Blog Better: Lessons Learned From Three Years of Blogging

LinkedIn notified me that August 23rd was the three year anniversary of Elana Lyn! It’s amazing how much the website has shaped my personal and professional life. I was able to transition from the legal industry to editorial and marketing and landed positions at Levo League, Likeable Media, and now mllnnl. I’ve also had the opportunity to write for some of my favorite publications like Forbes, FORTUNE, Huffington Post, Business Insider, TIME, Women’s Health, and Mashable. I’m grateful for the more than one hundred inspirational women I’ve had the pleasure of featuring in Career Profiles. I’m also so appreciative of all the “blogger friends” I’ve made and, most importantly, the thousands of women who read the site each day.

Let’s rewind to the beginning. After graduating, I became a paralegal at a law firm in New York City. Amidst stacks of briefs, blue books and binders, I realized how much I missed writing, creativity, and truly having ownership of a project. Two of my freshman year roommates started blogs when we graduated. I loved reading their posts and decided to start a blog of my own. While I checked brief citations and compiled velo-bound documents, posts would go out filled with topics I was passionate about.

I’ve learned so much since I started blogging. If I wrote them all out, I’d be writing until the fourth year. Here are a few of the main lessons I’ve learned.

Lessons Learned From Three Years of Blogging

Find Your Voice:

Develop your own unique voice. Let your personality shine through! The posts will be more enjoyable to read and people are more likely to keep coming back because they feel like they know you. Being authentic and genuine is important in all aspects of your life. I think that you can only be happy when you are accepted for being yourself. Of course, strive to be the best possible version of yourself, but don’t try to be someone you’re not. You’ll be more successful if you embrace and celebrate what makes you, you.

Be Authentic:

Do what feel right for you — even if it goes against best practices. A lot of people have told me that I should choose one topic and stick to it. It should be career, job search, lifestyle, or wellness. I never took their advice. I wanted to find a site with personal and professional development advice for millennial women. I couldn’t find it, so I created it. Write about what feels genuine and authentic to you and don’t try to mirror other people’s blogs.

Don’t Compare Yourself: 

This is something I’m working on in my professional and personal life. When you’re driven, motivated, and maybe a little bit Type A it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. It’s especially easy in the blogging world. Instead of comparing yourself to them, it’s best to focus on doing the best you can do.

I love the Theodore Roosevelt quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Chances are there will always be someone that’s accomplished more than you…but that doesn’t minimize all of your accomplishments. Create your own standards of success. You do you.

Celebrate Wins:

Have a celebratory almond milk latte when you reach your highest traffic for a month, get a byline in a dream publication, or hit any of the goals you’ve set for yourself. Blogging is hard work so celebrate your success often.

Be Collaborative Not Competitive:

Helping someone else be successful doesn’t make you any less successful. It makes you a nice person. I feel so fortunate that I’ve found a group of “blogger friends.” We are all supportive of one another and share advice and lessons learned.

Try New Things and Ask for Feedback:

I’ve experimented with Elana Lyn’s strategy. I’ve tried adding contributors, new topics, and new series. You’re not going to know if something works unless you try it. I can make lists, meet for coffee with bloggers and women I admire, and brainstorm away. But at the end of the day what really matters to me is what is helping the people who come back day after day. I created a survey and asked for feedback this year and it was so helpful!

Provide Value:

I always ask myself a few questions before writing and publishing a post. Does the post provide value? Will someone learn something new or be inspired by this post? Is this something I would genuinely want to read? If I can’t answer yes to those questions, I know the post is a no-go.

Always Be Learning:

There is always something new you can learn. I’ve benefited from taking blogging and digital media classes, reading countless articles, and asking people for advice. Luckily, I work in digital media so the research I’ve done for Elana Lyn ends up helping me be better at my full-time job and freelance writing too. For example, I took a Pinterest course this year and the strategies doubled my traffic and helped a client at work! It’s a win-win!

Image via Style Me Pretty

18 Responses to Blog Better: Lessons Learned From Three Years of Blogging

  1. Love all of these! Being authentic to myself but being willing to try new things has been one of the favorite things about blogging that resound with me.

  2. You’ve done such a great job with this site, and you are always an inspiration to me as a blogger. I appreciate that you take time out of your day to meet with me and talk “blogging” when I come into NYC, and I value all of the helpful feedback you’ve given me in the past. I think these points are spot on. Finding your voice is a big part of blogging, and it’s what will separate you from other bloggers. Keep up the good work!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

  3. Anna says:

    Congratulations on blogging for 3 years! I absolutely love reading your content and can’t wait to read more!
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

  4. Jenny says:

    Cheers to 3 years! Your content is awesome and I love reading your career profiles – the women you feature are always so inspirational.

    xoxo, Jenny

  5. Annaliese says:

    Congrats to three years Elana!! My four year blogiversary is next week- time sure does fly when you’re having fun 🙂

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  6. Bella B says:

    Such great tips, Happy blog birthday lovely lady!!! time just flys by so fast!!

    http://xoxobella.com

  7. Mckenna Bleu says:

    I love where you said be collaborative not competitive! Ive learned so much too about blogging since I started and I still am!

  8. Greta says:

    Not comparing yourself to others is so important when blogging. Love these tips!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  9. Jordyn says:

    Congratulations on 3 years of blogging. I had no idea you starred in the legal field and branched into writing. Your blog always impresses me, it is so well put together and covers so many intriguing topics for young women!

  10. Congrats on 3 years of blogging! All of these tips are so great too! It’s tough with how social blogging is to remember to not compare yourself to others and not to lose your voice in the mix of everything, kudos for doing such a great job these last few years!

    – Rachel | http://www.theconfusedmillennial.com

  11. Tori says:

    The competition one is such a struggle! I definitely think the rise of blogging as a career has fueled that fire.

    Tori

  12. this is a great post that came at an awesome time for me. as I’ve just hit my mark of blogging for 2 years, and many of these lessons ring true — especially staying true and not comparing. thanks for the simple reminders, and congratulations on all of your growth through the process!

    xx christina
    http://www.currentlyexploring.com

  13. Alix Maza says:

    Happy 3 years! All these lessons are sooo important.

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlife.com

  14. Cristina says:

    Not comparing yourself is KEY! And I love all the other tips you mentioned. Congrats on 3 years, girl! 🙂

    X,
    Cristina / cristinawashere.com

  15. Rachel Timmerman says:

    These tips are amazing! And so true. I can’t say how important the tip of not comparing yourself is. I think that helps one find their true voice. Congrats on three years 🙂

  16. CONGRATS! on three years of blogging! That is truly amazing! I love all your advice. “Don’t Compare Yourself” is a big one. I remember when I started I was already comparing my blog to bloggers like Aimee Song! Looking back it’s funny to think about. It’s nice to now have my own way of blogging! – just like you have done as well!

    xoxo, Candice
    http://www.candicenikeia.com

  17. Kristin says:

    Great lessons! Congrats on three years!

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

  18. Kayla says:

    Congrats on year 3!!!!

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