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If you are thinking about starting a blog, how exciting!
It’s such a fun journey. The people you meet along the way, the new things that you learn, and the potential to make money sharing what you love is rare and something to look forward to.
There is a lot of information online that makes blogging look easy and glamourous. Pinterest is filled with income reports showing thousands of dollars made each month. Influencers online look like they’re living the dream.
All you have to do is buy a domain name and start writing. Zip, zap and your blog is built and making the big bucks.
But that wasn’t my experience.
Instead, it was a lot of learning, a lot of promoting, and a whole lot of writing.
In this blog post, I’m going to share 6 things you need to know if you are thinking of starting a blog.
1. How Much Time Blogging Takes
No one talks about how much time blogging takes.
It takes time to do the actual work required to have a blog and it takes time to see results.
Both can be frustrating if you’re not seeing much progress.
Know that what you’re creating won’t be perfect right away. As you continue to learn new things, pivot, and make micro changes, your blog will continue to grow over time.
It takes time to create a blog
If you’ve never created a blog or website before, there is a big learning curve. I’ll talk about this in another point but learning website jargon, creating pages, formatting, setting up SEO, and making it mobile-friendly are just a few of the things you will dive into.
Unless someone is creating your blog and website for you, learning all of that on your own takes time to build and to understand.
It takes time to write and promote each blog post
Once you have your blog and website in a good place, it’s time to write. No one talks about the time that goes into each blog post. I generally spend 3-6 hours per blog post.
This includes planning, writing, photos, and SEO.
Also, the time it takes to get into the writing mindset. Some days the words flow and some days creativity is lacking and writer’s block is real. For those days, I wrote a blog post with 8 writing tips every blogger should know.
I am definitely more involved than you might be if you’re just starting your blog, but if you are providing value and including any photos at all, it’s going to be more work than you expect.
And you’re not done yet.
After writing a blog post you need to promote the blog posts. This could include posting it to social media like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, creating different pins to promote on Pinterest, or sending a message to your email list.
You can spend as much time promoting as you want but they often suggest the 80-20 rule. Spend 20% of your time creating content and 20% of your time driving traffic to your blog.
You can’t expect people to just magically find your blog. You have to put in work to get more traffic and grow.
It takes time to see results
Making money and growing your blog doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow.
You have to attract your audience and serve them over and over and over.
It generally takes 3 months or longer to see results from SEO.
It also takes time to find your voice and feel confident in what you are sharing.
I have shared a ton of stories on my YouTube channel about blogging with confidence. It’s one of the things you have to work through when you are vulnerable and create content for others to see.
Just keep in mind that the results you are expecting might not happen instantly. And that’s ok.
It can be frustrating, defeating, and you’ll probably feel like giving up.
Keep working, keep learning, keep getting better, and day after day, week after week, month after month you will continue to grow something that has exponential results.
I promise that in one year from now you’ll be so darn happy that you stuck with it.
2. If Grow Your Blog, You Have to Spend Money
Spending money on my blog is something that I fought for a long time. I didn’t want to invest money in something I was so unsure about.
But that’s exactly what it is, an investment.
The more you invest in your blog, the more you can get out of it.
I’m not suggesting that you go and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars as a new blogger.
But, if you are serious about blogging, a free plan isn’t going to cut it.
Potential blogging costs
Unless you just want a hobby blog and aren’t worried about growing it or making money, at a minimum you will need to purchase a domain name and pay for a hosting platform.
From there, you can go a variety of ways.
Some things that bloggers pay for include: website theme, website builder, email service, Pinterest scheduler, premium plugins, legal pages, design programs, photo editors, social media apps, etc.
Obviously, the more involved you get, the more things you might pay for. You don’t need all of these right away, but it is something to consider and be aware of if you are wanting to grow your blog.
Blogging resources to help you grow
Everything you need to know about blogging can be found online. Google and YouTube are an entrepreneur’s best friend. However, if you want to speed up the learning curve and get serious about your blog, you might consider investing in resources from bloggers who have already gone through the process.
Courses, mastermind groups, workbooks, or getting a blogging coach are all ways to grow your blog faster and learn from a pro.
This will cost money, sometimes substantial money, but also potentially expedite your blog growth.
Don’t worry though, this isn’t a necessary expense. It’s something that can happen right away, to get the ball rolling or gradually as you learn more and have a clearer vision for you want to grow.
3. You Need a Plan
People have found online success in so many different ways and you’ll learn quickly that there are SO MANY choices with blogging.
What works for one blogger, doesn’t necessarily work for another blogger and there are 101 ways to do it all.
Creating a plan for your blog will help you set and achieve the goals that will help you create a successful blog.
Avoid distractions and focus on your goals
There is so much noise in the blogging world and it’s easy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing.
It feels like you need to post on Instagram, create a Facebook page, start an email list, focus on keywords, and dive into SEO all at once. There are so many things you could do but remember you don’t have to do them all.
Focus on the goals that you create for yourself. Identify what you want your blog to be and then prioritize what needs to happen to get you there.
These goals are going to differ for everyone and only you can decide what they are.
I suggest following 1 or 2 people who are at a place with their blog that you’re trying to get to but don’t get distracted by everyone else.
Do your research, make a plan, put your blinders up, and do the work. Of course, you have to be aware and recognize changes you need to make and if you need to pivot, but mostly, you need to do the work, evaluate, and refine.
A blog plan will help you stay focused and stay on course.
Stay consistent with blog posts
One of the main things you can do to help your blog grow is to stay consistent.
I suggest creating a content calendar as well as establishing a day and time to post consistently every week.
Planning out your content and having a consistent publish date set will hold you accountable as well as let your followers know when they can expect new content.
From experience, I’ve found that it’s not as easy as sitting down and writing. When I do this, I often find myself staring at a blank page trying to figure out what I want to say.
Make a plan, execute, and stay consistent with your blog schedule.
4. Bite Off Small Chunks to Achieve Big Goals
As you learn the ins and outs of blogging, it can seem overwhelming. Suddenly you’re trying to balance SEO and keywords and email lists and lead magnets and social media and Pinterest and overwhelmed by it all.
It’s easy to get swept up in the raging blogging waters and feel like you are just trying to keep your head above water.
But you don’t need to do it all and you probably shouldn’t do it all.
Break your big goals into small, bite-size goals and get to work making them happen.
Master one thing at a time
One of the biggest pieces of advice I have is to get really good at one thing before you move on to the next.
Don’t dabble in everything, just to spread yourself thin, bite off small chunks to accomplish big things.
Since blogging takes time, as I mentioned, it’s easy to get shiny object syndrome. You look at what everyone else is doing and quickly abandon what you’ve been building to dive into something else.
I see this a lot with social media. New bloggers would rather get likes and comments than write a new blog post and spend time working on SEO.
Just know that it’s almost impossible to get it all perfect right away and there is only so much time in a day.
You’re going to have to identify what is best for you, your blog, and your readers. Decide what avenues and strategies are going to help you grow the most. Know that what works for someone else, might not be the best route for your blog.
Have your plan, prioritize, and set realistic goals that you can accomplish.
Once you have mastered one part of your blog and are feeling consistent and confident in that area, you can move on to the next thing.
Embrace the learning curve
Hear me now my friend, you will encounter some major learning curves on your blogging journey.
Blogging isn’t just sit down, write, and that’s it. There is a lot going on behind the scenes and a lot that you have to learn.
There will be points when you want to quit. Moments when you want to throw in the towel. Times when you have no idea what you are doing. But you must press on.
When I created this website, WordPress was completely foreign to me. I didn’t know how to add pages or change colors or even publish a blog post.
I watched endless YouTube videos and shed a few tears trying to figure it out.
There was this night where I could feel the tension. I was thinking to myself that I couldn’t do it. I decided to walk away and sleep on it, hoping to come back the next day.
And you know what, I did. Somehow everything clicked. I designed my entire blog that day.
It’s funny to look back and think of how frustrated I was adding a new block of text and now I’m able to do it in a matter of minutes.
There are pivotal points that every blogger looks back on. If you are committed to doing what it takes to learn new things and figure out how to make your blog work, you will have major breakthroughs that help take your blog to new levels.
Embrace the learning curve. You are literally learning new things! It will get easier over time and someday you’ll look back and remember how hard it was at the time, but also smile at how far you’ve come.
5. You Can Make Money Blogging
You can make money blogging but know that it’s not a get rich quick business.
Like I mentioned above it takes time to find your voice and build something that is getting consistent traffic month after month.
Every experience and blogging journey is going to be different so make sure you have realistic expectations going in.
What I can say, and this is really exciting, is that the potential for what your blog can be is exponential. As you create more content, get better at promoting your work, and drive more traffic to your blog your opportunities to make money through your blog will increase.
You can’t expect this to happen instantly, but it will continue to grow over time.
Don’t be disappointed if you aren’t growing as quickly as you expected or making as much money as you were hoping.
You should get into blogging because you’re excited about helping and sharing your journey with others.
Blogging isn’t about the money, but it is a perk of it.
Decide what you want your blog to be
It’s helpful to know what you want your blog to be and if you do want to make money, acknowledging that part of it.
So many people are hesitant to say that they want to make money blogging. It’s this taboo topic that so many new bloggers avoid but secretly want. And then they start blogging just for “fun” but are deterred when they don’t have high traffic and aren’t making money.
If you want to make money, that’s fine! It’s good to acknowledge that so you can create a plan for how you’re going to achieve it.
I created this video that dives into the 7 ways you can make money blogging. It includes sponsorships, ads, affiliate marketing, courses, coaching, digital products, and physical products.
Identifying your expectations will help you know what you have to prioritize to make your goals happen.
6. Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
We’ve covered the technical side, the writing side, and the making money side but there is also the confidence and vulnerable side to blogging.
Some days you feel like no one cares. Some days you feel like a failure. Some days you feel uninspired. Some days you feel like everyone else has figured out a magic formula and you are completely stuck.
I’ve experienced all of these.
Blogging isn’t always easy. But it’s worth it. If you can learn to get outside of your comfort zone, you can do big things!
You’re vulnerable when you blog
Blogging is being vulnerable at its finest. Sharing your thoughts and experiences with the world isn’t going to be for everyone. It takes a lot to muster up the courage to share your opinions and part of your life with others.
This varies depending on what kind of blog you have. A lifestyle blog is going to be a lot different than an affiliate marketing blog. But for most people and first-time bloggers, sharing your stories can feel vulnerable.
The good thing is that as you identify your niche and attract your ideal audience, you are going to create a place of shared experiences. Your journey will help, inspire, or encourage someone on theirs. That’s so exciting and one of my favorite parts!
Connections and Opportunities
If you want to grow your blog and make money, at some point you will have to connect with a variety of businesses and partners.
This can be awkward and intimidating at first but also bring an abundance of opportunities.
You might get a few that say no but you also might get some that say yes!
Business and programs are looking for bloggers, influencers, and people in their niche to promote their services and products. Reaching out with a media kit can open up opportunities for sponsored posts, free products, or an affiliate link.
Also, connecting with other bloggers or like-minded people in your niche has the potential for a guest post, being featured on YouTube or their socials, or gaining more traffic.
If what you provide and write about lines up with different people and businesses, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and promote your work. It’s not bragging, it’s sharing your journey and helping people get from point A to point B.
It’s ok to fail
Your blog might fail and that’s ok. Just know that you’re not a failure.
The good news is that failure only happens when you stop trying.
You’ll never know where blogging could take you if you don’t try.
You need to plan, work your bum off, and put yourself out there. Create content, interact with your audience, and chase your dreams.
If you want to start a blog and turn it into a business, you can. It’s not going to be easy but with some hard work, you can make it happen.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and fail at them. You might totally rock that digital product or your first one might be a flop. But don’t let that stop you. Make another one and another and figure it out. Serve, serve, serve your audience and continue to show up and tell stories.
Like I said at the very beginning. The blogging journey is an exciting one. And you have no idea where it might take you.