Starting a Blog

So you wanna start a blog? You should! It’s such a fun creative outlet that you can take in any direction that you want, a space that is all yours to write your heart out & share whatever inspires you. Whether you want to write about motherhood, interior design, cooking or anything in the world, a blog can be the perfect platform!

Beautiful framed art by my girl Kelly Ventura

I have had lots of questions about starting a blog over the years, so today I’m going to share a few of my tips for getting started as well as my advice for success & growing an authentic audience.

Setting up your blog is the easy part. I would recommend either blogger or wordpress, both are easy to use & can be customized pretty easily. Set up your account & then hop over to etsy to grab a template, something to give it your own personal feel and style. You can find beautiful themes for around $15-$20 and can even pay to have the designer implement it for you if you aren’t tech savvy.

Once you have your space set up from a function & design standpoint, start on your content. Create an about me page (keep things short & simple), a contact page & publish your first blog post as an introduction. Share why you are starting your blog, what are your goals or just a little bit about yourself.

Figure out what sets you apart, what does your blog have to offer and why will people want to read it?Β Be authentic. If you are just starting your blog for yourself and readership isn’t on your radar, this isn’t as important, but if you want your blog to be more than an online journal and your goal is to cultivate a community, you will want to be very clear on these things. You want to have an authentic voice, do not start a blog to be like another blog you like, that blog already exists. Start your blog as a reflection of yourself and your interests, people can sense those things & are drawn to authenticity.

Have good photography. Take a course or just read up on ways to improve your photography skills, it is what will catch people’s eye as they scan your blog & ultimately what will entice them to read your content. No need to invest in a fancy camera, natural light & proper editing techniques are all you need. It is also important to continue using your authentic voice through photos, when someone sees your photos, they should be able to tell right away that they belong to you by the vibe they give. This is especially important if you are using Instagram or other social media platforms to support your growing blog.

Create a media calendar. This is super important in order to be consistent, something I have not been lately. At the end of each month, I map out what posts I want to do for the next month, I schedule in when I want to shoot photos if needed & set up drafts in my wordpress dashboard so that I have a little bit of each post started. This helps me so much (and I need to do a much better job of) and will be a good way to keep all of your thoughts & blog post ideas organized.

Engage with other bloggers & content creators. This is so important for growth, read other blogs, see what inspires you, tell people when they inspire you or just leave genuine comments to support others in the space. When I started my blog, Instagram wasn’t even a thing, which meant I would hop from blog to blog every day catching up with all my favorites, and leave comments on every post. We are overwhelmed with content these days & everywhere we look there are photos and stories and articles being shared, but it is still so important to stop scrolling for a second and connect with other people.

And the last, most important thing that I want to stress, is to start your blog because you enjoy it or have a passion that you want to write about. If you start a blog just to make money, it’s going to be a slow moving train & you will likely get burnt out. If you want it to be a business one day, that is great & you will get there, but it is important to establish yourself and your credibility before trying to do partnerships or sponsored posts. When presented with dozens of partnership opportunities a month, I choose no more than two or three, and they are only things that I truly love & stand behind. That being said, I do think there is a difference between bloggers & product reviewers (which is totally a thing!) so know what you are trying to accomplish when you start out.

To find true joy in blogging, I think forming relationships with your audience & community is the most important thing. And I am so grateful to have been able to do that with all of you!! I hope this answers all of your questions, I am happy to do a part two if there is more that I can contribute, I am no expert, but it is a topic I love to talk about! If you have other questions, leave them in the comments. XO

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenna
    September 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Well said! Look forward to all your posts and don’t need any copy cats. Thanks for being authentic

  • Reply
    Kristen
    September 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I love this! As a blogger already this is still great as a refresher, thank you!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I don’t have a blog but your tips can translate to all things in life- bottom line be authentic! Your blog has been my ultimate favorite from the very beginning and I checked in almost everyday to see what’s new- I hope you continue on for many more years to come! Many Blessings- Sarah

  • Reply
    Selah Calling
    September 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Love this! So glad you did this post! I have been following for years (Harper and my oldest girl are the same age!) and I’ve been contemplating starting a blog for a while! Thanks for being authentic in all you do and for NOT over-doing the product reviews ;), you do a great job of engaging in that way!

  • Reply
    Abby
    September 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I love your blog! Your blog is one of the first I started reading probably 5 years ago and I have loved watching your sweet little family grow. Your decorating and everything holiday is what brings me back time and time again! Keep up the awesome workπŸ˜„

  • Reply
    Ashlie McCauley
    September 14, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I just launched my own blog a month ago after being inspired by you and others for years! Keenup the great work, Jessica!

  • Reply
    Victoria N Davis
    September 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Answered all my questions and concerns.
    I was super nervous to start my nanny blog, but this post put me at ease. I really like your blogs, page , and style. Keep it up! Awesome content. This post was so so so helpful.

  • Reply
    Misha Vayner
    September 14, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I am a mom of almost 3 and have been wanting to start a blog for years and haven’t had the time to invest in it. I finally am focusing on carving out time for it and your post was very inspiring! Thank you! Where do you recommend being a good place to start to get basic tips, lesssons, insight, guidance on good photography for Instagram and your blog? Can I use my iPhone? Or need to use camera? Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 15, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Thanks for this! It was a nice reminder for to me that I do enjoy writing my blog (and that’s really what it is all about) and that patience is a virtue!

  • Reply
    Andreanne Woodbury
    September 15, 2017 at 6:21 am

    What a great post! Started blogging a year ago and I love it! I work full time and blog when my boys are sleeping. Best decision I’ve made for myself in a long time. Check it out! Mylemondroplife.com Thank you so much for sharing your family with us!

  • Reply
    Meredith
    September 15, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I loved blogging at first, but then lost time being a single mom and working full-time. It’s crazy busy, but I still love my daily reading list.

  • Reply
    Kristin
    September 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Love this!!! I’ve been writing for myself for YEARS. Blogging has always been my outlet, regardless of money. Your tips are great!

  • Reply
    Shannon Cairns
    September 15, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Your blog inspired me to start my blog! It only took about 4 years to actually get the courage! Great tips and I absolutely love reading every single one of your posts!

  • Reply
    Nicole Warner
    September 15, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Thank you for this! I’ve been blogging for almost a year and I didn’t realize how much work it would be… BUT I am so happy to have a little space on the internet where I can document our lives and hopefully inspire others (or just motivate myself πŸ˜†). I’ve been following you from the beginning and I love your style and content. You’re the bomb!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Great tips!!! I think you hit the nail on the head with consistency!!! (I’ve also slacked majorly in that area.) But, when starting out, it’s super important. My biggest tip for new bloggers is to do one blogging related thing every single day. It can be something as simple as commenting on other blogs or sharing a post on Pinterest, but always do something!! You’ll look back in a few years and see just how far you’ve come!

    Thanks for the post!!!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Reply
    Abigail
    September 15, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    This is great! I have been following your journey since you first found out you were expecting Harper… it is amazing to see what your blog has turned into! I get so excited when you have a new blog post/Instagram photo πŸ™‚ happy fall!

  • Reply
    brittney
    September 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    no big blogger by any means over here πŸ˜‰ but I’ve found it can get so easy to become caught up in partnerships. and it can take away from the fun I have with it and make it feel more ‘task-like’
    xoxo
    always enjoy reading your posts πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kari
    September 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I love this, I have loved watching your sweet babies grow, it is what inspired to me to start my own personal blog!

  • Reply
    Brittani
    September 15, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for this blog post! I am currently in the process of starting my own blog! It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for eight years, but finally gained the courage! I have followed you since the very beginning and you are one of the ONLY blogs that has stayed true to who you are. You are definitely an inspiration! Xoxo Britt

  • Reply
    Jackie Lopina
    September 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    This is so helpful! That media calendar is brilliant and I really need to get on that. And thanks for the reminder of how valuable it is to comment and engage!

  • Reply
    Corey
    September 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I’m just starting out on the blogging journey and the reminder to connect to others in the community is so encouraging!

  • Reply
    Brooklyn Sanders
    September 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    thank you for this! i needed all of this information!
    i would love more information on how you take such clean, crisp pictures. what you edit with, and how you get your pictures to all have the same “look?” do you just use the same editing for all?
    also//what is a good post to start with? i feel like i’m comfortable with starting a blog and getting everything out there, but then i don’t know what to post first!!

    thank you!!

  • Reply
    Heather Durosko
    September 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Great post, Jessica! I had no idea templates on Etsy were even a thing! A post with a few camera/photography tips–or what editing apps you like would be a great part 2 to this post. Thanks! πŸ’•

  • Reply
    Nitsa
    September 15, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    LOVE THIS! Thank you so much! <3 Nitsa

  • Reply
    Gina
    September 16, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Question. Did you ever think your blog would be as big as it is? Or that you would eventually make a living off of it? I’ve been following your from the beginning and I remember you started your blog just to keep family and friends up to date with your pregnancy. It’s amazing how things turn out, right?

  • Reply
    Amber
    September 16, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for this post. Your blog is honestly one of my favorites and was one of my inspirations for starting my own. I can always come here for interesting content and amazing pictures. I’m not even a mom but I grew up in a family of 4 girls and the pictures of your girls remind me of those times growing up so much! XO

  • Reply
    Jordan Jensen
    September 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Thank you so so so much for this. I dusted off my old blog on Friday night thanks to your post – and words of encouragement. I bought a template off Etsy at 9pm, and went to town. I am feeling so good about it and posted for the first time in a long time yesterday. I wrote out a quick list of post ideas and already posted one for next week. My only outstanding question is knowing the best time and frequency for posting. Twice a week? Mornings? Thanks again. I’ve been following you since the chalkboard posts with Harper, and continue to be inspired by what you do. Now, if I could create even a sliver of the community you have. Nice work!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    September 18, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Thank you for your post! I recently started a blog as a creative outlet and now pregnant with my second, I want to share with my family and friends but I’m nervous putting myself out there. Were you ever nervous to publish your blog or any advice on how to get over this fear?

    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Shelbie
    September 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Love this post! I just started my blog last month after years of considering it! Thanks for the tips, they’re very helpful!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    September 18, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    This post is great! I have been considering a blog as a creative outlet for a while now and this has encouraged me to try it out. I’ve followed your journey for the past 3 years, and really loved being able to look back at your old posts while I was pregnant with and in the early days of nursing my now 8 month old son. Thanks for always being authentic and honest…it’s so refreshing.

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks for this post! I definitely feel inspired after reading your blog and my other favorites. I’ve decided to finally start my own after years of wanting to AND a big cup of coffee! Thank you again!

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have been wanting to start a blog for SO long! Now that my photography is picking up, I’m hoping to drive more traffic to my site through my blog and have a place to be creative! To showcase my artwork, photography & other favorites. Thank you for the inspiration! I’ve been following along since you were pregnant with Harper! <3

  • Reply
    Allie
    September 22, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Starting a blog has been so out of my comfort zone, but this post has totally inspired me to just do it! I have been following along for two years and I love your posts. They are so real and totally relatable. How did you find all the blogs that you followed when you first started? Do you still follow other’s blogs?

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    What a coincidence , I was just about to email you about starting a blog. What are some free blog sites to use?

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Such a great read and very helpful, yet simple tips I tend to forget when I’m writing blog posts! Your posts are always so enjoyable and I look forward to each and everyone! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Lauren W
    October 5, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Hi! I adore your blog and it is the only one I read regularly:) Love that print above your desk! Would you mind telling me what size you got and where you got the frame! I am going to order one of her prints for my kitchen

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