I began The B Werd in January of last year, and before I pressed “publish” on my first post, I didn’t do much research. I hadn’t decided exactly what kind of blogger I would be, exactly what I would talk about and I had no dedicated schedule on when I would be posting. Luckily this blog came very naturally for me, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Blogging has truly been one thing I’ve took and ran with, because had I had the chance to wrap my mind around all that it would entail, I probably would’ve thought twice about moving forward. While this blog has been nothing but a blessing, here are 9 things I wish I would’ve known before I got started.
Motivation Comes and Goes
The response I got when I announced I’d launched a blog was so much more than I had anticipated. Not only did it give me the affirmation that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be, but it also put pressure on me to perform. When you know people are expecting to hear from or see you, you make it a point to show up. I was writing every chance I got and scheduling shoots on the weekends to make sure I had content, but after a few months that excitement faded and it began to feel like real tasks. They say if you’re doing something you love, it will never feel like work – I disagree. I love, love, love The B Werd, but just like any job some of your blogger tasks will eventually begin to feel mundane (which is why I wrote this post about forcing it).
Money Won’t Come Quickly
I broke this down in depth in this post about how to monetize your blog at every level. If you’re wanting to start a blog, know that you will spend a lot of money before you will ever make any. Before I’d gotten my first sponsored campaign, I had invested in a Canon camera, a new MacBook, memberships that would help me keep track of my social media and posting schedules, not to mention a couple thousand in clothes and shoes to make sure I’d have something to wear for my shoots. It took over a year of consistency and quality content before money became a normality and even still, it’s something I have to work for.
You Can’t Do it All
Believe me, if I could have – I would have. In addition to needing someone who can take an unlimited amount of photos of me, I went on to having to get help with my website, training from other experts and delegating tasks to other people who could do things quicker and better than me. Handle what you can, and get help when you need it. You’ll be better with it.
Carve Out Dedicated Time
When most of us start out, blogging isn’t our full-time job. In fact many of us will have a list of other responsibilities on top of this creative outlet, like 9-5’s, school, children, husbands and other involvement. If you know you’re going to have a jam packed schedule, map out the time you’re going to dedicate to your blog. This is something I especially have to do now with all that’s on my plate. I dedicate 90 minutes every evening of distraction free time to writing, sending and replying to emails or updating my stats or media kit info. I haven’t had a full weekend day to myself in a few months now, so I’ll set my alarm and try at least 4 hours in the mornings both Saturday and Sunday.
You’ll Need Effort
It’s not always about what you want to do, it’s about what you need to do to get the results you want. If we all quit after we didn’t feel like doing something, we’d never make it anywhere. Effort is key to moving your brand forward.
You’ll Always Want More
When I first started blogging, I just wanted the interaction. A few months later, I wanted my numbers to grow. Once my numbers grew, I wanted to work with brands I loved. Now my wants are to speak publicly across the country to women about branding and continue helping them build their own brands that they love. It’s perfectly okay for you to not remain comfortable for too long. Once you begin wanting more, set a plan and go after it.
Consistency is Better Than Perfection
Had I waited until everything was perfect to launch The B Werd, you wouldn’t be reading this today. I look back at my photos from this time last year and squirm at how bad they were. They were my best attempt at “blogger”, so I gave it what I had. All of those bad photos have gotten me to a place where I know exactly what I’m looking for, how to pose, when to post, and what my followers like. I continued to post, so my following grew. You don’t have to post everyday, but know that consistency breeds results. Posting on a regular basis and being authentic is what your followers will admire.
Build an Email List Early
Even if you’re only averaging 100 views a month, prompt your readers to subscribe. I didn’t do this for a over a year after I began my blog because I didn’t think it was important. Offering a way for readers to subscribe, and then sending newsletters or some sort of email, even monthly—is a perfect way to communicate and build readership. Also, if you ever decide to offer a service, sell a product or host an event, your subscribers would be the first to be interested. I currently use MailChimp, but ConvertKit is great as well.
Sticks And Stones
I hate to sound like I’m bragging, but I am. My followers are seriously SO kind to me. I don’t ever have to deal with trolls or negativity, but every now and then I’ll receive random comments about what I should and shouldn’t do, what someone doesn’t like or how unrealistic my photos are. At the end of the day, I do not care. A quick click and their comment is gone, then I treat it like it never existed. The Internet is the home of jokes and nasty comments. If you receive any negativity, it’s likely a reflection of the person behind the keyboard and not of you. Don’t let them get you down.
I hope these were helpful. What do you wish you knew before you started blogging? Or what are you struggling with if you’re just starting out? Comment below so I can help you! xx