Beyond Basic is an entire year old. It has been a journey since the day I first launched. In celebration of the blog’s first anniversary, I have redesigned the website with a brand new look! I also baked a cake for the occasion (yes I do other things than post about fashion). And if you were watching my snaps yesterday, you probably thought I was a major psycho in the kitchen. However, baking this cake was similar to how my blog all started.

I was on Pinterest and saw a picture of this gorgeous “naked” cake. I haven’t baked anything in awhile, so I decided I was going to do it for my blog’s anniversary. I went to the store and purchased my ingredients. On the real, I bought a boxed cake, I had no time to mix up flour and sugar (as lazy as that sounds). But before you start criticizing, I did make the frosting myself. So once I got to baking, things went awry. One of the layers literally fell apart. I got frustrated and threw that layer in the garbage. I was about to give up on the other layer until I realized, I can salvage this. I shouldn’t be quick to toss the idea in the trash. So, I baked another two layers, leveled the cake, frosted it, put it on some fancy display and decorated it with flowers.

In all honesty, my blog began the same way. My friend inspired me to start my fashion blog. So I bought a domain and went to work. While I did take a shortcut by purchasing a theme for the blog, I customized the look to my liking (yes I can code and make graphics too). By the time I got the site up, I launched it…with no content. It was a slow start. I posted once a month and barely got any traction. After speaking to the original person who inspired me to start my blog, she gave me advice on what I can do to improve. So here it is, what I learned my first year of blogging.

Treat your blog like a job.

As painful as it might sound, treating Beyond Basic like a job is actually fun. After I switched to that mentality, I became professional about how I treated it. I wasn’t just posting random things for no rhyme or reason. The first thing I did was create an editorial calendar on Google. This helped me map out what posts I needed to write throughout the year. I also made an action list of things that needed to be done prior before the post goes live. Once I started treating this blog as a job, slowly the collaborations and partnership emails began pouring in.

Instagram is just a supplement to the bigger picture.

I noticed a lot of people use their Instagram following, likes and comments to measure their success. I actually don’t. Yes, having a ton of followers and an engaged audience on Instagram is helpful, but in order for a brand to set you apart from the others and contact you, you must have the complete package. If you are focusing all your time obsessing over numbers on Instagram, you will be limiting your brand. You need to be well-rounded in order to pitch yourself to companies on why they should partner or collaborate with you.

Your blog and your email list is your bread and butter.

If you need to focus on numbers then it might as well be your email list and analytics. I actually define my blog’s success when someone subscribes to the blog. The larger the email list grows, the larger your voice is heard and the larger your brand will eventually become. And best of all, it’s all yours. No one else can have it. It’s your customer base that is interested in you and your brand. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook do not belong to you. My blog belongs to me and it holds more value than any social media outlet.

Quality blog posts over quantity.

Around the infancy of Beyond Basic, I was only posting one post a month. My website got lost in a sea of bloggers and I lost engagement (I wonder why). If you want your blog to thrive, you should post as often as you can. However, that does not mean post every single day. The quality of your work is what’s most important. If you haven’t noticed by now, every time you visit Beyond Basic you will be looking at a new outfit post and possibly reading up on where I have been traveling to lately. If I do not have content for that week, I am not going to throw in a random post. I don’t pull it off images from Pinterest, all the images and content you see here are original and created by me. I am currently working on producing inspiring content that I can post twice a week, but for right now, once a week is all I have time (and money) for.

You can’t please everyone.

This is more on the personal side of blogging, but as a blogger you’re really putting yourself out there no matter how much you share about your personal life. And people will talk. There will be positive things. You don’t understand how excited I get when someone I barely talk to, comes up to me and mentions how much of a fan they are of my blog. And then there will be a few who sneer on the sidelines. But remember not everyone will agree with everything you do. While it’s easier to focus on the negative energy, just stop and think about what you have to do today. I don’t know about you, I am pretty damn busy. Do I have time to waste on negative energy? Nope, nope, nope. Move on my friend. There’s more important things than dwelling on someone’s negativity.

So what’s next for Beyond Basic? As you all well know, I don’t like to share too much of my personal life, but I want to show you my home eventually. My boyfriend and I have a house together and we have been crazy busy trying to get it ready. If we would just buckle down, stop jetting off to places, maybe we can get this thing done! I will be doing a reveal soon. One room at a time. Just like everything in life, right?

40 comments

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Totally agree with your points! Great post!

Happy Friday Doll! Kisses,
BLOG | TAISLANY

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Such a great post Meghan! Really awesome tips about scheduling and email lists. I have to admit I always try to put up 3 posts per week but it doesn’t always happen lol. Massive congratulations on yoyr 1 year blogging anniversary! So excited to see what’s next for your blogging!

Ellie | maplesyrupandteacups.blogspot.com

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I have read s lot of blog advice articles and this one was really worth reading. I know I need to start treating my blog like a job and start planning ahead of time. Thank-you for the tips!

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What a great post! I am 4 months in and can get a little overwhelmed so it’s great to remember that quality is over quantity! Thanks

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Having a editorial calendar helped me SO much with planning. It also showed me I am not blogging enough and need to step it up. Glad you enjoyed the post!

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Such a beautiful cake and layout! I completely agree on quality over quantity. I stopped following some bloggers who pride themselves in posting every day. Even though they post often, their content suffered. I only got to read 5 short, sloppy posts instead of 2 powerful, well-written ones. Definitely got me thinking about my own blogging!
Congrats on the one year mark!

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I could never find the time to write every single day! It’s a big deal for me to even post once a week! I want to start managing my time better this year and hopefully get it down to posting twice a week but it is a struggle! Thanks Melanie!

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I love posts like this! I agree with everything!

xo, Amanda | http://www.thegoldengirldiary.com

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I absolutely love your blog and I can’t believe it’s only one year old! Do you have any tips for growing an email list?

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I’m actually thinking of starting an e-series where I would explain that. I am going to be discussing it in the next few months of the blog!!! Other that that, you should already have a few prompts on your blog itself. I have one on my side bar and it pops up everytime you hit the main page.

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Such a great post, and very helpful things to know as I start getting into blogging!
-Kate // http://www.classyandkate.com

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I am SO proud of you! A year of blogging is a huge accomplishment. It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come in just a year!! I love all the content you post and think you’re totally right about quality vs. quantity. You inspire me!

Jess | http://www.JessExplainsItAll.com

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All great things! Blogging is such an incredible adventure!

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Congrats on one year! That cake is gorgeous!

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wow! that cake is so pretty! fantastic job on it. and I really enjoyed and related to the things you learned, I wish I had learned some of these lessons a lot sooner!

http://www.prettyinleather.net

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Congrats on your blogging anniversary! I agree that there’s so much to learn about blogging and it’s so easy to fall off track. Blogging is a lot of work and it really does take a lot of time and effort if you want to treat it as a business. Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for your blog! (And that cake looks amazing, btw!)

Polly
http://gemsandjoy.com

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Loved reading this! Please check out my new post.

Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

Instagram @alionawithlove

Twitter @alionawithlove

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Happy Blogiversary!!! The one year mark is such an exciting accomplishment to meet and I can’t wait to see what is yet to come for you!

La Belle Sirene

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I am coming up on two years blogging. I look back at all that I’ve learned and realize it was like going to school! Between all the computer techy stuff, taking better photos, learning Adobe Photoshop, and learning new cooking techniques. I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much in any other pursuit in such a short amount of time!

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I loved this list, i have been blogging for only a few months and have learnt from some of your tips. Thank you.

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This was a very inspiring post to read! You are absolutely right about treating your blog like a job! I find that I get the results I am hoping for if I put in twice as much work. Thank you for sharing!

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Excellent post! Treating my blog like a job is key!

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This is a really great list. I wish I had taken all these things away during my first year of blogging. Now, I’m just trying to catch up to people like you. Congrats.

http://thewanderingbrunette.com

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What a great post. It’s actually really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

http://tealattewithstyle.com/

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Love it! Especially the last part about ignoring the negativity. It’s so tempting to care about people not liking what your put out.

And that cake looks DELISH! Congrats on one year!

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Happy first anniversary Meghan! I’ve just blogged about my blogging journey too – guess I’m a little too slow cuz I’m in this journey for 3 years and am only blogging about it now :p
That cake you baked looks AMAZING! So proud of you and thanks for sharing with us your lessons learned as a blogger and keep up the great job in curating quality content 🙂

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Great job on the cake! It looks incredible and you really managed to salvage it =o) Also congratulations on the blog turning 1! how exciting, I really enjoy reading your posts and you always have the best photos =o) Can’t wait to see more posts!

http://www.dreamofadventures.com/

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Quality pictures over quantity is SUCH an important one, and I’m glad you bring it up because a lot of bloggers don’t learn how to take proper photos for far too long. I’m so embarrassed by the quality I had a long time ago, but everyone improves with time. Your blog is certainly beautiful & well established. Kudos to you! xx Adaleta Avdic

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I absolutely agree with you! Treating my blog as my job, is one of the most fun things! I love it! 🙂

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Amazing look

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Such wise, real tips. I sometimes fall into the trap of quantity over quality and looking to my Insta for success. Congrats on one year!! I also love to bake and have wanted to try a naked cake. Yours came out so perfectly!

Amy Ann
Straight A Style

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I love this, it was really helpful, thank you for sharing! x

adelelydia.blogspot.com

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Great post!!! I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING!

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I love this post! There are so many rules of blogging and people are constantly telling you things you “have” to do, but the things you learn from just jumping in and getting to work are the most important things you will ever learn. Treating my blog like a business has been the best move for my blog thus far. I still have a way to go with improving and revamping, but I’ve already seen such a difference!

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What an awesome post. I was getting caught up with getting instagram followers and it was getting me frustrated and unfocused on the bigger picture. I love what you said about that. Keep up the awesome work. You’re so pretty and I love your outfits. Thank you for sharing.

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Omg, congrats on one year of blogging! Love your blog — it’s so pretty! And it’s a joy seeing your adventures and style on Instagram too 🙂 Keep up the amazing work girl! xo, sharon

http://www.stylelullaby.com/fashion/exploring-santa-barbara-free-people/

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Happy One Year! I love this post because it’s so true! I definitely believe in quality over quantity and I love reading your blog! I’m excited to see what the next year brings you! Also, love the new design!!

xo Bryn
http://www.waketonroad.com

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I’m really glad you shared these tips and points with us! I love your blog, it’s simple but original and keep up with it like this.
P.S Would you like to follow each other? Write about it on my blog!
Blog: http://www.glaringwaves.blogspot.ba
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/glaringwaves

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Congratulations on your first year of blogging! I am coming up to one year soon and it has been a really steep learning curve and I have so much more still to learn!
Thanks for sharing your tips – I am definitely going to look into setting up an editorial calendar on Google – hope it isn’t too difficult!
Julia x
http://www.thevelvetrunway.com

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Totally agree, congrats on reach 1 year old!

Lauren x | http://www.huggled.co.uk/

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