*DISCLAIMER: In order to cover expenses and further the ministry of Cassidy’s Heart, this blog uses affiliate links. To learn more, please read our Terms + Conditions here.*
Recently, I finished my first entire month of blogging.
Ohhhh boy has this been a wild ride. I have so enjoyed blogging and can’t wait to see what else God has in store for my little corner of the Internet. Over the last month, there have been a number of lessons that I have learned on this journey of mine. Today, I want to share 10 of them with you! (Also, as a bonus, I have a printable, ” Blogging Resource Guide” available to you when you sign up for my email below!) So with out further delay, here are the 10 things I have learned in my first month of blogging.
Start Out On The Right Platform
Before I started blogging, I did so much research on which platform I should use to blog. Should I use a self-hosted site? Who would I use for hosting? Should I use WordPress or Blogger? I know that I am just beginning, but I believe that by starting out with the right resources, I have a better chance of growing with less pains.
So, I chose to use a self-hosted WordPress.org site with BlueHost for my web hosting. BlueHost has a variety of options to choose from, with packages starting at $3.95/Month.
If you need a step-by-step guide to creating your own website, I wrote the post “How To Start A Blog For Complete Beginners” just for you!
Get Connected With Blogging Facebook Groups
This is probably my number one recommendation for any new blogger!
During my first few days of blogging, I felt like a total fish out of water. I had a lot of support from my family and friends, but I wanted my message to go beyond my little circle. Joining Facebook groups has allowed me to reach a larger audience, connect with other bloggers, make new friendships, gain a guest post opportunity, grow my social media, and so. much. more.
*UPDATE: If you are Christian woman who is stepping into the ministry of blogging, I have created a Facebook community just for you. This is a place where we can pray together, encourage one another, ask questions, and share our content. If you are interested, you can request to join here. We would love to have you!
Become a Collaborator on Pinterest Boards
Many people use Pinterest to drive traffic to their website and increase page views. A great way to utilize Pinterest is to join boards that are accepting collaborators. This gets your pin and website in front of like-minded people who would be interested in your content and most likely to re-pin your pin to other boards.
Don’t Be Afraid To Put Yourself Out There
This one was probably the hardest one for me, because I am an introvert tried and true. The thought of putting myself our there and conversing with complete strangers really freaked me out to be quite honest. After, I started to pitch my ideas to others and share my thoughts, I eventually landed the opportunity to guest post. Did I get every single guest post opportunity? Nope. Did I receive positive feedback from everyone? Nope. But I put myself out there and acquired the chance to grow my audience. Eventually, this did become a lot easier…kinda…
Ask Those Questions!
This goes back to what I was saying in the previous point…this painfully shy girl right here wanted to google all her questions or look for solutions on Pinterest, but when it came down to it, not all my questions could be answered by results in a search engine. I had to realize it was okay to be a beginner and it was okay to reach out and ask questions. This is where being a part of Facebook groups for bloggers became absolutely priceless. Everyone that I met has been so helpful and did not hesitate to answer my questions.
It Is Not Too Early To Monetize Your Site
When I chose to start a website, I knew that I wanted to be able to monetize it…even from the beginning. However, I have never liked the idea of using a lot of advertising throughout my posts and sidebars. I do occasionally use them from time to time, but I intentionally limit how many I display. Instead, I sat down and decided to pick a couple affiliates that I use/ support and incorporate their links throughout my posts.
In addition to this, I wrote out a business plan that included long-term goals and ways to monetize in the future using my own products that I can work towards. Examples of this include writing an ebook, creating a course, opening up an e-commerce shop, printable, and workbooks. This list can go on and on. If you are new to the whole blogging thing, it is easy to feel discouraged and overwhelmed in the beginning. Luckily, affiliates can be an easy and simple way to start without cluttering up your site with a bunch of ads.
Consistency is Key
This has been one of the most important lessons I have learned in the last month. In the first half of the month, I created a lot of new content and worked on my blog a lot. During the second half of the month, I got really overwhelmed with school and health. Consequently, I didn’t take the time to plan or create a lot of new content. I was a able to see a decrease in engagement across both my site and social media platforms. Eventually, I realized that if I wanted to achieve my goals, I needed to be consistently working at this thing and give it my all.
Whenever I started my blog, it was really tempting to try mimicking the style and structure of bigger blogs who have “made it”. Don’t do that! I repeat…do not do that! Be your beautiful, quirky self. Figure out what makes you unique and run with it. Be true to who you are in your writing, in the things you promote, and in the opportunities you decide to pursue.
When I started my blog, I was working on it about 25 hours a week, I had just began a 16 credit semester and was working part time. For the first few weeks, to say I felt overwhelmed is an understatement.
Eventually, I found a blogging planner that I really like.
It gave me the opportunity to plan my content, write out monthly goals, and keep track of income and expenses. If you are looking for a blogging planner, I recommend this one from Restored316 Designs. They are a wonderful company and produce great work!
After doing this, I was able to write out a schedule that I wanted to follow every week that would give me time to do all the things that were important to me like devotions, working out, blogging, school and running errands. Having my day visually broke down into a schedule helped me tremendously when it came to organization.
Have The Proper Resources
Starting out with the right resources can save you so much frustration. How do I know this? Because, confession time, I did not start out with the proper resources. Sometimes, it took me hours to accomplish something that now seems so easy to me and can be quickly done with a plugin or app. I know I am not the only one who has had this issue!
Luckily for you, I have compiled a comprehensive list of resources I found during my first month of blogging. Many of the resources I have on this list have saved me so much time. They have also made this blogging journey a lot easier. I know they can do the same for you! Want to get your own Blogging Resource Guide? Simply fill out your email below and I will send it right over to you!
I hope these 10 lessons that I have learned can encourage you in your blogging journey and help you move forward on the right foot! What lessons have you learned? Let me know in the comments below!