“All you need is WiFi and a dream” – unknown
It’s been a year since I officially launched Mamma Bear Says! Happy Birthday to Mamma Bear Says! In the past year I have learned so much, and not just about the blogging community. The adventures and opportunities that Mamma Bear Says has provided me with far beyond exceed anything I ever imagined possible. I first of all want to say thank you to all of you that continue to support my blog and social media channels. And now I’m going to share with you 10 things I learned my first year of blogging. I learned WAY more than 10 things, but I have narrowed it down to my top 10!
If there is one thing that I think all bloggers and work at home parents can emphasize-it’s the importance of time management. Learning to go from working a 9-5 to staying home with my kids and then to working from home and starting a blog was quite the adjustment. The way I stayed sane and on top of things was to make sure I was managing my time correctly. This can look differently for everyone but for me- a good planner and lists was the way to go. At first everything took much longer than it does now. I learned to do things like take a day to write and schedule my blog posts so I could spend more time during the week promoting and engaging with other bloggers. Remember it is a learning process- drop what you find doesn’t work and continue to tweak your schedule until you find what works.
2.The blogger community
I LOVE the community I am now a part of. Although don’t get me wrong- some people get really weird about giving out advice or tips, most are very nice and don’t mind helping. I remember reaching out to bloggers and influencers that inspired me asking for tips and advice. The awesome part is everyone is growing with you and we love to show each other love. Find your niché and get yourself a group of friends in that area. I have made so many friendships throughout this process.
3.Finding my own voice
With so many bloggers and influencers you may wonder how in the word will you stand out? Should you be sweet? Funny? Outspoken? The best advice is to be yourself! You can get a sense for the way I am based on my captions and blogs. Some days I feel mushy and post a lovey post other days I am mad or sarcastic or sad, just be yourself. The best way to stand out is to be genuine.
Boy have my skills improved! I started off a girl with her iPhone and can now shoot manual and use Lightroom to edit. WOAH! Talk about growth. I’ve learned to not only shoot but also the style of photos that I like to share. I quickly realized that having a consistent background would be difficult since I wanted to share all parts of my life and that included being in different places with different people. This also includes learning how to bribe my kids and fiancé to take pictures. Nothing some snacks or the promise of a dessert can’t fix. Best way to improve is to practice, practice, practice. It will truly change things for you.
5.Social media is always changing
Oh the algorithms. As influencers and bloggers we are always trying to figure out how to get our work viewed by the most amount of people possible. Algorithms are consistently changing and that means trying new things and learning new ways to get our stuff to everyone. I’m not kidding when I say it’s a consistent learning process.
6.How to engage readers
If your readers aren’t engaged they won’t come back. This goes for blog posts and social media work. Find ways to engage- whether it is to ask a question or to spark a conversation, keep them interested. I have learned asking a question or for people’s experiences and input is a great way to involve everyone.
This goes with both fellow influencers and companies. Making connections is a great way for growth and work opportunities. If you can, join a blogging network or attend a conference, this is a great way to meet other people. You want to keep relationships with companies positive as well, you never know when an opportunity might arise. You want them to think back to you in a positive light instead. I have had the privilege of working with some amazing shops, brands, companies, and individuals.
8.The collaboration process
At first it seems scary to reach out to companies. Nowadays it is second nature. I learned how to pitch myself to a company as well as what a realistic turnaround time is and to pay close attention to requirements and timelines. Remember when pitching yourself to a company you want to not only include why you would want to work with them, but also let them know what you can do for them. Remember- your work is valuable!
9.Putting a price on your work
Over the course of the year this has changed. Starting off a lot of collaborations tend to start out as work in exchange for products and such. As you grow you will start to create a rate sheet and give yourself the value you deserve. Blogging and being an influencer is hard work. The amount of time that goes into writing, taking pictures, and promoting your work should be compensated accordingly. I love websites like Social BlueBook for these types of questions- plug in your channels and blog and it will let you know what you can reasonably charge. Once again, your work is valuable-treat it as such!
10.The importance of goals
As Mamma Bear Says has grown, so have my ambitions and goals. I now see the possibility to create something greater than what MBS is now. From the beginning I have set goals for myself. Whether it was to reach a following count, improve my photography, increase my page views- I have always continued to have goals. Goals are what keep me working by giving me something to work towards. Mamma Bear Says will only continue to grow!
Check Out The Top 3 Posts From MBS’ 1st Year: