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I get a lot of emails from new bloggers and girls who want to start a blog.  I’ve briefly mentioned some of my personal advice in the FAQ area of this blog. However it sounds like you guys want more, so I thought I would dedicate a post to passing down what I’ve learned and things I wish I had known when I started this blog in 2010. Note: this is purely my opinion only – I’m certainly not claiming to know it all!

1) Do it because you love it. I would absolutely recommend starting a blog only if it’s because you genuinely love photography, writing and sharing your experiences with others.  I did not start this blog to make money, nor did I even realize it could possibly make a dollar! Blogging regularly takes a lot of time, persistence and energy, and  you have to really love it to spend the time working on it, especially after working 40+ hours a week in your day-job.  Point: don’t do it for the money or freebies, do it because you love it.

2) Invest in a DSLR.  I blogged for about two years without having a nice camera.  Why?  I have no clue.  But your camera will quickly become your best friend, and if I could rewind, I would have had a better camera from the beginning.  You can find out the exact camera + lens that I use here.

3) Quality not quantity.  I aim to post 5x a week, but sometimes life gets in the way, time slips away or I’m simply not inspired.  Years ago, I would just throw up anything to post daily. This is my personal opinion, but I think you guys prefer quality posts over something thrown up here to avoid being silent.  Now, if I don’t have something I’m excited about or proud of to share, I just skip a day if necessary.  And this is still something I struggle with when I feel stretched thin!

4) Success doesn’t happen overnight.  Be patient.  I blogged for years before anyone ever sent me anything to review or style. And I didn’t care!  I blogged because I loved writing and I loved your comments and emails.  I think there’s been a surge of new blogs in the past few years, and when reading blogs it’s easy to think they just started a website and poof! Instant success.  For some that might be the case, but for me it was anything but.  If you’re starting your blog for the right reasons and you’re being authentic and original, success will come.  Keep peddling, stay passionate and consistent – it will show.

5) There’s no magic formula.  Or if there is – I’m unaware of it, so please share! Ha – but seriously, everyone is unique and different things work for different people.  I try to focus on creating relatable, original content and credit others when they’re inspiring my work.  There’s nothing more disappointing than when you feel like someone has taken your content and claimed it as their own, so always give shout outs to those who are influencing your content (ex: yesterday’s post – I only heard about the PMD through my girl Mint Arrow!).

These are all my tips – and I’m sorry if it’s not as juicy as you thought.  I think every blogger has strategies that work for them. The key is being original, honest and having a passion for this blogging world. It’s not about page views, dollars or freebies – it’s about loving this online community and writing and sharing your experiences with others.  Keep at it, I mean, how amazing is it that you can carve out your own space on the Internet to look back and reflect on it over the years?  That’s pretty freakin’ awesome if you ask me.

Thanks to all of you who emailed me to inspire this post!  Love you guys, mean it. XO –

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32 thoughts on “My Advice for New Bloggers

  1. I totally agree with No. 3. I’ve been blogging for quite a while now but sometimes I’d go silent for a month or so due to burnout. I work full-time and sometimes I can’t find the time and energy to post as often as I want (I was gunning for 5-6 posts a week– crazy), so blogging became draining for me. So now I’m settling for a more realistic blogging sched. Many thanks for sharing these tips! They serve as reminders as to why I started blogging. x

    x Francesca of http://primpandpaper.blogspot.com/

    1. Thanks so much for sharing – I can totally relate! BTW – love that inspirational quotes article you linked. So amazing! XO –

  2. Thanks so much – a great post. I love how your blog has grown organically and is filled with things that are true to you. I love, love, love the business (art? science?) of blogging, and being creative on my blog. I’m trusting the process – that if I keep posting quality content, readers will come and stay!

  3. Love these tips Kathleen! So glad you write this post and shared your experience! I just love blogging – the whole process of it – and would never do something I didn’t love, so thank you for reminding me of that! Xo

  4. These are great! I recently bought a nicer camera, not DSLR. I didn’t want to spend that much money yet so I’m going to wait a while. I do need to be more patient. I get some emails for collaborations but some don’t sound right, and it I feel bad saying no. Sometimes people are pushy and their product or site isn’t something I believe in or like. How can I say no in the nicest way?
    Thanks~
    ~~Megan~~
    http://www.poshprime.com

    1. That’s a great question! When I’ve overcommitted or simply think the inquiry isn’t a fit for my blog and its readers, I will usually either let the brand know I don’t feel it’s a fit at this time (and of course thank them for the opportunity) or will let them know I currently don’t have the bandwidth to do the collaboration justice. Hope this help some! XO –

  5. Been reading since before your DLSR and I have to say, I loved the blog just as much then as I do now! I feel like as long as your voice comes through, the “pretty” part doesn’t matter as much 🙂 Keep up the great work!

    1. Ok, if I could reach through this computer screen and give you an Internet hug I totally would. That means SO MUCH to me! You really have no idea. As CBL has moved along, I have really made an effort to keep the voice the same – playful, sometimes self-deprecating and honest. Thank you for sticking with me, even through some of those questionable years!! XOXO

  6. Thank you for the great advice. I am fairly new to the blogging world so the advice will used!
    Also, I just wanted you to know that I love you blog and you have made me more confident in my fashion choices! Thank you!

  7. I started my blog 3 months ago. When I started I felt like I had so many ideas that I was going to burst! I tried to do as many ahead of time, anticipating that a time would come that I didn’t feel as motivated. That time came at the end of January, I just felt like no one was reading and that I was wasting my time, but I kept going and a few weeks later, my blog exploded and all of a sudden people were coming to my site and engaging with my posts. I am still working on finding my writing voice and style but it has been so much fun. I just have to remember why I am doing it. That I really care about my purpose!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  8. This post is so encouraging to read! I started my blog in November and have been working my tail off to gain a steady following. It can be intimidating to see a lot of fashion bloggers with a huge following and wonder how they got there. Thank you for the reassurance on how patience is key.

    Thank you again!

    Peace & Blessings,
    Jordan
    theteacupofstyle.blogspot.com

  9. Hi! Just found your blog after seeing a Home article on PopSugar. I love that your advice is straightforward and honest. This is inspiration as I just started blogging, I wanted a photo journal for myself but have been having trouble finding my voice and what I really want to share. Think I’ll def need to invest in a camera, maybe craigslist! Love your style, thanks for sharing

  10. I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! It’s so fresh and very much in line with my own personal tastes! I started blogging on Peachfully Chic last year, and because I put time into each post, I often only have 2-3 posts per week. As a new blogger, it’s so refreshing to see other bloggers who focus on quality as opposed to quantity! Thanks for all the great tips!!!!
    xo – Allie

  11. I so enjoyed this post! I started blogging because I said to myself one day, “Hey, I can do that too!” and I was always recommending beauty products to my fam and friends that it just felt natural to expand! 3 months in and I’m loving every second of it. Little by little I see my blog grow and the greatest feeling is getting comments from people saying somehow one of your posts helped them! Today your post helped me! Thank you! Now to save for a DSLR!!! 😉

    xo, Ilse
    http://www.livelearnluxeit.com

  12. Thank you so much for this post! Blogging has been in the back of mind for the past 4 years. I started a while back with phone pictures, but as a perfectionist and artist, I didn’t like what I saw. I did tons of research, invested in a better camera and matured a bit before I started again. I started a month and a half ago and I am having such a great time! I have always wanted to be a fashion designer, but life got in the way so I feel this is my creative outlet and my own personal happiness. I work 60 hours a week between 2 jobs, but fashion is truly my passion and like you said…you will find a way to fit it in. I’m not in it for the money, but I do want to be recognized for my hard work, so I’m definitely having a hard time being patient. I’m also 27…not old, but older than a lot of other bloggers, especially starting out. Thank you so much for the reminder to keep going. I’m so glad I found your blog and I’m glad to have an new blogger friend. 🙂 Thanks again for your inspiring words.

    Liz
    http://lizzieinlace.blogspot.com

  13. Such good advice. And nice to hear that it doesnt happen overnight. I think sometimes we all get caught up in the follower count and forget why we started in the first place.
    Love your blog,
    Alex
    Alexbutlertv.com
    @alexbutlertv on ista

  14. I am so happy to find this article you sent and for the time you took to email me back and chat about blogging. I really appreciate it, Kathleen! I love your genuine and hilarious approach to life. Hotty Toddy! ??

  15. Very, very insightful and authentic post – I loved it! I think it’s so important to be yourself and do it for you! I especially LOVE your website/blog name. I freaking adore Carrie Bradshaw, and I’ve probably seen the entire series more than 4 times! I’ve got you beat 😉 ha ha – Keep up the great work and genuine posts!

    Lisa
    everydayelevated.blogspot.com

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