7 Things That Every New Blogger Should Know

Today marks one year since I launched my blog, can you believe it? I can’t. It has flown by. I have gone from having literally zero clue about what I was doing and totally winging it, to having a blog that people actually read and a social media following of over 15 thousand people. Every month when I check my stats I am blown away. I had over 16.5K page views again this month from people all over the world and just so grateful for each and every person that reads my posts,  follows me on social media and messages me. 

Over the past 12 months, I have immersed myself in the blogging world and spent every spare minute learning everything that I could about how to write, run and promote a successful blog. There is so much that I have picked up along the way that I just wish someone had told me on day 1.

While I am still learning every day (which I am sure I still will be even when I’ve been blogging for a decade), I thought I would take this opportunity to share 7 of the things that have helped me along the way. By sharing some of the things that I have done right (and the things that I have done wrong too), hopefully, it will point those of you thinking about starting your own blogs in the right direction.

1. You Can’t Please Everyone

You certainly cannot please everyone and you shouldn’t try to! When I started blogging I didn’t want to leave anyone out. I thought if I tried to cover everything, I would appeal to more people. Wrong.

It wasn’t until I “met” the wonderful Aby from You Baby Me Mummy online that I realised that by speaking to everyone, you speak to no one. She helped me explore who my ideal reader really is and write for them. She has a wonderful book that explains everything that you need to know about blogging called “Blogs Change Lives” which is available on Amazon & Amazon Kindle.

Top Tip: you can download the first chapter to read on Kindle for free (although I guarantee that you will want to read the rest).

2. Brand From The Beginning

Oh how I wish I had thought about this from day 1! It would have saved me so much time and hassle. 

While you probably don’t want to spend thousands on an expensive graphic designer when you start out, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your branding right for your audience to make the right impression from the outset.

Use Coolors For Colours

Getting your brand palette right and jotting down the exact HEX codes that you will use across the board is a really good start. Coolors.co is a brilliant website that allows you to experiment with colour combinations for free. 

Canva

Canva is amazing online design software that you can use for free. Although you have the option to upgrade to “Canva For Work” which offers loads of amazing additional features, the basic free option is very good too. The Canva templates make creating graphics for Featured Images, Pinterest, Twitter & Facebook (which you should create for every post by the way) easy peasy. 

3. Be The Host Of Your Own Party

Well, host your own blog anyway. When I started my WordPress blog, there was the option of going with WordPress.com (who host your site for you) or WordPress.org where you had to do something scary called “self hosting“. This sounded scary and far too techy, so as a brand new blogger I opted for the far simpler WordPress.com option. Indeed it was simple, so simple that I quickly realised that it was far too basic and didn’t do half of the things that I needed it to do.

You see, scary as self hosting sounds, it’s not all that terrifying really. It allows you to have things called “plugins” which are the blog equivalent of apps that you have on your phone. Can you imagine living without those apps on your phone? Well, that’s how bloggers feel about plugins.

So yes, I should have gone straight to a self-hosted site to avoid the inevitable change over a few months in and I suggest you do too.

4. Get Your Google Analytics Sorted ASAP

When I started blogging, I used something called Jetpack to record my stats. At the time it seemed fine. Setting up Google Analyitics seemed another overly complicated thing that was way down my priority list. 

A while into blogging I learned that not only was Jetpack not as comprehensive as Google Analytics, but it can slow your site down too. I would highly recommend sorting your Google Analytics from the beginning and doing it properly first as last. 

5. Find Your Blogging Buddies

This past year I have “met” some amazing women online. These women have not only been immensely helpful when it has come to my blog, but they have become friends too. 

My advice is to get involved in the blogging community as soon as possible. There is so much to learn and get your head around, having people to ask and bounce ideas off that “get it” will really help. Click the buttons below to join my Facebook group of bloggers, plus another amazing free group hosted by Aby Moore. Feel free to introduce yourself and ask questions if you are stuck with anything, someone will always help out. 

6. Pinterest Is Your Secret Weapon

If you do one thing to promote your blog, make it Pinterest. Seriously, it is your new secret weapon when it comes to getting traffic to your blog. I started using Pinterest to bring traffic to my blog a few months in, and it is when things really took off. 

I use Tailwind to schedule 50-60 pins a day that go out around the clock. I’ll say it again – if you do one thing to promote your blog, make it Pinterest.

7. You Can Do Anything But You Can’t Do Everything

This is another something that my friend and mentor Aby Moore says and it is so true! I now say it all the time (so much so that I now have my husband saying it too. Apparently he now says it in work and half of the people he works with also say it constantly. But I digress…….)

When it comes to the blogging world, the possibilities are endless. There is so much that could be done, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Being a type A who feels like everything needs to be done yesterday, this had been a hard but important lesson to learn. 

I asked some other bloggers what they wish that they had known from the start, here’s what they said…..

Never ever EVER try and appeal to more people, thinking you’ll get more views. If you try and appeal to everyone you will most likely appeal to no one. Go niche or go home. 

Ceri Gillett, This Welsh Mother

Start building your email list as soon as you can and use it to develop a relationship with your audience. Your email list is the only list of followers that you own and that isn’t at the mercy of algorithms.

Aby Moore, You Baby Me Mummy

I had no idea how many technical terms I would have to learn!

Lianne Marie Freeman, Anklebiters Adventures

That it’s harder to keep going than it is to get going! I thought the techy bit would be the hard part and writing decent content and maintaining the blog would be easy. Nope. 

Rebecca Sieber, Becca Blogs It Out

That you have to spend a lot of time on social media to promote your posts! I have never used Facebook and Twitter so much! 

Jo Boyne, A Rose Tinted World

That you think you will run out of ideas for blog posts, but the more you write, the more ideas appear!

Clara Wilcox, The Balance Collective

I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I wish I knew that you will not have everything finished and perfect before you launch otherwise you will never go live! As long as you learn and implement as you go along that’s good enough. I waited waaaay too long to launch my blog and it was still nowhere near perfect!

Gemma Roberts, The Work Life Blend

SEO is easy to spell but not easy to understand. All your blog posts, pictures and titles need to be as “SEO friendly” as possible so the right audience can find you.

Carla Marie Lett, My Bump 2 Baby

I wish I’d known that it would involve so many hours on social media! I’d have planned a bit better from the start if I had and got into the habit of scheduling posts.

Louise Pink, Pink Pear Bear

I wish I’d known about all the amazing Facebook groups available to support and help bloggers. I got to around 9 months of blogging before I realised there was this amazing community! I think I would have saved myself a lot of time, questioning and upset if I had discovered them sooner.

Emma Reed, EmmaReed.net

I wish I had known that it takes time to build a following and to enjoy the journey. It’s good to work hard towards a goal of page views or followers but you have to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Vicky Smith, The Mummy Bubble

To be honest, all the stuff I know now, 2 years in, I might not have started my blog! Sometimes ignorance is bliss and you just need to jump right in. There is so much to learn but learning as you go along is not a bad thing as you build up your following. Time and consistency have been my biggest learning curves since starting it up.

Fariba Dashtgard Soetan, Mixed Race Family

I wish I had known what a great community bloggers are and how you can always ask for help! I spent so long trying to work out and solve the problems I was having and getting nowhere! There is a whole host of bloggers out there with their own set of skills and if you ask there is usually someone who can help or give useful advice. It saves so much time and I have made lots of great friends along the way too! 

Jess Howliston, Tantrums To Smiles

That I’d have to become a GDPR expert!!

Amy Fell, All About Mummy

I wish I had known that after the first 12 months, the whole thing is less overwhelming and really starts to come together. At first there seemed to just be so much to get my head around and do and I thought it would always be like that but you learn so much it definitely becomes easier with time. 

Michelle Bailey, Time & Pence

Are you a blogger? What do you wish that you had known when you started blogging?

Or are you considering starting a blog? What is holding you back?

Why Not Pin This For Later?

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through some of the links and make a purchase, I will make a small commission.

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