Making the decision to start a blog is truly such an exciting moment - you've probably had ideas swirling around in your head for months and finally committed to taking that step into the blog world. It's one of those times where you feel like you're just diving in head first and while it's incredibly exciting, it can also be totally overwhelming.
As I reflect back on the beginnings of Pretty & Fun (which turns three next week!) and my own "here goes nothing" moment where I sat down at my laptop and drafted up my very first post, I wanted to pull together a few pieces of advice for new bloggers that I wish I had myself when I jumped into the blog world.
Some thoughts on getting started with blogging:
- Start with at least a rough plan: Don't at all feel like you have to have everything planned out when starting but you should at least have a rough plan. Think through some potential post topic categories, your posting cadence, your specific angle. Starting with at least some consistency and focus will help a lot and save you some of the inevitable growing pains possible during the initial time around your launch. Write your plan down. Bounce ideas off people. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask for feedback!
- Get your elevator pitch down: As you're thinking through bigger picture things, don't forget to think simply - what one sentence would you use to describe your blog and what you blog about? Having a simple elevator pitch down will help boost your confidence in your blog. Sometimes you've just gotta fake it til you make it and being able to concisely describe your purpose will go a long way!
- Think inspiration, not imitation: I think one of the biggest challenges that new bloggers face today is how saturated the blog world is and how easy it is to be totally overwhelmed by inspiration. Between Pinterest and other blogs, it's easy to mistake imitation for inspiration. Don't try and replicate the success of other bloggers or simply recreate content that's already out there. Take a moment and decide on your unique spin or angle.
- Focus on your content and the numbers will come: Just do your own thing for awhile and I promise you, the traction and traffic will come. Don't get caught up in your page views or number of Twitter followers - instead just build the foundation of your blog through consistent, quality content. There is no magic secret to success or growth in the blog world; most successful bloggers will admit that there was a period of time where their readership was very low and it wasn't at all a revenue-generating thing for them. Blog out of passion, not with money or success in mind.
- Be real: With that saturation of the blog world also comes an increased importance on being real. Let your actual voice and point of view come through in all of your posts. Don't be too stuffy. Go beyond just sharing products or outfits or recipes and offer your readers small glimpses into your everyday and who you are when you step away from the computer. You are what will keep readers coming back. You are what will help set your blog apart. Don't be afraid of being real!
Helping other bloggers and soon-to-be bloggers is one of my absolute favorite things about this little blog community - I always do my best to respond to all questions whether they be here in the comments, on Twitter or via email. If there's anything you need, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'm the first to admit that I am by no means the most qualified expert here but I'm always happy to chat a bit about my experience and perspective on things and the little lessons I've learned along the way.
What advice did you wish you had when you first started blogging? What have the biggest learnings been for you along the way? If you don't already have a blog, is it something you're considering? Do you have any questions?