Happy 1st birthday to this blog!

I was sitting at my desk in my room on a warm summer day back in France. I had worked on this blog for over a year, but I had always been too scared to hit the publish button. Until one day... I just did it. June 13th, 2016.

Two months ago - yep I'm late to the party, as always - this little blog of mine celebrated its first birthday. It's crazy how quickly time goes by. And a lot has happened in the past year, to say the least. So I decided to take a step back, reflect on this blogging journey and share with you what I've learned along the way. 

Here are 5 things I've learned from one year of blogging:

#1 Blogging takes time, effort and passion

It's a full-time job. Not even joking. It's hard work and it's definitely not easy. It might take years for you to build a successful blog and grow an audience. You will have no idea how much hard work goes into blogging until you will start blogging yourself.

But is it worth it? Yes.

There will be highs and lows, but if you truly love what you are writing about, that's what matters most. Be authentic, be patient, be passionate about what you do and it will work out in the end.

#2 Your blog will grow with you

You're not the same person you were last year, 6 months ago or even last week. Your opinions are going to change, thats's a fact! Because you are constantly learning, constantly growing.

I started this blog thinking I would only write about travel. See this post you're reading right now? Not travel-related at all. And this post about meditation? Not travel-related either.

Write about what you are passionate about and keep it real. Your blog will evolve with you over time, and so will your audience!

#3 It's okay to take a break

This post is actually the first one I posted in a while. But where have I disappeared to? Well, I went abroad to England for a couple of months so I really wanted to take the time to adapt to my new life there as well as focus on my new job, then I flew back to France for one last university exam and as I'm writing this... I'm back in England and I'm staying there permanently! 

Honestly during all that time, I wasn't feeling creative - not when it came to the blog anyway. I was crazy busy, I was feeling a little homesick and I just didn't have time to sit and write.

And that's okay.

Don't dwell on it. Because when everything will start to fall back into place, you will feel organised, inspired and motivated again.

Sometimes, a little break away from blogging is much-needed. If you don't feel like blogging, don't blog. Don't think about it too much, don't feel bad, and more importantly don't force it. Quality over quantity, always. Inspiration and motivation will come back when the time is right.

#4 You will connect with amazing, like-minded people

Probably the one thing I love most about blogging and the reason why I created this blog in the first place: the opportunities it can give you and the awesome people you meet along the way. You should take a look at my Instagram DMs, I have had so many lovely, honest, sometimes hilarious conversations with such amazing creatives, it's unreal.

This blogging and social media world we live in makes it so easy to start conversations with people that share the same interests as you. It's getting more and more competitive, but everyone is still very supportive. And those connections truly make this blogging thing worthwhile. 

#5 Don't neglect Pinterest and Facebook groups

When I first started my blog, I thought I just had to hit publish and then sit back and relax to get hundreds of visits and see the comments roll in. Nope. If you, like the old me, really believe people are going to magically discover your blog... Trust me I wish it would be that easy, but it definitely doesn't work like that.

You need to get your blog out there, and this doesn't mean just posting a link on your Twitter account or announcing you have a new post live on Instagram.

Facebook groups and Pinterest are going to be your best friends!

For the past few months, I've been on the hunt for the best travel and lifestyle Facebook groups. I've joined some, and let me tell you, the support in these groups is absolutely amazing. Everyone is willing to help each other out, sharing valuable advice, and it's also great to keep up with what's happening in the industry.

I've decided to focus on Pinterest as well and started to create pins of my articles just to give the platform a go and see if it would drive traffic to my blog. I also joined some group boards, pinned my pictures to these ones and oh my, the results have been amazing! In a few days, I got 500+ visits to my blog from people that found my articles through Pinterest. If this happened after just a few days, can you imagine what the results would be after a few months? So make the most out of these platforms, they are amazing to help grow your blog and take it to the next level.

Over to you! How long have you been blogging and what have you learned from it so far?

I'm still learning and trying to figure this blogging thing out, but one thing I know for sure is that it's so rewarding. Best advice I could give: have fun with it!