Hi Lovelies,

I started this little space of mine back in January, and I have to say that I am in no position to give out any advice on this whole blogging thing. But I can definitely look back on a slightly younger and eager me and think of a few things that I wish I had known back then before I clicked “publish” on my very first blog post. So today, I am sharing 10 things that I wish I knew when I started blogging, hopefully it will help someone out there!

10 Things I wish I knew

1// It takes a lot of work
I figured this much when I first started, and it is still something that I am working on now. Blogging isn’t as simple as it looks. It takes time and dedication. And if you want to get your blog to a certain point, if you have a set goal in mind, you definitely have to put the work in. It can become a full time job in terms of work load, but if you have a passion for it won’t feel like work at all!

2// Be yourself
I definitely started out by comparing myself to other “bigger” bloggers. I think its important to be yourself in the blogging world, that’s what makes you unique, and that is what will capture your readers. It will build a loyal following and give you a better chance of reaching your goals.

3// Talk about the things you love
Passion comes from doing things that you love, if you love blogging you’ll be passionate about it, but the topics you write about will also come off as more passionate if they are topics that you love.

4// Network
This is a tip that I’ve read multiple times from different bloggers. Networking is a huge part of blogging that may not be so obvious to those just starting out. It’s important to make blogger friends, join networks and Facebook groups, and also comment on other bloggers posts. If you are showing love to other bloggers and networking with them, chances are they will return the favor! Look at the world of blogging as a huge community and put yourself out there!

  • This also goes along with social media. Share your blog posts on all of your social networks, connect with other bloggers through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google +, and anything else you use. Make sure you are not just using these networks solely for self promotion, but also to “network” and share posts from other bloggers, and of course just being yourself!

5// Choose a name that you will love
I personally had to change my name earlier on, due to an eagerness to start blogging and not making sure I was happy with the name I originally chose. Really think about the name you choose, and make it something that you will be happy with and excited to share with others. There are many different factors to look at, do you want your name to reflect you, what your blog is about, or be something that is catchy and easy to remember? These are all things that are important, and its up to you if you want a name with all three of these factors or if you want it to focus on the factor that is most important to you. Just make sure you love it and you are happy with it.

6// Get inspiration from other Bloggers
This goes along with networking. I love reading other blogs and seeing how other bloggers do it! It gives me ideas, it gets my “wheels turning”, and it gets me excited to try new things on my blog. It keeps me passionate about what I do because I enjoy seeing how so many others do it!

7// Stick to a Schedule
When I first started blogging I tried to blog every day. Which a lot of blogger do, and it works great. However, for me I felt that I was losing out on quality in my posts because I was trying to stick to this. If you don’t blog every day, be consistent with your posts by sticking to a set schedule. This is something I still personally need to work on amd figure out, but that might have been easier if I started focusing on that earlier on.

8// Image and Branding are everything
Personally, when I visit a blog I take in the overall look and branding of the blog before even reading any content, and this sometimes affects how long I stay on the blog. And I do think that on average this is the same for most readers. Having great branding and a great layout will increase the time spent on your blog, and possibly the number of loyal readers your blog has.

  • Also I would like to add that having great photography on your blog is important. This is another thing that I wish I knew earlier on, because it is something that I am trying to work on now, and I have noticed a significant increase in views on posts with “pinnable” pictures than posts without. Pinterest is a great was to drive traffic! So get out that camera and start snapping some awesome pictures for your blog!

9// Experiment and try new things
After looking at other bloggers for inspiration, and trying to think about the types of things to post about, you should then experiment with different types of blog posts and topics, and see what you enjoy talking about. This can help with finding out what you want to focus on in you blog posts, and give you a “niche” if you will. It’s a great way to find out what works for you so that you can put out quality content for your readers.

10// Have Fun!
This is pretty self explanatory, enjoy your blog and the community you are now a part of! So many great things can come from it, and great relationships can be built.

I hope these 10 things help someone out there. Blogging to me is so much fun and an experience that allows me to keep learning.  I’m so happy that I decided to start doing this, and every day is a new lesson to be learned! Comment below with any tips you have for new bloggers, or link up HERE for Blogtober14 and share your own post!

Desiree

  • This is such a great post! I totally feel you on networking. I didn’t think that was a thing in blogland… but it is, and it’s super helpful! I”m really bad at twitter… but when I try it helps my blog so much, and I can connect with other bloggers.

    xo,
    Zoe | La Vie en Zoe

    • I love twitter! It really is a great way to connect with other bloggers, share posts, and do some serious networking! =]

      Thanks for stopping by Zoe!

  • This is SUCH a great list! Especially the part about being yourself, and having fun! It took me FOREVER to figure out that I had to stop trying to sound smart, and just let the words come.
    Whenever I would write emails to people they would tell me I’m funny and I should write a book. Then for some reason when I started blogging, I kept feeling like I had to sound more intelligent, did I word that correctly? And so on. My posts were BORING because I was too worried about that. Once I decided to loosen up, and just do it for fun, it started BEING fun again!
    Great list, totally sharing!

    • Thanks Joy!!
      That is so true, I think I experienced something very similar early on, I just wrote posts in ways that didn’t even sound like me, and I think it took me getting comfortable with blogging and creating posts that finally got me out of that shell!!

  • Be yourself and network – nuggets of wisdom there!

    LOVE your blog, btw! 🙂 Happy Monday!

    • Thank you Diana!! Happy Monday to you, have a great week!!

  • I loved this, it’s so true that if you don’t have good images you won’t get people to stay on your blog! I did a similar post for my #BlogIsLife series, you should check it out!

    XO Corbin Tate
    Classy South Blog

    • I definitely will!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Great advice here. In four years I’ve changed my Blog name a couple times. Thankfully my url is my name. I’m not entirely in love with the blog name I have now so I’m branding KenyaGJohnson.com and using it as my logo. My tagline is and has always been some variation of “a storytelling publication.”

    • I’m in the same boat as you, my blog domain is my name, so I’ve decided to just stick with it, but I can’t say I love it at this point! But its something that I think works for me and the diversity of my blog. I talk about so many different things!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by Kenya! =]

  • Aww I love this post! Networking is definitely a key component in the blogging biz. Twitter helps SO much! I’ve definitely been trying to stick to a schedule in terms of blogging so i get just the right amount of content out. Great post + lovely layout too!

    xo, Dezzie |
    dezziedarling.com

    • Thank you Dezzie!

      I am still trying to find the right schedule to stick to, but I have noticed a difference when I have some type of consistency! =]

  • I think getting inspiration from other bloggers & making friends has been a great + point, when i became a blogger. I love how motivated i get to blog, when i chat with some of the creative ones on Twitter & get a newsletter from one of them.
    Great list Desiree.
    xo,
    Luchessa @ http://luchessa.org/

    • I completely agree! It gets me so excited to start brainstorming different ideas!

      Thanks so much for stopping by Luchessa!! =]

  • I’m also a huge fan of a properly branded site. If I visit a blog that is chock full of ads and banners and popups coming at me from every direction, I wont stay very long. It’s just not worth having to click through all the BS to get to the content (even if it is the most amazing post ever written).

    Also, I really regret my blog name. Once my domain expires I plan on changing it, which really sucks because I have already built a brand around it. Maybe if everything keeps going up (like it is right now), I won’t change it just for simplicity’s sake. But my name is long and it is hard to explain what it means every. single. time. someone asks me about it. It’s annoying.

    • I hear you, I can definitely see how people might ask about your blog name! Do you have any idea what you might change it to? I think my blog name is “ok” its my name, my blog is about me, so it works lol, I just always thought it would be cool to have something a little more catchy and clever! But I feel the same about changing it as you do! Ive done so much branding behind it already, and throughout social media, it would be crazy to change it now!

      • I really don’t know what I would call my blog if I renamed it… But honestly, I love your blog name! It suits you perfectly. And every time I read one of your posts, I feel like I’m reading a letter from a friend signed, “Love, Desiree” I love it! That’s what I think of when I think of your blog. I think it is perfect.

        • Megan! I really appreciate you saying that! That’s exactly what I had in mind when I chose that name, so it makes me happy to know that it does come off like that! Thank you! And I do just want to say that even if people don’t always understand your name it is very memorable! From the first time I visited your blog I remembered what it was called! =]

  • So true! I just hit my one year mark of blogging and I know just what you mean. It is a lot of work, but I’ve met such great people (other bloggers and fans), it’s all worth it!

    • Congrats on one year!! And I agree it really is worth all of the work that goes into it! =]

      Thanks for commenting Amanda!

  • I had no idea how much work blogging can be before I started! What’s great about blogging is the more you do it the better it gets. Your writing, photography and networking all improves with lots of practice. It is definitely a learning process. I wish I had read more post like this before I started my blog. Great list for beginners.

    • I completely agree Sarah. Its such a fun journey to go on, and you learn so much through out it. I feel like I learn something new every day as a blogger!

  • A great list, your #1 is the thing I tell everyone. I tease & say this is the hardest work you will ever do for a little money. You need to be passionate about it or you won’t stay committed….or maybe as bloggers we need to be committed lol to the asylum! Great list & I agree with every single point.

    • Thanks Kellie!
      Passion is so important when it comes to blogging, there is so much that goes into it, if you don’t have the passion, you probably won’t think its worth it!

  • Perfect list! PERFECT. And so true. You really can’t fake it till you make it, readers smell that a mile away. The more true to yourself you are, the more believable your material is.

    • Exactly!! I feel like once I started being myself, THATS when I started getting more reader engagement on my posts. Being yourself makes you mare relatable and it makes people want to come back and see what else you have to say!

      Thanks for the comment Beth!! =]

  • Picking the right name is so crucial! It’s such a pain to change later on.

  • This was a great post! I love each of your tips, you may have just started this year but you have definitely learned a lot! Thanks for sharing, they were great reminders for me! 🙂

  • I love these tips! I really need to work on the networking and schedule-posting!

  • All so true. Networking with other bloggers really works wonders. And it’s especially great when you find yourself turning bloggy friends into real-world acquaintances! Transcending the virtual world makes it all the more worthwhile and fun.

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

  • Great list. 🙂 I shared on Twitter.

  • I love be yourself! That is so true. I am having trouble sticking to a schedule, but am working on it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Great tips here, I def need to step up the quality of the photography I use… Glad to connect through the across the pond blog hop! 🙂

  • great tips, I am still working on my consistency on posting…having a toddler running and screaming gets a tad bit difficult at times, but I know the longer my blog is in my life the easier it will be to make time for it. 😀

  • I totally agree with you about networking and design. I’m one of those people, the ones who judge blogs based on their design. It doesn’t have to be fantastic (though I’m prone to really love it if it is), but if it looks like it’s a leftover from the 90’s you’re going to need some wicked awesome content to keep me there.

    As far as networking goes, it can be hard at times, but it’s really rewarding, you never know what awesome people/blogs you will come across!

  • I know I commented on this before, but I just wanted to say thanks for linking up at Come Along Ponds!!!