I vividly recall registering this domain 366 days ago after spending an afternoon at my friend Judi ‘s house where she encouraged me to start the blog I’ve always wanted to pursue but never had the courage to start.
“WTF am I even going to write about?? No one’s going to read it except my mom.”
“You’ll figure it out, but you’ll regret it if you don’t start. Just fake it till you make it”
That night, after she sent me off with a killer smokey eye and the perfect blog name written on a torn out notebook page, A Glass of Bovino was born. I began to dedicate this blog solely to interiors after realizing it was what I was most passionate about and therefore, came relatively easy for me to write about. I haven’t looked back since.
I’m beyond grateful for what’s come to fruition since starting this blog 12 months ago. I’ve met so many wonderful people, been provided with amazing opportunities and have learned an immeasurable amount on so many different topics. As I reflect on 2018, I can’t help but get excited over what’s to come in 2019.
I’m still learning and will continue to learn every single day, but today I’m recapping 6 valuable lessons I learned during my first year as an interior blogger that have greatly impacted my growth. Hopefully, these tips will help you if you’re looking to start your own blog!
1 /// It’s never about you
I think this is the most important thing I’ve learned, and I was lucky enough to hear it through Julie Solomon’s The Influencer Podcast early on.
The content you create is never for you and always for your audience.
Whenever you create any new content (whether it’s an IG story, blog post, photo caption, etc), ask yourself: how does this benefit the reader? All of your content should do at least one of the following:
When you start making it about your audience and less about you, your engagement rates will soar.
2 /// Find your niche and stick to it
If someone’s following you for your interior design posts because that’s what you have in your bio, but every other day you’re posting photos of your breakfast or a new purse, you’re confusing your audience and they’re not sure what to focus on, and will most likely become uninterested and unfollow. That’s not to say you should never post anything besides niche-related posts, but do it sparingly and be conscious of whether you may be confusing your audience.
I try to post personal photos (i.e. our cat, of me and Angelo, meals, etc.) in my stories, where it’s also a chance for me to show my true Jersey personality.
3 /// Your content/photos should have a consistent aesthetic
Your feed should have a consistent look/feel and each photo should be edited similarly than the others. I use the app “Preview” to plan out each photo before I post it to ensure it looks good next to the last photo/around the others in my feed.
Here are two great examples of feeds that inspire me and have a beautiful, cohesive look to their photos:
Whenever you edit or post a photo, you want other people to associate your photo aesthetic to you without even knowing it was you who posted the photo.
4 /// Engagement is a two-way road
Sally posts a photo of her kitchen. She receives 32 comments on the photo of people asking where she found the faucet, how much they love the photo and omg #kitchengoals.
Sally, however, doesn’t put in the effort to reply to any of the comments. This is a big mistake for Sally. Huge.
I’m not saying you should be replying to the single emoji comments, or even to every single comment, but at least make an effort to reply to most of those comments. This applies to DM’s as well.
People may find your page, like your content and even engage a little with you. But once they see you’re not responsive, you can kiss a potentially loyal follower goodbye. This goes back to tip #1 – it’s not about you, it’s always about them. Always try to find time to engage and reply to comments, DM’s, emails, etc., even if it’s a few days after the fact.
5 /// Create more than you consume
For every half hour, you’re scrolling through Instagram, you should be spending at least 1-2 hours creating content (i.e. taking photos for your blog, writing a new post, etc).
This one’s hard because you can get sucked into the trap of IG and before you know it you’re 19 pages deep into your sister’s ex-boyfriends cousins moms feed wondering how Deborah can afford that mansion in Nantucket.
Try to avoid doing this and be conscious of the time you spend consuming content vs. how much time you spend creating content.
6 /// Stay hungry for improvement & make time to learn
There will always be new information, new algorithms, new ways to captivate your audience, new social media features to help you grow as an influencer. Don’t sit back and wait for growth or success to come to you. Listen to Podcasts (Julie Solomon’s The Influencer Podcast is one of my favs), read “how to improve your blog” articles (I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this), and stay up to date on the latest trends.
Bonus tip – reach out to an influencer or blogger you admire and ask for their honest feedback on your feed/content. I’ve done this a few times and I am forever grateful for the few that have gotten back to me with constructive criticism because most of the time, you’re so deep into your own work you won’t realize flaws that other people see (especially as a newbie). You will never improve if you keep flying under the radar thinking all the content you create is hunky dory.
I hope you found this helpful! To see more of my blogging tips, head to my Instagram and check out the “BLOG TIPS” story highlight.
One more thing before I go. If you’re reading this, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for visiting here even if only for a few moments. The fire I wake up with each day wouldn’t keep burning if it weren’t for you. You’re what keeps me coming back (with a glass of cab hand).
Cheers to 2019.
Absolutely loved this post! Thanks for all the tips!
New follower from Insta! I’m Thinking of starting a blog + this was incredibly helpful and relatable, though I love #allthethings and may be a victim of my own addictions lol. ♡ Your genuine love of helping people is evident and it’s no wonder you’ve built such a nice following and platform in just a year! Can’t wait to see where you grow from here! 😉
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