10 Things I'd Tell Myself When I First Started Blogging

Monday, October 6, 2014

It’s August of 2009 and I’ve just graduated college and moved to Kansas City for a job. Like every college grad of our generation, I was terrified of the job market. Or lack thereof… I knew I was in no position to turn down anything, so even though I only knew one person in Kansas City (my roommate Sara) and was about to embark on two more years of long distance with Chris, I knew I had to do it.

Pre-Chicago Taylor used to go into high schools dressed in black chef pants and a white chef jacket, pulling a red cooler and wearing a knife kit. I’d then go on to show knife skills (I can chop veggis like a badass) and put on a little song and dance for the teenagers while I made them something good to eat and told them some jokes. I was a recruiter for a culinary school and it was the weirdest job ever. And because I was a spoiled little child who knew nothing about the real world, I also failed to realize it was actually a pretty great job. I worked 4-5 hours per day, max. (On a salary pay no less.) It sounds almost dreamy to me now.

But what I’m saying is that I had a lot of time on my hands. And thus I started my blog.

So if I could time travel back five years and tell little blogger Tay a thing or two it might go something like this.

1. It matters how your blog looks. It matters a lot unfortunately.
I know you don’t care, but others do. So learn how to make it better or stop buying dumb clothes from Urban Outfitter and pay someone to fancy it up.

2. Piggy backing off of #1, add some photos.
It took me more than two years to realize the importance of photos. Make them clear and make them big.

3. Do it more.
I would go months at a time without showing up. Why? What was I doing I wonder? I know I didn’t have any friends in my life at this time so I have no excuse. Consistency is key.

4. Other people blog. Not just you and Perez Hilton.
So find their blogs and read them. See what makes them successful and learn from them. And make some friends while you’re at it, you don’t always need to be out on your own island. I need to remember this one in life too… Being a loner is just so easy sometimes.

5. But don’t be someone you’re not.
If writing or posting something feels inauthentic it’s probably because it is. Don’t do that.

6.  Eventually you’ll get critics.
It’s going to suck at first. But sometimes hearing bad things about yourself sucks because you know some of it is true…And sometimes people are just assholes. Learn to know the difference.

7. Never post until your mom has proofread it first.
*Disclaimer: my mom is on vacation this week… I’m trying guys, I swear I am.

8. Resist the urge to compare.
Some people just live prettier lives. Accept it and move on.  (Or learn how to fake your own pretty life.)

9. Just keep swimming.
Everything takes time.

10. And most importantly, if I could tell myself one thing back in 2009 when I just started blogging it would be to INVENT INSTAGRAM!!!

Tomorrow's prompt: Your best or worst vacation. Link up once, or link up or every day! 

The Daily Tay

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  1. Ooh, # 8 "Some people just live prettier lives. Accept it and move on. (Or learn how to fake your own pretty life.)" That is some good self-advise.

  2. You're so right, I didn't realize how important images are also it is incredibly important not to compare yourself to other blogs :)

  3. Ha! #3 is definitely something I need to work on. So glad I decided to participate in blogtober because now I'm actually blogging everyday!

  4. 5, 8 & 9. So TRUE! Great list!

  5. I agree with your list. And people often don't like to think 'pretty' matters, but people won't follow a blog that's hard to look at, it's too much work. As is the comparison game. People have different lives, no use sweating over what you read online.

  6. A proof reader is golden. Sometimes I write something that makes perfect sense to me but I swear it doesn't translate to 90% of the world.

  7. Number 4 is the most important and always seems like the most difficult to actually do. I'm the worst about reading a post and never commenting. Working on it!

  8. This is so helpful!!
    Thanks a lot.

    check my blog please :)

  9. haha yes, i wish so bad I had invented instagram or reward style or anything really. also, my mom proofreads mine too and it's pretty ovbious when she doesn't.

  10. all of them are amazingly true.

  11. I love the proof reading part. Sometimes I write so fast and have so many thoughts I want to get out. Then I hit publish. And look at all my mistakes. So, I have to go back and edit and pray no one noticed the mistakes. haha. I also agree with the blogging being a very social thing. That is one of my favorite parts of blogging. It's great to meet new people and it does take a lot of time and effort to form new relationships and get to know people but it is worth it. Also, being yourself is so important. My life might not be that interesting but it is important to be authentic. Don't pretend to be someone you are not because you think it will get you more readers.

  12. Amen to photos and proofreading... and dealing with critics

  13. Such a great post, and so so true!


  14. Consistency is the biggest takeaway for me here. I totally suck at it.

    Considering how much I love blogging, and really the nature of the medium, I don't understand why it's such a struggle to make it a priority.

  15. I almost spit my coffee out laughing at #7! My mom used to call me almost every other days with little edits to some of my posts. I finally just made her an account so she can log in and make changes herself, and not have to call me with every little think. Mom's Rock. Period.

  16. Great advice! I am so new to blogging and have so much to learn so it's great to read advice from established bloggers!

  17. I love these tips :) Thank you so much for sharing!

    The Mama Gazette

  18. HOW was Instagram not invented by a blogger though -- question of the century

  19. So many of us have no idea how addictive blogging is

  20. So cool that you live in Chicago - I live here too! Great advice!

  21. I love that your mom proofreads for you. Sadly, I proofread for my mom, so that would never work.

  22. Such a great post, I love your advice.

  23. Proofreading is important! Go Mom! :)
    PS - #10 is perfect

  24. I've been at it for all of one week now so this is so very helpful!! :)

  25. God, you're always so right. My mom is my proofreader, photographer...she's already asked if I can hire her officially. Ha! Your tips are always spot on, sistah.


  26. Thank you so much! Even though you can't go back to 2009, at least you've helped out fellow bloggers:)
    Ariana // thoughtsthroughateacup.blogspot.com