Before you start any type of venture, there are apt to be certain things you wish you knew before going in.
The little ins and outs, you know that hindsight is 20/20 type of thing. The great thing about life is living and learning. As long as we capitalize on our mistakes and take advantage of our new-found knowledge it can be a growing experience.
I’ve been blogging for just a little over 8 months now. At times it seems like an eternity, other times it seems like I just started.
I have learned so much about the community of bloggers, the blogging world, a little bit of coding stuff (yikes- haven’t even tipped the iceberg on this one) and so much about myself.
Even though I have learned many things and the learning will hopefully never stop; there are things I wish I knew before I started blogging.
It would have been very prudent to have thought things out just a little more before my launching of Heartbeats~ Soul Stains. I basically started my blog and hit the ground running (or maybe even stumbling) and learned as I’ve gone along.
I’m sure a lot of us have done this. Not the worst thing on earth, but it has made things a little tougher.
Things I wish I knew before I started blogging
Naming your blog – What’s in a name? There are many factors that go into your blog domain and naming your blog. There have been times when I write my blog title and feel it may be a bit long, a little wordy or maybe even too many S’s. Ease of writing it out and something memorable are important factors. You want something that suits you and won’t be time sensitive as well. At this point I wouldn’t change my domain because each part of it is so important to me, but it would have been good to have thought it out just a little more before starting.
Identifying a niche – What do I want to share and convey with others? It would have been a good start to have identified my blogging niche before getting started. Maybe even before doing anything else. Having a very specific focus is very important, it is what you build everything around. I feel I am still wandering around trying to find my place in this blogosphere and have yet to find a specific focal point. Although, I am closer now then when I started.
Commitment time is a family affair – It’s not all about me. Blogging takes a big commitment and a lot of effort if you want to have consistency on your site. I had no idea how much time was going to be needed. This has had a huge effect on my family as they have had to adjust to me taking a little bit of time to myself to work on the blog. Discussing the commitment with them and letting them feel a part of the blog (since a lot is written about our life) is something needing to be done before embarking on this new journey. Getting your blog up and started and then helping it to grow is a lot of work. I am nowhere near where I want to be. In order to have the content and look I want, I need to put in the time and energy to achieve my objectives. It takes dedication, determination, motivation and lots of time to reach your goals. I do my best to work on the blog when the kids are sleeping or at their practices. There has been a definite change in things in our household. Preparing my husband and kids for what was ahead would have saved some conflict. For instance, they already know now there may be times dinner may be delayed a few minutes because I need to take pictures; for a recipe I want to share. My family has been wonderful and understanding especially since they have seen the importance and fun I am having with my blog. They even will help and say should you get a picture of this for the blog or if something odd is happening they’ll tell me you better write about that. It takes a while before you are able to find balance with family and blogging, for me it is a work in progress. Helping everyone to see this ahead of time and discussing how you will address the changes is ideal. Although, until you are actually in it and doing it, it’s a little hard to grasp the full realm of things.
- Coding and techie stuff – What is HTML and that CSS stuff? Before I started blogging I had no idea what coding was. I thought websites were just typed up in word and voila that was how those pages and posts were created. WRONG!!!!! Writing and editing your content is just a portion of what goes into a blog or website. I know very very little still about coding- I know just enough to hold my head slightly above water. It would have been a huge benefit to have researched the technical side and to have read the countless instructions and tutorials the internet has on coding. This is a great tutorial that I have used if you are looking into coding/html. I also have relied on Katherine from Katherines Corner for most everything else, her blogging tips are a bookmark must!
Specific blogging email – Specifying blogging stuff as blogging stuff! Once my domain name/blog name was chosen and I decided to go with self-hosting on WordPress I should have made a dedicated blog only email. Since I had no idea about this I just started out using my personal email. Now I am receiving email for the blog and other social media on my personal email and on my newly created blog email. It can get very confusing at times and I have missed important things because I have different things going to different emails. I’m trying to slowly correct this but at this point it is still an ongoing issue that if I had created the email from the get go wouldn’t be an issue at all.
Pictures are as important as the words – Well almost! When I first started posting I thought I just needed to write down my thoughts. I had no idea how important having at least one picture was. Photographs are engaging and can often tell what the written word can’t quite grasp. The significance of photos is not only for the aesthetic appearance of the post, it is equally valuable for SEO purposes (another confusing topic). Also, if you don’t use a picture of some type you will find generic photos displayed or nothing at all when you go to promote to social media or other venues. I have a huge amount of early posts that I need to go back and spruce up with some pictures.
There is a tremendous amount to learn about blogging and all the things that go along with it. That’s truly one of the things I find most fascinating.
I’ve always thought of myself as a lifelong learner. It looks like I found the perfect little corner of the world for me, since blogging and everything that goes along with it are so incredibly vast and ever-changing.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog are you doing all the research to get off to a good start? Are you gonna jump in with both feet like I did? If you have a blog what things do you wish you knew before you started blogging?
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This post was adapted from a post I originally shared with the readers over at Sew Crafty Angel.