blogging

First Blogiversary & What I Learned in my First Year of Blogging

Lessons learned in first year of blogging - I have been blogging for a year now and here are the top 7 things that I learnt from Blogging including tips, tricks and strategies that can help you become a better blogger

Can’t believe it has been one entire year since I started blogging!

I still remember the day I published my first post as if it was just yesterday. Back then, I had no idea about the existence of this wonderful community on WordPress. In this past year, I have not only learned many things but also formed genuine connections with bloggers from all over the world.

So what did I learn in the past one year of blogging? While I’m no one to give advice, I wanted to share a few things that I learned in my blogging journey – 

Make real connections

I believe that WP is such a supportive community and has so much to offer. Right from the beginning, I have always taken out time to not only read posts but also comment on them. While that may not be possible every time, I do feel that interacting genuinely helps to create a better bond with bloggers. It is how one can build an engaging audience.

Social Media is your best friend

Honestly, I used to find social media a little over-whelming. While I made a Pinterest & Instagram account quickly (since I love them both), for the longest time, I was hesitant to start a Twitter & Facebook page for my blog.

But then I figured out that I don’t have to constantly check my social media in order to remain active. Buffer has been great when it comes to scheduling tweets and sharing facebook posts! Saves so much time. And don’t just share your own content. Be a little generous and share your favorite bloggers’ work too. Hootsuite is a similar platform but I switched to Buffer since I felt it had a cleaner look.

Build your own Strategy

I have read tons of blogging tips that have helped me a lot. Almost all of these articles ask you to remain consistent with your blog posts. You will often come across suggestions to put quality content (the obvious) as well as to post multiple times a week. 

The key for me was not to get bombarded by all this advice available online and get confused. Do what suits best for you. If you are able to post multiple times a week, that is awesome! But everyone has different priorities. Try and go easy on yourself and don’t fret if your blogging strategy is different from others. If it is something that works for you, stick with it. Also, my go-to site for blogging tips is ‘Mostly Blogging.’ Janice has all the tips related to blogging under one roof.

Use Editing tools like Canva

I spend a great deal editing my photos and this little free tool has been a life-saver. For someone like me who doesn’t own a high-end camera and who is also not an expert photographer, Canva has definitely helped me to edit in a better manner. 

I currently use its free version and it has tons of different fonts & designs as well as pre-designed templates for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram etc – something which I thoroughly enjoy. 

Meet and Greets

I absolutely love Meet and Greets. They are great for networking and I have come across soo many wonderful bloggers through the meet and greets held on blogs like – Danny, Janice and Jacqueline to name a few. 

Free Stock Image sites

On all my food & travel posts, I prefer to use my own photos. But there are times when you just do not have photos for a particular post. Like when I wrote my 10 Tried and Tested Travel Tips, or even this post for that matter, I didn’t have high-quality photos. That is when free stock image sites come into handy as you don’t want to make the mistake of any copyright infringement issues.

Pixabay is my go-to site which allows you to freely use their photos without any copyright issues. There are tons of similar sites like PexelsUnsplash etc. but most of the times, I gravitate towards Pixabay. Although many of these sites don’t require you to give credit to them, I always make it a point to mention the source of my photos if I choose to use any image from these sites.

And Finally, Blogging is an ongoing learning process

There are millions of things to learn about blogging and if anyone tells me that they have it all figured out, I’m sure to give them a side eye. Even the top bloggers with thousands of page views per day admit that blogging is an on-going learning process. So play around, experiment and have fun blogging!

I am also toying with the idea of shifting to a self-hosted site which is going to be a lot of work (I’m sure many of you know that already) Although many people prefer to start from a self-hosted site right away, I wanted to be absolutely sure before I take the plunge. 

So these are some of the things that I learned in my past year of blogging. I know there is a long way to go and I would have never felt so motivated had it not been for all you guys who take out the time to read/ comment/ share my posts. So here’s a big virtual hug from me to you!

What are some of the things that you learned from your blogging journey?

Lessons learned in first year of blogging - I have been blogging for a year now and here are the top 7 things that I learnt from Blogging including tips, tricks and strategies that can help you become a better blogger

 

My Top 5 Most Popular Posts so far:

  1. Easy-Cheesy Hasselback Chicken

  2. Healthy Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  3. Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

  4. Exploring San Francisco!

  5. The Wonder called Niagara!!

I would love to connect with you on

*Image Source: Pexels

XOXO

Smiling Notes

 

 

 

140 Comments

  • Reply

    brickthomas

    May 23, 2016

    Happy Anniversary!!! And thanks for sharing some of your resources and ideas. To another great year. Cheers! Brick

  • Reply

    lbeth1950

    May 23, 2016

    You do a great job. Good summation and tips.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 23, 2016

      You are very kind. This made me really happy… thank you so much 🙂

  • Reply

    Happy blogiversary!!! Keep up the great work 🙂

  • Reply

    Miriam

    May 23, 2016

    Congrats to you, you’ve come so far. Lots of great advice here, keep up the awesome work and just enjoy it all! 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 23, 2016

      Thank you so much for your sweet and supportive words Miriam! xoxo 🙂

      • Reply

        Miriam

        May 23, 2016

        My absolute pleasure. You have a lovely blog. xo

  • Reply

    Your blog is always a delightful read, sweetie! Congrats on your first blog anniversary, wishing you many more 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 23, 2016

      Thanks a lot my dear.. you are one of my first blogging buddies and I’m happy we have formed such a beautiful bond Freda 🙂 *hugs*

  • Reply

    Appy 1 year of blogging dear, this is just the start…so carry on the good work! Congratulations~!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 23, 2016

      So true..this is just the start..there’s still a long way to go 🙂 Thanks a lot!!

  • Reply

    theveggiecooker

    May 23, 2016

    Congratulations 🙂

  • Reply

    letmebefree

    May 23, 2016

    Congrats on your anniversary, I have also just clocked up a year. I find I am always learning new things and it is a wonderful journey.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 23, 2016

      Thanks a lot! Doesn’t it feel wonderful to have blogged for a year now?! And you are right..there’s still a lot to learn but it’s a lovely journey 💕

  • Reply

    Sakthi

    May 23, 2016

    Congrats!

  • Reply

    youthfoodblog

    May 24, 2016

    I agree with all of your thoughts and observation. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply

    Diya @ Pen2Needle

    May 24, 2016

    Happy blogaversary! Has been lovely to see your site grow and develop into what it is today. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  • Reply

    Ritu

    May 24, 2016

    Happy blogiversary! May there be many more years to come!
    I would say the biggest thing is do what’s right for you.
    There are lots of advice posts out there, each equally great and valid, but you can get swamped…
    Take time to decide what you want from blogging and your blog, and tailor your look, schedule and content to that.
    The biggest thing is to build your community, however big or small. My Blogily, as I call them, are so important to me, and keeping communication, rapport and comments, open is the biggest key. If you don’t interact, why should others?
    Enjoy your blogging 😊😊😊😊

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Yes to all of that Ritu!!!!! Agree with everything that you just said. The wonderful blogging community is what motivates me to keep blogging! 😊💕 *hugs*

  • Reply

    honey bee

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Anniversary! Wish you more for success

  • Reply

    honey bee

    May 24, 2016

    Wish you for many more successful years to come! Keep it up your great work 👍👍

  • Reply

    mopana

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Anniversary! Nice post about a wonderful world, WordPress :))

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thanks a lot my dear 💕 Yes, it indeed is a wonderful WordPress world *hugs*

  • Reply

    MyCulinarySaga

    May 24, 2016

    Many many congratulations darling! Wish you many more.. and loved your write up.. very informative. I absolutely agree it has a wonderful learning process. Happy to have come across you! Love & hugs!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Hugs right back at you my dear Trupti! And thank you for your wonderful wishes 💕😘Happy to be connected with such a talented person!

  • Reply

    lynne hoareau

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Blogiversary Shamira 🙂 and Thank You for this lovely post. You have a wonderful blog and I truly look forward to your posts. Here’s to many many more years ! <3

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thank you for always being so kind Lynne..you are one of the bloggers who I truly appreciate and I have learned a lot from you 💕

  • Reply

    Lifestylebites3

    May 24, 2016

    That is very true and happy blogiversary

  • Reply

    arv!

    May 24, 2016

    Congrats for completion of one year, and you’ve done better than most bloggers! Great… All your tips are quite practical and true. So when are you contemplating to shifting to self hosted one?

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Hi there..thanks a lot! Will be shifting to self hosted probably after a month.

  • Reply

    Book Club Mom

    May 24, 2016

    Congratulations on your first year of blogging! You are right, the WordPress blogging community is very supportive. Those are the connections that are the most meaningful for me. I have been blogging for 3 years and I’m still learning. You have listed some good tips that I’m going to try! I am not on Instagram and have been thinking about it for a while. How do you use Instagram to promote your blog?

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thanks a lot..yes WordPress community means a lot to me too. Well, when it comes to Instagram, what I do is – whenever I have any post in mind – I post its pic on Instagram either before or after publishing my post on the blog saying that details are on the blog. I also post random, everyday things on it too (not just blog related stuff ) Hope that helps 😊

      • Reply

        Book Club Mom

        May 24, 2016

        Thanks for the tips – I think it’s important to post different things across all the media platforms. I haven’t always done that, but now I vary what I do on Twitter and FB compared to my blog. And putting random things in is a good idea – makes it more personal and interesting!

  • Reply

    themissshweta

    May 24, 2016

    Wow! You have completed one big successful year of blogging & captivating the best of pics 🙂 Happy Anniversary… What I learnt is to support others’ dreams selflessly in order to expect a miracle in my life! I wish you many more great blogging years 🙂 P. S. One of the best perks of blogging on WordPress was meeting you here :* :* :*

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Shweta, I can’t express in words how lucky I feel to have met you through WordPress. You have always been so supportive. And you are right – when we support each other, we unknowingly grow as a person and achieve our dreams too! Thank you for your wishes and here’s to a an even greater friendship ahead!! Love you my blogger bestie 😘💕

      • Reply

        themissshweta

        May 24, 2016

        Cheers to our friendship *touches wood* Love you to the moon and back 😘

  • Reply

    dray0308

    May 24, 2016

    Congratulations and thank you for the shout out!!
    Danny

  • Reply

    Tanja

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Blogiversary:)

  • Reply

    thefashionistacook

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Anniversary! and many more to come!

  • Reply

    Erika Kind

    May 24, 2016

    Happy blogversary, Shamira! So glad we have you here! That were awesome tips! I will take a look at buffer when I have some time. Have worked with Hootsuite so far. But now I wonder! Hey, enjoy blogging as we enjoy you around, Shamira!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thanks a lot Erika. You have always been a true inspiration! And as far as Buffer is concerned, one more thing that I liked about it is that it pulls the images directly from your site when you share your posts through it (unlike Hootsuite where I had to manually upload a pic) Being a lazy person, I felt it gave me an added advantage 😆

      • Reply

        Erika Kind

        May 24, 2016

        That is an important point. I schedule a lot over hootsuite and have to upload the image over and over. So it would really safe time if that was solved! Thanks again for the hint! 😊

        • Reply

          Smiling Notes

          May 24, 2016

          Hehe I can understand..it got kinda annoying for me to upload pics on Hootsuite. Do give it a try and see how it works for you 😊

  • Reply

    anotherfoodieblogger

    May 24, 2016

    Huge congratulations on your first blogiversary! xo

  • Reply

    jacquelineobyikocha

    May 24, 2016

    You’ve done well. To many more beautiful blogiversaries ahead. Congratulations and thank you so much for the shout out 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thanks a ton Jacqueline 🙂 I always enjoy your meet and greet parties! xoxo

  • Reply

    Love Served Daily

    May 24, 2016

    What a great post. Happy anniversary

  • Reply

    White House Red Door

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Anniversary!!! I’m looking forward to many more wonderful posts!

  • Reply

    sewloveable

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Blogiversary!!!

  • Reply

    Frances 🌺

    May 24, 2016

    Happy anniversary…now following you on Instagram. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply

    Snapshotsincursive

    May 24, 2016

    Well done! You’ve made a difference in my life. Thank you. 🍓

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Oh Gail you have always been so kind and sweet. Thanks a lot 💕 Your blog is always like a breath of fresh air 😊

  • Reply

    Haylee

    May 24, 2016

    Congratulations! Great advice too – I’ve found a lot of it is trial and error but you’re right that scheduling and editing software makes a huge difference. I don’t think people realise just how much time blogging takes! Good luck for many more future years of blogging 🙂 🎉🍾

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thanks a lot Haylee! Yes girl, people truly don’t realize that blogging is a lot of work. And I agree about the trial and error – it is all about experimenting and sticking with what works best for us 🙂

  • Reply

    Shari

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Blogiversary!! I can’t believe you have only been blogging for 1 year. Your blog looks like you have been doing it a lot longer. I really appreciate all of the tips you gave in your post above. I am going to try some of it out. Best wishes for the upcoming year of blogging. I am glad we connected through our blogs!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Your words truly mean a lot to me my dear Shari! Thanks a lot for the words of appreciation.. I really feel motivated. And thank you once again for responding me to about my query on self hosting! 🙂👍🏼 I feel blessed to be connected to you too.

  • Reply

    fifi + hop

    May 24, 2016

    Congrats, and great tips!

  • Reply

    MyStyleInsideOut

    May 24, 2016

    Happy Anniversary!!! Love the content of this post a lot! always learn something new everyday. <3

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thank you so much my dear. So glad you liked it 😊💕

      • Reply

        MyStyleInsideOut

        May 24, 2016

        you’re welcome and yes I did! <3

  • Reply

    Iriz Chan

    May 24, 2016

    Great list of learning and tips too! More happy blogging years to come. Congrats! 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 24, 2016

      Thank you so much Iriz! Yes definitely more years to come 💕

  • Reply

    Jack

    May 25, 2016

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  • Reply

    avinamdar

    May 25, 2016

    Great post, very helpful for new bloggers like myself. Also congratulations on your blog anniversary ! Cheers, Advaita 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 25, 2016

      Thanks a lot Advaita.. glad it could help you 🙂

      • Reply

        avinamdar

        May 25, 2016

        Looking forward to reading your blog. Hope you will visit mine and share your thoughts, your feedback would be helpful 👍😊

  • Reply

    SumitOfficial

    May 25, 2016

    Yayyyyyy…. happy anniversary to you and your blog Shamira 🙂

    It’s always great to read your posts. 😉🔯

  • Reply

    VictorsCorner

    May 25, 2016

    Congratulations on your one year of blogging. I reached that milestone three months ago. Here was my post on the things I learnt from starting a blog: https://victorscornerdotorg.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/12-beautiful-things-i-learnt-from-starting-a-blog/
    Pls let me know what you think. Thanks.

  • Reply

    Vajeea

    May 26, 2016

    Congrats on first anniversary! Many more to come! & Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply

    Antonia

    May 26, 2016

    Happy Anniversary! Great post 😀

  • Reply

    Alok Singhal

    May 26, 2016

    Many Congratulations, Shamira 🙂

    Blogging is indeed a great way to connect and learn from other’s experiences. I found it worthwhile too – my main learning/advice is to do it for the love of it, not numbers!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 26, 2016

      You said it, Alok! Agree with you 100%. Thanks a lot! 😊

  • Reply

    Happy anniversary! Great tips!

  • Reply

    Nandini

    May 27, 2016

    Happy anniversary and wishing you many more years ahead of great writing 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 27, 2016

      Thank you so much Nandini!! Appreciate your wishes 😊

  • Reply

    annascuisine

    May 28, 2016

    Such great share and advice, SN. Congratulations and happy 1st Anniversary. Best wishes to you.

  • Reply

    speedyrabbit

    May 29, 2016

    Happy Blogiversary hope you have many more,xx Rachel and Speedy

  • Reply

    timkeen40

    May 30, 2016

    Glad you have had a good year. Blogging for me has also been a lot more than I expected.

    Tim

  • Reply

    Karen

    May 30, 2016

    Congratulations on your first year of blogging. What you’ve learned and shared here will be of value to those thinking about starting a blog…nice post.

  • Reply

    Agatha Chocolats

    May 30, 2016

    Congratulations to you! And thanks for sharing the valuable tips! ❤️

  • Reply

    MayankSaysThat

    May 31, 2016

    that was really a nice post.. even I just started blogging a few days back – mayanksaysthat.wordpress.com

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 31, 2016

      Thank you so much Mayank. And welcome to the blogging world! All the best to you.

  • Reply

    Jane

    May 31, 2016

    Greetings from California! I’m bored at work so I decided to check
    out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to
    take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how
    quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G
    .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      June 8, 2016

      Thank you so much for your kind words of appreciation!!

  • Reply

    Lynz Real Cooking

    June 9, 2016

    Congratulations Shamira and awesome tips!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      June 9, 2016

      Thanks a lot Lynn 💕

      • Reply

        Lynz Real Cooking

        June 9, 2016

        So great and a wonderful blog. I love all of the cool things you show us from your part of the country!

        • Reply

          Smiling Notes

          June 9, 2016

          I’m glad you appreciate my blog, Lynn… You have always been so supportive. Much love to you and kisses to your grand babies 😘

  • Reply

    c2kinnison

    June 27, 2016

    I’m glad you shared this! Very helpful tips, specially love using Canva thanks to learning about it from your blog post. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for a “One Lovely Blog Award” Check it out here: https://c2creativelycourtney.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/one-lovely-blog-award/

  • Reply

    happy 1st year!

    we started around the same time but i took a long while break from blogging and now that i’m back at it, it’s definitely a learning process. thanks for all the tips!

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      July 10, 2016

      Thanks a lot my dear. Yes blogging is definitely a learning process. Glad you liked my post 😊

  • Reply

    jacquelineobyikocha

    August 21, 2016

    Time sure flies when you are having fun blogging. Congratulations and many more beautiful blogging years ahead 😊

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      August 21, 2016

      Yes very true! Thanks a lot, Jacqueline 😘😘

  • Reply

    the happiest pixel

    October 5, 2016

    Nice post, my happy pixel!! Recently it was my first anniversary as a blogger, too!!
    https://thehappiestpixel.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/thp-blogging-tips-a-bonus/

    Thanks for sharing,
    love, thp

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear what you think