Hello there! The blogging universe is forever expanding, with new people entering the blogosphere every day. Time is obviously a key factor in learning the processes, and quite frankly that never ends. Starting a blog can be daunting, but the main key is to understand what you are getting involved in and the things I wish I had known. So here are 10 Things You Must Know when starting out.
1) Have an idea about what you want to blog about, even have some future blog posts in mind. The best way to spark ideas is to base it on your own passions and interests. I personally believe that blogs tend to be better if the writer isn’t going out of their way to please others.
2) Plan, plan, plan! You want to make sure that you are posting regularly but not spamming your readers. Find solace in organising your calendar to evenly space out your posts.
3) Ensure you are socially aware, and if not, get yourself out there! Presence on other outlets can be diverted to your blog. My recommendation is to scatter your post everywhere you can when published. This is in addition to signing up to blogger directories and networking sites (e.g. Bloglovin). Also, make it easy for your readers to find your social media outlets on your blog – I suggest adding icons in your sidebar.
4) Find a theme that screams you. The worst thing from a reader’s viewpoint is an indecisive blogger – it looks confusing. When starting your blog, really spend some time on what you want your blog to look like, then make it that way.
5) Consider self-hosting. Although I would not recommend self-hosting straightaway (it requires a reasonable amount of knowledge and forces independence) for some it may be the way forward. The real question is “What do you want to achieve?”. If the answer is ‘no limits’ for example, self-hosting may be for you. Moving to a self-hosted site can be a difficult process however, so it must be thoroughly considered.
6) Have confidence! Sometimes all it takes is some guts to produce an amazing post, so just do it! Don’t be afraid to experiment either. Making mistakes and learning from them will help you develop into the blogger you want to be.
7) Build a blogger network of your own. I struggled with this when I first started blogging, but communicating with others in the same position as yourself can really help. It certainly helped me! It can also raise awareness about your blog, so don’t be afraid to leave a cheeky little comment on someone else’s post. What’s the worst that can happen eh?
8) Let Google Analytics become your friend. From this, you can really find out what posts are successful and ones that aren’t. You can also find out who your target audiences are, enabling you to shape your posts according to this. I think this is super helpful for anyone that is starting out too. Don’t forget you use WordPress stats as well – from this, you can form a target audience.
9) Make sure it is easy for others to contact you. I only figured this out a few months after I started blogging – and wish I knew sooner. The best way to do this is to add a contact page onto your blog and put your details in there. This makes it super easy to navigate your site, making it more likely for others to get in touch. Sites like “MailChimp” also allow you to make contact forms like I did – completely free of charge too!
10) Make every post as enthusiastic as the last. Readers are going to enjoy your post more if it includes passion, as it sounds like you were interested in writing it. Some of my monotone posts without any humour haven’t got me far in all honesty, so speaking with the experience I suggest adding some “happy” into your posts.
Hope this helps for anyone starting a blog, if you have any questions / queries, just let me know below.
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