It’s hard to believe that this corner of the internet has been up and running for a little more than 2 months! If you’re a returning or new reader – thank you so much for visiting! Starting a blog is both incredibly fun and slightly terrifying, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Thanks for making this an awesome journey.
Throughout the process of starting a blog, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons (both about myself and about the practice of blogging in general). I fully believe that these lessons apply to just about any passion project. Whether you’re looking to start a blog, side hustle, business, or something else, I hope that these reminders provide inspiration and guidance.
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1. Devote your time to the right things. Minutes add up!
Here’s the truth. When starting a blog (or any side gig), you’re going to feel pulled in so many different directions. From helpful blogging courses, to mentorship resources, to social media feeds, there are a thousand outlets vying for your attention. Here’s my advice: set limits on how much time you spend on these things. Especially if you only have a few hours a day to work!
I’ve invested in some amazing courses and resources that I don’t regret one bit. (Check out my honest review of the course that helped me launch!) But I’m so tempted to use all of these learning opportunities as a way to procrastinate on the hard, focused work that’s required in the beginning.
Even tonight, my husband had to look at me and say, “No more learning, just writing!”
It’s always going to be easier to keep scrolling Instagram, or floating around on Facebook, than it is to put your nose down and get to work. In the first two months of starting my blog, I can honestly say I spent a disproportionate amount of time browsing and reading resources, and not enough time actually creating content! That’s something I hope to change in the next few months.
2. Don’t let fear stop you from starting a blog or moving forward.
I know that we live in a pretty transparent world nowadays. Most of us are plugged in and sharing life on social media regularly. But creating written content for the world to see and judge – that’s no joke!
It’s easy to feel like we’re never going to make it. That no one will read or like the content we produce. That it will go unnoticed or fizzle away after a while. I’ve learned that whenever I feel stuck, it’s often because I’m scared. Scared to take the risk, scared to invest my time, scared to make the sacrifices it might take to truly succeed or make this more than a hobby.
One of my favorite resources about conquering fear and being vulnerable is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at the truths in those pages!
3. Have optimistic and realistic expectations.
If you’ve spent any time in the blogging world, you’ve probably seen Pinterest pins promising crazy income, massive blog traffic, and thousands of email subscribers all in the first few months. While I love hearing success stories from fellow bloggers or writers, this type of instant success is not always easy to achieve.
I’ve learned that having realistic expectations is crucial.
Take it one day at a time.
Celebrate the small wins.
And start dreaming big.
There have been plenty of days that I’ve looked at lower traffic numbers than what I wanted to see and thought, Why am I doing this? I’ve worked so hard! The truth is, you only fail when you quit.
The small days of consistency, of building and gaining steam, are not in vain at all.
4. Have an editorial plan that includes deadlines.
This lesson has everything to do with motivation and accountability. I spent the first month in a whirlwind, creating posts whenever I could. This meant that I was a little less methodical and planned out than I would like to be. As I’ve studied the habits of successful bloggers, I’ve noticed that they treat it like a real job (and usually it becomes that!). This means that they’re intentional with their content, they’re ahead of the curve, and they’re accountable to deadlines.
- If online planning is your style, check out Amy Porterfield’s 3-month editorial calendar system.
- If you want a pen and paper system, you’ll probably love the Epic Blog One-Year Editorial Planner. I’m always more productive when I actually write, so I’m really excited about having this planner on hand in the coming months!
5. Be willing to give, encourage, and support others.
Something that became immediately clear the past 2 months is that blogging can’t happen in a vacuum! If I want things to click into place, I’ve got to be willing to network and give time, encouragement, and support to other bloggers.
Fortunately, this is one of the best parts about starting a blog! I’ve made some amazing blogging and fellow mom friends since I’ve started, and I’ve gained incredible advice and wisdom from those who have been at this for a while. Facebook groups are a great place to start. Search by niche, and you’ll usually come up with a group that helps you connect to others with similar goals.
This lesson is a reminder that most people are genuinely kind and willing to cheer someone else on. Thank goodness for that!
6. Starting a blog means working hard, having fun, and staying true.
You’d think after many years of being an avid blog reader, I would have known what I was getting myself into. But truthfully, blogging is crazy hard work! Squeezing in the time to blog has meant being more focused and purposeful in other parts of my day so that I can write new and better content in the spare moments. It’s meant being on the same page with my hubby, who understands and encourages me to devote a few evenings a week to the blog.
If you’re considering starting your own blog, please remember to have fun and stay true to your unique message and perspective! Comparison can weigh anyone down, and it’s so easy to divert our attention to what everyone else is doing.
If you need help getting over the fear of getting started – whether in blogging or just about anything else that you’d like to do – check out one of my favorite posts from Month 1!