Daily Dose of Design: 7 Things No One Tells You When Starting a Blog or Business

Monday, September 18, 2017

7 Things No One Tells You When Starting a Blog or Business


A lot of blogs are started purely for fun and hobby; I hear day after day of bloggers who begin for fun and have it turn into something they never could have imagined. That's the case for me, too - I started DDoD as nothing but a creative outlet to document style and design that spoke to me on a day where snow was falling by inches in an hour. Now it's turned into something I have high hopes and big dreams for, and work hard to achieve every day. Blogs and small businesses alike start off just that - small. It's you, working hard on something you have aspirations for and is filled with new challenges and daily to-do lists that you have to overcome to continue on.

The one thing that bloggers and small business owners have in common is that things inevitably start out slowly. There's highs and lows, the difficulty of a balancing act and the inevitability of inexperience. Whether your blog/business is still small and hopeful, small and growing or already on the road to something even bigger than you could have imagined, I think it's safe to say that we ALL have learned these things along the way, and wonder why we hadn't thought of them - or learned them - sooner.


Have a realistic plan and set of goals in mind.


Do not, I repeat - DO NOT set yourself up for failure from the start. Whether you know from the moment you begin that you want to be successful, or from the moment that you realize it (i.e. turning your hobby blog into something bigger) - be realistic. Thinking that you'll be a top notch business owner, landing huge partnerships and raking in the cash from day 1 is just not sensible in the least. That being said, it can get to that point faster if you go into it knowing that:


It'll require a hell of a lot of hard work.


It's like that saying, nothing worth having is easy. Being successful will require countless hours of work. You have to pour your heart and soul into your dreams but once you do, you'll see results.

There'll be times where it's tough to stay motivated, but that's where it's *so* important to lean on your support system. Whether it's a group of your best girl friends in the same boat that you can bounce ideas off of or a family member who supports your dreams and goals, find them and know that it'll be helpful when you can look back at all of your hard work and see just how far you've come.

You have to invest in yourself.


This is easier said than done, especially when you're new/small and may not have a ton of funds to support said goals, but you never really know just how important it is to take that leap of faith until you actually DO it. Ever since I started taking my blog seriously, I found it very hard to make those jumps but once I did, I've seen a bigger ROI every time. Take that course, buy that camera, make that dream office become a reality. It'll be worth it!

Take the time to trademark and/or legalize EVERYTHING.


Get your copyrights and trademarks, patent your product(s) and cover your you-know-what in a legal matter in every which way possible. When you're able to and are at the point of filing taxes for your business, look into all of the different federal tax classifications and figure out where you fall, which category works best for you and how to make sure that your sh*t is straight. Save all of your documents, file things accordingly and keep everything on hand and in order for whenever you may need to reference something business related. It saves a TON of time and headaches!


You'll be busy - very busy, and on your phone and computer. A LOT.


Now, I know - it's 2017 and we're all insanely socially connected and most of the time, we're attached to social media and our phones and being constantly connected. But when your job is to connect and be connected - to be present and engaging for the sake of your business you'll notice that you're attached to your phone a lot more than normal. We all know the feeling of missing Instagram prime-posting-time!

Though important, it's equally as important for your mental health, relationships with others AND for your own good to take time to disconnect. Even if it's just for 30 minutes during a meal with family, or while in a store - it feels really good and can usually help to re-charge you! If all else fails, try making a schedule or set an alarm in your phone - if you work from home or in your own office/for your business, take a 30 minute lunch break sans-social media. I never realized how connected you truly have to be until I was - it's just the reality of it, so making sure you're taking time to chill becomes incredibly important.

The comparison game is a real thing, even past high school.


Before I began blogging, I never thought twice about worrying about what others were doing. The last time I had really focused on that was in high school - a time of insecurities and inevitable drama. I always have tried to do my own thing and not worry so much about others. But let me tell ya, (and if you're a blogger or have a business, you know that this is true!) it gets HARD! Even if you don't mean to, you find yourself comparing what you're doing and your journey to others. It's one of those things we all say we don't and won't do, but I think it's pretty unavoidable at times. I never would have guessed that this would be a factor when I began this journey, but it is and a lot of us deal with it.

I think the best thing you can do when you begin spiraling down into the rabbit hole of comparing yourself to others is 1. know that you're in two totally different situations. You don't know how long they've been working or how hard they've been working and 2. this is NOT high school (even though it may feel like it at times...) and it's SO important in this industry to support each other! There's no reason to do or think otherwise, it's as simple as that. It's easier said than done but when you remember that and let it sink in, it does help!


You get a real sense of fulfillment.


I never realized just how truly amazing it would feel to watch something you've worked so hard on, grow. A lot of us have big dreams for our little, creative spaces on the internet and watching it develop and look back on where you started from is always an incredible feeling. It makes you realize all of your hard work and also teaches you what to do more of, less of and what you can do better. Like anything else, it's a learning experience and you can grow in so many ways from having your own outlet. I've learned that it's a never ending growth process, and it is SO fun.


XOXO -A

21 comments:

  1. GIRL YES!! I have found SO many blogs copying my blog name with different .blog and .co variations! I actually filed a trademark and am waiting to hear back. It's really annoying when others try to capitalize on your credibility!

    ReplyDelete
  2. YES! These things are all so true. It is so great that you are putting them out there for new bloggers to prepare themselves for everything it entails.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow girl! I really loved this post! Everything you mentioned was spot on and very helpful. I've been blogging on and off since 2015, and got really serious about it last year around this time. I ended up getting discouraged and overwhelmed, because I started focusing more on turning it into a business rather than having fun with it, which is why I started my blog in the first place. I took a break for a few months and now I'm back and ready to enjoy my little creative space on the internet again. Thanks for this post-- it definitely gave me some things to think about!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Finding a work-life balance when you can literally work 24/7 is my biggest challenge! I'm finally getting there and realizing it's a slow climb to the top :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some great points! Kind of like you, I started blogging as a hobby a few years ago, but now am so thankful it has become a second job opportunity!

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm really curious how the whole trade mark thing is working. Is it US only or international? Do I have to sell my soul to be able to pay for it?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ugh, the comparison game is TOO real sometimes. Love this advice!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes to all of this! So important to keep in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post! It's so hard not to compare yourself to others but you just can't do it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The comparison game is a real struggle! I've been working on that!
    -Nicholle
    www.nichollesophia.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Such a good read! There is so much that goes into creating a blog!

    ReplyDelete
  12. YES. Legalities is something many bloggers forget... especially with affiliate disclosures!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes to all of this!!! I'm never "off" and it's a hard concept to explain to people.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree with every single one of these! It is A LOT of work! And thankfully I have made some amazing blogger friends that have helped me out along the way!! Great post! Thank you so much for this! I am pinning this to refer back to it :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. So true, sometimes you can get caught up on how well another person is doing. At those moments, I'd like to remind myself they people worked so hard to get there just as much as I am but I am not quite there yet.

    ReplyDelete
  16. TRUE THIS! I agree with every single point you make here, especially comparison, spending ungodly amounts of time in front of a screen, and it's a whole lot of work but it's SO worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. ALL OF THIS! Everyone thinks I'm just playing on the computer or phone, but I'm seriously always working!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Blogging really is such hard work and takes so much time and a lot of bloggers start off not realizing this at all!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with all these! I have never been on my phone so much and have never compared myself to girls on the internet, but blogging will definitely do that to you!


    -xo, Azanique | www.lotsofsass.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. YESSS! I don't think a lot of people realize how much time, hard work, and effort goes into blogging. We definitely don't get enough credit for the many hats we wear.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ALL of these are soooo true. People think it is so easy and do not realize how much time and energy goes into it. I am currently legalizing everything and it is a pain in my you know what. haha Great post!

    Danielle // www.glamrme.com

    ReplyDelete