When I first started blogging, I didn’t take many of my own photos. As I started to develop more of my own recipe content, naturally I started learning more about what makes good food photos for my posts. I’m very far from an expert, but over the years I’ve developed my own process and have quite a collection of food photography props that you’ll often find in my photos.
As a Southern food blogger, Instagram is my go-to social media platform for sharing pretty photos, my favorite recipes, and other content (you can follow me here!). It’s a great platform for inspiring new ideas and engaging with other food bloggers from around the world. But sometimes, even the most creative bloggers run out of Instagram post ideas.
Another year, another holiday season, another, “oh my goodness, the year is basically over” moment. But seriously, I swear it was just February, and now 2018 nearly over. But y’all know what that means? Another holiday Instagram challenge! If you liked last year’s December Instagram challenge, then I have a feeling you’ll enjoy this year’s, too.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I know that’s generally a Christmas-time sentiment, but the November holiday season is just as fun and magical and inspiring. It’s still early in November, but Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and Christmas won’t be too far behind it. The holiday season just goes by so fast every year.
Keep reading for 33 holiday blog post ideas!
Even though fall is coming to an end and winter is approaching, I still get excited this time of year. The holiday season brings so much more inspiration and creativity, what with parties, gifts, arts and crafts, decorations and just being happy in general.
Have you ever looked at a blog and thought, “Wow, this blog is beautiful and has its stuff together. It’s pristine”? And then immediately thought, “Wow, I wonder how much it cost to build this blog and keep it this way”?
I have, and I think those two things almost every day. How do those people blog on a budget and do it so well?
The good news is, you can blog on a budget and still get a lot in return.
Blogging requires a lot of time, work and resources. Sometimes it looks like an expensive venture, and it certainly can be. But blogging doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve been doing it for more than five years, anyway, without breaking the bank.
I started my blog in the fall of 2011, during my sophomore year of college. It’s experienced many evolutions since then, but it’s never faltered and it’s always been there for me. I could go on and on, but there’s one thing I know for sure. My decision to start a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “should I start a blog?” then I always believe the answer is, “yes.”
A few months ago, a friend came to me and asked if she should start a blog. She’d read that writing and blogging was a good way to deal with restlessness, and it sounded like a good idea to her. I of course was not going to discourage any sort of blogging. And so she decided she would start a blog.
Blogging is a lot of work (if you really invest in it). Sometimes I think non-bloggers underestimate how much work it takes to start and maintain a blog; they don’t always see everything that goes on behind the scenes. But despite all of the work and headaches, blogging is one of the best things you can do for yourself, for whatever reason you choose to start.
Today marks my 5th blog birthday. That’s right, five years ago today, I published my very first post on this little blog, which at the time was called “On a Lighter Note.” My original goal was to share the little things that made me smile each day. I tried to post every day, which got exhausting, and I eventually stopped.
My, how things have changed.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at this for five years. Who would have known that a tiny little Google Blogspot site I started in my dorm my sophomore year of college would have turned into my biggest passion project and side hustle? I certainly didn’t, but I am so glad and proud that it did. Maybe it sounds silly, but starting this little blog is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
So in honor of my 5th blog birthday, here’s my birthday thank-you letter to my blog.
Five years have gone by really quickly. It feels like only yesterday, I sat at my uncomfortable dorm desk, fall semester of my sophomore year at Virginia Tech and clicked the “Publish” button on my very first post. That first post was about not having to wait in line at the Chick-fil-a at Hokie Grill at peak lunch time, and how that made my day infinitely better, because it meant I got to eat my sandwich and fries that much sooner. I laugh now thinking about how that was my first post, but I’m sure it was important at the time.
You were there for me through the next three years of college and everything that came with them: classes, academics, boys, friends, football, basketball, graduation, the future. Thanks for sticking with me, even when I maybe-kinda-sorta neglected you at times. Please forgive me.
Thank you for giving me this fantastic space to write about whatever I feel like writing about. Sure, I call myself a Southern lifestyle blogger, because I was always told we need to have a “niche” in our blogging. Turns out I can blog about whatever pleases me. Maybe I have my favorite topics (blogging, Chattanooga, travel and life itself) and I definitely have topics I avoid (looking at you, fashion). But I’m not restricted by a niche. And I like it that way.
Thank you for keeping me sane during grad school. I don’t know how I managed to post two or three times each week, but I did.
Thank you for teaching me about social media before I knew I could have a career in it. I attribute a lot of my love for social media (and basically anything related to digital/online media) to my blogging experience. Four or five years ago, I never would’ve thought I could make a career out of social media and connecting people online. Started from the bottom, now I’m here? #thanksDrake
Thank you for getting me through my move to Chattanooga and starting my first “big girl” job (even though I hate it when people call them “big girl jobs”). Thank you for giving me a place to write about that transition and put my stress into something productive. Some of my best posts came out of that time.
Thank you for listening when I vented about my quarter-life crisis and the other crazy things that have happened in the last year. Thank you for listening when I talked about why it’s okay to get help, and other more personal posts. You really helped me be more open in the last year, and it made a huge difference in my anxiety management.
Thank you for connecting me with some other fabulous bloggers and people, many of whom I can now call sweet friends. Who says you can’t make friends online? Y’all know who y’all are.
Thank you for every single opportunity you’ve brought my way. From writing for PrettySouthern.com to covering the best events in Chattanooga, you’ve helped me grow as a writer, a blogger, a young professional and more. Five years ago, I would have been terrified pitching myself and my talents to a marketing or events coordinator, just to cover an event. It wasn’t my personality. Now I do it almost like it’s second nature. And I can’t think you enough for that.
I guess it’s true what they say, that time flies when you’re having fun. Thank you for being there for me. Always. You’re the real MVP. Here’s to five more years. And maybe more.
Love you, blog.
Photos taken by the fabulous Desirae of Tennessee Rose Blog (before the balloon broke loose and floated away).
Let’s talk blogging today, y’all. We haven’t talked blogging in a while.
One of my biggest struggles with blogging, especially in the last year or so, has been consistency. Sometimes life happens and things get in the way of my blogging routine. Work, travel, health, family… the list goes on. In the last few months alone, I’ve gone a week or more at a time without posting, several times. Even when I was in grad school, I was blogging two or three days a week. It kept me sane, I guess. And Lord knows, in grad school, I needed as much sanity as I could get.
Those weeks when I’ve gone without posting drive me crazy. I worry that my stats are dropping and that no one is reading my blog if I’m not posting new content, even if I am resharing and promoting my other recent posts. That’s not entirely the case, but #bloggerproblems.
I’ve read posts and articles on other sites about how you shouldn’t go very long between posts and you shouldn’t go longer than a certain amount of time without posting new content. While I understand and agree with that to an extent, breaks happen and sometimes you just have to let them. The truth is, it’s perfectly okay to take a blogging break, intentional or not.
Here are 5 reasons why everyone needs a blogging break eventually.
You can’t always help what happens in life.
Life is good at throwing curveballs and dropping in something unexpected. Or sometimes work picks up and you have to change how you manage your time. Priorities will have to shift at some point. It’s okay. It happens. The blog will always be there for you when you come back. And it will feel great when you come back.
Time away can help you refocus on your goals and how to make them happen.
Just like with rest, space is okay. Don’t be afraid of it. Giving your brain time to recharge and concentrate on other endeavors helps you refocus on your blogging goals and where in blogging you find your passion. Taking a step back also helps you see the bigger picture and how you can revise your goals, content calendar, business plan, what have you, so you can adapt and move forward successfully.
So when a blogging hiatus happens, take that time to refresh your brain and take a clean look at your goals. You’ll see everything with fresh eyes and there’s a good chance some things will change for the better.It's okay to take a break from blogging when you need it. Click To Tweet
Breaks give you time to rest and recharge.
Rest is a crucial part of the creative process. No matter how much or how badly you want to just go, go go, your body and mind can’t always take it. Your ideas and work may even start to suffer, and no one wants that. Listen to your body and mind and let yourself rest and recharge when you feel like you need it. Burnout is real. Don’t let it happen.
A hiatus can show you just how much you care about your work.
Remember the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? That applies to blogging, too. The more you miss it, the more you care about it and don’t want to be away from it. At least that’s how I feel when I’m away from blogging for any amount of time. My passion for it is reignited when I’m away from it and I itch to get back to it.Blogging breaks aren't always that bad. Embrace them and learn from them! Click To Tweet
And the best reason that it’s okay to take a blogging break…
Coming back and rocking your goals with a new focus and motivation is one of the best feelings in the world.
Without a doubt, writing and publishing those first few posts and making progress toward your goals after a hiatus is one of the best feelings as a blogger. It’s like saying, “Hey y’all, guess who’s back?” And then you feel like a total champ when you exceed all of your goals. Definitely not a #bloggerproblem.
Blogging breaks happen, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace the hiatus. Chances are it’ll be a lot more beneficial in the long run than you think!
Have you taken a blogging break lately, intentional or not? What did you learn from it?