When I launched this blog in January of 2016, I had no idea what I was about to enter into. It’s a crazy, whirlwind of an adventure that never leaves you longing for things to do, but always leaves you needing to do something. (This post contains affiliate links.) I have a personal Blogger blog that I use to keep out-of-town family up to date on our happenings, so I imagined it couldn’t be too different from that. WRONG!
My mom worked tirelessly to help get me up and running. She got my domain through Bluehost (which is only $3.95/month through this link), worked out all the bugs and kinks, pretty much designed the whole site, and did it all while watching my kids when I was at work. But little did I know, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Here are 14 things I’ve learned in only 4 months of blogging.
- IT CONSUMES YOUR THOUGHTS. Everything you do now becomes considered for a blog post. There’s always another thing you have to learn about. You’re constantly trying to remind yourself of everything that needs to be done.
- PRETTY MUCH ALL TOPICS HAVE BEEN COVERED. If you want people to read your post, it needs to stand out and be in your unique voice. Just because someone else has already written about it, doesn’t mean you should nix the idea. I did a post about going green, and it happened to be around Earth Day, and wouldn’t you know all of a sudden there were posts left and right about the same thing. Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have written it, just means that great minds think alike.
- YOU MISS SLEEPING. That time is now spent working on your blog. Coffee becomes your new best friend (if it wasn’t already). I kept waiting for a magic chunk of time to appear that I could work on it. That doesn’t happen. When people say they just stay up really late, that’s no joke.
- SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE BIGGEST TIME SUCKER AND BLOG PROMOTER AT THE SAME TIME. And there’s more to it than just posting, pinning, and tweeting. There’s rich pins, and boosting, and scheduling oh my!
- SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR TELEVISION. We don’t watch much tv at all. In fact we got rid of satellite years ago to save money. But my two vices, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, have sadly gone to the wayside.
- YOUR FACEBOOK FEED IS NO LONGER YOURS. It does not consist of your friends and family any more. It’s now full of posts from your blogging groups, of which there are many.
- THERE ARE A GAZILLION BLOGS OUT THERE. No exaggeration. I knew this was not a new thing, but I had no idea exactly how massive it was. It can be daunting. It can get to you. There are times you feel like there is no way in hell your little blog is going to reach the audience needed to turn this into a career…BUT…
- MANY OF THOSE GAZILLIONS OF BLOGS ARE MAKING MONEY. Legitimate money at that. I’m constantly inspired by the number of people I come across (during my time sucking Facebooking) that make a living at this, just the same way that I currently make a living selling food.
- IT’S A JOB. A sales job at that. If you want to make money, you have to sell yourself… sell yourself well… and sell yourself better than the other gazillion bloggers. And it doesn’t hurt to have an actual product to sell.
- IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT BLOGGING. It’s about 80% marketing and promotion and 20% actual blogging. This is still a fact that I’m getting used to.
- IT DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. Not that I expected to become wildly popular and successful in a short period of time. But after 4 months it is very apparent that genuine growth takes time. Time that’s hard to come by when you’re already working 45-50 hours/week.
- PEOPLE AREN’T GOING TO GET WHY YOU’RE DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING. And I totally get that. And it’s fine. Just hope that they have friends that DO get what you’re doing and are interested in your amazing blog.
- IT’S A SURPRISINGLY SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY. As with any business, it has its share of turds who are only out to help themselves. But overall people very actively want to help you. In fact that’s how a large portion of them make their money.
- NONE OF THIS MATTERS IF YOU DON’T ENJOY IT. I may be a sucker, a glutton for punishment, but even after discovering numbers 1-13, I want to succeed at this more than ever. But because of numbers 1-13, if you don’t have the drive, you may as well put away the laptop and enjoy Grey’s Anatomy.