I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to write a post than I am for this one. There are A LOT of things that go on behind the scenes to start a blog and keep it running successfully that no one ever talks about.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE blogging and I am so glad I decided to pursue it; I wouldn’t change that decision for the world. However, I wish I knew somebody who could have told me all the things I’m going to share with you before I got started. Not to deter me from starting, but to let me know what I was in for. 😉
If you are on the fence about starting a blog because you’re just not sure what it actually entails, then this post is for you!
The reasons I want to share the “behind the scenes” aren’t so you feel sorry for me or praise me for all my hard work. Nope, definitely not.
I wanted to write this post so you could see that I am human.
I am real person, with real struggles and this is just as hard and equally rewarding for me as it would be for you. Which means you too can launch and run a successful blog. I am just like you – there are many days, and even many times in any given day where I feel unmotivated, overwhelmed and a little bit crazy…
I love to share positive, uplifting messages with you not because that’s the way I naturally am, quite the contrary. I share these with you because they are what I need most.
They are what make me feel like my blogging is making a difference. If I shared with you how I actually felt each day without some sort of action steps, well… you and I would both be miserable and I don’t think many people would enjoy my blog. I don’t think I would enjoy writing it either.
But that’s enough for the intro, let’s get to the post. I really hope you enjoy this post and it puts things into perspective for you. Please, please feel free to reach out if you have questions. <3
What It’s Really Like to Run A Blog – Behind The Scenes of Blogging After 1 Year
Get ready to learn a lot of tech stuff
Before I launched my blog I knew nothing about websites, graphic design, photography, writing, SEO, marketing, pitching, etc.
Needless to say, I spent a lot of hours (like at least 50 hours…maybe more) on Youtube learning how to do stuff (thank god for Youtube!). I really didn’t enjoy much of it either, and while some of it has grown on me, some things I still really dislike (like formatting and coding, barf). But these things were all necessary in order to start.
What I’m trying to get at is that you don’t need to be into computers to start a blog (although it helps). If you have a techy friend definitely tap into that resource, it will save you so much time! But if you don’t, Youtube is a great free resource.
If I can do it, you can do it.
Be prepared to spend a lot of your free time creating content, taking photos or videos (or both), editing and being on social media
AKA – you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting. 😉
Before you decide to start a blog, make sure it’s something you’re really passionate about, because you will literally be spending all of your free time talking about it, writing about it, photographing it and sharing it (at least in the first few months).
That means you will be giving up some of those weeknight and weekend Netflix sessions or some wine-time with friends. :\ You don’t have to give everything up, but there will need to be some sacrifices. And once you get the hang of things, you’ll have a schedule and you’ll be able to pick and choose your activities based on your priorities of both your blog and your personal life (which can be a very tricky balance when you are working full-time at your day job!).
The social media aspect has to be one of the hardest. You need to stay on top of it or your brand won’t be seen. Social media is one of the best ways to get traffic to your blog or website, but tends to be the most time consuming. You need to put in much more effort than you expect to get out, and you need to do it consistently. Over time this will pay off, but at the beginning this one will definitely require the most dedication.
You think you have to do it all at once, but you don’t… and you can’t
When I first started my blog I looked at all of these other blogs and thought that I needed my blog to look exactly like theirs and needed to be doing exactly what they were doing in order to be successful.
Well newsflash, those blogs took years and years of hard work and development to get where they are today and if you think you can somehow bypass all that time and skip to a perfect, presentable blog then you’re as crazy as I was haha.
The truth is, you need to start small and layer on. If you try to do it all at once you’ll burn out. It’s like any new job – you don’t get thrown into every responsibility on your first day. You start with the small stuff and then once you’ve mastered that, you add on.
This is still a work in progress for me, but recognizing that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither can your blog is reassuring.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Putting yourself out there, being goofy, saying yes to things you normally would have said no to are all things you you’re going to want to get used to.
Yup, once you’re out there, you’re out there. And the quickest way to grow is to start doing things outside your comfort zone.
You get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing
This is a terrible place. You are constantly looking at what others are doing and comparing yourself to them and it becomes this constant struggle of never feeling like you’re doing enough.
You start to disregard your accomplishments and focus only on what you’re NOT doing and it becomes very stressful and overwhelming.
It’s hard to see what outsiders see when you are always using the person 2 steps ahead of you as a benchmark (p.s. this applies in real life too, not just blogging world – although it’s sometimes easier to see online).
You learn to be way more generous
You end up giving a lot of your time, knowledge and support for free. Which is a great lesson that I think everyone should learn at some point. Because what you end up giving away in good spirit, will always come back to you in some way.
Not to mention it always feels great when you can help someone out with no strings attached. 🙂
You get to meet some pretty amazing people
I can’t even tell you how many amazing people I have met and made connections with both online and in person because of my blog. There are so many beautiful people out there doing just unreal things that I’ve been able to interact with through my platform.
These connections make all the difference when you find people to relate to, look up to and support you on your journey, where ever you are, and they just get it.
These relationships can also turn into partnerships that can help sky-rocket both your brand and personal success!
The opportunities that come from having a blog have been endless and I am forever grateful for them
Ever since starting my blog, I feel like it’s just been one door after another opening for me. I’ve met countless people I don’t think I would have met otherwise that have lead me to more opportunities than I can count (the hard part is sometimes having to say no!).
I feel so honoured to have had the opportunity to work with brands and local businesses, something that I only dreamed about a year ago!
It takes A LOT of hard work and A LOT of patience
Be prepared for everything to take twice as long as you expect it to.
I had dreams that my blog would take off and be a hit from day 1, but guess what? It didn’t. haha. Every blog post I wrote I thought “OK this is it, this is going to be the one that goes viral!” and ya, as you can imagine, things didn’t pan out that way.
But I think knowing ahead of time that you’re in for the long haul and that this has to be marathon, not a sprint, in order for it to be successful is super valuable information.
Just keep going, work your butt off (but know when to take breaks ;)) and you will be successful. It’s inevitable.
It’s worth it and you can do it
Alas, the part you’ve been waiting for. Blogging is something quite amazing. Even if you don’t want to blog, but have started your own business or brand whether online or offline, it’s nothing short of miraculous what it can do for you.
I had no idea where my blog would take me, I just knew it was calling me and I had to do it (that little voice inside of me wouldn’t shut up haha).
It was the scariest thing I think I’ve ever done, yet it’s been the most rewarding.
So if you’ve been hearing that little voice inside your head yelling at you to start something, whether it be a blog, a business or an idea, I say follow your heart and your passion and just DO IT.
It’s going to be hard work, but I’d rather hard work over regret any day.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post and please make sure to share it with a friend that you know would love it 🙂
And please feel free to comment and share your struggles, your most rewarding moments and/or your brand/business ideas. I’d love to hear!
Until next time,