A blog for 40-something women navigating married life and working from home. All while rediscovering who they are in a new decade of life. 

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What I learned about blogging from 16 Years of Retail

When I first started my job in retail, my plan was to only stay for a few months. You know, until I found something better! But I enjoyed retail way more than I ever thought possible, and so here I am over 16 years later still at it.

Retail has taught me a lot about work, life, people. And now I’m learning to apply some retail principles to my blog! Really grabbing ahold of these retail concepts and using them in my day to day work has improved my career, and now they’re improving my blog. So today I’m going to share four of those principles with you so that they can help improve your blog!

You need a routine

When I first started as a department manager, I struggled. I came into work each day and just started putting out fires. My daily tasks that needed to be completed were last on my priority list, and I was always behind. I finally started succeeding when I found a good routine that included my daily tasks but was still flexible enough to deal with any surprises the day brought.

So, I’ve started applying that routine principle to my blog. Every day when I get home from work, I complete my chores and then spend an hour working on the blog. I have a To Do list so that I’m sure to make that hour a productive one.

I also set goals for my days off. Like writing a new blog post or two, working on e-courses, scheduling posts and social media for the next week.

Networking and Mentoring are important

I worked hard for every promotion that I ever got. But I never did it all alone. I always had a manager who believed in me and gave me a chance. This was especially important when I applied for an assistant manager position. The Market Manager knew me and was impressed with the job I was doing at my store. I know that he put a good word in for me.

How does this apply to blogging? Well if you want to promote your blog, you have to get out there and get to know other bloggers. This has always been hard for me, but I recognize that it is necessary. So, get out there and comment on other blogs, join Facebook groups, Pinterest boards. Participate as much as you’re able to, you won’t regret it.

Another important reason to get out there is the opportunity to mentor. Once I became an assistant manager I had the opportunity to work with so many more associates and teach them what I had learned over my career.

You have this same opportunity as a blogger!

The content you put on your blog, the questions you answer in Facebook groups or forums, what you share on Twitter, these are all opportunities for you to help other bloggers. Don’t tell yourself that your blog isn’t big enough! You never know who is reading it, and getting inspiration from what you are putting out there.

Touring is needed for maintenance

One important, but sometimes overlooked, routine in retail is touring. You are expected to walk your area of the store looking for anything that needs improvement, incorrect signing, etc. Your job is to find what is working for your area and what isn’t, and of course to fix what isn’t working.

You need to do the same thing with your blog. Do you ever visit your own blog? Doing this will give you an opportunity to make sure that everything is working and looks the way that you want it to. Look at your blog like a visitor would. Is it easy to navigate and read?

Also, when we tour in retail, we don’t tour alone. It’s important to have another set of eyes along to help you catch opportunities. So how can you do this for your blog? I look at plugins as another set of eyes on my blog.

There are plugins like Broken Link Checker that does exactly like it says and finds those broken links for you. Akismet will help keep SPAM out of your comments. WP-Optimize will help keep your database clean. And there are so many more options that will help keep your blog running smoothly!

Also, you can ask other bloggers for advice! One of my favorite ways to do this is through Facebook groups. If you’re not sure about an idea, ask the bloggers in your group! When I wasn’t sure about using my current header or another one, I asked the opinions of my blogging group, and they help me decide on this one!

Scheduling is key

Scheduling is so important in retail. If we don’t look ahead and plan out the scheduling for weekends, holidays, busy times of the month, we are doomed as a store!

And you’re doomed to be stressed out if you don’t learn to schedule tasks for your blog!

This is definitely one of the best things I’ve done for my blog! I schedule my posts one to two weeks in advance. I rarely have to rush to write or publish a post. I’m also working on staying a week ahead on social media. (I’m using Buffer and loving it!) You might want to schedule further out than that, but either way definitely look into scheduling. It will make your blogging life less stressful!

Now, what about you? Do you have a day job? What has your day job taught you that you can apply to blogging? Let me know in the comments!

What I learned about blogging from 16 years of retail

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