Anybody can have a blog these days. In fact all you need to know about blogging can easily be found on Pinterest. Don’t believe me, check out my entire board dedicated to all things blogging. Every day that I post a piece of content, I’m just thankful that this little corner of the internet has become a place for more than just me.
What I’m trying to manage here at Ware is the Vodka?!? can all be summed up with one quote: “Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark
I figured I would be a little transparent with my blogging journey and share 5 things I wish I would’ve known when I first started blogger. If you’re a blogger, you may be able to relate to these. If you’re interested in starting a blog, I highly recommend reading these and planning accordingly.
1 | Pick a focus
I started this blog with the intention to be a lifestyle blog, without really knowing or understanding what a lifestyle blog was. It quickly turned into an online journal where I celebrated and vented for all to read. Now its not a bad thing to share personal victories and tough times, but over the last few months I’ve learned that I have a lot more to offer. With my reader survey, I learned that quite a few people actually visit my blog for a specific focus. What I’ve learned in the nearly 4 years that I’ve been blogging is that I really needed to hone in on my focus. I could talk about my life on a daily basis, but how do I connect and relate? If you’ve taken notice, I’ve cleaned up a bit and made some changes. My focus has shifted to 3 main focuses (Lifestyle Simplified, Adulting, and Dallas) that encompass a broad range of topics still within (style, beauty, DIY, goal setting tips, etc.). This change has made blogging so much easier!
2 | Set realistic goals
Don’t go into a blogging expecting to write on a daily basis. Life happens and you need to take care of yourself. Set realistic goals for how often you’re going to blog and what you’re going to blog about. Opportunities and events will come up, but don’t ever feel obligated to every email you receive about “free” products. Also, don’t feel obligated to attend every event that you are invited to. Remember your focus and set goals that you will reach.
3 | Don’t get discouraged over other bloggers
Alissa from The Adored Life just wrote a stunning piece about success and failure, especially in blogging. When I first started, all too often I found myself looking at other bloggers landing awesome campaigns and I’m still thinking that I have one reader. It’s easy to get sucked into the endless trap of comparing yourself to bloggers that have been at this for years with followings that you wish you could build. You have to understand that it just takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged because you never know who’s day you are making!
4 | Branding is monumental
Be consistent in how you are going to present your brand. It’s important because its what you’ll eventually become recognized by. Whether its your blog name, the colors, font, image selection, or logo – make sure that you are happy with what you decided on. I’m not saying that you can’t rebrand, because I’ve seen it a few times and it works out perfectly. You will feel must better going into a brand new blog with a clear and concise brand plan to guide your way. As for me, well I’m slowly getting around to perfecting my brand (yes, after nearly 4 years). For the first time, I finally feel like I’ve reached a spot with my blog that if you look at an image you know that it belongs to a post on my blog.
5 | Surround yourself with the right people
THIS IS KEY! At the beginning of this blog, I met the wrong people that I thought I could relate to. I commented on their blogs, got to know them, and it just didn’t click. Something about the relationship building seemed forced and I never really felt like I could be myself. It took one fateful moment at a country western bar that would change my thoughts on friendship in blogging. Since then I’ve cultivated relationships with a number of different bloggers who I support and share their posts and accomplishments on my social channels. A few I consider family in so many ways, they have been there for me during the tough times and are my confidants when I need them most. The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people who are going to motivate and hold you accountable on your blogging journey is key. Oh and they will totally understand the importance of getting the perfect Instagram photo!
Anything to add? Sound off in the comments!