Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog - TheCollectiveMill.com

Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

“I want to start a blog, can you help me?” That’s probably the number one question I get asked from aspiring bloggers. When I created The Social Butterfly Gal, I had no idea it would lead me down an entrepreneurial path. At first, SBG was meant to just document my experience in Public Relations. It has now lead me to start my own digital PR business and form relationships and collaborations with fellow lifestyle bloggers. The journey has been and continues to be an incredible ride. Recently, I redesigned my website. While myself and my web designer conquered the impossible and revamped the website in under 48 hours, I couldn’t help but think about the things I learned about blogging along the way that I wish I had known from the beginning.

Here are four things I wish someone had told me when I first became a blogger.

Start Off With a Hosting Site
I created The Social Butterfly Gal in my living room back in 2014. While I had two previous blogs, I never thought this would actually turn into my full time gig. When I created SBG, I was on WordPress.com aka a free hosting site. At that time, I knew it was fine because only my family and friends were coming to my website. However, as the months started to go by and I started growing, I knew I could no longer use a free hosting service. If you’re on the free WordPress site, there are so many limitations and it makes it that much more difficult to monetize. In 2016, I knew I was ready to offer advertising and expand my website to make it more user friendly. However, the process to transfer all my content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org was so excruciating. If you’re reading this and you really want to start a blog, take my advice- make sure your blog is self-hosted. There are plenty of companies out there that will host your website at an affordable cost. A few of these include GoDaddy, BlueHost, or Wix.

Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog - TheCollectiveMill.com

Develop Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is very important, especially for bloggers because it will help set you a part from other people in your niche. When starting out, be sure to ask yourself what your brand will be about, what niche and target demo you will focus on, and why you’re blogging. It’s also important to consider what your name will be. When I was trying to come up with my name, The Social Butterfly Gal fits perfectly with my personality and with the industry I’m in. As you consider the possibilities, make sure they reflect what you’re about, but at the same time, be sure they don’t limit you too much.

Set a Few Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Having goals for your blog is essential. If you’re serious about blogging, you need to ask yourself what do you want your blog and brand to become. Do you want to monetize it eventually? Do you want to offer services? At the very beginning, you should write down a list of short-term and long-term goals for your blog. Perhaps you want to reach a certain number of page views or Facebook fans. Maybe it’s getting your first sponsored post or guest posting on the blog you’ve been recently stalking. Remember, take the time to think about why you want to blog and what you want to accomplish from it.

Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog - TheCollectiveMill.com

Form Relationships With Bloggers You Trust
I’m very fortunate to be a part of the San Antonio Bloggers group here in San Antonio. The bloggers in this group are very supportive and give out a ton of great information when it comes to blogging and even life in general. I’ve also formed online relationships with bloggers via Twitter chats and link-ups. Find a few bloggers you admire and who you can connect with on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them when you have questions, want to collaborate, and overall just to build a community.


Author Bio:
Christina J. Ochoa is the owner of The Social Butterfly Gal, a digital PR firm + lifestyle blog in San Antonio, TX. When not being a busy soloprenuer, you can find her playing with her cat Maddy and enjoying a nice, iced latte.

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5 Comments

  1. One of my biggest mistakes when I first began blogging was not setting short term or long term goals. I wish I had known the importance of doing so in the beginning. Setting short term and long terms goals gives purpose to my days, and I spend a lot less time on unproductive activities!

  2. Hi Marianna, I agree that starting a blog is essential in today’s Internet world, but getting a blog started and hosted can be daunting for most writers who want to focus on the craft and not the technical part of blogging. To help, I’ve created a how to start a blog post, which is link in my name.

  3. One of my biggest mistakes was starting with blogger, hahah

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