Want to start a blog but not sure if you can? Want to see the more practical side rather than the tech side? I’m here to tell you all you need to know before you start.
YOU WON’T MAKE MONEY.
Shocker, huh? There is almost no way you can make money off your blog at first. That’s the short and sweet of it. It can be done, because blogging is an industry. It’s a legit job. But blogging is one of the hardest jobs and for a while, you blog without receiving a brass farthing. Then, after a while you can make money. But not without a lot of tears and hard work. The bloggers who are living off their blog now have been blogging for quite a few years. They’ll tell you the same.
ARE YOU READY FOR A COMMITMENT?
With everything in life, you have to choose your commitments. Is blogging a commitment you’re going to make? Are you willing to regularly post? Are you ready to spend hours – days, if you will, into writing your posts, taking the pictures, and marketing? If you are, then go for it!
YOU MUST POST
I apologize to those who say, “it doesn’t matter when you post, you can post once every ten years if you like!” Okay. I know that was a bit exaggerated. The truth is, you will never get any viewers if you don’t get content up on your blog. To be honest, I don’t follow blogs that post once a month. I don’t follow blogs that post once every three months, and I certainly don’t follow the blogs that only post once a year. To get good, active viewers, you need to be posting regularly and frequently. I post every other day, but I’m a bit of an exception as I’m homeschooled and have a bit more time. When you’re first starting, I say go for three times a week. You want to keep your viewers coming back, but if there’s nothing to come back to, they’ll forget.
FIND A SUBJECT
This is hard. There are many different types of blogs – fashion blogs, beauty blogs, book blogs, blog blogs, food blogs, lifestyle blogs, exercise blogs, pet blogs, photography blogs, politic blogs…the list goes on forever. The question is, what are you passionate about? Are you passionate about fashion and beauty? Could you write forever about your favorite books? Are you an amateur photographer? What do you want to write about? Something I see a lot of tween and teen bloggers write about is their life. The blog is their personal journal. This is fine and dandy, but the problem is, is it helping people? The answer is no. While I do follow lifestyle blogs (ahem. my blog is lifestyle.), I find blogs such as DIY blogs and food blogs getting a little more attention. Which is why in my lifestyle blog, I include posts like, oh, THIS ONE. Ha. So the bottom line is, find what you’re passionate about and write about it in a way that is different than anyone else.
LONG TERM OR SHORT TERM?
How do you view this blog of yours? Do you want it to become your career? Or do you simply just want to try it out? This is something you must think about as it affects everything. It may even affect which college courses you want to take. It affects where your money goes (If I buy this software, it will start working really well in five years) and it affects your life. I view my blog as long-term (to be a professional blogger would be one of the best jobs ever and I’m willing to work for it). You must decide.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Okay, I don’t mean to keep your content G-rated, but I’m talking design-wise. I’m going off the beaten track a bit, but this is one of the really big things about blogging – design. You can hire a web designer or do it yourself, but you must keep your blog clean, easy to navigate, open, and airy. Here are a few examples. HelloGlow, A Girl Obsessed, Girl Loves Glam, The Blog Market, and Camille Styles.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST…
I guess for this last point I just want to say that starting a blog has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. It made me follow through, make a commitment, buy a dSLR, cook more, perfect my grammar and spelling (STILL. NOT. PERFECTED.) and learn about things from a technical standpoint. I know what SEO is and how it works, I know how to use a photo editor, I know how to organize posts in order to make them interesting, and I know a bunch of other things I’m not divulging at the moment. Blogging is my job. Whether or not I’m earning money from it yet doesn’t matter at the moment, but it’s my job and that’s that.
Blogging is so much fun and it can be a wonderful job, but it’s not easy. I hope this gave you a bit behind the scenes of blogging so you can better understand what it takes.