12 Things I’ve Learned In A Year Of Running My Own Website

Is it a blog? A portfolio? An actual full-blown website with helpful information? To me, it’s all of that.

I’m talking about what I set up on October 14th, 2018. The beginning of Val In Vogue.

You see, at that time in my life, I knew that I was going to leave radio behind. I also knew that I’d be leaving a platform that allowed me to show off my writing, editing, social media and creative design skills. I wasn’t going to be able to “take my work with me” when I left.

So, I decided to make my own “portfolio” of sorts. This would be one that no one else could touch, because I ran it.

It was my own website.

After thinking about it, I realized that building my own website would give me my own platform to show off my skills, and it would give me a reason to stay connected on social media. Those things were important if I wanted to find work using those skill which I already had.

Also, I wanted to stay in touch with you!

A year later, I’m happy to find that my website/blog/homebase (whatever you want to call it) is doing all of the above.

As we look back, I thought it’d be fun to share some things I’ve learned about running your own website. If you run yours, tell me if you think these are true!

  1. You’re never satisfied with your aesthetic! Yeah. Don’t be surprised if you’re playing with your design and color palette for well into a year later. It’s okay. Just have fun with it! Change the vibe as you evolve.
  2. You’ll never feel like you have enough time to post how you want to. Face it, if we could do this all day we would. If you’re not at that point, it’s okay. A lot of us are still fighting for time to truly build our online presence the way we want to. Be easy on yourself!
  3. Don’t post things in a hurry. You’ll just make stupid editing, copyright or spelling mistakes that you will be called out for.
  4. Trolls are gonna troll. Remember that. There really are negative Nancys that just gotta Nancy. Do your very best, and let your tribe of loyal followers do the work of shaming them/calling them out for you. Don’t waste your time on them.
  5. It’s okay to evolve. If your look/design/copy isn’t what you want it to be, and no longer represents you, it’s okay to change it!
  6. Don’t forget personal connections. It means the world to your followers when you take a minute to send a “thank you” DM, or respond to them in a comment. This is the fun of social media, and it boosts your reach. Enjoy it!
  7. Apologize when you mess up. As with anything in life, be sure to apologize and own up mistakes when you make them. I guarantee you that you and your followers will reconnect and refocus together once you do this.
  8. Schedule ahead. Societal demands just don’t seem to be letting up, so be easy on yourself when it comes to your website and plan ahead! This will make keeping up with (and posting) content so much easier.
  9. Stop the comparisons. NO ONE (even Kim Kardashian herself) scores millions of followers their first months (or year) on the scene. Give yourself some grace and room to grow.
  10. Being authentic can apply anywhere. We hear social and digital media experts preaching the gospel of authentic material all of the time, but what we don’t always know is how to apply it. In my world, “being authentic” means crafting sentences, photoshoots, color palettes, and any piece of production as only I would. It reflects what’s going on in my head. What’s going on in yours?
  11. Listen to your analytics. If your insights and analytics are telling you to take it easy for a day because tomorrow a post will have more eyeballs on it anyway, believe it! You can also use this data to assess what (of your creations) your audience is actually into.
  12. Have fun with it! If running a website is becoming a “task” that you “have” to do, then reevaluate why it isn’t “fun” anymore. Take a look at what you’re doing and see if it really serves you and your audience. Be sure that what your doing feels like a “break” during the day, and that you actually enjoy it.

Lovelies, I want to thank you for following me all of these years – and especially for continuing to follow me via Val In Vogue. Thank you so much for the support!

I’ll keep going, because I think we’re all having fun here.

Let’s have a little bit of fun and examine a flashback moment here. I filmed this video in April to better explain my website. I think the core holds true today.

What do you think?