When I got serious about blogging, I had no idea that there was a whole vast world behind it. Once I finally dove in and got serious about blogging, I realized that I had so much to learn.
As I always say, I’m definitely no expert, but I do like to share things that I have helped me grow as a blogger, so I want to share a few things that I wish I had known before I got serious about my blog.
 PICK A BLOG NAME THAT YOU LOVE
Before you start blogging, think long and hard about a blog name that you want to keep long term. I changed my blog name about three times before I settled down on this one, and now I can’t imagine changing it to anything else. Starting off with a name that you don’t plan on changing down the road will be easier for so many reasons.
1// When you create your social media accounts associated with your blog, you don’t have to worry about changing your tags or social media URLs.
2// You won’t confuse your followers. There are some blogs I followed that changed their name with no warning, and I assumed the fell off the face of the earth, come to find they just changed their name.
3// You don’t have to worry about buying a new domain name. I’ve never had to switch over a domain name because I didn’t buy one until I settled on this blog name (luckily). I can only imagine how big of a hassle it would be.
 DON’T EXPECT MONEY OR FREE STUFF
If you’re looking at starting a blog for a get rich quick scheme or just to get free stuff, then blogging may not be for you. If you want to blog, you should do it for other reasons like your passion to write or share your thoughts on certain subjects with others. I never thought as blogging as a full-time job or anything like that. I didn’t even know that was a thing until I really started dedicating myself to my blog. Earning money or getting free stuff from your blog is a perk if your blog does get to that point, but don’t expect it all to happen right off the bat.
 YES, YOU SHOULD HAVE MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES FOR YOUR BLOG
One of the beautiful things about social media is that there are so many of them, meaning that you can communicate with others in the way that you’re most comfortable to do so. One of the burdens of social media is also that there are so many of them. It may seem inconvenient to have to keep up with so many social media accounts, but having accounts on the major social media sites gives your readers options. Most bloggers have Bloglovin, so that’s a great way for bloggers to keep up with each other, but what about the people that aren’t bloggers? Take the time to maintain social media accounts on all the major sites, namely Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. This will help further your blog’s reach and gain readers from different avenues.
 BLOGGING ISN’T A COMPETITION
It’s so easy to get carried away comparing everything about your blog to other blogs. Whether its their layout, their content, their ‘about me’ section, or even the blogger, you’re always going to feel like someone out there is doing it better than you. The important thing to remember is why you started blogging. Focus on yourself, your content, and growing your blog rather than trying to do what other bloggers are already out there doing.
 DON’T BLOG FOR EVERYONE ELSE
Question for you: Why do you even want to start a blog? Once you answer that question, make it your mantra. Focus on that every time you sit down to blog. Remember that when you’re blogging, you’re blogging for yourself and not the rest of the world. Don’t focus on the numbers, how many followers you have, how much money you’re making. If you focus on that, your passion won’t shine through, so focus on blogging for yourself, and you’ll be surprised how quickly other people will connect with you.
 DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR MISSING A DAY OF BLOGGING
Sometimes, you won’t feel like writing. Sometimes, you go on vacation and you’re away from a computer. Sometimes, you’re having a grand time living your life. That’s okay. You shouldn’t feel obligated to blog every single day. You should want to want to blog every day. There’s never any reason to apologize for missing a day.
 KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOLLOWERS AND READERS
I’ve seen blogs with 1000, 3000, or even 7000+ followers, but their blog posts only have 1-5 comments. It’s great to have thousands of followers, but if no one is actually reading your content, then your followers aren’t a legitimate representation of your blog’s success. In my humble opinion, I would rather have lower numbers and more comments rather than higher numbers and little no comments. I love engaging with my readers, but if no one is commenting on my posts, then there’s no one to actually engage with. So you have to decide what’s more important to you: growing the number of followers you have or growing your actual readership.
 SHARE THE LOVE
I’ve always said that blogging isn’t just about sharing things that you want to say; it’s also about connecting with others and reading about what others have to say too. If you really want to have a successful blog, reading and commenting on other blogs should be a part of your blog routine. Networking is key when it comes to running a successful blog, which brings me to my next point…
 JOIN A BLOGGING NETWORK
Or join a few of them. Most networks have a minimum amount of followers or page views in order for you to join. There are also lots of Facebook groups that you can join that don’t have a minimum requirement. Look into joining those and start connecting with bloggers. Join networks that apply to your niche or join them based on location, age group, etc. This makes it easier for you to connect with bloggers that have the same interests as you.
 SIGN UP FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS
I didn’t even know what Google Analytics was for several months after I started blogging. I based my stats on my Blogger views, which I later learned was pretty inaccurate (ironically enough). When you’re working with or trying to work with other brands, they often ask for stats, and many times, they request it from Google Analytics, because it’s the most accurate. Sign up for it as soon as you start your blog to ensure that your blog’s statistics are up-to-date.
Click here for part 2 of Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging!
What things do you wish you knew before you started blogging?