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Ok, ya’ll, this week is BIG! I’m about to hit my one year mark since the launch of The Weekend Fox and boy does time fly! The past 12 months have been filled with just about every emotion possible, but the whole point is HOLY COW I MADE IT ONE YEAR! I remember hearing some sly remarks about “most bloggers not making it more than a year”. I don’t know what all those people consider “making it”, but the fact that TWF continues to grow, has become my semi-consistent paycheck, and fulfills so many desires for me, I feel like it is definitely “making it”.
Typically, I don’t blog about blogging, but I think it’s natural to write about what you know. I don’t consider myself an expert at blogging, but I don’t consider myself a total newbie anymore either. Throughout my journey, I’ve had a lot of support and some amazing advice from mentors, friends, and other bloggers. After adding notes to my iPhone all year long, I’ve pulled the best of the best advice from those notes and that’s how this post came to life! Whether you’re a new blogger, experienced blogger, or somewhere in between, I’m sure you’ll get something out of this list.
And hey, check out the highs & lows plus my one year giveaway!
The Best Advice I Received As A New Blogger
Don’t Try to Start Your Blog in “15 Minutes or Less”
Just, no. If you’re serious about starting a blog, take it seriously. It’s going to take time, money, and energy to create something that you’re proud to publish. If you’re brand new to the blogging world, don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are so many people out there that will guide you along the way because they’ve been in your shoes.
I reached out to Rachel with The Confused Millennial after following her on Instagram for a while. I had been dipping my toes in the water, but with her help, I jumped into the blogging world with both feet. It took me 6 months to go from “I want to start a blog” to actually launching TWF with just 4 posts. I might’ve been slower than others, but working a full-time job and trying to learn the ever-changing ropes of the blogging world was super overwhelming for me. I literally started from scratch.
If it had been up to me, I probably would’ve stretched the learning and prepping for another 6 months because that’s safer than launching the blog. But with someone like Rachel there to encourage me, push me, and motivate me, I did it. And I’ll never stop learning. The blogging world changes faster than I can handle sometimes, but it’s part of the job.
So don’t half-ass it. Invest in yourself and your blog.
Use SiteGround as Your Website Host
When I first tried starting a blog all on my own, I signed up with Bluehost. After several suggestions, I jumped ship to SiteGround not really knowing what the difference would be for the blog. Switching to SiteGround was the best thing I could possibly do as a brand new blogger! Not only did they transfer my site for free, they gave me the best support possible. SiteGround guided me through so many “newbie” problems and made me feel confident with features like daily backups and built-in WordPress caching. Their affiliate program is one of the most impressive ones I’ve seen (some bloggers make thousands every month from it) and their hosting price is extremely competitive. I simply can’t imagine using a different website host and know any new blogger will benefit from choosing SiteGround.
Know Your Mission
As humans, we crave purpose in the world. Your blog should have a purpose, too. Whatever inspired you to start a blog will be a part of your mission, but pick it apart and narrow it down as much as possible. You can start with something really broad, like “inspiring others to travel”, but then pull the smallest details and start recognizing the mission that’s hidden underneath that big umbrella. Knowing your mission will keep you on track with your blog, inspire future posts, and tell your audience what to expect from you and your blog.
Personally, I continue to come back to my own mission and adjust it as a grow with my blog.
Nobody Cares About You
Ouch, right? NO. It’s the freaking truth and if ya can’t handle the truth, then don’t start a blog. Part of launching a blog is putting all your vibes and opinions out there for the world to judge. So when Rachel told me “Nobody cares about you. It’s all about what you can do for them,” my entire mindset of a blog shifted. I started to see things as the reader and not as the creator.
Ultimately, when you provide something of value to others while also intertwining your own story, you’ll naturally have people that do start to care about you. These are your loyal fans. Your biggest supporters (ya know, besides your mom) will grow as your blog grows. Just remember you can always provide something for your readers. Don’t get too caught up in your own little world.
Side Note: You’re always going to have the haters that can’t stay away from your blog. Consider that a win because yes, they obviously care about you. And hey, let’s call it a win-win because you got that extra pageview, babe!
Don’t Consume Too Much Content By Other Bloggers
As a blogger, I love supporting other bloggers. I’ve become a huge fan of smaller and bigger blogs, and I know that showing support means everything to them. However, consuming too much content created by other people can distract me from my own mission and my own voice. I notice that I can’t write as freely when I’ve read too many blogs in one day. I start to judge myself or I start to mimic other content that I love. So every now and then I have to check in with myself and make sure I’m staying true to my voice.
Be Consistent & Set Your Own Schedule
This is still a struggle for me, but I know the importance of it. I worked in an office setting for 7 years before I started my blog and every day was very structured. I knew exactly what I should be doing almost every moment of the day, but as my own boss, it wasn’t easy finding the motivation. When I started keeping multiple calendars, I could check things off and at least plan for my success. I still have to feel very inspired to write, so I never force myself to publish something just because it’s on my schedule. However, there’s always something I can be doing to for my blog.
Just because you’re not clocking in and out, doesn’t mean you have to be “on” 24/7. It took me a hot minute to figure this one out. I recently stopped getting work emails sent to my phone, I try not to reply to emails after 4:00pm, and I do my best to stick to a Monday – Friday schedule! The best part? I can adjust my schedule however I want and I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. If I want to drop everything and head to the beach, I do it. Feeling happy is imperative to my blog’s success.
Quality Over Quantity
This is just great life advice. Quality over quantity almost always wins and it’s no different when it comes to blogging. So even though I just mentioned consistency and schedules, I do not post something just because my schedule says I have to [um, okay, sponsored posts don’t count here]. If the content isn’t flowing out of me and I’m not proud of a post, I don’t publish it just because I have it on the calendar.
Shout it From the Rooftop
You’ve probably heard that as a blogger, you’ll be promoting 80% of the time and creating content only 20% of the time. Personally, I think my ratio is closer to 70% promoting and 30% creating, but only because there are more platforms than just the blog! Which is why shouting it from the rooftop is so important. I still feel super insecure at times, but then again, TWF is my baby! I’m so proud of it and the way it continues to grow with me. Nobody will ever care about my blog more than I do, so I’m responsible for being it’s biggest fan and promoting it everywhere I go.
If you don’t talk about your blog and promote your posts, who will even know about them?!
Know Your Worth
Look, I get it. Everyone starts with a day one. I full-heartedly believe that you should work hard to prove your worth, but do not let a brand, business, peer, or anything else tell you that you’re not worth getting paid. Once you get a single payment from a blog post, you’re a paid blogger. Do not accept just product (unless it’s something equivalent in price to your rates and you needed/wanted it anyway). The bloggers that do accept just [cheap] product are hurting the rest of us. I had a brand turn me down when I asked for a $25 payment to make up the difference between my rate and the product’s retail. If a brand doesn’t think I’m worth that extra $25, then I don’t want to work with them. I’m totally worth that $25 and more. Once you know your worth as a blogger, bigger and better things will start showing up in your email. Trust me.As a blogger, cash pays my bills. Just like yours. I'll negotiate just about anything, but don't ever make me feel unworthy of making money.Click To Tweet
Don’t Be Afraid to Hear “No”
Is it too corny for me to say, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”?! Putting yourself out there is scary AF. The time it takes to pull together a pitch or the guts it takes to put yourself out there can make the “no” hurt that much more, but it’s going to happen! At the end of the day, a single “yes” for every 25 “no” is still a success! Shoot for the stars because you never know who might be the one to give you a shot.
Treat it Like a Business
This seems obvious, right? Well, I didn’t treat it like a business for the first several months. I was just treating it like a hobby and it showed. The moment I shifted my mindset and took my blog more seriously, so did other people! Brands started reaching out to me. I would proudly introduce myself as a blogger and I would feel confident in my ability to create things that people love. Treating my blog like a business made the fire burn even brighter.
And with that said, as of this month, The Weekend Fox, LLC is official!
Rely on Your Tribe & Self-Care it Up
Working from home is lonely AF. I don’t even have a dog to keep me company. I remember sitting at the office desk and I would daydream of being able to work from home. The envy was real when I heard of people that got to make their own schedules and work in their sweatpants. And then I made it my reality and I had no freaking clue how to do it. With the help of the blogging community, I slowly started finding what works for me. I’ll always be accepting new blogging friends and I rely a lot on my girlfriends outside of the blogging world to keep me sane. Find your tribe, whether it’s virtual or in real-life, and hold onto them.
Then there’s self-care. Before the blogger life, I didn’t get the whole “self-care” thing. That’s probably because I was naturally doing it with my office job. When I worked in an office, I exercised 5 days a week, had a glass of wine (often), regularly scheduled time with friends, and even got monthly massages! The moment I started working from home, I didn’t make those things a priority. It started to show both physically and mentally. Acknowledging my needs created the balance that I so desperately needed between work and life. There are so many amazing self-care blog posts out there, so save them as soon as you decide to start a blog. You’ll thank me later.Blogging 101: Working from home can get super lonely. Find your blogging tribe & self-care it up.Click To Tweet
My Advice to You:
After being a sponge for the past year and taking in all the advice I could, I came up with a couple things on my own.
Stop Pressuring Yourself to Replace Your Corporate Salary.
This was an epiphany I had maybe just a few weeks ago. For so many months I felt like I needed to hustle hard to make all the money. I had this false belief that my blog wasn’t successful unless I was making exactly what I was making with my office job. It got to be pretty exhausting and flat-out discouraging. When I finally gave myself permission to let my blog grow at a slower pace, it became fun again. My energy and inspiration came flooding back when I accepted that the money I am making is amazing! In fact, August is officially my most profitable month yet! I know it’s going to take time, but I have no doubt that TWF will continue to grow and will one day meet and surpass my old salary. I have the power to do that and if that’s what you want, then you do, too.
But if anyone asks me what I feel is the absolute best advice for a new blogger?
Make Sure YOU Love It.
There are no rules because it’s YOUR business. Don’t try to duplicate someone else’s content or keep up with another blogger. Don’t compare your day 1 (or day 1000) to anyone else’s journey. If you’re doing something you love, it’ll show. If you wake up miserable because you have to blog, don’t freaking do it.
Blogging has fulfilled me in so many ways. I love the constant creative side and I’m learning to love the business side of it all. More than anything, the blogging community is one I’m proud to be a part of on a daily basis. If you’re looking to start a blog, just believe in yourself. And if you’re ever in need of a blogging friend along the way, I’m your girl!