If you are a new blogger or you want to start a blog you need to know the truth about blogging from the beginning.
Here are some blogging truths and blogging tips every new lifestyle blogger ought to know to start on the right path.
Lifestyle Blogger Tips
Make a 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 the 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 learned so far that may be helpful especially to new bloggers and persons considering starting a blog.
This blog post will likely be updated as I continue to learn.
Blogging Truths and Blogging Tips
- The blogging community is huge!
- Blogging consistently is the key
- Writing blog posts might be the easiest part
- Self-hosting is expensive
- There is a learning curve
- Blogging is time-consuming
- You make money online blogging but …
- Website SEO is a bitch and a blog’s traffic actually depends on her
- However, website SEO is not the only source of traffic
- Creating a social media strategy is highly necessary
- Using social media is important
- Scheduling your blog marketing content will save you time
- Promoting your content is your business
- There’s a difference between starting a blog by self-hosting vs starting a blog using a free blogging platform
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 – at least once and twice a week will suffice.
In terms of consistency, I failed! Yes, Z++ lol.
I blogged when my schedule 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. The 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 decent.
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 the hosting package you pay way more.
However, self-hosting does have its own benefits but that’s a whole different story for another blog post.
Additionally, the plugins to improve a blog’s performance and appearance aren’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 are 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 organized – you just have to choose a theme.
Self-hosting platform like WordPress.org on 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 a self-hosting platform like WordPress.org or a 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 your 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.
Overall, you just need the time, patience, and willingness to invest in a few courses.
Then CSS For Sure
Knowing CSS has 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.
I say maybe because unless you want to develop your own blog theme then I would not worry about learning either programming language.
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 to 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 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 a 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:
Blogging Is Time-consuming
Some guru bloggers make it look easy but blogging 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, find the best location for the photoshoot, the photoshoot itself then 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.
You Make Money Online Blogging But
You can make money online blogging – it is proven.
There are bloggers out here making annual middle-class incomes in 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 Bitch 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, it is not these bloggers’ fault since Google constantly changes its algorithm.
However, it is overwhelming at first just to understand it and to keep up with all of 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 of 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 a 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 and building an email list.
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 has its 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’s currently one of the top sources 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 an external link to be added to each individual post, it is not a great platform to promote blog posts.
Additionally, the Instagram algorithm is ridiculous. I swear Instagram changes its 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 to help increase your blog’s 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.
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, and 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, 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 requires 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
In the beginning, self-hosting is not required.
However, if you want freedom with your blog and you want to 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 to master new skills that can be very valuable depending on your career path.
Additionally, some bloggers have successfully developed powerful brands with their blogs and earn a living from their blogs.
Using Siteground Web Hosting Among Others
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!
Blogging Resources I Use And Highly Recommend
Self-Hosting Your Blog: Siteground.com
Graphic Design: Canva.com