Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What I Wish I'd Known About Blogging The First Year

No matter how successful a blogger is, they always went through the first year. Some look back on this time fondly, and others are grateful it is over. However, it's important to remember that you have to start somewhere. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day.

 There's many things you can do to make the first year of blogging more successful, and frankly, more enjoyable. And of course, hind sight is 20/20. Here are several great bloggers (all who attended the Online BlogCon last year) with some of the things they wish they knew during the first year of blogging:

What I Wish I'd Known About Blogging The First Year

Lisa from Je suis alimentageuse: I wish I had known which platform was the best for blogging. My blog has been around just over two years, but I've been on Blogspot for a year, wordpress.com for about nine months, and I've been self-hosted for about six months now. All the moving made me lose followers along the way. I also wish I had implemented Google Analytics from the beginning so that would have kept all my site stats from each move. I lost about 10,000 views from my first year, then about 70k from the second move. It sucks!

Martha from A Family Feast: I'm still in my first year, but things that have helped the most in growing my traffic are - photography (learning how to REALLY use our DSLR, daylight, staging and photo editing); blog design (I hired a designer and feel it was worth the $); using social media to drive traffic, and last but not least -- joining a group like OBC where I've learned so much about every aspect of blogging

Heather from Hezzi-D's Books and CooksI also wish I had some help with blog design. I've changed it 3 or 4 times now but it would be nice if I had only had to pay for 1 redesign

Debbie from Kneaded Creations: I wish I had a better understanding about how a blog is set up with WordPress, and how to actually maneuver in WordPress to get what you want on the page.

Carrie from Frugal Foodie Mama: I wish I had known how important blog design really is. I talked myself out of seeking blog design help by convincing myself that my content would bring people to my blog no matter what my blog looked like. While this is true (you need great content to keep readers coming back,) people are also very visual and just like books, your readers may judge your blog by it its cover. A blah design could mean that potential readers will pass you over. There are SO many blogs out there now competing for reader's attention. Spend a little money (or time researching & learning blog design for yourself) to obtain a clean blog design that is a true reflection of you and your blog.

Meghan from The Tasty Fork: I think how important it is to build a network. I thought if I just started writing, people would come. Well, they didn't. In order to get your name out there, you have to comment, do link parties, be interactive on blogger's Facebook pages. Also, joining Online BlogCon. It's a huge network of bloggers. the Facebook group is probably the main reason I'm starting to be successful!

Raquel from Good Recipes Online: How important an online support group can be! The input, suggestions and community have been so helpful (and entertaining) at times. So thankful for OBC!

Chandra from The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen: I had no how idea how much work and how much time this would all take when I started. I also didn't now that I would meet so many wonderful and helpful women and make such strong friendships.

Brenna from Life After Laundry: Having one awesome picture "pinned" on Pinterest is better than 20 just okay pictures. I wish I had known more about photography in general my for my first year.

Lyuba from Will Cook for SmilesI thought that photos were not as important as recipes abut I didn't realize that with food blogging, photos are everything. That is how people come to your site, you have to make them drool from the first look.

Tracey from The Kitchen is My Playground: The importance of high quality photos

Heather from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks: I wish I had given some pointers on how to work the social media aspect to drive my traffic to my blog. Once I figure that out, my stats really increased.

Valerie from Occasionally Crafty: Spend your networking time engaging in social media and link parties in your blogging niche. That's where you will find people who want to come visit your blog over and over again.

Chandra from the Plaid and Paisley Kitchen: That taking pictures of food is not the same as taking Pin Worthy Pictures of Food!

Holly from Happy Food Healthy Life: I wish I had known how much of a full-time job blogging is. Not that I would take anything back, but I just wish I had been prepared to get off work from day job only to be working all evening/night/early morning on the blog.

Kelley from Miss Information Blog: The anatomy of a post as in using a key word and where to put it, how to label your pictures so that when they are pinned the description comes up, how to put in your description so that when it comes up in searches on the Internet it has your description instead of the first few lines of your blog post... going back and redoing a lot of that sucks!

What do you wish you'd known?

1 comment:

Teri@thefreshmancook said...

I wish I had known how important all other social media is to driving traffic. I am still learning this. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but still fascinating at the same time.