I love adventure. I love new opportunities. I am always searching to try something new.
When my husband and I had moved and I was having a hard time finding the “right” job, I decided to a take a leap and try to create my own job.
That is how Organizing Life With Less was born. My journey to where I am today, has not always been easy. It has taken countless hours (I don’t even want to know how many) to be where I am at today. There have been times when I would out loud, vent my frustration. There have been times where I found myself on the phone with a company, trying to figure out how to make something work. Countless emails have been sent to my sister who has helped me establish Organizing Life With Less as a business. Needless to say, it hasn’t always been a yellow brick road.
Blogging about organizing and living with less is not necessarily a new concept. I get that. What I felt I COULD offer through starting Organizing Life With Less is REAL and PRACTICAL ideas on how to live with less. You will probably never find my home in a magazine. I don’t want it to be. Sounds counter-cultural to the organizing world, but I am okay with the imperfect. I have learned so much about WHO I want to be and how I want to encourage others to live an organized life with less, from my personal perspective.
Even more so, I have learned more about blogging than I ever imagined, in my first year. By all means, this girl is NOT a pro. Nor do I expect to be. Maybe you have considered starting your own blog about a topic that you are passionate about. I want to share with you, some truths and lessons that I learned as I navigated through my first year of blogging!
Time. When I first started Organizing Life With Less, I had NO clue how much time I would be investing into what eventually would become a business. If someone told me I would be putting in the hours that I do, I probably never would have started, honestly. BUT. As you see, I continue to post and every time I sit down to write a post, I love every minute of it. I just can’t consider the time. Some posts take 30 minutes. Some take hours. Thankfully when I started Organizing Life With Less, I did not have a job. That is what allowed me to accomplish and set up my blog in such a short amount of time. I would spend about 6-7 hours a day, typing away. I still spend a significant amount of time on this blog, yet I still love it! I do have a part-time job, help my husband in youth ministry, and coach in the winter, which makes for busy days, but I still enjoy sitting down at night to “work” (if that’s what you want to call it). Just know that if you want to start a blog, think about the time you will need to invest into it.
Don’t quit your current job. Some think that starting a blog is a fast track to getting rich. I am living proof that it is NOT true. In fact, it is far from it! I probably have not even made pennies per hour since I started. Yes, I do have a small (I means SMALL) income from blogging, but if you are looking to get a fat paycheck, blogging is not the way to go. If you are looking to quit your day job and start blogging, I would be the first to tell you not to quit your job, but find pockets of time to start a blog. If you start blogging and find out it’s not for you, you can always fall back on your day job. If you eventually make enough where you can quit your job, good for you! Just know that you should not open the door of blogging and shut the door on your day job at the same time. Like I said earlier, I did not have a day job to quit, but added a day job as soon as I could
Don’t compare yourself to others. When I first started to blog, I often browsed through other organizing blogger’s websites, comparing. I would pour through magazines, wishing I had the ideas they had. It took me a little while to realize that the reason I started Organizing Life With Less was to be real, practical, and myself. If I am constantly comparing myself to others, what good is that? Be confident in who you are as a blogger – something I am still learning, but have come a long ways in!
Social media does wonders. I am not sure where my blog would be without Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Without the ability to “promote” my blog through various social media avenues, there really wouldn’t be a good way to make it known. Being able to pin unique pictures from a post, share a post on facebook, or tweet an idea, makes it that much easier to make a blog successful. Just don’t get caught up spending too much time on these websites. Use them to enhance and “advertise” your site, but don’t let them be a time guzzler.
Know your boundaries. This could take many different avenues, but what I am talking about here is know your niche and stick with it. I feel I am already spread a little thin in sharing organizing, simplifying, and DIY ideas, while throwing in recipes and money saving ideas (and much more). I have no need to add photography, art, or business ideas into my blog right now. Whenever you are thinking of ideas of what to post about, make sure it is within your “realm”. If you are looking to start a blog, set boundaries on what topics you want to hit on.
Get a domain name. This is something I am thankful I did right away. Paying the money upfront for a domain name is well worth it. Plus, it is cheaper than what you think! I am running my domain through Blogspot currently (though I would eventually love to switch to WordPress), but having a personal domain name, was much easier to set up than I imagined. If you plan on starting a website, pay the money to get your own domain name and make it YOURS.
Content is important. I look back at some of my old posts and YIKES. It is almost embarrassing to read what I have written! I know that the longer you do anything, the more informed, the more detailed, the more passionate you can become about something, the better you become at it. I am just thankful to my readers for sticking with me this past year as I have grown! Challenging myself to think of new ideas can be a challenge in and of itself, but one of the most fulfilling parts of blogging! Be intentional about what you write about because it is the content that brings your readers back to your blog!
Photos. Photos are key because social media is such an important aspect of blogging. In some of my first few months of blogging, I did not include a photo in every post. I don’t know what I was thinking! I have tried to go back and add a photo, but I know I still have missed some. I do not take a bazillion photos for each post, but I always try to have at least one, so that I can pin it on Pinterest and share a photo for Facebook as well. Photos add that obvious visual aspect and it is often the photo that may draw someone to read that full post.
Relationships matter. This has been one the most REWARDING aspects of starting Organizing Life With Less! I have “met” (not face to face, yet) some incredible people – both organizing bloggers and readers. The friendships and encouragement I have received from both, have made this journey worth while. The groups that I have been able to connect with, the newbie questions I can ask of them, have made me realize that I CAN do this and that there are others on the same journey. Networking is one of the most vital things you can do as a blogger! Granted this can look very different for each blogger, but continuing to find new people to partner and connect with, not only helps your blog, but also encourages you as a person.
Challenge yourself. I have learned that there is always something you can do. Something to improve, something to write about, someone to connect with. Set up goals for yourself, within reason. I sometimes became so overwhelmed with all of the things that I could do to improve my blog. I found I had to challenge myself with a few things per week and call it good enough. Just don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. Again, I never thought I would be where I am at with my blog, but it hasn’t come without hardwork and perseverance. Challenge yourself to accomplish something you never thought possible!This is just the first year of Organizing Life With Less and I hope there are MANY more! I am sure I will have another post like this next year as I have so much learn yet.