Blogging 101: Two Girl’s Blogging Basics~Things I wish I knew about starting a blog
Hello bloggers!! This post is for you! Dana from This Silly Girl’s Life and I have decided to take our combined knowledge and experience of blogging and share them with you guys in our new series Blogging 101: Two Girl’s Blogging Basics. In this series we will share with you our personal experiences with blogging and share with you our successes, our failures, incomes we have made, little tips and tricks we have discovered and I am most excited to work on our Blogging On a Budget post where we will share all our tips on how to blog successfully without breaking the bank!
So for our first week’s post we decided to share with you things we wish we knew when first starting a blog. We hope this series is helpful to you, can help you learn so do’s and don’ts and provide you a few laughs :)
1. Blogging is a time suck, but a fun one!! Blogging doesn’t come easy, it is tough work but you definitely get out of it what you put in. Some bloggers might post a recipe every other week, pin it and wonder why their page views don’t go up. You have to post often and quality post and promote the crap out of those posts to get your views to budge.
2. Your first photos suck. I think at least when your photographing food your first few food photos most likely suck, mine did and it has taken forever to for me to learn how to take better photos and they still sometimes suck. Sometimes I don’t feel like having dinner ready at 4 in the afternoon just so I can take a pic with natural lighting. So I do sometimes still take crappy pictures, sorry.
Bad lighting, used flash, too close, bleh! What was I thinking!!
Photo from this week
3. Start at WordPress.org. I know there are a lot of bloggers that use Blogger as a platform but I see so many everyday making the switch to WordPress.org and at first I avoided it all by using blog.com as my platform, then switching to Squarespace before finally going to WordPress. So my advice is avoid that drama and just start at WordPress.org.
4. Linky parties, Linky parties, Linky parties. You need them, trust me. Without linky parties my page views for the entire month of March was 455. With Linky parties so far for the month of July my page views are 34,000. That is a massive jump! So yes linky parties were something I definitely wish I knew of from the get go. You can find a great directory of parties to link up to at my Linky Party Directory.
5. You need social media! The same day you start your blog start your social media for it, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram are the big ones. I failed to start a Google Plus account until late in the game and that does come back to bite me in the butt sometimes.
6. You don’t have to go at it alone. Blogging alone blow. You need to find yourself a good blogging friend. One to motivate you on the days you just aren’t feeling it anymore, one who is not afraid to tell you your picture of chili looks like dog food, someone to host giveaways with, go to conventions with, ask their opinion of sketchy emails from people wanting to post on your site about cigars or whatever other weird offers you get. Basically this person becomes your blogging backbone and in return you become theirs. Sometimes it is not just one person it can be a whole group of bloggers who support each other. You learn from them, they learn from you. But I cannot imagine going back to blogging with my blogging backbone Dana! So I highly suggest reaching out to other bloggers, blogging groups and don’t go at it alone.
7. You will do anything to get the best picture for your post. Any picture of Dean I need for my posts costs me an arm and a leg! “Dean please turn around” “Please look at mommy” “You can have ice cream if you look at me and smile!” “Fine!! I will get you new legos if I can just take this one picture!!!!!”
8. Recognition takes forever. It will take forever to get some kind of recognition, people commenting, people pinning, people visiting. It doesn’t happen overnight and at points you will want to throw in the towel but if you keep pushing you will get the views and fans you are looking for :)
Dana has more for you over at her blog on this, so go read the rest of the post there to see her 12 Things I Did Not Think Would Happen When I Started Blogging.
I’m really considering the move over to WordPress from Blogger. What are the main reasons you would advise bloggers of this? The pros?
A few of the main reasons I chose WordPress was because I felt it was more popular meaning more people knew how to work with it therefore there would more assistance when I needed it, more tips and tricks and tutorials when I needed. I also chose WordPress because of all the plugins that just make my life x10 easier. And I find it a cinch to work with and was very happy I made the switch :)
This is great! In the beginning of blogging I wish I had seen a post like this. I’m still a little scared to switch over to WordPress. :/
I was too, but its not that scary once you get into it :)
I wish I had come across a post like this when I first started! So many helpful tips. Awesome job! I’m off to read Dana’s next :) By the way, your pinterest button isn’t working right. There is no picture or description ;)
Thanks!!! And thanks for the heads-up on the Pinterest button, I got it fixed, no telling how long it’s been down :/ lol
Thank you so much for your advice. I just started blogging about 2 weeks ago and I love it. I don’t have much traffic but I’m going to keep pressing on. I need to find myself a good blogging buddy. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your experience!
We are going to do a post on how and where we get out traffic which should help you out some. Your recipes look great and I love all the pictures you take of the process!
Great post. I know a lot of these and I am trying to do better but a lot of these I ignore – bad blogger! Thank you for the tips.
Lol. I agree about the food pictures! It’s the hardest thing and many times the family is starving and want to eat and I am saying “let me just good one good picture!” Thank goodness for picmonkey or my food photos would be even worse:)
Lol I know!!! They are starving, I’m losing light and I just give up lol!
I totally agree. My photos are slowly getting better and I too recognize that some of my photos still suck, but I’m okay with that. I would add when you start a blog you don’t really know what your voice/style will be. I’ve been blogging for a little while now and I feel like now I’m starting to get into a look and rhythm.
Thanks for the great tip!!!
What an awesome set of tips! Thanks so much for sharing!
Stopping over from Tuesday Talent.
Thanks for this. I’ve recently started a blog so these hints are really useful.
You know, I’ve loved every moment on Blogger but have toyed with switching to WordPress. How was the set up? Easy? Hard? Needed help?
I did need help but I am really bad with the technical stuff lol!!
Thank you so much for this post! I’ve just started blogging and these tips are very helpful! I’ll be following along throughout this series for sure :)
Absolutely fantastic information and so true! Thanks for sharing.
Amen to all of the above :) This is a fabulous list, especially about social media. As a lady who has gotten back on the blogging train, these are awesome things for me to remember. Thanks for sharing! PS: Found you through Wonderful Wednesdays :)
Thank you so much for linking up to THE Pin it Party. Hope to see you back next week <3 One Organic Mama.
GREAT post! thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo
Wonderful tips, I have been wanting to switch to WP for a while. Too scared, :) Thanks for joining Inspiration in Progress.
I definitely agree with number 8! Great tips!
Have a wonderful rest of the day!
Great advice. Thanks!
Thank you so much for sharing at Brag About It this week! Great post with some really good pointers for those starting out ~ and for more seasoned bloggers, too. So true about the pictures, lol!
~ Megin of VMG206
Thanks for the awesome advice! It’s been one month since I started my blog and so far I have zero subscribers lol. I can definitely relate to the “throw in the towel” feelings but like you say, keep pushing. Have a wonderful weekend!
Really couldn’t have said it better and I moved to WP.org pretty quickly into the game, but you are right it is the best place to start out. Thank you for sharing though and wonderful for new and even seasoned bloggers, too!
I wish I had started at wordpress! Now I have to go through the whole migration someday. So sad. Thanks for linking up with our Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party. This is great!
Thanks for linking up with us on the Ladies Only Blog Share. I had no idea you could get that sort of traffic with link parties! Of course I do them, but I haven’t seen a huge increase in my traffic. I do visit people though on each. I guess I need to look more closely at this! Thanks for the advice!
Very helpful info! I haven’t done all of the things you recommend…yet!
I’ve only been blogging 3 months and I’ve already found so many of these to be true. I did start at wordpress.org, so at least I got that one right! lol Blessings – Dawn
Thanks so much for the information! This is very helpful! My photos need some help :)
Thanks so much for posting this! I really appreciate it…I am a fairly new blogger with extremely low views and this is helpful! I am terrible at taking pictures ;)
Love that I’m not the only one to bribe my son with new legos if he’ll just turn around for the perfect blog photo!
Good to know that my pictures will get better! I am a pretty new blogger, and I see all of these established bloggers with such beautiful photography, and I get so jealous! Oh well, one step at a time, right? Glad I found you on Marvelous Mondays!
Great post thanks for the info, and I agree about the linky parties they are awesome! Actually visiting from titi crafty hop :)
Thank you so much for your post. I can use all the help I can get.
Some great tips here, especially the linky party list. I have been trying to find some in my niche (stationery, letter writing, mail art) so I am hoping to explore your list for this and more. Speaking of parties, I found you via LOBS. You can find me over at http://www.ritewhileucan.comThanks for sharing.
I agree about WordPress plugins. Although there are a lot of premade widgets, having the option to upload plug-ins does wonders for one’s blog. And my family is coming to grips with the fact that I’m going to take photos of all the food at home and at restaurants!
Thanks for sharing this on my blog hop last week. Wish I knew about this in the beginning too.
Stopping by to let you know I will be featuring your tips tomorrow on Made in a Day! Thanks so much for linking up!
I’m a newbie too and can relate to everything you’ve shared. Especially #2 – LOL! Thanks for sharing at My Favorite Posts Show Off Weekend Party.
Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer
Hey there! Love this post! super helpful tips! :) Anyway,just wanted you to know that you’re being featured this Saturday on the Pin It Saturday Party on mysnippetsofinspiration.com Hope you have a great week!
I’m brand new to blogging and this list was so informative; especially the part about link parties! I’m about to check out Dana’s as well, but I wanted to stop and thank you for sharing this!
Thanks for the great advice. I just started doing link parties. Don’t know why I waited so long!
I am so glad that I found your series. Thank you so much for the information. I am in the process of starting a new blog and I need all of the help I can get!
nice info, thanks
thanks for the