It’s my 9th birthday. Eating Fabulously turned 9 recently and as I was looking back through old posts and old sites, I’m so proud of how far I have come. Eating Fabulously is my life’s motto and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not working on making it bigger and better. EF is no longer about recipes, but now it’s a whole website welcoming you the reader into my fab life. 

I will admit that in my 9th year, I feel kind of stuck. Do I rebrand? Do I hire a photographer? What does my audience want to see? More recipes? Less lifestyle? I was having this convo with my friends recently and one of my friends said "at 9 you feel like a child but at 10 you're closer to a teenager" She is spot on! Thats exactly how I feel in my 9th year. I know they say it takes 10 years to become an over night success, so maybe that’s why year 9 seems so cloudy. I have however learned a ton of things in 9 years.

Here Are 9 Things I've Learned in 9 Years of Blogging.... 

1. Just Do It - Literally, just start. Whether it be setting up your Instagram, drafting your first blog post, just start. Someone will love your work.

2. Shine In Your Niche (Or Create One) - I know everyone tells you to have a niche and 90% of that is true. You should focus on the things that you enjoy telling others about AND focus on the things that you like as well. If there isn’t a niche for something you enjoy, create one and make people fall in love with it. If your nice is manicures and coffee, then find the dopest cafes and the best manicurist in your area. The thing about blogging is that you can talk about whatever sets your heart on fire,

3. Work With What You Have - In 9 years of blogging I do not have a lot of things that other bloggers do. You have to really figure out what you need to run your blog and brand. I work a full time job in the hospitality industry and I know for me using my phone is key. I use 2 free apps for photo editing, I shoot my photos in natural light, and I use a simple white piece of poster board as a photo back drop. You don’t need a million things or dollars to have a fabulous blog. You just have to get creative!

4. Use Stock Photos - Stock photos are super important and have helped me a lot over the course of 9 years. They can be used on a variety of platforms like your Instagram, Twitter and in your e-blasts. There are a ton of free stock photo sites with some of my favorites being CreateHERStock and Pexles. It's also great to just shoot photos pertaining to cool shots and moments that happen in your everyday life. These are specifically great to use on Instagram. I have a folder in my photo album on my iPhone specifically for these everyday stock photo moments. As long as the stock photos are cohesive and align with your blog/brand use them! (PLEASE make sure you can use the photos. Be sure to read the fine print)

5. Invest In Your CellPhone - I do not have an on call photographer and about 95% of my blog is written and managed on my iPhone, so I invest in my phone. Every time there is a new iPhone with a bigger better camera and a faster processor, I upgrade to it. A faster phone means I can type faster, go in an app faster and snap a photo faster and clearer. I've definitely learned how to make my iPhone camera work for me and my blog.

6. Take As Many Breaks As YOU Need - I can not stress this enough. Do not let other bloggers and influencers make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. There are some times where I just don't have anything to say, and because I don't want anything to appear forced, in those times I don't post anything. I head to Pinterest, go out more with my friends or do whatever I need to for inspiration. When I do get back to the blog, my posts are better.

Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl!

7. If It's Not Working, Get Rid Of It - The pressure to have amazing social media content, engaging blog posts, and an email list with a number of massive followers is a lot. But what if your email list isn't gaining traction after 2+ years or your Facebook page doesn't get any engagement at all? I say get rid of it. If something isn't giving you the numbers you want to see after a specific amount of time, especially after being consistent….. toss it and focus and nurture what is. 

8. Test Out Different Things - This one is best on social media. Don’t be afraid to try out different formats, posting times and photos for your blog and brand. This will help you determine what works best for your audience and in return will help you. For 6 months I tried posting at different times on IG and my newsletter and surprisingly I found out that I get the most engagement posting blog content at 10am and posting personal photos at 10pm!

9. Be You - I know this is simple but tricky. Sometimes we try to do what other bloggers/influencers are doing because we see it working for them. NO GURL. It is vital that you stay true to yourself. I promise you that there are people out there that will read your blog so just go for it and be fabulously you!

Now, I need you to do me a favor. What are some things you would like to see more of? More Recipes? Outfit posts? More of my personal life? Less personal life? Let me know in the comments!