Some of these go against what you will traditionally get from a blogging course but I really wish I found someone who told me the truth before I hit publish on my blog!
So here goes, here’s what I wish someone had told me when I first started:
- Stalk the blogs you love. There is a reason you love certain blogs and bloggers. It could be the images on their website, their writing style, their social media game or everything they do could rock your boat. Distinguish your top five favourite bloggers and analyse everything they do and I mean everything. What do you love about them? What do you like? What aspect don’t you like? Is their website as good as their social media? What does their newsletter look like, how often do they send it? Study them, pull them apart and work out what you like and why! Knowing this from the beginning will save you a lot of frustration, you can build what you really love because you will know what that is.
- Don’t settle for a name that doesn’t feel right, once you start blogging that name is your game, changing it is beyond difficult and survival after a name change is VERY rare.
- Once you have a name you like ALWAYS make sure you can buy that domain name and claim that name on ALL of the social media channels. Even if you think you won’t use certain social media, you must have that name on all channels. Bloggers are not influencers, we are across all social media streams, not just Instagram or Facebook. We may concentrate on one more than another from time to time, but we rock all of them to get maximum traffic to our websites.
- Take your time. Don’t hit publish before you have a good amount of blogs written and you have the images to go with it. I always have a minimum of 4 weeks worth of blogs written and ready to go. I quickly learnt it doesn’t take much for you to fall behind. Life really does get in the way of blogging.
- Popups are a personal choice and not necessary. Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise, it’s really up to you.
- Always have your newsletter subscription on your website clearly visible and easy to complete. Having subscribers to your website is the MOST important thing you can do. It is the key to longevity in the blogging world. Driving traffic to your website from social media channels is important, its why bloggers are across all social media channels, we are constantly driving traffic from every avenue. But social media is so damn fickle! One of the most frustrating is Instagram, they can change their algorithm at any moment and suddenly you are no longer getting the traffic you once were and even lose subscribers. Actually, Facebook is just as frustrating now I think about it. They only true and reliable traffic you can count on is from your own subscriber list. No one can take that list away from you, it’s a blogger’s golden ticket to quality traffic on their blogs. When you launch your blog you will have a surge of interest in the beginning, it’s the ultimate time to capture people email addresses. Have everything set up and ready to go. If you have already launched your blog and don’t have your newsletter subscription up stop reading right now and get it up. Literally stop reading and hop to it!
- Have good photos. Do whatever you need to do to get good quality photos on your website. Make sure your images are not overpowering on your screen, there’s nothing worse than one image that you have to scroll through to find the text you are there to read. Big is not better on blogs, that actually goes for word count as well. Good images can be taken on phones, but take your time to get a quality shot. There are countless apps available to assist with editing your images on your phone. Find one that you like and always edit before you post. Never post an image you don’t love.
- Your website will most likely be viewed on a mobile device, you must make sure it’s mobile device friendly.
- Get help if you are struggling with developing your site. You don’t need someone to do everything for you, but if you are struggling, investing in some help is always a great idea.
- You get seconds to impress visitors to your site remember to make it simple but significant. Having a website that is beautiful to look at, simple to use and leaves a lasting impression on visitors is the winning formula. The rest can just be added stress that some of us don’t want.