In preparation for TravelCon19 in June, I received an email with a survey and one of the questions asked me to rate my blogging experience on a scale of 1 to 10. While I wouldn’t call myself an expert by any means, the question got me thinking about just how much I have learned in the last four years. Below are the top five lessons I’ve learned so far that I hope you’ll find helpful if you’re thinking about starting your own blog.
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If you’ve thought about starting a blog but you’re not sure, just start. Start on a free platform and just see where it takes you. (I suggest starting on WordPress. Learn from my mistake. I started on Blogger and had to move everything over. If you end up wanting to be taken seriously, you’ll want to be on WordPress.) I changed domain names three times before settling into my current one so don’t stress about changing later. It can be done. If you’ve made it as far as deciding you want to be on a paid hosting plan, a nice theme and logo can be found fairly cheaply on Etsy. Spending just a little on a logo and theme go a long way towards making you feel more excited about your blog.
It’s not about you.
Your About page should tell readers what they will get out of your site. You have approximately 15 seconds to sell your site before someone clicks away, so tell them right at the top how you will help solve a problem for them. Your posts should also be written with the goal of serving your readers. Can you help answer a question (like what to pack in certain situations), or entertain with an engaging story? Poll your readers and find out what they want to read and what questions they want answers to.
Survey Monkey is great for creating free polls.
Ok, it kind of is.
While readers do follow your blog and social media feeds for your content, more follow you because they become interested in who YOU are and what your STORY is. Share your personality through video, Instagram Stories, and blog posts about personal topics. Live a compelling story. Network. Make friends. Get to know people in person.
Writing classes. Blogging business classes. Photography classes. Storytelling courses. If you really like blogging as a hobby, I highly suggest the business classes because learning the techniques full time bloggers use is really interesting. Also no matter what you blog about, you can always benefit from Storytelling skills.
Check out the post Courses and Inspiration to Better Your Blogging, Photography, and Videography for courses I recommend.
Balance is good.
Chores still need to be done. Don’t turn down invites from real-life friends to instead stay home to work on the blog. Don’t let it consume you. Even if you have a self-made deadline for posting (like once a week) sometimes missing that is ok. Your content may even benefit from a little extra editing time, mulling over thoughts, or an experience you might have missed if you’d stayed home. Oh- and about the chores… turns out laundry and dishes don’t do themselves.
Have you thought about starting a blog? If you’re a blogger, what’s some advice you wish you’d been given at the beginning?