Earlier this week, I mentioned my top 7 tips for brand new freelancers. One of those tips was starting a blog. However, blogging in itself can be quite the process. While freelancing and blogging tend to go hand-in-hand, they are separate in a lot of ways.
For starters, with freelancing you have guidelines in which you need to follow. There might be a word limit you need to meet, editorial guidelines and a topic assigned to you. With blogging, you are given a blank canvas with no guidelines. You can write about whatever you want, whenever you want. There are no word limits, no rules, no formatting, etc. But there is a lot more to learn behind the scenes. Most of the clients that I write for I simply send them a word doc of my work via email. No technology skills required, which is phenomenal in my case. With blogging, I have to make sure my post looks good, add in my own image, schedule it to go live, etc. There is a ton of work that goes with it above and beyond writing.
However, blogging can also be a lucrative income stream. There are many bloggers out there who make five-figure incomes from their blogs month after month. Imagine how your life would change if that were you? You could see your family more, spend more time with your kids, spend an hour in the kitchen cooking dinner rather than throwing in a frozen pizza (guilty), read out on your back deck, and more. I don’t want to make a lot of money so I can go shopping and blow it all. I simply want more time with my family and to enjoy my life more. I also would love to be able to donate to my favorite charities and to families in need.
If you want this for your life, keep reading.
7 Tips for Brand New Bloggers
Know that it’s going to take a while to get up and running
Blogging does NOT require technical skills as far as coding (the most I can do is add an h2 and I learned that at my FT job) goes, but there IS a learning curve associated with it. I started my blog in September of last year. My girls were still at home with me FT and I was still freelancing heavily. The only time that I could devote to blogging was at night after they went to bed. The first night, I finalized my blog name purchased my domain and hosting through Bluehost.
With Bluehost, you get a free domain name and pay just $3.45 per month if you sign up through my link!! This discount is special for my readers only!
That’s all I did. The second night, I purchased a theme for my blog and messed around with that. The third night, I worked on my “About Me” page; the fourth night, I was googling how to center my pages because they were all defaulting to the left; the fifth night I was probably working on my “Hire Me” page, and so on and so forth. I distinctly remember getting the girls to bed around 7:30 and not going to bed until 11:00 (which is super late for me). I missed out on hanging out with John and lost sleep, but it was worth it. Once your blog is all set up you can start focusing on your content. My best advice is to take it day by day. Accomplishing just one small goal per day in blogging is huge! You will get there in due time.
**And, I released a book that will walk you through all of this! It’s called The Beginner’s Guide to Blogging. It’s just $12, but if you purchase your domain and hosting through my Bluehost link, you’ll get it for free!!
Have a blog name idea?! See if it’s available below:
Don’t be shy
I remember being hesitant the first few times I commented on other people’s blog, especially “big” bloggers. Now, I comment all the time simply because I enjoy talking with others and forming that relationship. After you start your blog, a great way to get your name out there is by commenting. Don’t be shy and remember that we really are all in this together. As a blogger, I can tell you that I LOVE receiving comments. Whoever’s blog you choose to comment on will be happy that you took the time to write something. Remember that 🙂
Challenge: Comment on 3-5 blogs per day!
Don’t worry about making every post perfect
When you’re first starting out, there is seriously so much to learn and it can be overwhelming. If you try right off the bat to make your posts and your blog look perfect, you will fail. Instead, just have fun and enjoy the ride. One thing for me that’s improved significantly is my images. If you go through some of my older posts, you will probably laugh at my images. I had no idea what I was doing and remember being so excited when I figured out how to add text on top of an image in PicMonkey. Now, my images are MUCH better, but even now they are still a work in progress! I’ve never stressed about those little things and they have just naturally gotten better over time.
If you want to improve your images and grow your blog, I highly recommend Pinterest Presence! This course is incredible and is perfect for both beginning bloggers and advanced bloggers who want more traffic!
Try to have a plan from the start
I thought I had a plan when I first started, but looking back I really didn’t. I had a goal of posting three times a week but I never followed through with that goal. Sure, some weeks I posted three times, but it was more of a random occurrence. I really think if I would have been more consistent in the beginning, my blog would be in a different place than it is now. But, it’s never too late!! I have big plans to grow this blog and I’m so excited for what the future holds.
This was a game-changer for me. Tailwind is a scheduling tool for Pinterest. Instead of having to manually pin your pins, Tailwind does it for you! I spend about 15 minutes a week scheduling out my pins for the following week. I currently pin 100 times per day! There is just no way I could do all that manually.
Write about what you want, even if it’s not in your “niche”
This is something I’m still learning, but here’s the reality: People usually will want to read your blog because they like YOU. My blog is obviously geared toward personal finance, but that doesn’t mean that that’s all I write about. That’s actually why I totally lost my motivation a few months back; I just couldn’t keep writing about my own personal finance issues!! Now, I’ve switched my blog to include more about my life, my family, my goals (both income and otherwise), and more. My readers can now get to know ME and relate to me, which is what I think makes a blog much more appealing. So, if you started a blog on parenting but really want to share a recipe, go for it! Or maybe your blog is a general lifestyle blog but you just paid off a big credit card, share that! Again, your readers want to know who YOU are, so feel free to write about a variety of topics on your blog.
And finally, challenge yourself to learn something new every day when it comes to blogging. At first, that will probably be just getting your blog set up. Down the line, you might want to learn about how you can turn your blog into a full-fledged business or how you can start monetizing your blog. Blogging is an ever-changing industry, so try to stay on top of it by learning as much as you can each day!
If you need tips on getting your blog set up, check out my book – The Beginner’s Guide to Blogging.
If you haven’t started a blog yet but are wanting to, I highly encourage you to go for it! You can use my tutorial on how to start a profitable blog that will walk you through getting your domain name and hosting site. Then, feel free to email me if you need help with anything whatsoever! I have a goal of making $10K per month within one year, and I’d love to have you join me! We are all in this together so don’t be afraid to reach out!!
What would you add? What is your BEST tip for brand new bloggers?!