3 Year Blogiversary: 3 Things I Have Learned

Ruthie Ridley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.
Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Wow! I honestly can’t believe I have been blogging for 3 years now! When I think about where I started and where I am now, I just have to give thanks to God for all of it.  Never, did I ever expected to have any sort of success.  I wished, dreamed and prayed for it, but thought anything “good” or “great” would take 15 years! This past year has been a wild ride.  It has been fun, exciting and unexpected.  I don’t how “good” or “great” it all was but I am nothing but pleased with all of 2017. Opportunities came my way that felt shouldn’t have.  Relationships with brands were established, developed and have flourished over the years.  I am beyond thankful.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Before I get into all the things I have learned I wanted to share my blogging career highlight that happened this year.  I will never forget it.  To me it was God’s little seal of “blogging approval.” I was at work one day, Ben was working in a different department across the way from me.  I received an email from the marketing department of Home Depot.  I thought, this cannot be real.  I responded immediately asking them what their ideas were for collaborating.  Within minutes I got an email back with another PR company CC’d in to help get the ball rolling.  When the idea was presented to me along with payment, I fainted.  I said, “Ben there is no way this is for me! Little old me with X amount of followers and reach! There is no way! It must be a scam.”  When I sent over the contract to several trusted friends and professionals they confirmed, this is not a scam, this is for you. The project took a few months but it was so fun and rewarding to work on! Truly and honor and highlight for me this year! You can see the video here, the blog post on my site here and the post on Home Depot’s blog here.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ok so on to the 3 things I have learned over the past 3 years! First up:

Define Your Niche

 It’s really easy as a blogger to compare yourself to others! It’s an industry where everything is focused on imagery, creativity and words. It’s important from the beginning to figure out what you want your focus to be, especially since it is an oversaturated market. It took me some time to figure this out. A lot of this is who you are, and the other part is what your readers respond the most to. I love the polls on Insta-story, they help get valuable information from your audience!

I absolutely love fashion. I don’t know if I’m the most fashionable blogger out there, but I absolutely love putting outfits together. I also have a family. I married a Englishman and we have mixed babies and it’s beautiful. I’m also a strong believer in my faith. Jesus Christ is at the center of everything I do. Overtime I realized that people respond the most to my family and faith based-inspirational posts. Does this mean that I stop doing fashion altogether? Absolutely not. You find a way to tie it all in. Once you discover what your niche is, you put out quality work that you love and that your readers respond the best to. I do not believe in only putting out work that other people love, tere must be a balance. I do this because I absolutely love it. At the same time I would love for this to be my full-time job one day so I have to do what works. Defining your niche is what is going to set you apart.

Plan Ahead

As a blogger your readers are expecting you to be relevant.  I remember when I was just starting out. I remember seeing other bloggers post these extravagant tablescapes weeks before Thanksgiving, have Valentine’s Day posts up before January ended and swimsuit options for all to see in early April.  I quickly realized that my content calendar had to be planned out weeks in advance.  Some things you cannot fully plan ahead for, like sponsored collaboration opportunities etc.  But, any personal creative content that you want to do pertaining to a certain holiday or theme must be planned out ahead. You need to know what you want to do, make a plan and then execute it. This means gathering props, clothing, reaching out to brands you want to partner with on your idea, grabbing inspo. from Pinterest, magazines and other bloggers.  Before you feel “ready” schedule your shoot!  I would like to add that this goes for simple shoots or brand related content as well.  Excellence requires planning and strategy, especially when you are involving other people, like photographers and florists. Nothing is “easy” with blogging but if you love to create it is worth it! There is something about the dreaming/planning process and then seeing my vision come to life that makes me come alive.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Focus On Your Strengths

I have Blogger buddies that envision their content, gather the supplies, shoot their own photos, down their own graphics and it is absolutely amazing. I’m a visionary. I’m constantly dreaming up something new. I’m full of ideas, and am always onto the next thing before I have completed the first. I have Valentine’s Day all planned out for the blog this year… You get the idea! But I am not a photographer. I’m also not great with the computer at all, whatsoever. I don’t get Pinterest, and I’m just starting to figure out Facebook and how it works for the blog. Photoshop and Lightroom are like Chinese to me…My point is that, if you try to be the best at things that are never going to come easy to you you’re going to waste a lot of time and end up doing mediocre work. Now don’t get me wrong, in the beginning I absolutely could not afford to hire anyone to take pictures for me. Our nanny at the time took photos of me with her iPhone. So please hear me on this, I firmly believe in working with what you have, but as you grow you need to use wisdom with your resources and your time.
As I’ve grown and demands have increased I’ve hired photographers, hired someone to help me with Pinterest, hired someone to help me with back end computer logistics etc. Often times these are influencers themselves that have a side job and the cost is not outrageous. You just have to ask and look. Discover your strengths, cultivate it and then ask others to help you in areas that are not your expertise.

 

 

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

Ruthie RIdley Blog: Celebrating 3 years of blogging! There has been so much I have learned over the years, but the main thing that sticks out is there is nothing impossible with God.

If you made it this far into my post, congratulations because it was a long one!  I wanted to invite you to dream with me in 2018.  There is so much yet to be done, to see and experience in this life we live.  I want to dare you to dream! Over the next few weeks I will be doing a series called “Dare To Dream” along with a few other highly esteemed bloggers in my book.  We will be breaking down the aspects of living and dreaming big in 2018! Although I am celebrating 3 years of blogging, I truly believe that the best is yet to come! Thank you for reading and following along! It means everything to me!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Ps.  If you wanted to see prior celebratory blogiversary posts, you can look here and here!

Special thank you to Sarah Schweyer for capturing these stunning photos and beautiful moments! I always feel close to God when I am with you. Thank You Shannon of Thistle And Honey Floral for sharing your beautiful flower arranging magic with me! You are a dream! And thank you to Shop The Mint for gifting me this BEAUTIFUL dress that totally expresses my celebration in its fullness! 

 

  • Comments ( 76 )

  • avatar
    sarah belanger

    Happy blogiversary!! HOW EXCITING! you made some great points about blogging that i needed to be reminded of. I know i definitely don’t plan far enough in advance.

  • avatar
    Cait

    Happy Blogiversary! How fun! love all these things you learned too!

  • avatar
    Leslie@Peaches&Willow

    Your photos are always radiating such joy and happiness. your blog is seriously one of my favorites but i don’t come here enough. i’m changing that in 2018 because i need more of your happiness in my life.

    congratulations on the big gig with home depot. i would have fainted, too. that is so amazing. happy blogivaersary and cheers to a new year adn many more blogiversaries to come!!!!

  • avatar
    Kenya

    Absolutely beautiful post! congrats on your anniversary and all of your successes! cheers to many more. The photos in this post are absolutely stunning! happy new year!

  • avatar
    jen

    Congratulations! Loved reading about your moment of “blogging APPROVAL!!” Love your style!

  • avatar
    Ciera chang

    Congratulations on three years of bLogging, Ruthie! i always EnJoy your posts and love these tips you shared today. You look gorgeous in these photos and i can’t wait to see what God and 2018 has in store for you and the blog!

    xoxo, CiCi
    http://www.worldwidestylista.com

  • avatar
    Jessica

    Congrats on all your success. You have BeautIful content!

  • avatar
    Jenni LeBaron

    Congrats on 3 years! I haven’t even made it to my first anniversary yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

  • avatar
    kerri

    Happy anniversary!

  • avatar
    kristina

    Congrats on sticking to it & staying consistent!

  • avatar
    Dana Regules

    You are stunning!!! Congrats on being you!!!

  • avatar
    Gladys parker

    Congratulations ruthie! You have made it, crossed that PROVERBIAL bridge, made it to the inner circle! I have been playing at blogging as a hobby for like five years someday I’ll get serious.

  • avatar
    Amanda

    This is so exciting! Three years is truly a milestone. May you have many more successful years to come.

  • avatar
    Willow

    I am on year three also! I too did not have my content calendar planned out in the beginning. This year I was more prepared, but then I broke my ankle. I did not get out as much content for the holidays as I would have liked to. Next year I will start 6 months ahead of time!

  • avatar
    Oh to Be a Muse

    All great tips to have learned in just three years of blogging. Kudos and happy blogiversary!

  • avatar
    Laura Leigh

    Ruthie these photos are everything and this post is amazing! Couldn’t agree more with the three items you learned. I am basically right there with you, learning these items. Blogging is truly about learning every single day. Way to kill it in 2017! Can’t wait to see what 2018 brings you.

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

  • avatar
    Cassie rea

    Love this post. You look stunning and i love your heart. Calling it gods stamp of blog approval. I can totally relate to that.
    Xoxo, cassie Rea
    http://Www.cassierea.com

  • avatar
    Nicole Green

    Congratulations girlfriend! So exciting that you’ve had so much success in your three years. I definitely agree with you; I didn’t understand why people were so obsessed with content calendars until I really started blogging. And you’re spot on with playing to your strengths. There’s some things that you just have to hire out.

  • avatar
    January Rizzo

    These pictures are absolutely stunning! That dress looks perfect on you!! Congrats on 3 years!

  • avatar
    Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels

    Congratulations on 3 years! I really love the pictures your dress is such a stunning color and I love the floral. IT’s amazing how quickly we can learn in years of blogging!

  • avatar
    Belle

    Happy Blogiversary, ruthie! You’ve done an amazing job! These are such great lessons to share!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • avatar
    Carol Cassara

    Beautiful and well deserved! I’m glad you got that opportunity the past year! It’s definitely what makes blogging even more fulfilling. I think these lessons are all wonderful, you’ll learn a few more as you go along this blogging life. I really enjoyed your pictures, you look divine in that dress!

  • avatar
    Allison

    OMG this post. these pictures. the message! congrats on three years of blogging and thanks for inspiring me!

  • avatar
    Chelsie

    GIRL! Congrats on such an amazing year and for sharing your big win with home depot! Such an inspiration – can’t wait to see what amazing things come your way in 2018!

  • avatar
    Lauren

    Congratulations on all of the success! I love those little ‘pinch me’ moments in blogging! It makes all the hard work worth it!

  • avatar
    Amber nall

    Congrats on 3 years! And how awesome is that home depot GiG! You go girl!

  • avatar
    Kirsten

    So much great inspiration and knowledge here for new bloggers and those that are chasing a dream. Great post that shows the work is hard, but rewarding and FULFILLING in the end!

  • avatar
    April

    You deserved this amazing year! I loved your collab with home depot. I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

    April | http://www.thebluehydrangeas.com

  • avatar
    Jodine

    Some really great tips for bloggErs. I need to follow your advice – pArtiCularly around defining My niche!

  • avatar
    Taylor Reese

    Congratulations lady!!! So excited for you. I absolutely love the fun shoot you did for this anniversary. I’m just starting my 3rd year and working on getting better at the plan ahead part 🙂 some days are better than others!

    xo
    taylor
    http://www.reeseshardwear.com

  • avatar
    Erica @ Coming Up Roses

    First off, these photos are GORGEOUS, Ruthie! Second, CONGRATULATIONS on that Home Depot win – absolutely deserveD + should be celebrated!!!! Third, fabulous advice. All so true + sound!

  • avatar
    Deb Savage

    Congrats on the blogiversary! That is definitely something to be proud of and that collab story with home depot is so inspiring.

  • avatar
    Danielle

    First off, these photos are absolutely gorgeous! Congrats on 3 years lady. planning ahead is something i’m still working on!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  • avatar
    maggie

    Happy 3 year anniversary!!

  • avatar
    Nathalie

    AWESOME Girl! Congrats! I am a newbie blogger and DEFINITELY need to work on planning ahead!

    Nathalie
    http://apinchofaustria.com

  • avatar
    Chubskulit Rose

    Congratulations on that great accomplishment. You inspire me to continue what I love doing.

  • avatar
    Jenny

    Yes to all of these and cheers to 3 years! so exciting girl.

  • avatar
    Helene

    COngratulations on reaching three years of blogging! I’m only halfway there and can only hope to learn as much as you have!

  • avatar
    Jordan Wise

    Congratulations! Such an important anniversary! I feel like three years marks the first year that it isn’t ‘new’ and that you’re really becoming comfortable, and it shows!!! The bouquet is ON POINT too!

  • avatar
    Mandy Gragg

    That’s seriously so amazing about your project!! So well deserved. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

  • avatar
    roni

    Congratulations! as a new blogger this was super helpful! keep up the awesome work xx

  • avatar
    Shelby Back

    congratulations on 3 years and all of your success! and these tips are amazing! thanks for sharing!

    xo!
    Shelby

  • avatar
    bRITTANY mURPHY

    cONGRATS TO YOU ON YOUR SUCCESS! i AM NOT A FASHION BLOGGER, BUT i DID REALLY APPRECIATE THE ADVICE OF LEARNING TO PLAN AHEAD DEPENDING ON THE SEASON. i’M GOING TO FOCUS MORE ON THAT.

  • avatar
    Dogvills

    Congratulations! What an exciting time for you! I mean three years is a milestone achievement for bloggers, given the fact that there are millions trying to make it in the blogging world. Wishing you more success and thank you for sharing the lessons you have learned along your journey.

  • avatar
    Jordan | read. Eat. repeat.

    Congratulations! These are great tips. I need to do better at focusing on my strengths, for sure.

  • avatar
    Amanda Elizabeth – Meet at the Barre

    Congrats on your anniversary! You have had some big blog opportunities for sure! thanks for all your insight and behind the scenes 🙂

  • avatar
    Lori | Choosing Wisdom

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! Love these lessons learned – always so important to look back at how you’ve learned and grown before you move forward! Best wishes for the new year!

  • avatar
    Paula @ I’m Busy Being Awesome

    Oh wow! What an accomplishment. Congratulations! I LOVE YOUR POINT ABOUT USING YOUR STRENGTHS. THAT IS SO TRUE.

    • avatar
      Paula @ I’m Busy Being Awesome

      Oops, not sure why half of my comment is in caps – Ha!

  • avatar
    Sara Nichols

    I hope to be at your point one day! I am only a few months in.

  • avatar
    Magaly

    Congratulations on your three years!!! I love what you said about working with your strengths and letting others help with the partS of blogging that arent your strengths… working on that myself 🙂

  • avatar
    Ashley DTKAustin

    Congrats on THREE years!!! Time definitely flies when you’re having fun!! Here’s to 2018!!

  • avatar
    Marissa

    planning ahead saves you so much time and stress!

  • avatar
    Nicola @ Happy Healthy Motivated

    I definitely agree with you when it comes to planning ahead! It’s the best way to keep on top of everything and not feel overwhelmed.

  • avatar
    Jessica Wagner

    Congrats on three years! That is a huge accomplishment! I loved reading about your insights – I am coming up on two years and it amazing to see some of the similarities in the journey! Your advice is really ENCOURAGING to read! kepp up the amazing work! XO

    https://www.theweekenderafashionfieldguide.com

  • avatar
    Shannon

    Happy Blogiversary and congrats on your amazing successes! Its really inspiring and the home depot thing is very cool! love your tip about gathering other people to help you with the areas you may not be the best at.

  • avatar
    Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    Happy Blogiversary! These photos are SO GORGEOUS!!! And I loved reading what you’ve learned, too. It’s all so true… especially planning ahead. When I can’t/don’t plan ahead, things don’t happen.

  • avatar
    Chelley Martinka

    You are absolutely amazing! Congratulations on your success and thank you for your tips!

  • avatar
    Nelli

    You are such an inspiration! Happy 3 years of blogging! Congrats on all your success and keep shining! Xo, nelli

  • avatar
    Alicia Chew

    I had no idea your husband was English — too cute! Congratulations on a successful 3 years, you’re killing it!!

  • avatar
    Debbie Savage

    This is so amazing! I am so proud of you! You continue to inspire me with your energy spirit and voice! congrats on year #3!!! This blog post is beautiful! xo

  • avatar
    Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins

    Congrats on all your success! I love your dress and those flowers are gorgeous.

  • avatar
    Penny

    Yeah, happy Blogiverasry!
    I can only imagine how stoked you must have been at your big-time offer this blogging year. Congratulations! And Thank you!
    You are one GOING before me, paving my way, making my dreams clearer to me. I appreciate you Ridley!

  • avatar
    Megan

    Happy BLOGGERVERSARY! This is so exciting and I can’t wait to see where this year takes you.

    Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com

  • avatar
    Stephanie

    This post just made me so happy, friend! It’s exciting to watch you grow and bloom and create beautiful content that reaches all sorts of people! Here’s to many more years of the ruthie ridley magic we’ve all come to know and love!

    • avatar
      Ruthie

      Ok, this comment made me cry!!! Love you girl!!!

  • avatar
    nicole

    Happy Blogiversary!!!! What a great way to reflect on your success!

  • avatar
    Mindy Thompson

    LOVe these reflections!!!
    Xo Mindy amxiofmin.com

  • avatar
    Jennifer Ashley

    Congrats on three amazing years! Loved hearing your perspective on things you’ve learned! I’m going on 5 years blogging and still never seem to have my content CALENDAR sorted out early enough haha!

    Jennifer Ashley | http://www.prettylittledetails.com

  • avatar
    Elizabeth O

    Congratulations on your 3rd Anniversary as a blogger! It’s amazing how time flies by when we are doing what we love… It all starts with that first step. Bravo!

  • avatar
    Sanaa Brooks

    I’m so with you! I suck at taking my photos, actually I can take them, but it takes so much time to do it! I hate doing social media to, now that it’s required, but I can’t afford to outsource so I’ve decreased the number of posts I try to do each month and that has helped. Now I have more time to do other things! Great post. Congrats on the third year!

    ~ Sanaa
    http://www.amomthatsleeps.com

  • avatar
    Lauryn Hock

    Happy blog anniversary! There are so many ups and downs; you’ve made it!

  • avatar
    Stephanie // A Sparkle Factor

    HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! Congrats on a wildly successful year lady! WELL DESERVED! You are such a lovely person and I love your uplifting and inspiring content. And your beautiful family! So happy for you!

  • avatar
    Amanda

    Happy blogiversary! I love hearing about those amazing moments you’ve had. Your happiness absolutely came through in these photos and they’re stunning.

    xo, Amanda
    http://www.aglamlifestyle.com

  • avatar
    Kay

    What a beautiful celebration post! CONGRATS! Heres to 3 more years!

  • avatar
    Sara

    Congratulations Gf on your 3 year blogiversary! I honestly look forward to your posts and always leave feeling inspired and touched! keep up the amazing work!

    xo, Sara

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