I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure even where to start on this post. Blogging is something that is a huge commitment if you want to make it a business so I’m going to try to share tips if you want to eventually start blogging and carry it into a business, or if you want to make it a hobby. I do think that it is really really important to know that with blogging you don’t get paid generally for the first 3-5 years, so if it is something that you only want to make money from you probably should find something different to do. It has to be a passion, a hobby, something that you stay up all hours of the night learning to code your own website because you can’t pay for one, cry because people are wicked mean behind a computer screen, loose time with your family, have people criticize you and make fun of you on the internet for considering it a job, etc. It is not for the faint of heart.
Here is a little backstory on why I decided to start blogging. I had been married for a year, about six months before that Zach was called to a very time consuming calling in our church that had him gone Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6 PM until about midnight if I was lucky he was home earlier and then he was gone again all day on Sundays. We were going through infertility trying to get pregnant and I needed something to fill my time while he was gone at church. I needed something to do. PERIOD. I have always been a self conscious person who cares a lot about what people think of me, replay conversations in my head of what I said, if it could be taken wrong, etc. I worried day in and day out of what others thought, how I was portrayed in their mind, etc. I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed something to number one fill my time but number two push myself out of my comfort zone and really force me to be confident in my own skin no matter what. I decided I would start blogging posting photos of outfits I was wearing to make myself first off take the picture of me, and second if someone stumbled upon it and said something rude then I would have to learn to take it. THAT IS WHY I STARTED BLOGGING. Not to make money, not to have an Instagram following, not to work with brands, TO BUILD MY OWN CONFIDENCE AND TO FILL A VOID OF TIME IN MY LIFE. If it all were to go away tomorrow I would be completely fine, I have received so much more growth in myself than I ever thought I would from this little space on the internet, made my best friends, relationships with people I would have never met, and truly found who I am and that is why I started blogging!
I think a lot of people these days think that you can just start blogging, post pictures on Instagram and make money. Oh if it was really that easy. It is hours upon hours of behind the scenes stuff, logistics, coding, emailing, photo shoots, linking products, etc. A lot of people start blogging to realize that it isn’t quick money and then quickly leave, or realize it is a lot more work than they initially thought. I don’t say any of this to scare you, I just want you to know it has to be, has to be something that you are passionate about, want as a hobby, etc. if you are going to really do it.
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|| WHERE TO START ||
So now that I have apparently poured my heart and soul out let’s talk about where to start. What do you need to do to start blogging? Where do you even start right? So I think it all depends on how much money you want to put into it.
|| SELF HOSTED SITE OR BLOGGER ||
Running a self hosted site (where you have your own .com) costs a little bit of money monthly for someone to host your site, and then you also pay to have the rights to the actual .com. If it is something that you aren’t ready to put money into yet start with Blogger. I don’t think that blogging on Blogger starting a blog at this time is ideal, but that is where I started and then I paid someone to move me and all of my old content over to WordPress where you can have your own .com and own all your content. My biggest concern with Blogger is that Google owns your content because they are hosting your site. They can shut you down whenever they want and you loose everything that you work so hard for. Keep that in mind when you are deciding what is the best move for you.
|| NAMING YOUR SITE ||
I think this is the second most important if not the first important thing that you need to do when you start blogging. You need to decide what you want to name your site, what you want to use for your social handles, URL, etc. Try to pick something that isn’t trendy so that you won’t want to change it down the road. I started out as Love Me, Dani Marie and a few years ago swapped to be just my name. The rebranding process is expensive and now I am paying for 2 separate domains (the .com) so that if someone goes to lovemedanimarie.com it will redirect to danimarieblog.com. Stick with something like your name, your last name, or something that you won’t stop loving over time. After you decided that go snag either your .com (make sure it is available) or your blogger URL and then your social handles. Try to make all your social channels the same name across the board so when someone wants to find you they can search the same thing that you are everywhere else.
|| NOW WHAT ||
Now just go for it!!! Take some pictures and start blogging! I recommend taking photos on your phone and not investing in a photographer or equipment when you are just starting. Give it a go for a little bit and test the waters. See if it is really how you want to spend your time. Don’t be afraid, just start to write, write about anything you are passionate about and then decide if it is what you want to stick with. It is never going to be the perfect time to start, you are never going to have the perfect website, design, photos, post written, etc. that is okay!! Just go for it, there is no better time than to start right now. Push yourself, hit that publish button and then share with family and friends to start. Everyone has to start somewhere and if you saw the photos of mine at the beginning of my blog you would die laughing like I do now. The key is though that I started, I tried, I pushed myself and that right there, that is all that matters.
+++ This is going to be an ongoing series on my site, I will add more in depth information in new posts and then link them all together for you as I write them +++