Fun fact: 2 is my favorite number. So, it feels a little extra special that this month marks the 2nd anniversary of my little blog. Last year, I wrote a long post for both my birthday and blogiversary. It touched on my battle with mental illness and discussed the goals I had for myself and my blog. While it was heartfelt, it’s not the route I want to go this year. Although I’m still not where I “want to be” personally and professionally, I’m so much closer to my goals because of my hard work since this time last year. However, instead of dedicating a whole post to my birthday and what I still want to accomplish I thought it would be better to talk about my blogiversary and the things I’ve learned on this journey.
It’s basically a birthday, right?
Caitlin Cosmetologist started as a hashtag in August 2014, to promote my work as a hairstylist. At some point I started thinking about starting a blog where I could share my cosmetologist knowledge and sass with the world. So without much of a clue I got a wordpress.com page and started posting. I don’t even remember what my first post was or when I published it. WordPress tells me that it was June 2015. (Which is silly because June has a lot of birthdays in my family and keeps me busy. Why did I pick this month?) It’s very possible that I’ve since deleted my first post because those early posts were pretty bad. (But here is the oldest one on my site.) Like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing.
Since then CC has evolved greatly. After my first year of blogging I began spending more time (& money!) on my blog, joined some Facebook groups, did some research and continued paying attention to blogs that inspire me. When I decided to become self-hosted I did a big clean up of my site to help narrow down my niche (hence why I may have deleted my first post).
If I’m not yet where I want to be personally and professionally, I’m very far from where I would like to be with my blog. I have days where I’m disappointed and want to quit because I feel like I’m wasting time. On those days I remind myself why I started and how I can continue to better my blog and myself. I’ve learned a lot in just the last 8 months (give or take) and have made some really fabulous blogger friends.
Which brings me to my list:
5 Things I’ve Learned From Blogging
1. It’s not worth it if it’s not fun
I can easily get caught up in trying to be a perfect blogger so that my engagement will grow or posting the right picture with the right hashtags to get more likes on Instagram. Having a blog is not easy and therefore comes with stress, but I don’t want that to take away from the biggest reason I started CC.com- it seemed like fun. Engagement and feeling like my hard work is paying off is important but so is enjoying what I’m doing!
2. It’s ok to make myself (and my goals) my top priority
Until the beginning of May, I was involved in multiple commitments. Which left me with little time to work on my blog. I didn’t feel like I could schedule time just for blogging and yet still expected things to fall into place. Since then, those commitments have fallen away and I’m able to give myself deadlines and keep a schedule specifically for blogging. It’s not perfect but it’s a start.
3. Keep my own pace and be authentic
With so many other bloggers out there it’s a challenge not to compare myself. I have to remember that my journey has been different and that’s not a bad thing. I spent a good year playing around and finding my direction- I transitioned from a hairstylist portfolio after all. Now that I have a better idea of what I’m doing I will continue to build. Feeling like I am sharing my true self is still a struggle. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything better to offer than the bloggers around me. All I can do is try my best to follow my gut and post what feels right for me. I can always go back and edit, right?!
4. My blog is a work in progress so mistakes will happen, use them to learn and grow
Instead of being hard on myself, I need to realize that the mistakes that feel like a big deal in my head, really aren’t so big. Just like everything else in life, although it’s not comfortable, learning from mistakes is the best way to grow.
5. Build and develop a blogging tribe/support system
I have a wonderful support system outside of blogging but finding one inside the blogging world was a game changer. It makes a huge difference when I can ask a blogging friend’s opinion or walk through how to set a something up that will help improve my site.
As I celebrate my blogiversary, I want to thank you for your continued support of my blog. It means so much to me! Here’s to year 3 of Caitlin Cosmetologist!
(I didn’t forget about my birthday- a roundup of my glam is coming soon!)
Thank you for reading!
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