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?