One of the things we ask in our Member Spotlights is “What are 3 things you wish you knew before starting a blog?” Whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for a long time, we can all agree that there are hundreds of things we wish we knew before jumping in. The thing with being a blogger is that you have to dive in head first and figure a lot of stuff out as you go. But you also need to set yourself up for success by doing your homework.
To make jumping into the blogging industry a little less scary, we wanted to share the best of the tips we’ve seen over the years. From big tips to little tidbits, we have done a full roundup the top 10 things we wish we knew before starting a blog directly from our members.
1. “Write In A Way That Will Help Others” – Olivia Quinlan
This tip is number one for a reason. It’s truly the secret to great SEO, a loyal audience and longevity. If you write posts that are helpful and worth pinning, re-reading, or sharing – you’ll be ahead of the game. Sure it’s not always easy, but try to figure out how to take your pretty outfit photo from just an outfit to a helpful style post. Provide answers to questions people may be searching on Google or Pinterest.
2. “How Time Consuming It Is!. It’s Truly Is A Ton Of Work – I Wish I Could Devote More Time To It.” – Casey of The Everyday Exchange
Blogging is hard work, and it takes a lot of time. It’s more than just taking some photos and writing a few words and then you’re done. In today’s day in age, blogging is not just a simple hobby like it once was. If you want to make it, you have to treat it as a business from day one. And that takes time. A lot of it. So be prepared.
3. “Being Yourself Really Is The Best Policy” – Mia of Strawberry Twins Lane
It can be easy to try to keep up with everyone else or what’s trending. But being you is why people want to follow you. It’s what makes you special and different. You don’t HAVE to pose like everyone else, you don’t HAVE to feature that product that’s trending at Nordstrom. Do you, your followers will appreciate the authenticity.
4. “If You Don’t Master It (SEO), No One Will Be Able To Find Your Blog.” – Victoria of A Gallon Of Glitter
Any blogger worth their salt can tell you how important SEO is for your blog. SEO, for Search Engine Optimization, is backend work you need to do in order to get your site searchable by Google. You can learn more about our SEO tips and strategy in this blog post.
5. “I Wish I Had Better Photography Skills Before I Started Taking My First Shots.” – Holly of Home with Holliday
Photography doesn’t have to be expensive but it’s important to invest in it. Whether you shoot with a friend on a cloudy day to get beautiful photos or work with a photography student at a discount, there are plenty of options. But choose photography to invest in as it’s what brands look at, readers want to see pretty things and it performs best on Pinterest. Can’t get great photography? There’s also plenty of pretty stock photos you can choose from, we personally love UnSplash!
6. “Make Sure You Don’t Compare Yourself To Everyone Else’s Individual Journey” – Ashley C. Hammer
Easier said than done, but we hear it constantly! It’s so easy to see people who started AFTER you all of a sudden shoot up to 100k Instagram followers or get the collab of your dreams. Just remember a few things. Stay in your own lane and remember that some people are truly cheating the system by buying followers. You don’t want to start your blog off on an unethical foot. Just put your head down, focus, and the numbers will come.
7. “I Wish I Had Known How Easy And Affordable It Was To Have A Professional Looking Site With A Pre-made Template.” – Jessica of My Style Vita
There’s just no reason to not have a beautiful theme from day one. They’re affordable, simple to use and make you look like an instant professional blogger. Here are some of our favorites!
8. “Post Consistently So Your Readers Know When To Come Back For More Great Content!” – Tanya of Street Style Philosophy
We hear it time and time again in our member spotlights that bloggers wish they focused on consistency from the beginning. It’s the ideal way to build a loyal audience as they know when you’re posting and can count on your content to be there.
9. “There Is Never A Perfect Time to Start A Blog. You Have to Just Jump In With Both Feet!” – Stephanie of Magnolia Stripe
There’s a lot that goes into just starting a blog that a lot of people don’t talk about. It really isn’t just writing a few words and hitting publish. From things like getting a domain, figuring out “your brand”, signing up for WordPress, getting an LLC and EIN. There is SO much that goes into the backend. Here are the 10 steps you need to follow to start a blog. Don’t let the unknown stop you though. You will figure it out but only if you finally jump in!
10. “Blogging Is An Amazing Community You Can Create With Other Like-Minded Bloggers” – Nelli of Styled By Nelli
The entire reason The Blog Societies was even started was to connect with fellow bloggers in the industry! It’s like a secret club where we’re all connected by our love for the business. You can kick start your connection to your peers by heading to our 7th Annual Blog Societies Conference this summer!