Eight things I wish I knew when I started my blog. I hope these tips for new bloggers will inspire you to start your blogging journey.
Choose your blog name / URL carefully.
When I first started this blog it was named Rickabamboo. That name came from my favorite girls camp song when I was a girl. However, at my first blog conference, I learned that many people had no idea what that was or how to say it. If they happened to have gone to a girls camp where that song was sung, they loved it. However, if they had not they were just confused. I still have the URL rickabamboo.com and many of my older posts contain a rickabamboo watermark. So I would advise you to think carefully and choose a name thoughtfully.
I wish I had known that it would be a good plan to have blog posts prepared. If I were starting a blog today I would write about thirty posts before I ever even pushed publish. That doesn’t mean that you have to wait until you have a stockpile, but it would be helpful to really get things off and running right out of the blogging gate.
It takes time
Depending on your niche and post topic it can take a while to create a blog post. From the outside, it looks like you just type something up and then add some pictures, press publish, and wait for the pageviews to roll in. However it is a much more time-consuming endeavor. You need to write a post 300+ words. Make a good SEO title, Take and edit photos. Add your title, watermark and save them for the web. Add any links you might be adding to your post and make sure they are no follow. Click publish. And then you have to promote, promote, promote.
It’s okay to toot your own horn.
For a long time, I hated the promoting part. I just wanted some magical blog fairy to find my posts and share them everywhere for me. It is okay to share something you worked hard on. Pin it to Pinterest. Pin it to every board that it fits on. Share it on Instagram. Share it on Facebook. Tweet it out.
Finding your niche is hard.
As people we are multifaceted. So it’s hard to just narrow it down to one topic. That doesn’t mean that you can’t write about other things. People will tell you that in order to have success you need to focus on one thing. Crafts. Recipes. Travel. Just do one thing and do it well. But I disagree. If I only shared one thing, I would feel like I had a lot of stuff I couldn’t share. I think the days of loyal blog readers who came to read about your single top are gone. You just do you and that’s what will make you happy. You don’t want to burn out. You don’t want all your posts to start looking and sounded exactly the same. I have unfollowed blogs and Instagram accounts where all they kept showing were photos of their spotless living room. Be real. Be you. Share what you love. Even if that’s ten different topics. People respond to what others are passionate about. Not how singularly focused other people are.
In this very visual social media age, how your photos look matter. You don’t have to have a DSLR. A lot of phones have fantastic cameras. I would really spend some time researching photography staging and trends to see what style best fits you. And then you need to edit your photos. Whether that is in photoshop or an app such as A Color Story. I always change the balance using the curves tool and then brighten the photo as well. You want nice, white, bright photos. Sometimes depending on your light source, your photos can have a yellow tone and you want to get rid of that if possible. Unless yellow is what you are going for.
PicMonkey is great for editing and is much cheaper than photoshop if you are starting out. And I love Canva for all things layout. It makes me look like I am much more design savvy than I am.
Another thing about photography, Google is not a source of free photos. You need to take your own or else buy stock images from a reputable company. If you use an image from Google that could come back to bite you in the form of a fine for damages from the owner of the image.
Done is better than perfect.
If you wait until everything looks perfect for your posts, you will never publish. I’m not saying slap any old thing on the internet, but if it’s good enough to be published now and you can retake photos when your skills improve then do it. You can always update and change things.
It’s the best.
You will make some new best friends. All it takes it putting yourself out there a little. Join a blog group. Go to a blogger meet up. Attend a conference. Most everyone in the blogging world is super friendly and willing to help answer any of your questions. In general, the blogging community wants you to succeed. There’s plenty of pageviews to share. I have made some of my very best friends through blogging. And while I only see them once or twice a year, they totally get the crazy world of blogging and what it means to be an influencer.
Do you have any blogging questions? I would love to answer them if I can. Just leave them below in the comments.
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