I have been at this game for nearly 6 years now, and while I had nearly 2 years off in the middle, and I’m not claiming to have all the answers (infact I’m still learning a lot even now), but I’ve certainly learnt a lot and I thought I’d share with you the things I wish I knew when I started my blog. Let’s just get right into it..
It Takes Time
I mean this in two different senses. Blogging takes up time in your day… it’s not secret that it takes time to create content, write blog post, promote blog posts, create content for Instagram, engage with other bloggers, write newsletters, pin pins, like if you want it to, blogging can take over your life! And I’m not saying this is a bad thing by any means, I love doing it and I love that I have a hobby that can keep me busy (especially in 2020), but it’s worth noting.
But I also mean it takes time to reach those wonderfully big goals you dream of. Unless you’re very lucky or you have countless hours of time in the day to keep up to date with all the local algorithms out there or all the knowledge on SEO and blogging practices, it will take time to reach 1k, 5k or 10k views a month and that is totally ok!
Invest Time In Social / Pinterest / Newsletters Early
I really regret not getting onto Instagram in those early years of my blog! Or having a newsletter set up before 2021. And Pinterest, don’t even get me started. But I cannot stress enough how important these avenues are for your blog! Especially in those early days when you’ll get so little traffic via Google (which is easily my biggest referral these days), but it also really helps you top them up, and they tend to be those visitors who will like, comment and subscribe.
Also Kaleigh has some great resources on this: kayleighzaraa.com
Stock Images Are OK
I very rarely use them (although these photos are from a stock image website), but some people thrive off them and use them for every single post. And that’s totally ok! I always put pressure on myself to find new and creative photos all the time and that takes time, effort and creativity constantly! And if that’s your blog style (like it is with me most the time), then you do you. But you don’t have to.
Find A Schedule And Stick With It
So we all know I took a mental break in the middle of my blog. And it partly came because I wasn’t organised enough, and I was posting daily (oh yeah, I was that mental) and I couldn’t keep up with it. I now have a spreadsheet where I keep all the blog ideas I have, what I plan to post when, what photos I’ve taken, and I stick to 4 posts a week, but also can happily cut out one of the weekend posts if I need a little bit of breathing space. Being consistent (whether it’s one post a week or 5 posts a week) is what helps you grow! And it’s totally ok to adjust the schedule to meet your life requirements at the time.
Read More: What To Do When You’ve Hit A Creative Rut
Think Carefully On Your Blogging Platform
I rushed in and started off on Blogger. And found out very early on that it wasn’t right for me (these days I don’t entirely remember why), but I had to swap from Blogger to WordPress very early on. And then I tried to go self hosted at the end of 2020, and I tried two different platforms and neither of them could get my website across. I’m now on a WordPress Business plan, and while it’s expensive, it’s working for me right now. But I really wish early on I’d done some proper research into it and worked out what I wanted back then!
It’s also worth noting, I still get a lot of page views via the WordPress Reader via my WordPress followers.
Clue Up On SEO Early
I still don’t entirely get SEO even now, it’s such a minefield of a topic, and there’s a reason why people become experts in it and charge a fortune for their time and expertise. But you can get a low level of SEO knowledge on your own (or I got it via working in a marketing agency), and there are some easy tips you can build into your own life to help get your blog up the search list. And, I still don’t follow all my own tips and advice on this, but I highly recommend reading into it a little!
Read More: SEO – The Basics | What Is It?
People get into blogging for loads of different reasons, but when I’m enjoying it, that’s when I see my biggest growth! It comes across in your writing, in the effort you want to put in and ultimately it’s what gives you the stamina to keep up with it. And while I wouldn’t recommend taking a 2 year break… if you stop enjoying it, take a week off and come back to it!
What are your top tips you wish you’d have known back when you started your blog?