I decided to start my own blog about a year and a half ago.When I first started my blog, it was called I’m The Nanny. During the time I started it, I was actually a nanny and I wanted to put a bunch of crafts and kids activities together. I recently changed it to a lifestyle blog and I am so happy I did. Read why I changed my blog’s name and niche here. I was actually inspired by this blog called Repeat Crafter Me which is where I found all of my patterns to crochet. (If you have been thinking about starting to crochet, seriously check her site out. You will want to make everything). I knew I wanted to make more money on the side so that I could one day work from home so I started at Etsy site selling the hats I made. I quickly discovered how much work this actually was and that it really wasn’t worth my time. This is when I decided to start a blog. I had heard of bloggers making a ton of money blogging and I thought it would be a good idea for me to start my own. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, I just knew I wanted to make some extra (what I thought was easy) cash.
Before I started blogging, I pictured blogging as something fun and easy that could be done casually. I imagined that people would magically find your blog and you would start making money somehow. I figured bloggers would just lay in their bed at night and write up fun blog posts. Thinking back on this, it is actually quite hilarious what I thought blogging would be like. I wanted to write this post for a couple reasons.
To help people decide if blogging is really for them.
To let my readers know how much work blogging is.
Here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started a lifestyle blog…
1. You will not get rich quick
As a new blogger I so excited about making money with my blog. I had read a ton of blog posts on how other bloggers were making a living off of their blogs. I had no idea how they actually made money, I just knew I wanted to do the same. Once I purchased my domain name I was so incredibly confused and overwhelmed I didn’t know if I had made the right decision or not. It took me months just to figure out how to design my site. I had to figure out what I wanted to write about and I quickly realize that people just don’t magically come to your blog. I had to learn how to monetize it and bring people to my site. After a year and a half, I finally understand how it all works. The problem now is time. I try to sit down and work on my blog every night but I just don’t have the time like I wish I had. With that said, I have only made about $5 with my blog! I know that if I was a full time blogger I would definitely be making more, but that’s just not possible in my life right now. If you are wondering how to actually make money blogging, I really don’t want to tell you because I personally haven’t made any money yet. When I do, I will share my secrets!
2. Blogging can be very confusing
To tell you the truth, there is no outline on how to get your blog started. I had to figure out everything by myself. I mean, I read blog posts covering all sorts of different topics but there is so much that goes into blogging that I didn’t know where to start. I was so confused with WordPress and I had no idea how to make my blog look pretty. To be honest, I still get confused sometimes. The good thing is that other bloggers are extremely helpful. I am a part of a few blogging groups on Facebook and if I have a question, I can ask someone on there and usually get a response right away. This is one thing I love about blogging. Everyone wants to help each other out. I have noticed that most traffic to my blog comes from other bloggers. I will explain this in the next paragraph.
3. You have to build relationships with people online
To be a successful blogger, you have to build relationships with other bloggers online. As much as I hate to say it, your friends and family are not the ones who are really going to be reading your blog. To monetize my blog I am a part of Facebook groups, I try to post a lot on Instagram, I schedule my Pinterest posts and I am working on getting my Twitter account active! All of these things help to draw people to my blog. The only way someone is going to read a blog post of mine is if I put my link to that post in as many places as possible. I also try to comment on other blogger’s blog posts as well. This way, that blogger will be more likely to click on my link as well as anyone else who reads my comment.
4. Blogging is not all about sitting on your couch all day
If you really want to have a successful blog, I believe you need to have good pictures. If you aren’t good at photography you either have to teach yourself, or have a photography friend take pictures for you. Depending on what type of blog you have, you will need to get out and do things. For example, fashion bloggers usually take pictures of their outfits. Travel bloggers actually travel and blog about their experiences. Bloggers who have a DIY or craft blog usually have to make the crafts, take pictures and put it in a post. All of these things require a ton of work so you won’t always be on your computer. For me, since I am a very part time blogger I do spend a lot of time on my computer. It all depends how fast you want to grow your blog and how much money you want to make with it.
5. It is hard to come up with things to blog about
When I first started blogging I had a ton of brilliant blog post ideas. I made a huge mistake and I didn’t write them down. I have learned that if I have a blog post idea I must write it down right away or I will forget about it. There are some months where I have a ton of ideas, and other months I just want to cry because I have no idea what to write about. When this happens I try to connect with other bloggers, visit other blogging websites and Pinterest for ideas. It is also hard to set your blog apart from other blogs. You don’t want to copy other bloggers. Make it unique and your own. This is why I love having a lifestyle blog because it is about my life. No one has a life like mine and I love having the flexibility of writing about anything I want.
If you are thinking about starting a blog of your own I would encourage you to do it. This post wasn’t meant to scare you away from blogging but to give you an idea to how much work it can be. If you do start a blog, I would recommend that you don’t expect to make a ton of money right away. If you do, you will get discouraged and want to give up. There are so many times where I wanted to give up and just be done with my blog but I pushed through it. It takes a lot of work to start any business, and starting a blog is definitely an investment. I hope this helps! Share your thoughts and connect with me on your favorite social media sites.