Starting a blog is definitely a lot of fun, but there’s 100% a few things I wish I’d known when I started mine, so hopefully, this post can help you out if you’re new to blogging and wondering what it’s all about…
When you’re brand new to anything, it can feel so daunting and scary and sometimes, you feel like quitting before you’ve even begun!
But hang on there lovely mama, hold your horses – we do not want you to give up before you’ve even got started, so I thought that today I’d share 23 things I wish someone had told me when I started blogging…
I want to apologise now though because this post is slightly all over the place, simply because I’ve written it totally from the heart and I just wanted to write about all the things that would have helped me sooooo much at the beginning!
Let’s take a look and see how I can help you out – maybe there’s some answers to some burning questions you’ve had!
“This post may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase using one of my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you”.
- 1. The Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- 2. You don’t need to have it ALL Figured out
- 3. Take it at your Own Pace
- 4. Am I Ready for Blogging?
- 5. It’s not about the Quantity of Posts, it’s about the Quality…
- 6. There’s ALWAYS Help out there
- 7. You don’t have to be an Amazing Writer
- 8. Create Templates to save time
- 9. You have to really stay Self-Disciplined & Motivated
- 10. Plugins are there to help save you time (and coding)
- 11. Have the Best Hosting you can Afford
- 12. Your Posts don’t have to be Perfect, they just have to be Published
- 13. Include Call to Actions in as many places as you can
- 14. You need to Invest in your Blog and Yourself
- 15. To Link to your Other Blog Posts
- 16. How long it can take to Rank a post on Google
- 17. To make sure you have Legal Pages
- 18. To Share Posts on Social Media
- 19. How Up and Down Blogging really is
- 20. How Negative the Online Space can actually be
- 21. How Important it is to Set Goals
- 22. To Research what your Competitors are doing
- 23. How difficult it would be to work around my kids
- Let’s wrap it up!
1. The Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
This one was so confusing when I went to start my blog because I just heard WordPress and thought that was it…
The thing is, there’s two WordPress options (just to confuse the heck out of you) and the one you want to be choosing is WordPress.org.
You don’t really need to know all the ins and outs regarding this, but the reason you want to choose the .org version is that it’s open-source, you’re able to have your website self-hosted and you can do pretty much whatever you want with it!
The beauty of self-hosting is that you can literally create the website of your dreams!
Completely customisable and with full functionality, you can design a site which has everything you want, need and more…
When you build a website from scratch, you need to choose a platform to host your site and the hosting company I recommend is SiteGround, as it’s ideal for newbie bloggers.
2. You don’t need to have it ALL Figured out
This one absolutely baffled my brain when I started blogging!
My brain felt like it was going to explode with so many things to think about and do, but you know what, you don’t need to put yourself under pressure to know it all…
You’ll learn as you go – trust me and you’ll also learn things as and when you need to.
Don’t think for one second you need to know every single thing about running a blog from the get-go!
You’ll be forever learning anyway because that’s just the way it is when you’re a mompreneur.
You’ll never know everything, but you will get to a stage where you know enough and that’s okay…
It’s all about enjoying the process and the journey and about not getting hung up on perfection.
If you put too much pressure on yourself, you’re going to burn out and give up, it’s as simple as that.
Stop worrying about everything that having a blog entails and just enjoy the fact you’re blogging!
3. Take it at Your Own Pace
Following on from not having it all figured out, you also want to make sure you’re working and growing your blog at YOUR own pace!
We all have different things going on in our lives, so a “one thing fits all” doesn’t cut it.
I always say and feel that the reason blogging is beautiful is that you can do it around your baby, around your toddler, around multiple kiddos…
As long as you’re dedicating time to your blog consistently (whenever that may be) you will be able to create a successful blog that you and others will love.
It's again down to that whole pressure thing. You’re the only one that’s going to put unnecessary pressure on yourself because everyone else isn’t even batting an eyelid as to how long it’s taking you to launch your blog or write a blog post…
Remember that – because it’s super important to know that although you are putting the heat on yourself to get things done, no one else is!
We’re always our own biggest critics and it can be exhausting…
4. Am I Ready for Blogging?
Blogging should be fun and that’s a fact!
The day you’re not enjoying your blog anymore, is the day you need to quit!
That said, there’s going to be many, many days where things don’t go your way and things are all over the place and totally overwhelming.
That’s just blogging… however, don’t confuse “not enjoying blogging” with the daily hustle and grind it takes to get it off the ground.
I’m talking about if you’re resenting blogging or feeling down and pretty much done with it all of the time.
When you’re feeling like that and the thought of pursuing it in the future is making you feel crappy, then maybe blogging isn’t for you and that’s ok!
It’s not for everybody, the same as anything in life.
It’s a big thing to take on and needs a lot of hard work, commitment and drive to continue day in, day out, so you want to make sure you’re all in before stepping on to that blogging train…
All I can say, from personal experience, is that I love blogging and helping other mums to take their passions, their creativity and their knowledge out into the world, via a blog… because all mums have something amazing to share…
5. It’s not about the Number of Posts, it’s about the Quality…
Blogging ultimately comes down to creating content via blog posts…
But, to have a successful blog, it’s about way more than just publishing posts.
It’s about your whole presence online, which includes social platforms and email marketing too…
When you’re writing a blog post, you should always be thinking about WHY you’re writing it. What’s its purpose and goal?
You don’t want to be putting anything out for the sake of it.
Look at what your audience wants and needs. You want to create a blog that’s popular with readers and answers questions about burning pain points in their life!
For every piece of content you put out there, whether that be a blog post, a social media post or a YouTube video – make sure it’s of the highest quality for your audience.
Give, Give and give some more!
Blogging is a long-term game, therefore blitzing out content in an attempt to build up a following as quickly as possible is not the way to go.
Quality is much more important than quantity, and if you focus on pumping out tons of posts, chances are they won't be very good.
Focus on creating high-quality content that’s helpful, valuable and will stand the test of time.
6. There’s ALWAYS Help out there
One of the things I wish I’d known more about, was the fact there’s always help out there when it comes to something you don’t know…
I sat at my laptop so many times trying to figure stuff out, spending so darn long going round and round in circles, when all I really needed to do was reach out to someone for help.
I was scared to ask anyone anything, which I know now is so silly, as there’s so many amazing people out there who want to help you!
Help can be found in all kinds of ways:
- Online courses and resources
- Facebook Groups
- Instagram accounts
- YouTube channels
- Just reaching out and sending an email to someone…
Rather than sitting trying to figure it out all by yourself, reach out to someone and ASK!
You can waste so much time sitting there when there’s plenty of people who are able and willing to help you.
I’ve asked (and answered, as it’s always fab to give back) so many questions within Facebook groups.
These places are gold because if you join the right ones, you’ll be around people who are doing the same things you are.
There’ll be different people at different stages within these groups, so most of the time, there’ll be more experienced bloggers and entrepreneurs to give you answers happily.
You won’t feel silly asking questions in an environment such as this either…
Honestly, don’t ever be afraid to reach out, even if it feels daunting and just so you know, I’m always here if you need to ask a question. I’ll always, always answer and help you where I can 🙂
7. You don’t have to be an Amazing Writer
You absolutely do not have to be an amazing writer in order to blog!
Yes, you do need to check to make sure your content reads well, is interesting and engaging and that your punctuation and grammar are as best they can be (Grammarly is at your fingertips) but anyone can start writing a blog…
There are a few things to take into consideration to be a successful blogger:
Blogging is about more than just writing posts. You’ll be wearing many hats which include social media manager, course + product creator, and email answering person lol… you get the idea, so writing posts is just one element of the whole blogging puzzle.
It’s about the value your content gives. You may not be great at writing, but if your content is super valuable and helps your readers to get from point A to point B or solves a problem that’s been bugging them, then your writing skills won’t come into it too much. Your readers will be too absorbed in the amazing content they’re getting, which is helping them solve their problems…
It’s about the message you’re delivering. If you have an amazing message to share and you know exactly how to help people, then being a “not so great” writer shouldn’t cause you an issue. When you’re putting out content which can help change people’s lives and steer them in new directions, you’ll have readers flocking to you.
The more you blog, the better writer you’ll become. It takes time to hone your writing skills and the only way you’ll get better at it is to practise, practise, practise… Stop worrying about how you write and concentrate on delivering awesome content the best way you can. At the end of the day, if people are going to point out your errors within your writing skills, then that’s up to them. Unless you’re really making a lot of errors and it looks like you’re not caring about what you’re publishing, please don’t waste precious time panicking over it. You’ve got way more thangs to think about when it comes to your blog…
8. Create Templates to save time
Having just a few simple templates makes my life so much easier because I can just tweak them slightly and it saves tons of time and effort (which I can then put into other places).
I highly recommend you spend a few hours putting together some simple templates for the things you use and do all the time, such as:
- Pin Images
- Idea Pins
- Social Graphics
- Blog Post Featured Images
- Sign up forms
Try it and see how much time you can save…
9. You have to really stay Self-Disciplined & Motivated
If you’re someone that needs or likes to be told exactly what to do when it comes to work, then blogging probably isn’t going to be for you…
When you’re at home (or in a coffee shop) and you’re working on your blog, there’s no one there to tell you what you need to do!
There’s no one there to give you a deadline or push you to get things done.
You have to be a person who can set boundaries, who can be self-disciplined and who has serious blog motivation when things get really tough…
There will be days where you don’t want to do anything and you want to sit in front of the TV watching endless Netflix shows and you can’t do this if you want to make something of your blog.
Well, you can, as there’s no boss hanging over your shoulder, but you won’t get anywhere and you’ll waste so much time, which is precious.
The way I stay disciplined to get up and work on my blog is to think of the things I’m wanting to achieve, and the goals I’ve set for myself that I want to reach.
When I feel like I’m starting to slip and get lazy, I instantly think about what it would feel like if I didn’t hit that goal and then how I’d feel knowing the reason why was because I was watching too much Ozark…
The thought sucks for sure!
I want you to know this though – there’s a big, big difference between not blogging because you just think it’s fun to do what you want, with the old classic of saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”… compared to not being able to blog because of your children or when important things come up…
I don’t want you to get into a negative mindset about not being able to blog as much as you want when you have a baby or toddler to take care of.
They’re absolutely your priority and blogging is awesome because you can work it around your family…
Entrepreneurs and mompreneurs probably work harder than anyone because you never really have proper downtime. There’s no “off button” for an entrepreneurial brain, not really and I’ve tried!
10. Plugins are there to Help Save You Time (and coding)
When I first started blogging, I was told time and time again that plugins can slow your site down and be a nuisance, but this is only true if you have too many or ones you don’t really need.
It’s not a lie that there are hundreds and hundreds of plugins out there and knowing which ones to have installed on your blog can be difficult, so I thought I’d just jot down the ones I use and feel are worthy of an install lol 🙂
This plugin has been the only security plugin I’ve used on my website.
It adds extra security to your site and enforces the latest and recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.
This anti-spam plugin is great and you’ll get emails sent to you, letting you know how many spam attacks etc have been prevented.
It stops all kinds of things such as spammy comments, spammy emails and anything else it comes across that’s spam!
You get a free trial and then it’s only $8 for the year, so a really reasonable cost for protecting your site against all the unnecessary and unwanted spam attacks that happen so often.
This plugin will make your website compliant, which is an absolute must for keeping you safe legally online.
It has the cookie banner which can be added to your site (you’ll have seen these whenever you’ve clicked on a website) plus it does a whole load of other compliance things too.
This plugin is one I only added fairly recently to my site.
It allows your website to be accessible to more people, as a reader can change the font size, the contrast and also make it grayscale etc…
Anything that can help your readers get the best experience for them is a must and this plugin will help them do that!
An SEO plugin is one you definitely need to have installed!
When it comes to your blog, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is extremely important, as it helps your site to rank within search engines and actually get seen.
The plugin helps you to optimise your posts and pages with a super easy to use tab, which comes up and advises you on what can be done to improve your SEO…
This is an image compression plugin, also another necessary plugin for your website.
Blogs tend to have a lot of images used, therefore you need to make sure that every image that gets added to your media library is optimised as much as it can be.
This plugin also optimises any PDFs you may also host on your site.
You definitely want to give your readers the option to share your posts and this can be done simply with a plugin.
I’ve tried and tested a few social sharing plugins over the years, but this one is the easiest and best one to date…
They look nice and you can place them in several places. I have mine at the very top of my posts and I also utilise the floating sidebar too, which I love!
This is a great plugin which allows your posts and images to have a “Pin it” Button hovering over them.
This means that readers and visitors to your blog can hover over the image and then save it to their Pinterest accounts.
The final plugin I want to share is Thrive Leads!
You can create sign up forms and 2-step forms for content upgrades which can be placed wherever you want…
I also use ConvertKit to create forms and landing pages and I kind of mix it up between the two, as they both do different things.
11. Have the Best Hosting you can Afford
When I first started blogging, I didn’t realise how important my hosting platform would be, but it’s what enables your blog to run…
You can’t do without it, therefore in order to give your website the best chance, in the beginning, get the best hosting plan you can afford!
I chose my hosting plan off the back of a lot of research and many, many recommendations plus great reviews too.
I’ve used my current platform for a long time now and it’s the only one I really recommend because it’s amazing.
I wanted to make sure I had as few problems as I could and that if I did encounter problems, they could be dealt with immediately and without having any effect or downtime on my site!
That’s why I chose SiteGround…
You need a blog that has great site speed, amazing support, free SSL and daily backups and these are just a handful of the things that SiteGround offers…
SiteGround has literally been my saviour, well the support has been – that’s for sure.
My site speed is great and I love how easy it is to use their dashboard and all the features inside of it…
SiteGround's starter plan starts at such a small cost, yet it offers so, so much and if you want to get off to a fab start with your blog, then this is the way I’d go…
12. Your Posts don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be Published
I love this little saying because as an “annoying perfectionist” myself, I’ve found it really hard to publish my posts without obsessing over them…
Hitting that publish button can feel really sickening to the stomach, but you can’t sit there over analysing and over criticizing what you’ve written forever!
You need to get it out into the world, or what’s the point of writing it in the first place.
Not everyone is going to love you or what you put out there and that’s ok! You don’t want to appeal to everyone, you just want to resonate with the people that really matter and who love what you’re about!
Concentrate on those people and publish your content for THEM…
13. Include a Call to Action in as many places as you can
I wasn’t including ANY call to actions for ANYTHING at the start…
And boy, was I missing out!
A call to action is basically asking your readers to take action on something when they visit your blog or website.
This could be things like:
- Asking for comments at the end of a blog post
- Asking for readers to sign up to your email list, by offering a freebie opt-in
- Offer a free trial for something
Placing a call to action in as many places as you can, without causing a hindrance and annoyance to your readers, is a great way to get people to interact and connect with you and grow your email list!
You can check out my post, which will help you tons if you want to know everything and more about how to create calls to actions that get clicks.
14. You need to Invest in your Blog and Yourself
Blogging won’t be a case of investing in a couple of things and you’re done…
There will come a time when you’ll want to expand on the things that you want and need to use.
That said, you can start a blog for hardly any money at all, which is why it’s so great for us mamas to do as a side hustle…
As with anything, you can go completely overboard and buy anything and everything but you do not want to do this.
Only purchase things as and when you need them and really think about whether you actually need something before committing.
The great thing about a lot of software, such as SEO tools or email marketing platforms, is that they offer free trials, so you can test them out before fully going all in.
I’ve done this a lot and some tools I’ve stuck with and others I’ve realised I didn’t actually need in the end.
It’s easy to get “shiny object syndrome” especially when you see and hear people mentioning new products they’re using all the time.
When starting your blog, the tools I would suggest you definitely need are:
- An Email Marketing Platform, such as ConvertKit. This is a paid service, but they do offer a free plan as well, so you can start building your email list from the beginning.
- A good Blog Theme. I use the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes which is amazing and extremely cheap.
- Good Blog Hosting and I’ve already mentioned within this post that I use SiteGround.
- Canva for all your design needs, as you can create anything with Canva and the free plan is perfectly ok when you’re a beginner blogger.
They’re the 4 blog tools I highly recommend you to have when you start out.
Of course, there are many other blog tools and resources I use and recommend too, but these are my staples…
As well as tools for blogging, you’ll also want to invest in products and courses which can help you improve your skills and learn new things.
There’s so many out there and it’s best to do some research and see whether people are recommending certain courses they’ve taken and gained a lot from.
I mention the ones that I’ve taken over on my Resources page (linked above) and they’re amazing and I’ve learnt tons from them.
I’ve spent a small fortune over the years on digital products and courses and a lot, to be honest, have been a waste of time and money. That’s why it’s important to really find out about the people you’re looking to buy from first.
15. To Link to your Other Blog Posts
I was always forgetting to add internal links to my posts at the beginning of my blogging journey, but now it’s automatic and part of my blog post writing process.
You need to remember to link to other posts and pages on your blog, within every new blog post you write.
This is a MUST for SEO purposes as it will help you rank better within Google and other search engines.
It’s also important as well for the search engines to get an idea of the structure of your site and be able to see which posts and pages are the most relevant.
I tend to go back and add my latest blog post link to older and relevant posts, as this not only gives my new posts more eyeballs, but it also adds more value to my older posts too!
16. How long it can take to Rank a post on Google
When it came to my blog posts, I thought that I’d write them, publish them and then they’d be there online for everyone to see straight away…
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case!
Did you know it can take between 3-6 months for one post to rank on Google and it can even take up to as much as 12 months to rank (if your keywords and SEO are on point).
Getting to page #1 on Google is the aim, as this is where the most organic clicks come from.
People searching for information tend to only stick to the websites that are showing up on the first page of Google.
Ranking on Google and other search engines comes down to many factors, including your Domain Authority (DA) natural backlinking and how great the quality of your content is, which is the most important.
Search Engine Optimisation is a long term game for web traffic and you’ll never find instant gratification with it.
This is why you have to keep going with your blog/website because when it comes to SEO, you won’t see immediate results.
You have to push through those months of seeing nothing happening when you’re using SEO as a traffic strategy…
17. To make sure you have Legal Pages
Having legal pages on your blog is super duper important because they do a number of things:
- Make your website more trustworthy
- Comply with regulations and laws
- Increase your brand credibility
- Protect your website from Copyright
You don’t have to spend a fortune when it comes to legal pages.
There are free legal disclaimer templates online you can use when you first start your blog.
The free disclaimer generator seen above is easy to use, as you just select the template, fill in the necessary information and then it generates the legal disclaimer which you can copy and paste into your site.
Other templates you will need are:
- Terms & Conditions Template
- Disclaimer for Amazon Associates if you use Amazon for Affiliate Marketing
- Accessibility Statement Generator
I have all of my legal page links at the bottom of every page and posts, within the footer of my site.
Make sure to add these to your website, so that you’re compliant and abide by the laws.
Even though your blog and business are online, you still have to follow regulations. People often forget this – don’t be one of them!
18. To Share Posts on Social Media
In order to be successful with your blog, it comes down to many factors, not just writing and publishing your posts.
You will gain organic traffic over time, but as I mentioned above, SEO takes ages to gain any kind of traction and results, therefore you’re going to want to make sure you get the most out of every piece of content you create!
You can do this by sharing your posts on social media platforms so your content goes further.
The ways you can do this are as follows:
- Create fun Social Graphics to share the main points within your post. Share it on your social platforms and link back to your blog post. I love to do Carousel posts which my followers love and engage with.
- Create Infographics to also share on Social Media
- Create Reels and Stories for Instagram
- Go Live on Instagram and/or Facebook to share info about your latest posts
- Create Idea Pins and regular Pins for Pinterest
- Put together short videos to highlight the main points in your post and put them on YouTube
- Sending your email list an email about your latest blog post
Basically, any way you can get your posts out there for more people to see and engage with, is what you need to be doing…
19. How Up and Down Blogging really is
I don’t think I really knew what I was letting myself in for when it came to starting my blogging journey…
Some days I’m on top of the world with it and everything is going great and other days I’m down in the dumps because many things are going wrong and it’s just unbelievably overwhelming…
Blogging is extremely hard work!
It takes a lot of passion, grit and determination to get it off the ground and keep it there.
It’s not a walk in the park and most of the time when you’re a beginner, your brain is just here, there and everywhere… Plus as mums, it really is a lot to deal with, as you’re adding extra to your plate!
So many people give up within the first few weeks and months of starting a blog because, in the beginning, it’s a lot of hard work and not much output in terms of results.
But if you can ride the rollercoaster and stick with it, you will start to see success and your hard efforts paying off.
You really do have to take the ups with the downs in order to be successful with anything in life…
20. How Negative the Online Space can actually be
This one isn’t just about blogging because the online world can be a very nasty place, unfortunately.
If you are putting yourself out there for the world to see, there’s no avoiding the fact that you will encounter some kind of negativity or trolling at some point.
It can feel really horrible and soul-destroying, but you need to learn to accept that it’s going to happen and if and when it does, be ready to deal with it by moving on and not dwelling on the situation.
It’s easy to step away from these incidents because you can block and unfollow people etc…
Not everyone is going to like what you have to say and not everyone is going to like the content you create, but that’s ok because there will be plenty of people who do!
There’s many reasons people may react the way they do, from envy to jealousy to just being plain rude, but you don’t have to stick around for it to affect you.
Concentrate on putting out your awesome content, be you and don’t let negative comments and people stop you from doing what you love 🙂
21. How Important it is to Set Goals
If you’re blogging without goals, you’re blogging aimlessly…
Goals scare people for some reason, but you have to set yourself all kinds of goals, from small ones to big ones!
Blogging needs goals in order to succeed.
From getting your very first email subscriber to reaching £1000 in sales, setting goals for you to target is what will keep you going and motivated to blog…
Goals don’t just have to be money related or things which are big, they can be things as simple as writing 2 blog posts a month or putting together a new freebie this week.
Anything which is moving you and your blog forward can be set as a goal.
You need to know mentally what you’re striving for and how you’re going to get there…
22. To Research what your competitors are doing
Blogging is also about knowing what your competitors are up to!
This doesn’t mean seeing what they’re doing and copying, it simply means checking out other blogs and websites within your niche and seeing what kinds of things they’re writing about.
If you’re in groups, see what topics are getting a lot of engagement, as this could help you choose a blog post topic for you to write on.
If there are big authorities within your niche, they will have done extensive research on the things they write about, therefore, you can utilise this information to get some ideas for your own posts.
Just make sure you never copy and that you give your own points of view and stances on things…
Sometimes there are trends and certain things written about by many big bloggers and websites. Checking these out can give you some much-needed inspiration and insight into what people want to know about!
23. How difficult it would be to work around my kids
The final mention in the things I wish I’d known when I started my own blog, is how difficult it would be to blog around my children.
It’s hard enough being a mum and all that comes with that responsibility, but then when you add in something like blogging, it takes it to a whole other level…
Whether you’re a stay at home mum or a working mum, you’re always busy, busy, busy and trying to fit time into a blog can be a nightmare…
But the reality of blogging is, that you have to try and find the time somewhere, or else it will never happen.
Even if it’s just half an hour here and there to start with, it all helps and as your kids get older and you have a bit more time, you can increase the time you spend on it.
The way to go about it is to not put pressure on yourself. If you can’t blog one day, don’t punish yourself for not being able to fit it in.
Blogging can be done at your own pace and when you can, so be flexible with your approach and steer clear of giving yourself unnecessary and unwanted guilt trips…
Let’s wrap it up!
I’ve really enjoyed writing this post and sharing all the things with you that I wish I’d known before starting my blog…
I hope you can take some of them away with you.
Blogging is awesome and I think especially so for mums because of the versatility and ability to work on it when you can.
Not only are you building something for yourself, but you’re doing it around your family and that’s what makes it so great.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, you can sign up to join my 7-day challenge below. I share tons of help on getting started and by the end of the 7 days, you’ll have a blog set up and ready to go…
Before you go, let me know in the comments below what you wished you’d known when you started blogging, or if there's anything you'd like to know now? I can’t wait to hear from you 🙂
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You can literally have a blog online within an hour or two – yes you heard that right lovely… I'm going to show you how to start your own super successful mummy blog!
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