10 Things I learned In The First Two Years of Blogging


Well guys, this blog has been in existence for well over 2 and a half years.  When I first started this blog I didn't know a damn thing about blogging, more so on what I was doing.  I spent countless hours and endless nights with Google as my best friend, learning tricks of the trade, and eventually creating myself as a self built, self taught, and self made blogger.  And with that, I would love to share some things I've learned along the way that you will MOST DEFINITELY come across on your blogging journey:

Lesson 1: You will laugh and cringe at the first post you ever make

A photo posted by Ak Brown (@akjapbae) on

I constantly look back at the first post I made.  "Oxford Comeback", something very relevant when created but I can tell how inexperience I was at quality content creation, picture selection and placement, and SEO basics, but it serves as a wonderful example of how far I've come as a blogger and how far this brand has come from the beginning.

Lesson 2: "Expensive" doesn't mean it's the best

Close to our 2 year anniversary I was in the process of investing in a new template and business card design.  Now to me, I thought that meant spending a few hundred in order to expand our brand the way that I wanted, but turns out, I just wasted time and a few dollars.  I hired the guy who did our first logo to make our business cards and new template.  Not only did he stall and avoid to deliver my products in a timely manner, created poor quality products, but I was able to re-design our new logo and business cards for free and find a few templates I liked for under $7.  Until your blog is your primary source of income, don't waste your money you use on other things when you can just cut costs and do it yourself, it's not worth the stress.

Lesson 3: Blogging will show you who's really supportive

I recently did a post about this very topic, explaining how I feel that people who are "suppose" to be close to you never seem to accept or support your blogging career.  If anything, your blogging friends and community will be more supportive and for the most part that is just fine.  They're going to be the people who know first hand the frustrations you might encounter, answer the questions you may have, and know the feeling of success from a personal blogging victory.

Lesson 4: Authenticity is key

Again, another post I wrote about, I've learned that it's best to be authentic from the start as a blogger.  Finding your true blogging voice will not only help you differentiate yourself from the sea of other bloggers, but will also make you much more appealing to other bloggers who might want to work with you as well as companies for partnerships.

Lesson 5: Topics that are easy aren't always the best to post

A photo posted by Ak Brown (@akjapbae) on

If you've been following this blog from the start, then you know I use to do a lot of fashion magazine posts.  For me being as busy as I was, it wasn't hard to screen shot my favorite looks from magazines like Vogue & Harper's Bazaar, post them on Instagram, put as many hashtags as I could, and get views.  It definitely gave me the traffic I wanted since I was tagging notable brands and celebrities but there wasn't any type of content what so ever besides those pictures.  Eventually I stopped doing those posts because again, I wanted to be as authentic as I could, and for me, doing things the easy way isn't me being a authentic blogger.

Lesson 6: You're not going to like every blogger you meet

The blogging community is much like high school and college, and you have your certain types of bloggers in your city.  You have the ones who've been doing it for a while but who are humble, and then you have the ones who rub it in your face and make it known that they're basically top dawg, can get into events for free, sit front row, shit like that.  You have the kiss asses, you have anal wannabe's, you basically have every type of blogger there is.  You definitely don't have to be friends with every person, but as long as you keep it cordial, you'll be ok.


A photo posted by Ak Brown (@akjapbae) on

I cannot tell you how much I love my camera and the decision I made to buy one.  It's becoming
 a must that bloggers take their own photos besides selfies and iPhone camera shots.  Companies are looking for bloggers who can take original photos and utilize photo editing software to create a quality product, and, it makes your blog look 10x aesthetically better.

Lesson 8: Take a break

If you get further along into blogging and eventually turn it into a career, you'll soon to see that juggling blogging along with other priorities can be very stressful, and that means to take a break.  Whether that's looking at other blogs outside of your niche or not looking at your blog for an entire week, don't make yourself get burned out to the point where you lose the love you have for your blog.

Lesson 9: Do not define your success by what others have accomplished

 Blogging is a tricky business and there's not a defined list of steps you can take to be successful or make a lot of money (I don't care what you see on Pinterest, it doesn't exist).  More so you cannot define your path just because someone is making more money than you are or has more collaborations.  You don't know they're journey and they could have been easily been in your position for years before they got their come up, so be patient, be supportive of others, and continue to work hard.

Lesson 10: Take time to reflect, re-evaluate, and take action

Never be stagnant.  I always try to find ways to improve our blog and our brand, whether that's updating our blog template, trying out a new social media outlet (like Periscope), or just thinking of a new brand strategy, just always think of ways for self improvement.  Like I always say, be productive, proactive, and interactive.

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