Happy 1st birthday, Making Joy and Bliss! A whole year ago I started this blog mainly because my mom wouldn't stop bringing it up. I wasn't completely convinced that I wanted to do it, but once I started building the site and getting my thoughts out in a safe space that I created, I was obsessed. It hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies though. There were a lot of things that popped up over the course of this year of blogging that I had to learn the hard way. But the best part about all of it is how the blog has impacted so many of my relationships. It has been a way for me to reconnect with old friends, work with some of the coolest brands, and just be my true self.
Making Joy and Bliss has helped me grow so much. I've learned some things that made me super happy, and then some other things I had to learn the hard way and that wasn't too fun either. But once again, I thought I'd do a post about it, so you can get to know more about me, or see what the blogging life is like, or just because you like reading MJ&B too ;)
Be consistent for your readers
This is one of the things I learned the hard way. I would literally have a month or two where I'd post all of the time, and then life would get busy and I'd pretty much forget that I had a blog. Then, when I'd finally get back into it, I felt like no one was reading! Well, duh, I pretty much gave up on my readers before! If you want consistent readers, you have to be consistent as well. I've learned that when life seems to be a little less crazy, the best thing I can do is create a ton of content and schedule them to post. This is where being organized is key too. Get a planner, and pencil in when you're going to get blog photos when you're going to write, and then when they're scheduled to be uploaded to the blog. Dang, it's not easy, but it's worth it.
Authenticity is critical
Be real with the people who read your blog! If you try a product and it doesn't work, make sure you're being authentic with the people who read your blog! It's just as important to share about the stuff that you're not a fan of, as it is to share the products that saved your life. It's no fun to stretch the truth about a product and have a reader purchase it, and then see that it's really no good. People want to hear the good and the bad. Don't shy away from that.
Write what's on your mind- I promise somebody needs to hear it
I started posting pretty personal pieces on the blog a month or 2 into having the blog, and to be honest, it was nerve-wracking. For some odd reason, I felt like I needed to share what was going on in my life, but I also felt like it was a waste of space. I didn't want Making Joy and Bliss to seem like it was a place where I hosted my pity parties. I quickly realized, however, that other people wanted to hear about the not-so-pretty parts of my life because that made this place more relatable. That's what is most important about this blog for me. Creating your own joy and bliss means understanding the ugly parts of our lives so that when the happiness does come, we can appreciate it more.
Let your perfectionist tendencies go
This took me months to grasp, and sometimes I still struggle with it. Your blog doesn't need to be perfect. Actually, if it's super stuffy and overdone, it's harder to relate as a reader. This goes along with being authentic. Nobody's perfect (cue the Hannah Montana soundtrack.) But really, proofread for sure, but don't spend days and days staring at the same blog post. Put it out there! You worked hard on writing the content, so share it. I'm sure it's more than fine.
Google is your best friend
I have no shame in saying that when building and customizing a website, Google is going to be your bestie. I promise the question you have has been asked by someone else too. So type that ish into the search bar and get reading! It takes some time to figure everything out, but the final product is so worth it. Grab a cup of coffee and a spot on the couch and get creating! Be patient with the process too-- remember, it's supposed to be FUN.
Blog because it makes you happy
There was a time where I stopped blogging for a few months because someone I was really close to at the time said fashion & lifestyle blogs were "lame." As embarrassing as it is, I cared way too much about another person's opinion and pressed pause on a passion of mine. My mom's the one who called me out on it, and when I finally hopped back onto Making Joy and Bliss in the summer my heart was so full from the happiness that this place brings me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, not everyone is going to love your blog. Sure, some people will think it's lame, or they won't agree with everything you say, but that is okay. It doesn't mean that you need to stop writing or filter your content. The people who are really meant to be in your life will support you because your blog brings you a pure form of joy.