i’ve been blogging now since 2014 – almost 4 years. WHOA. i’d like to think i’v learned a few things here and there! below is a super small list of the things i wish someone would have told me when i started blogging. here are tips for starting a blog!
literally everything i know about blogging, i taught myself. i’m super proud of that! there’s still SOOO much more for me to learn as blogging is becoming more and more popular, but i have come such a long way. blogging has transformed into almost a completely different field than when i started in 2014. but that keeps me on my toes and half of my love for blogging honestly comes from learning about the process and how to grow my blog.
so below are honestly just a few of the things i wish i would have known. i tried to keep it as short as i could, but it still ended up being pretty long. if you want me to do a part two, let me know in the comments! i feel like i barely scratched the surface of what i wanted to share.
also, please leave your tips in the comments! like i said, i’m alwayssss looking for ways to improve and grow.
invest in your blog
i know the last thing you want to hear is you have to spend money on your blog to make money, but it’s true. you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on new products and clothes. BUT you should spend a few bucks on website hosting and quality photos. to me, those are two of the most important things for a successful blog.
if you want to casually blog here and there and don’t intend on making money with your blog or turning it into your career, then using blog sites like wordpress.com or tumblr where you are not self hosting is completely fine! in fact, that is what i started with. BUT, if you are trying to build your blog and want to work with companies, google adsense, etc. then i strongly recommend hosting your own site. this does cost money, but i think it’s totally worth it in the end.
i use bluehost! and i highly recommend. i’m always using their live chat feature to help me when issues arise. since i was used to the format of my free wordpress blog before, when i switched to bluehost, i decided to still use wordpress with my bluehost hosting. seriously, i am so in love with wordpress, it’s insane.
just like with your hosting, it’s also important to either invest in a camera or good phone for photos. you can also invest in hiring a photographer now and then, but it’s important to have quality photos. if you do not have the money for a camera, that’s fine! like i said, a good phone will do as well. but quality photos that are clear and sharp are important.
quality photos are part of your story and brand. you want readers to know you took the time to create these photos and your writing reflects this as well. not to mention quality photos are so important when it comes to social media like instagram. again, it’s all part of your brand.
this may sound like such a boring tip, but it’s so important. i can’t even count the number of times i’ve been made fun of (jokingly or not) for having a blog. literally friends have made fun of me and strangers. i try not to take it to heart, but sometimes it’s just like.. man.. you’re annoying.
but if blogging is something you love doing, then it does NOT matter what anyone else thinks. it’s so much easier said than done sometimes, but do not stop writing and taking photos if that’s what your soul enjoys most.
with that being said, a part of blogging is going out in public and taking photos in front of people who might stare and not understand what you’re doing. lol dominic hates when i ask him to take photos of me in super public places (like the cafe below) because he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. but sometimes it’s just necessary.
first of all the chances of you seeing those people again are pretty slim. and second of all, WHO CARES. i know there’s a huge stigma and bad rep (for some odd reason) that getting your photo taken at your favorite cafe or in front of a cool wall of art is so “basic” and most people think you’re trying to become “instagram famous” – but like i literally do not care lol people can judge all they want, but if i’m trying to get a cool pic at my favorite cafe or hiking spot because i’m writing a blog post about it, it really doesn’t matter to me if people are starring as i try to get that perfect picture.
most of the time, we do try to pick locations that have less foot traffic because it’s hard to work around large crowds, but there are situations where you can’t avoid it. it’s so important to just get rid of all of those nervous feelings of people judging you and to BE YOURSELF.
i cannot stress enough the importance of pinterest. this is where like 75% of my traffic comes from. i use canva to create vertical pins (they perform much better than square images) and upload my posts to group boards and my own personal boards. group boards are SO important to join. they’re basically like little communities where everyone pins their blog posts (of all different niches depending on the group board) and you can discover a lot of other awesome bloggers.
a lot of group boards also have a rule of “pin for pin” so that helps out your traffic and pins as well. all you literally have to do is google “pinterest group boards” and you will come across a few different websites that link to a million and one group boards. to join a board, most of the time you just have to shoot the owner an email and they will get you added. it’s pretty easy!
ALSO, you should 100% switch to a business profile on pinterest. much like facebook pages and instagram business pages, it gives you a ton of analytics. i pretty much check my pinterest analytics every morning. it helps you figure out which pins are doing the best and getting the most clicks, etc. so if you notice trends with pins that are performing really well, you can continue those!
to sum up pinterest – join group boards and switch to a business profile!
i haven’t ad a ton of luck and success with google adsense (but my traffic isn’t as high as i would like it to be and it goes hand in hand) but having google adsense is highly recommended. it’s basically having ads on your blog! when people click, you get paid. pretty simple! in order to get adsense on your blog though, you MUST be self hosted. you cannot do this with a free wordpress blog (to my knowledge). that’s why i really recommend breaking away from free blog websites because you cannot sign up for things like adsense and other affiliate linking.
you have to apply to adsense and get accepted before you can put them up on your blog, but once you’re accepted, the process is pretty easy. of course the more traffic you get, the better your ads will perform, so it’s important to keep pushing your blog out there if you want to make money with adsense.
just as you would get subscribers on youtube and followers on instagram, you want subscribers to your blog! basically, getting subscribers gives you the opportunity to email them and let them know when you have a new post, when your new ebook or tutorial, etc. is out, and more!
it’s your way of notifying people who want to follow along! to get subscribers, i go through mailerlite. i LOVE mailerlite! it’s literally so easy to use and works with wordpress very well. i used it to create my pop-up subscription form and also the forms in my sidebar. so right when someone enters their email and subscribes, it goes directly to my list in mailerlite and then i can send emails to those lists.
to create my emails, i again use canva! it makes them look super cute and i can be creative with it. you don’t need to use a program like canva, you can honestly just use the resources in mailerlite, but i personally recommend canva.
there you have it! again, that is just a super small list of tips i wish i would have known. i really think i’m going to do a part two because i feel like i have way more to share. again, leave your tips and questions in the comments below! i will see you (talk to you? type to you?) next week xo