When I started blogging, I pretty much did it sporadically and very not-seriously. Aside from a handful of accounts, I didn’t realize that you could really be a “blogger” and not “someone who has a blog.” There’s a difference, people! I was so not aware that there was the community out there. If I had known these things from the get-go, I might be in a different place.
It is an investment
Time, money, energy…blogging is an investment. The more serious you want to be, the more of an investment it is. Blogging can truly be a full time job, but you also have to dedicate full time energy to it.
Pick where you want to invest and do so wisely. If you don’t want to commit to blogging every day (like us over in the Be A Better Blogger Challenge!) pick a schedule so your readers know when to expect to see your new posts. They’re excited to hear from you!
Also choose where you want to spend your money. Sure you don’t need a premium theme right out of the gates, but you probably will want that in the future. Pick something that can grow with you. Same with your domain name and your hosting. Make sure that you have invested in a solid foundation.
It’s okay to stumble and then come back
I’ve “rebranded” myself so many times. I stopped writing for large chunks of time. I didn’t have a Facebook page for my blog for a long time. It’s okay. You’re learning and growing. It’s perfectly fine to stumble and come back stronger.
There are days when I feel like I’m still trying to find my true voice here and other days that I say, “Boom, this is me, this is what I sound like, deal with it.” In my head, I’d like to think I’m a lot more unapologetic than I actually am. This is why I love Laura and Katy so much. They are 100% them and it totally come through in their blogs.
But no matter what, be true to you and who you are. There are posts of mine that I read and I’m just like….that feels awkward to me. Your readers probably feel a little of that, too.
Find your support group
Get a group of friends together, find communities online, and get interacting! It’s so helpful to have people to bounce ideas off of and turn to when you’re struggling. They’ll help you sort through where you want to be, where you are right now, and connect the two.
The SITS Girls is a great community, so is BlogHer, and of course, you can check out what Marissa has to say about finding your tribe so you can make your own group.
Decide what kind of blogger do you want to be
Part of this is why it’s handy to have a tribe. Maybe you don’t know what kind of blogger you want to be. Maybe you’re a Seinfeld blog like Katy, maybe you have a clear focus like Kristin.
I wish I would have known what I wanted to do when I started blogging. I kind of just opened up a blog because I thought it would be fun and filled in the blanks from there. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s nice to have more of a direction.