Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted.
I have been blogging for six months now. I can hardly believe that the girl, who took six months to have the courage to write her first post, has been blogging six months! I have learned from trials and tribulations. Mainly I have learned from my own mistakes, but more importantly I have learned from other bloggers.
I have no idea how I got here, but here is what I have discovered so far.
What I knew in the beginning:
The first blog that I followed was Iowa Girl Eats. So one day when she had a guest post from her brother, on How To Start and Maintain a Blog, I was intrigued. It sounded so easy! I could totally start a blog after reading that! Well that was May 3rd of last year, so it definitely did not happen over night. It was just the ignition to my project.
That post made me think about…
1. Who was I trying to reach? Well I wanted to reach people just like me, who had similar interest and attributes. It is a far stretch to say that I was shooting for foodies, so more like clueless post-graduates who like dogs.
2. How am I going to maintain my blog? My goal was to post everyday for a whole year. My dream goal was that it was always going to be at the same time everyday…sometimes that happens.
3. What Technology am I going to use? I was sold on WordPress as my platform. At the time, I just did not know there was a difference between being self-hosted and wordpress.com. I do now…
What I learned along the way:
Being self-hosted is the best option, but by no means is it the easiest option.
Giant sized pictures do not benefit anyone.
Organization is the key to a strong post…otherwise I end up writing about my cough syrup.
I need to proof read more. Sorry it’s true.
What I have picked up from other bloggers:
I attended my first OKC Bloggers Night Out in February, which I mentioned here and what I learned from it here. Then our little group grew into an organization, which is not referred to as EngageOKC. Our first inaugural event was hosted the last week in April, and I left the meeting feeling energized and happy to be a part of this amazing organization. Here’s what I learned.
1. Social Media 2.0 from Pencil Shavings Blog: I learned the importance of reaching my readers through all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). Timing these links is beneficial to the day and hour. I should also think about reaching my audience through stronger pictures and catchier phrases, depending on the platform. Commenting on other like-minded blogs is also helpful.
2. Picking a Platform/Blogger vs. WordPress from Pippin + Pearl: I already knew that I enjoyed the benefits of WordPress, but it was nice to be reassured that it was the platform that fit my needs best. I was surprised to learn that it takes Google four weeks to index WordPress’ posts, so that reinforced the importance of social media and tagging for me.
3. Building a Personal Brand from Jeremy and Kathleen: This is something I struggle with the most. I blog about food, but I do not consider myself to be a foodie. I am a do-it-yourselfer just trying to learn the basics in the kitchen and eat as healthily as possible. I like blogging because of the design and picture aspect. I choose to blog about food because I eat everyday. From this my take was that I need to be true to myself, and I also need to work on my personal brand.
4. Creating a Community from Design Crush Blog: I don’t have individual sponsors for my blog. I am a featured Foodbuzz Publisher, which means I am already part of a large community. Even though I do not bring in sponsors, it is nice when other bloggers link to my page. It increases my traffic, so I want to try and return the favor as much as possible.
I hope this post is helpful to anyone out there who wants to start a blog. I am not a professional. I am not even a strong writer. I just find joy in sharing my crazy life with you. I have learned so much along the way, and I am so thankful for the blogs out there that I follow and the blogger I have met along the way.
What have you learned from blogging?