As many of you know, I’ve actually been blogging for 5 years. I started with a couponing blog where I shared other companies contests, coupons, and freebies. It was a great blog, and grew quickly. When I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor, the pregnancy was causing clots. One landed me in the ED when it was suspected that there was a clot trapped in my lung. It was a difficult pregnancy, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the couponing blog. And to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling the blog anymore. I felt like a robot with that blog. I was craving to share more of myself in a blog.
I was always coming across lifestyle blogs that allowed the blogger to not only be personal and really connect with their audience, but also make it a business. It wasn’t that they were perfect parents and had every aspect of their lives together. It was that they were real. They were real about their life experiences. They were real with their campaigns and promotions. They were real people building real brand. I really connected with their authenticity and decided to let go of my couponing blog and start my own lifestyle blog.
Extreme Couponing Mom, Tales of a Ranting Ginger, Moments in Mommyland, Home With Aneta , Put The Kettle On and BELINDA LAURIE are just some of the blogs I’ve been following for years. Check them out!
But it’s not easy in the blogging world. It’s not as simple as opening a good looking website, doing some posts, and watching the money come in. After all you are building a brand from the ground up in a very competitive, and relatively new, industry. I went into opening this blog not with unrealistic expectations – I knew how hard it was to build up a website. I went into opening this blog with more of an arrogance because I had already owned a blog. Sure, it was a way different niche, but I thought it would be the same process to build it up. I was quickly brought back to reality.
Here Are 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I started A Lifestyle Blog
1- How Important It Is To Write An Authentic Post: When I started this blog, I was always saying ‘That will do’ and posting. It’s wasn’t my best effort, but it would work. But the thing is, it didn’t work. Their were editing errors, the graphics were not my best work, and it just wasn’t me being authentic. There’s always room to improve and grow, that is true. But don’t hit that publish button until you have poured yourself into the post and know it’s 110% your best work yet. Don’t settle for nothing but your best.
2- How Much Work Blogging Is: With my last blog, I really just posted to my social media accounts, and a couple forums. I wasn’t the one running the promotion. I didn’t write or edit it. I didn’t create any of the graphics. And I didn’t need to source out ways to promote it. But with this blog that iis all on me. It’s my job to not only create compelling content, but also do the editing, the graphics, and the promoting. And then there’s the consistent changing market, updating or learning new skills on a regualr basis (for me, mostly photography stills to have at least decent images.), and what seems like an endless list of emails. It’s a lot of work.
3- What A Misunderstood Industry It Is: Most people don’t understand what an Influence Blogger is. When I tell people what I do, they usually go to 1 of 2 opinions. Either they don’t think I make any money and just work for free, or they don’t think it’s a real job and I’m just doing this as an excuse to be on Facebook and get ‘free’ stuff. I get it, it’s not a traditional job. But it’s frustrating to us bloggers. Of course there are those who have made a bad name for us. But almost every blogger I know is authentic and hustling their brand in an honest and respectful way. If you new to blogging. I’d suggest to just be patient with people when (if) you explain what you do. If they ask what they can do to help, I’d suggest saying meaningful engagement with you social media or blog posts.
4- How Important Goal Setting Is: This industry of Influence Blogging is competitive and always moving. And if you want to make you blog not only a place to express yourself and build a following, but also to build a bit of income – then you need to be competitive and always moving forward with the market. But that can be overwhelming. I know I got overwhelmed a lot when I started this blog. If you’re serious about blogging, you need to ask yourself what do you want your blog and brand to become. You should write down a list of short-term and long-term goals for your blog. Take it one step at a time. And celebrate when you reach your goals.
5- How Important Finding You Blogger Tribe Is: With my last blog, I was pretty much a lone wolf. I knew other bloggers, but they I really didn’t take he time to make friendships and connections with them. When I started this blog, I quickly learned the benefits of finding my blogger tribe. It’s not just for self promotion. It’s more for the friendship and support. My tribe gets me. They understand how much work blogging is. They understand how hard it is to balance work and personal life. They get me… because they are doing the same thing. It’s been amazing to have the support and friendship of other bloggers. I’ve built my tribe mainly through Facebook groups designed for bloggers in my niche.
There are my top 5 lessons learned so far. Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to come back to follow me on my adventures in motherhood & building a blog HERE!