2014

Part 2 // What Was The Biggest Lesson You Learned in 2014?

I'm back today because we had SO much incredible feedback from some of my favourite bloggers, candidly sharing their top lessons learned in 2014, that I had to break it into two posts.

So without further adieu, I'm sharing some top advice and lessons that hopefully you can learn from and use to put your vision for 2015 into place...I would also encourage you to share your own lessons below!

"The importance of building a tribe. It’s not about just showing up and consistently posting, it’s about replying to comments, being useful and connecting + building relationships with your readers, personally." -Emma Kate Creative 

"This year I really want to remember that things always take longer than you think. I've just completed my 6th book this year and I always forget how much there is to do for the launch. I pulled an all-nighter in the lead up and I don't want to do that again the next time...I'll start earlier!"  - Christina Butcher, Hair Romance  

"Done is better than perfect. Nobody sees the heartache that goes into a post, caption, image, idea or story - if you're too afraid to push publish. And by learnt, I mean, learning!"  Bec Jerdan, The Art of Social 

"One of the biggest lessons we've learnt this year through our blog is to plan but go with the flow. Be flexible. Often we get so caught up in our schedules and planning posts ahead of time that we can forget to be intuitive and speak from the heart. Whilst planning ahead is crucial in operating a successful blog, we've found that some of our best posts are the spontaneous ones that come from a sudden and real desire to share something raw in the moment. The ones we didn't plan. This is where true honesty lies. If that means pushing back planned posts or a bit of a shift in our weekly structure, we've got to be flexible and adapt to that. It's all about creating that balance." - Hunting Louise 

And please remember that TODAY is the last day that you can sign up for our Digital Bravery E-Course - if you have been wanting to make big changes and get your business focus laser sharp then today is the day. Join us here!

Part 1 // What Was The Biggest Lesson You Learned In 2014?

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I'm a big believer in looking back and appreciating how far you've come (compared to always looking at how far you have to go.) This time of the year is always one for learning and to take onboard what may have worked (or didn't work) for your blog or business and aim to change and amend in the year ahead.

This year has been a HUGE learning curve for me and if there is one lesson that I can take away from the many that I have experienced, it would to not let fear hold you back from going after what you truly want. That one small lesson has been at the forefront of my mind for a while and I was curious what other bloggers had to say so I set out to ask some of my favourite blogging friends what their biggest learning lesson was in 2014. Here's what they had to say:

"This year I learnt the importance of delegation and outsourcing if you want your blog to become a full-time, long-term, commercially viable business. Blog doesn't have to mean solo operation and having paid help is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact it's a sign you're doing well! This is really part of my strong belief that if you want your blog to become a business you need to treat it like one." - Jen Bishop, Interiors Addict

"The biggest lesson I learnt in 2014 was the importance of promoting my blog and using social media to it's full potential. For so long, I had been hitting publish on posts and then just expecting readers to 'find me'! As soon as I started using social media for more than just pictures of cake and puppies (and Blog Society has been a huge help in figuring this out!), I noticed such a difference in views and audience engagement." -  Laura Murray  

"Every image counts, so take the time to produce beautiful, original content. Keep trying to do bigger and better and only publish posts you are really proud of. 1 really great post is far better than 5 ok ones. Oh and networking is everything! Even online. Email the people you admire, speak to strangers at those awkward events - put yourself out there. The support, motivation and collaborative opportunities that you'll receive as a result will never cease to amaze." -Fiona Michelon, The Craft Hunter

"The biggest lesson I learned as a blogging in 2014 was that it is ok to write what you want to write. Don’t just write what you think people want to hear, but writing from your heart and what you are passionate about is the only way to stay happy and motivated as a blogger." - Amanda Fuller, Kaleidoscope Blog

"Branding is key. I completely overhauled my website, went from Summersalt Life to katetoholka.com, hired a marketer and graphics designer and have just seen my blog soar to new heights. By going through a thorough process of my brand, including what I want to be known for to who I want to help, I have been able to produce better quality content and actually put it on the screens of those who need it the most." - Kate Toholka  

"Just ask : no matter how wild the idea or crazy the collaboration is, put it out there you never know what the response will be if you dont ask." - Samantha Dunne, Dunne With Style  

"As a blogger, I think the biggest lesson I learned in 2014 is the valuable worth of collaboration with other bloggers. I built up my blog traffic this year, purely out of collaboration. In creating a Contributors Team, I was able to blog "blissfully" (less stress) and grow my natural network, because each contributor brought with her her own unique audience. It also gave birth to a "movement" of sorts, under #makeitblissful, which I have been able to activate recently on Instagram, which has all the more built up my brand. Connection and collaboration — here to more of it in 2015" Martine Cosio de Luna, Make It Blissful 

"My biggest lesson for 2014 would have to be to not only listen to my gut, but to act on it also, regardless of the fear. I'm doing this by changing the name of my blog and working on a complete restyle. If I had listened to the fear of potentially losing readers, I would probably have lost them anyway because I had outgrown where I was and was losing the passion. The reality is that I've had such an encouraging response from my readers for what I'm doing. It took me almost nine months to make that decision, but since making that commitment to myself, I feel so energised and excited for all of the possibilities ahead." - Mel Chesneau, Armoire, Pegs and Casserole 

"For me, 2014 was about blogging less frequently, but more robustly. I resisted the urge to whip up a quick post to 'feed the monster' and instead spent more time creating posts that were meatier and had more crafted content. I haven't always been successful at maintaining this new rhythm, but each week and each month are an improvement. The best part has been forcefully carving out more time and space to be more creative, and I'm much more proud of my content than I was one year ago." - Steph Bond Hutkin, Bondville

What was YOUR biggest lesson in 2014? I'd love to hear your thoughts so please don't hesitate to share them below...also for those wanting to dive in and get involved with our community, we'll be hosting another Blog Society Twitter Chat at 7:30pm TONIGHT - find us on Twitter here and look for the #blogsociety

Twitter-Chat



Blogging // A Fresh Start For 2014

Hello 2014.

The new year brings a fresh start, a blank slate and a world of opportunity just waiting to be seized.

As a blogger I tend to start off the year slowly and have always found January to be a time for reflection and for essentially getting my self together and collecting my thoughts. December always proves to be a busy time and when January hits, instead of feeling organised I feel flustered, behind the ball and scrambling to catch up.  Admittedly the whole blogging world seems to have their entire year planned but I'm here to raise my hand and admit that my goals and hopes for 2014 are just beginning to take shape and while my aims are high, the finer details have yet to fall in place. It was this post that I read last year that made me realise that I'll get there of course, we all do, but it may just take time and trusting in the process. I hope some of you can relate.

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2013 was an incredible year for me - bringing Blog Society to life was a dream come true and launching this blog provides an opportunity to reach out to other bloggers in a way that is honest and candid and will aim to provide you with glimpses into our events as well as inspiring tips, information and advice on how to create a blog that is not only fun but one that is a true reflection of you - that has always been a core value of Blog Society and is my promise to you. The art of blogging and storytelling is a passion of mine. Its our own unique voices and experiences that make our blogs interesting and over the year's I've come to realise that it is best to run your own race, to blog for you rather than looking elsewhere. I have this post from Decor8 to thank for helping to set me in the right path for 2014.

So with 2014 here, its time to gather those thoughts, dreams and ideas and begin to put them into action. Go slowly if you need to, but make them happen nevertheless.  Also remember to take a look back and see how far you've actually come - you might just be surprised. And when those waves of doubt come crashing in (they always do) let them wash over you and move on.  This is your year, make a great one and we'll be right here with you along with the way.

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