Happy Wednesday, lovelies!
Today, I’m continuing the conversation about the business of blogging. So far, we’ve chatted about what you need to start your very own blog along with advice from others regarding blogging and social media. Today, I’m chatting about the 5 things I wish I would have known before starting a blog! And if you’re wondering about my top, it’s a recent Zara find from our trip to the Grove last weekend! *heart eyes*
Zara Top (similar here and here) | Charlotte Russe Skirt (old – similar here) | Pink Bow Heels (old – similar here and here) | Boohoo Clutch c/o | Brook and York Cuff
Don’t Go In With Too Many Expectations
The popularity of social media has brought about an increase in bloggers and influencers and so many times, I see new bloggers going into the business expecting the world and thinking that just because they have a newly launched website, opportunities will immediately fall into your lap. I can’t tell you the amount of emails, DM’s and messages I get asking me not only how to start a blog, but how to start a blog with the expectation of getting “free” things and getting paid. As wonderful as it would be, it just doesn’t happen this way.
Firstly, you MUST start a blog for the right reasons and not for the intention of making money. This is not a get rich quick scenario. In fact, it takes most people a few years before they even make a cent….that’s A LOT of time, effort and money put in to not get paid right away. You absolutely MUST have a passion for your blog and have a strong point of view, otherwise you will likely burn out quickly. Be prepared to work very, very hard (10-16 hour days are not uncommon) and don’t go in expecting things to come to you. I’ve learned that nothing just falls into your lap, but instead it’s a mix of consistency, patience, persistence and hard work that will get you to where you want to be. And just like any other journey, there are ups and downs. Don’t give up when you’re at a low point because there is a high point with even more amazing opportunities than you could ever dream of just around the corner. It’s really helpful to remember and celebrate even the smallest successes because this will be the thing that gets you through those low points 🙂
Be Consistent, Persistent and Patient
Consistency is definitely key when it comes to blogging. You absolutely must be consistent in every aspect…your branding, your aesthetic, your style, your writing, your photos, and most importantly, your posting schedule. So many times, new bloggers feel frustrated that they are not seeing any growth so they stop posting consistently and start posting every few months. The thing is is that your consistency in posting is what builds up your audience and if you are posting whenever you want, then not only are you losing valuable readers, but you also lose their trust. I know that at the beginning it seems like no one is seeing your posts, but I promise you they are. They may not comment right away, but they are reading your words and if you just keep posting, they will see the value of your content and start to establish a connection with you.
Persistence is extremely important in this industry. You must try to stay motivated during tough times and be determined to reach your goals. You will hear “no” a lot and it’s okay. It’s nothing personal at all. I’ve learned that “no” does not mean “never.” It just means “not right now.” Sometimes you hear “no” because it’s not the right opportunity…maybe it’s not a good fit for your blog…maybe the brand doesn’t align with your own values…maybe you still have some growing and learning to do…maybe you are not in the right demographic…maybe there are no opportunities available… or maybe it’s simply not the right time. You have to be understanding that this has nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with where you are in your blogging journey as well as the specific goals of a campaign. In this situation, you simply move on, work on your own growth and try again at a different time when you both are aligned.
Patience is probably the most important aspect of blogging. We live in a society where everyone wants everything now now now and that’s simply not how it works in the blogging industry. You have to give yourself time to grow and truly understand why you want to do this. You have to learn certain skills and you have to experience things…all of which takes TIME. You cannot start a blog one day and expect big things to happen right away. Enjoy the journey and the learning process. I promise you that even though it seems like nothing is happening, there is plenty going on behind the scenes that is setting you up for future success. The wait is worth it and will make each opportunity so much more meaningful.
It’s Okay to Say “No”
I see this with all new bloggers – the second brands start reaching out, they say “yes” to everything. And I totally get this. I was there. We all were. When you are just starting out, you are so excited for any brand to acknowledge you so of course, you want to immediately say “yes” to every opportunity that comes your way, even if that means it’s off brand. The thing is is that when you say “yes” to everything you not only lose your brand identity, but you also put a lot of stress and pressure on yourself. If you are saying “yes” to every product, every event, every campaign, then you are not leaving a lot of time for yourself and it’s very easy to get burnt out by doing too much. It’s okay to say “no”. In fact, I encourage you to say “no” to the things that don’t align well with you or your brand because this opens up the opportunity for you to say “yes” to the right brands.
You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
I will say that when I initially started a blog, I didn’t expect that I would have to spend as much money as I have and part of that was because I didn’t start this blog with the intention of it becoming a business…it just sort of happened over time and was a natural next time step to fulfilling my passion. I know that no one wants to spend money on their blog but if you want to be taken seriously as a business, you absolutely must. The old saying “you have to spend money to make money” is definitely true in this case. While there aren’t as many overhead costs as many other businesses, there are certainly many costs associated with blogging such as fees for web hosting, domain, site design, and other tools and software as well as payment for various services, outsourcing, courses and items needed for content creation. I highly recommend setting a reasonable monthly budget as these things can add up quickly. I tried to get by as long as I could without paying for these things, but when the time came, I realized that these were necessary for my business to grow and I don’t regret it one bit!
Don’t Do What Everyone Else is Doing
So many times I see bloggers that look alike – they edit their photos the same, wear the same items, do the same poses, go to the same places…and while there is certainly nothing wrong with this if this is truly who you are, I don’t believe this is the smartest way to get noticed if this is not the person you are. I feel like if you are only doing these things because someone else is doing them successfully, you will be disappointed. Not everything works the same way for everyone. One blogger might have one thing that really works for them that just doesn’t work for someone else and that is okay. You have to experiment and find the thing that works for you through trial and error. Don’t feel like you have to wear something, do something or try to look a certain way because you feel like you have to in order to be successful. Why blend in when you were meant to stand out? BE YOU. Be genuine. Be unique. Be different. Find what makes you stand out from everyone else and do it (and do it well)! You have a unique point of view and perspective that no one else has so why wouldn’t you want to share that? I find that it’s the people that step outside the box and show who they truly are that make history. I think these quotes say it perfectly – ” Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” and “In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different.”
I hope these tips helped!
For all you bloggers out there, what is one thing you wish you would have known before you started your blog?
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