This site does not contain affiliate links to products. I will not receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
This post is coming to you a bit later in the day. Though I am a new blogger, I did want to share 5 things I have learned about being a new blogger.
Blogging is a big thing to take on. Even if you aren’t initially planning to take it beyond an actual website. Thinking about starting a blog takes work and writing a blog takes even more work. Being a blogger can, at first, start off as a hobby then sometimes grow to something bigger. Now I have have had several blogs before that I just simply stopped doing. One was for when I wanted to talk about essential oils and the other, another was on life in your thirties (not a bad topic but back then I really didn’t even know how to make it a full on bog and ran out of ideas), another was on makeup as well, but again, I had no clue what I was doing and abandoned it. All-in all I basically was such a noob that is was sorely obvious. Now, I really wanted to reach a wider audience about Avon as a beauty blogger. I know there are a lot of bueaty bloggers out there, and even bloggers for Avon. But I wanted to stand out and did research a few Avon bloggers before I decided how I would approach beauty blogging. Here, I will go over things I learned and in fact am still learning.
If You aren’t Sure, Start Simple
Some people start by blogging about their day. Others want to discuss something that they know may be present in other’s lives such as being a parent. You can start by writing reviews about books you read. If you aren’t planning on taking it full time, then there isn’t as many expectations, beyond having constant content just to grow an audience, that you really run into. That and asking people you know to read it and maybe share it.
Also, you can brows blogs for a while and see which ones fit something you feel you have enough to blog about but from your own perspective. Some people don’t write blogs but read a lot of them. I don’t read a whole lot. The most blogs I go to are about food because I am a mom and need recipes. Sometimes I may not even read the blog and just go straight to the recipe. I don’t think I am alone on that. And it is by no means meant to be taken offensively. I just usually get busy and need a recipe so I can write down the ingredients if I am planning on a meal or just reading the instructions if I have all of the ingredients. So, reading blogs for a bit before you decide to do it as a hobby or take it full time is completely fine. Some people go from it just being a hobby to making it their work. I kind of skipped the hobby part as of late and went to more full time though I am still getting the hang of consistency.
Read Up First
Though when I decided to take my bog as a full on website and job, I decided it would be good to do my research. Though I did a lot of reading about blogs, believe me I was no where near as prepared as I should have been.
There is a lot that goes into building a blog or even a website and there are also legalities that tie into it that are best read up on before you launch. Knowing about SEO, tags, categories, sometimes word length, using pictures that are not yours legally, how to use links (there’s a whole slew of information on that), if and how you want to use affiliate marketing, using social media that connects to your blog/website. It is all a lot to learn and many more established bloggers that offer business advice and blog advice have courses you can take to help in on the road to blogging. Some of them are priced and a few are’t. So read all you can about blogging and take notes. Be well set up, unlike I was, before you launch whether as a hobby (because it’s still important), or as a professional. I will be writing a separate post on blogging resources that helped me and will make sure to link it here when I have it finished.
Joining a group is helpful and there’s a few different kinds. One will be able to help out if you need an questions answered regarding your site and to keep up on the latest news on platform updates and plugin issues/updates/reviews. Even small questions, like how long should my post be are allowed in such groups. Most of the time, in my experience, these groups may not allow you to promote your site unless you get permission in regards to a question. But there are groups that do allow promotion where you mingle with other bloggers and help them out by reading their blogs and promoting their blogs. They tend to do the same in return. Bloggers helping bloggers. Because while there is competition out there, most of the blogging community is their to hep you out because support is great in numbers.
Two groups I recommend and am on are by A Self Guru. Amira is a lawyer and blogger. She has a Facebook page for not just her website but for a community of bloggers. She helps you make sure your blog is legal and offers courses as well as an affiliate program. Her community on Facebook has specific days where you can promote your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, ask questions, and support others. One major rule is if you post something, you must support 4 other members of your choice. It’s just polite.
Another group I recommend is by Productive Blogging. Eb is from the UK and has a mass amount of information to share in becoming a productive blogger. She has a Facebook page and Facebook Community page where other bloggers give advice about blogging. There isn’t much promotion here but if needed you can link your site if someone wants to give more accurate advice on your question. Such as when I asked what my freebie should be for opt-in’s. I am working on that now. See, this is where I say read up, take notes, and be prepared when you launch.
Set Up a Schedule
Before I thought of being a blogger to expand my reach about Avon, I really hadn’t thought about a schedule. I didn’t know it mattered. I am still getting into the swing of that. My life is constantly busy being the mom of three with one being disabled and here soon I will be returning to college. That is why it may seem erratic right now. I have a huge list of things to write about and have them written on my white board calendar. I try to batch, which is a great thing to do so you can give your self some breathing room to just live life. Also, writing down what topics to write helps with a schedule. You can theme your days even. I do have a theme set up but as for now I am trying to batch as best I can before college starts so then I can really work on a schedule knowing that I will have other material for people to read between postings. A schedule lets your audience know how reliable you are and that you aren’t going to have writers block. Though this does happen to everyone at some point or another. Many bloggers offer print outs for blogging. My best advice is when you find one you like print out a few pages to actually write on, and have a set where you can either put it in a plastic sheet or even laminate it so you can write something you may have to redo. Saves on paper. It took a while for me to find a social media calendar that fits my needs because sometimes I forget if I set something up for a specific time or not and hate having to double check. I want to be able to have a check mark next to time slots. I have accidentally overlapped social media posts. Before you go looking around for a nice set of printables, I suggest using Trello and Tailwind. Trello is good for creating a to-do list. Tailwind is good for Instagram and Pinterest posts and have groups called tribes that go mostly by subject. You can link posts to the tribe and they can hep share you posts for more reach. Also, they have a great set of videos and tutorials so you can know how to use it effectively.
If Going Pro, Shop Around for Platforms and Hosting
You will get a lot of reviews for many different people about which platform to use for blogging and which host is best. There will definitely be terms that you don’t know so it is good to get to know these terms, write them down where you can see them and decide if that term fits your needs. Terms like cPanel. Do you know what that is and would you use it? It is an administration tool used to help users to configure their own accounts. Your webhost of choice most likely will use this tool but others will use Plesk or some other admin tool. This is one of the many things to consider when looking for a webhost. And there a of of them. Mine is Hostgator. But many use Bluehost or another in the long line of options.
Platforms. There are a few. Blogger, Wix, SqaureSpace. Mine is, of course WordPress. It was one of the few I knew of. I used to be on Blogger. But they had limited features. So I chose WordPress. Shopping around for these will be based on what you want out of the website. Such as how fast your site loads based on traffic. The features they have. Cost is always a big thing to consider. Either way it’s good to shop around and look at reviews. Even ask other bloggers if they have switched between one and the other and why.
So, there you have it. Five tips I have about bogging. In no particular order. I will be writing up a blogging resources post for you as well that have been helpful to me. If you are a more established author or even still fresh, what are some of the things you learned about blogging since you started?