5 Things I’ve Learned After 5 Years of Blogging

5 things I've learned in 5 years of blogging

I am still in shock that I’ve been writing Life of Hayley for 5 years! This has been such a fun adventure and I hope to continue blogging for the foreseeable future.

One question I get asked is what are the things I have learned about blogging over the years. The blogging community is changing rapidly and it’s hard to keep up with all of the new influencers popping up every single day. I try not to take blogging too seriously which has helped me continue to love writing after all this time.

Here are five things that I have learned in my five years as a blogger:

  1. Not everyone needs or wants to be a professional blogger. I have no real desire to blog full time right now. I really enjoy having Life of Hayley be my hobby and because it’s not my full time job it’s okay if from time to time I need a break from it. If blogging was my full time job I would have to create a content calendar and stick to it. Some of my favorite posts are the random ones that I wrote when I was feeling inspired.
  2. The more time you put into your blog the more you get out of it. I have found that the more time and energy I put into a post the more views and comments it gets. The more I post the better my blog does but it’s important to remember that it’s not all about your blog stats! I blog because I love to and not because I like to see how many people are reading each day. I’d rather have one meaningful comment than one million page views.
  3. Being able to look back at your life is pretty cool. I’m terrible at keeping a journal and my memory isn’t the best. Being able to look back at blog posts over the last five years is really cool. I have been able to document my life and can see how much I have changed and how far I have come. I can be proud of my journey.
  4. You don’t have to be a web designer to have a nice blog design. When I was in high school I wanted to be a web designer so I took all of the web design/coding classes that my school had to offer. I am lucky to have a small amount of knowledge about web design but for the most part you really don’t have to have any prior knowledge to start a blog. WordPress is great because it has a ton of free themes and it’s easy to watch Youtube tutorials if you want to customize anything.
  5. Making connections is the best part of blogging. YOU are the reason I keep writing! All of my blogging friends and this community is what inspires me to keep telling my story. I love sharing my journey but I also love reading about your journey too.

What are your best blogging tips?

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

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5 Years of Blogging!

5 Years of Blogging

In November Life of Hayley turned 5! Since then I have been struggling on how to properly commemorate this very special occasion. 

Let me start out by saying that I began this blog right after my 20th birthday as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. At the time I was a sophomore in college and felt incredibly lost about what to do with my life. I felt unaccomplished and lonely. I had started a blog the year before for my freshman English class so the thought of writing had been in my head for some time. My 20th birthday was the perfect starting point for a lifestyle blog.

In the beginning I wrote about whatever I wanted and it was never about the views, likes, or comments. When I studied abroad in London I posted once a week and my blog gained a small following. I really loved the interaction with fellow bloggers and fell in love with the community. My senior year of college I took an internet marketing class that forced me to once again start a new blog. I spent all my time and energy on getting traffic to that blog. My grade was based on the number of followers, likes, and comments. I started to hate blogging when I no longer felt joy in interacting and instead found myself fixated on the stats. After I graduated from college I took almost a full year off of blogging and honestly thought that I would never blog again. 

My current job is what inspired me to open my laptop and start writing. I work in finance so there’s very little creativity in my normal day-to-day activities. I found myself wanting to write again about getting married and life after college. My first post was a challenge to write but after that I got back into the swing of things. 

My life has changed greatly since the day I sat in my dorm room and began writing. Life of Hayley has developed into something that I’m really proud of. This community has supported me during some of the hardest moments of my life and for that I am grateful. I hope 5 years from now I’ll be around to reflect on my 10 years of blogging.

Thanks so much for reading!

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Travel Playlist – A Week In Italy

Travel Playlist - Italy

Hello from Italy (hopefully)!

I am scheduling this post a week in advance but *fingers crossed* Brett and I are currently in Rome!

The most popular blog post that I have ever written was my Study Abroad Playlist in 2015. I am still blown away by the number of views that I receive each week on this post! Music is so important to me and I love having a playlist for each trip that I take. This trip to Rome has been one that I have been dreaming about since I was in Elementary school. I’m so grateful to get the chance to visit!

I should also mention during this trip I will be living out my Lizzie McGuire movie dreams so of course there will be songs from the movie soundtrack. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this little taste of Rome.

Volare – Vitamin C

Pompeii – Bastille

Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Learning to Fly – Tom Petty

Go Big Or Go Home – American Authors

Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

New Soul – Yael Naim

What Dreams Are Made Of – Hilary Duff

Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

Where The Streets Have No Name – U2

The Nights – Avicci

Have Love Will Travel – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

I Love This Life – LOCASH

What are your favorite songs for traveling?

Thanks for reading!

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Hello From Somewhere!

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Hi friends!

It’s the beginning of a new week and I have no idea where I am. I’m writing this post ahead of time because Brett and I are traveling this week. The goal is to make it to Europe, preferably Rome, but we will take a what we can get!

My husband, Brett, works for an airline which means that we get flight benefits to fly standby. We aren’t guaranteed a seat on the flight and a lot of times we get stuck places. But I guess that’s part of the adventure!

This week we are trying to make it to Rome and hopefully by the time you are reading this we have made it. If you want to know where we ended up make sure to follow me on Instagram (@lifeofhayleyblog). I’ll be posting to my stories as often as I can.

I am so excited for this new adventure with Brett and can’t wait to share my travels with you when I return.

Thanks so much for reading!

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Five On Friday #4

Five Things on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

Once again, I thought I’d share five things that have been on my mind this week. It has been an exhausting week between an aggressive headache and lots of responsibilities at work. Let’s just say that I am very excited for this weekend and my vacation next weekend. This is my first real vacation this year besides air shows and weddings so I’m super excited to relax a bit!

  1. October 2nd marked one year since Tom Petty passed away. Tom Petty was one of my absolute favorite artists and his death devastated the entire music industry. I celebrated his life all week long by listening to a Tom Petty playlist on repeat.
  2. This weekend we will be attending my cousin’s wedding! I have never been more excited for someone to get married (besides me, of course). They have been dating for 11 years and I’m looking forward to celebrating with them!
  3. Brett and I are getting ready for our long awaited European adventure next week! We are flying stand-by so I’m not exactly sure where we will end up but hopefully it will be Rome! If you want to see more about our trip make sure to follow me on Instagram (@lifeofhayleyblog). I am hoping to post there pretty regularly!
  4. My headaches seem to be immune to any sort of pain medication now. I am on day 10 of constant pain and all I want to do is sleep for the next one hundred years.
  5. I despise jeans but have been loving Old Navy’s jeans lately. I bought three pairs in the last couple of weeks and have been living in them. I prefer jeans that are super stretchy and comfortable and they have a lot of variety.

Also, a huge thank you to my friend Hunida for featuring me in her blog post yesterday! I always love reading her monthly favorite blog posts and was super surprised to see my blog featured! Thanks again!

Well, that’s all of this week! What’s on your mind today?

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

I Was Nominated for the Liebster Award!

liebsteraward

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend!

My good friend Tiffany from Beutiflee nominated me for the Liebster Award! If you haven’t heard of Tiffany be sure to check out her blog! She posts the most beautiful and inspiring blog posts that I always love reading!

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. You get nominated for it, then you nominate others. It is fun idea and is perfect for beginner (and expert) bloggers to connect with other people in the blogging community.

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

Tiffany’s Questions:

  1. What is your favorite comfort foods?
    My favorite comfort food is Qdoba chicken quesadillas with Dr. Pepper. So unhealthy but delicious! I also love Culver’s chocolate custard with peanut butter syrup and peanut butter cups. Yummmmmm
  2. Where are you from?
    I am from a small town in Southwest Michigan.
  3. What was the last adventurous thing you did?
    The last adventurous thing I did was fly stand-by to New York to visit my sister. We had to fly to Connecticut and drive because we didn’t make the flight to Albany!
  4. What’s the last movie you’ve seen?
    The last movie I watched was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. It was amazing! You can read my review of the book here.
  5. What do you enjoy most about the summer?
    I thing I enjoy most about summer is visiting my Grandparents at the lake. I love spending time catching up with them.
  6. What’s one goal(s) you reached so far for 2018?
    Buying a house and adopting a puppy!!
  7. What’s your favorite sports?
    Fun Fact – I am terrible at sports!! I was in the marching band though which totally counts as a sport!
  8. Where’s waldo? (LOL!)
    Hmmmmmm……. he’s probably off on another adventure 🙂
  9. What’s your favorite book to read, thus far?
    My favorite books are all of the Harry Potter books but I also love the Royal We!
  10. How many pets do you have?
    1 cat (Lucy) and 1 dog (Oscar)
  11. Can’t think of anymore questions! (LOL!)

Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have a “Holiday Tree” in my cubicle at work that I decorate for each season with my co-workers.
  2. I hate having a messy kitchen. The rest of my house can be a disaster but my kitchen must be clean.
  3. I’m afraid of mowing the lawn. My dad told me about a puppy being ran over by a lawn mower when I was little and it scared me for life. I really need to face this fear.
  4. I really hate driving in the winter.
  5. I love to travel but I am also a homebody.
  6. I have always wanted to learn how to do calligraphy
  7. I love planning events!
  8. I love home décor but I hate changing around the decorations in my house. Once I get a room the way I want it I don’t change it except for holidays.
  9. Speaking of home décor, we had a ton of dachshund decorations before we adopted Oscar. I have always thought that doxies are adorable!
  10. I only drink water 98% of the time. I will occasionally drink a glass of wine, a coke slushie, or tea.
  11. London is my favorite city to visit! I studied abroad there in 2015 and visited again in 2017 for our honeymoon. I can’t wait to go back!!

My Nominations:

Cup of Maggie
Cheeky Intuition
With Every Good Wish!
Reading Under The Blankie
Maddy’s Digital Diary
The Abiding Tourist
Rosie Culture
Chanelle Hayley
Life with Lauren Blog
Strikeouts + Sprinkles
Rejoicing In Hope

My Questions:

  1. What genre of music would you play if you had your own radio station?
  2. What’s your favorite place that you have ever visited?
  3. What is one thing that you cannot live without?
  4. Do you consider yourself to be more introverted or extroverted? Or a combination of both?
  5. What is your dream job?
  6. What is the first thing that you would do if you won the lottery?
  7. What is your favorite food?
  8. What are three words that best describe you?
  9. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  10. Why do you blog?
  11. What is the number one destination on your bucket list?

I always love reading these posts and I hope you do too! Thanks so much for reading and thanks again to Tiffany for the nomination!

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Five On Friday

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Happy Friday!!

I am SO ready for the weekend even though it’s going to be crazy busy. I thought it would be fun to share five things that I’m loving or looking forward to this weekend!

  1. Tonight we are celebrating my dad’s retirement! He technically retired in May but my sister was in New York so we wanted to wait until she got home for the party.
  2. I went grocery shopping on Wednesday so now I have lots of healthy foods ready to go for the weekend. I’m trying really hard to eat healthy and lose weight.
  3. On Saturday we are going to a balloon fest and Sunday we are going to an airshow. I also have a Bridal Shower on Saturday. It’s another busy weekend!
  4. I made a huge order from The Limited that should be coming any day now. I am trying to completely refresh my professional wardrobe and I’m hoping a lot of the items I ordered online will work out! The Limited is having a great sale right now if you are on the hunt for affordable pieces to add to your wardrobe.
  5. I will be reading Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum this weekend. I have heard some pretty good reviews about this book so I have high hopes! It’s another YA novel so it should be a quick and fun weekend read.

What are you up to this weekend? I’m trying to soak in every last minute of summer!

Wishing you all a great Friday and weekend! 🙂

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