reasons so many people quit. But what I’ve found is that things always work out and as long as you’re consistent in creating quality content, the work and flow of income always comes!
6. Multiple Streams of Income
Since success comes in waves, it’s important to develop multiple streams of income. Most full-time bloggers don’t only blog. They create content for a brand’s use, sell products, or offer services. Multiple streams of income are important in any financial plan but are arguably essential when it comes to blogging. Other examples of this include diversifying blog income between paid partnerships, affiliate income, and ad revenue. Personally, I offer web design for fellow bloggers and other creative entrepreneurs including eCommerce sites, as well as consulting for brands and bloggers through my business, Adorn Media Group, which I co-own with another blogger.
7. Taxes are Important
Oh man, taxes! Obviously, I’m not a tax professional and you should consult your own CPA for any specifics, but there is truly an art and a science to taxes when you’re a blogger. It’s important to keep track of all your income and expenses meticulously, and save at least 30% of your income for paying your taxes come tax season (or you can also do it quarterly). Since the line between personal and business can be blurred in this industry, it can be difficult to navigate. More on taxes as a blogger here.
8. Know Your Worth & Always Negotiate
No one will believe in and fight for your brand as much as you do, so you have to portray that to potential partners. This is a business when you begin working with brands, so it should be treated as such. As women, we are often taught that what we have to offer does not have as much value as what others offer, but that simply is not true. As I mentioned, it takes a team to create content – photographers, models, creative directors, writers, marketers, and so much more. When you’re offering beautiful content–and access to your engaged audience and community–you should be paid accordingly. No brand will ever come to you with their max budget in the first offer. Always negotiate! More on that here.
9. Collaboration Over Competition
If there is one single thing that has kept me motivated and enabled me to be financially successful in this industry, it’s the women I have met along the way. Becoming friends or making connections with other people in the industry gives you opportunities to learn from them, talk about business strategies, encourage each other, and so much more. In fact, I met many of my closest friends through blogging. Comparing offers from brands, trading contacts, and teaming up to create content has propelled me to levels I most likely would not have reached on my own. Fellow bloggers should not be your competition – after all, your content is always going to be unique to you if you’re truly being authentic. Instead, they should be your collaborators and your support system, like I have with the Babes That Wander travel group (pictured below). More on this topic here.
10. Boundaries are Essential
When you’re a content creator, chances are you are your brand. So that separation of personal life and work is a very grey area. This is something many more people can relate to now that there has been such a huge shift in working from home. However, when it comes to blogging as a job, it’s even more blurred. You might be out enjoying a beautiful day, but if you forget to capture it for posting later, you might feel like you let yourself down. Or on the flip side, if you are recording a dinner out or happy hour at a brewery, you can feel like you’re not in the moment and annoying the people around you. Finding that balance is tricky, but vital. More about how I achieve (or try to!) work/life balance here.
Read more blogging tops in my Blog Talk series!
If you’re a fellow blogger, what’s one thing you’ve learned that you don’t see listed here?
Pin for Later:
Photo by Ryan Carpenter.
Share the post "The Top 10 Things I Learned From 10 Years of Blogging"
March 8, 2022 @ 9:02 am
One of my favorite posts you have written! Such good advice and info! First off Happy Blogoversary! I started blogging when Sofia was born and though I have not been as consistent I will say that evolution is a must! I quickly moved away from being a “mom blogger” to writing more about topics I LOVE…..which is also a must!
Like you said you have to be passionate about your content not just in it to make money or it will feel very forced and not authentic. For me the biggest reason I blog is because I love writing and creating beautiful things, and blogging is everything in one for me. Telling a captivating story & creating beautiful imagery for an audience is what I love.
Also the community aspect….Competition in this business is such a bad habit a lot of girls get into and it’s nasty ….but community and collaboration are really much more important. Had it not been for blogging and social media you and I probably would never have met and I’m so grateful for our sisterhood and friendship ….all because of this industry! Finding like-minded women that support you and you can support them is key. Whether it’s through support each others posts by liking and commenting, trading contacts, or even dropping names or your blogger friends to brands to help eachother get collabs! Lifting each other up is where it’s at!
March 10, 2022 @ 7:23 am
I couldn’t agree more with ALL of this!!! I’m so thankful to have met you through this industry and truly cherish our sisterhood too! It’s such a special thing when we can all come together for the greater good rather than constantly comparing and competing. We get so much more accomplished and can learn a ton from each other!
March 8, 2022 @ 9:05 am
I also think bloggers don’t get enough credit ….It makes me sad that even so many years into social media people on the outside looking in still don’t think it’s a job. It’s actually a full time job that sometimes never allows you time off because every aspect in life is a potential content create opportunity…..24/7 there is some sort of content creation & brainstorming going on.
From the hours spent shooting, writing, editing and much more …It’s a ton of work!
March 10, 2022 @ 7:25 am
Exactly!! I always tell people that I could work 24 hours a day and never run out of things to do. Perfect example: a 15 second reel can take an hour to plan out, two hours to shoot and another two hours to edit and put together. Crazy! There is so much more that goes into content creation than people realize.
March 9, 2022 @ 5:14 pm
I love this! Another OG here- 12 years. I love reading all of your lessons. Congrats on 10 years
March 10, 2022 @ 7:20 am
Thank you so much! It was really fun to sit down and reflect on the last 10 years. Us OGs gotta stick together! 😉
March 10, 2022 @ 9:57 pm
So many excellent lessons! I’ve been blogging for almost 11 years and it’s embarrassing how long it took me to learn some of these lessons! I recently went through a huge pivot and am focusing more on my blog. Social media has not been fruitful for me.
Love your point about collaboration over competition! I joined a local blogging group almost 10 years ago and it led to some really great friendships!
March 11, 2022 @ 8:18 am
The content creation world is constantly changing and I’m always learning new lessons! I think that is the best thing you can do. I find so much more value in focusing on my blog rather than a social media app that may or may not be around (or popular) in a year. And YES! I’m so thankful for the friendships I’ve made through this industry!