3 things you MUST know BEFORE starting a blog

I officially started my blog on 9-9-19….that date has a nice ring to ti, 9-9-19. I love when cool things happen organically. Anyways, I’ve been at this for a few weeks now and I want to share some tips on what I wish I knew before I started my blog that could maybe help you if you are thinking to start one yourself.

I have learned a lot about the technical aspects of blogging. What I am realizing more and more is that you HAVE to love the process if you are going to be successful. You can’t just want the result and expect it to happen just because you followed all the right steps. I wouldn’t say I started seeingsam.com for fun. I have a goal in mind but every morning since 9-9-19 I’ve been waking up early (say by 6 am) and working on blog-related tasks before work. After work, I am sitting right back down and staying up later to get more done. For me the process of achieving my goal is fun!

Firstly, when starting a blog, ask yourself two things:

  1. “why do I want to start a blog”
  2. “what do I want to get out of it”

I literally launched this blog with the intention of creating something that would add excitement to my life. In addition to that, I’m hopeful that one day I can work for my self while being location independent. I wanted a passion project in my life and decided travel blogging is the route for me because,

  1. The writing process is enjoyable and calming to me.
  2. I LOVE photography and I want to share more of it.
  3. I am passionate about traveling and experiencing new things.
  4. Building a travel community and meeting like-minded people seems REALLY cool to me.

Your reasons may be different but regardless of what they are you have to remember them. It is not going to be an easy process and you are probably going to want to quit. If you don’t have a focus on what you want out of your blog or why you even started it, you won’t be successful.

Next, know that blogging can be very time consuming

Every blogger I follow says the same thing, (it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t start my blog earlier). The good news is time is manageable. If you are passionate about starting a blog you will make time for it.

I have already spent over 2.5 hours on this one post. For me that’s not too bad considering the hours I’ve spent on others. Experience says I’ll spend another few hours editing and even more if I decide to add photos. One blogger told me a travel post with bullet points, links and photos usually takes her at least 10 hours of work. Another travel blogger spends about two weeks from start to finish with a few rounds of outsourced editing for just one post (i’m sure it is a thorough one).

One of the biggest time savers I am currently discovering is to plan posts and set up an outline before I start writing. I am usually the learn as you go type but I am quickly realizing spending time learning about SEO, WordPress, marketing strategies and what a solid blog structure looks like will save time in the long run.

The last thing, starting a blog costs money

Don’t freak out, its not a lot of money but you surely will be spending more than you are making when you first start. Look at it this way, investing in yourself and ultimately your success is a really good thing!

To start my blog I paid for the below right off the bat:

  • Siteground Hosting + domain name= $27.95 a year
  • Domain ID protection also from Siteground= $12.00 a year
  • Hosting fee, I used Siteground= $47.40 a year
  • Akismet Spam security= $12.00 a year
  • Website theme- I used a free one but I think a paid one with better customer service would be soo worth it= about $60-$75 a year

For those of you who don’t want to add it came out to about $100.

Side note: After I purchased my domain name and hosting I was told it was best to register a domain with a company separate from the hosting provider. They say it makes it easier if you ever decide to change up hosting services.

Other things you may want that will eventually cost money:

  • An automatic social media scheduler- I use Tailwind.
  • Email marketing services – Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers.
  • Additional plugins for better website performance. $20-$100+ a year

To summarize, before you start your blog make sure you:

  • Know why you are starting a blog
  • Be prepared to spend time on it
  • Have some blogging money ready to invest

One thing I always tell myself when I’m unsure about something is “what’s the worst that can happen?” if the answer isn’t life-changing, I’m always more encouraged to GO FOR IT! At the end of the day, if you know what your goal is and have the drive, commitment, and patience to get there, you will be successful. JUST GO FOR IT!

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post please share it or leave a comment below letting me know. You will be helping me grow my travel community so I can continue living my dreamCheers!

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