There are many reasons why people start blogging. Maybe they want to write to impart information or to promote their company, maybe they want to write as a way of helping people, or as a catharsis. There are many reasons why people start a blog and for most of us, it is a learning process. We learn along the way to improve our writing, our photos, and our social media. This is a post about five things I wish I had known before I started blogging.

Writing more frequently isn’t always the answer

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Write about your passions, write about what interests you, write what you think your audience will want to read but don’t write for the sake of it. I think sometimes if you write for the sake of it, your quality will suffer. Writing for the sake of it can be a little self-indulgent. How often have you read a post and thought, get to the point? Yes, detail is important but so is self-editing.

Of course, it’s your blog and if you want to write every day then do it but I have found that rather than writing more I find my time is better spent promoting my posts. This brings an increase in pageviews and potentially new readers and followers. Which brings me onto the next point…

How social media is so important

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Social media is so important. Why? You can write the best post in the world but if no one sees it then what is the point. All bloggers want to be read as you are publishing your content for the world to see. If you didn’t want your content to be read then you would write it in a diary or notebook.

If you are just starting out, set up your social media accounts, build your following and engage with them. Share your posts on social media, and interact with brands that you love. This will increase your views and build connections with your followers and potential collaborators. Social media scheduling software such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Tailwind can be useful to help you manage your time and get your blog out there.

How you are your brand

The most important thing other than content is you. You are your brand so be consistent, talk in a similar tone throughout your blog and on social media. If you are looking to monetize your blog in the future it’s essential to be professional at all times.

If you are just starting out, pick a blog name carefully – one that is memorable, not too long and reflects what you will write about. I choose my blog name The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover as I owned a jewellery shop at the time and my blog was built to promote that. It also reflects my love of luxury. If I had to start again I would choose a shorter name.

Look at branding your blog and social media with a header and logo. If you haven’t got design skills think about using sites such as People Per Hour and Fiverr to outsource these skills.

How you need to invest to accumulate

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Setting up and running a blog takes time, effort and money. If you invest time and effort in writing regular content that people will find useful and interesting and then your readership will grow. If you invest time in social media and engage with your audience then your views will increase. If you invest time connecting with other bloggers, making friendships and finding your tribe then they will support you, often commenting and sharing your posts. If you invest time in engaging with brands then you can build relationships and opportunities.

If you invest money in your blog, outsourcing skills you do not have such as photography, logo or business card design then it can make your blog look more professional. If you are looking to improve your skills and make connections with brands and other bloggers consider attending a blogging event such as Traverse for travel bloggers, or Britmums Live for parent bloggers. For the price of a ticket you will learn a lot whilst making those valuable connections and having a fun day out.

That you can make money from it

Blogging is a viable career in the 21st century. Bloggers make income from sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, advertising, social media promotions, ghostwriting and much more. When I started out five years ago not as many people were making an income from blogging as they do now. I didn’t really think about making money at the beginning but if I had it would have saved me making mistakes in the long run.

If you start a blog, it’s always worth thinking of the possibility that it could earn you money in the future. This doesn’t come overnight so be prepared, have a stable income coming in initially alongside running your blog and you could be one of those bloggers. I now make a full-time income from blogging and it’s the best thing I have ever done.

So these are five things I wish I had known before I started my blog. What do you wish you had known?

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