When I first started researching, I read through so much information, and most commonly post about, “what I’ve learned after a year” or “do this before you start blogging,” and most of it I just pushed to the side, because I like to do things my own way. Some of it, though, I should have paid more attention to, and here are the top three things I wish I knew (and actually applied) when I began:
1. Don’t go public until it’s exactly what you want. When I started out, I stuck with the layout chosen for me, was still sorting through the colors I wanted to use, and playing with branding for my site, and changed it all just a few week in… more than once. I also didn’t do the best job of checking my spelling and grammar, which for me, still makes me cringe. I’m a grammar buff, but I don’t always catch my mistakes. I was so excited to go live, I just jumped and then was still finding errors that were plain silly months later. Which leads me to number two…
2. Invest in Grammarly!!! Seriously, just do it. I started with the free version a few months after I began blogging, and went back through every post and fixed them. What a mess. I guess I could have used Word to check my spelling and grammar, but copy and paste didn’t dawn on me… I also didn’t pay for Microsoft until my husband started his own company. I promise this isn’t an ad, and I also promise Grammarly will change your writing– the paid version will recognize not only spelling, but grammatical errors, commonly overused words, and words you, specifically, use too often. It extends to your email, Facebook, or anything else you use on the inter-web.
3. Save posts you’ve written at about the same time for another day. When you’re on your writing game, you’ll pound out posts left and right. Posting them immediately can cause two things:
a. They won’t get equal attention, and if monetizing your blog is something you’re hoping to achieve (one of my goals, but not my reason for blogging) in the future, you’ll want the stats to be consistent.
b. You have nothing to fill times of writer’s block or busyness.
For example, all through December and almost all of January, I wrote only one post. When I realized my brain was over-stimulated, I took a purposeful break. When I opened up WordPress again, I wrote not three, but FOUR posts within the span of a few hours. I released them slowly in case I got caught up in life again. Publishing them all at once would also deter people from reading each one. That’s a substantial chunk of time they’d have to spend reading each post, or they’d have to remember to go back and read where they left off, assuming they remember. You will have your avid followers that read no matter what, but to grab the attention of others, you’ll want to “market” or showcase one post at a time.
So, don’t be like me! Nip future mistakes in the bud by learning from my mess. Do you have any favorite blogging resources? Share them in the comments!
It’s been a good year, and I can’t wait to see what I learn in the next one. Maybe by this time next year, I’ll be paying my electric bill with words… maybe. 😉