Between all the little gems of knowledge scattered across the internet, I believe that I’ve found a few that truly stick out – mainly because they’re straight from the bloggers themselves. Blogging is harder than it looks and, as a blogger, I think there are a few things you should know before starting your blog.
At first, I listened to everyone’s opinion. I mean EVERYONE. I would get tips online, ask family members, ask friends. Heck, I think I even asked my neighbors.
The problem is, none of it mattered.
None of them knew anything about blogging, writing, or social media. They were giving me advice based on their knowledge and personal preferences, not cold hard facts. Meaning I built my blog to please the people around me, not those I wished to meet. I made it around my present, not my future.
So, nine months later, I redid all my blog posts.
Every. Single. One.
I’m even making changes to the set up of my blog! It’s all adapting to my REAL writing style. Which, lemme just say, is SO much easier to write in.
To keep you from being the struggle-bus that I was, here are 4 things you should know before starting your blog:
I personally struggled to find my voice (which is okay), but I should have dedicated more time to discovering it BEFORE paying someone to build my website. That’s why this tip is stood out to me and why this advice from Petra Jan from the Erratic Engineress is #1 on my list:
“The first thing is to find your writing voice; write a few posts and figure out what you really want to write about before worrying about promotion, SEO, etc.”
She also had a little to say about the importance of compressing your images (something I didn’t realize I needed to do until this past week):
“Start with compressing images and CDN from the start to avoid slowing down you site, because I learned the hard war when I sent my first blog post to my friend and it almost fried his computer with too many huge photos.”
Yes, finding a niche is important.
Yes, you should have a general idea.
But don’t stress out about narrowing down your niche just yet, it will come, I promise! You need to figure out what interests both you and your audience before settling down. Lauren Roberts from XOXO, Social Girl had something to share about niching down:
“Don’t focus too much on finding one specific niche! Start your blog and see where it takes you! Find your writing style, what your audience wants and needs, and do not be afraid to pivot where it takes you!
a former food blogger turned lifestyle blogger.”
I LIVE AND BREATHE BUDGET.
I am a work from home mom with debt. As in car, house, truck, student, you name it – I got it. Free = Me.
My marketing budget = $0, not that surprising, right? Still, gotta get the word out somehow! Luckily Serena May from Not Sick, I’m Strong has a solution:
“Networking is the best way to connect and learn from others! Join Facebook groups, participate in threads, personal message people in your niche. You are your own net-worker, publicist, and marketer.”
P.S. She’s 100% right, I gain a lot of traffic from participating in Facebook Groups daily! I even have my own group, Grammar Girls: Community for Blogging Nerds & Newbies.
This advice is straight from me:
The moment that you stop having fun, that’s the moment that your blog starts to decline. You ARE your blog. If you’re not feeling it, your blog won’t feel it.
Even if you’re goal is to monetize your blog, you still need to have a passion for what you sell. No one wants to shop from a faker, so show them what you LOVE!
If you start feeling burnt out, take a break, relax, take a step back. Space could save your blog and prevent you from dragging it down or from you getting dragged down.
If you need any other helpful tidbits, check out my other blog post What Not to Do When Starting A Brand New Blog.