I feel like I have been working myself to death getting my blog to a point where I am finally happy with the direction it’s going and can finally move on to the fun stuff. Along the way I have learned so so much, thanks primarily to Abby Lawson’s Building A Framework ebook. It helped me build a blog from scratch and actually understand what I was doing as I went.
UPDATE: Unfortunately Abby’s book is no longer available, but she has a condensed blog post that will guide you setting things up, Check it out here.
Make a “work schedule” for yourself
Planning makes life so much easier. I have gotten so wrapped up in working that hours and hours pass before I realize it. I am a stay at home mother, so my children must be entertained during the day, which means those hours and hours that pass cut into my sleep time. If you are a parent, you understand just how precious sleep time is, so planning out your day and sticking to that plan will help tremendously. Don’t spread yourself too thin when planning things out. If you are a super beginner like I was, take your time to really understand what you are doing. I tried to do too much and it backfired, causing me to work that much harder. When you’re planning your work and working your plan, don’t forget to make time for your family too. Yes, you are working alone, but your spouse and kids need you too, don’t neglect them.
It’s an investment
There are so many resources out there and some of them cost quite a bit. Start small and work your way up. Like I mentioned before, Abby’s book is was where I started, but this post is another great place to start because it offers you everything you need to know to get things going from the ground up. When I started, I was grasping at every educational resource I could get my hands on, learning as much as I could, until I realized that if my blog is going to succeed I needed to focus on one or two educational resources at a time and use the rest of my time to write post drafts. If you are looking for your blog to start making you money, it might not happen for awhile, but don’t get discouraged!. Earning money should not be your focus right now, because that will come with time and learning. Content will be what brings in money eventually, so focus on making yours EXCELLENT and you will succeed. Remember, all of the right tools won’t work unless you do. You don’t have to spend a fortune to start your own blog, but remember that your time is an investment too.
Don’t rush to hit that Publish button
If you aren’t 100% proud of your work and you think it could still use a little something, something, then don’t hit publish. Great content can’t be rushed. If you hit “publish” thinking “oh, I can go back later and make changes” you’re essentially working harder. I like to make a list of bullet points and have a “free write” with my topic in mind. Then I save my work and don’t look at it again for 24 hours. This allows me to look at my post with fresh eyes every time. If I am still not happy with everything once I have composed the post, I will wait 24 hours again and repeat the process. That said, don’t be afraid to hit publish, you don’t have to have absolute perfection, nor is it expected of you when you first start. So while I don’t want you to rush, I don’t want you to use excuses to not put your content out there. Also, the blogging community is full of people who want to help you succeed! Who better to ask to take a peek at your website than someone who knows just how much work goes into each and every post? 🙂
Set a launch date goal
One thing I wish I could change would be when I announced my blog. It was nowhere near ready, and I feel like I robbed myself out of an exciting launch. Starting a blog is a very exciting (and tough) journey, make sure you’re ready to flaunt your work by launch day. I still am weary about people visiting my website, but that brings me to my next tip. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Browse their archives and I am sure that you will find an old post or two that isn’t up to par with their work now. They learned, just like me, through trial and error. No one is perfect and everyone has room to grow.
Listen to other, seasoned bloggers out there. There is no right way to go about creating your own online presence, but learning from other’s trial and errors as well as your own will help you grow that much faster. Speaking of growing, walk before you run. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure all my social media accounts were up and going when I should have been focusing on creating my content. I feel a constant stress now to maintain that online presence, which, you guessed it, has me working that much harder. Don’r focus on gaining thousands of followers in the beginning. If you focus on your content, then the right audience will find and follow you.
Last, but certainly not least, I don’t know everything, especially when it comes to blogging. A perfect example would be how I set myself up for a lawsuit without even knowing it! If you choose to use free stock photos, make sure you keep records of all the information proving it was obtained legally. Apparently there are photographers out there that post stock images on free sites only to later remove them and sue for copywrite infringement. Before you launch, make sure you have all the legalities in order so you don’t make the same mistake I did. I find that purchasing the stock photos is a much safer way to go. I love using Haute Stock as well as the Styled Stock Society for all of my stock photos.
I hope the lessons I learned when starting a blog will help you in your own blogging journey. What works for some, might not work for you and vice versa. You’ll never know until you get started. 😉