I wanted to share a few things that have been on my mind lately that I think could be helpful to those of you are interested in starting a blog. While I think that everyone should do their own research and figure out how to start a blog on their own (which is why I often don’t respond to those DM’s when people ask me how to start a blog), I have a few tips that I’ve learned over the years that I wish I would have know before I started.
1. Having a Blog is Time Consuming
A LOT of time goes into having a blog. One blog post can take several hours to complete. From the beginning of the post’s conception to the moment you hit publish, there are several steps that must be completed before it’s go time. You can add on a week if the post is sponsored with the back and forth on deliverables and making selects. Once I have an idea of what I want to post, I will either reach out to brands I’m interested in working with or go shopping to pull the pieces of the look together. Once I have the product, I schedule it into an allotted photoshoot time that I have twice a month with my photographer. Once the photos have been shot and edited, I work on the actual blog post. Some blog posts take an hour start to finish to complete, while others can take a few days. It all depends on what you are writing about and how many outside links and widgets you will be using.
This is just one example but in addition to creating content there are emails to respond to, invoices to submit, brands to reach out to, Direct Messages to respond to, every day outfit photos to take and tasks to submit in varies portals. You will also need time to engage on Instagram and other social media channels, put outfits together, shop for those said outfits and the list goes on.
2. You Must Have Thick Skin
When you write or speak about something that you are passionate about, be prepared to have others disagree with you. The best part about having your own blog is that you can talk about whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean that people will always agree with you or support you. I’ve certainly had my fair share of complaints, ugly messages and downright rude comments from people who don’t agree with my point of view. There are also people who will put you down for sharing what you feel is worthy of screen time on your platform. I was really bothered at first when I received negative messages or “hate mail” and would hold onto that one awful message for days. Over the years I’ve learned that hurt people, hurt people and while it’s okay for everyone to have their own opinions and not agree with me, I don’t need to buy into someone’s hurtful comments because I know they simply aren’t true. I’ve learned how to channel the positive comments and I always go back to the reason I started my blog, which is to help others get dressed and feel good about themselves. If I help one person a day, my job is done!
3. You Will Wear Many Hats
I didn’t know I would turn into a business manager, photographer or small business owner (so add on everything that goes along with that) when I started Loverly Grey. I just wanted to style outfits and share my favorite sales with those around me. I didn’t know that I would eventually have so many job responsibilities from several different lines of work that I would be completing day in and day out. I am very thankful that I have a team member who helps with several of these responsibilities but that wasn’t my case right away. And if you would have asked me when I started if I would have a full time employee at this point, I would have laughed. I would have never thought there was enough work for more than one person to do but now I see how we could easily add one a few more. Growth is great and It should be a goal when you start your blog but just be prepared for long days and sleepless nights (from time to time) to get everything done!
4. There Is No Off Switch
Chris came up with this one. And boy is It true. This is something I need to work on. My job starts from the time I first pick up my phone when I wake up – I know I’m not the only one who goes straight to Instagram or clicks on the gmail app to see what emails came in over night – to the time I go to bed at night. There are always messages to respond to whether that be email or direct messages within Instagram. I really try to respond to each person who messages me and think it’s important to build that trust with your readers. But It can be difficult from time to time. If I want to take a day off, I end up playing catch up the next day making sure that everything is up to date. At home, Chris and I have rules where there are no cell phones allowed at certain times like during dinner but it’s so easy to just click on Instagram and start responding to messages in the car on the way to date night instead of spending that quality time talking.
I highly suggest that you set boundaries for yourself around this. Mostly because it’s so easy to accidentally spend an hour doing something for the blog when all you were trying to do is get ready for bed or fall asleep. Designate blocks of time throughout the day to complete blog related tasks and so you don’t get bogged down when it’s “off” time. Make a to do list, set timers on your phone, whatever you need to do to make sure that you have time between blog life and your real life – even though there is a very fine line between the two at times.
5. Your Spouse or Significant Other Will Need To Be Heavily Involved
You will need help. I remember a few months after our wedding, I told Chris I wanted to start a blog. He thought the idea was great and he was glad I was taking up a hobby and sharing about things he knew I was passionate about. He always jokes that he didn’t know that WE were starting this blog together. Needing him to take my pictures became a chore for him at first and he definitely resented It in the beginning. I say all of this to say that unless you plan to take every photo on a self timer or tripod, you will need someone else to help you photograph the content you are creating. It can be a friend, spouse or parent. My mom used to help me a ton in the beginning and still helps me now with photos from time to time. I started working with a photographer early on to help me with photos for my blog posts. I would then have Chris take my everyday outfit photos or meet up with a blogger friend to shoot looks a few times per month.
Chris does so much more than photos these days. He helps me run the business. He helps me with taxes and speaks with our business accountant weekly. He loves data and reporting and if I could ever in a million years convince him to come work with me, these are things he would continue to do!
I also have an assistant (who really is wayyyy more than that) who wears just as many hats, if not more, than I do. She helps me day in and day out run Loverly Grey. At the end of the day, you will need help in some form to get you on the path of success with your blog. Finding someone you love and trust is a must!
There are so many things that go into running a blog. So many tasks that are all done on the backend to make It possible. I’ve mentioned this on stories previously, but I took a class from a girl named Megan (@bloomintobeautiful) who taught me all about the ins and outs of blogging when I was about six months in. If you are interested in starting a blog but don’t know where to start, I would highly suggest speaking with her! She’s amazing and can give you told on info on how to get started.
Following my dreams of sharing outfits and sale alerts definitely has it’s challenges from time to time. But It also allows be to work with brands like JCPenney to bring you pieces I love. If you are a nursing mom or just a girl who loves a good button-front dress, this striped number is for you! She’s currently on sale for $20 with 20STYLE and fits true to size! I’m wearing XS.
I hope that this post has been beneficial. Comment below and let me know what other blog related topics you want me to cover next!