Before I started my blog I was lost. I love being a mom to my kids. My little cuddle bears are my life. But even my kids have hobbies that they love. Me…not so much. I would hear or see hobbies I would want to try from time to time and give it a whirl. The problem was nothing stuck. I would get super excited about trying something new. I would think every time that this was it. Well, each time fast forward about 2-3 days and I had lost interest in my new “hobby”.
I can now say something REALLY exciting. This is my third month blogging. To you that might sound like a really short period of time. It is in a way. Now that you know my secret that I couldn’t hang on to a hobby that I liked, it seems like an eternity. The best part is… I still love blogging.
I work on my blog at least every night. While I have been working on my blog, I have realized that I overlooked a bunch of little things that I really wish I wouldn’t have. So naturally I want to share all of my “oopsies” so you don’t have to struggle like I just did.
Neglecting to pay attention to the “author” title on each blog post
I can’t believe this one went right over my head. I am sure on other blogs you have noticed that each blog post at the top of each post has a little title that says “author”. Then of course it says that person’s name. Well first, I took for granted that it was automatically stored as Sincerely Jacqueline. I save everything under the name of my blog. Well, in this instance it actually was saved as my person email address. That is a big oopsie moment. I get a ton of junk mail to my email address and I really don’t want to imagine that I would miss out on someone emailing me from my blog. I only realized this when I was looking at my blog preview from my dashboard. (I use wordpress with bluehost and it gives me a way to preview my site.) So there I was just looking to make sure everything was showing up as it should be and I notice my personal email on my blog posts previews. So needless to say I had to figure out how to change it. Within a couple of minutes of searching on the web I found out that it was a quick fix on my administration settings. Something so small made such a big difference.
Preview your blog daily
As you just read in the blurb above checking your blog over will help you catch little errors you otherwise may not have noticed. It is important to do this daily. You might notice that what works for me is not the same advice from other bloggers. I am detail oriented. Does that mean I am perfect? Definitely not! (Everyone that knows me is laughing hysterically right now to that last sentence.) All that means is that I try my best to pay attention to the small details. I go over the details on everything, because I know how much details can make a BIG difference.
Something as small as a silly spelling error might not seem like a big deal. Until you realize that the spelling error turned out to be the correct spelling of another inappropriate word. Yeah, been there. Whoops.
More benefits you get by reviewing your blog often is that you can:
- Check to see how your content and media looks – Sometimes the layout and format can change based on what device one of your readers is using. An example would be if someone is looking at your website from a mobile smartphone that parts of your blog may look distorted because the phone has to mush all your beautiful content to fit on a small screen.
- Check to for relevancy – Are all of your posts in the proper categories? Are your images on point? (Don’t be afraid to scrap a blog post image and redo it. Sometimes that is the difference between viral and not viral especially on Pinterest.) Do you have enough images throughout your blog posts?
- Check to make sure all of your social media counters, plug ins, and widgets are working.
- Check on ads to make sure they are all up and running. If you see a weird ad especially from adsense, check it. Go to adsense and see how it is performing. If it is not making you money, change the ad settings. In adsense you can specify and change which categories you want to appear in your ads.
- Tons of other things that will jump out at you by taking another glance!
I found that a quick daily check will do. Just to make sure everything is still running smooth.
Build your email list
You probably have heard this a million times. But I have to say it again because it is so true. Definitely focus on building your email list. The people that join your email list are the people that understand and appreciate your blog the most. I thought of it this way: If I had 10,000 Facebook followers would it be better than having 1,000 email subscribers? No. Not at all. I had to remember that just because someone follows you does not directly mean that they really even pay much attention to your blog. Your email subscribers either like what you have to say, need your information, or both.
Should I just forget social media? Nope. Definitely not. I have learned that blogging is very much a large combination of many things. Social media will help your blog grow. Building your email list will grow your blog. So many different avenues will grow your blog.
I like to think of it like laying a foundation for a house. You have to follow certain steps in a certain order to make your foundation strong, otherwise the house you put on it will fall apart.
Yes, like a fifth grader. You are likely reading and researching often. It is hard to remember every good tip and idea that you read. I have a huge problem with that, because I do have a lot on my plate. I needed to buy a binder and some basic office supplies to get myself started. I knew like any other business I have been involved in, organization could either make me or break me.
It does not matter how many great blogging articles I read if I can’t recall all that great information later. You may easily have these items around the house. I wanted to get colors that stood out and that I knew were for my blog only. I am trying to get better and making sure it is right next to me whenever I am doing anything blog related. *I really learned this lesson big time. I read about this really cool website that was great for organizing, notes and to do lists…and now I can’t remember it and couldn’t find it searching the web! Ugh, and it was so awesome. I don’t want anyone to go through that, it is so easily avoided.
Do your research
Check out other blogs to see what works and what doesn’t. I am not saying copy someone else’s idea. We all know that is morally wrong, and it won’t help you anyways. A lot of people will notice that it is just a knock off. You are unique. You can build something that no one else cannot. Your personality and creativity and make a blog that stands out.
By researching other blogs and just checking out things like ads.
- Are they used?
- What type?
- Is this relevant for your audience?
- Are ads right for the brand you are creating?
- How much would you actually make off of the ads?
Question everything, and get an answer for every question. I am revisiting this section of advice myself. I need to find out more of streamlining processes for my blog.
Automation is key
This is simple, but will save you so much time. If you can automate it, do it. The less time you have to sink into something that can be done by automation, the better. Also, you will know that a certain set of tasks is already done for you. I have my WordPress set up to automate out my posts to social media as soon as I hit publish. No loops, no programs, just a simple step that I took in WordPress. This came from doing my research and just playing around with WordPress.
Things you can easily automate:
- emails to subscribers (create in advance and schedule)
- blog posts
- freebies for email subscribers
- pop ups
And so many more…the sky is the limit!
Check out good old fashioned google to search for technical assistance
I know a decent amount about using computers, software and the internet. But I don’t know much about coding, fixing glitches, or how I create a certain feature. The more you know in the technical aspect, the better. If you don’t know much, that is okay. The good news is you can easily learn or research what you need to know.
I have read that some bloggers hire out their technical assistance. Use google for as much as you can. Don’t give up with just one quick search. Keep thinking of more ways to phrase what you are looking for. Go past the first page of search results in google.
Other ways to find a solution for a technical problem:
- Ask family or friends that is tech savvy
- Search in Facebook blogging groups (I hope you already have joined some by now!)
- Search in Pinterest
- Email someone that you have seen has done this and see if they reply back (it’s worth a shot)
- Use an online chat with your host (if available) I know Bluehost offers an online chat and I believe Siteground does too.
If you need to hire someone don’t feel bad. Check out fiverr.com. (No that is not an affiliate link. It will just take you to the website a lot faster and easier than you typing it in.) They have a lot of great reviews, and yes, prices that start at $5. Be sure to use someone that sounds trustworthy and has great feedback from customers.
There are plenty of things that I am still learning as I go. I did do a bunch of research before I started a blog also. I honestly think though with blogging that you will never stop learning and researching. Blogging is always changing, and I know that I am always looking for new innovative ideas. This is one of the reasons I love blogging. It will never get “old” to me because there is always more to learn and experience.
I included some of the obvious pointers that you may have heard a thousand times. I included them because during my blog start up, I realized that the information is true and very valuable. When I implemented each of these items, I saw growth. Now, you can jump start your success by reinforcing these elements in your blog.
Do you love blogging too? What stage of blogging are you in? I’d love to know!
I am sure my readers would also love to hear some advice from all stages of blogging.
Check out my favorite posts!