Last Updated June 2021 by Crystallace
***This post has been updated from 5 Things to 7 Things to now 12 Things You Should Know Before You Start Blogging. You know, because you live and you learn***
Before you start a blog read this entire blog post… you won’t regret it
I first started blogging in 2012 when I was still in college. For most college students at that time, blogs were a way we could share our thoughts, feelings, and opinions with the world. I had heard of people who earned a living through blogging but I just figured that their thoughts and opinions just happened to be popular and people cared about what they wrote. I was wrong.
I didn’t know blogging could be a business, so I wasn’t treating it like one
Because it was just a hobby for me, my blog fell to the wayside as I battled through life. I picked up blogging again in 2017 while I was in law school. This time, I was eager to share with the world about what I was learning about the law. My goal was to write amazing content and make money with my blog.
I got some views, but not a whole lot. Not enough to make any real money.
I was blogging wrong again. Successful bloggers, blog with the intentions of making money
So, I started researching, took some online courses, and made some drastic changes to my blog. Then, I kid you not, I immediately started making money with my blog. I talk about those things in this blog post but I just wanted to share my story with you and what inspired me to write this list of
10 Things You Should Know Before You Start Blogging
Decide From the Beginning Whether or Not You Want to Make Money
When I first started blogging, it was just a hobby. And I get it, starting a blog may be a new hobby for you but it’s best decided early on if you plan to make money with your blog or not for two reasons.
The first reason is psychological. If you are treating your blog like a business it will be easier for you to invest time and money into it because you are doing so with purpose and with the expectations of a return. Ultimately, this will show in your blog.
The other reasons is that blogs that are set up as businesses have different visuals, content, and tones. You want to save yourself the headache of making a switch to the type of branding, content, and marketing you do for your blog later.
Blogging Takes a Lot of Time
Every time someone asks me what I am doing, my response is usually working on my blog. You will read about the bloggers who have their blogs on “autopilot” or only work on their blogs “2 hours a week.” They’re able to do that because they have outsourced most of the time-consuming work.
To get to that point, your blog has to be making enough money to pay for the help to do that and still make a profit. For most bloggers, getting to that point takes years. If they ever get there. But for the ones that do get there, I’m pretty sure they will say that they poured a lot of time into their blog. Which takes me to my next point….
Blogging is Comprehensive
Blogging takes a lot of time because it is a lot of work. Personally, I say it is a team sport. I will explain more about the team part later but I want to talk about the sport part now.
You have to learn how to write good content that solves your readers’ problems and how to market that content to the audience that wants to hear it. Those skills don’t develop overnight. A good blogger will always be looking for content trend and how to improve and repurpose the content they already have.
Blogging Costs Money
In this blog post, I talk about How Much Money It Really Costs to Start a Blog. But that’s just to start. Once you get going you are going to need things to help your blog run securely and smoothly.
For instance, there will be hackers and bots constantly trying to steal your site or spam your site. I have experienced this personally. To keep that from happening you will need to invest in WordPress plugins that help keep your site secure.
There is also things like Pin templates for Pinterest, social media content scheduling, and email services. I have a list of resources that I use to run my blog here.
Blogging Can Be Lonely
Because you spend so much time on the computer, blogging can be isolating. It will keep you from doing typical social activities like going out for drinks, scrolling on instagram, or talking on the phone. At least for me it does.
As time passes by, you may look up and find that you’ve been under a rock. Don’t worry there are entire blogging communities where you can find people that love blogging just as much as you do. Checkout The Blog Societies, The Blogger Union, and Blogger Xchange.
Maybe going to a blogger conference will be in your near future.
Blogging is a team sport
Blogging is something you can do alone but if you work with others you will be more successful. Joining engaging Facebook Groups can help increase traffic and engagement, joining Pinterest group boards will help your Pins get seen and writing guest posts on other blogs will increase your blog traffic.
Collaboration is key.
You will have to be vulnerable
Blogging will require you to be vulnerable in two ways. One way is when you are creating your content. You will want to be as genuine and authentic with your audience as possible. That means sharing your story and sharing part of your life
The other way is when you are promoting your blog. You can’t expect anyone to read your blog if they don’t know it’s out there. This will mean shameless promotion on your end. Don’t be afraid to promote your blog on Facebook in front of your family and peers.
Blogging can leave you legally exposed
As a lawyer, this is my biggest concern with bloggers old and new. They don’t take the legal side of blogging seriously. Blogging can put you at risk of being sued personally if you don’t take the proper legal precautions at the outset. Also, you could have your blog shut down and all your hard work would be gone. I talk about those things more in this blog post and why every blogger needs legal pages on their site from Day One.
You have to learn SEO
If you’re like me and me you try to avoid the “techy” stuff, that has to stop. Take the time to learn SEO. It is key in your blog getting seen on the internet. I found this free SEO course that is really helpful for beginners.
If you pick a niche you will grow faster
This is a hard one for a lot of bloggers, myself included. Pick a niche, then pick around 1-4 topics to create your blog content around. The less, the better. That is because people will think that you have mastered this one thing and will put you the pedestal of being expert.
Having the trust of your audience is an excellent thing when it comes to blogging.
You will need to have patience
Because blogging takes time. It takes time to gain traction both from social media and SEO. Additionally, depending on your niche your blog traffic may be seasonal.
For example, if you blog about home decor, those topics are popular when the seasons change. If you blog about homeschooling, you could expect to be popular during the school year.
You will need to invest in your blogging education
One thing I wish I would’ve done sooner is take this blogging course. I knew something was wrong as to why I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted. I thought to myself, “I’m smart, I can figure this out,” but there is a formula to blogging success.
I get it, there is so many courses and self proclaimed gurus out there, you don’t know who to go with. Find someone you trust and go with their recommendations.
For me, I have taken both free and paid courses and Six Figure Blogger is what I recommend.
Don’t be discouraged
Whew! That was a lot, I know. But, I try to be transparent as possible when it comes to this blogging stuff. There are a lot of people who will try to sell you a pipe dream (products to go with it), when they haven’t been bloggers themselves.
Now that you know the real deal, you can navigate this blogging world with open eyes. The last thing I want, is for you to be discouraged. Remember why you wanted to start blogging in the first place, set some goals, and go for it.
Are you ready to start your blog? Let me know in the comments?