Diaries Magazine

What I Learnt From My First Year Blogging

Posted on the 05 January 2019 by Rachael Dunne @WhatRachDidNext

The thing I’ve found most rewarding during my first year blogging is that the visual reference I now have of the progress I’ve made. I have no doubt that anyone with a blog has, at some point over the last few weeks, looked back at their posts over the year and thought WOW! Although I admit, I got off to a rocky start and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I did it, I set up my own website! Whilst it might not be the best in the world, I’m proud of my achievements and you should be too, no matter how big or small they are.

What I Learnt From My First Year Blogging

Rach in her monochrome autumn outfit on the steps of Bramhall Hall

" data-orig-size="1100,839" data-image-title="Autumn Outfit Bramhall Hall" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IMG_20181103_114755-e1541339534398.jpg?fit=1100%2C839&ssl;=1" data-recalc-dims="1" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IMG_20181103_114755-e1541339534398.jpg?fit=300%2C229&ssl;=1" aperture="aperture" />
Bramhall Hall makes the perfect backdrop for my monochrome autumn outfit don’t you think?

Goals Achieved In My First Year Blogging

  • Set up my blog, What Rach Did Next, you’re reading it!
  • Promoting my blog on social media
  • Joined a WordPress group and attended Brighton SEO
  • My first collaboration with a fashion company
  • Found and fixed all the technical errors on my site

Getting Over My Fear Of Social Media

This was a huge obstacle for me to overcome! Although I come across as being incredibly confident, I can also be extremely shy at times. I can quite happily shout from the rooftops about other people’s/brands greatness but I find it so hard to blow my own trumpet. I’m glad to say I’m getting over my fear of social media. This is something you should definitely consider if you’re setting up a blog of your own.

What I Learnt From My First Year Blogging

Working from the comfort of my bed in my pjs

" data-orig-size="780,585" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" aperture="aperture" />Work Vs Freelancing. Easy decision right?

Learning About Websites And SEO

Experienced bloggers make blogging look so beautifully easy, don’t they? If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from a year of blogging, it’s that blogging is soooo not as easy as it looks! There’s much more to it than you might think. I could dedicate an entire site to writing about everything I’ve learnt of SEO and the technical side of blogging.

Joining a WordPress group has helped massively! It only happens once a month but it’s run by some by some fantastic people who seem to get a real kick out of sharing their knowledge. The best bit? It’s totally free! Brighton SEO was an event I was lucky enough to get tickets for through my ‘day job’. Whilst it went way beyond the level that most bloggers might ever need, I learnt more that day than I think I have all year! I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance to go. At the very least, I’d say sparing an evening a month to join a WordPress group is definitely worthwhile.

My First Collaboration With A Fashion Brand

What a blast that was! Yeah sure, I’ve got a real kick out of blogging generally this year. I can’t tell you what a buzz I got out of receiving a physical reward for it along with the recognition. So much so that I totally forgot to share it with the brand on social media. A massively missed opportunity but hey ho, that’s just another one of the things I’ve learnt this year.

What I Learnt From My First Year Blogging

Rachael with helmet on and baseball bat in hand in BASE MCR, baseball batting cage in Manchester

" data-orig-size="780,585" data-image-title="Rach in a helmet with a bat" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_20180603_014600-e1538924999727.jpg?fit=780%2C585&ssl;=1" data-recalc-dims="1" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_20180603_014600-e1538924999727.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl;=1" data-permalink="https://www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/fun-and-games-in-a-baseball-cage/ozedf/" data-image-meta="{" alt="Rachael in a baseball batting cage in Manchester with helmet on and baseball bat in hand" class="wp-image-886" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_20180603_014600-e1538924999727.jpg?fit=1024%2C768&ssl;=1" aperture="aperture" />
Helmet on, bat in hand… let’s do this!

Things I’ve Enjoyed Most About My First Year Blogging

  • Had some great experiences like my afternoon in a baseball batting cage
  • I tried some amazing burgers!
  • Went to Bluedot Festival, where my phone was stolen so I had no pictures to include in a blog post that I intended to write
  • I went on a road trip to Scotland and saw the most impressive sunset I’ve ever seen in my life! (which I have yet to write about)
  • Saw some truly dazzling Christmas lights
What I Learnt From My First Year Blogging

My partner and I surrounded by illuminated Christmas trees in the winter wonderland at Dunham Massey

" data-orig-size="1000,750" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" aperture="aperture" />
My partner and I walking in a Christmas winter wonderland at Dunham Massey

Sure, all of the above are super amazingly fun things I would have wanted to do anyway. But the thing is about owning a blog, you want people to read it and nobody wants to read about boring stuff. That alone forces you to be more creative with the ways you choose to spend your spare time. Or at least it has for me anyway. I’ve had more fun this last year than I’ve had in as long as I can remember! For that reason alone, I highly recommend setting up your own blog.

I won’t bore you to death with recapping stories I’ve already blogged about elsewhere. What I will share with you is that of all the posts I’ve written this year, the ones that have received the most engagement are the ones about days out and experiences. I’ve noticed the same on social media too. The posts that have received the most 💕 on Instagram are the ones of me being out and about. That’s definitely something I’ll consider when setting my blogging goals for next year!

So that’s it, my first year blogging! How has yours been? What’s been your biggest accomplishment of 2018? Even if it’s not your first year, or even if you’re not even a blogger, I’d love it if you would share your achievements with me in the comments below.

Rach x

This article fist appeared on whatrachdidnext.co.uk. If you enjoyed reading it or find it useful, I would love it if you would link to it or share it on social media but please don’t copy my work. All pictures are taken by me and all words and opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.

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