I’m new to the blogging world. My blog was officially launched in June. That being said, I’ve learned a lot these past few months and I’m sure I’ll carry these lessons with me as continue blogging. I don’t usually write about blogging on this blog but I wanted to give a shot out to all of the new and veteran bloggers. I honestly knew absolutely nothing about blogging until this year. I’d never even visited a blog! I got the opportunity to do a grant project (you’ll be hearing about that soon) and this blog was born as a part of that. I’ve learned so much but if I had to boil it down to just 10 lessons, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. There’s a lot of information for bloggers. Only pay attention to what’s relevant. My situation is a little different because I was going to initially start with a podcast and then do a blog but I ended up doing the blog first. Anyway, I got bogged down with so much information that was not even relevant to blogging. I’d say get real clear on what you’re blogging about before you begin blogging to avoid a lot of time wasting. Second, there are quite a few things you may need to know before hand, especially if you’re brand spankin’ new to blogging like I was. Yaro Starak has a free video series on starting a blog at www.becomeablogger.com and www.problogger.com of course is dedicated to bloggers and the blogging world. If I were you and new to blogging, I wouldn’t even waste my time looking at any other sources. Just go to these two sites and do what they say do. Don’t waste months like I did gathering information, it prevents you from actually focusing on blogging and creating content.
2. Keep it simple. Keep it really simple. This has been a huge journey for me. I had all these elaborate plans and actually I’m doing a lot of what I set out to do, I’m just doing it more effectively. One way to remain effective is by keeping things simple. Don’t commit to blogging every day when you first get started. Don’t commit to posting 50 links a week on other sites when you first get started. Focus on starting the blog and creating really good, useful content. No one wants to read junk. No one will stick around to read junk. I blog once a week and quite frankly that’s all I can handle right now. There are things besides blog posts that must be taken into consideration when you are starting blog. This leads me to my next point.
3. Let people know you exist. Market. Honestly, this is an area that I need to improve in (I’m working on it) and it takes some effort to do. What’s the point of writing if no one knows you exist? Start by telling your loved ones. It was weird for me at first but I go over it. Don’t be shy!
4. You’re going to have to stick with this even when there isn’t any response at first. People blog for different reasons. I actually want people to read my blog so it’s a little bit more important for me to get traffic than someone who’s just doing this for a hobby. That being said, determine what type of blogger you are at the beginning. If getting traffic is important to you, this might not happen at the very beginning so don’t get discouraged.
5. Determine what your intention is. Your intention will serve as a compass and determine the type of content you create. My intention is to help people through my blog; therefore, I create helpful content.
6. Keep a notepad handy. I carry a Moleskine notebook in my bag. You never know when inspiration is going to hit. I was really inspired at the beginning of my blogging journey and created a list with a ton of relevant topics but honestly I haven’t relied on it too much. Most of my ideas come to me during the week.
7. Plan, plan, plan. Once again, this really relies on the type of blogger you are. A relevant plan would be a content creation plan. You might ask yourself what type of content you want to create (is this a text based, video, audio, or photo blog)? I am currently creating a marketing plan. Questions I am asking myself are how am I going to market this blog and how often am I going to market this blog?
8. Love yourself. Like I said, you may not get much response at the beginning. It may feel as though you’re blogging to an empty void. Eventually you will see results. Don’t be hard on yourself. Blogging is a process.
9. Get help when you need it. My brother’s a journalist. I’m currently developing a video series for this blog. I know nothing about video. He helped me and now I’m able to move forward with another component of this blog. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask (I’m available via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org). There’s a great free video tutorial series at getyourvideoonline.com.
10. Believe that anything’s possible. I haven’t started marketing this blog on a regular basis and yet people read it every week. A few month’s ago I knew nothing about blogging. Like I said, I only started reading blogs at the beginning of the year. Had you told me I would be a blogger by the end of the year, I probably would have laughed in your face. Anything is possible.
Final Thoughts: One last thing I’d tell you is to say thank you. THANK YOU!!! To all my readers. I’ve put a lot into this and I’m gearing up to put even more into this project. It is so gratifying to know that someone is reading what I write. I hope it helps. I hope this post helps!
Until Next Time,
The Blog Empress