I came onto the blogging scene as a blank canvas; not knowing how to work anything, the positives and negatives to blogging, how to blog (if there is a right way which I, personally, don't think there is) and what on earth I am going to write about. Obviously I should have done a little more research so I had a little head start before jumping right into the deep end. The only experience I had with blogging was reading other blogs and having friends who run their own blogs, does that even count as experience in blogging?
There have been a THOUSAND of things I have learnt since blogging and I probably wouldn't have if I didn't start it. However, some of these skills/tactics/aspects I wish I would've known as soon as I started blogging as it would have been so much easier to grow my blog naturally.
Here are some things which imply that I didn't know much about blogging when I started it.
- I didn't know there was a blogging community out there
- I only discovered twitter chats in August (about 8 months after starting my blog)
- I thought there were rules to what you could write about but no it's whatever you want to write about
- I didn't put much care into my photos or layout or my blog look at all
- I didn't know I could promote my own blog publicly (which is so stupid because how would anyone discover it, duhhh)
THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED A BLOG
How time consuming it is
Obviously I know I am not a blogger full-time but I have been strict with myself in creating a tight schedule which is to publish at least 3 posts a week. I like to keep to this schedule once I have committed. However, it is surprising how much time goes into writing and creating just one post so to post 4 times a week can be a little hectic. Along with blogging, I am at university so my time is usually prioritised to studying, but I enjoy blogging so much that studying occasionally gets put behind.
All the different aspects to blogging
The social media, writing a post, discovering new blogs and playing your part in the blogging community; all of these aspects are a part of blogging, which you tend to sometimes miss out. When I first started out, I did not realise how many sections there were to blogging. Still to this day, surprisingly, I still have many aspects to improve upon and possibly yet to discover, but for now I am jam-packed with the amount of work I have to do and deal with for my blog already.
The importance of your blog photography
The photography of your blog tends to complete the overall look of your blog and allows it to stand out that little bit more.
When I first published my blog, I was oblivious to how my photographs looked and what the quality of them were, and I didn’t put much effort into the overall presentation of them. However, recently, in the last few months, I’ve started taking photos in groups, editing them there and then so they are ready for future posts. This is so handy just incase I am unprepared for a certain post and need quick access to a photo, I will always have a spare one hanging around on my laptop waiting to be used. I have also started to edit my photos using the same effects so there is a theme and a certain style to my photos. I have slight OCD so when I noticed all my photos were edited differently, I had to sort them out.
How much thought that goes into writing a single post
You have the type of post, your content, the layout, what photographs you’ll use, the title of the post and when you will publish it. AND breathe. There’s a lot more thought that goes into a post rather than writing it in half an hour, grabbing a few old photographs and done, it’s published. Um, no. I don’t think that has ever happened to a blogger unless you are insanely organised, know exactly what you’ll write and have photos at the ready.
The anxiety you get once you've published a post
After pressing that all important (and scary) ‘publish’ button, your mind goes through a world of its own, questioning whether the post is well written, you’ve promoted it, made no spelling mistakes or included broken links…it’s not until you’ve got a few views, or good feedback through the comments that you feel happy with the post.
Constantly thinking of new ideas for posts
It always happens at the most inconvenient times when I have nowhere to write it and end up having hundreds of notes written on my iPhone, with no organisation to them whatsoever. The worst time for me is when I’m about to go to sleep. I tell myself *ok sleep time* and then my brain suddenly wakes up and BOOM *oooh here’s a good post idea* NO, LET ME SLEEP. Sadly, this is very accurate and happens several times a week to me.
I'm pretty sure I still have so much to learn through blogging, but if you're a newbie to it, hopefully these few tips will help you get ahead of it. They certainly would've helped me when I first started my blog.