• Grace Simpson

ONE YEAR AND COUNTING... HERE IS WHAT I LEARNED CREATING MY FIRST BLOG





HAPPY ONE YEAR BLOG-IVERSARY TO GRACE ON CAREERS!


Last February was a bit of a tough time for me - I had just learned Target Canada was closing, my day-to-day work life was a struggle and the dreaded multi-month career search was starting. But, I really have to thank my partner in crime/fiance for not letting me mope and insisting sweatpants and tears were a thing of the past.


I started this blog as a bit of personal motivation to look on the bright side of things and here is what I learned about creating and publishing my blog in the last year.


MAKE IT CHEAP AND EASY

You can go all out on making the most unique and custom blog, but I would recommend starting off cheap and easy. For my blog, domain name and privacy protection in 2015 I paid only $26. I used a Wordpress free template to get me started and added my own photos and colours to make it more "me". Is it perfect and unique?  Not at all, but I love it and the content is the most important part.


FOCUS ON ONE AREA

I had a million ideas about what I would share on my new blog - career advice, reviews of books, a lifestyle journey, relationship advice - I was all over the place! But, upon further research, most bloggers recommended focusing on one core subject and building from there. So, I decided to focus on everything career-related and it has actually helped me to begin building a reputation for providing career advice (and I knew it was the perfect topic when the very first domain name I searched was available).


I have even had relatives, peers and old friends reach out to discuss career moves, resume tips and interview guidance - and that is pretty cool!


WRITE WHEN YOU ARE INSPIRED

My initial goal was to blog two to three times per week. Well, that was ambitious... ambitious and forced. So, very quickly I stopped that and decided to write only when I was inspired about a subject. I think that has led to more passionate content that people seem to enjoy reading. Don't force it!


YOU WILL NEVER STOP RE-DESIGNING 

Depending on who I am comparing myself to, my technology skill set is marginally high to surprisingly weak. I knew extremely little about building a website from scratch, but I learned and you can too. There are a million YouTube videos out there and Wordpress helps a lot. The more you learn, the more ideas you will have to incorporate into your blog. So, your first design will not be your last and you will get better in time.


SHOUT IT LOUD AND PROUD

Writing a blog is one thing, but sharing it publicly is something else. Even though I would define myself as an extremely un-shy person, the first time I told someone I was writing a blog I felt totally foolish and stupid. But, people were really cool about it. And their initial positive responses built up my confidence to be able to share it on Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you are thinking about creating a blog or a website, I am not going to say "just do it" - because it is a time commitment. Unless you are only writing a blog to become a famous blogger and that fact will motivate you to write everyday, then, you have to enjoy it so  it does not feel like work.

Ps. How cool it is that 1,677 people visited my blog!

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