What I Learned My First Year of Blogging

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I have officially been a lifestyle blogger for one year. Happy Anniversary to me! The biggest lesson that I have learned during my first year of blogging is………….. there is so much to learn! Seriously, it is a lot, and some days it’s definitely not easy. But I love it anyways!

How I got started blogging

I came across what is now one of my favorite blogs about a year and a half ago called Living in Yellow. I had no concept of what a personal blog was all about, but I kept seeing this one woman posting pics of herself in Stitch Fix clothes on Pinterest all of the time. I thought, this lady really loves posting selfies, I didn’t get it. One day I actually clicked on the link and Wham, I was hooked. I love Erin’s blog and her bio is what really resonated with me; an average girl, living an average life, but yet she built this awesome platform online to share information on things that I am actually interested in!

For a few months, I dove head first into researching online all about blogs. I printed out so many how- to articles, it was a little crazy. Then on a vacation about a year ago, I jumped in and haven’t looked back. I was definitely craving a creative outlet and I believe having this blog allows me to express myself in so many ways while putting helpful info out there into the world that will hopefully resonate with someone sitting at home, scrolling online looking for something more substantial, just like I was this time last year.

How to start a blog

The first step in starting a blog is to put a lot of thought into your blog’s name. Think about what your niche would be and come up with something creative. If you name your blog after yourself, you will blend in with thousands of other girls. You need something that is memorable. After you figure that out, you will need to register that name as a domain and get your website hosting. I used GoDaddy for both to make my life easier. I have used them in the past and my family has used them, so I feel comfortable with that company and their pricing. After you have that set up, you need to download WordPress. Now you have the makings of a blog. I hope to one day give you step by step instructions on how to do all of this, but for today, that’s the gist of things.

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How much is involved with blogging

So like I said, there is so much to learn when you are just starting out blogging. You start with building your website which nowadays you really can do yourself by plugging information into a template. Plus you can Google and Youtube help as you need it. Writing good posts routinely that people will want to read is critical. Nothing is worse than a blogger who only posts once a month or every couple of months. That is not going to cut it. Then you need photos, so whether you refine your own photography skills or use stock photography, that’s a whole other very important aspect to learn about that can make or break your blog.

The other HUGE aspect of blogging is getting traffic to your site to read all of the wonderful posts that you have been writing. If you can’t get people to visit your blog, then nobody will ever read those posts that you spent so much time and energy creating. This is where social media comes in. I know, it can suck big time, but you gotta learn how to do it and do it often. I come from the generation that used Myspace and Facebook, neither of which I use anymore. I had to learn Instagram and sorry but I refuse to do TicTok. Social media is a beast and I hate it, but it’s just one of those things you have to do.

On top of the actual website and social media to promote your posts, the list of things to learn is just endless (SEO, automated social media posting, scheduling, legalities, plugins, pitching to brands, collaborations, email lists, seminars, etc,). And it depends on what you want to ultimately do with your site. You can get into podcasting or YouTube videos, all based on what your end goals are going to be.

Blogging takes a lot of time

To really devote the time necessary to be successful at blogging, you would have to stop working and devote all of your time to it, especially at first. So much time is used up when you are setting up your blog and researching and fine tuning everything. It’s hard to do it all on a pat time basis. And you won’t have the money to pay someone to do it all for you.

You will also need time to plan out your content calendar, photo shoots, social media schedule, etc. Everything needs to be planned out, it’s hard to just wing it. Especially if you are working with other bloggers or brands, you will be on a timeline and will need to make sure you are hitting those deadlines.

How to make boatloads of money from blogging.

You can’t. You c-a-n-‘t. I don’t care what all of those Pins on Pinterest say about making six figures your first year of blogging, it’s bullshit. You won’t make anything, not even enough to pay for your site. So you do this for the love of it, or don’t do it. Seriously, don’t get into it for the money. Now if down the road you make some extra money, that is cool, but forget about the dream of making it your full time job and quitting your shit job you have now. It’s pretty rare for that to happen and super- duper rare that one person will make so much money from their blog that they can have a staff, buy a mansion, go on exotic trips, etc. Most bloggers are struggling and that’s real. Some bloggers that did quit their daytime jobs to blog full time have side jobs that they aren’t telling us about. Remember, anything online is all about appearances. Especially social media, uh!

I hope that doesn’t discourage you from jumping into the blogging world. Like I said, if you love it, do it. I plan to keep at it over the next year to see where it takes me. But I want to give you an honest perspective on what you would be getting into so you know what to expect. And all of this is what I have learned during my first year of blogging….. in a nutshell.

Be sure to read our previous post: 10 Charlotte Bloggers to Follow.

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