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  1. Hi Shelby! First of all, I don’t think I have ever commented on any of your posts before, but I love your blog. =)

    Secondly – in 2121, do you feel starting a blog is still worthwhile for newbies? I have been stuck at home for almost a year now thanks to Covid and am constantly being told by my husband and parents that I should start a blog to occupy myself and add something more constructive depth to my day. I know I still love blogs, but I know people tend to be moving to different platforms – instagram, vlogging, etc. Is it worth the plunge? Will it be met with the sound of crickets? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    1. That’s a great question, Randi! I guess the answer depends on your goals. What are you hoping to get out of it? If you’re looking to make a bit of side income, a blog is a great option — but only if you’re willing to put in some work to market the blog to your potential audience! Having your own blog gives you a ton of control over how your posts make money, and if you want to learn the tricks to utilize social media, email, or ads, then you can find a ton of freedom.

      However, if you’re not terribly interested in making money and doing all that work, then you might have a better time with social media. Social media still requires some work to figure out the algorithms and such, but it’s easier to get eyes on your posts and interact with an existing community. You won’t make much money with just social media alone (unless you start selling products or services, but that’s a whole other conversation), but you’ll still feel the joy of making something and sharing it with like-minded people.

      Basically, you just have to think about what you want. If you want to put in a little elbow grease and make a side hustle, a blog is a great option. If you want something easier and you aren’t worried about making much money, social media might be your best bet. But no matter what, you can always change your mind later! You can start a blog now, start up social media accounts, and favor whichever one you think is fulfilling your needs. You have a lot of flexibility no matter what you decide!

  2. Anne Freitas says:

    Hi, Shelby! Do you now if the wordpress install can include blogs already on wordpress.com?

  3. Hi Shelby, thank you so much for this post! I just got my blog up and running this weekend and I just published my first post this morning – I honestly couldn’t have done it without this information from you. I was completely overwhelmed before I stumbled upon your site and you managed to describe it in a way that made sense and made the process seem easy ๐Ÿ™‚ It was definitely time consuming but so worth it! I hope to one day have half the success you have had – thank you again!

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      That makes me so happy to hear Jessica! I wish you all the best with your new blog.

  4. Hi! Your blog has some great information. Loved reading it. It has given me insight and hope for my blog. I started a blog about a month ago with two friends of mine. Everyone tells us we should write a book… no book… BUT we have a blog. I’d love you to check it out. Thanks for your insight.

    1. Congrats on the new blog, Mariah! It’s super exciting, isn’t it? The site looks awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ keep up that hustle and you’ll do just fine!

  5. โ˜•๏ธGood morning, I am not sure when this blog was published but I only just found it!! So helpful!! I do have a blog site up through wordpress but have not added much content because I am not convinced of the format and host. I also have an Etsy store and sell on Amazon, must admit my passion is my blog and that is what I want to build up. Did you do it all yourself or did you work with a person/ company that assisted you with your site?

    1. Thanks so much, Sherri! I wasn’t completely alone – I’m lucky enough to have my husband Jon helping out with some of the more technical/business stuff. Once we hired a tech person through Fiverr.com to handle a particularly difficult bug, but it was only for that one project. Other than that, we’ve done it all alone!

  6. Thank you for this post! I’ve just started blogging (less than 2 weeks) I’ve been extremely focused to make this full time and I have the goal of 100k page views. I’m starting tailwind in the next couple days but any additional feedback you have from your success is appreciated! Thank you!!! ~Darcy

  7. What do you use for your reply forms? I used WPforms and its easy to use but I am unable to see my replies in my email or anywhere. I have no idea why. I am using Dreamhost as my platform. My website is in construction phase :).

  8. Learning about your success and looking around your beautifully designed blog has been an absolute pleasure for me. That being said, I am finding myself anxious and struggling with what I want to write about. I’ve wanted to write a blog for a long time now and did so briefly when I started my study abroad program to inform my friends and family at home what I was doing – but then I stopped.

    Recently getting into bullet journaling and some more creative things again I was pushed even more to start a blog…so I did. I got a host and a domain and everything and I thought I knew what I wanted to talk about. Only I don’t. At all. I don’t really feel that I have expertise in anything. I want to share about my bullet journal but I also want to write about living in Japan, etc. I’m just so lost right now. I spent all that money to start (when I could have gone on vacation instead) and I have no idea how to do anything. No blog posts are helping and I have no one to ask. I have two blog entries but I already think the whole setup is trash and won’t work. I just don’t know what to do to get myself in the right direction.

    1. That is a common, but super frustrating, problem. I have been there, Taylor! Staring at the blank screen and trying to wrack my brains for a good post is mentally exhausting.

      First, take a deep breath. You can’t write when you’re stressing out. Second, grab a notebook and a pen and write out 1-100. Then I want you to sit with some kickin’ tunes and write out 100 blog post ideas. They can be simple, crazy, off the wall, overdone, whatever. Don’t edit yourself, just write them out. If you think of the same thing over and over again, keep writing it down. Don’t stop until you have filled out all 100. This exercise is a great way to pump your creativity and get you thinking in new directions, and also see what your brain is fixating on. After you are done, go through and pick out 10 things that are viable, then write about those ideas.

      Also, remember that you don’t need to be an expert in anything. You have your own unique perspective and experiences. Write about things you care about using that perspective. If it’s obvious you care deeply about your subject matter, people will listen. Another thing to remember is that your set up doesn’t have to be perfect from the start. It will grow and change as you need it to, and you can also go and edit things later. People read my stuff when I was on my first site on Wix, and it was embarrassingly ugly. But it didn’t stop me from growing the blog! So don’t worry about that right now. Just focus on finding your voice. You should check out my Morning Pages post and try writing every day. You’ll find some serious clarity and the writing practice is excellent.

      Don’t worry, Taylor, you can totally do this. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If I could do it, I know you can – cuz I had no idea what I was doing when I first started. So just relax, keep trying, and good luck!

  9. Hello Shelby,
    My name is Ana, and I am new to planning, bujoing to be exact, and totally new to blogging. I hope I will launch my blog/website in couple of days from now (just need to finish with setting up) and I hope that people will read it, and find it usefull. Just wanted to say that you are very inspiring, and have a lots of good tips… Thank you very much… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Ana! And congrats on setting up your new blog! It’s very exciting stuff and a little bit terrifying – but it’s all worth it in the end. Good luck as you kick off and get the blog rolling!

  10. First of all, Happy New Year!

    Nice post! I’ve just started a blog in November, and I can’t even imagine having over 180k subscribers!
    It’s thanks to blogs like yours that I dared to create a blog, I always thought I’d have nothing interesting to say, even though I think I’m pretty creative ๐Ÿ™‚
    Another word of thanks, since as today, I’m officially starting to use my first bullet journal!
    Although I’ve tweaked it into a bit of a bullet journal/planner mishmash, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Janine! And congrats on starting a blog and a bullet journal! I think you’ll find the latter to help a ton with the former ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s always something unique and interesting that you can blog about because you have interesting and unique perspectives. It’s hard to remember that sometimes, but it’s true! I hope you have fun building your blog!

  11. Hi, shelby!
    I’m just finding your post! I’ve been on the verge of a creative outburst and feel blogging would be a great outlet.
    I’m intimidated, yes and horrible with keeping a routine. I tend to jump with my creative bursts and I get distracted. I’m wondering how all the coding works! I used to be fine when myspace was popular but this skill has long left me! Is it really all that difficult and time consuming?

    1. That’s a great question, Sally! Coding is something that I frankly don’t deal with on a regular basis. Jon, my husband, is my tech man and he handles it. He started knowing no coding and has learned quite a bit to keep things going. It’s like a foreign language – it’s tough to learn at first, but once you get some of the basic structure figured out, it gets easier. He’s about six months into Dreamhost and Wordpress coding styles and he rarely encounters a problem he can’t handle now! If we do hit a snag, there’s a large resource of experienced programmers for hire that have modest rates on Fiverr.com. So there’s always options available. I hope this helps!

  12. Great post! I really admire that you’ve stuck with blogging and adapted over time to make it work for you. I’m just starting out, hopefully launching my blog in November. I’m looking to make friends in the blogging world????. I’m passionate about bullet journaling, but I’d like to put the family life spin on it, managing kids and a household and somehow taking care of yourself at the same time, lol. I’m trying to grow a decent following before launching. It’s going well, but I’d really appreciate any pointers if you have any! Did you do anything specific that really increased you’re exposure/following? Any insights would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time!

    1. I’m so glad you’ve decided to take the plunge! It’s an exciting thing, starting a blog ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing I can’t recommend enough is consistent social media presence. You can’t promote your stuff too much to your followers. It feels really weird at first to be sharing your posts so much, but people can’t read it if they don’t find you somehow! And create a consistent brand – especially on Instagram. Pick a look and stick with it! Other than that, I would just say that you should be active, talk to people, and don’t be shy about self promoting. I can’t wait to see it when it goes live! Good luck :D!

  13. LogicalDeesign says:

    This was so helpful to me. I have been toying with blogging for months now. My feet are getting wet but this post has inspired me to go all in. Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you’re taking the leap! It’s a blast, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚ feel free to contact me when you are all set up and I can share your first post on my social media to help you get started. Good luck!

  14. It’s the first time I comment but I always read your e-mails ???? Great post! And congrats for your success with this blog… keep going on โ˜บ I’m building my creative blog too, and I’m so excited ????
    Oh, about the P.P.S: i’m interested!

    1. Sara, I’m glad you commented! Congrats on taking the first step towards what will be a great journey for you – starting a blog is great fun and I’m sure you will love it. I hope to be creating more blogging related posts soon, so hopefully they can be helpful ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Thank you for your offer to help others who are in the same boat you found yourself in before you figured it all out! We are the ones who keep trying, work hard, but never seem to quite get there. I have tried out a few ideas over the years, when I was home with my two babies, who are now 13 and 15 years old. I have a few areas where my expertise has value, I have a page on FB that I post articles that I know will fit some of my followers, but have not taken it any further than that.
    My job as a full time teaching assistant with children who have special needs became my focus once I got back to working and also gives me a lot of material that I can write about in a blog.
    I used to do floral design, love to knit, crochet, draw, paint and make pretty things. I started doing scrapbooking when my kids were tiny that my friend and I called archiving to stay out of the mainstream photo pages that we saw going on around us. Was it wrong of us to work hard and then see ourselves as being better than some of the people who did a similar but different kind of activity?
    We didn’t like the eye rolling we saw some people do when we said what kind of hobby/profession we spent a lot of time doing to share our best photos and layouts of our time with family and friends?
    In a nutshell, I have a lot that I want to talk about, my skills and training from working at a local children’s hospital in the learning disabilities research program for many years and the reading program that our team developed while I worked there, for one. And I have a creative side that won’t quit (not tooting my own horn, though that sounds funny when you type it and read it over again! but I am bursting with ideas and want to share so much.
    What is your advice? Start with the creative and maybe stick with my FB where I can share my knowledge on learning disabilities and keep them separate?
    I had purchased a domain name many years ago, but didn’t keep up with it, so figure it might be done or used by someone else now.
    If this is too much, I tend to *talk* a lot, just let me know and I will try to keep it short(er) in future. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey there Kim! It sounds like you have a lot of juicy stuff to talk about in a blog! My advice would be to dig down and find a niche community that relates to one of the things that you really love. My first blog didn’t work out because I had my fingers in too many pies, but I found success when I boiled it down to one subject. After you begin to grow an audience, you can tentatively start to branch out into other areas. I will also say that I think you should start sooner rather than later. If you wait until things are just right, you’ll never get started! Jump right in and begin writing about whatever you think you can speak about, and your voice and style will fall into place. I hope this helps you move onto the next step in creating a blog!

  16. I love your blog and bujo posts. They’re really helping to really get me on track. I have loved organization for a long time but always felt embarrassed by my list making and always feeling slightly odd for buying certain folders/try certain methods but never feeling organised. The bullet journal system and tips are great. I’m feeling on my way to being really organised for the first time in my life! Being creative is a hard life somtimes always pullung me, but so much freedom to do so in bujo and direct my passions to work out how best to live them. Thank you for your blog and community!

    1. Thank you so much for saying such sweet things! I’m really glad you can glean some inspiration from my posts. I know that I had a hard time finding the thing that clicked for me, too. I had the same issue – acquiring all this organizational stuff without ever feeling truly organized. Thankfully, the bullet journal swooped in and gave me a ride out of that horrible state, and I’m glad it can help you too. I am really lucky to have such wonderful people like yourself who visit my blog and contribute to the discussion! I looking forward to hearing more about your growth and success, and I would love to chat if you ever want to email me. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

    1. I’m glad you found the post helpful! Do you mean that you are struggling for engagement? If so, I would say that sharing your content extensively on social media is key. I used to be shy about it, but now I share my posts all the time and I find that it helps tremendously. People can’t enjoy your work if they don’t know it exists! I think that having your own domain is super important, too. I think people gloss over websites that don’t have their own .com, which sucks. But readers want to learn from people they perceive as experts, and a professional appearance is a big part of that. If you aren’t struggling, I’d say you’re doing great and should keep doing what you’ve been doing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Your posts about bullet journaling got me started on that life-changer.. I’d love to see more posts about blogging! I need all the help I can get ๐Ÿ™‚ I cannot fathom how one goes from 0-180k views in a few months!

    1. I can’t fathom it either, Carmen, and I’m smack dab in the middle of it :D! I’m really happy that you are having such success with the bullet journal! And I appreciate your feedback about the post, I really hope to create more helpful content. Lord knows that starting a blog is a bit intimidating! Feel free to contact me to ask any questions about starting up your blog and I’d be happy to help!

  18. Hi! I’m new to the planner community and found your blog right away. I love all sorts of creative arts and actually spent about 6 mos. a couple years ago researching blogging and I even set up a Wordpress.org blog and have a domain name, but I never set up the blog. It seems every time I want to focus on art/creating, my life blows up and I just cannot devote the time to it! LOL I have such a strong desire to create and lots of ideas, but I’ve never followed through with the actual *doing* part. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve taken some more concrete steps lately and I’m determined to make it happen. You start getting panicky when you’re 43 years old! LOL

    All that to say, I’d love to hear more about how you monetized your blog and made it your full time job! Thank you! And congratulations to your success! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Amy

    1. It’s nice to meet you, Amy! I understand what you mean when life blows up right when you’re about to do something good. It always seems to be the wrong time! But once you push through and get started, I’m sure you’ll get as much enjoyment as I do! I hope you find the footing you’ve been looking for to bring your creative ideas into the physical world, because once you get started, it’s impossible to stop! And thank you so much for your kind words and feedback, I really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚ If you ever want to chat with me privately about starting your blog, feel free to hit me up!

      1. Thanks for your kind reply, Shelby! What do you think is the reason for your current blog’s success after trying a few and them not taking off? Just curious! Thanks!

        1. I think there are two reasons I have found success: I dug down and found a specific niche and I started sharing extensively on social media. It’s easier to get readers when they’re looking for something specific (like bullet journaling) and when they can find your blog organically through social media.

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