This is my second time writing this post because I didn’t save it the first time…so my first tip for the new blogger is save early and save often!
February 21 was my official 1 year Blogiversary. I’ve been celebrating all month by writing a blog series in February. Hopefully 5 Reasons I Blog and Why You Should Too has convinced you that you have a unique story to share with the world. Here are simple step by step instructions for how to start a blog.
There are a lot of mistakes and times when I have felt overwhelmed this past year. Hopefully these 10 helpful tips for the new blogger will save you time and prevent headaches!
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Write Down ALL Passwords
You know the common advice – Don’t write down your passwords? They were not bloggers. As you enter the world of blogging, there will be many, many username and passwords. Write them ALL down! Trust me, you won’t remember them. Start with writing down your BlueHost* and WordPress Admin usernames and passwords.
Set up your social media accounts
Once you’ve figured out the name (ex: Setting My Intention) and tagline (ex: Simplifying Life One Step at a Time) for your blog, set up your blog social media accounts. You shouldn’t try to be active on all social media accounts at once, but you do want to claim the names that go with your blog. The main ones are usually Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Choose 1 place to write all your notes and ideas.
I started blogging with a mostly unused marble composition book…then it became two. Now I have notes all. over. the. place! The problem was I was listening to podcasts while walking, or working, and didn’t have my notebook with me – so I wrote on post-it notes or a piece of paper. It’s out of hand.
I’ve finally printed out a blogging binder and I’m determined to keep all notes in one spot. I’ve found I needed a place to jot things down I learn from podcasts, webinars, or books I’m reading; blog post ideas; passwords; and monthly blog statistics. Most blogging binders have those pages and much more.
There are some really nice free blogging printables. I have a board on Pinterest specifically for free blogging printables here. You can print them out and put them in a binder so everything will be in one place. Tanya at Mom’s Small Victories has a lovely free electronic blogging binder for those of you who want to go paperless.
Spend some time envisioning who your target reader is.
I was first encouraged to do this by Kat Lee’s podcast – How They Blog. It was helpful to think through who I was writing for. Are you writing for moms? professionals? DIYers? singles? students? What is their life like? What problems do they have in their life? What will they gain by reading your blog? Your content will be more focused if you know who you’re writing for.
Focus on building great content.
This is stressed over and over again for beginning bloggers and for good reason. Don’t worry about the numbers of people who are visiting or how many comments you have. Just write great posts that help people in some way. You may help someone by giving them tools to start meal planning, by making them laugh, or simply by making them feel less alone.
I’ve heard people say they try to have 5-10 posts written before “going live” with their blog. I jumped in and hit publish after my first blog post. However, I didn’t let family and friends know about my blog until several months had passed.
6. Make an About Page
This is the place where you can let readers know a little more detail about yourself and your blog. Just the act of writing this page will help you to think through what the purpose is behind your blog. Throw in some fun facts about yourself and let your personality shine!
Be consistent in posting
Figure out ahead of time how frequently you can commit to new posts and let people know in your About Page. Don’t start out saying you’ll be posting 5 days a week and only post once a week. Start out with a conservative number and change it later if you find you’re able to post more frequently.
To share or not to share about your personal life
On Setting My Intention, you won’t see many photos of my family or their names and that’s an intentional choice. I’ve chosen to blog, but they haven’t. One of my sons is adamant about NOT being shown on the blog. I respect that. Figure out what feels right for you.
Limit the number of Facebook blogging groups you join
There are a lot of groups for bloggers. They are a great resource, but they can also be overwhelming and distracting! There are groups for asking questions and there are groups for sharing each other’s content.
I’ve found The SITS Girls, Inspired Bloggers Network, or Learn to Blog great resources for when you have questions for more experienced bloggers. Each of these groups has free resources that are SO helpful. It’s also a great way to make connections with other bloggers. Start with only one though! You’ll get overwhelmed if you join more than one when you’re just beginning.
Install Google Analytics
You can get a unique code here that needs to be installed on your blog. WordPress for Beginners has a tutorial to do that here. I happened to use a plugin which did it for me, because I did not want to mess with code.
Eventually if you want to monetize, you will need Google Analytics (GA) to know your numbers and figure out how much to charge based on traffic to your blog.
After a year of blogging, these are 10 tips for the beginner blogger. I’m constantly learning new things everyday – and that’s what makes blogging fun!
If you’re a blogger, what advice would you pass on from your first year?
This post will be shared at these awesome link ups.
Password managers are also fantastic for keeping track of the million passwords we keep!
I post only the occasional pictures and stories about my family, and they have blog pseudonyms. You’re right, it’s my choice, and they didn’t ask to be put out into the public.
Hi Courtney! I think I’ve tried password managers before I switched laptops. I think I’m a paper girl at heart! Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for this great series Angela! My good friend is just starting a blog and I am going to share this with her. Remember those exciting and nerve racking days when we finally bit the bullet and made the decision to make our dreams of having a blog a reality? She is swimming in that right now and is so excited! She calls and texts me everyday so she is going to eat this right up!
Thanks for sharing Nicole! That is very exciting that you’re friend is choosing to start a blog. There’s no turning back now! I hope these tips help her.
Erin @ A Welder's Wife says
Visiting from Let’s Get Real Link Up Party! I really like your tips! You are right when you said to not join so many Facebook Groups! I joined a few social sharing groups, and had to remove myself from a few, because it was too much! I wish I had read this advise first! Thank you for sharing!
Erin | http://www.awelderswife.com
Hey Erin! Thanks for coming by. It’s true – there are groups for sharing, groups for learning, groups that combine the two…it’s nice to have options but can be very overwhelming!
alexandra @ my urban family says
These are great tips! I joined so many facebook groups, and while some days I check them all out, most days I hit one or two – way too much overload otherwise!
I think 1 or 2 is ideal Alexandra. I’m glad they resonated with you!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
I use a blogging binder as well and it’s SO much easier than a million loose sheets of paper.
That’s good to hear Morgan! I’m excited to get started with mine. Thanks for dropping by and commenting!
Great tips! I’ve been blogging for one month so this post is really helpful! Thanks Angela
Oh I’m so glad Michelle! Welcome to blogging!
Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project says
These are great tips for new bloggers! I’m still quite new so I’m still learning the ropes. I’ve found Facebook groups particularly helpful and really like the ones that you mention. Found your post on #SmallVictoriesSunday
Hi Nicole! The FB groups really are helpful. I’ve learned a ton from them and everyone is so helpful to those less experienced.
Jacky @ Joyful Savings says
Great advice for new Bloggers, thought we never really stop learning…. ((( I keep my passwords on a double password-locked excel sheet, and it works great))) ☺
JoyfulSavings recently posted:
“Do not throw away that body lotion tube… YET!”
It’s true – I am a year in and would still call myself a newbie!
heather @ Simply Save says
These are great tips…I wish I’d figured some out sooner. Going to check out those Facebook groups! Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!
Thanks Heather! I think you’ll gain a lot from joining!
Erin @ Stay At Home Yogi says
Happy anniversary! I love your tip about putting all your notes in one place! I need to work on that.
Hey Erin, thank you! Yes, I’m going to work on putting all my notes in one place! It’s on my to do list
YES! Write down all passwords! People who say don’t, don’t have Mom-zheimers!!
I write them down alrightey. Then it’s the finding later…..
Ha! Thanks Melinda! It’s not secure, but I’ve actually taken a photo of my password sheet so I can have my passwords with me on the go
Great tips! I especially love #3- I’d add that you should keep a running list of ideas on your phone, too. So many great ideas come to me while I’m out and about. For a while I tried the, “That’s such a brilliant idea, there’s no way I can forget it!” method of remembering, which didn’t work. At all. Write EVERYTHING down!
That’s a great tip Abby! I do that too in my notes section of my phone. Thanks for adding your wisdom!
Great tips! Thanks for sharing these. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed as a new blogger but I love this list because it makes it seems much more manageable! 🙂
Thanks Bree! Blogging continues to feel a little overwhelming to me. I know I’m not alone in that feeling! Let’s keep sharing tips to help one another out!
These are all great tips! I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and I think I had the same bumps and bruises and the same successes as you did. I’ve just recently started promoting like mad and am making more time for my blog to allow it to grow and hopefully monetize it properly so it becomes a source of income for me (even if it’s a small source). A little extra spending money is always good. 🙂 #MMBH
I totally agree Lissette – extra spending money for our passion is a great thing! Blogging is so fulfilling and fun, but is hard work and time consuming! I’m excited to start my first blogging course which I hope will help me grow, get organized, and monetize smartly!
Our Home of Many Blessings says
These are great tips and I agree with all of them!! Passwords was a huge deal for me and regretted it later when I needed them! I would love for you to share at my Monday of Many Blessings Link Up!! http://ourhomeofmanyblessings.com/
Thank you for the invite! I linked up! Happy to connect with you!
These are really awesome tips! I need to get myself a password tracker because I am horrible with passwords! Thank you for sharing these awesome tips at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!
Lisa @ Fun Money Mom says
These are all great tips! I definitely agree with you about the passwords and also the FB groups. I love the ones you mention but when I first started, I joined way too many and just couldn’t keep up. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Share The Wealth Sunday!
Joyce @ It's Your Life says
Great tips for new bloggers would have loved to have had this 9 years ago when I first started. Followed you here from the Let’s Get Real Friday party, pinned.
Hi Joyce, thanks for coming by! I’m impressed that you’ve been blogging for 9 years! That’s wonderful.
Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says
Aw thanks for sharing my blog planner. I joined Elite Blog Academy too. I’m still working my way through the Daily Productivity Guide but excited to crank the blog up a notch. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup, you earned a featured blogger spot!
Thanks for sharing it! I’m so glad you’re doing EBA as well. I’m excited about bringing the blog up to the next level as well!
This is a great list! I too just signed up for EBA and I am loving it so far. My one year anniversary is in May, but I actually moved my blog into wordpress in august, so I really think that defines the beginning for me! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday! Pinned and shared!
Hi Sara! I’m so glad that you’re doing EBA too. I think it’s going to be great! Congrats on your move to self hosted WP. Thank you for sharing!
The password thing is essential! I never realized how many I would have!! Great tips!
Ugh – isn’t it? I never knew I would have so many passwords – and I use a different one for each application/program. Thanks Jen!
Mary Hill says
I know what you mean by limiting Facebook groups. I belong to to many. Great tips all around. I have Google Analytics and it helps me keep track of page view and who is reading my blog. Great too. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays.
Thank you for coming by Mary. GA is definitely helpful. I’m still learning how to interpret all the data and how to use it.
Great tips for new bloggers. I consider myself new. I’ve been at it for less than 2 years. I joined way too many Facebook groups at first. Now I think I’m a member of 2 or 3. Thanks for the tips!
Thank you for reading Renee! The FB groups can be both helpful and distracting!
Deb Wolf says
Your first sentence made me laugh out loud. I’m a slow learner and did that way too many times. Great points and Happy Blogoversary!
Thanks Deb! I’m glad I’m not the only one. It’s pretty painful to lose a post, but wasn’t too difficult to type the second time around thank goodness!
Awesome awesome tips!! Thanks so much for sharing at Funtastic Friday!
smiling notes says
These are some awesome tips! Thanks a lot for sharing! Pinned & Tweeted! 🙂
Thank you for sharing! I appreciate it!