One of the questions I get most in my direct messages is how to start a blog. That question is usually followed up with tips on running a blog haha. I’m going to be really honest with you guys in this blog post about what starting and running a blog actually looks like. Okurrrr? Many people think it’s just this uber glamorous/not much work/social-media fame-grabber. It’s not. It’s a lot of work and I hope my answers below help you decide whether or not you should start a blog!
What does it look like to start a blog?
Whether you’re an Instagram blogger or a website blogger (or both like me), you literally create a safe space for the expression of your thoughts, passions, and creativity. Through that expression, you can reach people and build relationships. I’ve met some great people through my blog! There is such sweet freedom that comes from expressing your ideas and yourself, and every time I hit publish on a blog post or Instagram post, I feel like I get to put a little bit more of what makes me tick out there in the world. Realistically, the first step is to create a mission statement for your blog – also known as the purpose. The purpose of my blog is to get people to think, share my faith boldly, connect people to delicious foods and products that I love, and build relationships. My blog has helped me achieve all of those things and continues to help me complete those things.
Coming up with truth from within you, daily, can drain you. Creating and running a blog takes much time, effort, mental power, and patience. You may feel frustrated with your number of readers, but consistency is what keeps people coming back. There are sooo many nitty-gritty things that you have to be able to focus on such as SEO, alt-tags, photography, brainstorming new topics, keywords, making sure your site takes less than five seconds to load and researching industry standards and trends. But most importantly, you cannot lose your voice.
So many people have asked me, do you make money from being a blogger. Long story short yes, I do, but I didn’t always. I’d still like to be in a different space, but I know that will take time. I repeat, IT TAKES TIME. It also takes consistency, reaching out to businesses, being regular with your email, producing high-quality content, and patience. I’ve had to pray for patience on a daily basis and fight against comparison. Ugh. Starting a blog feels like climbing a mountain and more work than you have hands, but I promise that the day you go live on your site, it is all so worth it.
What is it like running a blog?
Running a blog is running a small business. It is not like running a small business. It is running a small business. You are building relationships with readers and brands, selling a service (your content), continually producing content, figuring out social commitments and products you want to accept, and organizing it all. There’s a lot of effort and time that goes into it, but it’s just like a garden, the more upkeep, the more blooms. As someone who pursued stability in all jobs before blogging, it was scary to step into a world of blogging. However, it was also liberating. I loved being able to generate my thoughts into words and present them to the world. There’s nothing quite like others connecting and relaying their own experiences.
I’m not going to lie, because it is a small business, it’s a ton of pressure on yourself. Engaging with other bloggers and commenters can be exhausting. If you’re not on top of your organization, you can quickly get lost in a slew of files. Producing content and hitting that dang nab writer’s block is real. Many a time I go on a walk or shower to soothe my sore brain. Social commitments can burn you out as well if you’re an introvert like me. Not to mention, you need to learn how to say no to sponsored content when it doesn’t fit your brand. I’ve been asked to promote brands that would never fit with my brand (skinny lollipops, lingerie, etc.), but the pay was good, and so I was tempted. Although tempted, I never accepted these partnerships, but I can tell you it’s hard to say no.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy. You can look at someone else’s blog and think to yourself WHY am I not there yet? They could be looking at your blog at the same time. Jealousy and envy don’t produce anything significant, but you have to bottle and throw it far away on a daily basis. Sometimes it feels like you’re in high school where all the girls that look a certain way tend to stick together. That doesn’t necessarily go away even in the blogging world. It’s frustrating, and sometimes I look up at the sky and shout, “What is the point of this?!” but you have to learn that your unique voice is important. It’s not just important, it’s necessary. Speaking of learning, you learn your weaknesses since you are your own boss. If you don’t deliver content on time, then you are the one that is affected. If you are not motivated, then you are the one that is affected.
Should I start a blog?
So, here’s a question for you. Do you have a specific voice you want to share with people? Do you have a particular passion you want to share with people? If you answered yes to those questions, then you should start a blog. I know that the blog market is saturated, but so is every other industry (maybe besides doctors? Idk lol). With so many people on this earth, the remarkable truth is that every single voice is unique. If you can stay true to yourself, then start a blog.
If you want to start a blog because everyone else is doing it, imma stop you right there and tell you don’t do it. Please. If you don’t have a direction or purpose in starting a blog, don’t do it.
And honestly, the more difficult thing to say is if you want to be famous or make a ton of money, don’t start a blog. That sort of ambition is unsustainable. Not to mention, if you think your value comes from social media… you are sorely mistaken. No blue check or follower count can fill the hole in your heart that every human is born with. Lots of people want to be social media goddesses or #Instafamous, but all of that stems from just a relentless desire for approval and insecurity.
In conclusion: Be confident in who you are, and your voice. Pursue the passion that has been instilled within you from our creative God above. If a blog helps you in accomplishing those things, then start one. For starters, write down your mission statement, create a WordPress site, brainstorm names/keywords for your blog that fit your mission statement, and begin. I’m sharing my “How to Actually Start a Blog” post next week, so stay tuned!