Top 10 tips for new bloggers

What they didn’t tell you before starting a blog

Start a blog, they said. It will be fun, they said. You can start it in 10 minutes, and keep it up during nap times. I wish. There are so many tips for new bloggers out there, here is my take on what I have learned along the way.
Truth is, learning any new skill is hard; and the same can be said for blogging. While it might not be rocket science, for this Gen X-er mom learning to create a website was about just as hard. I learned a lot in my first year of blogging, and I am hoping to share my top 10 tips to help you if you are thinking of starting a blog too.

10 tips I learned in my first year of blogging

  1. working from home is not all it’s cracked up to be. You need to schedule your hours just like a job. and you should batch your tasks. From time management to workflows, I talk all about what I learned working from home here.
  2. you can’t just squeeze it in between nap time. Making money takes work, and side hustles require hustle! However, according to this article from Fast Company, you don’t have to resort to getting up crazy early to pursue your side hustle. Find the wasted pockets of time in your schedule, and use them to your advantage. Know exactly what you are going to do before you sit down to work, I learned this from my mentor Jen Snyder at Women Winning Online. If you sit down at your laptop without a super specific to do list, you will spend all your work time on social media instead.
  3. not all hosting companies are created equal. When I first started researching how to start a blog, it seemed like everybody was recommending Bluehost. So I went with them, they must be the best right, because everybody was suggesting them? Not so much, turns out they simply offer an amazing commission plan. Luckily, I didn’t have as bad of an experience as some people I read about and have talked to in blogger Facebook groups. But still as soon as I could I decided to switch to a new company. Deciding who you are going to go with is an important decision. As I did my research about who to go with, I came down to two options: Siteground and Lyrical Host. In the end I went with Lyrical Host for a few reasons, the biggest was the community inside their Facebook group is so invaluable for my many questions. They also have a monthly payment option so you don’t have to come up with hundreds of dollars before you have even started.
  4. you don’t need to do this on your own, and you shouldn’t. What are your strengths? what are your weaknesses? My biggest weakness is the technology component, so I found a course that stepped me through the whole process. Suzi Whitford’s course Start a Mom Blog was my saving grace as I was first getting started. The free videos on YouTube were only getting me so far. And so I decided to invest in myself and my education. This was the first course I bought and it was also the best thing I have done for my business.
  5. organization is key and one of my hardest soft skill sets to master. It’s so easy to get distracted by your own own home – laundry is always calling – and so is your 3 year old! Work hard to keep distractions down. This will be a continual lesson that will need to be addressed daily – at least for me it is! Every day or week something else will try to vie for our attention, don’t let it, stay focused. Trello has been the best thing for me in managing the many tasks we need to juggle when running an online business. The best part about it is that it’s free to use!
  6. weekly planning is paramount, my Sunday session is a non-negotiable. I look at the kid’s activities for the coming week and map out the week in my calendar. Then I use this information to plan our meals accordingly. If I can keep on top of our schedules and meals, the rest seems to work itself out.  I have routines that I follow around my home, thanks for Flylady so I never get too far behind or fall into chaos.
  7. Working towards your own passion project will light your fire in a way your job never will. I don’t dread Monday morning anymore! As someone who spent her entire 20’s searching for the perfect career that would make me want to get up in the morning and head to work, I found myself extremely disappointed that I never could seem to find anything. However, since starting my side hustle I actually enjoy getting up early before anyone else in the house to have some quiet focused time to work on my own project first. If you are looking for something that will light your fire, I suggest you start researching your own passion project.
  8. The blogging community will become like a sisterhood to you. I never had a sister, but this is what I imagine it would look like. A sister is the person you go to when you need a shoulder to cry on, and also the person you go to when you want a high five and encouragement. The blogging Facebook groups I am in are so supportive and amazing and have provided me with that much needed support on the days that working from home gets lonely. For me, the group that I am most active in is run by my blogging mentor Jen Snyder. You can check out one of her freebies here about where to start making money online when you have no idea where to start!
  9. School is never out for the pro. You will constantly be learning new things and pushing your own abilities in understanding (things like SEO!).  But it’s not like being back in school, and you get paid to pass notes to your girlfriends! I love learning something new every day, except when that something new has to do with technology! LOL!
  10. It will consume all your thoughts! When you are in the shower, when you are supposed to be sleeping, all you will think about is your blog. When your kids are in swimming lessons, instead of mindlessly scrolling Pinterest, you will be frantically pinning your own pins because its the first time all day you have 5 minutes without them hanging all over you.
Speaking of which, come join me over on Pinterest! I am always sharing fun recipes and other great mommy hacks as I come across them!
Hopefully my tips for new bloggers can help you in your attempt to navigate the world of online business. There have been so many ups and downs this past year as I have been in the trenches learning about running an online business. Like one of my favorite mommy bloggers, Carly, says if you haven’t spent an evening crying into your glass of wine you haven’t made it as a blogger yet. And trust me, I have had many many glasses of red after a long evening of trying to figure out why my theme won’t let me change the font of my posts. #facepalm #cheers