Friday, October 18, 2013

10 things I leaned in my first year of blogging (and I wish I had known before)

Usually Fridays are the "Photo and a Quote" day here at La Caseta, but today is a special day: it's the FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THIS BLOG, yay! And to celebrate it, here's a list of 10 things I learned in the past 12 months of blogging (and that I wish I had know before). Who knows, they might even be useful to somebody else! :)

Thanks to all the readers and friends that have made this possible :)

(and I wish I had known before)

  1. Starting a blog with the only purpose of making money is like creating an Instagram account with the only purpose of being noticed as a photographer: most likely it won't happen. 

  2. Saying NO is okay. If somebody asks you to do a collaboration you don't want to do, or suggests you to participate in a project they have in mind and they tell you that you're "perfect for it", you have the right to don't accept it. You're nobody's bitch.

  3. Having a huge number of followers doesn't mean having a big blog. A blog can be big with a very small number of followers. Actually some of the most interesting blogs I follow are under 300 followers.

  4. A blog with only blog hops, giveaways, and sponsored posts is not a blog. People will get tired of it, and eventually it will die because what you can find in it is also offered in another 10,563 blogs out there.

  5. For the most part, followers you get through blog hops and giveaways are NOT followers, most of them will never visit your blog again, and they might even stop following your blog once the giveaway is over. Instead is better to keep a small loyal audience that really reads (and comments) on your blog posts.

  6. Getting sponsors in your sidebar in exchange of money is NOT an easy job. At all. And it doesn't worth it. And if you actually manage to get some, you'll have to prostitute yourself in the process (which means that you'll end up posting a lot of what you don't want, in exchange of a little bit of money). Your readers will get tired of that, and eventually so will you.

  7. You need TIME to keep up a blog. A lot of time. Starting a blog is no easy task, you'll have to commit to it. And you'll want to quit and give up, and you'll even cry of frustration. If it happens, don't give up: it means you're doing it well.

  8. Bloggers are busy people: if you expect a reply from them most likely it will take them DAYS to answer. Why? Because all of them has life responsibilities to attend and sadly they can't spend the whole day blogging as a career (see number 1).

  9. A bad photo or a lame banner made by you is one thousand times better than a pretty photo taken from Pinterest. The second one can look so good in your post, but when you do that, other bloggers will judge you for it. And even if you say that it doesn't matter what other bloggers think (is your blog, after all) the truth is that it really matters. Otherwise you wouldn't end your blog posts asking your readers what do they think about the subject you just posted about.

  10. Obsessing with stats is not good. If you feel the need to keep controlling how many people accessed your blog today, how many people shared a post, or which are the better keywords for Google Positioning you're prioritizing quantity over quality. And this, in blogging (like in many other areas of life) never leads to a good thing. Have fun blogging, share what you want, and don't stress about it. Is the only way to stay sane in this world.

  • BONUS POINT: Being an European blogger will make things even more complicated. Most of the good giveaways are open only to US and Canada, and if you write in English you'll be contacted by companies from the USA that will offer you free products to review (and totally disappear when they know you're not in the USA).


  1. Nice article, and more important happy bloggiversary to La caseta de paper.

  2. Such good advice!!! I used to pay attention to stats and I stopped completely. I realized that establishing relationships with followers was way better!

    Also, I agree with saying no. I think if you can't handle the request or disagree with it then it's best to be polite and disagree.

    I do think another way to gain followers is to 'follow' your commentors if they are interesting. I say that because I've gotten people to 'comment' on my blog and then I never hear from them again. and here I am following their blog. But, then again I've made good friends that way too! So.. it's a fine line.

    Congrats on the 1 year!!

    1. Thanks so much Ayla! And thanks for being here since the beginning :)

      Yes, exactly, when you only pay attention to stats you end up stressing over it, and you stop having fun and creating content that you really want to post.

      Yes, following commentors if they're interesting is something I do as well. Is better to know who comments and who you're following rather than start adding people with no kind of criteria, I think.

  3. Agreed! Very good post! I've had to deal with a lot of these points in my years of blogging too. And I can also relate to the EU vs. US thing. People always assume I'm from the US. Even in real life haha;)

    Anyway, I hope you'll continue to enjoy blogging and that you'll keep growing into a way of doing so that works well for you.

  4. Congrats on the have learned a lot in one year.

    I had to laugh at the last part...I was recently contacted by a company that eagerly wanted me to do a promotion for them...but it was only to be open to US residents, not Canadians. Right on my sidebar was the blurb telling all that I was Canadian. your homework people.

    You have a lovely blog, the design, and layout are stunning...your posts are well thought out, and interesting. I look forward to seeing you celebrate many more anniversaries,


  5. Interesting article and congrats on the anniversary!!

    1. Thanks Chiara! And thanks for being part of it :)

  6. Wow, this is a great list. Thank you so much for sharing, I couldn't agree with this more!

    1. Thanks to you for commenting Alli! :)

  7. You are so right! I agree in each and every point!

  8. Such great tips! Thanks for sharing and keeping it real!

  9. I know it is late but... Happy anniversary! And I agree... I so feel the need of more European bloggers... It just feels so very alone. When I see the teams from US meeting up and having a drink and interacting makes me feel sometimes jealous...