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  • Writer's pictureAlex Rathbun

1 year blogiversary: 5 lessons learned

Happy one year of following along to my Brightly Alex community. I'm so grateful for you! And I kind of can't believe that it's been a whole year of this goodness already!

To celebrate, I did a photoshoot in my wedding dress in a field. Haha! I’m also sharing 5 lessons I’ve learned. I know a year is not a lot time, but I have learned a lot and done a lot of reflecting, so for whatever it’s worth to you, here’s what I’ve learned (plus some fancy self portraits)!


1. Blogging is so much fun!

It turns out, creating something that I have full control and freedom over is extremely refreshing and fun. I didn’t realize how much fun it would be to learn how to photograph myself, design my own brand and write my thoughts for the world to hear. I’m one year in and I still look forward almost every time to creating each new blog post.

2. Blogging is a lot of work.

I knew this would be true, but part of what makes blogging so fun is the pride you feel in your work because it is just that - a lot of work. Between coming up with topics, planning photoshoots, creating a cohesive feel for every post while still keeping each one fresh and creative, and working through the logistics of just publishing and sharing each post is a lot to do!

3. Blogging has upped my confidence.

I’ve become way more confident in my own creative style, in my writing, and just in feeling assured that I have something to say, regardless of how many people engage with it. I think back to my very first blog post and remember how nervous I was to go out in public and have my photo taken (thanks to the amazing Hadassah Carlson for helping me feel comfortable in that!). I didn’t know if people would respond well to that first post. I felt like a fraud without any real knowledge but pretending I had something to say. Fast-forward one year and I am taking pictures of myself with a tripod on a running trail in my wedding dress. I feel more confident in my abilities, but I also have learned to care a little less about what people might think and just go for it when I have an idea.

4. Blogging has been more dictated by my life than I expected.

When I began Brightly Alex one year ago, I thought I was just starting a fun, light-hearted lifestyle blog. I knew I didn’t want it to be a place where people only saw and read about the happiest parts of life - I’ve always wanted to be boldly honest, but didn’t realize what that would mean to me until this summer. When I started struggling with my mental health, it suddenly felt clear that I needed to write about it. Brightly Alex Mental Health Mondays has opened up more connections and conversations than I ever would have expected. I feel completely humbled to have a platform that has actually been helpful for others.

5. Quality blogging cannot be formed by numbers.

In my experience, the times I’ve focused heavily on analytics and data are when I’ve produced the posts I’m least proud of and don’t enjoy creating. I get stressed when I think too hard about “what people want to see” or “what would perform well”. Multiple people told me before I started that I will enjoy my blog the most if I share about what I want to and what feels natural, and after a year of both enjoying my blog but also trying to cater to an audience, I can confidently say that is true! If you’re thinking of starting a blog, write what you want to! Don’t get burned out or too wrapped up in the numbers.

And that's it! Thanks so much for following along. Stay tuned for more this year and in the meantime, subscribe below (or right here) to stay in the know. Happy New Year!

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