What I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging
When I first started blogging 3 years ago, I had no experience and didn't completely know what I was doing! Sometimes I felt a little lost. If you're in the beginning stages of blogging, I imagine you feel the same way. I'd like to share three things I wish I had known when I started blogging plus one thing I did right from the beginning which has really helped me.
Number One. I wish I had known that I would succeed with hard work and consistency. I doubted myself so much in the beginning and sometimes I was afraid to give it my all because I was afraid of failure. I think I would have done a better job if I had know that I would eventually succeed. I thought it took something “special” to make a good income online, and I probably didn't have whatever that “special” thing was. (Newsflash: It does take something special. You have to be willing to get started and work hard, but there's nothing mysterious about it.) I would highly recommend that you work as if you knew you wouldn't fail. Even if you don't meet all of your goals completely, I promise you'll be a lot farther along than if you had worked timidly doubting yourself at every turn.
Number Two. I wish I had treated blogging like a “real job” from the very beginning. Before you've built up a readership that expects something from you and before you've actually made any money, it sometimes can feel like a hobby instead of a real job. However, you should be treating your blogging work like the type of job you hope it will turn into – not what it actually is today. If you want it to make a steady part time income, you should put in steady, focused part-time hours. If you want to earn a full time income, you should put in a solid 40 hours a week just like you would at a traditional job. I would have made progress more quickly if I had treated my blogging that way from the very beginning.
Number Three. I wish I had done fewer things. Yes, I actually wish I had done fewer different things and instead focused on doing a few things really well. It's really not possible to do a whole lot of different things really well. It's tempting to try everything, but all that really does is dilute your efforts and makes it difficult to make progress with anything. You cannot be rocking it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, and Periscope. You need to pick 2-3 areas, focus on those, and get really good at them. I quickly figured this out, and was able to grow a lot faster by only focusing on Pinterest and ignoring all the other social media platforms. (I'm not saying you need to focus on Pinterest, but I am saying you can't focus on everything.)
BONUS: What I Did Right. There was one thing I did well from the very beginning, and I'm so happy I did. I focused on building my e-mail list from day one. It has been the number one thing that has turned my little tiny hobby blog into a steady, full time income. I was able to grow my list from 0 to over 50,000 in less than 3 years, and I watched my income grow proportionally over that time. If you're not working on your e-mail list, you should start today. Don't worry if you don't have a clue how to do that. I'm here to help. I've created a course that will show you exactly how to start, grow, and profit from your e-mail list (even if you know absolutely nothing about it and aren't very techy). Click here if you want to check out the course and start growing your list.
Here's the Periscope I did on this topic. (If you want to catch my future broadcasts, follow me on Periscope with the handle iheartplanners)
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Meagan Marshall Says
Thank you for posting this advice. I want to start a blog very soon and I think these tips will help!
thanks so much for this post; it really helps! =) If you have any other tips I would love to hear them!
Andrea Donaruma Says
I am very interested the blog!
Thanks for this post! You’re email list is quite impressive, I hope to get there one day! 😉
LauraJane SaysPost author
I’m sure you will!
I’ve just started my blog and I already think I have too much going on so I’m gonna take your advice and work on only what I want to portray…. Thanks
Can’t wait to see e course.
Thank-you for sharing “What I wished I knew when I started blogging”.
I am very interested in learning how to blog and appreciate you sharing what you have learned to do and not do. It helps to have wisdom from others, to press forward in learning something new.
I’ve been toying around with starting a blog for a while now. There are so many out there that are basically on the same subjects: crafts, decorating, saving money, organizing, home keeping, etc. I’ve been having trouble coming up with a way to make what I want to blog about unique. Any tips?
LauraJane SaysPost author
Good question! It is true that there are lot of blogs out there on those topics (and really probably any topic), but definitely don’t let that stop you. I really believe there is room from everyone, and you have your own personal voice that is different from anyone else’s. Personally, I could read 50 posts on how to organize underneath your kitchen sink, and I probably still wouldn’t tire of them. LOL. I think the best way to be unique is to just blog about what comes naturally to you without necessarily focusing on trying to make it different from everything else. At least for me, when I focus too hard on making it different it’s either super forced or I get completely frozen because all I’m thinking about are the 100 other blog posts that I need to stand out from.
Dominique Louise Says
Thank you so much for the advice! Your article has helped me put some great insights into my own blog. Wish me luck!
Dominique Louise from dlmjourney.com
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Suzi Whitford Says
Thank you for this! I’ve been putting in 8 hour days into my blog. I painted the backdrop to my images at 11pm, and now I’m loading my Pinterest queue at 1am. But I do have to confess, I took a nap with my toddler today.
Thank you for the motivation, I’m sharing this with my fellow mommy bloggers.
LauraJane SaysPost author
Yes, you’re definitely not alone! (And nothing wrong with taking a nap when your toddler naps. I do that sometimes.)
This was a great thing for you to share! I have been blogging in some form for over 10 years and sometimes kick myself because I know how successful I could have been if I had focused on some of the things you mentioned. However, I blogged because I enjoyed writing and never really thought about turning it into a business until recently and now it is paying off (literally.)
Thank you for sharing this and everything else that you do here – you are an inspiration to bloggers/side hustlers (future business owner) like myself. xo
This is very helpful! Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait for the course!
Natalie Yurek Says
How do you get people to see your blog? I am trying to use Facebook , Twitter and instagram but nobody is seeing it! Please get back to me!
LauraJane SaysPost author
There are lots to get people to see your blog. However it usually takes time and consistency. Very few people saw my blog in the first few months. I also think taking advantage of whatever traffic does come to your blog by getting them on your e-mail list is super important. Once you have that set up, I’d recommend getting in front of larger audiences (which I talk about in depth in module 5, lesson 3 of List Building Academy – http://www.iheartplanners.com/listbuildingacademy )
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Jessica Autumn Says
I loved this! It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you! 🙂
such a useful and honest post.
I’ve only recently started blogging, because it was a way to pursue my love of writing. I’ve learned that its also a way for me to play with business strategies that I learned at uni and don’t use in my day job, so I’m keen to get more serious and treat it like a mini business.
These tips were just what I needed – especially about treating it like a business and just focussing on one thing at a time. I’ve got so much to learn that I feel like I’m chasing my tail. I think I need to just focus on one area at a time.
Brilliant piece. Thanks.