There are so many things that I was blissfully ignorant of the very first time I hit that orange "Publish" button on my blog (then known as Life as I pretend to Know It) (sometimes I miss that blog name, sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking). But along the way, I have learned a few things about this here world of blogging.
You're going to feel left out. Like I've mentioned before, blog land is a lot like high school. And when you start your blog, you're the new kid. It's not like the other bloggers are being mean and trying to make you feel left out, but it happens. It sucks, but it will get better. Eventually you'll have your own circle of blogging friends, that may have started off as just one friend, but to your surprise and delight, grew to quite a few.
You're going to hate this place sometimes. I'm sure there comes a point in every bloggers life where they question what they are doing writing a blog. The writing of posts, combined with scheduling of said posts, scheduling tweets (if you do that) (I don't), promoting your sponsors, answering emails, commenting on other blogs, it can all get overwhelming and feel like a big ole responsibility instead of this fun hobby you decided to start one day. Usually one of two things happen after this: (1) you take a break, get your bearings, and come back so fiercely and passionately that you wonder why you ever doubted yourself, or (2) you quit.
There are "rules" to being a blogger. Not that you have to follow all of them. However, many of the "rules" posts I've read are pretty helpful and I have taken into account what they've said and (usually) put my own spin on them. Some rules are silly, like the one that says you have to have a picture in every post; or the one that says you have to apologize for an absence in blogging. It's your blog do what you want. But be courteous, be somewhat consistent, and (for Gods sake) reply to your comments.
Social media is helpful, but not necessary. If you are serious about growing and promoting your blog, I would recommend getting a twitter account. But it's not necessary. I didn't have a twitter for the first several months of blogging, but I will say that after I made an account (and stalked/added all of my favorite bloggers) I did see an increase in traffic to my blog. Do I shout out my post every day or schedule tweets every other hour? Hell no. But I do use it as a communication tool to keep in touch with other bloggers. And some days, I'll mention my blog post.
People can be mean. They say that when people start leaving mean comments on your blog, then you've really made it to the big leagues. I guess I'm still near the bottom of the totem pole because no one has ever said anything mean to me. But it doesn't change the fact that there are still people out there, trolling the internet with nothing but time on their hands and hate in their heart.
You have to spend money to make money. This pretty much goes for everything in life. Want to make a lot of money? Gotta pay for college. Want to make money blogging? Gotta grow your blog. I'm not saying that it can't be done without spending any money, but it helps. There are literally a billion (okay not literally) blogs out there, so you have a pretty slim chance of getting noticed on your own. This is where sponsorships come in. Swap buttons, sponsor bloggers you love, do guest posts. Any and all of these things will help to grow your blog and (maybe) get you a little recognition.
What are some things you've learned since you started blogging?