I cannot believe Om Nom Herbivore is turning ONE!! In February of 2015 this space was just a little vision in my head. I hesitated and debated making this blog a reality for a few months before deciding “if not now, when?” and “If I don’t go for it, I might regret not trying”. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging other than I enjoyed reading a few of them to get recipes and learn more about veganism. I’ve been pouring my heart, soul, passion, and a little bit of cash into this space and I’m so glad I decided to just “dive-in” and go for it! If you are deciding whether or not to start a blog, here is a list of 11 things you should know before starting a blog!
10 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Blog
- TAKE A CLASS: If you don’t know heads from tails about running a blog, or even if you know a teeny bit, I would HIGHLY suggest taking a course on blogging from a trusted source to make sure when you launch you are armed with the right knowledge. I would also preface this by saying the course should not cost you more than $400-$500. If it costs more than that it’s either too in depth for a beginner, so lengthy you’ll get disinterested, or they’re just trying to take all your money before you even get started. I took Regina’s [of byregina.com] Zero to Blog course. It was a 40 day course (10 week) course that guided me through how to pick domain name, categories, picking a platform/host/URL, setting up your site, and how to plan for the future. In addition to that course, I have taken several other of Regina’s courses when I feel like there’s something I need to work on.
- IT TAKES TIME (alot of it): If all you want to do is dabble in blogging and post a few life updates from time-to-time this may not be true. But if you are moving towards making a business out of your blog in the future and want to put out posts weekly, be active on a few Social Media platforms, and try to snag sponsored posts it will most definitely take A LOT of time. Working 40 hrs, having a life, and a blog can be a difficult balance at times.
- ORGANIZING/PLANNING IS KEY: Because blogging takes a lot of time to create great content you’ll need to plan out time blocks for blogging. For me that looks like: planning out a few weeks worth of recipes, cooking it on Sunday and taking pictures, Monday – editing pictures, Tuesday – writing, Wednesday – proofreading and email prep, and Thursday is post day (most of the times) and social media scheduling.
- SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING: Building a following and staying relevant on Social Media takes constant attention. The internet can be a fickle thing and if you are absent for a few days you can very quickly be forgotten, unfollowed, and irrelevant. I’m not perfect about this, but I notice a dip in numbers and an increase in unfollows during the times I slack in the SM department and it can take a little bit to get it back up. Use a scheduling program like HootSuite, Buffer, or Tailwind to help you manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- YOU DON’T NEED TO BE ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS: If you don’t love Facebook, don’t use it. If the thought of using Twitter makes your nose wrinkle and it’s not proving to drive traffic to your site – don’t use it. Being on every platform can actually make each of them less effective. When you are just starting out pick 3 and focus on them or if you want to see which works best you can start with the keys (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) and then after like 2 months cut the ones that aren’t working for you.
- INVEST SOME MONEY: I’m not saying lots but some in the right areas that are important to you will go a long way. If you want people to keep coming back and for companies to want to work with you, you’ll need a site that looks pretty/flows well. Invest in a good platform and theme so that your site functions as expected. This may also mean investing in a designer to create your logo, banner, or watermark ($5-$100 depending on where you look and how much you want). It could also mean investing in equipment to make your pictures look great (light boxes*, a mid-range camera*, props, editing software) after all, pictures are what draw people in and get pins.
- HAVE PATIENCE: Success doesn’t happen over night. In my first year of blogging, I have made a mind-blowing 39 cents. Yeah you read that right. 39 cents. I’ve also gotten a few products to sample and giveaway. I cherish each of those pennies and opportunities. If I wasn’t working full time while blogging, maybe I could have grown that faster but who knows.
- BE WILLING TO SHARE: This one has been a struggle for me. I am not used to sharing much of myself on the internet – in person it’s a different story, but when it’s in print it’s a little intimidating to share something that will be permanently on the internet. People love it when they can relate and feel included in their favorite bloggers/celebrities/internet personalities life. Think about your favorite people you follow online, don’t you enjoy it when they share a little snippet of their daily life with you?!
- KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO: Your readers and followers trust is earned and it’s hard to gain back if you mislead them. If a brand reaches out to you to do a post about their product, be realistic. If you knowingly don’t like the product, or try it and then realize you don’t like it. Return the product and the compensation. Doing the post just to make a few dollars or get a free product is not worth losing the trust of your readers. If they purchase the item you reviewed as “awesome” when it really was pretty terrible will have them questioning your judgement on future product reviews.
- BE YOU – DON’T COMPARE: *THE* most important thing is to be YOU! Write your blog in your voice, about topics you are passionate about, and share information you feel good about. Try not to get caught up comparing yourself to other blogs out there or mimicking someone elses’ style. You never know how long that person has been blogging, if it’s their full time job, if its their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd blog, etc etc. So focus solely on YOU and getting to your goals! After all, if you are not passionate about it or being your true self it will be hard to sustain over time!
- TURN OFF YOUR PHONE: Yes. DO IT! Give yourself a moment, the weekend, or a vacation to disconnect. So often I find myself attached to my phone WAY more than I should be solely because of blogging. It was my biggest fear when I started blogging that I would be attached to the internet/phone far too much. It is so so important to just turn it off, leave it at home, or head out into the woods with your friends and family and just leave the internet behind. In addition to turning your phone off, for the times when you feel you can’t do that, at least do yourself a favor and turn off the push notification settings for you apps! I promise that you don’t need to know about a like, comment, follow, or repin the moment it happens. If it takes a couple of hours before you notice the world will still be turning 🙂
TOP FIVE POSTS
No no recipe today but in addition to the blogging tips, I wanted to share a few of the top posts/recipes from the first year. Thank you so much for reading my blog, following me on social media, being an email subscriber, leaving comments, or any other way you’ve contributed to this space. I am so grateful 🙂
The links marked with an asterisks (*) are affiliate links. and any purchase you make will help support my blog at no additional cost to you.