5 Important Blogging Lessons from a “New” Blogger

I started blogging in June 2014 and of course, I jumped in head first. I participated in Twitter chats, I commented on a ton of other blogs, I spent some money, I wrote a guest post or two, I was featured on BlogHer a couple of times… I was excited! This was great! I posted OFTEN and after a couple of months, I just wasn’t sure how I would keep up. My job became increasingly demanding and my side Etsy shop became increasingly busy; it was nearly impossible to juggle it all.

After what felt like a blog burnout, a fresh start was needed and I hoped to take what I learned over the past year and a half and apply it to my “new” blog and business. Below, I give some advice for those who are starting out in this blog eat blog world.

New Blogger Advice

  1. Be Yourself: This is the most important word of advice I can give to bloggers. A friend of a friend came up to me at a party and said, “I read your Breakfast with Bentley blog the other day.” Wow! I was so excited! How did she even know about it? I was flattered. She continued: “But, I don’t like dogs, so I probably won’t read ever it again.” Ouch. That one stung. She clearly read the most recent post and didn’t bother to peek through my other ones. I write about topics I’m passionate about. I have two dogs, how could I not write about them? They are part of my life! I will always strive to be authentic in my writing and hope others can relate.
  2. Invest Wisely: Grab a great blog design – Etsy has a ton of up and coming graphic artists who sell designs, logos, etc. and they don’t charge an arm and a leg for a pretty aesthetic. Also, think about sponsoring some of your favorite blogs – it may help to get your name out there to readers who normally wouldn’t otherwise look for you. Some of the sponsorships are pretty cheap and totally worth it.
  3. You don’t have to have a “niche”. This blog is considered “lifestyle”. You know why? Because it’s about my life and I have a ton of style. Duh. But for real, I don’t have kids (yet), so I wouldn’t be considered a “mommy blogger”, I don’t post my daily outfits, so I wouldn’t be a “fashion blogger”. I hate cooking so clearly I’m not creating any recipes of my own, so I wouldn’t be a “food blogger”. So then what would I be? Do I have to be anything? The answer is no: I’ll just do me.
  4. Live and Learn: You can’t nail it every single time and that’s ok. Some posts may suck. Some may unexpectedly get picked up by other big websites. If you are writing using your true voice, telling your story, and connecting with others along the way, then it shouldn’t matter. Keep chugging along and your posts will continue to grow as your blog does.
  5. Don’t jump the shark: I like to read other blogs because their topics interest me. When they stop writing about those said topics and every post seems like an advertisement, I instantly become disinterested. I recently noticed that some of my favs no longer blog about the topics they use to talk about. They are all trying to sell something. A product, outfit, advice, courses, diets, etc. I’ll be honest – I promote products in which I truly believe in. Some I have been compensated for and some I just talk about because I love them that much. But once you cross over and the blog becomes a shop for random products, I’m out.

Work Space

What advice can you give people who have just started their blogging journey?

Leave words of wisdom in the comment section below! 

  • This!!! Yes! Thank you! I don’t have a niche. I’m a lifestyle blogger (2 weeks new) and I get told all the time I need a niche to be successful. I’m striving to prove them wrong 😉

    • Kristine

      Honestly – I have seen some of the successful bloggers agree – just write from your heart and your readers will come and stay! Good luck and welcome to the club!!

  • Love this because it is all so true! It’s so important to just keep doing what you love. Post what interests you and stay real…the rest comes from there.

    • Kristine

      You can say that again!!!

  • Cat

    Exactly! I hate feeling like I have to have a “niche”. I’m a lifestyle blogger, so I’ll talk about fashion and maybe do a few fashion posts, but also fitness, travel, and whatever other cool stuff I do. I knew going into my blog that I didn’t want to write “how-to-blog” posts, but I’ve done a few because I feel my opinion can be useful to others and blogging is a part of my life. I also agree about people constantly promoting/selling stuff on their website. Once in a while is fine for promotions, or even if it’s a small promotion in a greater blog post. Great post 🙂

    • Kristine

      Exactly!!!! We are like blog spirit animals! 😉

  • Love this!!! I feel you with the blogs that are always doing sponsored posts. Not to mention that any other blogger probably knows that said company is promoting posts, because they saw it up for “sale” too. I don’t mind them once in a while, but I read other people’s blogs to learn about them, not products they’re paid to promote. 🙂

    Also…I hate that I DO have a niche. I actually may consider doing what you did. I don’t always have a project, but do want to write. And then I worry that if I write a post that isn’t a DIY, that some of my followers wouldn’t like it. 🙁

    • Kristine

      Your niche is awesome and I have yet to see another like it – I’d read it regardless 😉

  • Great post with some really good advice. I’m a new blogger and have always wanted to start my own blog, so here I am blogging away =) I have been keeping up with many different bloggers and have too noticed that some of my favorites are now all about promoting something, they don’t ever post from the heart or even what is going on in their life anymore. My goal is to stay true to what I have set out to do. Wish me luck =)

    Lydia
    chicandmodish.com

    • Kristine

      Good luck! And thank you! I will promote from time to time – rarely get paid for it lol but sometimes it’s too much! I read for exactly those same reasons ! I look forward to seeing what you have in store!

  • This post is just what I needed to read, thanks Kristine! I’m just about to launch my blog, first time ever super scary, and I didn’t feel I had a specific “niche” other than just sharing my life as a graduate. So this really helped my nerves to know that its okay to not have a niche!

    http://thecitynotebook.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Kristine

      Congratulations!!!! How exciting! Honestly, you will read articles and advice from others that you need a niche, but you will have readers that fall in love with your writing, whatever topic that may be! Can’t wait to read your first post! 🙂