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Are you brand new to the idea of blogging? Today marks the three-month anniversary of my entrance into this wide new world. To say I have come a long way is probably the understatement of the century. Here are some of my confessions of a beginning blogger: learned the hard way!
Prior to starting my blog I had never followed a blog regularly. Although I do not blog about blogging, I would have never survived the first month without the expert advice of blogging websites. When I first started out, my life consisted of a stack of to-do lists. Just about the time I finished one task for my site I would discover a whole new host of things that yet needed to be done.
Looking back, I realize that there were number of lessons that I had to learn the hard way. Although the experts are an invaluable resource, it is also helpful to hear from someone who has been there and been there recently. I am not here to dispense any expert advice, but I have pinpointed 6 important things I wish I had known when I first started blogging 3 months ago.
Here are some confessions of a beginning blogger: learned the hard way.
I wish I had known how many times I would change my blog’s design within the first few weeks.
I changed my theme, header, widgets and styling of my blog multiple times until I got it right. Also, it took me several weeks to write enough blog posts to give viewers something to see. If I could do it again, I would have waited one month before allowing my blog to go public. This amount of time would have given me time to make necessary tweaks and changes before anyone saw it. I also believe my blog debut would have packed more of a punch if I had initially launched with more blog content.
I wish had not overestimated the impact my blog site would have on my family, friends and acquaintances.
Of course, I have that core of people who will follow anything I write just because I wrote it. However, in those initial weeks you can be really discouraged by an unexpected lack of interest. Actually, this should not have surprised me as I myself had never really been a blog reader before I started.
Instead, I would heed the advice of those who say that blog growth takes time. I am seeing that slow and steady growth really does work.
I wish I had known how many free plugins and helps are available on the internet.
Quite frankly, I was shocked by the sheer number of resources I stumbled upon that did not cost a thing. The more research you can do in the beginning, the less time you will waste duplicating your efforts. In the initial month
If I could do it again, I would have spent a few weeks researching and reading blogs before I ever started blogging. They do an excellent job of suggesting, ranking and categorizing different important aspects of setting up a well-functioning blog.
I wish I had known that some elements are just worth investing in from the beginning.
The typical blogger starts out with no budget. While there are a lot of free resources, they are a few factors that are just worth the money. For one, I highly recommend starting with your own domain name. I actually started with a free WordPress.com account. I quickly realized that this type of site really limited my creativity options and does not support plug-ins.
Secondly, you get what you pay for when it comes to finding a subscription form for your site. I literally tried out 15 different form providers before I found one that worked for me. Believe me, I really worked to find a free one, but I ultimately went with a paid service because I needed a form that was always accessible; actually sent post notifications to my subscribers; and had customer support.
If I could do it all again, I would go straight to a self-hosted WordPress.org site and I would look for a paid, static subscription form with good customer support.
I wish I had been more selective with the social media sites I invested my time in.
When I first started, I was barraged by articles about the essentiality of social media for promoting your website. In my zeal to do things right, I signed up for every single one of them. However, it didn’t take long to realize that I was burying myself under a load of different platforms and angles. Every social media tool approaches information in its own special way.
For instance, Tumblr is a social media site that appeals to a younger age group. After spending a considerable amount of time to set up my Tumblr site and filling it with some content, I found out that only one person from all my other social media groups was even on Tumblr…one.
If I could do it all again,
before I invested any time to set up a new account.
I wish I had known about editorial calendar plugins from the very start.
When I initially started out, I launched into writing drafts for future posts. I wrote down lists and jotted down my thoughts whenever they came to me. Eventually I ended up with an overwhelming pile of information in various locations. Although
An editorial calendar automatically keeps track of all your drafts and then allows you to drag and drop them into a calendar and move them around at will. This tool makes it possible to tentatively schedule your drafts for months into the future. If I could do it all again, I would install an editorial plugin as my very first plugin.
Well, there you have it. I hope my bumps along the blogging road can help you make a smoother go of your beginning blogger experience.