What I’ve Learned in Five Years of Blogging

Five years ago this week I sat down at my desk in my college apartment and started Life With Emily. After years of reading other blogs I decided to create one of my own to share my day-to-day life with my family and use it as a creative outlet to share my fashion and beauty favorites. When I first started my blog I had absolutely no idea what I was doing (some days I still feel that way haha!) Did I ever think anyone aside from my family would read my blog? No. Did I ever think five years later I would still be updating something I started on a whim in college? Absolutely not. But am I so happy that I am still here typing behind my screen five years later? Hell yes!

Funny story: I have the TimeHop app and the other day I was scrolling through my social media posts from that day and three years ago I tweeted that one day I wished that I could blog full-time. Little did I know when I was typing out that tweet that my wish would come true after a lot of hard work, a leap of faith, and a ton of trial-and-error.

I am so grateful beyond words that I get to wake up every day and run a business that I am extremely passionate about. I am so thankful that I have a supportive boyfriend, family, and friends who back me 100% and push me to reach for the stars. And I know that none of this would even be remotely possible if it weren’t for the people who read Life With Emily and keep coming back! I have loved getting to know my readers and many of you have become friends who I get to chat with daily (which I love!)Today I wanted to share five things I have learned from blogging with you! Click through to read what I’ve learned!

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As I said above, when I first started blogging, the blogging community was very different and still relatively new. I did everything myself from my blog design (lol at that!!!) to figuring out rewardStyle when it first came out. By nature, I am a very independent person. I don’t like seeking help whether it be from an individual or a book. I quickly learned that in a business where I work for myself that I have to learn to accept help and ask questions when I’m unsure. I have monthly calls with my account consultant at rewardStyle so I can ask any questions and we can talk strategy. I don’t hesitate to ask my blogger friends questions or their opinion if I’m unsure about something. I have bought e-books and joined in on webinars in order to learn more about a subject. Nowadays there are endless resources (webinars, pins on pinterest, youtube videos) for almost anything you want to know or learn. I highly suggest taking advantage of these and using what you learn to better your blog or brand.

5 things i have learned about blogging
This one is easier said than done. By nature, we all find ways to compare ourselves to others even though we shouldn’t. A quote that I try to remind myself of is, “I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.” It’s a great quote to remember, especially on days when I am feeling a bit insecure and playing the comparison game! It is so easy to look at what someone else is doing and feeling jealousy or insecurity. But remember, many people share their “highlight reel” and don’t necessarily show everything that is going in their life. It’s best to focus on yourself and be proud of what you are accomplishing at that moment!what blogging has taught meTHREE | IT’S OK TO SAY NO!
I will admit, this is something that I struggled with in the beginning days of my blog. Your blog is up and running and gaining traction and people are starting to reach out to you about sending you free things. Admit it, it’s hard to say no sometimes. Did I accept things that weren’t necessarily on-brand at first? Yes. (just being honest here) Did I hurt my own blog and brand by doing so? Yes. I think I was afraid to hurt people’s feelings by saying no. I learned that it is totally ok to say no to something that just doesn’t fit with your blog, brand, or yourself as a person. Now if something doesn’t doesn’t align with my blog, brand, or style I am upfront with them. I thank them for their time and reaching out, but I let them know that their product, etc. doesn’t align with my blog. Most of the time people reply back and thank me (whaaaat) for letting them know! So it IS ok to turn down stuff and to say no.what i learned by blogging
Full disclosure: This is also something I struggled with at first (and sometimes still do.) Sort of like above, I was afraid to ask for what I wanted with regards to collaboration terms. When I was new to blogging it was extremely hard to approach a brand, company, or PR firm in hopes of working with them. It was hard to ask for what I wanted. Now after blogging for five years, it can still be hard to negotiate compensation for my work and time. In running a business I had to learn that I was selling myself short. I had to learn what I was worth. I had to remember that I couldn’t pay my business expenses in free clothes and jewelry. Simple as that. Just like if a brand wanted to be featured in a magazine, on a billboard, or any other form of marketing, they would have to pay. The worst thing that can happen is them turn you down. You never know the outcome unless you ask.what I've learned by blogging
Being organized is extremely important. Between deadlines, draft dates, and contracts, it can be very easy to forget something if you’re not organized. If you keep things up-to-date digitally, I suggest Fantastical Calendar for noting dates and important reminders. I also use Evernote (which syncs to my computer, phone and iPad) for keeping blog ideas, expenses, income, etc. I am also old school so I keep a paper editorial calendar (if you don’t have one, start using one ASAP). I keep a notebook with me at all times for jotting down ideas that I have. I keep my planner with me so I always know due dates. I’ll be sure to write a post soon about the ways I stay organized!

I could go on and on about blogging for days haha! I will be starting a blogging series on the blog soon so I can share my tips, tricks, and advice with you! I truly appreciate all of you hanging around Life With Emily (whether you’re a new or old reader.) To thank you all, there will be a lot of really great giveaways coming up this week. So be sure to stop by every day this week for a chance to win some goodies! xx

Leave a Reply


  1. Liz S. wrote:

    Wishing you a very happy blogging anniversary! Love your site and I can’t wait to see even more posts/years of blogging from you 🙂

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  2. This post is so uplifting, I feel so lost at times and I know I have a lot to learn but this piece is a great reminder to keep at it! Just discovered your blog and I am so happy I did, great post and I am glad you found success in doing something you love!

    Rilee xx

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  3. Michelle wrote:

    Congrats on 5 years! I’ve been following you from pretty much the very beginning 🙂

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  4. Natali wrote:

    2 and 4 are SO true and have proved to be very beneficial for me after I have understood them. HAPPY 5TH blog birthday and good luck with all of the great things that are yet to come your way. 🙂


    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  5. I love your tips! And congrats! –Hanna Lei

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  6. Congrats on 5 years! So glad we started following each other to early on. It has been so amazing to see how you’ve grown so quickly and still been the same Emily since the beginning. Proud of you! 🙂

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  7. Sara Kate wrote:

    I love number 4. This is definitely something all of us struggle with still but it does get easier with time. Congrats on the anniversary!

    Sara Kate Styling

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  8. Sheila wrote:

    Loved this! I just started my blog last week (after years of saying I wanted to)
    Thank you for the advice, it was very helpful! ?

    With love,

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  9. Kelly in the City wrote:

    Ah, CONGRATULATIONS, Emily! So exciting! Loved reading what you learned. 🙂

    Kelly | Kelly in the City

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  10. This was so helpful, thank you for sharing! I agree with the abundance of blogging resources. I pin so many articles but never have time to go back and read them. Need to work on that!

    x. Sabrina // Simply Sabrina

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  11. Samantha wrote:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing and congrats on 5 years of blogging! — SC at http://www.samanthachic.com

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  12. Caley wrote:

    Congratulations! What an incredible journey and adventure for you and your blog – always so wonderful to hear from a great blogger like yourself x

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  13. Such a great post with some amazing tips! Congrats on 5 years girl!



    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  14. Happy Blogversary! It’s so amazing to see how far bloggers have come, good luck in everything to come!

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  15. Kim Pincombe Cole wrote:

    Happy 5 years!!!!

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  16. Whitney wrote:

    These are fantastic tips! It’s so important to remember how to say NO and to remember that you are worth being compensated for your time!

    Posted 2.8.16 Reply
  17. jessica wrote:

    Happy 5 Years! I celebrate 5 years in April and can’t believe how long it’s been.

    xo Jessica

    Posted 2.9.16 Reply
  18. Emily Soto wrote:

    I am struggling with number 4 right now! We might have to get coffee and chat about how you handle this! Congratulations on 5 years! You have built a wonderful blog!

    Posted 2.15.16 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      You got it, girl! Just text me. My schedule is pretty flexible so we can meet for coffee or something one day! 🙂

      Posted 2.15.16 Reply
  19. Hillary wrote:

    Congrats on 5 years and thanks for these tips! Keep kicking butt, I love your blog and your new theme, if I haven’t said it already! 🙂


    Posted 2.16.16 Reply

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  • A little mid-week floral happiness for ya! 🌸 hows everyone doing this week? I’m having a pretty good week so far - sharing a few things I’m thankful for this week:
• a loving, supportive husband! I haven’t been out of the house in 2+ weeks & he’s made sure I have everything I need!
• neighborhood walks, they’re good for the soul & a great way to recharge.
• a great support system near & far keeping me encouraged!
• the ability to catch up with friends! 👩🏼‍💻Had a great zoom call with my #bloggersdotravel girls @mystylevita @glitterandgingham @kristinchambless & @poorlittleitgirl today!
• my endless pile of books that I want to read! 📚I’ve enjoyed unplugging and reading every day. #booksconnectus

share what you’re thankful for this week! 💙 http://liketk.it/2Mlh5 #liketkit #LTKhome #floralarrangement
  • 24 weeks with our baby boy🤰🏼💙 it’s crazy to think we get to meet him in just 16 weeks, it feels like this pregnancy has flown by! 👶🏻I feel grateful that I have had a healthy & happy pregnancy but, to be honest, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. As a first time mom, I have these feelings of immense sadness as the last half of this pregnancy is going to be nothing like I had envisioned. There have been a lot of tears over the fact that many exciting moments can no longer be shared with those closest to us. I know others have it much, much worse but I’ve learned it’s ok to be sad & to feel these emotions. I’m upset that I am no longer able to have a baby shower to celebrate our first born, I’m sad I don’t get to hug our family and watch their faces as they see my growing bump. I’m upset that these last few months of just the two of us look completely different - more time spent in our house quarantined and less time having date nights at our favorite spots and doing the things we want before baby arrives. I mourn the fact that our families may not get to meet our baby boy in the hospital the way we always talked about. But with any situation, I have cried it out (a lot) and decided to take it one day at a time and to find joy in each day💙 And ya know what? There’s a lot of joy amidst the chaos. It brings me so much joy to feel his daily movement (and my heart nearly burst when Nick felt him kick for the first time).🥰I am overjoyed that we have such a strong support system near and far. I love that we get to spend more time at home spoiling our fur babies. I find solace knowing that there are so many pregnant mamas out there feeling these exact emotions & we share a common experience and bond! I am grateful for those that are on the front lines caring for everyone. I know we have the best doctors carrying us through this uncertain time. We are strong mamas and we will get through this! 💕 so, I challenge you to find the join in each day no matter your situation! #24weekspregnant #24weeks #pregnancy #2ndtrimester #stylethebump #bumpstyle #pregnant #pregnantduringcovid19 #pregnantblogger #thebump #boymom #expecting #expectingmom
  • Thinking back on a time when I got dressed (in something other than leggings) & was able to leave my house 💙🙈🤣 Anyone else going a bit stir crazy?! 🏡 I think I’m going to put on this @sailtosable dress on Friday & have an in-house date night to feel a lil fancy! 😊 shop this look here + linking a few of their dresses that are on sale! http://liketk.it/2M21a @liketoknow.it #liketkit #LTKspring #sailtosable #sailtosablepartner
  • Anyone else been reading more lately? 📚 Reading is my favorite form of self-care & now more than ever I'm leaning on books during this stressful time we're in. 🤓Reading before bed lets me unwind and relax! I'm teaming up with @penguinrandomhouse to challenge you to read 10-30 minutes before bed as part of their #ReadtoSleep campaign! March is National Sleep Awareness month so put your phone down & pick up a book for the next few weeks and give yourself a much needed break! 💙 [ad]

p.s. they have a great giveaway going on with @parachutehome where you can win 25 books of your choice (OMG!) and a cozy bedding set from Parachute! Find out how to enter on my stories!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents, 18+. Enter ‪between 1/15/20 and 3/31/20‬. See Official Rules at ‪bit.ly/2sgzc6U‬
  • How’s everyone doing? 💙 I’m taking it one day (heck, sometimes one hour!) at a time this week!

Here are a few things I’m grateful for:
• Getting to check on our baby boy👶🏻& hear his heartbeat today!
• That I am able to work from home & have some sense of normalcy through all of this👩🏼‍💻.
• Those who are working & caring for others (including doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, those who work at grocery stores & restaurants handling takeout).
• Having this community to chat with through the good & bad days! It’s been so nice connecting with all of you via DM (especially those who are pregnant or new moms!) as we juggle this new “normal.”
Shop today’s casual outfit here or at the link in my bio http://liketk.it/2LMWs @liketoknow.it #liketkit #LTKbump #LTKunder100 #bumpstyle #stylethebump #ingridandisabel #everydaymadewell #pregnantblogger #pregnancy #expectingmom #boymom #secondtrimester #2ndtrimester #momtobe #22weekspregnant
  • Hi friends 👋🏻It’s a new week & I’m going into it with a positive attitude (that’s all we can hope for at this point, right?) 💙I’m social distancing & self quarantining in an effort to “flatten the curve.” We spent the weekend going on walks with our pup🐶, getting in a lot of reading📚, binging Love is Blind📺 and cooking some of our favorite meals🍽! We’re trying to remain positive & do the best we can to protect ourselves and others 😊 p.s. I am *loving* this dress (wearing XS) & it’s bump approved - swipe to see a pic of my #22weekspregnant bump! http://liketk.it/2LDxv @liketoknow.it #liketkit #LTKspring #LTKbump #bumpstyle #stylethebump #pregnantblogger #22weeks #expectingmom #babyontheway #2ndtrimester #bumpfriendly

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