5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging…
I started blogging over 5 years, which seems crazy to me for some reason. Over the past 5 years, I have learned a lot… and I mean A LOT! I feel as though if I had known these things before hand, it would have been a much easier process and my stress level would have not been so high. So, today I am going to share with you 10 things I wish I knew about blogging when I first started.
I knew nothing about blogging when I started, but was so eager to start the process that I jumped onto the first platform that found. I started off on Blogger, which is a free service that Google offers to create a blog. Soon after I learned that this was probably not my best choice.
Although the service is free, it was lacking a lot of things that I wish I had. I viewed hundreds of blogs, and knew the feel and look that I wanted for my blog, which was something that I knew I could never accomplish on Blogger.
What I wish I knew 5 years ago was that a lot of bloggers use WordPress, there is a free version from WordPress.com, but again, it lacked the things that I wanted. I knew if I wanted to take blogging seriously I would have to go with a self-hosted platform.
There are thousands of different hosting companies to choose from. Each offer different things, and each has it perks and downfalls. I knew my traffic would be low when first starting off, so I looked for the cheapest hosting service I could find. And, just like many things in life, you get what you pay for.
My first host did not offer a lot of perks, and it was pretty much up to me on how to get things set up. This is why it is important to find a company that will help you through this process. I had no idea what I was doing, and probably spent more time trying to figure it all out than I did actually blogging.
What I wish I knew 5 years ago was that larger companies like HostGator offer simple, but effective tools to get you started. Things like One click WordPress installs and 24/7 live support may not sound too interesting, but can be a life saver when first starting out.
I had realistic goals when I started blogging, which is important. Some think that they will start a blog and it will be an overnight success. Sometimes this happens, but it is very rare.
What I wish I knew 5 years ago was that there are many ways to grow a blog, effectively and even quickly. Things like joining linky parties and connecting with other bloggers in my niche.
This kind of ties in with traffic, growing a social media following was something that seemed so easy to achieve. Other bloggers have thousands of followers, so it must be easy! Right?
What I wish I knew 5 years ago was that yes, I can create a social media account, but it was going to take more than that. This is even truer today. Just tweeting out new posts and posting them to Facebook is not going to gain you a lot of followers, at least not loyal followers. It takes interaction, and knowing your followers to really effectively do this.
Time may not seem important, but it is probably the most important. Blogging, whether it is a hobby or a job, takes a lot of time. If you want to be successful at it, you are going to have to put the work into it.
What I wish I knew 5 years ago was just how much time it does take. My first blog was a learning experience. I would post everyday because I wanted to have a lot of content, but it really is quality over quantity when it comes to blogging. I have learned that I would rather post a few times a few and create well thought out content with great images then constantly posting with low quality content and images.
Generally, each post that I do takes anywhere from 1 hour to a few days to get put together. This is always dependent on the content I am creating, from a sponsored post, to make making a video of a recipe or craft.
Want to learn more about hosting? Be sure to check out HostGator and all of the services that they offer. From hosting to SEO services, they are a one-stop shop for a blogger to really get started. They are even offering 30% off for new clients, which is always a bonus when starting out.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.