New bloggers, learn from our mistakes!
My story into blogging is a lot different to most. Many people set up a blog with the aim of being a blogger or nowadays most bloggers start out with a business plan. In recent years it has become totally possible to monetize a blog or website and it’s now my main source of income. I never started this way though. I originally had an online store with a blog. I didn’t use the blog at first, but to create more content and with the aim of generating more sales and traffic, I started blogging. It was a business blog at first, but then I fell in love with blogging and it quickly took over. Now I have a blog with a small store! The tables have turned.
Here are some of the things I wish I’d known or done differently when starting my blog:
To choose a great blog name
If I had started my blog from scratch with its sole purpose of being a blog, then I’d definitely have done things differently! For a start I wouldn’t be called Lylia Rose! That was the name of my Etsy shop and it was never meant to be a blog. It doesn’t mean much as a blog name, it was only meant to be a pretty name for a handmade card shop in the very beginning. I guess then I wish I’d known it would turn into a blog and then I’d have picked a more meaningful name for what I blog about. I’ve considered changing it, but it would really mess up my website stats and scores, so the thought terrifies me. Plus having had the same name for five years means people know it’s me.
It can be a career
I also wish I knew I could make money from blogging and it was a serious option for a career. I had no idea so didn’t monetise or see my blog as a business for three years. If only I’d known sooner I could have focussed more on my blog and gone full time a lot sooner, not having to work the early morning or evening jobs I did for a few years once I had children. Along with that is if only I’d known to value myself and my time. When I did monetize I accepted ridiculous amounts and low value products in exchange for vast amounts of my time and effort.
Research the basics
I’m learning so much about blogging even now, five years in, and I wish I’d known more at the start. Like how Google doesn’t crawl articles less than 300 words, 500 is better to aim for and over 1000 is even better. Lots of my articles in the beginning were less than 300 words so they weren’t doing anything to drive traffic to my website like I’d assumed they would! Plus they were terribly written. That’s fine in a way, it takes time to find your writing style and get into a blogging flow, but I wish I hadn’t just churned out crappy posts for the sake of it.
Being true to myself is something I also wish I’d have done. I had no idea what to blog about in the early days and so tried to be a fashion outfit type blogger and beauty blogger reviewing anything and everything I was using. I wasn’t overly passionate about it, but hadn’t seen many blogs aside from this type so assumed it was what I had to blog about. It wasn’t at all and I found it so much easier to write when I started writing about things applicable to my lifestyle and passions.
Don’t rely on one social media
I used to rely on Facebook, but I fell out with it years ago when they made lots of changes. I mainly used it for when I had my shop, but it can relate to the blog too. I’d built up thousands of followers, but as soon as they made algorithm changes only a teeny tiny percentage saw my Facebook updates. I then moved to Twitter and pretty much did the same! My advice to myself would be to set up a few social medias and don’t concentrate purely on one. If they disappear tomorrow or make changes then all that effort won’t be worth it.
Start an email list
With that said, it’s definitely better to have an email list. I’ve not had one from the beginning and that was a big mistake. It’s best to start getting subscribers as soon as the blog starts to ensure the loyal readers receive your blog posts even when social media won’t show them to them.
What other bloggers wish they knew
It’s definitely OK to make mistakes, it’s how we learn. I’m also a big believer in just getting started and then figuring it out as you go, if you can. Too many people put off starting something for fear of the unknown and then never get started! But if you have some time to learn things before you start then that’s a good idea. Plus it’s great to learn from other people’s mistakes so you don’t make the same.
Here are some of the things other bloggers wish they knew or had done differently before starting a blog:
I wish I had thought seriously about my blog name and chosen something that would be able to stay with me forever! www.mummyandlissblog.com
I wish I’d know that I didn’t have to hit publish after writing my first post! It would have been great to build up some prewritten content before going live.
I wish I would have looked into blog names more. I discovered mine was really similar to another bloggers name and people found it confusing. I have just rebranded a couple of weeks ago. I also wish I would have been a bit more clued up on all the different social media platforms. X
I wish I knew about SEO and wasn’t stuck going back through hundreds of blogs and pictures, writing descriptions! It would have been easier as I went along! Https://autismkidsontour.com
Wish I'd known how essential promotion is to a blog. I used to naively paste my posts on FB and Twitter once live and leave it at that. Scheduling, Pinterest, stumbling all came much after I started my blog - wish I'd gone in head first from the start. www.talesfrommamaville.com
I wish we’d known more about going self-hosted but we we’re so scared and just learning otherwise we didn’t wait for long and could have gone straight into self-hosting, also choosing name and niche. It’s very important to think long term just in case circumstances will change in the future that might needs changing blog name and category. www.epsandamy.co.uk
I wish I hadn’t stressed so much over doing daily posts, it can cause writers block and make you fall out of love with blogging. www.mummycatnotes.com