Today is technically our first year blogging anniversary. I’m not quite sure how a whole year has gone by so fast but I guess time does fly when you are having fun. I can’t believe it’s been a year and feels like I’m still so new to this whole blogging world with so many things I need to learn.
When I first started, I had no idea where this thing would go, or if it would even be something I enjoy doing. But one year later, I am still blogging and loving every minute of it.
Over this past year, I’ve seen this blog grow in so many ways. First off, it looks 100% different after rebranding last August 2018 from The Sylver Room to Iconic MNL.
To celebrate my first year of blogging, I thought it would be fun to share the 10 biggest lessons I’ve learned, as well as giving some tips for other bloggers.
Here are 5 things that I wish I knew when I started:
5 Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned In My First Year Blogging
Lesson #1: Blogging is not just about attending events and getting freebies.
Contrary to what many people may think, blogging is not just attending events and getting all the freebies you see people post. This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned since launching my blog a year ago. Obviously, I knew there was behind the scenes technical stuff involved, but I thought most of my time would be spent coming up with new post ideas and attending events. Blogging will require you to spend a lot of time not just attending events but also working on your post and doing some technical stuff like SEO and others. But you know what one thing that made me enjoy blogging is the huge learning opportunities that this work/hobby is giving me. I learned to do web development, SEO, Analytics, Digital Marketing, and such.
Lesson #2: Good Photos + Good Web Design = Loyal Readers
Before I started blogging, I was a fashion photographer for almost 3 years. I did a few editorials and had a shoot for a brand to do billboard and other marketing collaterals. So when it comes to my photographs I make sure my blog post has a good quality image because for me good images attract more visits as this is one factor that will make your readers read your content.
Similar to having high quality photos, it is important to have a good web design. You can write the most amazing blog post that’s full of great content, but if your site design is ugly or confusing to navigate, then your super awesome content will get lost in poor design and will result in a high bounce rate.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.
LESSON #3: Invest In New Learning
I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve lost track of time and stayed up way too late researching trying to understand how everything works and how it can help my site grow.
If you want to see yourself becoming better, you need to do something to grow. You should always aim to be better, learning new things and constantly improving your blog, which is a must as search engine algorithm changes a lot so you need to always keep up with it. You need to keep evolving as digital trends change. Otherwise, you won’t be able to reach your target audience. This is the reason why I made an effort to learn the tools necessary to maintain my website so I’ll understand my audience and know how to target the right audience.
LESSON #4: The Power of Social Media
Our country has always been on top in terms of social media usage as the number of internet users in the country hit 67 million people. We are also No. 1 in the world in terms of social media usage in 2017. Over the past year, we’ve seen a huge increase in social media referral traffic to our website. Over 60.3 percent of traffic for iconicMNL.com came from social media sites, while 27.3 percent came directly to the site and 11.5 percent came from search. Iconic MNL has seen enhanced social traffic, as its follower base on Facebook and Twitter expanded enormously. The best part of social media is that it’s free, effective, and relatively straightforward.
Social media can be a wonderful thing, but it can also quickly become stressful. Don’t let it!
LESSON #5: Perfection Doesn’t Exist
When I first started, I was so worried about having the perfect “about me” page, the perfect layout, perfect images, etc. but I’ve learned that perfection doesn’t exist and there will always be room for improvement. We should always keep in mind to create our content for the users, not for search engines. While search engines follow a strict algorithm to rank high on search results, they should not dictate a content strategy or content creation. It should be viewed as a tactic used to amplify the content.
Starting a blog a year ago was just something I started out of curiosity. I never thought it would turn out to be something like this now. It’s hard work, especially for someone who is doing this alongside my full-time job in the office. But it has been so rewarding! I’ve learned a lot all because of blogging and it also helped me land a job that I also enjoy doing.
It’s been a lot of work, a lot of hours and a lot of trial and error. But I can say without a doubt that it has been absolutely worth it. This blog has opened up so many opportunities.