10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
January 12, 2016
I have always loved to write. If you ask my mom, she’ll tell you a story about how I wrote my own magazine at the age of 6. When I decided to start a blog, I was pumped. An online outlet where I could share my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and advice with the world? Sign me up! I thought blogging would come naturally. I didn’t realize there’s an entire behind the scenes business of blogging world. It wasn’t until my readership really gained traction that I started thinking about monetizing my blog. When I began researching ways to earn an income from blogging, I realized just how behind I was. Why didn’t anyone tell me this when I started my blog?! If you’re just starting out, or you’re a few years into blogging like me, I hope this list will help you focus your efforts into something readable and profitable.
1. Never Use an Image from Google
Or any other source that you don’t have explicit permission to use. I understand the temptation. You want the perfect photo to represent your blog post. But heed this advice and learn from other bloggers who have paid dearly for this misstep. There are a lot of places to get royalty free, creative commons images. I like Pixabay. Or you can pay for images on Canva for $1 a piece. Canva also lets you edit images and add text, similar to Picmonkey, which is mostly free, too (but a bargain at less than $5/month!)
2. Brand Yourself
Creating a strong identity for your blog is very important. Decide if you will be part of your blog’s brand. Either way, you need to brand your blog and anything associated with it. A reader should be able to see an image from your blog and know immediately that the content came from you. I designed my new logo on Picmonkey for free, and I’m still working on making my images consistent. However, I finally invested in Canva so I’m pretty proud of taking that step.
3. Have a List of Topics Handy
I love, love, love to write. When I started this blog, I never imagined a day where I would be stumped over an article. But those days happen. Often. If you’re feeling inspired one day, jot down all your ideas for future posts. Pull up the list whenever you lack fresh ideas. You’ll be glad you did!
4. Come Up with a Plan (and Goals)
One of my biggest blogging problems is that my blog lacks direction. I just dove into blogging. I never thought of what the future of my blog would look like, or where I wanted my blog to take me. I’m having to look into those questions now. I have the Inspired Bloggers University Blog Success Planner, now. It definitely got me thinking about my blog’s purpose and direction. I highly recommend it.
5. Pace Yourself
There are some days where I just want to write, write, write. I can churn out 5-8 posts in less than 24 hours and I want to hit publish on all of them. But, it’s best that you plan and pace your content on a regular basis. So, if you write a bunch of new posts, schedule them for the future…1x a week or as often as you feel comfortable posting regularly. You want your readers to be able to expect new content from you on a consistent basis.
6. Ditch the Get Rich Quick Idea
Are there some bloggers who go viral on their first post? Yes. Is that the norm? No. Most successful bloggers who are earning a viable income from their blog have put in years of work before they see true profits. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Have an Opinion
I’ve written some really controversial parenting posts. There have been times when I’ve wondered if my opinion was really worth sharing, or if I should take a hot topic post down. Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to have a voice. Don’t be afraid to respond to mean comments. I’ve found you’ll have more support than opposition, and there’s really no point in hiding your true self from your readers.
8. Take Care of Your Tribe
Your blog readers will become some of the most important people in your life. I have friends who regularly comment on my blog posts, and I truly appreciate their support and feedback. My regular readers mean the world to me. I care about delivering quality content to their day.
9. Don’t Skimp on Research
Some posts have taken me less than an hour to write. But my most popular, most well-received posts are the ones I’ve taken days or weeks to research. Don’t sell your audience short; even if your blog is only read by 4 people, those 4 people deserve the best content you can possibly produce. Look for evidence. Find different opinions. Be objective. Dare to be great, and you’ll become the best.
10. Just Post It
I have second guessed myself so many times. I’ve finally reached the point in my life where I’ve started to just trust my instincts and be true to who I am. Don’t let negative people prevent you from being your authentic self online and in real life. Who cares what someone thinks about your blog? Unless they think your blog is great, their opinion shouldn’t matter to you. You can’t let your fear of other people’s opinions control the action you take. So, rip off the bandaid and just post your articles, already. The world is waiting for you!
If you have a blog, I’d love to read it! Share it in the comments below or email me 🙂 Happy writing!