Things I learnt in my first year as a blogger

So it’s been a year since I took the leap into blogging. Some of the things I wish I had known before hand seem so fickle now!

1. Self hosting

Sounds scary doesn’t it! If you’re using a platform such as tumblr or the concept of switching over to self hosted may seem quite daunting. Luckily it isn’t difficult.

When I first switched to self hosted I found a great plugin which seamlessly moved all of my historic posts over from tumblr to my self hosted WordPress site.

2. Branding

Establishing a brand for your blog is important. Your readers respond well to your content if they can find you easily. If your branding is memorable then you are more likely to have repeat visits to your site.

3. Photos

Not everyone is a professional photographer and that is ok!

Your photos are exactly that, yours. I would like to think that the reason everyone blogs is the same as mine. Mine is just documenting my journey through life and the stuff that goes with it. If people read it then great! If they don’t then that’s fine. But the photos are a reflection of me.

4. Commenting

If you are writing for interaction then comments are great however you have to remember that not all people will agree with your view point. Comments can get nasty and counter productive. Be aware that when enabling comments they won’t always be nice.

Commenting on other peoples blogs, if you’ve read them, is also a good way to get traffic to your site.

5. Hosting platforms and providers

These are tricky. Some want you to buy your domain from them too.

I’ve found personally that the less well known hosting services have better value packages.

It is better to shop around and take your time getting set up.

6. Not all companies are willing to work with you, even if you do it for free.

This isn’t always because of you. Some companies do not market themselves, or market at all. Don’t let this put you off tho as there are a lot of companies willing to give you a go!

7. Expo’s and Fairs

These are a great place to meet other bloggers or new PR companies who work with bloggers. Take your time going to these, it will usually take a couple of days to get around a good fair. Take plenty of business cards. Work out your rates if you are charging and know your numbers!

I would say for these that dress for comfort and a lot of walking!

8. Other bloggers

During my first year i have met a lot of other bloggers. I can honestly say that 99% of the people I’ve met doing this have been lovely, with one or two haters thrown in for good measure.

9. Hitting the ground running

What i mean by this is don’t just fill your blog up with crap so you have content. It is ok to say no to reviews, guest posts and all the other stuff. Blogs become a lot less personal when its filled with clutter. You establish your brand by keeping the posts authentic and making the most of your platform. Your followers will come when you are consistent!

10. Do It for you

Your blog is just that, Yours. Keep it for you, about you and you will have a much better response when you post opinionated stuff. It will attract likeminded people, and a couple of nosey ones but overall keeping it authentic will attract the best kind of readers.

This is my experience from my first year as a blogger. I am not saying that anyone will experience things the same. Or what you should expect.

If you are considering becoming a blogger, i would say give it a go! Ive really enjoyed it.

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