When I started my blog, I made many mistakes. Mistakes that I feel could have been avoided. I’ll share with you 5 of the main things I wish I had done differently when starting my blog.
I never in a million years ever thought that I would start a blog about how we simplify our family’s lives. Really…ever! We love to see what kind of an effect we have on people when we hear that we’ve helped them simplify their lives. And ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. But, it has come with some learning experiences and a lot of trial and error. I’m going to go through some of the experiences I’ve had getting my blog set up and hopefully, you won’t make the same mistakes we did.
1. Stop Telling Yourself You Shouldn’t Be Doing This!
I’m pretty sure I’ve told myself about ten times a day that I shouldn’t be doing this. That I really need to be finding something to earn money for our family and that what I’m doing is pointless and lazy. When people ask me what I’m doing now, I don’t tell them that I’m writing a blog. I made the mistake a few times of telling people and they seriously look at me like, “Oh, you’ve decided to do that, huh? Hmmm, interesting. Well, good for you, hopefully, it works out for you.” You may or may not decide to tell people about your blog. Whether you do or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, you believe in it and you’re passionate about it. I believe in what I’m doing and I know that even if it’s one person who benefits from our family’s tips and suggestions, it’s worth it to me.
Stop telling yourself you shouldn’t be doing this! Believe in yourself! What you’re doing is brave and inspiring. Putting yourself out there on the internet for the entire world to see is so brave. You can do this! Don’t give up!
2. Take it From the Pros
I definitely didn’t want to start my blog without understanding what I was getting myself into. So, I researched, and researched, and researched, and researched some more. I found some of the top bloggers and I signed up for their newsletters and followed them on every social media platform they were on. These people now became my mentors! None of them have followed me back yet, but that’s not going to get me down. I don’t expect them to either, they’re super busy.
My favorite bloggers that have helped me set up my blog are Abby with Just a Girl and Her Blog and Melyssa Griffin. They are both making triple digits with their blogs and they are still growing. Superheroes in my book! Though, they didn’t personally help me, of course. I just feel like they have because of how personable they are with their emails. That goes out to probably 10,000 people. That is automated. Yeah, pretty sure they don’t even have a clue who I am. But, I feel like they do. So, I’m going to pretend they do.
Listen, listen, and listen. They give very specific instructions for getting your blog started or building your list of followers. Trust me, they know what they’re doing! If you tweak a step or try to go the cheaper route to save money, it’s not going to make you any money in the future. (That is of course if you’re hoping to make an income with your blog.) I was so skeptical about spending money before I made any money. I kept telling myself, “They just want me to spend the money so they can make the money.” Then, after little to no results, I remembered…they make triple digits a year! They must know what they’re doing after all.
3. Be Confident in Your Decisions
Some people, maybe you, for example, want to start a blog because they know that it can be profitable and they would like to stay home to work. Others, like me, know right away what they want to blog about. If you don’t already know what you want to blog about, that decision can be very difficult. When I was doing my research, I found a very helpful blog post on choosing your niche when blogging. It gave me the confidence I needed to stick with what I wanted to blog about. I’m not really an expert in any other area anyway. How lame would that be to blog about something I have no idea what I’m talking about? Like, seriously, no one wants to read a blog on something you’re not an expert in. Readers can see right through it.
Once you’ve made your decision, run with it! Don’t change your mind or get discouraged with your decision. There are billions of people in this world. Someone finds value in your blog. We just have to get them to read it. Be patient.
I had changed my logo and my brand on my site about 4 times before settling on what it is now. That caused problems with my SEO and confusion with my readers. If you do change your brand or logo, make sure you watch for 404 errors on your pages and make 301 redirects as soon as possible. If you need help understanding what that means, here’s a great article for you. Basically what I’m saying is, make sure you’re happy with your decisions. If you feel good about it, stick with it.
4. Don’t Get Distracted
Don’t spend too much time on things that don’t matter in your blog, like researching the best way to make your own cleaning labels if you have a blog about money management. There are definitely some things that need the time and effort put into it, like search optimization, site security, and creating your blog posts. It’s very easy to get distracted by things that really don’t matter. Every once in a while, take a step back and ask yourself if what you’re doing is worth your time.
You don’t need to try all the things. It’s so much fun to play with the blog once you’ve got it going. Fun to try new fonts, new styles, new whatever. But, you’ve really got to make a decision and settle down on one style. Remember, there are billions of people in this world. If you love it, chances are there are thousands possibly even millions of others that will too.
5. Make Your Content Yours
You want everything on your site to scream your personality. I have a really hard time making things look like I created it on my own. I have to have some ideas first. Just make sure you’re not copying to a T. Make it your own! Put some of your creative flair to it. Then, be confident in your decision.
There are a few things in the blogging community that are a no-no. Like, stealing pictures, content, or not giving credit to authors for their work. Remember to cite your references and give credit where credit is due. If you need pictures, try to take your own pictures or buy stock photos. If you want to take really nice looking pictures, consider taking a few photography classes. I love Cole’s Classroom! I’ve been able to apply so many of their tips to my picture taking skills. There are plenty of free stock photos to choose from on this website. You can just type in the type of picture you need and you can usually pull up quite a few amazing pictures.
- Stop telling yourself you shouldn’t be doing this. Whatever your reason for wanting to start your blog, it’s good enough. Your blog is worth it and so are you.
- Take it from the pros. Listen to your mentors, whoever they may be. These people are professionals and many of them have been doing this for a long time.
- Be confident in your decisions. Don’t doubt yourself. Go with your gut. You’re an expert in what you’re blogging about, so trust yourself.
- Don’t get distracted. Your time is very valuable. Don’t waste it on things that are not going to benefit you or your purpose for your blog.
- Make your content yours. Let your personality come out in your pictures, your posts, and your style. You want it to scream YOU.
I hope this helps you understand what you can do right when starting your blog. You’re doing an amazing thing and I wish you the best of luck in your journey to blogging!