I’m not a blogging expert. I’m still in my first year of blogging, and I wouldn’t dream of giving professional blogging advice. But, there are 3 things I wish I knew before creating a blog.
So, if you’re thinking about creating a blog, read this.
When I first created a blog, I had no clue what self-hosting was. If you’re new to blogging, you probably don’t either.
So, let’s take a step back. Simply ask yourself the following: how serious am I about blogging? Do I want to build a successful blog or blog for fun?
If you’re in the second category- and want to blog purely for fun- great! Create a blog with wordpress.com. It’s free, easy to use, and everything you need. However, if you answered yes and plan on blogging long-term: SELF-HOST.
I stumbled into blogging. My sister encouraged me to create a blog as a way for us to stay in touch after I moved to the Midwest. I created a free blog through wordpress.com and posted my thoughts…it was read by practically no one. A few months in, I discovered food blogging. I realized- oh my gosh, I want to do THAT! I stopped dabbling, and got serious about food blogging.
Since I didn’t start out self-hosting, I now have to switch over. I’m in the middle of the process and it’s a nightmare. Theoretically, it can be done without much fuss, but for me it’s been a total headache. A month’s gone by and my new site still isn’t up.
The best thing is to decide how serious you are about blogging before creating a blog. If you’re serious, self-host. It’s the number one thing I wish I knew before creating my blog. (You can learn more about self-hosting here).
#2: Expect Nothing
Oh my gosh, I need to say it again: expect nothing. I still haven’t fully come to terms with this aspect of blogging.
Here’s the reality: you cannot predict which posts will be popular and which won’t. In fact, your most popular posts are never what you expect. And, posts you’re confident will be well-received, won’t be.
These rhubarb muffins are my most popular post. Now, don’t get me wrong, these muffins are fantastic, and I’m really proud of them. But, could I have predicted they’d be my most popular post of all time?! No way.
They took off on Pinterest (they’ve been re-pinned over 3,000 times!). It’s surprising, because I have other, better pins (like Best Ever Tuna Noodle Casserole and Chamomile Shortbread Cookies), but they aren’t nearly as popular.
Because, you can’t predict which posts will be hits and which will be duds. All you can do is publish content and expect nothing in the process.
While we all wish we could predict the future, we can’t.
#3: The Secret to Success
If you’re thinking about creating a blog, you probably want to know how other bloggers got good. What’s the secret to their success?
You can read a million posts on blogging, photography, utilizing social media, etc. While being informed is always a good thing, the number one way to get better at blogging (or anything) is by doing it.
Every veteran blogger will tell you they stunk at first but improved overtime through practice. So, as appealing as it is to sit on the sidelines and wait to post content when you’re great at photography, found your writing style, and so on, the thing is: the way you get those skills is through practice.
If you look at Unwed Housewife, there is an undeniable pattern of improvement, my new posts are much better than my old ones. My old posts are total crap. Seriously, look at this poor Tex-Mex pasta salad. (It’s such a great recipe, it deserves better!).
So, before you create your blog, know the secret to success is practice, not some magic bullet or piece of information. It’s just practice.
- If you’re serious about blogging, self-host.
- Expect nothing.
- Success comes from practice.
I wish I knew these 3 things before creating Unwed Housewife, and I hope you have an easier time creating your blog now that you know this stuff.
Best of luck on your blogging journey! You never know where it’ll take you.