A Kinda Christmas Fashion Tale

What to Know Before Starting a Blog


I can remember the moment I decided to be a blogger so very clearly, even if it was already 7 years ago.  I was lying in my hotel room in a small town in Québec, travelling around with a group of high schoolers, showing them all the beauty the province has to offer (okay and all the shopping potential).  Not the ideal trip to take out east, sans la famille, but when given the opportunity to share something I love, I hop on it.

Which makes me equally grateful when Lisa  asked if I wanted to share in the blog loop series she was creating with some fantastic bloggers- I love sharing and I love collaborating, so thank you Lisa for giving me this opportunity.  I hope I can share something with you over the next 6 weeks that you can take away and apply to maybe starting a blog or a new venture in life.  Our first question, which will be answered by 6 bloggers in a loop is What to Know Before Starting a Blog.  Tough one for me to answer because I knew nothing prior to starting, aside from the fact that I wanted to blog. So I am going to share with you 3 of the biggest things I have taken from the process of becoming a blogger, that I wish I would have wrapped my brain around prior to starting a blog.


Identify your goals: What are you going to blog about? This may change along the way and that's okay- it's your blog and you need to enjoy what you're doing.


That decision to become a blogger in Québec was terrifying but also exhilarating for me.  The thought of creating something that would be mine and having a spot to tell my stories overruled the fears I had of the unknown.  At that point the enormity of the blogosphere was not on my radar, in fact, I was completely unaware.  I had three close friends who blogged (Christy, Jyl and Carmen) and I wanted to do what they were doing; sharing their stories and making me feel apart of their lives.  And I did just that.  For 3 years I played with words, I told my story, I shared the going-ons of my world with my close family, I created fun series for my friends to participate in.  Then two big events happened in the lives of my friends that made me change the way I looked at my blog as a medium of communication.  In January of 2010 there was an earthquake in Haiti right when one of my teaching friends was in the process of adopting.  It was a scary time for them because they just wanted their babies and the fact that I could use my blog as a way to share their story and get people writing letters to politicians made me feel useful.  Another pivotal moment for me was in February of 2011, when I learned that I could use my blog as a form of group support, or of prayer.  One of my BFFs, Jordan, who was now blogging at this point, lost her baby, Tripp and my blog became a spot where I put my grief for my friend into words and offer her the thoughts and prayers of the group surrounding her.


Build your content: write, write, write.  Read other blogs that speak to you and that inspire you or that bring you joy.


My eyes started opening to the blogging world at that point and I started building content and identifying myself as a writer.  During this period I would lose my first Grandparent, my Grandma Diehl and I was able to freeze those moments and thoughts in time on my blog.  That is something for which I will be forever grateful.   I created series like the Mommy Diaries and  I started reading other blogs, aside from my growing group of blogging friends.  Enjoying the Small Things was one of the first blogs I connected with, I love Kelle's voice and the wisdom in her words and another one that I absolutely love is the Bloggess.  I slowly started taking steps out into blogosphere for 3 years, still without changing my goals of telling my story and sharing it with my friends.  But the difference now was that I was reading more and being influenced on how I craft my writing and my style by other bloggers.  I began to see my blog as a time capsule that would keep my story alive long past me, a place where my children could read my words and walk beside me when they are going through their adventures in life.


Create community, hang on to other bloggers for support and sharing.


In the spring of 2014 I randomly decided to participate in a style challenge and that is probably one of the biggest turning points in blogging for me because it was then that my blog became a part of a community.  Shaunacey suggested we do linkups and well, the rest is history. In fact, it is still fresh in my brain history, as I had a chance to meet those ladies last weekend.  Now I have a blog support group but also women in my niche that I can work with and learn beside.

I didn't start blogging to go viral, to sell my blog, to write a book or even to make friends.  I started because I wanted to write and I think if you're going to start a blog, the most important thing is that you have to do it for you first.  Because blogging, like any other hobby, should bring you joy and leave you feeling alive and inspired.

Hop on over to Jill's blog to see what she has to say about starting a blog!

Comments

  1. I love this series! So many great tips from you ladies!

    Brittany,
    www.lawyerlookbook.com

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  2. Such great tips. I am so thankful for the blogging community!

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  3. I remember when you first started blogging all those years ago... still the first one I read each morning.

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  4. Blogging is such a great outlet and having a great blogger community makes all the difference in the world. Great post!

    Xoxo,

    Whitney & Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

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  5. Such a helpful post Deena, love these 3 points! You have done so well in building a community with other bloggers and I think that makes a huge difference.
    Marta
    www.sweatersstripesandsweets.com

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  6. Living on Cloud Nine26 April, 2016 02:13

    Love that you ladies but together this series! And all my sentiments exactly, I do not make any money off my blog at all, it's strictly been a hobby and for fun and actually was one of the best things ever happened me bringing me to the lovely ladies like you. Your voice can make someone's day sweet Deena, never forget that!!

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  7. These are definitely things I've learned and feel are super important too! Glad to consider you a connection I've made through blogging :)

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  8. Such a great series with some awesome advice! :) Love this!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  9. I'm excited to see what everyone has to say! So true, you have to blog because you love it. Thank goodness for 7 years ago in Quebec, or we never would have met!

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  10. Deena - I am so happy to have met you - one of the best things of blogging - and thank you for joining me in this series. I look forward to reading your words of wisdom. So many great take-aways in your first week.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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  11. Such an inspirational post! I loved that you mentioned blogging is like a time capsule your kids can look back on. I love that and love that my daughter can look at my blog one day. Writing makes me happy and calms me so that why I like to blog. I'm so glad to have met you and all these other awesome ladies through the blended blog. :)

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  12. I love your tips and everything you shared in this post! You are such an amazing writer and really put a piece of yourself in each post. These tips are invaluable to any blogger, new or experienced!

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  13. I love your writing style and how your blog is a capsule for your kids to look back on! Being part of the blogging community is the biggest reward and I'm so glad I'm doing this series with you!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  14. I agree...I can't believe how big it is too

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  15. And we all kinda said the same thing on week 1, crazy.

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  16. It definitely makes it more enjoyable!

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  17. Definitely- I wish I would have figured that out before!

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  18. I would have ran into you somehow. It was meant to be.

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  19. And what is even more cool is that we are actually meeting up and being real life friends.

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  20. I'm glad to have met you too!

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  21. I am so grateful you let me play along!

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  22. So glad to have met you. Also- I picked out some dresses for you in my last post :) :) Muahahahhaaha.

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  23. LOVE this and you!!! I think these tips are perfect and I can always use someone reminding me to that it's okay to change what you write about...
    so happy to have connected with you in this blogging world AND real life!!

    Simply Shaunacey

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  24. Solid advice! I should have done more research before I dove head first into the whacky world of blogging.

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  25. Great advice. I read this earlier at work and forgot to comment. I got too caught up in the blog hop!

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  26. Thank you for this. I don't even have any intelligent insight to add at the moment because, well, I just need to sit for a moment with your words. So please accept my thank you for now.

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  27. I SO agree with this. When I first started my blog I didn't have a super clear direction which was a challenge. SO thankful to have found that direction now!

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  28. So funny, as I'm going down my bloglovin list I'm seeing all these, what to know before blogging posts and I was thinking...wow what train did I miss, LOL! So funny. These are super useful tips! Love hearing how you started your blog!

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  29. Love your perspective oh bloggy mentor!!

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  30. You are so sweet! Those are the cutest dresses! I can't wait to do some online shopping!

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  31. And I'm so grateful you took the plunge all those years ago! Great tips Deena!
    ~Sheila!

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  32. I love how you described it, alive and inspired! That is so much so what blogging has done for me. I like to think my posts mean something to others, but really, they definitely mean the most to me!
    Emily
    Darling, Dearest

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  33. I also started my blog seven years ago, and it has changed a lot over the years. I loved reading about how you got started and the advice to connect with others.

    Andrea























    Andrea’s
    Wellness Notes

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  34. I started a blog first about 9 years ago and it only made it a about 10 posts....I didn't get it. When I decided to start a blog in 2014 I definitely spent some time thinking about it. Still after blogging for almost 2 years there is a lot I would change and still hope to change. I definitely think the biggest challenge is finding the time to create post that are meaningful, make a connection with someone, and are appealing enough to the eye to draw someone in. In the end meeting so many amazing people out there has been the biggest perk!

    Shelly||The Queen in Between

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  35. This is wonderful! I can't believe you've been blogging for seven years!! COngrats! Isn't it fun to look back at those earlier posts and see how life has changed. I started blogging because of my kids and wanting to remember all the little things--- it's turned into so much more for me though.

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  36. You are one of my most favourite things!

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  37. Aw, that was the sweetest comment ever. I love your voice in your writing and can't wait to read more of your stuff. Even your comments are put together in such a sincere way!

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  38. Loved getting to meet you. I wanted to facetime you all day today for no good reason other than to hear your voice.

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  39. Me too. Kinda. And it's likely to change, ah well.

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  40. 9 years ago! Wow! Did you save any of it?

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  41. I think that's been the most important part

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  42. and I think it's when it means the most to you that it starts to resonate onto other people too...if that makes any sense.

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  43. And I think our kids will be thankful someday....

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  44. SUCH great advice! I still struggle with finding my blog community, although I feel like I have really connected with others through comments and such. I really appreciate you sharing your answer to this q! I am loving this entire blog hop idea so much!

    Xox Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

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  45. I think commenting is the right way to go about it and probably the most natural, that's how I've gotten to know most of my people. Nice to meet yoU!

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  46. Writing has always been an outlet for me. The thought that I can write something and someone else actual enjoy reading it...that's just everything. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and tips on blogging!

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