When I joined the world of blogging in 2015, I had no idea what I was in for. Although it’s an amazing feeling to have a website to your name, sometimes you can feel as though you are drowning in a vast ocean. However, if I’d known these five things, I believe that I would have been better equipped for the lows that come with the highs.

Be realistic

Social media may lead you to believe that starting a blog brings you instant success where you no longer have to work outside of the blog. However, this simply isn’t true for the majority of bloggers. Set yourself some realistic goals for where you see your blog in the next week, month, year and even five years. If you start off publishing a blog post every day, can you continue this a year from now? Readers love consistency so if you can publish a blog post at the same time, on the same day, at regular intervals, then you are winning! This makes readers more eager and builds their anticipation for the next blog post so they become loyal followers. If you want to get serious about blogging, you need to schedule in non-negotiable time for your blog. Think of it like a job or a meeting. This way, you’ll refrain from doing less important tasks first while freeing up the rest of your day to focus on other areas of your life.

Be proactive

When you first start blogging, the more social media platforms you can use to bring traffic to your blog, the better. Your ultimate goal is to reach a maximum number of people who can then create a domino effect by recommending your blog to their friends, who recommend it to their friends, and so on. This may take some time though so be patient. Initially, you may want to also use some blog-specific platforms such as Mealz and of course HBC for content on health and wellbeing. Seek your own success by getting in touch with several companies who align with what your blog stands for. The worst that can happen is you get turned down, but you could also be given an opportunity that boosts your blog’s traffic and gets your name out there!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Widgets, posts and plugins can all seem a bit overwhelming if you face the mammoth task of setting up and running a blog all on your own. The old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ definitely applies here as you can lower your stress levels greatly by asking someone for help. I roped different members of my family into helping me with my grammar, blog design, plugins and media publicity. Lucky them, I know! But if all else fails, you can count on the internet to answer any of your questions; chances are others have asked the same questions that you are asking! Bloggers who are ‘competing’ with each other should support each other rather than feeling intimidated as no two blogs are exactly the same. I have a whole favourites list of bookmarked blogs – you can never have too many, right?! Therefore, don’t be afraid of reaching out to similar bloggers as they will usually be more than happy to help give you advice.

Write content that makes YOU happy

Don’t get caught up writing what you think others want to read instead of what you are truly passionate about. Readers can see right through a lack of authenticity. If you enjoy what you are writing about, chances are others will too. I find the best way to think of something to write about is… to not think about it! I keep a little notebook handy for when I get some inspiration for a blog post from the things around me. This book is a lifesaver to come back to when I get ‘writer’s block’! Often, I’ll be out exercising when I suddenly picture exactly how my next blog post is going to look. Luckily, I can use the ‘Notes’ app on my phone while I’m out to jot everything down whilst it’s still fresh in my head.

Find your niche

Figure out how you can stand out from the crowd. In our modern day world, blogging has become the norm and many are earning money from it. What’s special about your blog that no one else has done? Who’s your target audience? There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to blog so have confidence in your decisions. If there’s a specific Instagram page or blog that is based on a similar topic or idea to yours, make yourself known. Like, comment, share… Something exciting was presented to me after I simply expressed myself with emojis! Take advantage of having a voice online. Make sure to allow comments on your blog as it opens a new door of opportunities for readers to express themselves and feel connected to you without even meeting you. Embrace the comments, whatever they may be, as they provide you with crucial feedback!