Advice On Starting A Blog. 10 Mistakes I Made Over The First Year Of Blogging.
Are you fascinated with blogging , or more so do you want to start a blog but have no clue where to begin?
A year ago this was me! I am a SAHM of 4 and wanted desperately to start a blog. I am a planner addict, very active in the planner communities as well. I wanted to start a blog that focused on the struggles of maintaining a home as well as planner posts and bullet journaling posts.
I did so much research on Pinterest, I gathered any articles I could through Pinterest with information on starting my blog.
Honestly I was lost, I didn’t know where to start. Thank god for Pinterest and all the amazing bloggers with all their articles on blogging. But unfortunately I made many mistakes along the way, I eventually fixed them but it was a long and daunting task.
So here we go. I’m going to break down exactly what you should do before starting your blog. Hopefully you can get it right the first time. But just remember as with everything, there’s a lot of trial and error. PS. I am still new at this but want to share what I learned to make it easier for anyone just starting out.
So let’s begin shall we!
1- This is ONE of the biggest mistakes I had made. Go self hosted from the beginning.
I now use bluehost for my hosting and domain. But back when I started my blog, Planning In The Deep , I purchased my domain with Go Daddy and paid the premium fee for the year of WordPress.com.
Down the road though I learned you can not monetize or access plugins, unless you have their business plan which costs hundreds of dollars a year. So please , go self hosted…. You will thank me a year from now. It’s a headache in the long run when you eventually switch to self hosting, and trust me you will eventually switch.
2- Read and Pin all kinds of blogging posts on Pinterest. This is the main way I learned everything I did and still learning to do the present day . Trust me, you will learn something from each post you read. There’s hundreds of articles all over Pinterest, you will find anything you need to know or learn from these Pinterest Pins.
3- Find your target audience. Don’t write to yourself, write to them. Think about what you can teach them, More so what you write that will inspire them to read more.
4- Use different size headers. Another mistake I made in the beginning . I didn’t know much, I was basically learning as I went like I still am. The rule is the simpler font the better and the bigger the size of the font the better. A lot of readers, myself included read blogs on their phones. They will thank you for that. Also I went back recently to my first blog post, it was a hot mess. But that’s the thing, you will make mistakes and that’s ok. You will get better if you keep improving yourself.
Also the headers I use are 2 and 3 for the top couple paragraphs. If I am writing a checklist of some sort , I recommend using header 2 for the title and header 3 for the list. I also use headers 3 and 4 towards the end part of the post.
5- Keep your paragraphs short and sweet, It’s much easier to read. Stick with 3- 5 paragraphs at the most. It also depends how long your sentences are. That’s another mistake I made in the beginning. Your post does not look good all bunched together, just like my very first blog post was.
6- Use Pinterest sized vertical pins in your blog post, or at least your featured image. It makes it so much easier to share to Pinterest. This is also something I didn’t do at first. It makes a tremendous difference.
I use the iOS app Over and love it. I seriously couldn’t live without it. It has hundreds of stock photos and graphics. Another feature I love is the option to customize the image size(I will do a post in the future on Over). For instance , say you need a blog header that’s size is 1200 by 280. You can actually hand key in that size. More so, Over has a ton of presets ranging from Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. I pay 9.99 a month but it’s totally worth the price for everything you get. All my Pinterest images are made from Over now.
7- Make Your theme clean and clutter free. Make sure everything for example like links and plugins are functioning properly. It’s not easy in the beginning, but after a little bit you will be a pro at it.
8- Share your post immediately after publishing. Especially to Pinterest, remember to use your Pinterest sized rich vertical pins.Also share to any other platforms you are comfortable on.
Also Join Facebook blogger groups, this is something I am just starting to do myself. Another thing I learned about recently is Pinterest group boards , you have to be accepted from what I gathered, you have to follow the group board on Pinterest then politely email the group admin(don’t quote me on that but that’s how I interpreted it) This is a road I have not explored yet though.
9- Make sure you utilize Pinterest for business. Set up a business account now! Also, make sure you confirm your website through Pinterest and after , apply for Rich Pins. You can find instructions on the Pinterest help board as well as doing a Pinterest search.
Another big tip is to narrow your Pinterest board down to your brand and use unique board covers. This is something I just recently did, and am so thankful I finally did. Remember Pinterest will bring a ton of traffic if its done right.
More so, most female bloggers are on Pinterest from the articles I read.
10-Be consistent. This doesn’t mean you have to post daily or even two times a week. But at least try to post weekly. It’s not easy, and seems a lot easier when your reading on how to start a blog, Especially if you have other obligations, a job or kids. But just be consistent. One last tip before I wrap this up, just be yourself and people will respond.
Now it’s your turn. Are you thinking of starting a blog or are you in the process of starting a blog? Or do you have any tips for me that I don’t know about since I am still a fairly new blogger? Please leave a comment below.