I have recently entered the blogging world and I am learning something new every day. I was very hesitant to take Messes & Memories from being something that only my closest family would read to a blog that friends, acquaintances, and people all over the world could read. What if they didn’t like it? What if they don’t like me? This may be a total flop?
After much research, planning, and writing, I jumped in. I put my fears behind me and decided to go for it. What is the worst that can happen? They don’t like it, they don’t like me, and it is a total flop. Who cares, right? The real take away will be that I went for it, I tested it out, and I didn’t let my fears get the best of me. If you have an idea or a dream right now but are afraid, I encourage you to put those fears aside and go for it! Our biggest regrets will not be failing but rather not trying and never knowing the potential outcome.
I have talked with multiple people after starting Messes & Memories that are also considering starting websites or blogs. Some have started the process already and some are still in the dreaming stages. These conversations have inspired me to share what I am learning as a beginner blogger.
THERE IS A LOT TO LEARN!
Here are 5 tips for beginner bloggers that I’ve picked up.
I spent hours and hours studying the process of setting up the blog, the design of it and all the technical issues involved. I studied what makes a good blog post and creating social media profiles in order to get exposure. Immediately before going “live” I felt pretty confident about knowing what was in front of me. Boy, was I wrong!! There are countless strategies to learn such as SEO (search engine optimization), newsletter marketing and writing to your target audience. Learning to use Pinterest could be a month long course by itself.
There are many blogger groups out there to join and become connected with that I didn’t even know existed. If you are considering starting a blog or website I would take a month to study what makes a good blog, marketing strategies, and find the groups you want to be connected with and learn how they work. There are countless blogs about these very topics. Read, read, and read some more. The information is endless. Familiarize yourself with this world before you join. It will pay off. I promise.
THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY IS VERY SUPPORTIVE.
I would have never imagined the support and sense of community I would feel from people I don’t even know. Since starting this blog I have had several fellow bloggers share valuable information on making a blog successful. These are people with their own blogs, kids, even other jobs that have taken the time to email, answer questions, guest post, invite me to Pinterest groups, like, comment, pin and “retweet” about this blog. Undoubtedly, I will miss a few but I would like to thank the The Baby Spot, Natasha at Anxious Toddlers, Sarah from How Wee Learn, Maggy from Red Ted Art, and Kristen from Epic Childhood for their generosity. Check out their blogs this week. You won’t be disappointed.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS KEY.
Creating an amazing blog and writing killer posts is awesome but if you aren’t connected then no one is going to see it. As soon as you have registered your domain name, sign up on every social media avenue possible. If you have them already for personal use create another one with your blog name. I would have never made contact with the people mentioned above if it were not for social media. You may not use all of the social media sites at first but you will have the account set up and the name for when you are ready. I would suggest starting with Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter and learning the ropes before adding too many to your list to manage.
CREATE A PLAN AND SET A SCHEDULE.
There are many tasks involved in blogging many of which I am yet to discover. What I do know is that writing, taking/creating pictures, managing social media, making connections, and brainstorming ideas will take more time than you think. It also takes focus. Some tasks you will be able to accomplish with your kids climbing on you and the many interruptions you encounter throughout the day. However, there will be some tasks that take focus and a quiet environment.
Decide how you want to approach your blog. Do you want to be aggressive with marketing and writing as much as possible? Do you want to casually write for a few months before trying to market your blog? This will help you develop the appropriate plan and schedule and set aside the right amount of time.
LEARN TO “TURN IT OFF”.
To be honest, this is something I am still trying to master. It is true that blogging takes a lot of time and work but try to remember why you started in the first place. You do not want the job of blogging to replace quality time with your family or become something else that adds to your stress. Also, remember what makes your readers enjoy your blog.
As a “mom blogger” it is the real moments that I spend with my kids that translate to good posts. It is being in the trenches with other moms that create a post with tips on cleaning or night time routine. If I let blogging take me away from those times then soon my readers won’t be able to relate. So when setting your schedule remember to leave time for the important things and turn it off mentally as well. Be focused and present. The blog will be waiting on you when you finish. I’m talking to myself here as much as I am to you.
Obviously, this is not all there is to learn as a beginner blogger but I have condensed it to the 5 most important things I have learned thus far. I’m sure as I continue there will be another post listing my new epiphanies. If you are considering starting a blog and have more detailed questions, comment below or send me an email through my Contact Page and I will do my best to answer your question or at least point you in the right direction. If you are a more seasoned blogger and have advice to give I would love to hear from you!
I hope this has helped you and remember don’t let the unknown hold you back. Go for it! There will be plenty of people here to cheer you on, myself included.