What I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Blog

Today, just a few years into running The She Approach, I am reminiscing about the journey that got me here. My website is finally live for the world to see and all my cards (or my articles) are out on the table.

It’s been a while since I’ve considered myself a newbie blogger, so in the light of all the things I’ve learned since the launch of my blog, I’ve decided to pass on some nuggets of wisdom for all those of you who are considering starting a blog.

 

💎  RELATED READS:

Here are 7 things I wish I knew before I started my blog. But before I get into it, in the name of full transparency, please note that this post contains affiliate links and any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission (at no extra cost for you). If you choose to purchase anything through my links, thank you for supporting me and my blog. You’re amazing!

 

1. You CAN’T build a website in 10 minutes

Well, you probably can, but not a very good one. After watching all those Youtube tutorials, I was convinced that setting up my actual blog is only going to take an hour, tops! Incorrect. It took me days before my blog was worthy enough to face the public. Maybe I’m just a perfectionist, but I had to test and try out so many themes before I could decide. And the hardest part comes once you try to customize your theme and add some actual content to it.

Some bloggers suggest that you should just not focus much on aspect in the beginning, but I disagree. You want to be proud of what you’re putting out there, and you want to make sure it makes a powerful first impression on people. So dedicate some time and effort into making sure that you create a website that you like!

Read this post to avoid common blogging mistakes most beginners make.

2. You CAN build a website on your own

After I registered my domain I got bombarded with emails and phone calls from web design companies that were offering to build a website for amounts of money I didn’t even have. I got a bit discouraged because I thought if people are willing to pay so much money for it, then it’s not only going to take forever with my limited technological skills, but it’s probably going to take a lot more effort than I initially thought it would and might not even end up very good.
I had to put all of these fears aside and I got inspired by other bloggers that made their own blogs from scratch. Because it is possible. It takes a bit of research (because all the information you need is already out there), some patience and willingness to learn.

Read my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog here <

Fast forward to today, where I’m super proud of my website and I even managed to design my homepage by myself, without the sky falling. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’re going to encounter some tech issues along the way, but they are never as complicated as they first seem.

 

3. You need to invest some money up-front

My blog and I have had a few passing affairs before, but it never lasted. I was never motivated enough to be consistent in what I was doing, so I would get really excited for a month and then forget I had a blog for two.
But the funny thing about spending money is that it makes you accountable for what you do with it after.

So I decided to go pro, self-host my website on Bluehost (which came for a free domain for my first year), and even buy a theme. I was determined to have a professional looking website and turn it into a profitable blog.

And I did! Slowly but surely, I started to earn money back from my blog, not only to cover all my expenses but to surpass all that and make a profit based on the time that I was spending working.

If you still own a free blog, read my post on 7 Reasons To Go Self-Hosted With Your Blog and find out why it’s crucial to invest in your hosting at the very least as a new blogger. And if you’re ready to start this journey for real, you can start a blog for only $2.95 a month here!

But looking back, my blog’s growth wouldn’t have been possible without one of the best purchases I made for my blog and my blogging education: The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit! I bought the bundle in 2016 and the resources in it guided me to find out more about what to write, how to grow my audience, how to promote myself on social media, how to start making money blogging and how to make time to do all that while having a full-time job.

This bundle only comes around once a year, but there are plenty of resources that you could invest in that will skyrocket your income and blogging expertise. So be brave! And bet on yourself for once!

UPDATE: In 2017, my Blog Traffic ebook was actually featured in their bundle, which just goes to show how far you can get in one year if you have some help and some resources guiding you.

 

4. It’s going to take time

I am not a full-time blogger just yet. but it sure feels like that on some days. Blogging takes time. And I mean time besides the actual construction of the blog.

Because if you are not writing a post then you are putting up content on your social media, or you are researching for the article and trying to connect with other bloggers. The point is, there is always something to do. And if you want to put up quality content, then you have to put in the time. Are you ready for that commitment?

Your blog is not going to take off overnight. Some things take time and building a strong foundation is the best thing that you can focus on early on. That is why I wrote an ebook that teaches new and more seasoned bloggers how to put the right strategies into motion so that they can build an enagaged and loyal audience and take their blog to the next level.

 

5. You need to start with at least 5 posts

I spent so much time working on the visual aspect of the blog, that I forgot about the actual articles I had to write and had to resort to reusing some from my old (free) blog. Such a rookie mistake.

My launch date was coming up, and I wanted to stick with it so badly that I launched my blog with only four posts.
So there I was, driving all this traffic to my new blog and creating all this excitement around it that only followed by a high bounce rate (people who simply left the website quickly because there was nothing there for them) and confusion since the posts don’t actually narrate what my blog is about.
So my advice to you is this: If you’re going to put all that effort into making a memorable first impression, don’t overlook the first articles, and have 5 to 10 prewritten blog posts once you announce your website and put it in front of an audience.

 

 

6. You don’t have to have a great camera in order to have a visually stunning website

I wanted my blog to be authentic and have unique content and my own photographs. But not all of us can start with a great camera and expert photographic skills.

You also don’t want to steal photos from just anywhere, since that is a bit immoral and can get you in copyright problems. But what you can do is use the tens of websites out there that specialise in not only selling photos for commercial use but even giving them out for free.

💎  READ MY POST ON HOW TO USE BLOG PHOTOS LEGALLY

So all the photos you see on my website right now, except the one of me obviously, come from such a website. I do not recommend doing this forever since you do want to create unique photos and keep your visitors engaged with unique content, but it’s of great help when you are starting out.

7. No one is going to be more excited about your blog than you (and it’s ok!)

That sounds like a cruel thing to say, but here is what I mean. It’s ok if you are jumping up and down of happiness that you are finally launching your own blog and you’re friends are like “Oh, how great…!”.

I know it can be discouraging, but you should always be the biggest fan of your work because that is the way to get people interested in what you’re doing.
Your friends and family, even if they are your biggest supporters, cannot be more excited about your blog than you are, because they are not the ones creating it. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Believe in yourself first! People will recognize that and they will follow suit.

Ready to get excited? Read my post on How To Start A Blog In Three Easy Steps and get started today!

📌 PIN THIS POST FOR LATER

Interested in starting your own blog? Here are 7 things I learnt from my own experience and 7 things that you need to know before you start a blog! #startablog #bloggingtips Read my blog post to find out more!
Are you thinking about starting your own blog? Here are a few things you should know before you take the first step. For more blogging advice for newbies, check out The She Approach! #bloggingtips #startabog #bloggingtipsforbeginners
Here are 7 things you need to know before you start your own blog! Blogging tips for newbies on how to start a profitable blog, grow your online presence and make money online! #makemoneyonline #makemoneyblogging #startablog

There is obviously much more to blogging and I have a lot to learn myself, but I am excited to test the limits of what I think I can do and share my experiences with you. If you want to receive weekly blogging tips, freebies and expert advice, hop on my email list.

If you are a blogger, I would love to know what piece of information you wish you knew when you before you started your blog. If you are planning to start a blog, and have any questions, please do feel free to ask them in the comment section, as I will be personally reading and replying to all of them.

And if you’re ready to start your own blog (and make it profitable), enroll in my free course today!

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

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Zoom

Great list! As a fellow noobie blogger, I feel you! Number 6 is my favorite, I love using Pixabay for free, legal and beautiful images!

Ana - The She Approach

Thank you so much for reading!
I use Pixabay as well! They have a great selection of photos.
I was thinking of doing a blog post about where you can find copyright free images online. Would you be interested? Not sure if it will be helpful to others.

Thanks again for stopping by. Means a lot! x
Ana

Zoom

I think that would be a really great reference article for us ๐Ÿ™‚

Ana - The She Approach

That’s great to hear!
I’m going to have to do some research first.

Thanks x

Follow My Gut

I love this list because it’s so true and straightforward. My fave is the last one. I totally agree that there will be no one more passionate about your blog than you the creator. I mean, really how could they? They’re not the one spending hours working on it late at night and cultivating great content. They’re the reader which is great to have but you the creator love to see your baby grow. Great post!

Danielle | http://www.FollowMyGut.com <3

Ana - The She Approach

Hi Danielle,

Thank you so much for reading and for that awesome comment! I totally agree. I used to get a bit indignant when people didn’t share the exact same level of enthusiasm but now I totally get it.

P.s. Currently salivating over the amazing pictures on your website! <3

Sabah โ™ก

What a great post! I agree with the points you’ve made. I’ve had my blog running for a few months now but I’m still working on it.

Thanks for sharing!

Sabah || http://www.womanishaffairs.org

Ana - The She Approach

Hi Sabah,
Thanks a lot for stopping by!
I really appreciate it.

Good luck with you your blog. It looks really good.

Stacey White

Great post! Defiantly agree with so many of your points! I’m my biggest critic but I’m also my biggest fan! There is nothing better than capturing photos you love and WRITTING a killer blog post, I always feel so proud after.

Stacey White

http://www.staceylouisewhite.blogspot.co.uk

Ana - The She Approach

Heyy Stacey,

Thanks for stopping by. I agree! But somehow I always find myself going back to old posts and trying to find ways to improve them. ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Stacey White

Also forgot to say, your blog is looking beautiful and your hard work has clearly paid off!

Ana - The She Approach

Thank you so much! There is still tons of work to do!

But I am so inspired by your blog! It has such a clean, yet cozy look. Not to mention the super helpful content.

Guys, seriously, if you’re reading this, go check out her blog.

Beautyqueenuk

I wish I knew all of those before. So many people assume it will be an overnight success and it just isnt x

Ana - The She Approach

That’s true.
Most bloggers quit after 6 months. If you make it longer, chances are you will succeed!
So whatever you do, keep blogging!

Bhawna Varshney

I have a blog where I am very frequent because of my job, my baby’s study and my home. Please look into my blog and suggest the points of improvement. It will be a great help for me.
http://www.kickupstairs.blogspot.in . I am not able to see my alexa rank.

Ana - The She Approach

Hi lovely!
It seems like you’ve been doing some changes to your blog lately.
In terms of improvements, I think a blog logo can make a big difference and make you easier to recognize online.
I would also take advantage of your sidebar space and include a “Popular posts” widget or something to keep your visitors on for longer.
I’m not sure how relevant the Alexa rank is for bloggers, but I would check your Domain Authority instead.
Hope this helps!