April 25, 2017

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started a Blog

I came onto the blogging scene as a blank canvas; not knowing how to work anything, the positives and negatives to blogging, how to blog (if there is a right way which I, personally, don't think there is) and what on earth I am going to write about. Obviously I should have done a little more research so I had a little head start before jumping right into the deep end. The only experience I had with blogging was reading other blogs and having friends who run their own blogs, does that even count as experience in blogging?

There have been a THOUSAND of things I have learnt since blogging and I probably wouldn't have if I didn't start it. However, some of these skills/tactics/aspects I wish I would've known as soon as I started blogging as it would have been so much easier to grow my blog naturally.

Here are some things which imply that I didn't know much about blogging when I started it.

  • I didn't know there was a blogging community out there
  • I only discovered twitter chats in August (about 8 months after starting my blog)
  • I thought there were rules to what you could write about but no it's whatever you want to write about
  • I didn't put much care into my photos or layout or my blog look at all
  • I didn't know I could promote my own blog publicly (which is so stupid because how would anyone discover it, duhhh)



 How time consuming it is

Obviously I know I am not a blogger full-time but I have been strict with myself in creating a tight schedule which is to publish at least 3 posts a week. I like to keep to this schedule once I have committed. However, it is surprising how much time goes into writing and creating just one post so to post 4 times a week can be a little hectic. Along with blogging, I am at university so my time is usually prioritised to studying, but I enjoy blogging so much that studying occasionally gets put behind.


All the different aspects to blogging

The social media, writing a post, discovering new blogs and playing your part in the blogging community; all of these aspects are a part of blogging, which you tend to sometimes miss out. When I first started out, I did not realise how many sections there were to blogging. Still to this day, surprisingly, I still have many aspects to improve upon and possibly yet to discover, but for now I am jam-packed with the amount of work I have to do and deal with for my blog already.


The importance of your blog photography

The photography of your blog tends to complete the overall look of your blog and allows it to stand out that little bit more.

When I first published my blog, I was oblivious to how my photographs looked and what the quality of them were, and I didn’t put much effort into the overall presentation of them. However, recently, in the last few months, I’ve started taking photos in groups, editing them there and then so they are ready for future posts. This is so handy just incase I am unprepared for a certain post and need quick access to a photo, I will always have a spare one hanging around on my laptop waiting to be used. I have also started to edit my photos using the same effects so there is a theme and a certain style to my photos. I have slight OCD so when I noticed all my photos were edited differently, I had to sort them out.

How much thought that goes into writing a single post

You have the type of post, your content, the layout, what photographs you’ll use, the title of the post and when you will publish it. AND breathe. There’s a lot more thought that goes into a post rather than writing it in half an hour, grabbing a few old photographs and done, it’s published. Um, no. I don’t think that has ever happened to a blogger unless you are insanely organised, know exactly what you’ll write and have photos at the ready.


The anxiety you get once you've published a post

After pressing that all important (and scary) ‘publish’ button, your mind goes through a world of its own, questioning whether the post is well written, you’ve promoted it, made no spelling mistakes or included broken links…it’s not until you’ve got a few views, or good feedback through the comments that you feel happy with the post.


Constantly thinking of new ideas for posts 

It always happens at the most inconvenient times when I have nowhere to write it and end up having hundreds of notes written on my iPhone, with no organisation to them whatsoever. The worst time for me is when I’m about to go to sleep. I tell myself *ok sleep time* and then my brain suddenly wakes up and BOOM *oooh here’s a good post idea* NO, LET ME SLEEP. Sadly, this is very accurate and happens several times a week to me.


I'm pretty sure I still have so much to learn through blogging, but if you're a newbie to it, hopefully these few tips will help you get ahead of it. They certainly would've helped me when I first started my blog.


What lessons have you learnt from blogging?

22 responses to “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started a Blog”

  1. Josie Brownlee says:

    OMG you're so right with loads of these!! It takes me so long to write and edit a post and check through it (cause yeh the pressure when you publish a post is scary! so I go over some of them several times!) – credit to you for getting out 3 a week! I'm not a full time blogger either and with uni work and part time jobs its sometimes really hard to stay regular (in fact that's something I really need to work on!)Photography is definitely one of the most important parts – depending on the blogger/post topic it can sometimes sway me from reading/liking a post! And I too always get my best post ideas at night – so annoying – I've got an ongoing iPhone notes list too! JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

    • Abigail West says:

      It took me about 3 hours yesterday just to sort out the photo layout for a post, it's madness! I always think about sections of a post and realise how much more I could have said/wrote so end up going back and adding a little to the post (only occasionally, not often). I've recently changed from 3 to 4 times a week and trust me, that little difference is SO much more work, aha! I'm starting to get a little more confident and creative (I think) with my photography and I love creating photographs so it's like a hobby in itself for me. Abs x

  2. Indya S says:

    I have definitely found that it takes a lot more time than I realised, but I also think that's because I love it so much that I WANT to put more time into it. I love reading other people's blogs, joining blogging groups on Facebook, brainstorming ideas and taking photos for posts. Whilst it can be stressful always coming up with new content, I do like the challenge.I also didn't research ANYTHING before I started blogging, which I wish I did now, but learning is half the fun! My blog has already brought me such joy in the 8 months that I've had it, and I'm so excited to see where it goes in the future ☺️http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

    • Abigail West says:

      The time it takes to create a post sometimes puts me off writing it which is so bad. I completely agree with you though, I love publishing a new post and putting all the different aspects into it. I hope you get it to where you want it to, it's looking great so far! 🙂 Abs x

  3. Melina says:

    I was just like you! I started my blog back in December, and I was the same exact way. I didn't know that it was going to take so much work! I had to start a twitter cause of my blog, and now I love it! I didn't know there was a huge community, and now i've made so many amazing friends. It's like this whole new world opened up to me! While blogging takes a lot of work, I wouldn't change my decision to create a blog for the world xxxMelina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

    • Abigail West says:

      I was so out of the blogging community back when I started, had no idea about any of it, but I also love it now! I'm so happy to be a part of it and everyday I get more and more excited for what the future has in store for the blogging community. Abs x

  4. Emily says:

    Oh my goodness, I totally relate to all of this!! I discovered twitter chats about nine months in and WOW what a difference it made! It also took me forever to venture into customizing my layout. Hopefully a newbie blogger will read this post and find out sooner than I did all of the things it took so long to learn!xoxoEmilyemilyhallock.blogspot.com

    • Abigail West says:

      Yes totally!! I think I remember it doubled my views after taking part in my first twitter chat and I discovered so many new bloggers through it. Abs x

  5. Claire Gordon says:

    So, so true! I've only been blogging for about 2 months now but I never realised how time consuming it would be! I have to say it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done though! Great post lovely.Claire xo

    • Abigail West says:

      It's soooo time consuming haha! I completely agree, I'm so proud of the journey my blog has been through. Abs x

  6. Kim K Photography says:

    This is such a great post! I'm sure it's going to help so many people, I wish I had read posts like this before I started blogging it would have helped me loads

  7. Katerina Chystykova says:

    Omg! I felt the same for pretty long time and maybe I still struggle with something. I was even reading some parts of the article and was like: wow, I didn't think about this, but it actually happened/happens with me!Im still learning, I keep doing lots of mistakes. Fortunately, I know some of them and try to reduce them and improve. For example, I started paying more attention to photos. I'm not perfect yet, but hope I'm improving now. And I also started seeing(if I can call it like this) what I actually like and would like to write about. Not just like "mmh, I like it, maybe I can write about it too." and then I just struggled because I didn't really wanted to write about it. Or when there were trendy topics/things and I just wanted to do it, because it's popular and maybe it will gain me some followers, but it happened that I didn't like all of that trendy topics and my posts were pretty awful:( I still work on all of my troubles and hope soon I will do better.Great post! Seriously, it's amazing❤Katehttps://limbria.blogspot.com/

    • Abigail West says:

      I am still discovering aspects to blogging now but I love learning new things about the blogging world. That's so good that you know your own mistakes, I feel I have a lot but no idea what they are haha (maybe before it was my photography). There's no need to "have" to follow trends or fit in with what everyone else is writing about. This is the beauty about blogging, it's yours and you need to make it your own. Thank you 🙂 I'll take a look at your blog now. Abs x

  8. Abbie says:

    I totally agree with these! I didn't realise how much work went into blogging and set myself an unrealistic goal of posting three times a week when I knew nothing about blogging and ended up struggling to post once a week. I use an app called Evernote for organising my blog post ideas. It allows you to have different notebooks and its just really easy to use. Abbieoverpeachchic.com

    • Abigail West says:

      I remember when I first started out blogging, I posted twice within about 6 months…But then I went from no posts to posting daily during my America travels, and then started posting a few times a week. Now I've just changed from 3 to 4 times a week and it's very time consuming but I love blogging so much. I'll definitely look into the Evernote APP, it sounds like something that would be very handy for me. Abs x

  9. Alice Snell says:

    Such a fab and honest post! I agree that until you start blogging you don't realise how much time and effort goes into it, it literally takes up all of my free time but I love it!Alice | alicemaysnell

  10. Sophia Whitham says:

    I was exactly like you when I started out, I knew nothing of twitter chats, in fact I didn't have twitter! and I was missing out on so much of the community aspect. I too felt like there were these unwritten rules as to what you could post, and it took a month or so to break away and realise that there weren't. As for time and effort, Jesus! It's a full time hobby thats for sure!Sophia xx http://sophiawhitham.co.uk

    • Abigail West says:

      I had twitter but hardly used it and didn't really know what to use it for (sounds silly right?) It's amazing how some aspects of the community can really help your blog grow. Definitely is a full time hobby! Abs x

  11. sopharsogood says:

    Great post – sooo know what you mean about some of these! I work in marketing/social media anyway so I thought I was pretty clued up but how time consuming it is to run a personal blog in your spare time has hit me HARD…and I'm only three weeks in! That, the post-publishing anxiety and the always thinking of new ideas have been the biggest unexpected challenges I think. Well done you for getting out 3 posts a week, I could never do that!Sophie xxx | Sophar So Good

    • Abigail West says:

      Yes, that is so handy for blogging. It's definitely hit me hard for the past month or so as my university workload is increasing so much! Abs x

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