How to Start a Blog: 5 Things to Know

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging - How to Start a Blog Tips featured by popular DC blogger, Alicia Tenise

I get a lot of questions from people who want to start a blog. While I did make a post on how to start a blog a few years back, I do think that the industry has changed quite a bit since my last post, I’ve definitely grown as a blogger since that post, and the market has become way more oversaturated since then.

How to start a blog in 2018: is it worth it? Here’s why I say yes, and here are five things you should know before launching a blog.


Just Do It

I’ve talked to so many people who say they want to start a blog, but don’t feel that they’re ready yet. Real talk: no one’s blog is going to be perfect the minute they launch it. Heck, have you seen my blog posts from 2011? What a train wreck.

You’ll grow and learn as a blogger as time goes on, but the key is to just get your foot in the door and to start building an audience ASAP if you really want to give it a shot. The longer you wait, the more oversaturated the industry becomes.

A Small Investment Goes a Long Way

Do you want to make money? You have to spend money. When I first started blogging, I was in college, so all I could really afford was a $10 domain name and to work with a student photographer (who graciously took gorgeous photos pro bono!)

Fast forward a few years. After I started my first full-time job, I started to invest in photographers, new layouts, and finally made the switch from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress website. At first, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on blogging, but then I realized: by investing in a better design and working with professionals who could take my content to the next level, I started to earn more money because my site looked leaps and bounds better.

I’m not saying you have to invest a ton of money right off the bat. However, if you’re serious about the industry, make sure your website and content look the part. 

How to Start a Blog Tips featured by popular DC blogger, Alicia Tenise

Forget the Dollar Bills

I didn’t get paid a dime the first year I started blogging. It was purely a hobby, and earning an income wasn’t my end goal when I started. At the end of the day, I highly suggest for you to blog because you love creating content, not because of the swag and paid campaign opportunities. I had to do a lot of grunt work before anyone ever considered paying me (or gifting me for that matter!), but at the end of the day, I’m passionate about the industry and creating content.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

I’ve blogged in 3 different cities/metro areas now, and one thing I’ve had to do in each town was put myself out there. If there was a good networking opportunity, I’d have to just roll with it. Sometimes I’m offered a plus one at an event and can bring a friend, and sometimes, I just have to go alone. Sometimes I know people; sometimes I have to make new friends fast. I’m an “extroverted introvert,” so while I’m not always down to meet new people, you have to have your game face on at all times!

Quality > Quantity

It might be tempting to buy followers or join in a bunch of loop giveaways if you’re first starting out. Blogging might seem like a numbers game. However, an authentic, engaged audience is always better than followers that are lured by prizes.

When you’re starting off, focus on the quality of your work: don’t let yourself plateau, and try to think outside of the box. If you can only afford an iPhone starting out, consider partnering with a local photographer to create content, or renting a camera for bigger events. Collaborate with other bloggers on a project. High quality work will lead to more followers, in the long run, trust me!

What are things you wish you knew on how to started a blog before you hit publish?
Photos by Tom McGovern

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