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
♥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
♥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
♥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
♥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.
- 1 Day ’til 40: Lessons Learned on my 400 Days ’til 40 Journey (400daystil40.wordpress.com)
- Webinar Recording: 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging Darren Rowse of Problogger.net
- Ten Things I wish I knew about blogging before I started Tina Gray of tinagray.me
- Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging by Emily via financialbloggerconference.com
- 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting to Blog by Sita of binaryday.com
- 13 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started a Blog. Julieangelos.com
- 5 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging When I Started Ross Hudgens – selfgrowth.com
- Why Do You Blog OR Not Blog? (trialstribs.wordpress.com)
- My Daily Post, Be As Irregular As Your Bowel Movements And Get A Life Worth Blogging About ( wordswithnannaprawn.wordpress.com)
- Message in a Blog (thebumblefiles.wordpress.com)
- How To Start a Blog (alexandreajwilson.wordpress.com)
- The Skinny on Healthy Living Blogs (lifewithlyn.com)
- Blog Bog or Blog Dodge? 11 Reasons to stay up later than you should have… (auroramorealist.wordpress.com)
- Build a better Blog in 31 days with @problogger (zemanta.com)
- The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Guest Blogging (seomoz.org)
- Blog Influencers (getlifestrong.wordpress.com)