To finish off my first month blogging, I saw it fit that I write about the things that I learned. I understand for all the newbies that just started blogging. “Why would I take advice from someone that just started blogging“? Well first off, I very vividly remember when I first started and not knowing a damn thing because it was last week. Haha.
I started this blog during the Coronavirus Pandemic. I already had a free blog through WordPress. But when I started it last year I wasn’t on any clear direction and all my post were scattered. In fact, every blog I’ve had in the past has been very scattered. I had no clear direction and all of my post were going NOWHERE.
With the pandemic, I figured it was a better time than ever to invest time and effort. When I stumbled upon the a blogging program that guided me. While they did teach me a lot in the first day alone, there are some things that were left unexplained.
I’ve dreamt about blogging since I was a child – no, I mean literally. I have used Weebly, Wix, Blogger, Tumblr and wanted to blog about so many things from Global Warming to Motherhood. I talk about my mission here.
Each time I started a blog I have learned something new and I want to share with you.
Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links. I receive a small commission from sells through these links, but all opinions are my own.
Not a lot of new bloggers consider this, but self hosting is incredibly important.
For example, if you plan to grow with your blog and taking this seriously, think of it as an investment. And I understand that it’s scary to put money down on something and you don’t know if you wont succeed. If you pay for hosting on the platform (i.e. from Wix or WordPress), and that platform goes down, all of your hard work goes down too.
Also, if at anytime you decide to move from one platform to the next you have to abandon all of your work. Which, lets face it, its hard to build a blog to just to up and abandon it. No one wants to give up all of their hard work. In my case, I only felt one post from my previous blog was worth migrating and I heavily edited it.
I use Bluehost and definitely recommend it. Bluehost offers your first domain FREE for the first year, 24/7 Customer Service AND a 30 day money back guarantee. So if you ever decide blogging life isn’t for you, then you can back out, but I promise you won’t!
Legally Protecting Your Blog
Yeah, you read that right. You have protect your blogging baby. Especially, if you plan to be an affiliate and monetize your blog at some point. Many affiliate programs won’t work with you if you don’t have legal pages on your blog.
Again, this is an investment and it protects you and your reader. Don’t let it go too far and end up losing your hard work or having to pay out.
If you need any examples, can scroll down my blog as they are in my footer menu of my blog.
But a fair warning, DO NOT get free templates as they often don’t include the legal provisions you need. Also, they are not from a REAL lawyer, so how can you know you can trust them.
I got my legal template from Amira at a Self- Guru. Her Templates are real, legal and incredibly easy to use and put on your website. I highly recommend her! Another plus from a single mom to new blogger, is that she is way cheaper than hiring you’re own lawyer.
Engaging in the Blogging Community
Engage in the Blogging Community! It should be one of the first things you do. They teach you a lot and are incredibly supportive. They understand the numbers game and will offer you nothing but help and emotional support. Each time I’ve posted that I was overwhelmed I was flooded with kind replies.
There is room for everyone on the internet, and everyone has their own niche. There are plenty of people that will read what you have to offer!
For instance, I’ll probably have the biggest impact on single parents or parents that deal with mental illness. Probably parents in general. But there will be people specifically interested in my blog, just because of who I am. Same goes for you! So, engage and support and it will come right back to you.
There are plenty of ways to engage! My favorites are Facebook Groups such as Boss Girl Bloggers. This group is supportive and very informative. They often have post where you can promote your blog and show support to other bloggers.
Twitter is another great way to engage, and also my favorite. It is incredibly easy to get into the blogosphere. In fact, start now, by following me.
Another way to boost your blog by engagement is by using Tailwinds Tribes. Tailwind allows you to schedule your pins ahead of time (and will save you your sanity). Tailwind Tribes, is a group in which for every pin you pin for someone else, you can put your pin into the tribe to be repinned. Basically, it gets more eyes on your pins! As a beginner, it’ll be harder to gain followers on Pinterest so this is a good way to gain followers and engage!
Talking about Pinterest…
This little guy cost about $12 a month and is great for getting stock pictures for your blog. Also, if you know a thing about Pinterest, this is where most, if not all, bloggers create their Pins. You can use it for so many other things. I created my blog logo, header and all of my featured images with CanvaPro – they are literally a GOD SEND!
With CanvaPro you get:
- Custom Templates
- Premium Fonts
- Premium Templates
- More Fonts (1000+)
- and Priority Support.
But they’re good for many other things. Resume Templates, Birthday invites, Worksheets, Planners, YouTube Intros, Everything for EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM! Anything you can think of… they got it!
A Mailing List!
There are so many different mailing list platforms to use out there. There is Constant Contact, Convertkit, Flodesk, Mailchimp and what I use, Mailerlite. It’s FREE for up to 1000 subscribers. It is incredibly easily to use – I’m literally a beginner and I didn’t even know about these up until 3 weeks ago baby. You can send automated Welcome Email whenever someone subscribes to your mailing list.
FREE TIP*** Create a Lead Magnet! A lead magnet is a FREEBIE that you give away to entice your readers to follow you!
My lead magnet is a FREE printable of my morning, day and night routine that you can find in my post: How to Increase Your Productivity.
It is super simple to add it to your automated email work flow. Just add a link to a Document in your Google Drive!
Another plus, it is incredibly easy to set up your weekly newsletters for your readers. In your newsletter you should talk about what big plans are coming for your blog, any important offers or freebies, and highlight your previous or popular post.
The Importance of SEO
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Basically, if you want your website on the front page of Google, you have to work on your SEO. Before, this blog I would look up my website on Google and always be disappointed because it wasn’t there. Was my website not real? I had no clue until I saw it being talked about in the blogging community.
Here is a few cheap or free resources that I would say definitely check out and many other bloggers will reference for use.
FREE YOAST SEO Plugin
There is a Paid Plan but as a beginner I think the FREE plan will be good enough for now. YOAST SEO helps with your readability score. It lets you know when your post are sounding passive or if you’re sentences are too long (which happen to be my biggest problems). There’s other trackers such ass, heading distribution, transition words, and paragraph length. Many readers will not read a post of long paragraphs. At least I know I wont. It is also recommended to break up your post by pictures or ADs
As far as SEO, it lets you plug in your keyword. It also rates your Slug and Meta Description – which is what Google will show when someone is looking for your post. There is so much it helps you with and I can’t even begin to explain it all.
So KeySearch is yet another investment. I know – I know, but if you plan to go far I recommend investing in yourself because you’re worth it. It is only $17 a month and believe me the turnout will be worth it. If you’re not ready though, they have a 1 month FREE TRIAL. However, with the FREE Trial you only get 5 Daily Searches and you don’t get Competitive Analysis access.
An example for using KeySearch, for instance, this particular post. When searching the keyword “Blogging,” it has high searches (high demand) and its highly concentrated (a lot of bloggers write about blogging). Who would’ve thunk it, but here I am!
KeySearch gives you the whole run down on keywords to use and helps you be found. If I haven’t said this enough, it is a GOD SEND!
Now Your Ready!
I know! You probably feel incredibly overwhelmed and I know that I did/do. I’m right there with you and I’m still learning something new everyday. But these are the complete basics after only one month of blogging! Imagine that. The blogging community has so much new information and it never stops. Take it one step at a time, baby.