I have been at this game for nearly 6 years now, and while I had nearly 2 years off in the middle, and I’m not claiming to have all the answers (infact I’m still learning a lot even now), but I’ve certainly learnt a lot and I thought I’d share with you the things I wish I knew when I started my blog. Let’s just get right into it..
Read more: Reacting To My Old Blog Posts | Nearly 6 Years Ago!
It Takes Time
I mean this in two different senses. Blogging takes up time in your day… it’s not secret that it takes time to create content, write blog post, promote blog posts, create content for Instagram, engage with other bloggers, write newsletters, pin pins, like if you want it to, blogging can take over your life! And I’m not saying this is a bad thing by any means, I love doing it and I love that I have a hobby that can keep me busy (especially in 2020), but it’s worth noting.
But I also mean it takes time to reach those wonderfully big goals you dream of. Unless you’re very lucky or you have countless hours of time in the day to keep up to date with all the local algorithms out there or all the knowledge on SEO and blogging practices, it will take time to reach 1k, 5k or 10k views a month and that is totally ok!
Read more: Blogging | How I Manage It With A Full Time Job
Invest Time In Social / Pinterest / Newsletters Early
I really regret not getting onto Instagram in those early years of my blog! Or having a newsletter set up before 2021. And Pinterest, don’t even get me started. But I cannot stress enough how important these avenues are for your blog! Especially in those early days when you’ll get so little traffic via Google (which is easily my biggest referral these days), but it also really helps you top them up, and they tend to be those visitors who will like, comment and subscribe.
Read more: My Instagram Tip Sheet | How To Increase Engagement & Follows on Instagram
Also Kaleigh has some great resources on this: kayleighzaraa.com
Stock Images Are OK
I very rarely use them (although these photos are from a stock image website), but some people thrive off them and use them for every single post. And that’s totally ok! I always put pressure on myself to find new and creative photos all the time and that takes time, effort and creativity constantly! And if that’s your blog style (like it is with me most the time), then you do you. But you don’t have to.
Find A Schedule And Stick With It
So we all know I took a mental break in the middle of my blog. And it partly came because I wasn’t organised enough, and I was posting daily (oh yeah, I was that mental) and I couldn’t keep up with it. I now have a spreadsheet where I keep all the blog ideas I have, what I plan to post when, what photos I’ve taken, and I stick to 4 posts a week, but also can happily cut out one of the weekend posts if I need a little bit of breathing space. Being consistent (whether it’s one post a week or 5 posts a week) is what helps you grow! And it’s totally ok to adjust the schedule to meet your life requirements at the time.
Read More: What To Do When You’ve Hit A Creative Rut
Think Carefully On Your Blogging Platform
I rushed in and started off on Blogger. And found out very early on that it wasn’t right for me (these days I don’t entirely remember why), but I had to swap from Blogger to WordPress very early on. And then I tried to go self hosted at the end of 2020, and I tried two different platforms and neither of them could get my website across. I’m now on a WordPress Business plan, and while it’s expensive, it’s working for me right now. But I really wish early on I’d done some proper research into it and worked out what I wanted back then!
It’s also worth noting, I still get a lot of page views via the WordPress Reader via my WordPress followers.
Clue Up On SEO Early
I still don’t entirely get SEO even now, it’s such a minefield of a topic, and there’s a reason why people become experts in it and charge a fortune for their time and expertise. But you can get a low level of SEO knowledge on your own (or I got it via working in a marketing agency), and there are some easy tips you can build into your own life to help get your blog up the search list. And, I still don’t follow all my own tips and advice on this, but I highly recommend reading into it a little!
Read More: SEO – The Basics | What Is It?
People get into blogging for loads of different reasons, but when I’m enjoying it, that’s when I see my biggest growth! It comes across in your writing, in the effort you want to put in and ultimately it’s what gives you the stamina to keep up with it. And while I wouldn’t recommend taking a 2 year break… if you stop enjoying it, take a week off and come back to it!
What are your top tips you wish you’d have known back when you started your blog?
46 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Blog”
Thanks for these tips – I’m relaunching my blog this morning and I’m super excited but nervous to get back to it! I always find myself apprehensive to use stock photos and always feel like I need to get my own content, but thank you for saying it’s ok to use them too:)
OMG that’s all so exciting! x
Thank you for sharing these tips. I start my blog for learning and three years ago every time when I prepare post I learn something new. It take a time to get audience, but it comes easy when you have patience and do great job.
New Post – https://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2021/02/the-unrivaled-skincare-products-that.html
Yeah it’s taking time to rebuild my audience, but I’m really enjoying getting back into it! x
Such fab tips!!! I wish I had known straight away that stock images are okay! I put off using them for so long!
So many blogs I read and love use them! And while they don’t work for me (as my blog is very product lead) I didn’t realise how ok they were! x
Thank you for sharing these Katie! I would have loved to have more content prepared earlier and as you said started using socials in a better way since the beginning. But, even if it’s been a learning curve and test my patience, I am truly loving writing and sharing x
I love that you’re loving it! It really comes across in everything you guys do! x
Oh thank you so much xx You can feel the love on your posts too xx
This is so helpful Katie, I just recently started and this serves as a useful reminder that it takes time. I am taking your advice to engage on social media.
Thank you for the awesome post.
Social Media is such a great tool! Hopefully you’re enjoying it all! x
There are a ton of things I wish I had known when I first started blogging. I still feel like I’m starting over on my current blog because it’s never had the attention it deserves. But I would definitely say, do your research and invest the time to learn SEO from experts, and start your newsletter early on.
Oh yeah! I put so much time and effort in in 2016-2018, and then abandoned it for 3 years, so I feel like I’m starting from the beginning again! x
Loved this post. The social media thing is so true. I made a pinterest account for the blog and it’s a residual but extra source of views. Instagram though is something that for now I’m ok with not investing in. I love blogging and the writing/sharing part, but I hate social media – I don’t even have an IG personal account. I thought about it but I’m too afraid it’ll suck the joy out of posting, so I’m ok not taking that step yet. Hope I won’t regret it!
Instagram is slowly dying to be fair! And there’s not point putting time into something you don’t love! x
I agree with every single one of these things!
Awww thanks! x
Like you, I wish I clued myself up on SEO at the start, I really didn’t realise the importance of it! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
OMG I know right! x
Great post! I’ve read countless posts where they say “Earn $1000 in your first 3 months blogging” and stuff like that. Sadly, a lot of new bloggers fall for it and buy their products or have these extremely high hopes. Thank for your for adding that, and sharing the rest of these tips!
I feel like I remember reading that back in the day when I first started my post and it’s just really NOT true! x
I love these thoughts! I always used to beat myself up if i hadnt produced my own photos, id just scrap a post if i didnt have photography for it but now i do still use my own photography where possible but sometimes i just dont have the time so im happy using stock images!
Ellie // http://www.thediaryofellie.com
Yeah! You think there’s such a thing against stock photos, and then you realise it’s not a thing! x
Great post! I think I’m finally starting to understand SEO which is a relief because I’ve read so much ❤ I think it’s really important to stick to a schedule & I like to take my own photos too – that being said, I should include more throughout my posts 🙈
SEO is such a godsend when you crack it! And photography is part of the reason I got into blogging, so I probs take slightly too many photos! haha x
These are such good things to think about. I’ve blogged for a while but could definitely still use some of these tips! 🙂
Awww hope I helped! x
Love your thoughts in this! You had me at the first point! Yup it takes time to build. Take it from me, the much smaller blogger, only the past 3 years back I’ve reached 10k views a month and I’ve been blogging for almost 12 years. It’s a slowly but surely kind of process but I love every single ups and downs I have had in the past. And I love stock photos so much as it introduces me to so many creators and I thank them all big time! xx
10k views a month is still a solid amount! And I love that about the stock photos! x
This is such a great post and will help anyone thinking about starting a blog
Awww thanks! Thanks for stopping by! x
There’s some really great advice here!! I’ve been at it two years and I still feel like a beginner. Thanks for sharing ❤️
Because I left and came back it was pretty much like starting from scratch! x
Great tips! Thanks girl❤️
No problem! Hopefully some of them help! x
this is a great post with really awesome tips!
So pleased this was helpful for you! x
Thank you for the tips! I’m a relatively new blogger who writes tips for small businesses and about the Colorado community. Any advice from those with more experience is welcomed and appreciated! Thank you.
Awww thank you for your kind words! And good luck with your community! x
Thanks for the tips, I’m new on the platform and any help I can get is great!
Awww I’m so glad they were of help! x
I appreciate your useful content. Because it is really helpful to lots of people. Thanks for sharing great content.
My name is sreenadh.
I’m always ready to support all the bloggers.
I’m share blogging tips in my site. https://sreenadhraj.com
Awww thank you! x
Most welcome friend
Great list! 🙂 It was very helpful.