They say that the every time you learn from your mistakes you become a better person. Today I’m sharing the blogging mistakes I made or have heard/observed others making and the lessons learned so that you, a new blogger or a would be blogger, do not have to make the same ones.
Things to Know Before You Start a Blog
#10 – Start on WordPress
I began blogging on WordPress (and still do) after reading a lot of advice from the blogging veterans that WordPress is the way to go. Even now almost everyday I hear stories of bloggers who were on the other platforms switching to WordPress. Starting off with WordPress eliminates this switching step and all the technicalities that come with it later on.
#9 – Get your own domain name and self host
Yes, it is costlier but then again if you are serious about blogging you will want to make the switch later on. Will save you a whole of trouble down the road.
#8 – Pick a good theme
Think this one through before you start. What do you want in terms of the look of your blog? Would you want a 2 column layout vs. 3 column layout? When I started with Pilcrow I knew that I was not happy with the overall width of the theme and the header area but still went with it. Soon enough I couldn’t stand the layout of my page. Plus now I wanted a 3 column layout with multifunctional sidebars. After a ton of research I narrowed in on the Genesis Framework from StudioPress.com with the Blissful Child Theme and made the switch. Couldn’t be happier with new layout and the added functionalities.
#7 – Watermark your photos
Can’t stress the importance of this one enough. When I started blogging I never imagined that someone would find my content worthy enough to share with others! Thank you for sharing my work but there are a lot of scraper websites that figure out what’s hot on Pinterest and use those images on their websites. Granted some do link to your post with teeny tiny link backs that are almost invisible but they post the image onto their other sites and pin the heck out of your image which then bounces links off their websites. This is what happened to my most popular project ever, my water garden, which by the way still has unwatermarked images. I need to get working on watermarking all those images ASAP.
#6 – If possible get a DSLR and GO MANUAL
As blogging gets more visual good photos play a prominent role in attracting and keeping the reader on the blog. If your blogging niche relies heavily on photos then it is wise to invest in a DSLR. However getting a DSLR alone is not going to make your photos better; granted off the bat itself you can see a big improvement vs a point shoot you need shut the Auto mode off and go Manual. This is one advice I need to start following myself. Not sure why but I have this mental block in my head about Manual that I’m so scared of even trying. I know I owe it to my blog to break out of this Auto habit. Trust me, it is on the top of my To Do List this year.
#5 – Get to know ALL Social Media
Many a times Social media can get very confusing. I mean, what exactly are you supposed to do on Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, Hometalk etc? I totally get that it is not humanely possible to stay on top of every one of them but unfortunately as Facebook has proved so clearly you cannot put all your eggs in the same basket. One way to break it down is to familiarize yourself with one at a time. Until you get the hang of each you can concentrate on the ones you feel comfortable with but you cannot completely ignore the others. This one is entirely from experience; G+ looked too complicated for me to figure out so I just ignored it for a long time. But as Google tightened its grip on rankings and started to connect G+ profiles with search rankings investing in building my G+ profile was inevitable. I’m still trying to cover lost ground there.
#4 – Have a consistent posting schedule
I guess I list this one every time I make a list of blogger tips. So I’m not gonna elaborate on it here, you can read up on my take on this subject in this post. All I have to add is that whether it is once, twice, thrice, or 5 times a week / month keep it consistent. I have seen many readers gripe about the inconsistent posting schedule of some awesomely talented bloggers. It is just plain human nature to feel comfortable with something when they know what to expect.
#3 – Editorial Calender
Cannot stress the importance of an editorial calender enough. Planning out your posts ahead, I mean not actual posts but at least an idea of what you are going to blog about, is the secret to stress free blogging. You can read more about it here.
#2 – Do not miss a chance to network
I talked about this one yesterday, in blogging it is all about who you know. The faster you build relationships with the established bloggers in your niche the better visibility your blog gets. By building relationships I do not mean stalking or spamming their inbox with requests for features or guest posts but plain old interaction and bonding. Nothing fosters this kind of relationship building like a face to face meet up.
#1 – Love what you do
Blogging could be a hobby or something more serious, like everything else in life you’ve got to love what you do to keep at it. Love and enjoy every minute of the planning, creating, photographing, writing, proof reading, promoting, and networking that comes with being a blogger.
Happy Blogging! For the non blogger readers, I know these sorta posts do not mean much to ya. So thank you for being patient. I’ll be back tomorrow sharing the tutorial on how to wall paper from my powder room project.
PS: If you came looking for the tutorial about the projects in the pics, here you go: Strawberry Pot Succulent Planter & Plate Wall. You can find more blogging tips here.
* The post contains affiliate links.
The Vanilla Housewife says
If only I knew about all these when I started blogging! I am still trying to figure out how to improve my page rank. 🙁
Vidya Sukumaran says
Don’t get too worked up about the page rank. For the first year of blogging it is usually 0, becomes 1 after almost one year of consistent posting. For me it was 2 for a good part of my 2nd year and changed to 3 only last December. So consistent posting is key and like I said doesn’t matter how many # of posts you post in a week be consistent and not sporadic with their frequency. I just heard some bloggers discussing this morning that if we comment on other’s posts on G+ that will help your page rank. Not sure how much of that is true.
The Vanilla Housewife says
Thank you for the tips! I have to admit, I hardly open G+. So much to learn!
Vidya Sukumaran says
Here is a good link on G+.