A lot can change in a year. This time last year, we were in the height of a global pandemic, I was furloughed from my job at a gym & I felt completely lost. My life had turned upside down (like a lot of us) & I didn’t know what my next step should even be. One night, I couldn’t sleep & sat up contemplating what I should do. At the time, I was writing in my gratitude journal almost daily to try to maintain some positivity in the sheer chaos. It got me thinking about how writing has always been something I’ve loved ever since I was a young girl. Any chance I took, I wrote whether it was handmade story books I sold to neighbors to growing up & becoming a writer for my high school / college newspapers. I was a born reporter & always ready to share the latest story to whoever was willing to listen. I always pushed my passion aside like it was a hand me down no one wanted anymore. It wasn’t until I was forced to stay in my house & accept my usual routine was taken from me did I finally let my creative side come alive. Blogging was something I always considered & actually attempted once before but it didn’t stick. But this time around I was determined to make it my passion project of sorts & Mind Beauty Simplicity was born.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE’RE HERE
Mind Beauty Simplicity has become a family of sorts at 1,200 + readers on the blog & over 2,000 followers across multiple social media platforms. I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come with this & I’m grateful for each & every one of you. My blog wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the numerous loyal readers who return to my blog every week to check out my latest posts. Your comments make my day & it still amazes me I’ve inspired & connected with so many wonderful people around the world by just sharing my perspectives on life.
So, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to commemorate such a milestone. I kind of want to buy myself a cupcake with a #1 candle on it or something to celebrate! Haha 😂 But naturally I decided to answer your frequently asked questions because like I said, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my loyal readers. Without further a do, let’s get into it:
What made you want to start a blog?
I’ve always found writing as a distraction to any trivial moment of my life even when it was simply in a private journal. When I decided to go public & share my writing with the world, the pandemic was the catalyst to the decision. Although I have always had a passion for writing, life always seemed too busy, I was afraid of any judgments that would surface for such a path & I honestly thought I would go nowhere fast. But when you are bored in the house & have nothing else to do, I decided “why not?” And I’m so glad I took the plunge. Blogging has been the light in my life through any darkness.
What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
So many things come to mind. The community itself has been amazing especially when life felt quite isolating. It’s nice to connect with like minded people from all over the world. And I can honestly call a few of you true friends. You know who you are. But other than that, I love that I have something to go to when I need an escape. Before, I didn’t quite have anything that truly made me feel this way. Blogging has gotten me through some tough times lately. Not only this, but now that I have blogging, I feel more fulfilled. Although I’m still figuring out other parts of my life, I can honestly feel accomplished knowing I became a writer in some sorts & am making a difference (even if it may seem small). I feel really proud.
What has been your biggest blogging mistake?
Blogging has a lot of highs & lows. It’s hard work & I’ve definitely hit a few road blocks. Having my work plagiarized was a big situation & if you haven’t heard that fiasco, well…click here. I also learned I tend to work myself to the bone. When you are hungry to be successful, it’s hard to tell yourself to take a break. I went through extreme burn out a few times & guilt over having writers block. The thing is we are all human & we aren’t superheros. These instances are normal & I’ve learned to be more gentle with myself & to prioritize self care more often.
Why do you think your blog has been so successful?
First of all, when I receive comments telling me my blog is amazing & I’m so successful, it makes me get emotional because I had no idea this would become something of this magnitude when I wrote my first blog post. I honestly didn’t think anyone would read it except maybe a few of my friends. And I kind of thought I’d write a few posts for a week & forget about it. But the timing of the pandemic allowed me to put my heart & soul into this blog. Not to toot my own horn, but I seriously have put a lot of hard work & time into Mind Beauty Simplicity. It’s like my baby. I cherish this side of my life so much & it shows. To become successful, I think all it takes is determination, a serious “want” & a genuine love for what you do. And I’m lucky to have found that with this blog of mine.
What advice do you have to beginner bloggers?
I’ve talked about this before here, but I think the advice should never end. I’m still learning new things everyday. But my biggest advice would be to see success as numerous layers like an onion instead of one single slice of cheese. Now I’m hungry. Anyway, I stopped comparing myself with other people’s stats & just focus on my own growth. Social media platforms for example can feel impossible to grow as a brand & there were thousands of times I could have thrown in the towel & I didn’t. You know why? Because writing & connecting with you all makes me so happy. And remember, if it sparks joy, you need to keep it.
Have you stuck with one niche or have you branched out?
When I first started this blog, I did narrow the playing field by focusing on intentional living & minimalism but I’ve learned as you gain a following, your readers start to just love you as a person & your perspective on anything. So, I’ve definitely expanded to a general lifestyle content creator. I love having the freedom of talking about a wide range of topics while always incorporating intentional living in the discussion.
What is something you’ve done so far you are proud of?
Just starting this blog is something to be proud of in my eyes. To have the courage to share my thoughts to the world, have a backbone with whatever comments may come my way & the confidence that grew from it all. I’ve 100% changed for the better & I have blogging to thank for that. Something else I’m specifically proud of was attempting Blogmas last December. If you are unfamiliar with this challenge, bloggers post daily up until Christmas Day or the entire month of December. It is a great way to connect with the community, meet new creators & just test your creative abilities & willpower. Honestly, I’m not sure if all of those posts are still up. As I’m writing this, I am debating if I’ll be doing this again or a 12 Day’s of Blogmas. But if I do, I might just revamp the old ones. 👌🏻
How often do you post on your blog?
I started off posting 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday & Friday. This lasted for almost 9 months actually which is pretty impressive. But I slowly reached a breaking point, got caught in burn out & knew I had to make a change. With my blogging routine, I decided being a more intentional blogger was the way to go. Quality over quantity. And writing evergreen content that could be promoted the entire year & years to come. When I shifted to mainly a one day a week schedule (Monday’s) a weight was lifted. I was able to promote my work more efficiently. And if I had a bonus post for that week, I could do that. But the pressure of trying to keep up with a three day a week schedule was no more. I’ve became very lax when it comes to my schedule. If I need a break, I allow myself that break. And by posting less often, I actually write more content & am able to schedule out content months in advance.
How do you balance blogging with the rest of your life?
Cutting my schedule back was definitely something that helped me keep the balance. With blogging being such a passion of mine, I can allow myself to get lost in my work & neglect other parts of my life. This year I learned I need to prioritize a work out routine, a social life & make room for other work opportunities. And I’ve been able to handle all of this beautifully lately. In my post about being an intentional blogger, which you can read here, I talk about how promoting work on social media can become an unpaid part time job if you let it. I tend to schedule out promotional tweets regularly so I’m not wasting my days on my digital life. I’ve also learned you can delay replying back to comments & read other people’s blog posts on down days. In the beginning I did try to be this “super blogger” in a sense & please everyone. Life is going to catch up with you if you don’t learn to prioritize & keep a healthy balance.
What is your favorite blog post so far?
Is it narcissistic of me to think this is such a tough question? haha! I would have to say my favorite post so far is 15 Ways To Simplify Your Life that I wrote back in January of this year. I wrote it as a new year’s resolution type of post & it never occurred to me it would be more of an evergreen read that people still love & find inspiration from today. I really took the time & did proper research for this post. I discovered how important taking a little extra time with a blog post can really have an impact on the amount of traffic you will receive & the types of comments you will get. Of course, I can’t seem to choose just one post, but this second favorite deserves a mention because it was the first time I was more vulnerable on the blog. My post on anxiety, called Read This If You Are Feeling Anxious received so much praise from you all. The lengthy comments on this post is so telling. I learned how important it is to be more vulnerable with your readers & I hope to share even more personal stories with you in the future.
How did you first start incorporating SEO into your blog, and where would you recommend that a baby blogger start if they’re interested in making their blog more SEO-friendly?
It took me a while to get the hang of SEO & I’m still learning to this day. I have to give a shoutout to my friend Olivia who was kind enough to share her SEO Guide For Bloggers she created this year. I recommend all bloggers (new & old) to check this guide out. It seriously helped me so much & changed the game.
What is your least favorite part of blogging?
The feeling of having to be perfect at all social media platforms. In the beginning, I’d watch videos on how to be a successful blogger & everyone says you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter & even Tiktok. To me, this became overwhelming very quickly. I didn’t want to have such a large digital footprint & felt like juggling all of these platforms on a regular basis would be a problem. Instead, I prioritize a few including Twitter & Instagram. I personally don’t find Pinterest to be any use for me & don’t even get me started on Tiktok. For a few months, I only focused on Twitter & my traffic views were the highest they’ve ever been.
What do you wish was easier about blogging?
Everything. I think a lot of people outside the blogging world don’t realize how much work goes into keeping a blog running. You don’t just write something & hope people miraculously find it. There’s so much promotion going into it, tweeting constantly throughout the day & posting about it regularly with proper keywords. I wish it was easier & you can become successful overnight. But chances are that’s not the case. It’s something that takes time & commitment.
What are your tips on planning blog content ahead of time?
Schedule posts a head of time. Luckily I have periods of time where the creative juices are flowing & I can write 2-3 blog posts in one sitting. It’s not always the case, but when it happens I take full advantage of that moment. Also, by cutting back to one post a week, the pressure of writing is less. This summer for example, I made sure to schedule & write content in advance. So, now I’m brainstorming content for end of August & September if you can believe it. I also take advantage of posting blogging awards & Q&A’s if I’m out of ideas.
What is one misconception you had about blogging before you started?
I honestly thought blogging was dead. Every time I thought about blogging I pictured either Sara Jessica Parker in SITC or i thought it was a platform for the older generation. I had no idea it was still this huge community let alone a side hustle you can make money from. I thought I would have had to succumb to Youtube which is still something I’m considering later. But I didn’t just want to rely on visualization. The medium of writing has always been what I love the most so I was pleasantly surprised blogging is still a thing in 2021.
How do you brainstorm ideas for your blog?
I listen to a lot of podcasts & watch a lot of Youtube. When I started on my journey to minimalism, I learned a lot from other minimalists. And now, I base those topics on my own experiences. But along with this, I write about my feelings & perspectives on all kinds of different things. Sometimes I’ll just start free writing in this notebook I have & see what I can take from that. My mind is always filled with thoughts & ideas & I’m just glad I have a place to write it all down.
Do you have any blog posts you regret writing?
I can be a perfectionist in some ways, so yes I have regretted some blog posts. And honestly, I just delete them after a while if it bothers me too much. Like my Blogmas posts from last December, I decided I wanted to make them even better for this year so I put them in drafts for now.
Have you considered making videos or creating a podcast?
I have considered expanding this “brand” of mine to other mediums. I think for now I prefer the mysteriousness of my identity blogging provides. Although I’ve shared my photos some on social media & on the blog, I like a little sense of privacy. And I think videos & even voice content can be more invasive. I’m just not quite ready to branch out that way but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever consider it.
Where do you see this blog taking you?
In the beginning I just saw this blog as a fun hobby & something that would keep me busy when I was bored. I had no idea a year later it would become what it is today. Some of you message me & tell me my blog is your favorite to read or certain posts are published at the perfect time. The fact you resonate with my perspectives on life makes me so happy. Like I said, I’ve never felt this fulfilled before. I see this blog going in many directions. I had no idea I could make money doing this & now it’s a side hustle! Life is crazy & you have no idea where something like a hobby can take you. I’m beyond blessed. And I see myself doing this for a very very long time. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write an e-book? The possibilities are endless.