7 Valuable Things I’ve Learned In My First Year Of Blogging

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Little Blog of Positivity celebrates its 1st birthday on 1st August 2019!

Whoop!  Happy Birthday blog!  🎂🎁🎉

There are so many valuable things I’ve learned during the year and the time has simply flown by.

In celebration, I wanted to share 7 of the things I’ve learned which I had no clue about a year ago!

1.  Bloggers Are A Friendly Bunch

I’d been blogging for a month when I found myself in a blogger group on Twitter.  I now class many from that group as friends.  They are always there to cheer me on, cheer me up or help me out with the techie stuff (often not my strong point).

As well as that little group who’ve been there since the early days, I’ve also got a wider circle of bloggers in the personal development/mental health world who I connect with regularly.  We share each other’s stuff, comment on blog posts, guest post for each other and pass the time of day on Twitter and Instagram.

If you’re new to the blogging world, don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with other bloggers.  I promise you won’t regret it!

Want to start your own blog?  Here’s how to do it the right way!

2.  Pinterest Isn’t Only For Interior Design

Who knew??

I found out about what you can actually use Pinterest for a couple of months into my blog career when I bought the Genius Blogger Toolkit.   (I highly recommend the toolkit, click on the link to be the first to hear when the latest version is available).

I’d really only ever used Pinterest for decorating inspiration and furniture ideas so was intrigued to read that it is, in fact, a huge, visual search engine.

Today Pinterest is the biggest referrer of you lovely folk to my blog.  I even had a viral pin, look at this spike in my blog traffic that happened as a result.  I was very proud of that moment!

pinterest spike google analytics
Pinterest spike from that viral pin! 
If you have a blog (or any other website or online business for that matter) I highly recommend this excellent FREE 5 Day Pinterest Challenge to get you started.

3.  The World Is Big

Working in Human Resources in the National Health Service for the past 15 years, many of my friendships are with other HR people who also work in the NHS.  They are all lovely of course, but I hadn’t realised how narrow and blinkered my world had become.

I’ve now come to realise that there is a whole world of opportunity out there with so many inspirational people in it.  People changing the landscape of the working world.  Successful entrepreneurs doing all manner of exciting things.

It’s opened up my eyes and I’m so happy to be playing a small part in that bigger world!

white globe by window with shutters

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

4.  What Twitter Is For

I’ve had my Twitter account since about 2011 but until this time last year, I had about 40 followers!  I’d tried to cancel the account twice but for some reason, mustn’t have done it right as it was still there 😆

I never understood what the point was you see.  What was I supposed to tweet about and who was I supposed to follow??

Now I have a purpose for tweeting.  I tweet my blog posts and try to share inspirational and fun stuff in between.  It’s great for researching for blog posts (all those polls).  It’s also proved to be the number one way to connect with other bloggers.

And if you love gifs, you definitely need to give it a go 😉

5.  How To Do Keyword Research

I kind of ignored ‘SEO’ to begin with (search engine optimization for the uninitiated).  It sounded way too complicated.

It actually isn’t that complicated once you understand the key components and I wish I’d focused on it more at the beginning.  It’s also really important so that people can find your blog on Google and other search engines.

A couple of months in I had a bit of a panic as my blog wasn’t even appearing in any search engines.  After a bit of a quick techie lesson, I fixed that.  (Don’t ask me how, I’ve no idea now!)

After that, I read up some more on the topic on websites such as the fantastic Backlinko

I’d definitely recommend you do the same if you are new to blogging or want to learn more about SEO.

It can take quite a while to start ranking in search engines.  Over the last couple of months I’ve started to have a bit more success with this.

I put this down to the keyword research I’ve been doing.  Basically, this entails finding keyword phrases for your blog posts (for example the keyword phrase for this blog post is ‘things I’ve learned’).  You want phrases that have plenty of people searching for them, but not too much competition in the search results.

There are tools out there with free access such as Keywords EverywhereGoogle Keyword Planner and KWfinder but I was struggling to find good keyword phrases using these tools.

I spent some time researching paid plans and BOY are they expensive!!

I was so happy therefore when another blogger gave me a recommendation for Keysearch which is amazing and affordable.

Sign up using my link and quote the discount code KSDISC to get 20% off!


6.  Writing Is Good For The Soul

If you’ve had a bad day or week, writing it all down can be therapeutic.  The growth of journalling shows how helpful many people find writing to be.

happiest moment journal

This journal from Paperchase is so pretty 😍

From my own experience this year, I’ve found that I can lose myself completely in researching and then writing a blog post.  I love the creativity of it all and totally get into the ‘zone’.

I’ve also learned a huge amount about the topics which form the theme of my blog – personal development, mental health, productivity, self-care and so on.

Being passionate about these topics in the first place is what has made me stick with the blog I think.  It never feels like a chore to work on a blog post, it always feels like fun.

My personal toolkit of methods such as meditation, how to organise my life better and ways to manage my monkey mind is starting to burst at the seams!

As I’ve always tried to keep the blog’s ‘vibe’ positive and inspirational, if I happen to be in a bad mood (yup sometimes I am…) it never fails to jolt me out of it!

7 valuable things I've learned through blogging

7.  Rejection Isn’t Personal

Before the blog, I was often afraid to put myself out there.  Despite a short stint working in a sales job, contacting complete strangers out of the blue would have me breaking out in a cold sweat.  I simply hate rejection in any shape or form!

To get anywhere in the blogging world though, I realised I would have to contact people.  For guest posting opportunities, collaborations or simply to tell them I love their work.   At least I could do it by email or on Twitter, but in the early days if I didn’t get a response I’d take it pretty personally.

I’ve continued to push myself out of my comfort zone and have now realised that people are often just busy.  Or maybe the message went into their spam bin, so it’s OK to follow things up with a second polite email.

Sometimes I’ve heard nothing back, sometimes I’ve had a response straight away.  A response might come a few weeks down the line as well.

It’s the best feeling in the world when you get a response from the author of a book you wrote about, or your blog post gets retweeted by a big name in your niche!

There are numerous other things I’ve learned in my first year of blogging.  It’s been a steep learning curve (particularly on the technical side) but I’ve got so many new and useful skills which I didn’t have a year ago.

The best thing about blogging for me remains the connection with people across the world and the friendships I am forming.

hands spelling love

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

So, whether you’ve been visiting my blog since it began or this is the first post you’ve read, thank you so much for your support, your good vibes and your friendship.

I look forward to getting to know you better and writing loads more stuff I hope you’ll love!

Related post:  11 Guaranteed Ways To Feel Positive Today  Yes, I’ve updated and added to this a few times since August last year, but this was my very first blog post!

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  1. Lori Roach

    Happy birthday, blog, and congratulations, Alison! One year is an achievement! I’ve only known you through twitter, but now I will certainly sign up on your email list. This post, like your tweets, is so full of positive energy, it’s a joy to read. I’m only six months into blogging, so I learned some new info and found some new resources through this post. Thanks you!

    1. Alison

      Thanks so much Lori, I’m so happy you enjoy my tweets and have now signed up! You won’t regret starting a blog I promise 🙂 I will be checking it out!

  2. Geraldine

    Such great lessons here Alison! I still have to learn SEO and I was taking an e-course on it but I had dropped it because I just stopped prioritizing it haha… I need to soon! I still have to keep trying with Pinterest, I’m slowly rising again! I just don’t wanna spend on Tailwind haha. Thanks for sharing these Alison!


    1. Alison

      Thanks Geraldine – I’m planning to dedicate August to learning SEO better, will see how I get on!

  3. Latisha

    Happy Birthday to your wonderful blog! You’ve learned a lot during your first year. I love your blog and positive vibe. Peace and blessings!

  4. Nellé

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve heard about how Pinterest is good for bloggers, but I’ve never tried it, so I definitely will now. Thanks again!
    Nellé x

  5. Chloe Chats

    This is a lovely post Alison! Happy birthday to your blog, I absolutely love your blog, it’s always so positive, motivational and inspiring to me. I definitely agree about Twitter, I don’t think I would have been so into blogging if it wasn’t for the blogging community/friends on there, I also love taking part in your fun tweets you do hehe

    Chloe xx

  6. Rachy

    Such a lovely blog, well and truly deserving of congratulations for its first year online! Any time I need reassurance or just to read something ‘positive’ then I always check this site. It’s a wealth of beautiful information which is both relevant and reliable. (: xx Keep awesome!

  7. Avinash

    It inspired me lot,by the be lated happy birthday to your blog
    You have climb to much hight and I am with you as a reader

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