I didn’t consider myself a ‘blogger’ until 2011. Even though I started my business in 2008.
The reason is that I started Modern Mama as an events business, not a blog. I used the site to promote our events primarily. Sometime in the first year though, I started reviewing baby products and recommending baby gear on the website too, so I guess it was a blog right from the start.
In 2011 is when I started getting opportunities to blog and promote for actual dollar payment (rather than just reviewing product) and also got a few sponsored press trips offered to me and attended my first blogging conference, the biggest one there is, BlogHer.
So, here are a list of things myself and some of my blogging friends indicate they wish they had known about blogging. These guys and gals are all seasoned, profitable blog owners, so listen up, they really know their stuff!
Start on Self-Hosted WordPress
- mentioned by Casey Palmer, Lindsay Gaillimore-O’Breham (Maman Loups Den), Kerrie Mendoza (Family, Food & Travel), and others!
Starting on a free platform when you’re intentionally blogging to ultimately earn revenue from your blog means you’ll eventually have to do an export from your free platform when you do want to take it seriously and post sponsored content. So, my advice (and everyone else’s mentioned above) is to START where you want to be, on a self-hosted domain with a wordpress.org theme.
Know Your Name Everywhere
When you buy your domain name and name your blog, do your research. Check around the web for weird websites named something similar, make sure your desired blog name is available on all social media channels, and decide if you’d like to just stick with your given name.
Get To Know Photography
Love it or hate it, good photos are a big, giant, part of blogging. Take an online course or two, even if you’re just using your smart phone for photography, to improve your photography skills for every single post you write.
“It’s Just A lot of Free Stuff”
Every single thing bloggers receive because they are a blogger comes with expectations. A brand or business who provides a blogger with a product or service is generally doing so with an expectation of coverage in return. Ideally, those expectations are all outlined ahead of time. I’ve regularly receive packages of products I didn’t agree to ahead of time and they all arrive with the hope that I will write or post and promote them.
Even press trips, as exciting as they seem, are hard work. There are expectations of photography, social coverage, long written posts and ongoing promotion of that post via social media. We are usually trying to fit in regular work along with long scheduled days with a group of bloggers we don’t know and/or working into the night after everyone else in the family (if you’re lucky enough to have your family with you) has been to bed so that you can meet a deadline.
Plus, products don’t pay the bills.
It Can Take Years To Earn Any Money
And it typically does. As is normal with many businesses, it can take years to establish a readership and audience large enough to garner payment for posts or other social promotions.
It’s Not All About The Writing
Writing is just one piece of the puzzle in a profitable blog. Yes, you need to have good content, but you also need to know how to promote your content and get it out there. Paula from Thrifty Mom Media says “It’s [writing] only a small part of what we do.”
One of the reasons I created the Modern Mama City Blogger Program is to get you blogging faster. You can sign up this week and have your program completed and start blogging within a couple of weeks, with a lot fewer hours spent researching and figuring things out on your own.