Mikaela J

5 things I wish I knew before starting a blog

What I learned in my first year of blogging

First off I want to thank anyone who has ever come to visit this little blog of mine!  I honestly can’t express the happiness that I feel when I read each new comment, receive an alert of a new follower or receive an email with a question or comment about one of my posts. It is truly so fun for me to sit down every evening after I put the kids to bed and brainstorm, write, photograph and plan all of my posts each week.  That being said, there are a few things that I have learned over the past few months of blogging that I wish I knew before starting, so I thought I would pass those along! If you are thinking about starting a blog, I 100% say “go for it!” – just be sure to keep these in mind as you launch your new creative venture! Good luck!

1. Your mom will probably be the only one reading your posts.  Okay, so maybe your bff and husband are also swinging by on a weekly monthly basis to check out your new content, but that may be it – and it might be that way for a long time. I think I expected to start a blog and automatically see visitors stopping by to read the posts I spent hours creating – but that definitely wasn’t the case. And I have to say, it was disappointing. What I did learn was that if you keep writing as if people are reading, they will! It could take weeks or months or even years, but once you see that traffic start to increase, you will totally get that blogger buzz and it will only motivate you more to continue what you are doing.  So keep on going!

2. Blogging takes a. lot. of. time.  I think one of the most common misconceptions about bloggers is that they just throw some photos in a post and get free stuff in return.  This is totally not the case.  I am a new blogger and even I spend hours on each post.  Whether that be taking photos, editing photos, creating content, or responding to emails, I spend hours each night and on the weekends putting everything together.   In fact, it is 11:57pm right now and I will be up 3 more times before 6am to feed baby H – but I am truly passionate about my blog and about my content, so the time it takes me to put everything together is worth it for me. Just make sure it’s worth it for you too and you will succeed.

Things I wish I knew before starting a blog

3. Planning is key. One of the main things I wish I would have done before starting my blog, and that I think every new blogger should do, is to complete about 15-20 full posts before launching.  I firmly believe that consistency is key.  If you aren’t creating new content on a consistent basis, you will lose your followers.  That being said, keep those 15-20 posts in your draft folder for those days or weeks that you are too busy to post or can’t think of anything to write about.  I know that there have been many days when I had full posts planned and for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to get the shots that I needed or the time I needed to fully complete what I needed to.  Those posts would have come in really handy! Also, I would highly recommend an editorial calendar.  This way you can plan out the majority of your posts for the entire month and will be much more organized and in control of your blog.

4. There are a whole lot of blogs out there.  Like a whole lot.  And probably a lot just like yours – but they are not YOU!  Cheesy I know, but it’s true. So use that to your advantage and don’t try and be someone or something you are not.  I knew that there were a lot of blogs out there but until I started a blog of my own, I had no idea how many there really were.  Use your blog to really showcase who you are as a person and to share what you are passionate about.  If you do this, that passion will show through your posts and you will start to get followers.  If you are trying to mimic another blogger or be someone you are not, chances are you will have a lot harder time maintaining your blog.  Blogging should be fun and a reflection of you – so don’t worry about what others are doing and focus on what you love!

5. Don’t start a blog to make money.  Start a blog because you want to blog.  Because you will probably be blogging for a very long time before making any money. I think a lot of people start a blog thinking they are going to get free stuff and make money right from the start.  This is clearly not the case! I am a firm believer in starting a blog because you want to blog and because you enjoy sharing your passion, whatever that may be.  If you start a blog just to make money, that will probably show through to advertisers and to followers and your posts will not be genuine or sincere, which will not work out in the long run.  If you start a blog without the expectations of making money, your true voice will shine through and the advertisers will come.  Just make sure to only work with brands that reflect your personal style and voice.  You definitely don’t want to lose the trust of your followers you worked so hard to gain!

Have fun and good luck! If you are a new blogger, leave your blog link below – I would love to check it out!