Before I started my blogging journey, I knew very little about the internet or blogging. I am sure that I am not much different than anyone else.
Actually the only thing I knew about the internet was how to search for something and I did not do a very good job of that.
As I think back there are several things I figured out along the way that I really wish I knew before I started.
Even if you have been blogging for a while, some of these things may help you out.
Things To Know Before Starting Out Blogging
1. Picking A Domain Name
Remember what you are promoting when picking a domain name. For the most part bloggers are promoting themselves. They want to get their name out there so people start getting to know them. This will enable them to make sales using their blog as a place to advertise their products.
If you want to promote yourself then use your name for your domain. The first domain I picked was not my name but shortly after putting my blog up I managed to delete it with one click of the mouse. Oh My @$#%^&%#, I Just Deleted My Entire Blog!!! When I put my blog back up I changed my domain to my name: deeannrice.com.
I was lucky and was able to get my name as a .com domain without using any hyphens. Sometimes that is not possible because believe it or not there are other people with the exact same name as you that also want the .com domain. Here are a couple of examples of what other people have done when they could not get the .com domain. A friend of mine Barry had to use a hyphen, another friend Adrienne had to use a .net domain and Dan Sumner used the word blog in his domain. Their domains are barry-wells.com, adriennesmith.net and dansumnerblog.com. All of these domains work very well. (Dan has actually recently changed his domain to marketingfromscratch.com)
2. How To Get Lots Of Content
We all know that search engines want to see lots of content and new content continually being added to the blog.
I actually had a blog before this one that was a complete failure. The person that was teaching me how to put the blog up (they were a well know blogger) told us to use auto content. I very quickly realized that putting someone else’s content on my blog and using a plugin to auto post that content did not make a good blog and did not help the blog to rank in the search engines or to draw traffic.
The best way I know to get great content is to write your posts yourself. Then go out and comment on other peoples blog posts. They will slowly come back over and comment on your posts. The comments are more content being added to your blog. So the more comments you make the more content you will get on your blog. This will all lead to search engines and people will liking your blog.
3. Building A Great Blog Does Not Happen Overnight
It takes time to build a blog up to where it is ranking high in search engines and lots of traffic is coming to it.
Just keep writing content and commenting on other peoples posts. This will make your blog grow.
4. Networking With Others Is Important
It takes a community to make a blog great. I think of the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” I think you could change that to say “It takes a blogging community to make a great blog.”
We can not blog alone. We need other bloggers to support us and we need to support them. Together all of our blogs will be successful.
5.Blogging Is Not Free
I said before that I had another blog before this one. That is only partially true. I actually had a couple of other blogs and one was a free blog on wordpress.com.
I know there are lots of people out there that will tell you to use free platforms for blogging and you don’t need to spend any money to blog. I think this is true if you are just blogging for pleasure but if you are blogging for business you need to use a paid platform. I wrote a post quite some time ago on the pros and cons of different blogging platforms. You can read it here How Should I Host My Blog?.
The point I am trying to get at here is Blogging Is Not Free. There are many things you need to make a successful blog. I have listed a few here:
- domain name
- blog hosting
- images for your posts
- blog theme
6. Write Like You Talk
When writing on a blog you need to be very personable and write like you are talking to a friend. This will allow people to feel like they can get to know you and will make networking with others in your blogging community easier.
People like to buy products from people they know so you do not want a formal blog where people do not feel they can get to know you.
7. Invest In A Paid Theme
Many people use free themes and that is great but paid themes work so much better. If you are really serious about blogging you should use a paid theme. I am using Thesis** and love it.
If you want to read more about using a paid vs. free theme you can go here Does Your Theme Make The Grade?
8. Don’t Buy Every Product Available
This seems to be a common problem of most first time bloggers. There is so much to learn and we know so little that we are tempted to buy every product out there about how to blog.
Of course there are lots of products that make lots of big promises on their sales pages. Some of them even sound to good to be true but when we are just starting out we are so lost that every product sounds great.
I am guilty of this myself. I don’t know how many products I have bought or how much money I spent buying them. Many of them I have never used and others were not worth the money that I spent.
At one point I was in a blogging group and our rule was “when you want to buy a product you have to call and talk to someone else first”. This way we did not just on a whim buy every product we saw.
9. Don’t Buy Products To Use In The Future
If you do not need the product right now do not buy it. There will be a better product or at least as good of one out there when you need it.
Things are changing online so fast that if you buy something to use in the future, by the time you get around to using it the product will be out of date.
10. Blogging Is Not Always Fun But Have Fun Anyway
Blogging will not always be easy and it will not always be fun. You will need to make it fun. There are different ways of doing this. One thing I have done is to make friends online. We get together and talk sometimes on a weekly basis.
When I am talking to my friends I can tell them all of my frustrations. They understand because they are also bloggers. If I am having a hard time or a down time, these talks with blogging friends will help get me reenergized and ready to go back to my blogging again. I will then enjoy it again and am able to have fun.
** I will profit if you purchase Thesis Theme from the link provided
What About You?
I am sure there are things you wish you knew before you started blogging. I would love to have more things added to my list. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
I also love comments so leave me a comment and just say “Hi” or tell me something that you wished you knew.
If you find this post interesting or useful could you please share it with your friends. Thank you.