When you start a blog, you understandably look for advice from experts to help get you started. You look at countless blogs in your niche – ones that have probably been going for a while and enjoying various types of success.
It can be quite overwhelming, and sets you up for the comparison game and ‘perfection paralysis’ – not wanting to hit publish until your blog looks perfect.
Just recently we asked the ProBlogger Community to submit their stories of starting a blog, and their tips for those considering starting a blog in 2018. We received so many stories, some of which have been published on the ProBlogger podcast.
Today we’re sharing stories of those still in the early stages of starting a blog who haven’t forgotten those early frustrations, and have tips that might help you at at the start of your blogging journey.
We’ve summarised their responses below, and included a link to their recordings (mp3 files) so you can download and listen to them in full.
Real Life Minimalism – Roshni F. Ghandi (May 2017)
Roshni is a lawyer and entrepreneur who discovered the importance of having systems in her personal life and business. It inspired her to start her blog Real Life Minimalism in May 2017 so she could help others.
Summary of Roshni’s Start a Blog Story
Hindsight: Roshni was grateful she took the time to understand the technology and tools such as WordPress.
Mistakes: Before discovering ProBlogger, she heard advice to create webinars and funnels and forgo blogging. She finally realised a blog is a foundation, and started one to support her business.
Successes: Roshni has made a lot of connections and friendships through her blogging, and has been approached for collaborations off her blog that have helped support her business.
Tip: Her tip is ‘Know-Plan-Evolve’. Have a bird’s-eye view of what you want to create, listen to your audience, be flexible and open to change, and avoid distractions.
Good Life. Better. – Jenny (July 2017)
Jenny made a lot of changes in her life including taking control of her finances, becoming healthier and losing weight. She also started thinking and planning more about her career and retirement. She realised there were very few positive stories on the internet for women who needed to do the same, so she started her blog Good Life. Better. in July 2017.
Summary of Jenny’s Start a Blog Story
Hindsight: Jenny was glad she just jumped in with one post and hit publish. She learned as she went, and invested in learning WordPress by watching videos.
Mistakes: Jenny was getting overwhelmed. She wanted to do everything at once, and was even dreaming about how her sidebar should look like rather than getting good sleep. She also fell into the trap of buying too many books and courses. She realised she needed to work out her priorities.
Successes: While she’s enjoyed meeting the blogger community where she has received a lot of support, she realised she needed to write for her avatar, not other bloggers. Another big positive is having a creative outlet.
Tip: Look long term. Be okay with having your first year as your learning year and getting to know your audience.
Engage Weddings – Becca Poutney (August 2017)
Becca had a local networking group for local wedding suppliers, and realised that people getting married didn’t know about them. She started her blog Engage Weddings in August 2017 to help people getting married discover local wedding suppliers.
Summary of Becca’s Start a Blog Story
Hindsight: Becca is grateful she had a strategy for what she wanted to achieve and the content she wanted to create in the first few weeks. Having a networking group of contacts also made everything a lot easier, as she was able to source guest content from other suppliers.
Mistakes: Becca made the mistake of thinking her blog could grow quickly and fast. She realises now that it takes work, and is excited for the future.
Successes: Her established network of contacts enabled Becca to use her blog to promote and run a successful event, bringing together 21 suppliers and 75 guests.
Tip: Before you start, find a network of other bloggers, businesses or people in your niche (either online or in real life) to help inspire and support you.
Inspired Life in Greece – Dena Argyropoulou (September 2017)
Dena uses her blog Inspired Life in Greece as a platform for self-expression, and to document how moving from California to Greece (where she’s from) gave her the courage to live a life aligned with who she is. She share tools and resources to help her readers define their authentic life, and plans to add online courses, products and coaching services.
Summary of Dena’s Start a Blog Story
Hindsight: Dena is grateful she didn’t spend time doing things like designing a logo, and instead used the time to create worksheets for her newsletter subscribers.
Mistakes: She chose an easier platform instead of going with WordPress and. She’s now switching over to WordPress with some help.
Successes: To discover she could share good stories as a writer (her normal creative outlet is graphic design) and receive positive feedback from her readers, which has given her great confidence.
Tip: Find balance between self-expression and creating content that’s valuable to your reader.
Levels of Gray – Kenobi Pollard (December 2017)
Kanobi’s blog levels of gray is the newest of the five, starting in December as a personal journal for Kanobi to share her thoughts on photography, beauty, travel and style. She wanted to document the levels of gray in people’s lives after being laid off from her corporate job last year, and was determined to start a blog in 2107. It took her all year, but she’s done it.
Summary of Kanobi’s Start a Blog Story
Hindsight: Kanobi is grateful for all the blogger podcasts (such as Darren’s) she listened to before starting a blog, and the advice she received from them.
Mistakes: She went through six changes of blog design before starting, with friends and family supporting her along the way. But she wishes she hadn’t told people about her blog before she even had a concrete vision of what is was herself.
Successes: She has been surprised to get positive feedback on her writing. While she’s not generating the traffic she’d like to yet, her blog has already helped her reach people who may not have already known her. And she’s really happy with the experience she’s gained thus far.
Tip: Find a topic you’re passionate about, and distinguish your voice rather than losing your message because you’re caught up in what everyone else is saying.
Start a Blog in 2018
If you’re planning to start a blog in 2018, check out their blogs so you can see what a new blog actually looks like. We hope you enjoy discovering some new bloggers, and enjoy their stories.
Also consider joining our free course starting on 10th January 2018 with Darren.
Oh yes; I have been in Becca’s boots. I feel most of us have at one time or another.
I felt I could grow my blog quickly, and easily. Not so. Only until I began predominantly blogging from a loving, fun, pretty detached energy did things begin to pop. This took a while ;) But it takes a while for all of us. Nobody is immune from this concept of wanting to rush things because you feel the blogging bit will be a cakewalk, because heck, look at guys like Zac Johnson and John Chow. They are making serious chedda. Must be easy, right?
I had lunch with Zac a few years ago. We had been online buddies for a while and I was actually back in our home state, not circling the globe or living in the tropics. Anyway, he discussed how he was writing and publishing 2 guest posts daily on authority blog for the prime purposes of creating value, building friendships and also gaining solid links for his site.
If you Google “blogging”, his site is usually #1 as far as organic results. Highly impressive; even with a kick butt domain name, it still takes serious patience, value-sharing and detachment both through the blog and through a persistent guest posting campaign to dominate Page 1 Position 1 for so many months. I saw it first hand though; he was heavily focused on helping people and building links, and this was after being online for nearly 2 decades. Impressive!
That’ how we all do it, to become established pros. Keep adding value, worry not about outcomes, make friends, help people and see beyond today. Many new bloggers check their daily metrics and lose hope, being full of doubt, and wanting to harvest the apple before the freaking tree grows. Ya gotta plant the seeds first guys. Then you water the seeds, through your learning blogging, studying blogging, and practicing blogging, including creating helpful content and building meaningful connections. But this process takes years, as it takes years to patiently grow an apple tree from a tiny seed, and then, after doing the right things to help the tree grow for years, patiently nurturing it, you can pick bushel after bushel of delicious apples.
Keep that analogy in mind guys if you are a new or struggling blogger who wants to rush the process. Ain’t gonna happen overnight. Ain’t gonna happen over a year. But over 2-3 years, things doing the right things with the right every, things really come together. Then after 5 or more years, doing things with an awesome energy, things REALLY begin to come together nicely. But you will be so in love with the process of becoming a successful blogger that you will give little thought to your successful results. Feels nice and all, but the work is play, and also, the work is the real reward.
I see this with my comments. I love writing these mini guest post sized suckers and my list keeps on growing every time I log in to send a newsletter.
Thanks for the inspiring stories Laney. And to all you rocking bloggers up top and reading this comment, follow your passion and fall in love with the process. You can do it!
Yep, usually it can’t be forced. Your audience can sense when you’re not blogging from a place of enjoyment.
Thanks Ryan!! It helps to know that people like you exist to help encourage us!!
Success Stories just brings inspiration. Thanks Guys.
Just working hard for my blog by getting inspiration from these bloggers.
Looking forward to what you’ll be sharing with the world!
Sharing the knowledge about Web and app development, AI, IoT etc.
your blogs are very good and useful
Thanks you for writing this blog ..I will also switch my account from blogger to wordpress
Thank you for sharing with us, I conceive this website genuinely stands out.
Thank You Laney for such a great post,
Starting a blog isn’t that hard but having a significance presence, building an audience that likes to read you or follow you takes a dedicated effort and hard work, Having a story, a different approach and a purpose that is valued by readers can give you greater ease in so many ways.
Also, producing just quality content isn’t enough, you have to go out and promote even if have written the best piece of content ever.
These things takes time, that’s what we loves to do.
I am with Jenny on the look, feel, and what should go where issue! That is a hard one when you find yourself wanting to accomplish everything at once, and that includes getting the traffic! But, settling down and simply creating the content people want is what works in the end. Personally, I believe if you start by creating great content, your readers will help you put the rest together as they will tell you more of what they want and need from you and your blog.
Exactly, one need to find a balance between self-expression and content creation. Content that are sure to add vakto your readers.
That’s why it’s important that you pick a topic you’re passionate about, and write in your own unique voice “rather than losing your message because you’re caught up in what everyone else is saying.”
I honestly agree with the tips in this article.
Thanks for sharing.
Just because of stories like this, i feel a lot motivated. Thanks for your efforts and for writing such a wonderful article.
That’s nice knowing about everyone!
And that is quite right blogging is not about the rocket science.
It takes the calm, patience, and constant effort.
You have to wait for months or even years to observe getting the success.
It’s all about the patience game.
If one does not have the patience, he or she cannot really grow a blog to any level.
Be simple. Be patient. And improve yourself by trying out new things and make them work for your blog.
Again, so good to hear about them! :)
very interesting and inspiring