Today I stray away from my typical post to share something just for the newbie bloggers out there. I have been blogging for going on four years and have learn A LOT. In all seriousness, I am light years away from where I was when I started. The thing I love about blogging is there is always something new to learn, to do, or to add to make your little corner of the internet better. I always strive to learn more and implement those into my blog to make it faster, more unique and helpful to my readers. Even though there are probably 100, today I am going to share 5 things I wished I knew as a new blogger, for all of my beginner writing friends out there.
1.Start off on WordPress & with the right hosting
There are many places to start a blog, but my advice is if you plan on having your blog go ANYWHERE, then start off where you mean to go and invest in some solid hosting and write your blog using wordpress.com. I was given this advice and didn’t listen, instead opting to write on a free platform, blogger, and wrote almost a years worth of content on there. After a year, I was beginning to grow and decided I wanted to take my blog to the next level and own my own domain, and thus, Our Three Peas was born. While I didn’t lose those posts, they all had to be reformatted and fixed to fit my new style, which is something I still haven’t finished.
When you go with WordPress, then you need to buy your own domain and pay for hosting. There are so many options in hosting, in all varying sizes, so it’s not hard to find something that fits your needs. If you are shopping around, I LOVE my hosting with Web Hosting Hub. They are a great price and are so helpful with set up, instilling your site and any technical issues you may come across.
Web Hosting Hub:
-Is Small Business Friendly
-Employee Owned With 24/7 U.S. Based Support
-Offers a FREE Domain For Your Business
-Will Transfer Your Website For FREE
-Offers green hosting
-Had three different hosting options, depending on your size and speed needs.
If you are considering your hosting option needs, check out Web Hosting Hub and see what all of the fuss is about!
2.Invest in your design
Along with seamless hosting, you want to be sure your blog design is flawless. While your look may want to change over time, you will want to be sure your design is clean, easy to navigate and screams YOU! If you are tech savvy, you may be able to handle this on your own, but if not, then you may want to pay for a professional design or pay for a theme that will create a simple design for you. No one will want to read what you say if your blog is yucky to look at!
3.Spend time on your images
Again, learn from my mistakes. Start off taking nice, large and beautiful images from the beginning. Obviously your skill level will change the longer you have been writing and photographing, but the sooner you put some extra time into this area, the better! When I first started blogging all of my images were teeny weeny and so dark- they were terrible! Obviously I have learned a lot over the past few years and have upgraded my camera and photography equipment, and eventually should reshoot some of may earlier posts- but if you are beginning, just make sure you spend extra time on learning how to take nice images and make that a focus on your blog. Blogging is very visually orientated, so make them count!
4.To consider your blog a business
This is definitely not something i did in the beginning, and while I don’t make a ton of money on my blog, I have come to realize that all of the writing I do, photographing, editing and social media promotion all add up and that time is worth SOMETHING. That amount varies over time, increasing as your page views and traffic do- but remember to always put a value to your work. Don’t write for free, or at least without some kind of product exchange! Also, think about WHAT you are writing and how that may look to potential sponsors in the future. Obviously write true to yourself and how you want, but be mindful of how you may want your blog to look like in the future, or what goals you may have for it in a few years.
5.It takes A LOT of time
On average, it takes me 1-2 hours to write and prepare a single post, between writing, editing, photographing, and editing those images. Multiply that by 5 days a week and you have a grand total of 10 hours- and that’s without promoting each post! I’ll admit, I probably spend a little too much time writing and editing my posts, but regardless, blogging is one of those things that takes more time than you originally think it will. My advice to new bloggers is to set the bar low when you’re deciding how often you will post; you can always add more posts to your blogging schedule as you go. Set aside time to plan out your posts, come up with original content, take photos/design graphics, write, edit, publish, and share your posts on social media.
Overall, I was ultimately surprised at how many opportunities blogging can open for you! It can opens doors to partnerships, business opportunities, networking, advertising, product launches, book writing – you name it! I started blogging almost 4 years ago as a way to share events from our kid’s lives and share little tips and tricks I learned as a new mom. For the first year I made ZERO dollars on my blog and had approximately 9 people reading it. Last year I made close to $8000 in income and have over 25,000 people read what I say every month. And while that is a drop in the bucket for some bloggers, I am proud of how far I have come and have more I even want to do. If you are considering a career in writing, my advice is to get started, set goals, and always be brainstorming to come up with new ideas. The possibilities are truly endless!
What advice would you add to my list?
If you are looking for some more blogging tips, check out these posts: