Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started…

“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”  Calvin Coolidge

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started...

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started…

♥Think through that blog name ~ Choose one carefully and think long term
♥Invest in a custom domain name and use it ~ Buy your name and use it
♥Brand your blog name across a few social media sites not all ~ Stay involved
♥Blogging, like any small business, has growing pains ~ There are quiet and busy times, and times to change direction
♥The blogosphere is a microcosm of the real world ~ There are nice and nasty folk in the community and we learn to seek like-minded bloggers

20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging: When I launched my WordPress blog in late 2008, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew people across the globe were writing blogs about all sorts of things, and I had an idea of what a blog looked like but not much else. Back in the early 2000s, I had checked out a few top blogs on the internet and found it fascinating that some bloggers were not shy about taking positions on controversial subjects and that all had their soap boxes of opinions. Some were personal blogs, others offered information, education or inspiration.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” Napoleon Hill

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started...

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started…

♥If you want a future in it, treat it like a business ~ This means setting clear goals and managing its growth
♥Quality will always trump Quantity ~ Great original content that helps others learn remains king, and will always bring traffic = fewer better posts.
♥Don’t wait forever to monetize ~ If earning some income is a goal, start building towards that end and then do it whether WordAds, Affiliates or other.
♥Blogging Can be Healing ~ Writing a motivational blog can offer some surprising insights and rewards
♥The Blog Tank empties/dries; its okay to take five but be consistent ~ Bloggers  need time to regroup and rejuvenate. Take it!

To spur me on, my cousin Frieda who was an HP engineer at the time, offered to build a website/blog page for me and I agreed. She built it, I played around on it for a few weeks and then let it fade into obscurity. When I returned to the medium in 2008, I was ready to write, engage, support, promote, build community, align my blog with other service oriented, do good groups and grow.  But, I had no clue how to accomplish any of it.  I joined a few communities: Problogger, SITSGirls, CopyBlogger, and later Daily Post and a few others, and I took workshops to help the blog along; my posts got better. By 2010, traffic was growing but not the readership; that would come later. I persevered and kept blogging and connecting.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started...

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started…

♥Protect and Maintain other interests ~ Blogging can be all consuming, so it’s wise to determine how much time is feasible to assign elsewhere
♥Focus, focus, focus ~ Whether we create a niche or not, become an advocacy blog  or not, find a focus and make your blog matter. we can offer a bit more.
♥Building a Readership is important and maintaining it is a full time job ~ Even if we fail first, keep working on connecting with the readers as it is worth the effort.
♥Google Stuff happens: ~ From re-calibrations to Panda, Google makes changes that can kill or increase our traffic in a blink. Key is to keep building great content
♥Get a grip on SEO and HTML basics ~ learning even a smidgen on both can bring great changes and pay dividends in polishing and highlighting our blogs

During those early days, I wasn’t focused much on a name and learned the hard way when a name I chose for my blogger blog was bought by someone else, and I had to change the blog name. Instead, I spent more time meeting other bloggers on line, connecting and interviewing people through social media, and trying out new things, like blog hops, blog carnivals, special promotions or conferences to help my blog grow….  At some point, I had decided to maintain two blogs on different platforms (WordPress and Blogger) to see which I like best. They are quite different blogs (even typealyzer agrees) and I soon learned it meant more work to do. Contd. More below!

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” Ellen Glasgow

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started...

Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started…

♥Denial Is not a River in Egypt; Shifts in Readership & Traffic  happen ~ Handle all problems, content theft, waning interests, crapola with calm and clarity. Things do improve.
♥With Visibility comes Expectations and a Responsibility to readers ~ Set doable goals and Beyond Blogging goals. Keep adjusting them as you meet hiccups and bumps.
♥Using your Real Name can exact a toll ~ Potential employers might cheer or balk. Spammers love to call and mail you. Do it anyway if you wish.
♥That the Book might take longer to write or not ~ We take our chances and need to carve out time for other plans rigorously
♥Great posts are like Acting residuals and Lame posts are like Roaches ~ Great posts keep building and sending traffic to your blog, and the lame ones stick around. Mind what you write.

Remember: You are as good as the people around you – Yaro Starak. One of the key rewards of blogging has been the wonderful connections I’ve made with people around the world. One of the major challenges has been finding a system to manage the growth effectively so I don’t lose those connections. 4 years and counting, I’ve finally become a custom domain.com and monetized this blog. I’ve come to see the rewards of writing original posts that continue to bring in strong traffic. I’m still puttying around to finalize a new blogging schedule, and I’m still up at all hours playing catch up with fellow bloggers… It all matters because reaching out to others creates reciprocity and helps build community. My new goal is to get a virtual assistant to help stay connected with everyone and keep growing. Another goal is to write more quality content. What about you? What do you wish you knew?

PS A wonderful exercise gleaned from Darren Rowse’s Webinar post is the 15 minute challenge: Every day, for 15 minutes do a little something towards one of these blog challenges:
“write an eBook/Book
contact potential advertisers
write emails for your auto-responder
create videos for a course
create a media kit and advertiser page
build a relationship with a charity that you want to support
develop an affiliate network to promote your existing product
develop a coaching/consulting service
start approaching other blogs to guest post for
plan an event (online or offline)
look at what other blogs in your niche are doing”

This post was partly inspired by a Daily Post Prompt: Quick Tip: Stay Regular What’s your posting frequency like? Are you challenged to post as frequently as you’d like, and how do you overcome that? What would your ideal schedule look like?

*Please bear with me as I’m finally beginning to catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience! :-)

Positive Motivation Tip: A blog goes through phases and changes, don’t despair and keep on writing, taking action beyond blogging and doing the best you can… Pay attention.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Blog comments, Blogosphere, Blog1 My blog, Blog IconBlog blog, via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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84 responses to “Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started…

  1. This is so useful and interesting! Thank you.

  2. Great insight and tips for all! I did not know the history of your blogging and this was very interesting! Hope all is well with you! So hard to get around but thinking of you and Tamgy often! xoxo

  3. Excellent info, for now I am just passing through as a pilgrim.

  4. A blog goes through phases and changes,
    don’t despair and keep on writing…

    • Yes, my dear! We all do… or at least most of us who write our blogs alone… No helpers! It’s my latest dream; to have an assistant to help with it. :-)

  5. A very nice post full of useful information. I guess most of us don’t know what we get into when we start blogging. It sure is both time consuming and rewarding. Yes, keep at it!

  6. Thank you so, so much, Elizabeth! Those are great tips and advice. Mirth and Motivation has been a wonderful virtual place that I come to be inspired, motivated, educated, guided, and directed.
    Happy Friday!

    • Dear Amy, TY for being so generous with me and for the support… I truly appreciate it and it pains me when I fall behind because I’m a big advocate of supporting other bloggers… It’s been a tough year.. TY! again! I love your blog too. :-)

  7. A lot of good tips here, interwoven with your own experiences. Thank you! (And I had no idea you were on Blogger, too).

  8. I only post twice a week. Great frequency to think about my next post and mind other blogs than my own. My agreement is direct. Quality overrides quantity indeed for me.
    It’s fitting that a very successful bloggers like you is the one giving us great advice that we allcan learn from. And wow, you do a lot for yourblig. *Phew*
    I need to register my blog to groups like the widget you hav. I also want those minute to minute stat counter.

    • TY Rommel! i haven’t been feeling successful lately as I’m overwhelmed by other life challenges and have dropped the ball a bit on commenting and blog visits! I hope to get back on track soon! :-(

  9. aaahhh the old days! This is my 3rd anniversary (2/25) and heading into year 4 of blogging I’m more excited than in the beginning. In no small part due to friends like you Elizabeth. This is a wonderful place, the blogosphere, full of great people. I wouldn’t give it up for the world and I’m glad we’re in it together!
    b

    • TY for your unrelenting friendship; especially nowadays as I’m dealing with stuff that makes it harder to stay on point in blogland… Things will turn around soon I pray TY! ;-)

  10. I’ve been blogging for less than 12 months now and am still finding my feet. I love this post – thank you, Eliz! :D

    • Good for you! You are doing very well. In my first year, I barely had any visitors… but with time and effort, we all grow…. 2013 is proving challenging on many fronts for me and it’s not Writers block at all. so I pray that I can stay involved. TY!

  11. Hey Eliz, This was so good I had to share it on Twitter! I wish I could have read this back when I started. Excellent tips, my friend.

  12. Thanks for the ping back, my post is causing quite a bit of a stir for a change!

  13. This is fascinating. When I decided to blog, I watched a 5 minute YouTube video and started a WordPress account. Then I poked around and tried to figure out something new every day. This explains why I’m still hoping against hope to someday be Freshly Pressed……

    • And some day you will… Your approach is as valid as any other. I’m a bit retentive and that’s why I did and continue to do extra work. TY! :lol:

  14. I’m still relatively new at blogging. So am always learning and willing to learn. Thanks!

    • TY! And that will hold you in good stead. I still make the effort to learn new things and fix minor problems… I’m still learning too. ;-)

  15. Really a very interesting blog, great info!!

  16. Hi Eliz,
    Blogging does require time and it’s a commitment, but it’s worth it, especially after meeting wonderful people out here in blogoshphere…people like you :-)

  17. Phew! You do your research! I jumped in blind. That’s why Genevieve and I are on the Freshly Pressed back burner – way back in my case. But hey! I’m having fun. Can’t teach an old dog blah blah blah. ;-)
    Kudos to you, Eliz :-D

  18. Great advice Eliz. I began my blog 2 years ago as an assignment for a personal branding class. At the end of the semester, most of the other students abandoned theirs. Mine is still evolving and I’m always surprised when someone actually reads it.

    I have enjoyed interacting with you these past couple of years and I’m in awe of your tenacity. How do you manage to publish a post for each day of the week? Truly amazing!

    • TY Miriam and I remember when we first connected over Seth Godin’s special on Emerson. We were quite the troopers then… I don’t post every day anymore as I’m in the throes of many challenges on the home front… Will catch up with all soon I pray. TY! :-)

  19. You started in 2008? You’ve been blogging a very long time, which makes you an excellent source for giving advice! There are so many things that aren’t precisely as I would have them if I were starting today with my blog, but I was flying blind at the time! This is great advice, Eliz!

    • TY Deb and I was flying blind then too… I have had my share of regrets and joys… It’s like life really; ups and downs, TY! :-)

  20. A must read for all! Like you, I got no idea what blogging is. But if there is one thing I learned it’s speaking or shall I say writing with your heart. Share your joys and pain and let others know you are just as human as they are. Sincerity…sincerity….sincerity..goes a long, long way. Extend a hand, cherish and value the friendship and community. Share images that delights the mind and heart. Having faith and just persevere with passion.

  21. Pingback: Reflections: 20 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started… | heavenhappens

  22. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This is an enormously interesting read – really choice post.

    I didn’t think long term, or the importance of, my blog name, but thank goodness it remains okay. As for ‘by your name and use it’ – I don’t understand. How do we buy our name? And is it not already our own?

    Re SEO and HTML & you say get a grip on them, & that can enhance it all for you – I wouldn’t mind if you actually did an article on their meaning to us bloggers, what we can do re them, for I have no idea!

    This is just a great post. Cheers!

  23. Really a great post, interesting and filled with good advice… :-)

  24. Very interesting and very true post. Good advice for starters too. Thank you

  25. Great post, Eliz. Your tips are excellent reminders for blog development and change, so thank you for passing them along! It took me two years of research and thought before I launched my Studio Diary. I created the blog as a way for people to get to know about me as an artist, and all that encompasses my creative mind. My blog is to help grow my Etsy business. It has been a process for me to balance creative development of new jewelry design, narrow down inspiration context to load, and maintain my production schedule to keep up with my order deadlines. I am still working on a flow that works for me. Blogging has been a wonderful experience regardless. I appreciate the inclusion of Napoleon Hill’s quote, which I believe in. Your perseverance and passion is amazing!

    • Ty Allison for all the support… I have had a trying year so far but things will improve. I’m glad some folk found something here to mull over. It’s been a long journey for me and not always easy. I do love writing, and that has sustained me. ;-)

      • Dear Eliz, I just wanted to send a note saying that I have missed your posts and hope the “tryings” in your life will lessen in the days ahead. I am sad to hear that your year so far has been a tough one. XX, Allyson

      • TY and sorry about my absence from your blog. Will catch up I pray. TY!

      • Liz, I am sorry I missed your comment. I have been thinking about you and hope that all is well. I am here in Manhattan if you need anything. :). Take care.

    • TY Allyson! i will take you up on it someday… Take you for sharing your light… I plan to be back on track and looking forward to reading your blog and many others again. :-)
      Hugs,
      Eliz

  26. Again, great advice.
    Of all the things you have listed, staying connected is my biggest challenge. I really need to work out a system to organise ‘catching up’ better :-)

    • My dear Madhu… you know it is mine too! This year has been difficult and I’ve fallen in more ways than one… WE pick up where we left off and I hope to do so. TY! for your patience too.
      Eliz

  27. Excellent advice!

    I’m thinking of taking a blogging break; I feel burned out. Keeping up with comments and other blogs is exhausting and it’s like having a full time job.

    • Welcome to the club!!! Plus, it pains me to be so behind with visits to others. You know how much I value commenting on other blogs as I believe it fosters a sense of community… I’m swamped with serious family stuff and I hope things will shift this month so I can catch up with every one.

  28. Wonderful wonderful post Elizabeth! I needed your advise as you have two years of experience on me !!!! I find it hard to set goals now and just write mainly for me. I also write daily which may be too much or bothersome for readers but I just love to write/ it is hard to know what way to go. It would also be wonderful to make some money as I feel like it is a very time consuming labor of love but I haven’t made a dime. What are word ads? My dream is to someday monetize the blog and donate all the money back to all the NGOs I write about!!!!

  29. once again, very helpful tips you shared. i like your point about a blog going through changes. good to know ahead of time to avoid a freak out moment(s). as far as posting, i find sometimes it flows often but other days, due to other distractions, it drips out. i’m still learning to deal with being so inconsistent. you motivate. thank you!!

  30. Great post, Elizabeth.

  31. Thank you so much for this wonderful and useful advice :-)

  32. A brilliant post. You really always are an inspiration, and here you go again. I don’t know anything about coding and the like, but perhaps I could do with finding out. I fear I’m a bit of a slow learner, but I’m getting keener to learn

  33. great tips, written in such an engaging style.. thanks Liz!

  34. 20 very useful advice! Blogging… it’s also a path and of course when we start we always kind of make mistakes at some point, prepared or not. Blogging is a learning process for me :)

    • It is a great learning process for me too… and this post was to share parts of the journey. I’m still in progress with ups and downs too. TY! ;-)

  35. You’ve done it well. I’m always stunned/impressed by how many comments/likes you get–every time!

    • You are so kind Jacqui! Not always, but my blog friends have been incredibly patient with my struggles. I will catch up with them soon I pray!

  36. Pingback: Blogenomics: Readership | Cheri Speak

  37. Very useful information, Eliz!

  38. Pingback: Why am I doing this anyway? | DesignQuest

  39. I love this blog post! Can I quote you in my blogging class?

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