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When I first started blogging, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. It was the perfect hobby and opportunity for a new side hustle. I was doey-eyed and eager to join the big leagues and make 6-figures a month too.
If I had a $1 for every cuss word I’ve shouted, every hair that’s fallen from my head, every throb that’s pulsated through the vein on my forehead, I’d be retired. I partially blame my fellow bloggers. They all look and sound so damn happy.
The truth is that blogging is difficult for various reasons. It requires constant learning and dedication, especially if you want your blog to be successful. Nothing good comes easy though, and for every rough day I’ve had with blogging, I’ve had quite a few amazing ones. Now I sound so damn happy.
7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
Blogging is hard. Like, hella hard.
Blogging is great and probably comes quicker to those who are gifted writers, photographers, or have tech experience. Unfortunately, many of us (including me) don’t fall into those categories, making blogging that much harder.
Writing killer content and taking Instagram-worthy pictures are only part of the job. You need to familiarize yourself with a free blogging platform or start a self-hosted blog of your own (check out my how-to guide here!), install WordPress, download a free theme or purchase one, edit it to your liking, write posts, snap photos, edit, edit again, publish, promote your site and grow your audience (the hardest part in my opinion)! I didn’t even mention monetizing your blog! Aaah!
This isn’t meant to scare you by the way. I absolutely love blogging even though I haven’t made any money from it. The truth is that some people are lucky and have epic blogs after just a few months. For most of us, it takes time, which is why it’s important to be in it for the long haul!
You’ll spend a lot of time learning, reading, practicing, etc.
When it comes to blogging, it’s like never-ending learning. From starting a new blog, to mastering Pinterest, to creating your own graphics with Canva, and how to monetize your blog, there’s plenty to be learned and mastered if your goal is to be successful blogger!
The best advice I have is to learn one thing at a time. Believe me when I say that you’ll get overwhelmed or burn out if you take on too many courses, PDFs, strategies, etc., at once. Master one thing at a time, then move onto the next.
Your host matters.
When you first get into blogging, it’s easy to become eager or impulsive and want to get started right away. While that’s awesome (woo-hoo, go you!), it’s best to do some research on your hosting options before purchasing. Rather than doing research of my own, I read a blogger’s review that raved about HostGator and took the bait. Oops!
HostGator had poor customer service, long wait times for live chat, not the best uptime, and I couldn’t get SSL certification for free like other hosts offered. Gross. After doing plenty research of my own, I chose SiteGround and transferred my blog. I’m so much happier with my host as their customer service alone is top notch and well worth the investment. I wish I started with them from the beginning!
Comparing yourself/your blog to others will ruin you.
Blogger envy. Such a disease. You get stuck looking at blogs or their Instagram pages and admire what seems to be perfection. Perfect posts, perfect photos, perfect quotes, perfect dogs.
That’s how I was. I could spend hours scrolling through others’ blogs and doubting my ability to even come close to anything they were doing. And then I joined a bunch of Facebook groups and saw these same “perfect” bloggers asking the same amateur “what’s 1+1?” kind of questions that I ask. Clearly, there was no reason for me to think I was incapable of creating a successful blog of my own.
The truth is that blogging is a difficult thing to master because it’s quickly and always changing. Thankfully, the blogging and online entrepreneur communities are supportive ones, and there’s no such thing as asking a stupid question!
Spend money on the most important parts of your blog.
If you plan to monetize your blog, then you need to treat your blog like it’s a business, and we all know what they say about business: you gotta spend money to make money!
The same goes for blogging believe it or not! There’s a reason why top bloggers making steady incomes with their blogs are all self-hosted with clean, beautiful blogs.
Now, should you spend your life savings and sell a kidney buying every course out there telling you how to become a successful blogger? Absolutely not! It’s still very possible for your blog to take off without a huge investment (thank goodness). There are only two things you should be spending money on when you first start a blog: your domain and your host. There are plenty of free tools and resources available to get your blog off the ground!
Blogging and perfectionism don’t mix.
Honestly, if you waited for your posts to be perfect, your blog to look exactly as you want it, and your pictures to be of utmost professional quality, then you would never start your blog. I was the biggest perfectionist I knew until I started blogging. It took me revising one of my first posts several times during a span of a month to realize that perfectionism is an unnecessary stressor.
Now I write, do a quick edit with Grammarly, and hit PUBLISH! Like I said before, blogging is a learning process. My posts will get better with time, and so will yours!
Don’t rush the process. It takes time.
So many times did I give myself deadlines for when to launch my blog. And, like clockwork, I would miss those deadlines. It wasn’t because I was lazy or neglecting my blog. Every time I thought I learned or mastered something that I needed to do, something else would come up. Making a Pinterest account and getting approved by Amazon Affiliates was just scratching the surface!
Do I still plan and like to give myself deadlines or approximations? Absolutely. Do I still miss some of my deadlines? Hell yeah. But that’s perfectly okay! Blogging isn’t an easy task and requires plenty of hard work, which takes time. No point rushing something as important as your blog, only to regret it down the road and be unhappy with your site. Like my dad always told me as a child, whatever’s worth doing is worth doing well!
What are some things you wish you knew before blogging?
Thinking of becoming a blogger too? Check out my post on how to start a blog!