Blogging Truths and Blogging Tips For Beginners

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Make Blog Site No Problem … Here Are A Few Blogging Truths and Blogging Tips

Make blog site no problem – haha I wish! I was “oops-ing” through the entire process. Like oops I guess I shouldn’t have changed that code in editor … like oops. Nevertheless, it has been a learning experience one I wouldn’t change for the world. So it’s been a year now since Chiclypoised has been live and I must say the journey has been crazy. Between crashing this website, a couple of times, deleting pictures from MySQL database without knowing this experience has been fun. I am glad I never took blogging seriously from the beginning, because if I did I would no doubt be frustrated and quit. Yes, quit! Here are a few blogging truths and blogging tips I have learnt so far that maybe helpful especially to new bloggers and persons considering starting a blog. This blog post will likely be update as I continue to learn.

 

 

The Blogging Community Is Huge!

Yes, it is a community and it’s huge. In the blogging community people blog about everything under the sun! So if you have a special interest you want to share with others then starting a blog is a great idea. The blogging community is a great place to share ideas and to meet new people – you just have to be open to the experience, be genuine and most importantly be yourself.

 

Blogging Consistently  Is The Key

This is no joke! The guru bloggers were not lying. If you want to be to build a decent blog you need to be consistent. Blogging consistently does not mean posting new content every day, instead at least once and twice a week will suffice. In terms of consistency I failed! Yes, Z++ lol. I blogged when my scheduled permitted and that was almost never. In fact, I still have Ipsy reviews, Sephora Play, Birchbox and Walmart Beauty Box to review. Hopefully I can get these done before Christmas.

 

Writing Blog Posts Might Be The Easiest Part

Seriously, after the post is written the real work begins. Majority of my time is spent editing the post, taking photos, editing photos and sharing content on social media. While this might not seem like a lot of work at first it can become tiring especially if you’re not working with the best tools. For me taking photos is always a hassle since my camera does not focus immediately so photos need to be taken several times before I can find one that is half descent. Hopefully, I can get another camera soon because sometimes my phone takes better photos.

 

Self-Hosting Is Expensive

Yes, it is not as cheap as they make it seem. For the first year you receive a huge discount, however when you renew your hosting package you pay way more. However, self-hosting does have its own benefits but that a whole different story for another blog post. Additionally, the plugins to improve a blog performance and appearance isn’t free either. So a self-hosting website package with premium plugins and a premium blog theme really adds up.

 

 

 

There Is A Learning Curve

The cool thing about blogging is anyone can do it! The barriers to entry is really low. Whether you are considering self-hosting or using free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Tumblr or Blogger.com – it can be done. However, understand the learning curve for platforms like WordPress.com will be much lower since everything is already setup – you just have to choose a theme. Self-hosting platform like WordPress.org on the another hand has a higher learning curve since you have to do a lot more to setup up your blog, manage the cpanel and maintain the database. However, whether it’s self-hosting platform like WordPress.org or free platform like WordPress.com there are a lot of resources online you can use to create a blog – it just takes the willingness to learn, patience, discipline and trial and error.

 

You Will Eventually Need To learn some coding starting with HTML

Knowing and understanding the basic HTML framework will help but it’s not necessary unless you want to develop and design you blog theme. There are so many themes on WordPress.org, WordPress.com and Blogger.com to choose from so unless you know advance HTML your better option will be to select a theme provided by these entities and tweak it to your liking. However, if you really want to develop and design your own theme there are resources you can use to do so – you just need the time, patience and the willingness to invest in a few courses.

 

Then CSS For Sure

Knowing CSS have been very helpful. It has allowed me to somewhat customize this blog theme to my liking and so far I think it’s alright. I don’t think I will make changes anytime soon, because it is very time-consuming.

 

And Some JavaScript and PHP Maybe

I say maybe because unless you want to develop your own blog theme then I would not worry about learning neither programming languages. However, knowing basic JavaScript and PHP can be very helpful it you really want to customize a preexisting theme. Out of the four programming languages I have mentioned I find JavaScript and PHP the most difficult to comprehend, however it is not impossible. I believe with time and crashing a website a few times will help increase my competency using these languages. Currently, I know enough to maintain my self-hosting blog comfortably, so for now I am not pressing the issue. Overall it will be in your advantage to become comfortable with these languages at least at the basic level especially if you intend to self-host your blog.

 

 

 

Where You Can Learn Programming Languages

If you are willing to learn programming languages there are resources available. Some are totally free while others will require a monetary investment not just your time. However, whatever method you choose is solely up to you. I used Coursera, Udemy, Treehouse, Khan Academy, W3Schools, Code.org, and of course good old YouTube. They were all helpful to various degrees but nothing bets crashing your website a couple of times and having to delete the database and starting all over. Trust me, if you are an inquisitive hands on learner like me then messing things up a few times will definitely help. Here are few websites that provide great content for new bloggers who want to learn the basics or just anyone who wants to learn programming languages for web design and web development projects:

Codecademy

EdX

Khan Academy

Code.org 

WPBeginner 

W3Schools 

Coursera 

Udemy 

Treehouse 

Youtube 

 

Blog is time-consuming

Some guru bloggers make it look easy but blog is time-consuming! These bloggers do this full-time and I get it now – with the effort required this is easily a full-time job. Writing up the content is the easiest part however planning, creating, editing and promoting the content is time-consuming. For example, a fashion blogger has to plan outfits, plan hair and makeup, finding the best location for the photo shoot, the photo shoot itself, edit the pictures all of which is costly and time-consuming. Some of these bloggers do this all on their own with no photographer or help from others. So these women work hard to create these beautiful pictures we see on their blog and on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Make Money Online Blogging But

You can make money online blogging – it is proven. There are bloggers out here making annual middle class incomes is a few months. However, to make money online blogging depends on a blogger’s influence, content, traffic, networking abilities and the blog’s conversion rate. These five factors will determine how much money a blogger can make during their blogging career.  However, before the blogger can cash in the work needs to be done. Additionally, blogging is not a get rich quick scheme – it requires a lot of hard work. Kinda sounds like a job, but yes it’s a full-time job for some.

 

Website SEO is a B!tch and A Blog’s Traffic Actually Depends On Her

Yes, I said it SEO really is. There are so many rules and they change constantly, thus it’s hard to keep up. This week one blogging guru recommends you do one thing then the following week this strategy no longer works. There is so much content about increasing a blog’s traffic by fixing a website’s SEO. If you don’t believe me search now and you will see how ridiculous it is. For the most part is not these bloggers fault since Google constant change their algorithm. However, it is overwhelming at first just to understand it and to keep up with all it.

 

 

 

However, Website SEO Is Not The Only Source Of Traffic

Yes! You heard right! While optimizing your website for search engines can benefit a website’s traffic it is not the only way to improve traffic – social media can be used. If you were wondering why most bloggers actively seek ways to increase their following on social media, then now you know. It’s basically a numbers game the more people you can get your content in front the more chances you are creating for people to visit your website.

 

So Creating a Social Media Strategy Is Highly Necessary

While social media marketing is instrumental in increasing your blog’s traffic the gag is you need to develop a social media strategy to benefit. Being active or trying to maintain presence on every social media account is setting yourself up for disappointment – especially if you’re doing so without the use of schedulers which I will discuss shortly. Additionally, these social media platforms longevity is very unpredictable. So while increasing your web presence is essential for increasing your brand awareness you need to ensure you are not sacrificing improving the content on your blog. However, overall, it’s about finding that right balance and putting your effort towards what works for your blog.

 

Social Media Platforms I Prefer and Why

I have always been a social media junkie before I decided to experiment with blogging. I had an account on almost all the platforms I was aware of – my Hi5 and Myspace days were cool but now I am a little more selective with the social media platform I choose to promote content for Chiclypoised. I am currently active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. In general, from my observations each of these social media platforms have their own benefits. Hence, a blog’s social media strategy should be developed to take advantage of these benefits. Overall I prefer Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine and it currently one of the top source of traffic for this blog – it’s even more than Google! That was a huge surprise, however it does require serious effort and time but with the right tools it’s manageable.

 

Instagram Algorithm Is Ridiculous But

Instagram is a great place to build brand awareness, however because Instagram doesn’t allow external link to be added for each individual post it not a great platform to promote blog posts. Additionally, Instagram algorithm is ridiculous. I swear Instagram changes their algorithm more often than Google. Seriously it is just crazy. However, it’s expected since Instagram is a business. They make changes to encourage users to pay to promote their brand – it’s all about increasing their after tax income and who can blame them? Currently my Instagram social media strategy is non-existence now! I hope to change that this coming year.

 

 

 

Pinterest Is Time Consuming

Pinterest is now on the same path as Instagram in terms of making changes that encourage users to pay to promote their content. However, unlike Instagram you can link your content to your website with helps increase your blogs traffic. While Pinterest can be a great source of traffic it is time-consuming if you pin manually to boards.  Additionally, since Pinterest is very visual you need attractive pins to drive pinners to your website. I primary use Canva for graphic designs – it’s a great tool. I used Picmonkey mobile app in the past and I was not really impressed, but it works well for some bloggers. There are other graphic design programs out there so do your research and find one that meets your needs.

 

Twitter Is the Easiest To Maintain

Twitter is great for promoting content and engaging with your audience. Twitter like the other social media platforms also offer services to promote your content however it doesn’t seem as pushy as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest.

 

Facebook Is About The Money But

Facebook is the old school social media platform and they are all about the money. However, the advantage of using Facebook is you can invite your Facebook friends to like your page. This could be very helpful if your current friends are passionate about your content or just want to support a friend. Additionally, Facebook is great for promotions – you can create ads to attract a specific demographic. However, with that advantage comes a disadvantage Facebook is a money hungry business so just like Pinterest and Instagram their promotional services seem pushy – they’re always encouraging you to “boost” your posts.

 

Scheduling Your Blog Marketing Content

Using scheduling programs to schedule your content will save you a lot of time. I currently, use Buffer to schedule twitter and Facebook posts, Boardbooster for Pinterest to schedule pins. They have been very helpful in saving me time in cross promoting and re-promoting content. There are also others like Hootsuite, Later.com, Tailwind, TweetDeck that are helpful. However, I try to limit my programs strictly to two for now because I don’t want to spend time scheduling content on various programs – doing so is time-consuming and require more organizing. Nevertheless, it’s really about finding a solution that works for you and saves you time. Buffer make it really easy to re-share content and Boardbooster allows me to easily share and re-share my pins and the pins of others.

 

Promoting Your Content Is Your Business

 If you don’t promote your content don’t expect others to do it for you. You must put an effort to promote your content. It’s always nice to have friends and family share your content especially when you a new blogger but don’t count on it – it’s not their job it’s yours. The best and easiest way for me to promote blog posts is to schedule them. Some bloggers also use a blogging calendar to help them stay on track. I am working towards implementing this as I move forward with this blog. But for now I simply use Boardbooster and Buffer for scheduling.

 

 

 

Start a blog by Self-Hosting or Free Blogging Platform

 At the beginning self-hosting is not required. However, if you want freedom with your blog and you want experiment with WordPress.org then self-hosting is the only way to go. It’s definitely the harder option because you will have to maintain the blog and its database. However, in the long run you have the ability master new skills that can be very valuable depending on your career path. Additionally, some bloggers have successful developed powerful brands with their blogs and earn a living from their blog.

 

Using Siteground Web Hosting Among Others

If you decide a self-hosting blog is your preference there are many self-hosting companies out there including Bluehost, Godaddy and Siteground – they are popular picks among bloggers. Currently, Siteground web hosting service is used for this blog and I am happy with the service. Siteground customer support associates are very helpful and knowledgeable – they always have solutions to the many problems I have had with my website especially in the beginning.

 

Alternatives Self Hosting Site

If you can’t be bothered with a self-hosting blog for now WordPress.com, and Blogger.com are great options. They are easy to set up and you don’t have to maintain the blogs. All you have to worry about is creating content, and promoting. However, you must follow the rules and guidelines of these services to remain an active user. Nevertheless, if you want to blog, then by all means make a blog site and start adding content. You won’t know if it’s something you will enjoy until you try it out yourself. Good luck and happy blogging!

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What are some of your blogging realities?

XX, Janette

 


 

 

Janette

Janette

Chiclypoised is a  beauty, style and purpose driven lifestyle blog. Read more here. Follow:
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2 thoughts on “Blogging Truths and Blogging Tips For Beginners

  1. What a wealth of resources! I agree, blogging is time consuming. All of the work AFTER a post is written is so demanding! I still haven’t gotten the hang of Pinterest although I do realize that a lot of people use it and a lot of Google image results are from Pinterest.

    • Thank you. 😊 Pinterest is where it’s at for now. This blog gets more traffic from Pinterest than Google. 😅 The key to Pinterest is adding attractive Pins, sharing valuable content of others and joining the right groups. Regarding the groups it’s getting more difficult to get into them since most of them no longer accept contributors. However, definitely keep on working with Pinterest you will see the result soon enough. 😊

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