Things to Know Before Starting a Blog

When I first started this blog, in December of 2013 to be exact, I'd never guess it'd end up where it is today: both myself and my hubby working full-time for ourselves, spending more time with Jadyn and traveling when we want to. I simply created it—like a lot of bloggers who I know—as a creative outlet and to highlight my love for putting looks together. While the blog has been nothing but a blessing, I wanted to share 8 things I wish I knew before beginning that might have made it easier. Here they are:

 

I wouldn't always be motivated

A few months into my blog, this shocked me. At first, I was crazy excited to put together outfits, shoot them, and write and post. But after a few months, the excitement started to dull at times and began feeling like a task. I eventually realized that this is normal for just about everything in life, and there are days when even a dream job can feel mundane. Accept and keep pushing ahead; the motivation will resume. Also, take a day off when you need it rather than force content—we all need breaks after all!

 

I'd need help

I thought I could easily handle the blog on my own, with a little help from my hubby behind the camera. That grew into needing assistance making my site better, improving engagement, getting newsletter subscribers, performing random tasks, etc. As the blog has grown, I've started delegating certain things. The fact that my hubby now does this full-time as well goes to show how much work a blog can take. I highly suggest delegating blog stuff + personal tasks when you can.

 

A schedule is key

Some sort of editorial calendar or schedule is crucial. Having a schedule where I can lay all that out helps a ton. Also, giving yourself certain time chunks in the week—especially if blogging isn't your full-time job (yet) :)

 

It takes a lot of effort

This probably should have been more obvious to me, when I started when I started my blog I didn't realize how many late nights and early mornings I would have to make sure I had posts done before my office job. As my blog grew though, it's only gotten busier and more work- in a really good way though. Blogging is for the self-starters.

 

I'll always want my blog to evolve

This still stumps me, to be honest. Right when I thought—or think—I have a layout that I love, or am happy with my social strategy, I get an itch to improve or switch things up. I think accepting that just like yourself as a person, your blog will ebb and flow towards what you're feeling…and that's OK!

 

Not to take comments personally

Ahh, this was probably the hardest for me at first, and it was especially right when my blog started to grow. I had NO idea how mean strangers could be over the Internet. I've actually grown a thicker skin and started to accept that there will always be nasty people in the world And that 99% of the time, it has nothing to do with me.
 

Consistency is better than perfect…but you don't have to post daily

I hit a point when my blog engagement started to grow and I felt like everything had to be perfect. Now that more people were seeing my content, every outfit, sentence, and picture had to be the best thing they'd ever seen, right?! I realized that those were unrealistic expectations to put on myself, and my readers would still like me even if a post wasn't “perfect.” Posting on a regular basis and being authentic to who you are is more important.

 

Building an email list early is key

Email marketing is a great way to build a blog and get readers engaged. I wasn't too interested in this at first because I didn't see the need for it, but I do wish I began building that list earlier. 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. I currently use ConvertKit and just love it!

I hope these were helpful to you! What do you wish you knew? Or what are you struggling with if you're just starting out?

xxBrittany

 

 

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60 Comments

  1. Bloggers Issue Magazine November 2, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Hi lovely,

    Congrats, your blog post will be featured in Bloggers Issue Magazine

    Bloggersissue.com

    Reply
  2. pia November 2, 2016 at 2:51 am

    these tips are awesome, I hope I can one day reach the point where blog would be my full time job!
    Fash ‘n’ fudge

    Reply
  3. SAMIVIDA November 2, 2016 at 3:21 am

    I love your posts, and how many times I’ve made me this question: What is best? Working on good quality, perfection, or authenticity and rythm? I understand you when you say that everything needed to be perfect. Perhaps my posts take considerable time and effort, but productivity & authenticity is the key … OMGodness!!! I like to do my best! From the beginning to the end, I try to do my best: I take pics by myself, edit, write the content, social media, … Where would I be without a schedule?

    These tips were so helpful to me! And what I’d wish to know is any tip regarding:

    – Do not lose the beat in social media. The only way to grow follower in Instagram is to be active, but as it’s not my full-time-job I can’t afford it. What should I use to improve my INSTAGRAM feed/posts? CoSchedule ???
    – When you started to collaborate with great platforms or brands?? Any tip from you would be sooo good. My dream is to reach Rstyle platform, or Levi’s brand. (I have a Dream ;) )

    Thanks for your help Brittany and have a nice day!

    Reply
  4. Emily Lynn November 2, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Your blog posts have helped me a lot with my new blog. Thank you so much! I really struggle with the email list thing. I have a basic “follow my blog via email” where it just sends out notifications of new blog posts but when it comes to a newsletter it’s a little daunting feeling as I don’t know what I would write. I’m still trying to get the hang of posting good content on my blog itself. Any tips or ideas for writing a newsletter? Also I’d love to see a post about the photo process! I’m using Lightroom and then uploading them to my blog and I’ve noticed I can’t put my photos in at the largest setting as it makes them oddly grainy. I see other bloggers where the landscape style photos match the width of the portrait style and I really like that look. Just not sure what I need to change so it won’t be grainy. Hope that makes sense!

    Reply
  5. Simi November 2, 2016 at 4:19 am

    That was very helpful, thank you! I realized that I need to be more consistent.. I don´t post daily, but I would love to post at least 2 times a week.. :)

    http://www.sinnamona.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. Steal4Style November 2, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Hi, thanks a lot for this post. It was so helpful to read about this topic, because it’s difficult to find personal struggles shared by bloggers. Personally, I find it difficult to get a good engagement… Again, thanks for sharing this inspiring post!

    Reply
  7. Fashion and Frappes November 2, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Your blog tips posts have really really helped me out. Honestly for the longest time I didn’t even realise you were a fashion blogger because I had so much to read on your blog tips section and was excited to implement it also. The email list building idea is so on! At the end of it social media is not something you can own – Facebook can shut down, Instagram can delete or block your account. Your email list is the only thing you 100% own! Thanks for all the tips over the years!

    http://www.FashionandFrappes.com

    Reply
  8. Sheila Joy November 2, 2016 at 9:22 am

    It’s amazing how much your blog has grown in almost 3 years! I think in the beginning we don’t realize just how much work a blog will take in order to become successful.

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

    Reply
  9. Justine November 2, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Great advice for new (or seasoned) bloggers!!

    Reply
  10. Jaime November 2, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Hey Brittany,
    Thank you for this post! I’m new to blogging so this was really helpful to know. I’ll definitely start using some of these tips! (:

    ♡ Jaime
    http://thejaimeissue.com/

    Reply
  11. Lydia Smith November 2, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Hi Brittany,

    These were really helpful tips to know! You’ve actually covered quite a lot of what I always wonder, particularly the part about needing help. I always find myself thinking how do people do this on their own, I just don’t have the skill set to do everything that needs to be done also the tip on always wanting to improve!! So reading this from someone who had a full time job previously and turned their passion into their career is really enlightening and inspiring! Thanks!

    Liddy <3
    http://www.anywearandeverywear.com/

    Reply
  12. Lauren Dailey November 2, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Thank you for these, Brittany! I am really struggling with managing a full time job and a blog at the moment… There’s just not enough time in the day! How did you manage it when you had a job and when did you decide to go full-time?

    Love,
    Lauren

    http://www.bohemianbythebay.com

    Reply
    1. Tsvetelina November 2, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Just checked your blog and it’s so cute. I love the warm colors of your theme. I keep back and forward with mine. Sometimes in order to improve something we make step back haha. Good luck!

      Reply
    2. Brittany November 14, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Lauren! I’m not going to lie, it was tough and sometimes chaotic lol Very late nights and early mornings. I didn’t do any work until after my daughter was in bed for the night, so you try to pack a lot of work within a short amount of time. I decided to take it full-time when my blog got to the stage in which I needed to network and go to events in order to keep growing…most of which was in the middle of a week day. That’s when I knew I had a decision to make and take the leap to pursue my dream :)

      Reply
  13. Neele November 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Thank you so much for this tipps! Everything is so so right… ;)

    XoXo from Germany

    Neele vom Modeblog Justafewthings.de

    Reply
  14. Tsvetelina November 2, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hi, love your posts. I wish I knew that I don’t need to spend a lot of money on certain services since I don’t have that much of a following yet. Also just because something works for some it doesn’t mean that it will work for others. I think the issues I mentioned above set me back big time. Hopefully, others won’t do my mistakes.

    Thank you for the great content and positivity. Looking forward to more amazing posts from you.

    Reply
  15. Annmarie Shelton November 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I love your Instagram as well as your blog postings and what you share are great👍🏼 I have been wanting to do a blog for the longest and have been procrastinating about because my confidence level in what to write scares me. I have always wondered though how you shifted from posting about purchasing pretty much on a budget to all these brand name stuff which in my opinion can put a lot of people especially women in debt to try to keep up with the lovely things you postI would love though if you could check my nstagram page maybe take it over as well😀😘 and give me some pointers. It’s stylishlyfabuulous. Looking forward to hearing from you thanks snd stay fabulous 👊🏻💝💕

    Reply
  16. LINDSEY of THE NOMIS NICHE November 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Very helpful tips Brittany! Blogs definitely take a lot of work. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to delegate tasks… in the meantime I’ll just continue to be sleep deprived (but loving every minute of it!) Congratulations on your immense success and I always love coming back to your blog to see what you’re up to :)

    Love, Lindsey
    http://thenomisniche.com/

    Reply
  17. Allison Kelley November 2, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Thank you, these tips are spot on. I have only been blogging for two months now and those are great tips. I definitely had no idea how time-consuming blogging would be, plus working full-time.

    As always, thank you for the wonderful tips.
    Xx Allison

    Buthwhatshouldiwear.com

    Reply
  18. nikkibergmans.com November 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Just found your blog, super inspiring posts! Love it. :) X from Belgium

    nikkibergmans.com

    Reply
  19. Gabriela Flores November 2, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for saying this! I’m starting my blog, well, I have a few months with it, and this is important to know, thank you for your tips!

    Reply
  20. Jessica November 2, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    These are all so true Brittany! I work so much right now trying to really get my blog going. When you love it as much as we do though, it’s worth it!

    http://forblueskies.com

    Reply
  21. Sarah November 2, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks for this open and honest post Brittany! It’s always helpful to hear insider tips from someone who’s killing it in the blogosphere. I often find myself obsessing over minor details that only I probably notice. Thanks for the reminder to take a little pressure off myself sometimes and that it’s ok to make mistakes and changes along the way!

    Reply
  22. Akshaya Iyer November 2, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you for these tips – couldn’t have come at a better time as I am planning on starting a blog myself! I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you managed both blogging and an office job – that’s going to be my situation if I decide to start a blog! :)

    Reply
  23. Frieda November 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Love this post! I’m actually in the process of creating my blog right now, so this post was extremely helpful. I always feel like my posts and outfits need to be perfect, and i therefore don’t post everyday but you’re right, no post is going to be perfect. Im also having some difficulty creating my website so i hope to figure it all out soon xoxo @fashionablybroke_

    Reply
  24. Elizabeth November 2, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    I always enjoy all of your weekly blogging tips, and this week is no different! Blogging really is a job in and of itself, and I can’t agree with all of your tips on organization, such as keeping a calendar and planning ahead. Thank you so much for sharing, especially the little tidbit near the end about starting an email list! Will definitely look into that soon!

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

    Reply
  25. Meira November 3, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Fantastic tips Brittany! I really felt like I could relate to each and every one. Keep it up xx

    Reply
  26. Chritie November 3, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Congrats on the growth of your blog. I always look forward to your blog tips. This reiterates how important the email list and it is something I really struggle with. I would be curious to know when you started delegating other tasks and if you ever used Mailchimp for email lists?
    Thanks!

    Christie
    http://www.christielovesflora.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany November 14, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Christie! Once I started to not have enough time in the day to get everything I wanted completed. Usually after I establish a system, I find a way to streamline it. That way I am able to delegate a task with easy instructions.

      I actually started on Mailchimp and used it my first year. I didn’t have any issues, but once I saw the usefulness of ConvertKit, I haven’t looked back! :)

      Reply
  27. Alisha November 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Great tips. I must admit that I am struggling with the scheduling part of blogging and it really leaves me frustrated sometimes. How far out do you schedule your blog posts???

    xo, Alisha Ricki | Life(Style), Travel, & Culture

    P.S: I really look up to you as a Macro-Blogger. I know you’re super busy but I’d love it if you check out my latest post HERE and give me some authentic feedback. xoxo

    Reply
  28. Amanda November 4, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I needed to read that today. Thank you for the post. It is easy to get discouraged and it is so nice to have people like you around to give guidance and show that the stage I am in with my blog is not uncommon. Cheers!

    Reply
  29. Adriana November 4, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I couldn’t agree more with all the points you wrote! The fact that I’m always struggling to make every post better than the last one has been my biggest difficulty lately! Especially because I’m trying to post a lot more. Perfectionism and high expectations for every posts is very hard to handle!

    Loved this post!
    xx

    The Black Blush

    Reply
  30. Bryn Bradsher November 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I always love your blog related posts because I admire the way you run your business! I can definitely related to all of this. Blogging is a lot of work that people don’t always anticipate, but it’s a labor of love!

    xo Bryn
    http://www.waketonroad.com

    Reply
  31. Anh November 4, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Hi @thriftsandthreads, I’ve known about your insta account for a while but today, I actually was attracted to your newest post with you in the beautiful blue sweater. And then I saw this post on your website about blogging and all.
    I want to try blogging once in my life. I don’t know if I want to make it as my job but I know I have a passion for fashion. I just wanted to say thank you for this post because it helps me and others to define if they really want to blog, since blogging has become so popular these days.

    Thank you for this lovely post :). Have a nice day ^^

    Reply
  32. Sabina November 4, 2016 at 11:45 am

    I agree with all your points above, and while trying to grow my blog, I find myself facing some of the issues you mentioned. But I love challenges and I know that’s the way to grow :)

    Sabina | http://www.IveGotSunshine.com

    Reply
  33. MihaBalan November 4, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I have just started for the second time to blog, hoping this will be the right time. So far for a beginner blog is going good. But I do have problem putting it out there. I did not want to make people subscribe to emails but like you said it is better to do it now then to regret it later. Otherwise I just hope I find the patience enough to stick with it. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Here is mine :) http://mihabalan.com

    Reply
  34. Nina November 5, 2016 at 5:41 am

    These are so helpful tips. After 2 years of blogging I realize that I need to delegate some blogging tasks.
    Nina

    Reply
  35. Meghan Leigh November 5, 2016 at 6:09 am

    This post was great! So insightful, I’ve been worKing specifically on engagement recently and tooling around with an email capture/newsletter…Your advice posts often convince me one way or the other in my decisions! Thanks for the advice!! And WOW only 3 years to get where you are…inspiring!

    Reply
  36. Pear Phongsawad November 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks Brittany for the great insight! The first point you mentioned truly resonated with because I totally agree with you that any dream job can get mundane after a while but pushing it through and taking necessary breaks will help alleviate that feeling :)

    Thanks again for sharing!

    XO
    Style by Pear

    Reply
  37. Jenet November 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Maybe it’s me thinking negative but it just seems I cannot find my niche, no matter how long I’ve been doing it (just reached 2 years) and it feels like my Instagram and Blog aren’t going anywhere. so frustrating but I appreciate you giving us your best advice :)

    Reply
  38. Erin November 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    These tips are super helpful, especially the email list. Thank you for sharing this — it is one of my favorite posts! xx, Erin – http://www.stylebythepeople.com

    Reply
  39. Alicia November 8, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Hi Brittany! I was just watching your interview on the Happiest Hour. You’re so personable! Yaasss! Ok, on with the question. Do you think it’s possible to have a successful blog without a huge instagram following? And what are your thoughts on follow/unfollow to grow IG?

    Great advice and content as always! All the best.

    Reply
    1. Brittany November 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Alice! Aww thank you :)
      YES, totally! Instagram is just one way I was able to gain an audience in conjunction with my blog. I’ve met bloggers that have massive website traffic, but not so much on Instagram. It just really depends on where you connect with your audience more.

      With regards to the Instagram question, I wouldn’t do that technique. You want people to follow you based on your content and being a resource, not because you followed them. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  40. hannah November 8, 2016 at 9:34 am

    hi brittany!
    i’m from brazil and i really loved your tips even though i’m not a blogger (yet) lol.
    congratulations on your posts and social networks! thaks for sharing

    all the best!

    Reply
  41. Adelina November 11, 2016 at 7:50 am

    There is always something so fresh and so wonderful to be found on your blog. No matter my following, or where I am, I always relate! Thank you for it all babe! Truly! xox, Adelina

    http://www.thecharmingolive.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany November 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      You’re always so sweet, thank you for following!

      Reply
  42. Michelle Tumbusch November 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Brittany! What platform did you use to build your website? Where do I start?! Xx Michelle

    Reply
  43. carla March 10, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Love the post

    Reply
  44. Mac May 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the tips! We are new at blogging and live all the helpful info!!

    Reply
  45. Sherry June 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Loved reading this! Thank you for sharing your tips :) I just recently started my own blog (more of a “shop. my Instagram” and wardrobing services) and have lots to work on , but it is so nice to hear that we all struggle in the beginning trying to make everything perfect.

    Reply

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