I’ve been blogging now since June 2015, although it feels like it’s been so much longer. I have had to navigate a very steep learning curve, something I hadn’t anticipated when I thought of a blog name and signed up to WordPress. When you think of a blog, you think that all you have to do is write a post and publish it; but there is so much more to it. If you’re starting out and need a bit of guidance, here are the 7 things you need to know about blogging from my first year as a blogger (albeit a little late) to start you on the right track.
1. Go self-hosted sooner rather than later.
This is my biggest tip! If you can afford to go self-hosted, do it. Places like TSOHost let you have a year of website hosting on their servers for £14.99. Purchase your domain for about £10 and you’re sorted for 12 months. This is the best way forward as now you can build your DA (explained below) and start getting your name out there with brands. There is nothing wrong with staying with the free blogging platforms, they ensure that you get your writing out there exactly the same, but you don’t build up your brand quite so easily this way.
2. Read, read and read some more about DA.
If you want to move forward with your blog, learn about this. It’s a question that gets asked again and again on the blogging Facebook groups, and one that everyone gets tired of answering. Your DA is your domain authority. You can check it on Moz, it basically shows how much authority your page has on the internet. A good DA is usually over 20 but it only works if you have your own domain. .WordPress or .blogspot sites are showing the host site’s (so Blogger or WordPress.com) DA, not your own. You build your DA by getting links back to your sites from other trustworthy sites. So commenting on other bloggers posts, guest posting on other blogs and being featured all help increase your DA.
3. Understand follow/no-follow links.
This is another area that people ask endless questions about. In short. If you are paid to promote a website/brand, the link should be no-follow. You can make it no-follow using a plugin on your WordPress site or adding the HTML code:rel=”
to your links on the text tab on your post writer. If you are promoting them off your own back, or just adding a link to another blog you can keep them as follow links, as there has been no money or products changing hands.
4. Celebrate the achievements.
When you blog, your achievements are off your own back, you have forged success for yourself and should celebrate the achievements, no matter how small. I celebrated my blog’s 1st birthday much like Homeserve did with their blog “Ketchup” and had a take away to give myself a pat on the back for the hard work I had done.
5. Be gracious and not jealous.
Blogging has a real community attached, the nicest community I have ever met, in fact. The Facebook groups are always out there to help and support you and other bloggers are always happy to share the opportunities they have with you. So be gracious and grateful if you use the blogging community to help your site grow, be willing to help others and pay it forward with the support you’ve received. There are always bloggers that are getting the opportunities you want but don’t be jealous, as they have worked just as hard as you to get where they are, they deserve it too.
Some of the best Facebook groups are:
UK Parent Bloggers,
UK Blogger Opportunities.
There are hundreds if you search for them. Get involved as soon as you can as they are so much fun.
6. Google is your friend.
If you’re stuck and you don’t know how to do something on your blogging platform, or you have a question about something you heard on the Facebook pages, Google it first. I have found the answers to all of my queries with a quick Google, from knowing what HTML code to write for a certain feature or ways to promote a blog post, all the answers were there. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then go to the Facebook groups for advice. They are a fountain of knowledge. Pinterest has some great infographics which will help too, so pop over there to have a look.
7. Reserve all your social media handles.
This is my final point, once you decide on your name for your blog go straight onto social media and check the handles are available. You can use a website called NameChekr to check them all at once. Once you find out that the name is free sign up and take it asap, just in case someone pops along and thinks of the same name as you and pips you to the post.
I hope this has been helpful and informative, blogging really is a fantastic hobby, I wish you all the best of luck, you can do this!
Do you have any blogging tips you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below.
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!