What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging…
When I first started my blog, I didn’t know everything, and I STILL don’t know everything. In fact there is not one single person out there who does know everything about blogging. They may try to tell you that they do, but they don’t. As I continued through my blogging journey there were a lot of things I wish I knew before I started blogging. . . I’d get a glass of wine, it’s about to get REAL.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used. Read my disclosure policy here.
NOT EVERYONE HAS A HEART LIKE YOURS
Before I started my blog I expected everyone to support me. You will find that not everyone is going to be as supportive as you are. This is one thing I wish I knew before I started blogging. There will be a fair share of people who will bash you, especially via social media. Too many will try and find a way to stop you from wanting to continue your blogging journey, but you have to let them know YOU AREN’T STOPPING FOR NOBODY. Don’t let the haters, the bullies, the “know it alls” stop you from wanting to continue your journey ever. People will accuse you of many things, BUT you know the truth, you know what you are capable of, and don’t you DARE let anyone tell you other wise.
YOU DON’T ALWAYS NEED AN E-COURSE
I wish I knew how much free blogging info there was on the computer. Before you spend money on ANY e-course make sure to do your research. There are so many free articles out there that will give you the SAME EXACT information that any expensive e-course can provide you. Make sure you truly trust the blogger you are purchasing your e-courses from. So many will get you with the “This e-course will help you get rich quick!” – when to be honest, there is no get rich quick tricks. Which leads me to…
YOU WON’T GET RICH QUICK
Before you start a blog, set reasonable goals. Don’t get me wrong, you can make great money as a successful blogger, but it doesn’t happen over night! Success takes time. Don’t go into blogging thinking you are going to make money right away because that, most of the time, is not the case! I was super impatient when I started my blog. If you want to learn how I finally turned my blog into a career, check this post out.
PATIENCE IS NOT OPTIONAL
Making your blog successful takes a lot of patience. I always saw other bloggers and thought to myself – I can be like you. I know I can do it if they can! So I started blogging and noticed how slowly an audience comes. You don’t just hit publish and see the readers fly in…It takes some serious time to grow your audience. Therefore, patience is vital when it comes to blogging. If you don’t have patience you WILL give up. I share my top content marketing strategies here to help get you started. However, my second blog grew quicker because I knew about content marketing.
THERE IS NO COFFEE LARGE ENOUGH
Seriously!!! You will be staying up late as can be if you are dedicated enough. By the time morning comes around you will be wanting an XL coffee and that’s not going to cut it. The amount of time spent working on your blog is exhausting but worth every second that you don’t sleep. I toss and turn some nights until 6am because I have too much on my damn mind. Blogging takes up my entire life.
YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND
This is something I still have to try and cope with because not everyone understands the point behind blogging. You could tell your friends and family that you want it as your career and they might look at you funny. Of course, you will have those who support you but that doesn’t mean they actually understand what you are doing. There’s nothing wrong with that! But just know that it’s normal for people to not understand why you blog and how much work it actually takes.
YOU SHOULD SELF-HOST YOUR BLOG FROM THE START
It took me a while before I finally realized this and THIS is something I wish I knew before I started my blog. I know you are all probably rolling your eyes because I ALWAYS say this, but I seriously mean it!!! If you don’t know what self hosting is I have a post all about why you should self host your blog. But when I first started blogging I was on wordpress . COM and oh my was this a waste of my time and money. I started off on the free version and quickly realized if I wanted to do really anything cool, I needed to upgrade! Mind you these upgraded plans are super pricey compared to self host plans. I wasted money on the premium wordpress .com plan because I thought it would allow me to use plug ins – which it didn’t – So I spent money upgrading just to find out I STILL couldn’t do what I wanted to do.
That’s when I heard about self hosting and how for only $3.95 a month I could use wordpress .org that came with plugins and all that jazz. PLUS I could MONETIZE and start making money from my blog!
I use site ground as my host service and absolutely love them. They helped transfer my blog from wordpress .com over to their servers and now here I am loving my blog + blogger life! – Note the longer you wait to transfer, the harder it becomes to transfer. Which is why I wish I started my blog on a self hosted server.
YOU NEED TO GET ORGANIZED
If you want to keep your sanity, you need to GET organized. I wish I knew that organization saves headaches. Blogging is a lot of work and if you aren’t organized you are going to only make it that much more difficult on yourself. Invest in a planner and USE it. We are all guilty of buying a cute planner and forgetting to ever write a single word in it. SERIOUSLY – money wasted – Open that planner up and USE IT. I have a whole post on what I do to keep me motivated and organized if you are ever in need of some inspo!
YOU SHOULDN’T AIM FOR PERFECTION
There is no such thing as perfect and if you try to make your blog posts “perfect” they will never get published. The most important thing when it comes to blogging is making sure you are writing with passion. If you are passionate about your writing, then your post is PERFECT so just publish it!!! Don’t be nit picky when it comes to launching your blog because I promise you it’s never going to seem “good enough” unless you let it be.
YOU NEED TO INVEST IN YOUR BLOG
I wish I knew what to invest in when starting my blog. Sometimes when you are trying to pursue a dream or success you have to invest. I don’t just mean money either, I mean time as well. Put your all into your dream and you will see great results. Don’t be afraid to buy a good theme, invest in a good email list builder, buy self hosting for your blog, spend time creating beautiful content. People will only care about your blog if you do. Here is a list of blog investments I am glad I made.
YOU NEED TO LEARN PINTEREST MARKETING
When it comes to growing your blog’s traffic you should absolutely be using Pinterest! Think of Pinterest as a search engine. There is ways to get your post to go viral via Pinterest and it can help your daily views immensely. When I first started my blog I wish I knew to invest in Pinterest strategies. If you’d like to learn how to grow your Pinterest and utilize it for your blog, check this affordable course out!
YOU NEED TO BE 100% YOU
Your audience wants to trust you and you want them to be able to value your opinion. When it comes to marketing or advertising for brands, you better be 100% truthful. Don’t ever risk your blog reputation for a free product. When it comes to working with a brand always tell the truth. If you don’t like a product either, let your audience know or don’t share the product with your audience. Your audience will know if you are being real or not. If you don’t keep it real they will leave you quick.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS
Let’s face it, growing our social media is quite the challenge. People are following just to unfollow the same day. The competition between bloggers to grow a following is huge and bloggers are doing whatever it takes to grow. Don’t fall into this trap. Don’t do the follow/unfollow game, know that paying for followers is a waste of money, and don’t use bots! Brands are catching onto the accounts out there who have a “fake” following and they won’t want to work with you. I’d rather have 1 good friend than 100 fake friends. This is the same for followers, i’d rather have 100 engaged followers who are interested in my content than 10,000 who aren’t going to even like or interact with my content. Focus on your followers that are following you because they care. Don’t use bots, there’s nothing more annoying and FAKE.Not to mention, can’t we all just support each other and stop with the competing bull crap?
AFFILIATE MARKETING ISN’T AS EASY AS IT SEEMS
When it comes to affiliate marketing you can’t just add an affiliate link and hope that you make money from it. There is a lot to know about affiliate marketing and how to make it effectively work! If you need help with your affiliate marketing strategy check out this post.
YOU NEED TO ATTEND EVENTS
This is something I want to start doing more of. I wish I knew how awesome it is to attend blogging events! It’s a great way to network and meet other bloggers! Not only will you have the chance to make blogger friends in real life but you may even get the chance to work with a brand you love! Attend any events you can.
HAVE AT LEAST ONE PERSON TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Whether it be a blogger friend, a blog coach, a significant other, etc. find that one person who will be there to help push and motivate you! Share with them specific deadlines that you hope to have a post up by and tell them to make sure you have it up by then! It’s hard as a blogger, especially working from home. It’s so easy to get distracted. If you have one person who is not only supporting your journey but making sure that you keep up with your journey, you will be much more likely to succeed!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BOSS A** ABOUT ME
This is super important! An about me section is the place where those who would like to work with you are going to look first. Your about me should contain who you are, what your blog is all about, what you are all about, how to contact you, an email, etc. You want to make sure your email is easily noticeable because not all brands are going to have the time or patience to go searching for your email. This is how they will be able to contact you with details on partnerships etc.
ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
What I mean by this is; if you have a specific brand you would like to work (collaborate) with REACH OUT TO THEM. Don’t expect all the brands to come to you. Before I started blogging I wish I knew that I could pitch directly to brands. They can’t find all the bloggers and influencers, and they definitely don’t have the time for that either. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. It’s worth a shot. You’d be surprised how many actually do say YES! Also – don’t sell yourself short, especially if a brand does approach you first. Don’t work for free. There are many scams out there and they will come for you. If you are advertising a brand or anyone else’s products/content you should be receiving something in return. Be confident and know your worth. I share tips on working with brands here.
YOU WILL FEEL AWKWARD AND THAT’S OKAY
Come on, honesty time again…who else has felt completely awkward recording their first youtube video or instagram story. ME. and who else has felt awkward taking a perfect photo of their beautiful lunch in the middle of a busy lunch rush, or their outfit while in public, probably me again! It’s normal to feel awkward and out of your element in the beginning when you do things like this. BUT it’s become the new norm. So many out there are blogging and recording their lives to share. The more you do it, the less awkward it will feel!
SOME OF THE BEST PEOPLE OUT THERE ARE BLOGGERS
I’m so serious, I have met AMAZING ladies through blogging. Some I wish I knew in real life. I talk to some and immediately think, WOW we would get along so well! WHY DON’T YOU LIVE NEAR ME! Blogger friends are so great to have because we are all going after the same thing so it makes the journey not as lonely…BTW YES it will get a little lonely. So make sure you are taking the time to get out of the house and adventure when you can!
YOU DON’T KNOW IT ALL AND YOU NEVER WILL
There is so much to blogging NO ONE knows all the answers. Even the most successful bloggers are learning something new everyday. Don’t ever stress yourself out or feel down on yourself if you don’t have all the answers. Blogging is a learning work in progress and that’s the beauty of it!
PROMOTING IS KEY
If you really want to drive your traffic you have to promote constantly. To every social media platform – more than one day. You can’t post it once or hit publish and hope the views come in. You need to truly give it your all and promote everywhere you can without being spammy. Facebook groups, pinterest, your facebook, twitter, instagram ALL OF IT. Check out my content marketing strategy here.
THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE – IDEAS ARE SIMILAR
FORREAL – blogging has been around for many, many years and the chances of your post being similar to someone else’s is extremely high. SO – to make yourself look like a bigger person, don’t bash others via social media if someones post is similar to yours. Simply message them kindly and discuss the matter if it bothers you so much. YES it is annoying to feel as if someone is copying you but similar ideas are bound to happen and I guarantee you, you probably weren’t the first to think of it. HOWEVER you should NEVER steal any images and call them as your own. – Give credit where credit is due, ask before you use, and copy and pasting someones words is plagiarism. – BUT SERIOUSLY, great minds think alike, that’s the beauty of it all.
PASSION IS YOUR MOTIVATION
If you didn’t start blogging because you are passionate about it, then you might be doing it for the wrong reasons. If you truly want to succeed in blogging you have to be extremely passionate and dedicated. I don’t mean this lightly. You have to spend all of your free time working on your blog and social media. My boyfriend to this day still asks when i’ll put my phone down. It’s sad but true. I tell him, don’t worry babe, one day we will have all the freedom in the world & we will be living our happiest life… I won’t stop until I prove myself right. Have the passion, enjoy what you are writing about, love your content, and the rest will follow.
If you enjoyed reading this over, please leave me feedback and share! I love hearing from all of you!!
ALSO – if you aren’t a part of my FREE – BOSS GIRL BLOGGERS group, it’s not too late to join! It’s a community I created where boss babes come together to connect and inspire one another through their journey to their happiest life!