Five Things I Learned From #BlogYourSocksOffSeptember

It's the final day of #BlogYourSocksOffSeptember, and so today I wanted to do a post on what I've learnt from the challenge. The first thing I'd like to say is I'm really glad I did it - I said for my September goals that I wanted to get into blogging more seriously and I definitely managed that! But equally it's been a huge learning curve for me as a relative beginner blogger, and for that reason I've decided to write about what I got out of doing the challenge and what my next steps are going to be in developing my blog.

1. My blog needs a makeover.
One of the things I've found in terms of feedback on my blog is that I've got a good writing style, which as sad as it sounds makes me really happy. Writing is what I love and so to have people say they like it is absolutely lovely to hear. However, it has become painfully clear that my blog desperately needs an overhaul in terms of look - it's fairly cluttered and not particularly pretty. So, with that in mind, I'm now on the hunt for someone to design the new look. I've got an idea of what I'd like but I am technically and artistically rubbish so hoping to find someone who can give it a revamp!

2. Blogging Twitter chats are a fantastic source of advice.
I've heard a few other bloggers complain that the various bloggers' Twitter chats are just a way for people to get more followers, but I actually found them fantastically helpful as sources of advice on various things, especially in terms of equipment. (Actually, if I was going to add a sixth thing, it would be that although you can make blogging as simple as you like, but that if you want to there's also a lot of equipment potentially involved.) And also everyone is so nice and willing to help you out, even if you feel like you're asking silly questions! So it's definitely worth using the chats to help you build your blog and to find some new blogs to read.

3. Scheduling and planning are your friends.
I was posting late at night a lot, especially when I couldn't schedule posts or had had a busy week, which really threw my posting off. So I would say that writing as much as you can in advance is definitely a good idea, if only so you feel like you're staying on top of things. I felt a lot like I was hastily having to throw things together just so I could put something up and complete the challenge rather than putting a decent amount of work into it, and if I was doing it again I'd definitely try and schedule things more, or get up early in the morning and write a bit then to get ahead in the evenings.

4. It is really hard to think of a topic every day...
There were days when I had a complete blank on what to write about, mainly because I don't like to write on the same topic two days in a row and I had lots of beauty stuff which I didn't want to all string together. So I am seriously, seriously impressed with bloggers that can post every day, or even twice a day! I don't think I could do that for a sustained period of time, I'd just run out of things to write about, but over the month it did help me by forcing me to be creative.

5. ...but it also inspires you to try new things.
I wrote about so many things this month that I haven't written about before. I did fashion posts for the first time ever - wish lists and awards posts - as well as more restaurant reviews and blogs about beauty stuff that weren't nails. Plus things like the blogger chats gave me several other ideas for what else I can do, like crafty posts and recipes. I also really want to try doing outfits of the day, as well as make-up looks rather than just reviewing products, and shooting videos as well, so I'm excited to see where I can take the blog next.

Overall, I've really enjoyed #BlogYourSocksOffSeptember. It's been a serious challenge and there were times, especially towards the end, where I did find it a struggle, but it's definitely been worth doing and has given me the confidence not only to keep blogging but also to get myself into gear and try doing different things with the blog, as well as smartening it up and making it look pretty! But I don't think I'll be blogging every day again - it's back to every other day for me I think, I wouldn't be able to keep up otherwise...

Did you do #BlogYourSocksOffSeptember? How did you find it? And what (if anything) have you learnt from it that you'll apply to your blog going forward? Let me know in the comments and have a great day!

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