There are a lot of things one must consider before starting a blog. Some are obvious, like the name or theme, but some aren’t so clear. Read on to find out the 5 things you should decide before starting a blog.
I started this blog on a whim – I was newly(ish) pregnant with Ryan and wanted to document my pregnancy and my journey to becoming a mom. On some random day, I started a blog, and the rest was history. (Never mind that I didn’t start posting regularly or taking this blog seriously for almost 1.5 years..) Sure, I’d thought about starting a blog a million times before – I always have been a lover of reading others’ blogs – but I’d never done it until that random day. And for all of the times I had thought about starting a blog, there are five major things I didn’t think hard enough about – so for all of you who may be contemplating starting a blog, here are the 5 things to decide before starting a blog.
5 Things to Decide Before Starting a Blog
- Do you want to reveal your true identity? This is number one because I think it’s definitely something you should think long and hard on. While I LOVE that you all know who I am, where I’m from, etc. etc., keep in mind that being open about who you are means that you’ll a. be searchable and b. people you know “in real life” will probably know you have this space. There have been more than a few times I’ve wanted to write a post about something going on in my life or an opinion or something, but passed because I either didn’t want to offend someone I know or it was about someone I know. Keep this in mind when starting your blog, because even if you just plan on posting recipes/workouts/crafts, you may one day wish to open up about a personal topic.
- How much time are you willing to put into this? Realistically, when will you be able to blog? If it’s an hour or two a night, don’t go into this immediately thinking you’ll post every single day. Blogging isn’t just about writing if you plan on seeing growth rather than hosting a personal online journal. There is so.much. that goes into it, so don’t set yourself up for disaster. Trying to do too much at once when you don’t have the time will make blogging feel like a chore, ensuring that you will want to quit asap.
- What’s your end game? What do you want from your blog? Do you want to share cute pictures and stories about your kids with family? Do you want to supplement your income? Do you want to connect with new people? Do you want a creative outlet? You need to decide your motivation for blogging before you start it. I’m pretty sure that 3/4 of bloggers always talk about how they never even hoped it would get this big! or didn’t go into this thinking I’d ever make a cent! but if we’re being honest, for the most part, I don’t buy it. For me, my blog is first and foremost a creative outlet for me, since being a stay at home mom can be isolating, but I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to make a cent or get any recognition from this blog. I’m human. And that is what pushes me to consistently send out content, to constantly try to improve my writing, content, photos, social media, etc. If you don’t know what you want from your blog, I truly believe that after a while that initial drive that came from doing something new will die off and your blog will either become a huge chore or it will quickly be abandoned.
- What do you think you want to write about? When I started this blog, I wanted to write about being a mom with zero child experience and being active. And I lost my passion for it. And I stepped away. Because I had written it in my bio, I felt I HAD to write about living healthy, working out, etc. But my life was SO MUCH more than that – in fact when I became pregnant a second time working out dropped away. I felt inauthentic writing about topics that I wasn’t 100% passionate about. So I started slowly writing about what I was passionate about, and my blog has finally started to see growth. Think about what you think you want to write about, but give your blog a title that doesn’t pidgeon-hole you there.
- Just do it. Stop researching, stop planning, stop Googling and comparing. Just start your damn blog. Because you’re going to do all of these things regardless of if you start it now or two weeks from now. And the sooner you start it, the sooner you can work out the kinks, build your audience, and get your name out there.
While there are about a billion and 7 things you could think about before starting a blog, these are the big ones I’d really suggest definitively deciding before you do so, because all of them are hurdles you’ll eventually come to on your blogging journey.
So bloggy friends – what are some things you wish you’d thought out a bit better before starting your blog? Any other advice for people looking to start their own? Leave it in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like these posts!
The Importance of Blogging Authentically
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
Such a great post, Morgan! I spent a lot of time going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to start a blog, and even with all that thinking, I still had no idea what I was getting myself into. I think the biggest surprise for me was the TIME — you’re so right that writing the post is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s everything that comes with it that takes up the bulk of my time. Still… wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂
I definitely thought in the beginning that just writing was the hard part – but now that’s he easy part!(usually) It’s definitely a labor of love!
Susie @ SuzLyfe says
Great thoughts and points. Having some idea of what you want to do it so important, but also being open to change–you might change your mind!
Yes! I think that was one of my biggest lessons! we as humans change and our interests change – leaving your blog with no wiggle room is bound to make you resent it as you grow as a person!
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Great checklist! All great things to keep in mind 🙂
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
Love this! Especially number 5! I wasted so much time thinking about blogging and I wish I had just made it! It’s a learn as you go type of a deal I think. I learn so much as I go along, it’s been really great.
Although blogging is time-consuming, I’ve been really happily surprised at what a great little community the blogging world is!
Yes! I actually wasted even MORE time in the space of starting my blog and then not taking it seriously/letting it just sit. Everyday I wonder where my blog would be right now if I’d stuck to it back then!
Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy says
I did kind of jump into mine on a whim, but I had blogged before. Although blogging has changed so much since I first blogged!
I’m still a baby blogger, but I think my #1 tip is to be patient. It takes time to connect with people, time to figure stuff out, time to figure out who is who, and so on and so on.
So just be patient and just do it!
Patience is definitely a virtue in blogging! Blogging cna be SO. MUCH. WORK. and it takes a LONG time to see the results of that sometimes.
Jessie @ The Acquired Sass says
I definitely jumped right in & I’m still sort of figuring out exactly what my voice is & what I want to write about. I feel like a Swiss Army knife more than a total expert on any one subject. So, for right now, I’m writing about what I want to write about & figuring a lot out as I go.
I LOVE that analogy! I have that feeling all of the time – I like to cook, but I don’t feel like I’d be a successful recipe blogger, dig DIY’s, but a craft blog isn’t for me, and I’m definitely far from an “expert” mom. I think writing about what you know, even if it doesn’t fit a specific mold is the best way to at least learn what you DON’T want to write about.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
Just do it — SO true. My mom suggested I start a blog and at first I dismissed it, then once I started really considered doing it, I just went for it. A few days later I started my blog and while it has been a journey of trial and error, I wouldn’t change it one bit. I think if I were to spend months trying to plan everything out and trying to make it “perfect”, I would have lost sight of why I was starting a blog in the first place and probably would have never actually hit publish on my first post.
I think adding how much you want to put into it is huge. Many people don’t realize the time and effort that goes into blogging. It isn’t just the content but everything else too.
Sarah @ BucketListTummy says
These are great tips. I think it’s important to recognize that sometimes our voice and/or passions may change; as you mentioned not wanting to write about being active, etc. It’s a great lesson that you stepped away from that approach and were authentic in developing new content about mommyhood. I gravitate towards blogs that give helpful information, but also reveal the writer a little bit. Otherwise, I’d just read journal studies to get my info.
Kristy @ Southern In Law says
I always tell people wanting to start a blog that you need to start with a reason. Blogs that come about out of passion, love or life stories are usually the ones that are the most successful.
When people ask me what my strategy was when I started the blog, I tell them the same as what it is now; nothing. I never had a strategy – in fact, I never started the blog for “readers”. We started Southern In Law simply to keep our friends and family updated on the visa process and to easily share the recipes we created with them because I got tired of telling the same story over and over again when I picked up the phone – and I’d emailed/scribbled out our recipes so many times I decided it might be better to keep them all in one place.
Even today as the blog has grown unbelievably; I still don’t have a strategy. It grows and changes as we grow and change – we’re just lucky that others want to join us on the journey 😉
Catherine @ foodiecology says
Great post, Morgan! I’m in the process of completely changing my blog (well, in the brainstorming process, at least!). I, too, started mine on a whim because I desperately needed an outlet. I had just delved into cooking and thought “I should start a food blog because it looks easy and fun!”
Yeah right. Flash forward a few years and a pregnancy/birth, and I am boxed in by my blog name and have little desire to write about food. Really wish I’d planned better in the beginning and chosen a generic “lifestyle/anything goes” title!
I’m anxious to make changes (even though I have ZERO knowledge) and switch from free to self hosted and change my entire identity/URL, but dang it would’ve been easier if I’d planned better in the beginning.
I, too, started my blog on a whim a few months ago and I had NO idea what was all involved! You’re right that it’s not just about the posting but all the behind the scenes + marketing that I was clueless about. I think I’m personally motivated by the challenge of seeing what this whole bloggy thing could become. Visiting from Friday Favorites.
The Gifted Gabber says
I think you point out some big thoughts here. When I first started blogging, it was for personal journaling. Later, I decided to take it to a more pro-level. Had I known I would do that from the start, I would have also hidden more identity-revealing things about myself and my family and friends. And, yes, my gosh…if people only knew how MUCH time is actually involved in blogging. Their minds would be blown! — Amy @ http://thegiftedgabber.com/
Gabby @ gogabbith says
I love this for new bloggers! I am definitely still figuring out what I want to write about and what my niche will be but the best thing I did was just start writing! I also never knew how much work it is to run a blog and I don’t even post every day!
I just want to say I love the layout of your blog. 🙂 So easy to read…
As for this post, great questions to ask yourself, and great tips to share. Way more work than I expected but as a new blogger, it is fun.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! It’s actually a template off of Etsy! Blogging is definitely a TON of work, but personally I think it’s kind of a fun work that is like a game ahha
Ginger Wroot says
I totally dig your blog! As to your first point, I decided for my blog to keep my identity secret to the general public but not to my family or a few friends–there are cons to doing so. For instance, there have been times when I wanted to interview certain people I know or review and highlight local places where I live, but it quickly becomes so cumbersome to do so while keeping my real identity secret, so I just don’t. Another problem is that it’s probably more difficult to build a blogger reputation if your personal identity is not published. It can also be cumbersome to screen social media so as to maintain my secret identity.
Oh, thank you so much Ginger! You’re so kind. I can definitely see the cons to being anonymous to those around you. The main reason/way that I “came out” as a blogger to those I know was because I didn’t want to deal with 2 Instagram account! hahah
These are all such great things to think though. I find that many of them–such as how much time will I invest?–are questions that I am continually revisiting. I think blogging is an ongoing process of evaluation. Wishing you an incredible week!
Visiting from #SinckerdoodleSunday
I agree! Blogging can definitely take up a LOT of time if you let it!
Heather @ Simply Save says
Great post! It took me some time to figure all of these out and some evolved over time. I was really private with my name at first but as my blog grew that changed. Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!
I think it’s kind of difficult to separate (in my case with a mom blog, at least) a blog and my identity. I know some bloggers do it so. well. but I agree that as your blog grows, it becomes harder.
Awesome tips, Morgan! Thanks for the post <3
Edye // Gracefulcoffee
I really struggle with your number 1 point. I have the blog, but have not reached out and shared it with friends and family, which is why I haven’t made a facebook page for it. I’d rather share content and get feedback from other bloggers than family and/or friends passing judgments on my blog. I feel that other people that blog get it – the need to have a creative outlet. Great post; connected through #RoundTuit.
It took me a while to actually let the world know about my blog. Eventually I converted my personal Instagram to a blog one so that’s how most people “found out” about my blog, but other than that I have yet to “formally” announce it.
Jacky @ Joyful Savings says
I think for most of us, Time is the hard part… it really takes lots of time and dedication! Thanks for sharing this great article!
JoyfulSavings recently posted: Do not throw away that body lotion tube until you do THIS!
These are great tips Morgan. These are things to keep in mind. Thanks!
I can identify with your list. I started my blog about 6 months ago after thinking about it for quite some time – which is code for years. I finally had to just jump in and do it. The experience has been both challenging and exciting.
As a blogger that’s still figuring it all out even after a year I wish I would’ve known going into it how hard it is to get your voice out there. I had no clue how much time and effort was spent on exposure. Blogging groups, link ups, shares, SEO, etc. It can be overwhelming, but if you aren’t dedicated you shouldn’t start it. It is about your end game and your goals. Blog with purpose not popularity and you will succeed.
Great point should have thought about them before I started but like you I just kind of started and 12 years later I am still blogging !!! Thanks for stopping by Pin Worthy Wednesday Morgan
Lisa @ Fun Money Mom says
These are great tips! I started on a whim too…up late one night shopping online with a glass of wine…why not! I never dreamed that I’d love it so much! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Share The Wealth Sunday!
Thanks for the tips