Sometimes I still can’t believe it has been eight months since my blogging journey began. It has been one the most exciting yet terrifying things I have ever done.
Blogging is very rewarding in so many different ways but it also hasn’t been easy. People start blogs for so many different reasons, but the reason I started Project Allen Designs was to encourage others that are currently or have been in the same place that I was.
Today I am going to fill you in on the things I have learned as a home design blogger. If you have ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes or what it actually takes to run a blog then this post is for you!
There is tons of information out there from bloggers in every single stage of their journey, but what I have come to realize is that there isn’t much information when it comes to a home design and DIY blog.
If you are a regular reader here then there is a high probability that you read other home blogs as well and after reading this post I think you will have tons of new insight into the day to day life of a blogger.
Now that being said I am not a full-time blogger, I work a 9 to 5 and blogging has pretty much become like a second job, the kind of second job where you work more hours than your first job, for super low pay. 🙂
Some bloggers actually prepare and have tons of posts written before they launch their blogs, me, on the other hand, I dove in head first and never looked back. When I give myself time to stop and think about that moment I think I should have done the same just to take some of the pressure off but for the most part, I have no regrets!
8 Things I’ve Learned As A Home Design Blogger
You’re Nuts: In the beginning days, I didn’t tell a soul about my plans and for a short while I didn’t think I ever would. Basically, I was scared to death to tell anyone for fear that people would think I was insane and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Most of the people in my life know about the blog and have been nothing but supportive. Be prepared for some people to not really understand the reason you chose to do this.
It is so terrifying to put yourself out there with no idea if people will accept you. But the moment when you let all of that go and stop caring about what others may think of you is probably the most freeing moment of the entire process.
Thick Skin: It is almost imperative if you plan to have a successful blog that you develop thick skin. Believe it or not, everyone will not appreciate what you do, you may spend week’s working on a project only for someone you don’t know from Adam to go online and tell you how disgusting it looks along with other hateful comments.
I’m not even shitting you, a lady called my newly renovated bedroom and brand new tufted bed disgusting! Did it hurt my feelings? Of course it did but I refuse to give someone that lives their life in misery a second thought. Should people say shit like that? Absolutely not but they still do today and still will tomorrow.
The thing is I am not writing for that miserable person, I am writing for the one that is inspired by what I do and takes time out of their day to tell me so. The woman that spends ten minutes of her precious time writing me an email about how much she can relate to the things that I post, SHE is the why behind this blog. So when I look at the big picture does that nasty comment really even matter? Nope!
It’s Much Harder Than It Looks: Before I started my own blog I had absolutely no idea the amount of work that went into each and every post. When I say that you may think what could be so hard about it? Can’t you just throw some photos up and write a post? Oh, how I wish it was that simple.
When you are in the home design and DIY niche there are so many things that must be done before you ever make it to that point. Here is a look at the steps I take before hitting publish for each and every post.
- Gather materials for the project (paid for by me because I haven’t hit the big time yet where companies are sending me products hand over fist.
- Photograph each step of the project
- Complete project
- Photograph the finished project. Typically I take anywhere from 50-100 photos and less than 5 make the cut.
- Load all photos onto the computer for editing.
- Edt all photos. This can be very time consuming and usually takes me several hours.
- Load all photos onto the backend of the website.
- Grab all relevant links to products used.
- Choose which photo to use as my main image.
- Create a Pinterest friendly photo.
- Write blog post
- Reread post approximately 1500 times 🙂
- Hit publish
- Promote post on social media.
- Start getting ready for the next post.
Time, Time, and More Time: When I started this journey I could never have imagined how much time I would actually spend working on my blog. Just like above, one post takes around 8 hours plus project time, but then it is really just beginning. I spend the rest of the week promoting the said post on social media channels, daily Pinterest pinning to keep the traffic coming in and weekly I go through old posts to ensure everything is still working as it should.
It honestly takes up more of my time than my full-time job when you count all of the project time and the nights I am up until 1-2 a.m trying to make sure the next day’s post gets out like it should let’s just say the hours are crazy.
If you don’t have time to do these things then you will likely get very overwhelmed. My housework has definitely suffered since starting this blog but I am so passionate about it that it honestly doesn’t feel like work 75% of the time.
Never Stop Learning: You will spend a majority of your beginning blogger days soaking up every ounce of information you can get your hands on! The key is to never stop because something you learn today could be irrelevant in two weeks due to how quickly things can change in this world.
Typically I set goals each month that lists the things I would like to master. Then I spend every free moment that I can find listening to podcasts, reading materials, and watching videos on the subject. The most important part is actually putting the knowledge to use, it is easy to get so caught up in learning EVERYTHING that you spend zero time actually DOING! So I try to always put the things that I learn into practice as I go.
Overnight Celebrity: It is my absolute dream to one day have my content published in a home magazine, and some bloggers really try to sell you a dream that once you start a blog within five minutes you will be rolling in the dough. That literally couldn’t be further from the truth!
Being a successful full-time blogger does not happen overnight and honestly, it doesn’t happen over eight months either… There I said it. The fact is in the blogging world it takes time to become successful, just like anything else you have to work hard for a long time with little reward, if any.
Please do yourself a favor and don’t buy into the crazy posts you see saying so in so made $100,000.00 in their second month of blogging because the fact is that crap doesn’t happen often and it most likely won’t happen to you.
In no way am I saying you cannot make a good living blogging but it will likely take quite a bit longer than two months, maybe even a few years.
If you plan to jump into the home design realm then be aware going in that it can be very hard to get noticed. You absolutely must have your shit together when your feet hit the ground or you will easily become discouraged. This niche is highly saturated and you are up against some high rollers that have money to start with and aren’t afraid to throw it at their home or their blog.
If I told you how much I have made over the course of eight months you would laugh hysterically. The fact is I am not in it for the money, yes I intend to make a living in interior design and blogging someday but you have to start somewhere and it most definitely does not happen two months after you start blogging, especially when doing it between your actual paying job.
New Friends: In a world, so complex the only people that truly understand the struggle are other bloggers. The friends that I have made since starting this blog are some of the most wonderful and kind people I have ever not met!
LOL, It’s true we have never met in person but I cherish those relationships as if I have known them for years. When things are not going well or I have something exciting to share they are the people I go to because they truly understand all of the blood, sweat, and tears that I pour into this blog each and every day.
Always be willing to step out and chat it up with that big blogger you’ve been following for years because at the end of the day she is human and will most likely have a chat with you, they aren’t as terrifying as they seem.
Photos Are Everything: In this niche photos are absolutely everything! If the photos are not top notch it is going to be very hard to get people to give you a second look.
As a teenager I worked in a photography shop, it was actually my first job. That little bit of knowledge has most definitely helped me with this part of my blog but when it came to knowing about lighting and how to shoot in manual I had no clue what I was doing.
Before I published my first post I purchased several photography items. I was also very fortunate that my baby sister just happened to upgrade her camera equipment right before and she was kind enough to give me her old set and it has 100% been crucial in this blog coming as far as it has. Things are difficult enough as it is I can only imagine how hard it would be without stellar photos.
Those are my major takeaways from 8 months as a blogger and I hope this has given you some insight into what it actually takes to run a blog and how much time and effort we actually put in each day.
Having a new blog is like having a newborn baby, they need tons of attention and if you don’t take care of it, it won’t grow. This is by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done and I am highly passionate about helping others create a home that best represents them and their families.
I have spent a majority of my life living in homes that were anything but “me” and it took me many years to find out what “me” even was. Thank you for being a part of my journey and I hope you will stick around to see our Entryway reveal next week! I couldn’t be more excited to show it off.