I’m calling this a beginners guide to blogging. What you need to know.

Can we talk about it for a moment? Now, I’m what I would consider a small blogger meaning I have less than 1K followers on each platform. I am a Lifestyle Blogger and by that I mean that I share an expansive variety of content centered around my personal life.

Now when I decided to start blogging, I had no direction. It was therapy turned passion. I knew that I had a lot to say and I wanted to share. My thinking was very linear. I didn’t see or think about everything blogging entailed. Be honest, when you think blogger do you just think writing? Or do you think more?

Let’s start at the beginning. You’ve decided you want to be a blogger, congratulations! You have to decide on your focus. Beauty, Fashion, Beauty & Fashion, Crafting, Parenting or Lifestyle which is a little bit of everything. Those are just a few! You’ve chosen your lane and solidified your focus.

Next comes securing a platform, where will you be posting? You need a domain or a host. So many “free” options. Free is in quotes because everything has an underlying cost. Lots of DIY options but if you’re anything like me you know nothing about building a website. For those fortunate enough to know…kudos to you…and hit me up 😉.

Now, whether you choose a DIY option or decide to hire a web designer, there will be a cost. And hol’ up, when I started researching hiring a web designer, I was shook! I knew it would be expensive, but good gracious! There’s not just a cost to create, but there’s also a cost to maintain. Yearly renewals, basic, premium or business.

So you’ve got your domain and you’re blogging. Let’s get into trademarking ™️. This may not be a priority for some, but if you want to trademark your blog name, or your logo to protect it, there are fees, and they ain’t cheap! It’s an expensive and long process.

LLC, what is it and do you need it? Well it depends on the purpose of your blog. Is it just a blog, or is it a brand or a business. According to howtostartanllc.com, LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. Forming an LLC is the simplest way of structuring your business to protect your personal assets in case your business is sued. Again, this goes back to your purpose and your vision. If this is the route you choose, it’s going to cost you.

Let’s get into the specifics:

Filming equipment, generally a blogger isn’t on just one platform. You’re usually on multiple platforms, and on those platforms you’re usually posting pictures and content which require a camera. Now these days, taking photos and filming on a good smartphone is definitely possible, but if you decide to purchase a camera, do your homework. This will cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars and for that amount of money, you want the biggest bang for your buck. Lighting – choosing not to invest in stand alone/additional lighting is not a deal breaker, but if you choose to, you’re looking at a good $100 plus.

Editing Apps – they’re usual free for a limited time. Then it moves to the monthly subscription, and let me tell you $5.99, $3.99 or $7.99 a month adds up!

Products – if you’re a small blogger or micro influencer trying to grow, you’re buying your own products to try and review. This can be be anything from makeup to laundry soap to natural hair products to clothing hauls. Depending on the frequency of your posting schedule, and your content this can get real pricey!

Please know, this blog is not to discourage anyone but to inform. I wish I had someone share with me their experiences or some of their secrets before I got started. Yes, the internet is a treasure trove of information, but there’s just something about hearing someone’s experience firsthand. If you are serious about blogging my advice is to start where you are, with what you have and research research research.

Here are a few tips that will help you:

• Decide your blog focus

• Find a domain. Compare prices and ease of use. Then make an informed decision.

• If you need to purchase a big ticket item such as a laptop, camera or lighting, save! And take as long as you need. You can cut out your morning coffee or bring lunch instead of buying. That alone will save tons of money. Remember, filming and editing on a smartphone is possible and can produce amazing content. Also, don’t be afraid to purchase refurbished devices! Several of them come with great warranties. My favorite place for refurbished items is bestbuy.com and they price match!

• Don’t go overboard with buying products. You can also save for this as well. If it takes away from bills or necessities, you can’t afford it.

• Do your research on all things trademarks, LLCs and any other legal aspect that could be involved with blogging.

If you’re like me, you still work a traditional 9-5 and that’s okay! I used to look at my job as such a nuisance, an interruption of sorts preventing me from doing what I feel is my purpose but I changed my mindset. My day job is currently funding my dream.

I hope that this blog helps that individual who is considering starting a blog to see the full picture.

Until next time…🦋

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