What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

A LOT of people have been asking me to write a post like this and it’s just always felt… weird. But I’m finally going to sit down to do this and I hope this helps if you’re looking for some insight into the world of blogging. Let’s get right into it..

Blogging involves a lot more than simply writing blog posts

Before Castle Party (and The Disney Outpost, Destination Disney, Brittany Earns Her Ears, etc…) I had a LiveJournal. (I know I’m dating myself here– but before all of this when I just just like anyone else sharing mundane ramblings from my day on LiveJournal, it was actually kind of easy to get a “following.”

I say “following” because back then I (and I don’t think any bloggers) really thought of this as a way to get followers but just as a way to basically keep a journal and maybe connect with other people who could relate. I wasn’t concerned with getting lots of “followers” (and to be honest I’m still not, but more on that later), and the world of blogging was just different then.

To run this blog today I spend lots of time building our little community on social media, and while the number of followers isn’t that important to me, people don’t just stumble upon blogs like they used to 10+ years ago so you need to put in the effort to get your blog out there. That isn’t something I really considered to the fullest extinct when I started taking blogging seriously. Likewise I didn’t realize how much time I’d spend designing and editing the physical website and managing different apps and extensions even once the site is up. (On top of things like my email list, Tailwind, Blogmas, keeping track of guest posts and my writers’ work, etc…).

Lots of people do not like bloggers

Being a blogger comes with some negative connotations depending on who you ask. Sometimes people think bloggers are just out for looking for free stuff, others just don’t get what this whole blogging thing is all about and I guess the unknown just turns them off from it. I have mixed feelings about this, and I’m certainly not the biggest fan of the Disney blogging community, so sometimes it can be a difficult spot to be in.

It does feel like a lot of bloggers are just pushing products for a commission, and I can certainly see how that can make people lose interest. I also tend to lose interest when the writing (and grammar) is so poor to the point where posts become difficult to follow. I don’t mind sponsored posts and collaborations (I do them too from time to time) but I dislike when bloggers don’t disclose this clearly or when they seem to take any kind of sponsorship that comes their way. It’s odd, and not something I realized had so many levels to it before I started blogging myself.

Writing about yourself will always be slightly uncomfortable

It probably doesn’t help for me that my first serious venture into blogging (Brittany Earns Her Ears) was really a spin-off from my book. (And writing an entire book about yourself is just as uncomfortable (if not more uncomfortable) than blogging about yourself. I’ve gotten better about this in recent years, but it’s still a strange feeling to open up about certain things and keep other things private and just to figure out a way to balance all of that with a relatively public presence.

It isn’t a way to get rich quick

There are a lot of bloggers out there who sell services where they teach new bloggers about how to get started, how to use affiliate marketing, work with brands, and more, and while this is all well and good and you can make money blogging it really isn’t a way to get rich quick. I technically think I’ve made money from my blog, but I’ve mainly used it as a platform for other writing opportunities. The amount of time that I could spend working on ways to make money here I could just spend doing other freelance writing work. So to each their own for however you want to go about doing it, but starting a blog doesn’t necessarily come with an extra paycheck.

It’s worth the time and the drama!

Blogging comes with a lot more drama than I was prepared to deal with before I started doing this. (I’m not sure why–I think any kind of content creating community just comes with some drama these days, which is unfortunate but just the way it is I guess). It’s also a huge time commitment. Part of the time commitment for me is that I also freelance for other sites and magazines, but in total I typically work on my blog in sense sense every single day.

I have a 9-5, so on weeknights I come home from work and eat dinner and spend about the first hour that I’m home not working (though sometimes I sneak in a few emails!) and then I work until about 9 or 10 pm. Then I shower, get my bag together for work the next day, and go to sleep. I usually get up early one weekend day and work for a couple of hours in the morning, so all of this combined with working full time is quite the commitment. I love what I’m doing though, and if you’re thinking of doing this it’s worth noting that all of this time isn’t necessarily spent on my blog, but I do work on something blog-related just about every day.

I hope this post helped fill in some of what you’ve been looking for if you’ve been hoping for a post like this from me, and of course if you have any questions please let me know in the comments! (Or send an email to brittany@castlepartyblog.com).

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