Guys, it’s been a year!! I say a year because that’s how long I’ve been blogging regularly (and yes, it’s a record). So despite the May 2013 inception of this blog, I don’t think this blog REALLY started until July of last year. So happy 1-year, guys! Thanks for all of your support these past 12 months. Whether it was through an encouraging comment, an Instagram like, or just simply stopping by the blog every now and then, I really appreciate it. The interactions with you guys is what makes blogging so exciting for me. I’m amazed that so many of you have taken an interest in what I have to say. It’s incredibly humbling, and I only hope that you all will continue to be able to find a small source of inspiration here. So in honor of everything that I’ve learned over the past year, I thought I would answer a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to reach out if you have other questions (doesn’t have to be about blogging!) and I’ll do my best to answer them.
1. Why do you do it?
To be honest, I initially wanted my blog to be private. I wanted it to be an online journal where I could document all of my travel experiences so I would have something to look back on in the future. So that’s why I did it at the beginning—to basically build up a travel diary. After a couple of posts, though, I thought, what would be the harm in sharing my experiences with the world? It’s not like I’m gossiping or revealing any private confessions in my posts, lol. So after convincing myself that there was really nothing to lose, I released my blog to the public. And my experience since then has been nothing short of amazing. So at the end of the day, I’m still blogging for the same reason as when I first started: to document (and now share) my favorite experiences, memories, and adventures. My interests have expanded beyond travel, and more and more so now, I find myself blogging for my readers. You guys inspire me to go out there and explore. Sometimes, it’s exploring things outside my comfort zone. But I think that’s great—and there’s no better motivation.
2. Starting a blog seems like such a huge task. Do you have any tips for new bloggers?
Starting a blog does seem like a huge task, but let me tell you, it’s VERY easy to start a blog, but very hard to build a blog. And I think recognizing that difference is important. People have different styles when it comes to starting/building a blog. Some people create a blog first (which literally takes like 2 minutes), and then build it up afterwards. Others want to build up content first and do a ton of planning (blog name, layout, genre, content, etc.) before actually starting their blogs. In my opinion, I think that there should definitely be some planning done beforehand—it’ll save you a lot of headaches and regrets in the long run. Figure out why you want to start a blog. Is it because you’re really passionate about something? Or are the reasons monetary? No matter the reason, ask yourself if it’s something you can sustain (and honestly, you might not be able to figure this out until much later).
Next, think of a name for your blog. Be careful about the name you choose. It should be personal/unique, memorable, and relevant. And really think about the content you want to feature on your blog. If you make your name too specific and later on decide that you want to expand your content genres, you might confuse your readers. For example, if you name your blog Food Stash but later find that you want to write mostly about fashion…you’ll probably need to change your name. And changing your blog’s name and rebranding it is not an easy process! So definitely do some initial planning. I would spend more time planning content than the aesthetics of your blog (at least in the beginning). So before you go investing in a $200 custom blog theme/design, try out the whole blogging thing for at least a month. All the other touch-ups can come later. My last tip would be to get involved in the blogger community. Explore other blogs, reply to comments, interact! You’ll meet some amazing people, and it’s a great way to look for inspiration!
3. What’s the most challenging part about blogging?
I think the most challenging part about blogging is maintaining a pace. I’ve said this before, but blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. A lot of new bloggers (myself included) will put out a ton of content when they first start. They’ll post every single day, and then after 3 weeks, their blog basically dies. And a comfortable pace takes a while to find! I’m still trying to find mine, and I know it fluctuates depending on what’s going on in the rest of my life, but I’d say the most important thing is to keep adjusting. Just like if you were actually running a marathon, there’s a big difference between slowing down and stopping completely. And that’s the one reason I would consider this blog a relative success (compared to my 2 other failed attempts). I never stopped. Sure, I basically took a 2-year hiatus, but I needed that time to focus in on what I wanted this blog to be and how much I was willing to invest in it.
Nobody ever said blogging was going to be easy. You’ll come across stretches where you feel like you’re completely drained of content. And that may be a sign that you need some time off to recharge. So take that time if you need it, but try to pull through if you can. Over the past year I’ve learned how to work around those dry spells. I’ll keep a collection of “back-up” posts for days when I’m really struggling. I’ll write 2-3 posts on days where things just seem to be flowing. But that’s really what you have to figure out along the way: how you are best able to keep a pace going. You go fast when you can (without burning out), slow when you need to, and everything else in between just as long as you don’t stop 🙂
4. Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere! You can find inspiration anywhere, and you most often find it when you’re not trying (at least in my experience). I find it in sights, in food, in people around me—friends, family, and strangers. I’ll find it in moments when I challenge myself to try something new or outside my comfort zone. I find it in the blogging community—from other bloggers and interacting with you guys. I think that the more you are able to appreciate in this world and the more places and experiences you expose yourself to, the more easily inspiration will find YOU. Keep a notebook handy, or use your phone to jot down experiences and ideas that inspire you. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you forget certain moments. And in my personal experience, I find that I sometimes appreciate certain experiences and ideas more when I revisit them later.
Hope that was helpful! I didn’t realize how long this post had gotten. Thanks again for all your guys’ support over the past year <3