If you are starting a blog I bet you feel excited and incredibly overwhelmed.
It’s no wonder so many beginning bloggers are confused when they first start. Blogging requires at least a moderate understanding of photography, web design, and copy writing. Additionally, it necessitates knowledge on whatever subject you are blogging about. There are many conflicting voices on the internet about how best to operate each of these elements and market your blog.
Pinterest is filled with endless lists about SEO and newsletters, some bloggers say Twitter is where it’s at, and others are strictly in the Instagram camp. And for the love of Pete, why does no one distinguish between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?! Don’t worry, I am here to help. I am just seven short months into blogging and I have already learned so much, these are the things I wish someone would have told me when I started my blog.
Know your purpose
Simply put, why do you want to blog? There are likely many reasons blogging appeals to you. If you don’t yet know your purpose, take time to sit for a few minutes and consider your ultimate end goal for your blog. Is it to connect to people who are like-minded? Inspire others? Develop a creative skill like photography? Whatever that purpose is, be crystal clear before you dive into the other stuff. When your site crashes or you feel completely burned out, your purpose will be what keeps you going.
Side Note – this is not just any reason this is THE REASON.
Start on WordPress.org
Seriously! WordPress may seem overwhelming if you have never worked with behind the scenes website stuff before. But once you are familiar with it, it is easy to use and the quality of templates can’t be beat (I bought mine from Creative Market). WordPress.org offers amazing plugins that track your followers, allow rich pins, and give your site that extra special something. The upfront cost may be more on WordPress.org, but it will quickly become cheaper than paying for a service like Squarespace or WordPress.com and it will look infinitely better.
Source most of your advice from trusted resources and take the rest with a grain of salt.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about the best way to run your blog. Most bloggers are genuinely interested in giving you the best information. However, some bloggers are happy to sell e-courses filled with fluff and charge way too much for them. There is a lot of free information about blogging out there and I suggest soaking up as much of that as you can before paying for pricey services. The only bad thing about the free information is you will encounter plenty of contradictory opinions.
When you are on the hunt for a reliable source, consider if they have a similar target audience as you and also how long they have been blogging. Long time established blogs are great to go to for photography, brand advice, and scaling your business. When it comes to getting noticed and standing out, bloggers with more recent growth tend to have the best advice (not always, but most of the time).
Be nice to your friends and family.
Promote in the right way
There are two types of beginning bloggers. “The spammers” talk only about their blog on every post across every social channel. “The wall-flowers” hardly ever mention their blog and you might forget that they even have one. People need to know that you are creating content and it is okay to remind them, but always give more than you take. I think a good ratio to aim for is one promotional post for every three pieces of other content. If you don’t know what to share, consider posting a funny picture or sharing a post from another blogger you love. When you consistently give to your community, they are more willing to give back and click on your new blog post.
Internet Friends Will Happen
I remember being so confused about how anyone possibly made friends with other bloggers just through the web. The answer it turns out is… it just happens. Rather, it just happens so long as you do one thing, BE FRIENDLY. Read posts by other bloggers and like them. Write insightful and thoughtful comments. Go out of your way to share and support your fellow bloggers. I promise they will support you in return.