My Diary

5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Blogging

I had a bit of a wobble with blogging this week and wanted to pack it all in. This post has been in my notes for a while so I thought it was the perfect time to post it. Here’s what I wish I’d known at the start.

I only started blogging because quite frankly, I’m lazy. My Instagram page had amounted a few thousand followers and I was bored of repeatedly writing the same recipes.

My idea was to be able to direct people straight to my blog when they asked for something. It was also the place I could write about anything else I wanted too. I had always wanted my Instagram page to be more than food. They were the posts that got me the best reactions though so I stuck with it.

Anyway, I digress. My blog was initially named After Baby as that was my Insta handle but after a year of blogging and 2 years on Instagram I decided I wanted a rebrand. My baby was now a toddler and I wanted to try and move away from what I had solely been doing, I needed a new name!

5 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Blogging

I went self-hosted and changed my name on everything to Carly Bloggs just 5 months ago.

A lot has changed in the 18 months that I’ve been blogging and I’ve learnt even more in the last 5! So I thought I would share a few tips on the things I know now. These are the things I wish I’d known in the beginning….

1) Go self-hosting as early on as possible.

I wish I hadn’t of left it so long mainly because of the DA score. My DA (Domain Authority) would be so much higher now if I’d been self-hosted from the start. It takes time and work to build it and even though I work a lot harder to raise the score now I wish I’d done it from the beginning. Working with brands can depend quite a lot on this score. Many of them will be looking for a score of at least 25.

2) Join Twitter.

I made a Twitter account to go alongside my blog but it was the last platform I joined and what a mistake that was! The blogging community on Twitter is amazing! I find it’s an essential tool to boost your blog traffic. Everyone is super supportive and there are so many Retweet accounts that are literally there to help promote you. I feel like I have built some really good friendships through Twitter and it’s so nice to have a boost from the blogging community when you’re feeling a little lost.

Joining Twitter is one thing I wish I'd known when I started blogging

3) You don’t have to have a niche.

I had tried to stick to just recipes and beauty to begin with but I soon found myself wanting to write about anything and everything. A Diary section was added to my blog initially but I didn’t really use it. It’s now one of my most used categories.
I haven’t found that any particular category does better than another though so I’ll happily just carry on posting about whatever I fancy whenever I fancy. I also plan on using the section about the kids a little more….

4) Coming up with content can be hard.

If you commit to posting a certain number of times a week then you can run out of ideas. Also, with a job and a family I find it hard to find the time to write. Blog posts get started when an idea comes to me but then I have to go and do something so it gets forgotten about and I can’t always get back in to a writing rhythm. Writer’s block is also a nightmare! Just before I started on this post, I looked back at an old one that has been in my drafts for 2 months. It was awful! I know I was struggling to write at that time but today I’ve managed to smash out something 100x better about the same subject!

5) Blogging is time consuming.

To keep your blog and social media alive and kicking takes a lot of work. You can’t just publish a post and expect people to read it, you have to promote it! I have Instagram, my blog, twitter, a Facebook page and Pinterest that all have to be kept updated and kept active. Algorithms are a bloggers nightmare and you have to keep up constant interaction in order to just get seen. Scheduling apps do come in handy at times. If I have a busy day ahead then I will always try to schedule things for Twitter and Facebook. There’s also the writing of posts, photography, SEO optimization…. The list goes on. It’s really not as easy as people think.

Things I wish I'd know when I started blogging

I hope this helps anyone who is considering starting a blog. I wish I’d know these things when I started but it’s too late now. It’s great fun and really rewarding but be prepared to spend every waking, and sleeping, moment doing something related to it. Yes, I do actually dream about blogging!
It’s worth the time and effort though, I really do enjoy it. Even though it’s basically another job.

5 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Blogging

26 Comments

    • Carly Bloggs

      It really is! A full time one! I’d love it to be my actual job but it’s just not viable at the moment. I hope it works out for you x

  • Christie

    Thank you!!!!

    I am so over everyone drilling me about having a specific niche and never navigating away from it, I have a lot of things to say about a lot of issues! Lol

    I’ve got no idea how to go self hosted but keep getting told to do that’s next on the list and trying to figure out twitter and Pinterest as we speak.

    This was a truly refreshing and honest post xx

    • Carly Bloggs

      I’m the same! I like the flexibility of having lots of things to write about. Going self-hosted isn’t as hard as it seems, just as long as you find a good host xx

  • Kim

    Great post Carly. Blogging is definitely time consuming and I find that any time I’m not at my 9-5 I’m working on my blog in some way, writing content, taking photos, scheduling posts etc.

  • Shan

    I think we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have wobbles. I had a major meltdown last week and didn’t blog for a few days because I was feeling so genuinely crappy. I love you. Your ardent readers wouldn’t be without you and the fact that you still have readers is testament – it’s honestly not that bad. Don’t give up because you’re brill x love ya mumma!

    • Carly Bloggs

      Aw thank you!! I love you too and my DM’s are always open if you need a rant or just some love. Everyone has been so lovely about my little blip and I absolutely adore everyone that reads my ramblings. Thank you for your support, it really means a lot xxx

  • Joan Senio

    Yes, to all of the above – especially the one about blogging being time-consuming! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started. Although it’s a lot of hard work, I find that no matter what mood I’m in, there’s a blogging related task that I can dig into in. If I’m in a creative mood, I write; if I’m in a curious mood, I do research; if I’m bored, I try to learn something new about blogging – and there’s no shortage of stuff out there to help. Thanks for this post, Carly!
    Joan
    http://kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com

  • Geraldine

    Nice post! Really appreciate them. I’m just in over a month of my blogging journey and I had written down some of the things you noted here too! It really is a lot more work than I thought, but I’m enjoying it!

  • Jordanne | Thelifeofaglasgowgirl

    Love all your points here, I think it’s such a huge place now (the blogging world) and it can be hard to wrap your head around some things or know where to star. I wish I knew I didn’t need a niche as well, I thought I was a horrible blogger because I didn’t really fit any so put myself in lifestyle.

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  • Abi

    I was so worried about sticking to my niche when I first started and then I decided to write the content I want and feel so much better for it! I’m so happy with producing content that I love whatever the topic and it makes me so much more passionate about promoting it. It’s interesting to hear you’ve had a similar experience

    Abi x http://healthyabsblog.wordpress.com

  • Rachel Hart

    I KNOW how you feel! Blogging takes up a whole lot of time, but it is worth it. Every time I see a new (genuine) comment on one of my posts I feel a little giddy inside LOL. Blogging is so much more than just typing out a post, publishing it, then sitting back and watching the magic happen. It most definitely doesn’t work that way. You are doing great though. I found this post through Twitter and I look forward to browsing the rest of your website! Keep up the awesome work!
    ~ Ray

    • Carly Bloggs

      Everyone thinks it’s so simple! It’s enjoyable though and that’s what matters. Thank you for reading it 😊

  • Chloe

    I’ve only recently started my first blog so I need all the help I can get! I can relate as when I first thought of doing a blog I was so stressed with feeling limited in having a niche that I put it off for a while. If I knew it wasn’t a necessity then I would have started a lot sooner but at least now I feel more comfortable in enjoying writing about things that interest me. Thanks for sharing! X

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