Pro Tips For Starting A Blog ASAP
So, hi! Breaking news guys but, I’m a blogger! I blog! This is what I do for a living!
Ok, anyway. That was weird. Sorry. Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen.
There are a lot of bloggers who blog about blogging which seems like inception to me, but whatever. It has always been my intention to only blog about wellness, women, and healthy-ish things. That being said, SO many of you have asked me for blogging tips that it just seemed like the right time to give you some of my thoughts. I know what it’s like to be starting from scratch and to feel super confused.
Blogging is confusing. There aren’t any degrees in blogging (yet!) and there isn’t really any clear roadmap for blogging. So much of what I do now is self taught, I had to figure a lot of things out on my own. I spent a lot of times on the depths of the internet reading article after article trying to figure out what I actually should be doing. My biggest frustration when I was starting to blog is that there wasn’t any legit advice on the internet. It was all stupid shit that I could’ve figured out myself OR it was something that I needed to spend hundreds of dollars to access. I want to give you GOOD information for free, because you deserve it. I know this isn’t all the things, but I hope that it makes you feel a little more confident getting your side hustle tooting along.
Find a blog platform you love
Personally I love Squarespace. I used to have a WordPress site (did you know I bad a blog before this?), but how it was set up didn’t make sense in my brain. It made work SO much more complicated than it needed to be. If this is going to be your side hustle (or just a place for you to talk about shit that you’re jazzed about) it’s worth it to find a plaform that you ACTUALLY WANT TO SPEND TIME ON. Play around, ask your friends, and don’t commit to a platform until you’re sure you love it. It’s SO much work to have to go back and switch platforms.
Just start writing
Honestly one of the best questions that you can ask when you’re writing a post is: what would I want to read about? Seriously, that inspires the majority of my blog posts. I think about the kind of things that I’m curious about and research them. If I am feeling like an evangelist about something (for example, right now I am absolutely obsessed with my GEM vitamins) I’ll write about it. It’s always going to be easier to write about things that you love, are interested in, or somehow feel passionate about than trying to pull something out of your ass. You spent enough time in school writing essays, don’t let your blog turn into something that feels painful.
One more time for the people in the back JUST BE YOURSELF ON YOUR BLOG. Don’t try to be like any other blogger. Don’t assume that just because another blogger is doing something that it is the right way to do something or that you should do it like that. Write your blog posts the same way you would write an email to one of your oldest friends. People like to read blogs because they want to feel like they know somebody so only write like a robot if you are, in fact, an actual robotic woman and you have a computer instead of a brain.
I could blog about this forever, but this also goes for how you’re presenting yourself online. Dress in your photos the way you dress in real life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met in person who say something along the lines of omg, you really are wearing a beanie! The way that I present myself online is extremely true to who I am as a real person. I edit my photos in a way that reflects my personality. I put GIFs in pretty much every goddamn thing because I think they’re hilarious and I send them to all my friends. I post pictures of what I am actually eating in my real life. People want to get to know the real you - messy shit and all - not the curated version of yourself that you’ve created for the internet. If you really want to be a blogger, get ready to focus a lot on being your most authentic self.
You don’t have to share everything
I realize that I am very out there with what I share but, BREAKING NEWS, I don’t share all the things. And I just don’t have to! It’s absolutely OK and very normal to keep some things close to the vest. Even if, like me, your brand is all about being open, you don’t have to share everything. At the end of the day, make sure that you still have some separation from what you share online and your personal life, so that you can turn things off at the end of the day.
Don’t expect the people you know to read your blog.
This is a biggie, and I think that a lot of people really stress about it. It makes sense that the people who love you should love your blog too, right? Ok actually- no. For example, my blog is about wellness for women. That means that my husband is for sure not my target demo. While I would love if Dan read every single post before bed, that’s going to be boring for him. Don’t worry about people you know reading your blog. Instead, try to find people that are interested in the SAME THINGS AS YOU to read your blog.
You probably also don’t spend all of your time invested in your friends hobbies. Be realistic and don’t expect them to be super invested in yours. We all are really fucking busy.
Do your research!
Be yourself 100%, but also do your research! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. A butt-load of other badass women have come before you and figured a lot of shit out. Use them as a resource! I’m not going to link bloggers here, YOU need to do your own homework if you really want to make this whole blog thing work. BUT I will say, just start searching for people in the niche you’re going for. Start asking your friends which bloggers they like and why. Spend a lot of time playing around with blogs - even if they’re about something super random like oral hygiene for horses - to see what you like best and then make that happen on your own blog.
Network your face off
There are a lot of people doing the blog thing and doing it really fucking well. If you see a blogger that you really like, reach out to them! If they seem like they have enough time, ask if you can pick their brain. Just don’t offer to take them out for coffee. Buy them lunch, offer to help them with something, bring value rather than just expecting somebody to give you all of their trade secrets in exchange for an Americano. One of the best networking offers that I EVER got was an offer for free photos in exchange for some social media help. You better bet that I jumped on those free photos!
Also guys, USE THE FUCKING INTERNET. If you want to run an internet business, you better start getting ready to talk to people online like…. yesterday. There are so many great Facebook groups for pretty much everything under the sun.
Some groups that I LOVE for blog advice and networking are:
Seattle Bloggers Unite! If you are local to Seattle, join this group ASAP! I have met so many people through my local bloggers group, it’s a great (safe!) space to brainstorm, and I have also met a lot of businesses I’ve collaborated with here. If you are not local to Seattle, search the blogger group in your area. Go forth and meet other bloggers!
FBomb Breakfast Club. I LOVE TO SWEAR (I know, you know), so these are my people. F Bomb is a networking group for women where we ask the hard questions about business, network, give each other feedback, and swear a lot. This has been a great resource for learning from other women.
Goal Digger Podcast Insiders. The Goal Digger Podcast has been a helpful sounding board for me, especially since I am usually working solo! This FB group is for women that listen to the podcast, so most people are running their own version of an online business. Even if somebody is running a business that’s TOTALLY different than mine, it’s so helpful learning what does/doesn’t work.
Instagram Influencers This is a resource for finding projects and collaboration opportunities. It’s super cluttered, but worth it if you have the time and patience to source through all of the posts.
You don’t need to spend money on training
If you retain LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS POST please remember this: you don’t need to spend a penny on a blogging course. PLEASE don’t. I cannot tell you how many people I’ve talked to who have spent hundreds (fuck, sometimes thousands) of dollars on a blogging course that taught them… literally nothing. Don’t to it. Please, please, please don’t waste your money on that shit. There is TONS of free content on YouTube, Pinterest, other blogs, and in the groups I mentioned above that you can access. Don’t put yourself in debt trying to start a business that will make you money.
You can spend money on things like a great camera, a tripod for your phone, or a ring light if you really feel like you need to. But you are a smart, awesome, resourceful woman. You don’t need to blow a ton of money on this stuff!
If you want to make money from your blog…
Start asking for money on day one and don’t feel bad about it. You are so much better than working for free. You deserved to be paid for your time, so ask for it. Don’t apologize. Does your dentist apologize for charging you? No. Turn down things that aren’t the right fit. Go out and meet people and show them how awesome you are and then ask them to pay you.
Two programs that I use regularly for paid projects are Linqia and Heartbeat. These companies will look at your social profile, find your niche, and then send you opportunities from time to time that you might be a good fit for. The majority of them are paid, some are for free products.
Keep in mind, making money from your blog is a slow climb. I know that there are so many bloggers out there who seem like overnight successes, but they aren’t the majority. You want to put out quality content and have an audience that loves AND trusts you. You don’t want a bunch of people to start following you overnight who don’t genuinely care about your content. Trust me on this: you want people that will stick around. It’s so, so, so worth it to wait.
Ok, duderinos. I SO hope that you found this helpful. I get so many questions about how I started my blog, tips I wish I had known, and insider secrets (which, LOL, if you ever find them lmk), that it seemed like the right time to put together something more official for you all. If you have any questions that I can help you with, please let me know!
Thank you for being rad humans and, you know, reading my blog. Or whatever.