6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
It is such a privilege to be able to contribute a post on the lovely Angel's blog once a month. It's a highlight of my month to have been brought together with some other fabulous ladies here on Sew Crafty Angel as one of her Contributing Angels :)
I've been blogging for just a little over 6 months now, which seems so fast and yet like an eternity. I have learned so much about the blogging world, the community of bloggers, a little bit of coding stuff (yikes- just tipping the iceberg on this one) and so much about myself.
Even though I have learned many things and the learning will hopefully never stop; there are things I wish I knew before I started blogging. It would have been very prudent to have thought things out just a little more before my launching of Heartbeats~ Soul Stains. I basically started my blog and hit the ground rolling and learned as I've gone along. Not the worst thing on earth, but it has made things a little tougher.
Here's the 6 things I wish I knew before I started blogging
Naming your blog- There are many factors that go into your blog domain and naming your blog. There have been times when I write my blog title and feel it may be a bit long, a little wordy or maybe even too many S's. Ease of writing it out and something memorable are important factors, you can read more about how I came up with my blog name here. At this point I wouldn't change my domain because each part of it is so important to me, but it would have been good to have thought it out just a little more before starting.
Identifying a niche- It would have been a good start to have identified my blogging niche before getting started. Maybe even before doing anything else. Having a very specific focus is very important, it is what you build everything around. I feel I am still wandering around trying to find my place in this blogosphere and have yet to find a specific focal point. Although, I am closer now then when I started.
Commitment time is a family affair- Blogging takes a big commitment and a lot of effort if you want to have consistency on your site. I had no idea how much time was going to be needed. This has had a huge effect on my family as they have had to adjust to me taking a little bit of time to myself to work on the blog. Discussing the commitment with them and letting them feel a part of the blog (since a lot is written about our life) is something needing to be done before embarking on this new journey. Getting your blog up and started and then helping it to grow is a lot of work.
I am nowhere near where I want to be. Angel here at Sew Crafty Angel and so many other bloggers are wonderful inspirations. In order to have the content and look I want, I need to put in the time and energy to achieve my goals. I do my best to work on the blog when the kids are sleeping or at their practices, but there has been a definite change in things in our household. Preparing my husband and kids for what was ahead would have saved some conflict. For instance, they already know now there may be times dinner may be delayed a few minutes because I need to take pictures; for a recipe I want to share. My family has been wonderful and understanding especially since they have seen the importance and fun I am having with my blog. It takes a while before you are able to find balance with family and blogging, for me it is a work in progress. Helping everyone to see this ahead of time and discussing how you will address the changes is ideal.
Coding and techie stuff- Before I started blogging I had no idea what coding was. I thought websites were just typed up in word and voila that was how those pages and posts were created. WRONG!!!!! Writing and editing your content is just a portion of what goes into a blog or website. I know very very little still about coding- I know just enough to hold my head slightly above water. It would have been a huge benefit to have researched the technical side and to have read the countless instructions and tutorials the internet has on coding. This is a great tutorial that I have used if you are looking into coding/html.
Specific blogging email- Once my domain name/blog name was chosen and I decided to go with self-hosting on WordPress I should have made a dedicated blog only email. Since I had no idea about this I just started out using my personal email. Now I am receiving email for the blog and other social media on my personal email and on my newly created blog email. It can get very confusing at times and I have missed important things because I have different things going to different emails. I'm trying to slowly correct this but at this point it is still an ongoing issue that if I had created the email from the get go wouldn't be an issue at all.
Pictures are as important as the words- Well almost! When I first started posting I thought I just needed to write down my thoughts. I had no idea how important having at least one picture was. The significance of photos is not only for the aesthetic appearance of the post, it is equally valuable for SEO purposes (another confusing topic). If you don't have a picture you will also find generic pictures or nothing at all when you go to promote to social media or other venues. I have a huge amount of early posts that I need to go back and spruce up with some pictures.
There is a tremendous amount to learn about blogging and all the things that go along with it. That's truly one of the things I find so fascinating. I've always thought of myself as a lifelong learner, so it looks like I found the perfect thing since blogging and everything that goes along with it are so incredibly vast.
If you're thinking about starting a blog are you doing all the research to get off to a good start or are you gonna jump in with both feet like I did? If you've been blogging what things do you wish you knew before you started blogging?
Thank you for your post. I first started my blog in 2012 to join a card challenge a friend was in. I have been learning as I go along with help from cyber friends.ReplyDelete
Best wishes to you and your family.
I've always wanted to try one of those card challenges. I can't wait to check your blog out. Thank you for coming by :)Delete
I started blogging Nov 2011 and I know that my first posts were horrible with no pictures. It is important to have at least one picture in the post. I started blogging without a lot of ideas but I knew that I was going to post grocery store trips and recipes like a few other blogs that I liked reading. I have added books that I have read and menu plans and a few more things over my time. I started doing kids learning activities that I do with my son. My problem is that I have been doing for a little bit and I am getting burnt out on doing the same old stuff. I don't make any money on my blog so I don't have that motivation so the only thing that helps is the traffic to think that people are interested in what I have to say. Now with the summer here and having my little guy home full time, there aren't a enough hours in the day to get things written on the blog and it seems to be the first that doesn't get done now. Hoping for tips on how to get back on track :)ReplyDelete
I hope you are able to get back on track :) Maybe a little time away will help you to be re inspired. Those kids of ours can really take up so much time, but they are only young once is what I keep telling myself.
Great post! I've pinned for other newcomers. I've been blogging for about 4 years now and still learning every day!ReplyDelete
Hi April, thank you for pinning. You have a great blog I love visiting it :)Delete
High five from another six month old blog! Each one of your points hit home for me. There is so much to learn and, yeah, family time still needs balance. For me, I wish I had known anything at all about social media. I wasn't on anything except pinterest. I still don't understand twitter.ReplyDelete
Hi Rachel, isn't it amazing how much we've learned yet how much more they're will always be to learn :). I too had no social media stuff expect a private Facebook. I funny understand pinterest yet :( thank you for reading!Delete
Great post you have here! These are definitely things I wish I knew about before I started blogging! Stopped over from Wake Up Wednesday Link Up!ReplyDelete
<3 Pauline, Addicted to Makeup
Thank you for coming by Pauline. There is always so much to know.Delete
So true!! There is so much more to blogging that just writing. I don't think most non-bloggers understand that. I know I didn't have a clue!! I am still learning so so much and it is fun, but definitely a dedication of time and effort!!ReplyDelete
Elizabeth, the learning is tons of fun. I really don't think anyone can understand what goes into blogging until they are actually doing it. Have a great weekend!Delete