7 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Blog
It’s time consuming.
When I first created a blog, I was under the impression it wouldn’t take very much time and that it was something that would fill free time. Boy, was I wrong. I think my parents and friends can testify to this one. Creating a blog is one of the single most fulfilling things that I have stumbled upon, but it doesn’t come without work. A lot of time and effort is poured into every blogger’s blog. It takes creativity to come up with posts, planning to figure out the implementation, web design, marketing and promotional efforts, and presence on all social media platforms to stay connected with brands, bloggers, and followers. So, if you’re considering starting up your own blog, don’t be discouraged by the workload, but definitely be mindful of it.
Presence on social media is a MUST.
A large part of blogging is being present on social media. Your viewers need to know 1.) you exist, 2.) what you’re posting about, and 3.) that you are accessible for communication. When you set up your site, you can also set it so that your posts automatically post to your social media handles. That also makes it easier for your followers to see your posts and share them, A.) giving you more followers and B.) making it easier for you to get your word out.
It takes a lot of creativity.
I struggled tremendously my first few months of blogging. I knew the gist of what I wanted to blog about, but I didn’t know how to form posts or how to come up with a long list of post ideas. Blogging takes a ton of brainstorming and it can be frustrating at times. You just have to remember why you started blogging and be patient that your posts will create themselves eventually. After a while, you form basis posts and that can make coming up with post ideas much easier.
You need to keep a journal…or four.
Ever since I was little I’ve kept many journals that detail my thoughts and goals. I’d always disliked the idea of having a ‘diary’, however. But in reality, keeping a journal is something that I really enjoy. In fact, I keep around five at a time. One to log my expenses and incomes. One to keep track of my blog and video post ideas. One filled with inspiring quotes and poems I’ve conjured up. One that I use for many purposes such as jotting down ideas when I wake up with a head full of ideas in the middle of the night or keeping track of my empowerment program. And a sketchbook to stay creative and visually inspired.
You will get to know every corner of yourself.
Expression was never really my thing until I founded my blog. I had a hard time putting my thoughts together and I kept to myself mostly. I still kind of keep to myself about some things, but I’m definitely more open than before about my life. Blogging has, in a sense, broadened my mind and exposed me to more aspects of myself than I would have ever imagined. Writing and staying inspired through photograph, designing, entrepreneurship and other activities has allowed me to push boundaries outside of what I was used to before blogging. If you start a blog, you will begin to search for inspiration in areas of your mind that you have never previously tapped in to.
Yes, if you are serious about your blogging, it’s going to cost you in more ways than one. Blogging will take up your time, energy, and of course–money. I won’t go into details with my expenses, but I’ll give you the gist….cost of one year of site hosting is around $300-350. You can leave it at that and most site hosts will let you create your own domain as a part of that package among other things. If you decide to go my route and start adding apparel, then the cost of course goes up. I purchase my apparel for around $14 an item on average, which can add up pretty quickly.
And, of course, blogging takes time. So, if you aren’t very strong in managing your time, I would recommend holding off until your schedule allows you to piece together all the details before launching.
You will be exposed to unique opportunities.
People often times ask me how I’ve gotten so many opportunities. And honestly, you have to create them yourself. Most of my opportunities have come from resume building and blogging. Blogging is a great resume in itself. Companies and brands check our your site and get to gather a sense of who you are and what you stand for. If they like what they see, they contact you and expose you to new realms of possibilities. It’s how I landed my first guest posts, my first internship, photoshoots, and now I’m curating for an online international store and working with a London-based company that’s new and developing makeup products that I will get to review when they launch. It’s how I got on the Nordstrom BP Fashion Board and how I’ve gotten to work with local stores, selling my apparel. Plus, it’s a great way to carry conversations, because people tend to be interested in these sort of things.
With these new opportunities, there are some things you must know. Don’t take every offer you get. People ask how many offers I get, and to be honest I get a couple a week…but you cannot take every offer that knocks on your door. Why? You don’t want to be overwhelmed with work, number one. And number two, not every offer will mesh perfectly with you as an influencer. You have to conduct some research before you agree to anything. Visit the brand, and see if their style coincides with yours. Think about what they are asking of you and contemplate how time consuming it will be for you and what benefits you will reap out of the experience.
I hope these tips sort of clue you in on what it’s like maintaining a blog. Personally, I think everyone should own one just because I love learning about other people’s passions and they’re my favorite form of expression hands down. If you own a blog, send me your links so I can check you out!