September 1, 2015 was the first day I decided to showcase my blog to the world. I remember a few days before presenting it to the public, opening up to my Facebook friends to let them know about my plans to launch my blog and shockingly I received a great response! I was honestly ecstatic to finally open it up to the public but of course not many people knew of my daily struggles just to get to that point. It wasn’t a walk in the park and definitely wasn’t glamorous. I struggled daily with the layout and constant self doubt. Believe it or not, my very first blog post showcased photographs I had taken on my phone and I was so excited about the pictures! Even though I didn’t use the best technology, I still put my all into it and received an amazing response! Eventually, I did invest in my blog and it was no cheap process to achieve. I’ve made mistakes along the way but it’s helped me realize what’s necessary and what’s not necessary.
HERE’S A BREAKDOWN OF MY BLOGGING EXPENSES:
Hosting $95.88 * 2
Templates $70 * 2
Business Cards $98.68
Canon G7x $600
Personal Coach $597
Still want to blog?
To keep you from falling on your face (like I did PLENTY of times) here’s 10 things I’ve learned while blogging.
1 | DO. Purchase Domain
Now that it’s clear that you want to start a blog and showcase it to the world you must purchase a domain. Before you do anything else you want to go ahead and and make this purchase. This is the start of something AMAZING that you’ll forever remember. Your domain is what makes you and your blog stand out. You’ll soon become known for your blog name whether you want to or not so make sure that it’s something that speaks truly to what you represent.
2 | DON’T. Compare your journey
Even with me sharing all of this to you all, you must still remember that it’s my journey and not yours. Maybe yours will be similar or maybe it won’t but no need to compare. Be grateful for your journey and what you’ll soon have to offer to someone else.
3 | DO. “Tribe on”
Building great relationships with other bloggers is one of the keys to having a successful blog. In the blogging world we like to call this a tribe. I’m sure you’re wondering how one builds their “tribe” when first starting out? This is where you put a voice to the many pictures/post from your site. Use your social media platforms to interact and engage with other bloggers. This can start with bloggers in your area or even in the same niche. Utilize your hashtags on social media to meet more people and narrow down your search. Ex. ( #PhillyBlogger #FashionBlogger #Streetstyle ) It’s not enough to just tell people to check out your blog. The relationship has to be a two way street — give and take.
4. | DON’T. Over Invest
If you’re anything like me, than this has just become your baby. Literally. When I first started out I wanted the best and if that meant investing to get it, then that’s exactly what I did. Is it possible to over invest? It certainly is — you can’t continue to invest in something and not get anything in return. If you’re making investments into your blog then of course you should be able to see a return on your work. Whether that’s more followers, more engagement or meeting new people — you get the point. Getting caught in the hype of blogging and wanting to be the best is REAL. Everybody’s selling something and if they’re good then you’ll certainly want it but please know that everything does not need to be purchased. I’ve seen the best bloggers work off of pure talent!
5. | DO. Collab
Now that you’ve built tribe a of bloggers, reach and collaborate with them. The best way to contact a brand/person about collaborating is via email. It shows that you’re professional and value what they have to offer. Please don’t just “slide in someone’s dm’s” I beg you. You may get a response back but I promise that person isn’t too happy to see you reached out with a direct message. Unless you’re Beyonce..keep it in the email.
6. | DON’T. CHEAT YOURSELF
I reached out to so many brands when I first started out because I knew the potential my blog possessed and I refused to cheat myself. Sometimes I would be devastated when a brand didn’t respond back to me but I also never gave up and continued to take leaps. Needless to say the same brands that didn’t respond in the beginning, ended up in my email a few months later. It’s all about being patient with yourself. When it’s the right timing things will arise when you least expect it. Don’t cheat yourself on a possible opportunity that may come through.
7. | DO. GIVE
As much as you ask for, give just as much (if not more) in return. If you’re looking for your followers to continue to support your blog then you must give them great content to look forward to. I would say give more than what you receive.
8. | DON’T. Take someone else’s work
As flattering as it may seem to you, it’s someone else’s work. It’s nothing worse than putting your heart into something and having it stolen by someone else. Especially your words. If you truly want to learn from someone you look up to — simply reach out to them. Now, if this person is more than willing to respond back and help, don’t take advantage of them. Find your own voice and use your own judgement.
9. | DO. BE YOU
It’s nothing more appealing than a person who’s completely comfortable with who they are. Blogging gives you the opportunity to be just that and so much more. You — YES YOU — Remember, you have something to offer to someone.
10. | DON’T. GIVE UP
Now that you’ve learned all of these things, this is most vital of them all. DON’T GIVE UP. When you start, you will be on such a high from all of the excitement and great responses from friends and family. But the true test is getting others to see your work and being consistent even if it takes a little time for others to notice you. Your blog will have droughts, you will run out of ideas, you will constantly want to change things up and all of this is perfectly natural. Understand it is a process and that nothing comes easy.