If you’re a blogger just starting or you’ve been doing it for a while, this post is all about the things I wish I knew when I started blogging. I think from the outside being a blogger can seem easy, and whilst it isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but it does require time, effort, money and passion. When I started blogging ‘back in the day’ it wasn’t a big thing, I think most of us sort of stumbled into it, a group of people who enjoyed sharing their photographs and bits of their life online, like a digital journal, instead of websites people mainly used the likes of Tumblr, we did it because we loved and enjoyed it, there was no such thing as PR samples in the post or glamourous press events. Here are some things I wish I knew when I started blogging.
Register your domain name.
If you feel like you’re going to invest your time, energy and money into your blog, you should buy and register your domain name before someone else does. This way if you decide to go self-hosted you can still keep your brand and have your personalised domain.
Back up your blog!
You must back-up your blog, it would be awful if something were to happen one day and you lost all of your blog posts and hard work! You can either manually download a copy of your blog posts and full website or there are lots of programmes and plug-ins that schedule daily or weekly back-ups for you! There are tons of how-to’s on Google for whatever blogging platform you are using.Whilst we’re on the topic of security, use strong passwords, and where possible use two-factor authentication (where your mobile phone number is used to send a unique code in a text message to your phone so they know it’s you trying to gain access!)
Start a blog for the right reasons.
Make it something you are passionate about; your readers aren’t stupid when it comes to content. If you blog about something you enjoy content and ideas will come easily to you, it’s easy to write about the things that you love! This way you can engage and interact with your readers sharing a love and passion for the same subjects.
Don’t be disheartened.
You aren’t going to get a million page views the first time you hit publish, views and finding loyal returning readers takes time. Share your posts on social media, create specific pages to separate your brand from your social media handles and channels. Use software like Buffer to schedule blog posts to be published to social media platforms but don’t spam people. Automatically pushing old blog posts to be tweeted every hour on the hour will soon annoy people and maybe cause them to unfollow. Blogging takes time, interact with the community, don’t just use social media actually be social on it.
This doesn’t mean you need to post every single day, keep your branding consistent and don’t make it difficult for people to find you. For example, I am @milkbubbletea on Twitter, which is the same as my blog name and milkbubbleteablog on Instagram (as milkbubbletea was taken!) Post as and when you feel like it but try not to leave large gaps in your content if you can. Create an email address and make sure it’s at the top of your blog so people don’t have to work hard to find out how to contact you.
Post and share about topics you enjoy, blogging is a learning process. Take the time to engage with other bloggers, read and comment on their content. Always remember to think before you type on the internet, it can be so easy to just type whatever pops into your head, but there’s an old saying along the lines of once it’s on the internet it’s never really gone. Think is it kind and is it neccessary? If you aren’t sure, send it to your drafts then go back in 30 minutes and you’ll know if you still want to press publish or hit ‘send tweet.’ Some things are better left unsaid.
If you enjoyed reading this, you might enjoy this blog post about tools and resources for bloggers.
Do you have any thing you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments.