Dear Brand-New Blogger...


Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo

Today I'm linking up with Kiki for another round of her monthly linkup: The Circle! Get more details about this linkup here. This month's prompt is: a letter to our past self.

I'm getting a lot of great questions in my "Ask Anything" post, and a few of you have asked for my best advice for new bloggers. While clearly I am not a blogging prodigy of any kind, this May I will have been blogging for five years! In that time, I haven't taken any extended breaks longer than a week or two, and those were due to me being out of town or something. I don't have thousands of followers, but I think I have advice to offer new bloggers just starting out.

So if I could tell my brand-new blogger self anything, here's what I would say...

Dear Amanda, 

Congratulations! You decided to start a blog. It's going to be a lot of work, but you're really going to have fun with it. 

There are a lot of things to learn about blogging. For one thing, it's going to take you a week of Googling to figure out how to make a blog button. And I know you're wondering how other bloggers edit their pictures to put that fun text on them and draw arrows and stuff. Listen carefully: Buy Photoshop Elements on sale off Amazon as soon as possible. It will be $50 well spent.

In the beginning, you won't have very many followers. Okay, let's get real: you will have Jordan and your mom as followers. But don't stop writing. In the beginning, and for a long time after that, you won't have very many readers. You know that secret hope you have that people will randomly stumble upon your blog and soon you will be blog famous? Yeah, that's not going to happen.

But there are going to be other blogs, ones much newer than yours, and some of them are going to have hundreds and even thousands of followers after just a few months. I know it's frustrating to see other blogs grow a lot when you feel like yours isn't growing much at all, but keep writing. You can't see it yet, but blogging is helping you become a better writer and a better photographer.

Join linkups and comment on other blogs, and soon you'll find some bloggers you really love reading. You'll even get to meet some of them!

Always remember that blogging means something different to everyone, and you need to forget what other people are doing and decide what blogging means for you. Don't worry that you aren't a real blog if you don't offer sponsorships. Don't worry that people won't like you if you talk about Jesus. Don't worry that your blog will die if you don't post 5 days a week.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, stop worrying about doing it "right" and just have fun.

Don't post that day if you don't want to. Don't sponsor that product if you hate it. Don't follow that blogger if you don't enjoy reading their blog. Or, do post every day. Sponsor all the things. Follow all the bloggers. There's no right way to blog, and there never will be. Don't let anyone tell you anything different.

Oh, and one more thing: name your blog The Lady Okie Blog. That other name you're thinking of is more like the title of a romance novel with Fabio on the front. Trust me.

See you in five years!

p.s. Legging are not pants. Tell everyone. 

-My "Blogging" Page
-Kiki's "Blog Talk" series 
-Erika on Blogging Numbers


  1. Love this--I'm getting to a point where I'm giving up all the "blogger pressure" and just having fun! I don't care anymore about how many followers I have--I'm just gonna do what I want and have fun with it!!

  2. "Always remember that blogging means something different to everyone, and you need to forget what other people are doing and decide what blogging means for you." sound advice! so, so true! there's no one right way to blog (or live life for that matter)!
    and yes, please, tell everyone leggings are not pants!

  3. Yes! This speaks right to my blogger soul. I spent years trying to get over the 'post every Monday through Friday' thing and now I post whenever I want. I mean, I would love it if people read my blog, but my blog is for ME first and foremost!

  4. You are so funny! I'm pretty sure I'm still doing this whole blogging thing wrong, but that's ok. It's me and I like it (doing things my way and slightly wrong - got that nailed).

  5. leggings as pants forever!!!! but as long as everything is covered. is that ok? and i don't wear leggings from forever 21 or anything, i wear thick workout leggings, is that ok? tell me it's ok.
    i totally agree about doing it for yourself.. dont worry about what anyone else is doing, and ignore all the 'rules' and just make yourself happy.

  6. I used to feel like my blog was crap when I wasn't getting comments in the beginning but then I found blogs I clicked with and we support each other. Blogging is all about the friendships for me. Everything else is a bonus.

  7. "Legging are not pants. Tell everyone."
    This. THANK YOU!

    Also, great advice. Blogging should not become a pressure. This is what I tell my old-self. (I had first written my "odd-self", which would also have been accurate).

  8. I absolutely I love this!!! Especially when you say to not worry about doing it "right", and to just have fun :) love it!!

  9. Loved reading this. I agree, the blogger "pressure" and "rules" are definitely something you have to steer clear of, blog for YOU. When you want, about what you want :)

  10. I love everything about this... so much truth
    especially that PS :) haha

  11. This is great! I think we all wish our early blogging selves knew a few more things. Visiting via The Circle!

  12. Haha "Breathing in the Wind"! I never knew your blog was named that once upon a time. Also, I wanted to name my blog "Megan in Motion" at first (travel blog, haha get it?), but my friends talked me out of it. Alliteration is not always your friend....

  13. I'm so glad you wrote this, I loved reading it! Your consistency is amazing- 5 years with minimal breaks is great! "stop worrying about doing it right"- amen!

  14. "You decided to start a blog. It's going to be a lot of work, but you're really going to have fun with it." Those are some of the best words to tell any blogger, but especially the ones that are new to the game.

    And I also love what you said about having fun (and NOT worrying so much!). I think that it's a truth that I need to hear in my blog life AND in my day-to-day life, too. :) You once again summed up blogging/blog life in another great post. :)

    Thanks for linking up!

  15. Over the past couple months, I've really come to terms with the fact that I started this blog for me and I will do it my way. I used to stress myself to death to get it done and it's much more enjoyable when I do it the way I want!

  16. omg I love this ;) This is awesome!!!! So true! And, clearly I need to go check out the photoshop elements ;)

  17. Oh, Hi there. I feel like it's been a while since I commented... ugh, this sentence was supposed to turn into something really witty. #fail.

    I love this letter! You are spot on and it great! I like how you focused on doing what feels right for everyone. All good things. :)

  18. I think that any new blogger could benefit from reading this. Seriously. Especially the part about not worrying about numbers. It blows my mind that some people can get thousands of followers in a few months, but that's really not the reality for the vast majority!

  19. I really like your 'do your own thing' message here! I should tell myself that too.
    And I especially like the message about leggings, lol.

  20. Thank you for this post... What an encouragement to new bloggers like me. :) I found your blog through a pin of "The Social Media Rabbit Hole" a while back (I'm a flip-phoner, too) and am glad I did!

    1. I'm glad it was helpful to you! Thanks for stopping by and for the comment, Lauren! :)

  21. "Breathing in the Wind"?! I had no idea that was your original blog name! I can see how you might land on a name like that, but I definitely see the Fabio cover as well. ;) This is all such great advice. Essentially you've boiled it down to: there's no right or wrong way to blog. Just write and have fun with it. And I totally agree! :)

  22. paragraphs 4 and 6 of the letter = truth and reason. I think you may have written this for me c. April 2010 - thank you :)


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