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Starting your own blog takes a lot of research and a lot of trial and error. I’m sure all bloggers out there know that at times it can be a struggle and a little overwhelming trying to, not only launch your blog successfully but to make it the best it can be! Below are a few things I learned from starting up my own blog. I hope that by sharing these I can help answer some questions or concerns you might have if you’re starting up your own blog, or just want to research ways to improve your own!
It might not take off as quickly as you thought it would.
When I started Love, Coco&Nilla I read a lot of success stories about other bloggers getting huge traffic or making money within just a couple of months of launching their blog. While this is not impossible to achieve, it seems that the majority of bloggers out there are still trying to reach that point, even if they’ve been blogging for months and months. I was completely new to the world of blogging, I did (and still continue to do) a ton of research which helped me figure out the basics of what I needed to know to launch my blog. The idea that my blog would be as successful as the others, seemed completely doable. And based on what I was learning I thought, I should be able to quit my full-time job within a couple of months, right? Ha, wrong!
There is a lot of great advice out there and you should definitely take advantage of it. That being said, everyone’s situation is different and every blog and blogger is unique. Everyone has a different set of skills and a different approach to their research and this will ultimately affect the success of your blog. My point here isn’t to discourage you from blogging at all it’s, in fact, the opposite! But I believe it’s better going into a situation knowing all the possibilities than finding out the hard way, right? Whatever your reason for starting your blog, or whatever your technique, don’t be discouraged just because you haven’t reached the top as quickly as you assumed you would. Continue to do your research, see what works for you, and don’t give up!
It’s more than just signing up for web hosting.
The easiest part of starting your blog will probably be signing up for your web hosting account. It can be misleading to see so many posts talking about how starting up your blog is just that easy. The difference is starting a successful blog is so much more than that. Before I started blogging I honestly had no idea how much work actually went into it! Running a successful blog involves photography, marketing, writing, managing social media, and those are just the basics. If you know how to code that would be an extremely helpful skill when starting your own blog. I personally don’t know anything about coding and probably one of my greatest challenges was trying to either find a way to completely avoid anything that involves coding or for the small amount of coding I did have to deal with, I had to learn what to do with it.
There were admittedly a few times I almost threw in the towel. And there were, even more, times I briefly considered throwing my laptop across the room out of pure frustration. Ultimately, I knew it wasn’t my laptops fault, I was also too stubborn to give up. Have I mentioned how glad I am that I didn’t give up? If I haven’t then I’ll tell you now, I am SO glad. I was able to achieve so much more than I thought I ever could and even though it didn’t turn out quite the way I thought it would, I have no regrets and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the entire process (yes, even the struggles).
About that web hosting…
Be sure to do your research. There are so many different web hosting companies you can choose and ultimately you should choose whichever one you think will work best for you! Originally I had considered going with Blue Host because I had seen so many bloggers talking about how great Blue Host was, ultimately though I decided to go with Siteground.
I chose Siteground for a number of reasons. The first was that it has great support. I was aware I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when it came to creating my own website and I would need all the help I could get. Second, in my research for finding the right web hosting and when I was considering Blue Host I saw a lot of reviewers who had issues with their site crashing, and crashing often! You don’t want your site constantly crashing when the success of your blog or business relies on your website being up and running and available for people to see! That alone was enough to make my decision.
Since I started with Siteground I haven’t had a single problem with my site crashing and I’m more than pleased with the resources they’ve provided to help me run my blog. I am affiliated with a few different companies (you can learn more about that here), and while Siteground is one of them, I chose to become an affiliate with them because I was pleased with what they have to offer. I don’t promote things I dislike or don’t personally enjoy using! Even if I wasn’t affiliated with them, I would still promote them because they’re just that awesome!
Your readers are kind of (really) important…
You want people to see your site right? You’ve either spent hours upon hours or intend to spend a bunch of time getting your blog up and running so that others can see it! This means that your most important jobs when getting your blog going are marketing, and the content you post. Your posts can be about whatever you want, it’s your blog so do whatever makes you happy! But if you’re wanting to make your blog a career you also need to consider your readers and the sort of content they would be interested in. Check out other bloggers and see what they’re posting about, and ask your friends and family! By taking a poll of what people are interested in you can actually get a lot of useful information that will help give you ideas on what to post about. It might even give you ideas you wouldn’t have thought up all on your own!
Once you have your content out there, don’t forget to share it. There are so many different resources you can choose from that will help get your content out there! Pinterest is one of the best things to use for bringing viewers to your site. StumbleUpon has also brought a surprising number of viewers to my site, just be careful how often you’re posting your own content on StumbleUpon or they could block your site!
Also, don’t forget to respond to your readers. If you get comments or questions (even the negative ones), be sure to respond. They took the time out of their day to read your content and reach out to you, let them know you appreciate their comments and questions!
You don’t HAVE to spend money, but you might want to.
You can spend literally zero money and start your blog for free. It’s possible. And if you want to start a blog as a hobby and not turn it into a business, that’s probably the right way to go. However, if you want to make your blog into a business I wouldn’t completely turn away from the idea of putting some money into your business. Obviously, you should pick and choose where you want to spend your money, I wouldn’t recommend dropping a bunch of money on services and products before doing your research as to which services and products would be most beneficial. By putting money toward your blog, if you’re able and truly determined to turn it into a business, think of it as an investment. If you put a small amount of money into starting up your blog now the benefits down the line could be huge.
Don’t underestimate social media, but also don’t drown in it.
Social media is going to be your #1 way to bring viewers to your site. Pinterest is one of the best ways to bring traffic to your site and it is definitely worth investing some time in. When I started my blog I used all the major social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and after your blog has been up for a while you’ll start to get a feel for which one works best for you. Trying to get traffic using my facebook page probably would have taken an eternity until I joined some Facebook groups. Facebook groups are great because they can bring a good amount of traffic to your site on a daily basis. It can easily become overwhelming though if you’re trying to do too much work with your Facebook groups, plus pin to your Pinterest, plus post on Instagram.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with all the posting you have to do! Sit down and try to figure out the best possible schedule that would help maximize your marketing, while also giving you time to live a little. The best thing you can do is get organized, use an agenda, calendar on your phone, or sticky notes (my desk is basically covered in them) to better organize your posting schedule. This will be a lot less stressful in the long run!
Research, research, research!
If you’re wanting to start your own blog and you haven’t been doing that much research I’d start now! You can never do too much research. Pinterest was one of the best sources when it came to finding answers to my questions. There are so many awesome bloggers out there who are willing to share everything that they’ve learned, take advantage of that! The more you learn the easier it will be when you try to launch your blog. Even after you’ve launched your blog don’t stop there! There are always ways to improve and learn from others.
Be sure to let me know if you have any questions about starting your own blog, I’m more than happy to help! I hope this post was able to clear up some questions or concerns you might have had. Keep up the good work!
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