Thirty days ago I posted my very first blog post on this site. A friend asked, “What have you learned about blogging so far?” Today, I want to share with you some of my thoughts on the subject. Some of these lessons I’ve learned quickly and some it took me a little longer.
Here are 30 Things I’ve Learned in My First 30 Days of Blogging:
- You can easily get discouraged. As a new blogger breaking into the “blogosphere” can be quite lonely. Bloggers who have blogged for a long time make it look so easy. You have to stay encouraged and keep on keeping on!
- Accept your imperfections. I have a secret. I am a bit of perfectionist. I like everything to be a certain way. But, we all make mistakes, and it is the imperfections that make us human. I sometimes feel that I suck at writing, others disagree. Perfection is something we all work towards. Though it may not happen, the only way to get better is to learn from our mistakes.
- What is your plan? It is best to have ideas in place about what you want to post on your blog. A schedule or editorial calendar, I’m learning, is a must. It is hard coming up with post topics on the spot. Some type of plan has to be put in place or you will go crazy. Trust me, I know!
- Find your rhythm. It is important to figure out what works for you. Sometimes you are in the mood to write, sometimes you are not. Trying to figure out the kinks can be extremely difficult.
- Don’t get distracted. It is very easy to lose focus on the task at hand. Need to finish a post? Social Media, for me, can allow you to waste time. Stay focused!
- Quality over Quantity. In experimenting with the types of posts on your site, quality content is key. Readers are more drawn to content that will add value to their life or help them in some sort of way. Being personal is ok, but rants are not always the correct way to keep your readers engaged.
- More content means more traffic. Seeing is believing. When there are very little posts on your site, the readers don’t have much to read. Trying to produce more content, especially when reality doesn’t want to allow you to do so, can be beneficial to gaining readership. I am trying different approaches and I am still a work in progress. More on this later.
- The more you write the better you become a better writer. You can have tons of ideas, but if you can’t put them down in writing in a concise and readable format, people will have a hard time understanding what you have to say. I can definitely notice that my writing is getting a little better.
- No two traffic counters will report the same information. I have tried several different counters and none have the same information. I finally just decided to use Google Analytics.
- It’s hard to not watch your RSS Feed Stats, but you have to. Every bloggers wants loyal readers and people will eventually come. I’ve only got… [let me check] 4 subscribers and tons of page views. What am I doing wrong? I keep telling myself, “If you build it, they will come.” Is this realistic?
- Market your blog posts. Depending on your goals, you have to market your posts. Outside of telling people I know, social media was a key factor in increasing my readership.
- Write about other bloggers. Many of the people following blogs are bloggers themselves, surprisingly. Blog about what inspires you or things that they are doing on their blogs. Be sure to link to them in your post. This is one way to gain blog friends.
- Make sure you read and comment on other blogs. You can often find great topics and ideas you can try out on your own blog. Also, you gain more readers to your blog by doing so.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will not know everything there is about blogging. Ask fellow bloggers how they do things? What are their secrets? Their wisdom can only help you, especially if they have done this for a while.
- Don’t forget to run the spell check. Even though you may be a spelling bee champ, it’s always good to check and recheck your spelling.
DON’T FORGET IT : PIN IT!
- Read your post aloud before you hit publish. You will catch many of your mistakes that need polishing. No one likes reading a post full of errors.
- Publishing a blog post is like ringing a bell. Once you strike the bell, it can’t be un-rung.
- A small group of engaged readers is better than quick traffic from one-time readers.
- You have the power to change your mind. You are in charge of your blog. If you want to change the direction of your blog, you have every right to do so.
- If you are not sure if you should post something, sleep on it. Sleep always helps you reassess.
- Success does not happen over night. Even when you have worked hard on a post, it doesn’t guarantee that everyone will like it and you will gain a ton of traffic.
- Be humble. You many not be as smart as you think you are. You had the idea that you were going to start a blog and it was going to be successful. You thought everyone was going to come visit your blog because you are so smart. You thought everyone was going to want to hear what you have to say, as if what you were saying was groundbreaking. I don’t think so! You have to crawl before you walk just like everyone else in terms of blogging.
- The first true and authentic comment from someone outside your inner circle, is the best feeling. It says, “I see you, I hear you, and what you say matters to me.”
- You can’t blog for everyone else. You have to blog for you. If people enjoy it, great. If they don’t, oh well.
- You have to set goals. If you don’t know what you want your blog to be when it grows up, even in the early stages, you are off to a bad start. Setting short-term and long-term goals is a must.
- Every now and then, step out the box. Try something different. Do something that you have never done before. Your readers will enjoy it.
- Read everything. There are tons of information on these “internet streets” about everything involved with blogging. Don’t be overwhelmed. Look for information that will be helpful in becoming a better blogger. Apply it and see what happens.
- Unplug. It is necessary to not think about the blog 24-7. In the first 30 days, it is all you can think about. You don’t want burn out, so you have step away from the blog.
- Putting together a list of 30 things to put on this list and any list is pretty hard.
- Blogging is ok. I think I’ll keep at it a little while longer.
There you have it. I have learned so much in just 30 days. I know that there are tons of more things I need to learn, but I think I am off to a great start.
Question: What advice or tips would you add to this list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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