it seems like forever ago that i did my very first blog post; i just feel like i have personally come a long way with my blog since that day. for that i am proud of myself, but i know i still have plenty of room to grow. that being said, i have learned a thing or two from creating my own blog by myself and blogging for a year, and i want to share some of my experiences for any of you who may just be curious or are maybe toying with the idea of starting your own blog. either way, here are some of the things i would say were pretty important.
i had wanted to start my own blog for so long before i finally just sat down and did it. part of me wished that i had done it sooner because i had so many things that i could have shared before i had a place to share it. so, moral of the story: if you feel like you want to be a blogger, do it. that feeling will most likely stick around, and the sooner you start the better!
2. make sure your blog is specific to a particular audience.
i started out as a regular lifestyle blogger. however, as i did research (and also realized that there were about a million other lifestyle blogs that were far more established) i realized that the more specific, and unique, my blog was the better. thus, i focused my blog toward college girls. there really aren't that many college blogs, and i realized that is what i would be better at blogging about anyways. when you're deciding what type of blog you want to have, look at what makes your voice unique in the sea of other bloggers out there. once you've found that, make your blog focus on that!
3. put in a decent amount of effort into the design of your blog.
when i finally decided that i would just go for it and make a blog, i was beyond excited. i went straight to work and worked for the whole day without stopping for breaks or food or anything to design my blog's website. i'm not saying you have to do it in one sitting like i did, but the point is that i made sure my blog was designed the way i liked it, and didn't stop until it was. how your website looks influences what readers will think of your blog, and you want to give a good first impression! i personally have been loving the themes and logos over at bites to brand, and wish i had known about them when i was designing my blog! i very well may be using their resources to give my blog a facelift sometime very soon!
4. don't worry about creating content every single day.
when i first started out, i was working really hard to create content every single day. however, this really doesn't make sense. no matter how amazing your content is, if you don't have readers to appreciate it, it really won't matter even if you're the next martha stuart. i quickly learned that one or two blog posts a week were plenty, and that i should dedicate the remaining time i had to growing my readership. this will vary for each person; if you are becoming a full time blogger you will have more time to create content and network than i do. either way, i kept posting to a couple times a week at most and spent the rest of my time making connections with other bloggers, guest posting, etc. if you do start your own blog, it's a whole research project on it's own finding ways to reach more people.
5. stick with it.
at times it's going to seem very attractive to just quit. you're going to feel like you don't really have readers, and that you're putting way too much work into your blog and that there isn't really a benefit. apparently a large percentage of bloggers will quit their blog within the first month because they can't get readers or for other reasons. i'm here to tell you to keep going! success very rarely happens overnight, and i promise you that your favorite blogger did not get to the point they are right now in a month. there was a lot of hard work, motivation, and determination that got them there, and that's what will get you there too!
i hope that this helped anyone who is thinking about starting a blog. i would highly recommend doing it if it's something that you have been thinking about. i absolutely love blogging, and i am so happy i pushed myself to do it. it's been a rewarding experience so far, as i hope it will be for you too! xo shawndiz