We recently had an in-person blogger meet up in Richmond, and I thought it would be fun to share a few key takeaways from our discussion! We chatted about lessons learned in 2019 and goals for 2020.

Here are a few of the highlights:

If you’re new to sponsored posts, start by asking for products in exchange for a post.

Whether it’s a free gym membership, a new home decor product, or food samples, many companies are happy to trade products in exchange for content. While some companies may turn you down, it doesn’t hurt to (politely) ask! When pitching a business, be sure to share a link to your website and explain why you think their product would be an excellent fit for your audience. Be clear about the benefit you’re giving to the company. Can’t find any contact info for the company you want to pitch? Try sending them a message on Instagram and ask for a marketing contact!

Don’t assume that a big audience = lots of money.

We all fall into the comparison trap from time to time. It’s easy to assume, for example, that someone with a lot of Instagram followers is killin’ it. But followers don’t instantly equal income. There are plenty of bloggers with thousands of followers and subscribers who aren’t making any money blogging. And there are plenty of bloggers with a small niche following who are making a full-time income. Don’t assume you can’t make money just because you don’t have a certain number of followers. Leverage your expertise whether that’s a unique skill, a certification, or years of experience in a certain industry!

It’s ok to take a break, rebrand, or start over. Just keep going!

Some of us have been blogging for a decade. Some of us are just starting out. Some of us are rebranding or starting over. That’s ok! Embrace where you are and enjoy the journey! The important thing is that you keep going and stay consistent. If you have a productive week and you find yourself cranking out lots of blog posts at once, consider spacing them out to give yourself some breathing room for the future. I’m currently working on blog posts that won’t go live for over a month. It took a lot of work to get that far ahead, but now I can take a day or two off without feeling like I have to play catch up.

Get inspired by books, podcasts, and other bloggers!

We all need a little boost of motivation from time to time. For me, I get energized by meeting up with other bloggers! But even if you can’t make it to a meetup, you can find inspiration at home. Check out this list of the best podcasts for bloggers. It’s a great way to learn new blogging skills while cleaning, driving, or working out. Be on the lookout for a virtual blogger book club coming soon!

What did you learn in 2019? What are your goals for 2020? Comment below and let us know!