Back when I first started this blog, I always knew that I wanted to use it to help people in numerous different ways. And now that I’ve been a part of the blogging world for awhile, I feel like I’m finally in a position to offer up some advice. Specifically for those of you out there either thinking of starting a blog or just starting out with your blog.
First off, I suppose I should mention that I have not had my blog for an incredibly long time. At 8 months old, it really is still a “baby”. However, even in this short amount of time I have learned loads about blogging. As most (if not all) bloggers will tell you, blogging takes a lot of time to master. When I started Tisch of all Trades, I had no idea what I was doing logistically speaking. All I knew was that I felt inspired by other successful blogs and motivated to start my own. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do with it and what direction I wanted to take it in, though I wasn’t completely sure how I was going to do it. Which brings me to my first piece of advice for new bloggers:
There is so so so much to learn.
And that learning never stops. Honestly, for the most part you will have to teach yourself how to do it all. And probably all alone too. I don’t mean you won’t have someone trying to help you, because you might. If so, that’s great! In my case though, I didn’t have anyone. I don’t mean that I didn’t have anyone to support me, because I did and still do. What I mean is that I don’t have a blog partner or anyone in my life that really knows anything about blogging. No one to show me what to do, teach me how to do it, or tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. No one to tell me if I’m doing something correctly or how to do it better. Everything I know about blogging is self-taught. I had to do the research, the trial and error, everything. Sometimes it was really frustrating and sometimes it still is, but I’ll tell you something – when I finally figured it out, I was incredibly proud of myself. Figuring things out on your own is so empowering and really motivates you to keep going.
You will need a strong support system.
Especially in my case, considering I quit my full-time job to pursue blogging! This speaks more to those who are working on their blog being a business rather than a hobby. If you want your blog to be your business, you will need love & encouragement. Lots of it. Blogging is incredible and if done with the right intentions, very fun. Still though, it’s a lot of work. And if you’re at all like me (in that you like instant gratification) it can be very frustrating at times to not see the results you were hoping to see. Building a successful blog takes time and you will need others to help lift you back up when you fall, people who love you enough to say “You can do this. I believe in you. Don’t give up.” If you don’t have at least one supportive person in your life, it will make it harder to succeed. Definitely not impossible mind you. Just harder.
It’s okay to want to make money from your blog! It is possible to do. It just takes a long long time.
I’ll be upfront with you guys. When I started this blog, I did intend to make money with it…someday. I want you to know that wanting to start a blog in the hopes of making an income from it does not make you a bad person. This is something I want to stress. When I started my blog and was doing research about how to get it set up and start heading in the right direction, I stumbled upon a few different successful bloggers that stressed that you shouldn’t start a blog to make money. Honestly, reading that made me feel terrible. I felt really guilty and embarrassed. Now that I’m a bit further along I understand where they’re coming from, but I don’t entirely agree with this.
It’s true. You definitely should not start a blog if your only intention is to make money. Firstly because you should want to teach, share advice, inspire, entertain, something. Blogs are incredible mediums that allow you to reach millions of people. This means that you can use your blog to do wonderful things for lots and lots of people. Secondly because making money off of a blog takes a lot of time. I mean, A LOT of time. It can definitely be tempting to see really popular bloggers making a killing with their blogs and think to yourself “Holy s***, I need to start a blog. I’m gonna make tons of money, just like them.” Yes it is true, you can make money from a blog. Realistically though, you might not be able to make as much as they do. You might be able to, you might not. Every blog is different. Just because one blogger makes a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you will. Why? Because you aren’t them, plain and simple.
Making money from a blog can take months, even years. Most of the big bloggers I follow religiously have been working on their blog for over 5 years. The tricky part is that there is no way to tell you how long it would take your particular blog to start making money. And even if you were to start making money, there’s no way to know how much money you would make. For example, I’ve had my blog for 8 months and am just starting to make profit. Very very small amounts of profit mind you. Unfortunately, there is no magical blogging equation out there that says if you do A, B and C you’ll make X amount of dollars. I wish there was, but there isn’t. It’s all trial and error.
That’s what makes blogging so special though, because each and every blog is unique. Each blog has something different and exciting to share. Readers want someone real and authentic, something they can relate to. So really, you find success fastest when you stay true to who you are.
Blogging is a lot of work & requires a lot of your time.
This is something I’m really just beginning to understand. Now again, this is something that applies to those of you who want your blog to become your business. If a blog is just a hobby, it can be maintained at any pace because it’s more for your benefit than anyone else’s. If you’re serious about blogging, you need to post often. Not only do you have to post often, you have to create valuable and meaningful posts. You also need to be consistent and relatively predictable. That’s how you gain trust from your readers and grow a following. Again, when I started blogging I didn’t realize how much work actually went into it. You have to plan out your posts, adhere to a schedule, continuously utilize social media, do research, take and edit photos, reach out to other bloggers, respond to comments, the list goes on. All of that even before you begin to even write your post.
Writing quality posts means that they will take you some time to create. Some posts takes me up to 5 hours to complete from beginning to end. Crazy right? I try to think of my blog as my job, even though I’m not technically making an income off of it. So that way when I spend hours and hours working on it, it makes logical sense in my head. Blog = Job. Job = Work. Work = Hours of my time.
You don’t need tons of fancy tech.
Up until this point, all of my blog photos have been taken with my phone. I’ve only just begun to play around with my DSLR. I write on my incredibly basic HP laptop and use a free program to edit my photos and create my product collages. Point being – you don’t need to run out and buy a $5,000 camera or Mac computer once you decide to start a blog. For the most part, you can make do with what you have on hand for quite some time. Once you begin to learn more and feel the need to expand, then consider moving up to some more expensive tech.
Lastly – you can do this!
The great thing about blogging is that anyone and everyone can do it. As with almost everything in life, everyone starts out at the bottom and has to work their way up. Blogging is no different. Being a blogger is often frustrating, stressful and requires a lot of hard work. But it is also wonderful, exciting and loads of fun. If you are passionate about it and have realistic expectations, you have unlimited potential! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you have the fire to succeed and stick with it, who knows what you can achieve? The world is your oyster!
Sorry this was so long guys, but I really truly hope it helps some of you newbies out there. If you have any questions for me, let me know in the comments below!