Today I want to talk about one of my favorite topics: blogging!
If you are thinking of starting a blog, congratulations! Buckle up because you’re in for a ride!
Almost three years ago, after such a long time wanting to, I picked a name, found a web hosting platform and bought the domain for Karen Sincerely. I had no idea what I was doing, how to write a blog post or how to set up a website. All I knew was that I loved to write and wanted to share my words with the world.
Fast forward to today and since Karen Sincerely launched, I have taken a ton of courses, almost quit more times than I can count, changed the name once, pushed myself outside of my comfort zone again and again and made friends I never would have met without my blog.
It has taken trial and error, hours pouring over Google and asking a million questions in Facebook groups but my little corner of the internet has contributed to paying bills, made it on “best of” lists and given me the opportunity to work with some awesome brands.
I want to share with you a few things I wish I had known when I hit publish on that first blog post! I hope this helps you as a new blogger and reminds you to keep going, even when it seems hard and that these tips will save you some of the frustrations I felt at the beginning of this journey!
1. Consistency is everything
Like with so many other things in life, consistency is key when it comes to blogging. Why? Because consistency creates habits and lets your audience know when to expect a new post.
Decide how often you want to publish a new post, set time aside each week to write and stick to that timeline. Honestly, it really does make a difference! The times when I have stuck with my posting schedule, my blog has grown exponentially.
2. Blogging can be lonely but it doesn’t need to be
When I first told people in my life that I was starting a blog, they either looked at me like I had ten heads or thought I had picked up a nice hobby. But, I knew that it was so much more than that.
And in the very beginning, I didn’t know anyone else who had a blog, knew anything about having a successful blog or could celebrate my wins with me. It felt very lonely. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be!
Facebook is full of groups where you can promote your content, meet other bloggers, ask questions and share your wins! Here are a few of my favorite groups: Boss Girl Bloggers, Becoming A Blogger, Blogging Like We Mean It and ProBlogger Community.
3. It can take months to grow your audience and see progress
Here’s the thing: blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!
Do you know why most blogs fail? Because a lot of bloggers give up before they even hit the one year mark. So many new bloggers, me included, think that you will have readers after your first blog post goes live. But, it’s important to remember that it can take months, sometimes more than a year, to grow your audience and establish a steady flow of traffic to your blog.
Give it time! Even if you don’t see progress in the first 6 months, or the first year, that’s okay. Keep plugging away. It will happen!
4. Your blog posts might suck at first
A few months ago, I went back and looked at my blog posts from that first few months of blogging and cringed. Did I really share those with the world? Yes, yes I did.
Don’t be afraid to suck at first! Most of us do. There’s a lot to learn when you first start blogging and it will take time to get it right. You will get better!
5. Blogging takes way more work and time than you think
From researching your topic and preparing content to marketing and graphic design, there is more to blogging than just writing and hitting publish. It takes way more time and work than you think to have a successful blog.
Don’t let that discourage you! Take your time and don’t try to do it all at once. Pick one thing each week that you want to master and then build on that. Here are a few things you will want to learn as you blog:
- Social media (Pinterest is my jam!)
- Website design
- Optimizing your content
- Building a mailing list
- Affiliate marketing
- Working with brands
6. Your readers are real people, not numbers
Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that your audience are real people. Yes, your traffic is important and paying attention to those numbers is a big part of blogging but those numbers are people. People who found your blog, liked what you wrote and might want to read more.
Try and remember this when you are creating your content! Speak to your audience like you would if they were right in front of you. Connect with them and build relationships! That’s the best part of blogging.
Blogging takes work but it is so worth it! Please don’t let yourself get discouraged. Keep going, keep writing and enjoy the journey! Need help? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!