5 things I wish I knew when I started a blog

5 things I wish I knew when I started a blog // a thousand threads
When I started this blog I knew next to nothing. I didn’t know how to edit a photo, or promote my posts, or change even the most basic design elements on my blog… and I’d definitely never heard of anything like SEO. Looking back, I marvel at how long it took me to learn some of the simplest things. But sometimes it’s the simple things that can be the hardest. I can’t tell you how long I struggled with branding, or how much and what I should share (and to be honest, it’s a process… I still do) so even though there are tons of nitty gritty details I wish I’d known when I started this blog, these are a few of the really big basics that stand out…

1 // You have to tell people about it.

I don’t care what you do for a living, be proud of this other more creative side of yourself and tell everyone you know what you’re up to. You have every reason in the world to be proud.

When I first started out, I was afraid of what other people might say — now I’ll admit I feel a whole lot more like this.

2 // Read other blogs, but set a limit.

Too much obsession with what else is out there can breed insecurity and box you in. We all need a little inspiration or a kick in the ass now and then, but too much can stifle your creativity.

3 // You can’t fool please all the people all the time.

You can’t be everything to everyone. No matter how badass you think that chick over there with the diy craft blog is, if you’re not Martha, you’re not Martha.

But you are passionate about something else, right? That’s why you started a blog. (And remember I didn’t say good at, I said passionate. You can always learn.) If you focus on the things you’re passionate about, it will show in your work. You just can’t fake it in this industry. You have to be comfortable with your brand and let it shine, limitations and all. Letting go of all of that extra stuff is the only way you’ll ever find your own personal brand.

4 // Natural light will be your best friend and your worst enemy.

Okay this is sort of nitty gritty, but it’s important. Photographers often specialize in one thing… still life or portraiture or landscape. If you have a lifestyle blog, you’ll need to be an expert in all of the above. So the sooner you figure out how light works, the better off you’ll be. Watch out for direct, harsh sun and dark rooms with artificial (yellow) lighting. Seek out the shade when you’re outside on a sunny day and seek out the sun next to a window when you’re inside. I can’t even tell you how long it took me to figure out how to work with the light, and I’m still learning every day.

5 // You will learn, you will get better, and you will grow. Work hard and have faith. It will happen.

I still remind myself of this every day, and when I look back over time I can see that it’s true. You don’t have to do everything right right away, and you won’t! But that’s okay, half of the fun is in improving every day.

Those are my top five… but like I said, there’s so much more.

What have you learned along the way, and what do you wish you knew more about? Are there any questions or topics you’d like to hear more about from me?

P.S. I’m sort of obsessed with Waterlogue, you too?

28 Comments

  1. Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Nodding my head to ALL of the above. so so so so true!!

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Thanks lady!! It’s good to hear I’m not alone! :)

  2. Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    This is very helpful! I struggle with that first one the most.

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      I had the HARDEST time with it too, so I know just what you mean!! Sometimes it just takes time, but I promise you that when you do decide to tell folks you won’t regret it. Friends and colleagues can really surprise you with their support. :)

  3. Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    So true to everything you said, Laicie! I feel like in the past 11 months of blogging, I’ve learned so much BUT I still have SO much to learn. Having people like you in my daily favorites is always a great inspiration ;)

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Right back at you lady!! I am constantly blown away by the beauty of your work, Vic. I wish I’d had half the talent you do when I was just starting out, so keep up the good work! You’re killing it. :)

  4. Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    You are the best. That’s why I check your blog every day during lunch at work, yup.

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      And why I’m so terribly crazy about you!! xoxo <3

  5. Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Great post, I love everything you said and can definitely relate. All so true!

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Aww thank you!! I think we all go through a lot of the same things when we’re just starting out. :)

  6. Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    This is just such WONDERFUL advice. But seriously, who couldn’t like you?

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I love you lady, you’re so good to me. :)

  7. Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Love these tips! I’ve been blogging for just four months but I’ve learned so much, and I continue to struggle with things like what I should share. It really is an exciting process though!

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      It’s SUCH an exciting process, and I’m so impressed at how good you are at this whole blogging thing right off the bat! I can’t wait to see what’s to come. :)

  8. Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Such good advice!

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Thank you!! :)

  9. Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this post Laicie!

    • Laicie
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks lady!! :)

  10. Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Laicie, completely agree with all the above! I like that you point out how our blogs need to reflect what we’re passionate about, not just what we’re good at–you’re so right, if there’s a passion, there’s a way to learn! These are all such great reminders :)

    I wish I would have known that followers aren’t as important as engagement. In the beginning, it’s intimidating looking at all the big bloggers with thousands of followers, but honestly, if you aren’t engaging with the people who interact on your blog already, through comments or email or mutual reading, blogging loses its sense of community. Supportive growth is really important.

  11. Posted March 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    My blog is still a baby, and this post has been so helpful and motivational! Thank you!

  12. Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I recently started my blog and I love the advice.

  13. Posted March 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve only recently started my blog so thank you so much for this advice!

    Eilidh | http://letsgetwonderfullylost.blogspot.co.uk

  14. Posted March 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    When I wrote a beauty blog before my current blog I learned that making other blog friends really inspired me to write often about things I wanted to write about. I think the knowledge that other people don’t always have things to write about is comforting :). Love your top 5, have a wonderful day!

  15. Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    LOVE these! SO totally true!

    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

  16. Hannah Smith
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for these tips! I’ve only JUST started a blog and it’s so great to have this advice from the start. I have sooo much to learn!

    http://foxandwillowblog.com/

  17. Posted April 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Great tips, as a newbie it helps to read stuff like this to help me grow.

    Thanks lady!

    http://www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

    • Laicie
      Posted April 16, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      So glad to help, Rebecca!! Good luck with your blog, it looks like you’re on the right track to me! MUCH better than I was as a newbie haha. :)

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