Wow, what a year this has been! One year ago, I wrote my first blog post and nervously hit the publish button. A part of me thought I was crazy for taking this on. I have a full time job outside of the home and very busy girls, so why on earth did I think I needed one more thing to do?
I think I can now say that it’s not because I just wanted or needed more to do, but I did want to challenge myself. I spent most of my life playing it safe and never trying anything new. I had honestly forgotten what it was like to have big dreams and goals. For my husband, trying something new would be skydiving (which he did this year, by the way 🙂 ), but for me it was starting this blog! Maybe it was an early mid-life crisis or maybe it was God’s voice leading me somewhere I can’t see yet, but hitting publish on that first post has opened up a whole new world for me!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for my full disclosures.
THINKING ABOUT BLOGGING?
HERE’S SOME ADVICE:
- Don’t let the tech stuff scare you. I never dreamed that I would be having a conversation with someone and using words like SEO, widgets and plug-ins. It will all start to make sense. Just dive in and give it a try!
- Blogging is a community and you really can’t do it alone. Get out there and start connecting as soon as possible. Join facebook groups, participate in twitter chats, and attend live events when possible.
- Don’t be a blog about everything. If I’ve learned one thing this year it’s that the more niche your blog is the better. I’m still working on this one myself. You will have a much more engaged audience if they know that you are a trusted resource on one specific topic!
- It’s never too early to attend a conference. The relationships you make and the knowledge you take away will be well worth your time! One of the most rewarding parts of blogging has been starting new friendships and finding people with the same passions!
- There are tons of people who make a full time living blogging (but it doesn’t happen overnight). Don’t be surprised if it takes months before you start to see any money coming in.
- Blogging requires tons of planning. You can’t wait until the last minute to start planning your posts. Keep a list of ideas as they come to you and then create an editorial calendar where you plan out your posts in advance. Use a scheduling tool to automate social media as much as possible. Nobody told me how much time is spent on social media! While it can take a while to write a post, I think the majority of time is spent promoting it.
- You don’t have to do ALL THE THINGS! It will be hard to say no but you just can’t keep up with every collaboration and opportunity that comes your way. Sometimes it’s best to say no and focus or you will end up overwhelmed and burnt out. Don’t let the fear of missing out lead you to hating your blog! This is supposed to be fun!
- Don’t be surprised if the people closest to you are the last ones to “get it”. Very few of my friends and family actually read my blog. They will come around when they see how rewarding it is for you and that it can be so much more than just a hobby!
- Most people have no idea how much work blogging really is…I know I didn’t! It’s truly a full time, job but it can be done on the side if you really are passionate about it.
READY TO START YOUR BLOG?
If you are interested in starting a blog there is a lot to learn! I’ve spent hours googling and more money than I care to share on courses and e-books. These are the resources I would highly recommend if you are serious about blogging:
- Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook– Definitely start here! This is the book I read before I did anything else. If you read this e-book before you even pick a domain name, it will save you from making mistakes and will get you setup correctly from the start!
- Theme- You’re going to want your blog to be beautiful and Restored 316 has the most beautiful themes!
- Lightroom– Photography is so important in blogging! I wish I had started editing my photos with Lightroom immediately. It is seriously like magic! Oh, and Beth Bryan’s Lazy Girls Guide to Lightroom will have you using it like a pro in no time! Her photos are gorgeous!
- The Knowtbook from Amy Lynn Andrews– this is like a never ending wealth of knowledge! I started by subscribing to her Useletter (which I highly recommend). There was always so much valuable information that I found myself creating files to keep up with it all. Well, the Knowtbook is basically every note she has ever taken on blogging at your fingertips!
- Email marketing– I’ve learned so much about blogging in general but especially email marketing from Kirsten at Sweet Tea LLC. Building an email list should be top priority and she will teach you everything you need to know. Go now and check out all of her posts and sign up for her newsletter!
- Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers– if you intend to monetize your blog and would like to know more about Affiliate Marketing, Tasha is the expert! I learned so much from this course!
I would say that all in all, this past year has been a success (not because I’ve made lots of money because I’m just not there yet), but I’ve come a long way from that first post. I still get nervous each time I hit publish, but I’ve gained so much confidence. I don’t know where this blog will be a year from now, but I’m excited about the possibilities. I remember what it’s like to dream and this blog is just the beginning!
Do you have a dream that you just keep putting off? Maybe it’s blogging or something completely different. I would love to hear about it and encourage you. It’s scary but it’s not too late!
Comment below so I can pray for you and support you!