5 Truths I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger

Next month marks exactly 4 years since the day I clicked “publish” on this little ol’ blog. No one is more surprised than me that a.) I didn’t quit within a month (because that’s usually how my workout routine normally goes at least)…

and b.) that blogging about DIY projects and home decorating is my actual bonafide paying job! I thank God every day for this dream come true (you can read more about our financial journey here, since that was a story for a different day). And I’m so thankful to you guys for following along on all of our mishaps and adventures in our home.

5 Truths I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger | blesserhouse.com - 5 real truths I wish I had known as a beginner blogger and how I make a full-time living writing a DIY and home decor blog.

I don’t talk about this sweet gig to brag though, I really don’t, so I hope you don’t take it that way. Because that’s not at all the point of this post.

Back then, I started this blog just as a journal to document my and Robert’s new adventures in beautifying our very first house. Then somewhere along the line, blogging became this huge flashing billboard all over the internet screaming, “Make money blogging! Work from home doing what you love!”

About every other day, I get emails from other beginner bloggers asking where they should start, how do they wade through the flood of information, and I realized now would probably be a great time to share everything I wish I’d known in hindsight when I was nervous in my beginner blogger days too.

So if you’ve been thinking about starting a blog or you have one but have been needing some ideas to grow, I hope this helps.

5 Things I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger:

(Some affiliate links are provided below.)

1. Blog like no one is watching.

Chances are, in the very beginning, only your mom is reading your blog anyway, so what do you have to lose? Realness and rawness and 100% you-ness is the best part of blogging. If you can love yourself (and laugh at yourself), others will too. The bloggers I love to follow the most are the ones who wear their hearts on their sleeves because they’re not just about pretty pictures and great ideas, they are people I can connect with.

The blog posts that I’ve written in the past when I’ve poured my heart out and held my breath and clicked “publish” and said to myself, “Well, I’m about to make a total idiot of myself”, those are the ones that ALWAYS get the best responses. Because I guess reality, sadly, is often hard to come by these days on picture-perfect social media. Is it corny to say just be yourself? Whatever, I’m throwing it back to kindergarten. Be yourself.

2. If you wait for perfection, you’ll never start.

The other day, I was talking to a friend about blogging, and she was so excited to start her blog. She had her site design up and running, she had 10 posts drafted with craft projects and recipes she’d done, and she had several more planned before she felt like she could officially launch her blog because she “wanted everything to be perfect”.

And my jaw dropped. I think my response was something like, “Girl, are you crazy?! Publish that thing!” Because I sure as heck didn’t have a plan starting mine. (Here’s my first blog post ever. It’s super snazzy… not.) Don’t think, just jump.

5 Truths I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger | blesserhouse.com - 5 real truths I wish I had known as a beginner blogger and how I make a full-time living writing a DIY and home decor blog.

3. If you wait until you know everything about blogging, you’ll never publish a single post.

After 4 years, I still don’t know everything about blogging, and I feel like I’m always behind. Because blogging is always changing and evolving and there’s absolutely no way to keep up. Learn as you go. Make mistakes. Trial and error is awesome like that. No matter what, find your voice and stick to it. The rest will work out in time.

4. Help others any way you know how.  

Blog because you have something you’re bursting to share that you know will help other people. The bloggers who are problem solvers are usually the ones who grow the most and make it a job because others find value in what they write. Be someone’s ray of sunshine but also do their homework for them.

5 Truths I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger | blesserhouse.com - 5 real truths I wish I had known as a beginner blogger and how I make a full-time living writing a DIY and home decor blog.

5. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

The one thing I wish I had access to from Day 1 of blogging was a road map to help me navigate this confusing online journey. (I feel like one of those people saying, “Back in my day, we had to walk uphill both ways in the snow.”)  There were little-to-no courses or ebooks or webinars available to guide me every step of the way, but there are SO many great ones to teach everything you need to know now.

Ultimate Bundles just launched the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit that is full of so many resources that I’ve used myself over the last couple of years. If you need help with learning photography, web design, SEO, affiliates, setting up email newsletters, social media, whatever you can think of, it’s there. The bundle is $5,800 worth of ebooks, courses, webinars, printables, and helpful resources for $97 that will end on October 9th at 11:59 pm EST.

You can click here to see everything that’s in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.

5 Truths I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger | blesserhouse.com - 5 real truths I wish I had known as a beginner blogger and how I make a full-time living writing a DIY and home decor blog.

Now if there’s like a Genius Fitness Toolkit out there or something, that would be greeaaat. Apparently, I still can’t find my groove with that one.

If you have a blog already, I’d love to check it out! Just leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you have a question about blogging that you’ve been dying to know, I’m happy to help as much as I can. Do you have a blogging resource that has helped you tons? Feel free to share!

If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

5 Truths I Wish I Had Known as a Beginner Blogger | blesserhouse.com - 5 real truths I wish I had known as a beginner blogger and how I make a full-time living writing a DIY and home decor blog.

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38 Comments

  1. As an intern blogger for a company struggling with an online presence, this makes me feel so much better! I’ve never blogged before, so this job definitely threw me into a realm I was SO unfamiliar with. This little piece was so helpful in reminding me that I am not alone and I am on the right track.
    Thank you!
    https://myletter2wordjourney.wordpress.com/

  2. Hello! Thanks for sharing about your journey. I’ve been blogging about a year and half and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I appreciate what you said about it not having to be perfect. SO true. That’s probably my biggest struggle, like did I do that right? Learning to just let the words flow.. Have a great day.

  3. A very encouraging post. I have been blogging for about 6 months now and it is so true how much there is to learn. I am not at all computer literate and I am learning so much with this journey. I work full time right now so I am finding it a bit overwhelming but would one day love for this to be my full time job.
    http://www.asweethomelife.com
    Thanks for your wonderful posts!! 🙂

  4. I feel like I’ve really tried to start taking blogging seriously in the past year and whew, it is overwhelming. I’ll definitely check out that bundle because I need help in all of those areas!! My blog is abluenest.com!

  5. Thanks for reaching out to new bloggers. I was wondering if you have done a post on “downloadable images” and how to add a library to a blog? I was going to start researching soon. I want to give some of my art away on my blog. I thought it would be rewarding to share some of the inspirational type work for my followers. At nuthouseweb.wordpress.com we are working on an old foursquare house that was flooded with 13′ of water. Some of the post are of my fledgling handmade business. Thanks for encouragement.

  6. I’m a beginner, but I’ll admit my adventure with blogging seems to have some similarities with your fitness struggle. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips! In a world that worships perfection, it’s refreshing to hear that being yourself is what people want to see. My blog is https://blueberryhomestead.wordpress.com/ and I’d love any feedback. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Thanks for the encouraging words in this blog post. I started a website to sell handmade cards and recipe albums, so the blog part is difficult. I struggle for post ideas. Someday I hope to get a pro to give me some pointers. Meanwhile I read helpful posts like yours, and learn a little more. Thanks again. Our blog is http://kimenink.com/blog.

  8. Hi Lauren! Thanks for sharing this post! I was in a rut of discouragement with my blog and your thoughts encouraged me today. I’ve had my domain for awhile, but finally decided to actually jump in and start really posting around April of this year. Sometimes it’s a struggle of not feeling good enough, but I loved your words about not waiting to start until it’s “perfect”. I try to remind myself that if I keep going, one post at a time, eventually I’ll be amazed at how far the journey has taken me! <3

    http://bellewoodcottage.com

  9. I really needed to hear this today! In the beginning did you stick to a regular posting schedule, and if so how often were you posting? I’m really struggling to get into the groove of consistent posting!

  10. I love your first post! Ha! So funny how much posts can change and evolve over time. My blog is https://happydayandi.wordpress.com/ and I think/hope I am getting better at this whole blogging thing! It’s just a little blog about our house remodeling and updates, but maybe someday I can grow it and have it really take off.

    PS I always enjoy reading everything you post!

  11. Thanks for sharing this. Although I blogged for years on Blogger for family, I decided to start blogging to showcase all my frugal DIY projects so I’ve spent the last few months trying to learn. Finally, I just had to do it, it’s no where near what I want it to be but I know I’ll get there eventually!

  12. I love this list. Ive been blogging for years, like 10 years, when it was just for family and friends and I never tried to monetize it. I was super regular for years until I tried to monetize and it felt like a job Instead of fun and I suddenly got nervous that I wasn’t good enough. I stopped trying to make money and it became less stressful and my traffic started to grow. Great tips. http://www.findingyourjoyinthejourney.com

  13. Thanks for the sharing this Lauren! You always have the best advice and I absolutely love how real you are. My little blog has been growing slowly but it feels like I learn something new every day. For some reason I JUST jumped on the Instagram train and have noticed that it’s helped with traffic a ton!

  14. This is very helpful .I have been thinking about starting a blog but had NO clue where to start . Life is too short short not to be a blessing to yours. Thanks again for the tips

  15. Hi, Lauren,
    Just pinned this post to my Pinterest board, Blog Tips and Resources. I do have a blog, http://www.botanicbleu.com/, and have been blogging since August 2012. I just realized I missed noting my 5-year anniversary. 🙂

    I love the armoire you recreated as a reading nook for your daughter. Surely, some magazine has already contacted you about publishing it. Beautiful work, but more importantly a fantastic creative mind to dream the idea.

    Judith

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