Blogging Advice for Beginners From a Beginner {Part 2}

That’s right people, I wrote another one! I felt so much love and support from the last post I did on Blogging Advice for Beginners From a Beginner that I thought I would do a follow up post on it. There might even be another one after this, I have been thinking of soooo many more things I wanted to tell you all about. A lot of them are actually tips from the comments in the last post that I forgot to mention. I am so scatter brained sometime I’m surprised I can get any of this bloggy stuff done at all! ahem… GET ORGANIZED… doesn’t that sound familiar, Dana? ANYwhoozles… here we are again friends:

Blogging Advice for Beginners From a Beginner {Part 2}

Buy Your Domain URL From the Start and START on WordPress.

AND, get a decent hosting company/package right off the bat. All of these points tie in together that’s why I’m having one general topic here. Are you serious about blogging? Like, really REALLY serious? Then just go ahead and do it, buy all this stuff. It’s really not that expensive and you will be SO glad you did later. I switched my site from blogger to WordPress just a couple months into this little corner of the internets and I am so glad I did. Only having a handful of posts really made the transition much easier. I get anxiety just thinking about a big blogger making the switch, scary!!

Get a Blog Design You Really Like.

Now, I’m not telling you to go and get the most expensive person to customize everything for you. It can be as simple as a free template. But, I suggest doing this ASAP. I can’t tell you how many different themes and headers I have had and I haven’t even been doing this a year yet. Even now, I am in transition and I honestly HATE the way it looks right now. But that is just a big old ball of mess from the crappy hosting company I had before (do NOT use Lunarpages for hosting, at least do NOT buy their starter package….) Soon it will be purdy, soon. What happens when you update your look too much? People will not remember you. OR they will remember you for all the bad designs you keep trying out. Stick with one good design and ride that baby out for a while. A facelift here or there ain’t bad, but not once a month! If only I could listen to my own advice…. AGAIN.

Schedule Posts in Advance.

Have you ever been in a panic to get a post up and you have no idea what you want to write about and you’re not even sure if those picture of your failed molten lava cake came out because your so so camera ran out of batteries and you had to use your craptastic phone’s camera to take pictures but it’s the only decent material you got?! *breathe* Yeah… this has happened to me once or twice, ahem or monthly…. until I started scheduling posts in advance. Got a good idea? Write about it. Made an awesome sorbet from the raspberries growing on your wild raspberry bushes in your backyard that you stumbled upon while frolicking with your squeaky clean toddler? Blog about. Did you make a craft from a popsicle stick, some washi tape and made it rain with glitter? Put that baby on the blog! Even if you don’t need a post, that’s right. Schedule it for days in advance, sit back and relax until your next masterpiece and you will be SO much less stressed! (Did I go over board with this one? Sometimes my imagination is a little cr-AY-zay!)

Guest Post as Much as Possible.

This is a great tool to use. Not only are you getting out there and meeting other bloggers but their readers are seeing your content and only good can come from that! But, once again don’t go e-mailing The Pintester or Cupcakes And Cashmere and expecting them to let you grab a spot on their coveted site. Go smaller. Look for bloggers that are a little larger than you and just go for it. A lot of bloggers will put on their site if they are looking for guest posters on their contact page. If you don’t see that info there is still no harm in asking!

Don’t Stress That Your Google AdSense is Only At $.03.

Yea, don’t even think about that crap. Don’t let this get you down. This is not equivalent to how well your blog is doing. Seriously, just stop it.

DO Sign Up for Google Analytics ASAP.

Like, the day your blog goes live ASAP. Seriosuly, everything (that I can tell, anyways) is gauged primarily on your Google Analytics stats. This is a separate part of Google that gauges all your site traffic. Your pageviews, visitor number, unique visitors (I’m still not exactly sure what that is), where these people are coming from, what they are looking at and my favorite feature real time overview. WOW. I love to watch my readers while they go from page to page. This makes me feel so sneaky and stalkerish at the same time but in a good way, of course. I love it! *I’m watching yooooou!*

Okay, so I think I creeped you out enough that you’ve read plenty for now. LOL, you know I love you! Thanks so much for reading, you’re the bestest!

sillysig
P.S. My little corner of the internets is really growing! Ad spots are now available for purchase! To find out more information like this blogs stats or how to buy ad space please visit my PR and Advertising page (check back often for current discounts). Thank you!
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76 Comments at Blogging Advice for Beginners From a Beginner {Part 2}

    1. Thanks so much for coming! I wish I knew the answer to when to start selling ad space… I think it’s just when you feel the most comfortable with it. Research other bloggers that are about the same size as you in followers and if they are selling that is a good starting point to go off of.

  1. I wish I had moved to a self hosted site sooner. I went from blogger to wordpress.com and then finally switched….I had huge issues with godaddy and had to switch providers too. So much chaos and stress! I was incredibly thankful that I could import all of my posts so I didn’t have to cut and paste them!

    I have had some trouble with the scheduling part of wordpress on the self hosted site, I usually have a couple of rough drafts written up and ready for editing on posting days. Every time I actually schedule one something goes funny….yesterday it left off part of the title. Another time it did not publicize correctly! Do you have any advice or know of a plugin that would help?

    I love this series of posts, thanks so much!

  2. This is so awesome information Dana, It is worthy sharing, reading it and re-reading it many times. It so helpful for those who are starting and I agree with you 100% in all aspects! =D

    Hope you are having a lovely day

    Hugs
    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila
    Sunday Bewitch Me & Titi {Link Party}
    Thursday Titi’s Spot for the Pin HOP

  3. I remember when I first started blogging I use to look at adsense all the time wondering when I was ever going to pull in a penny. Then I started making Youtube videos I pull in around $500-$600 extra month. You have to have massive amounts of traffic for adsense on your blog to really make the money or a high paying niche. Youtube on the other hand the rate is a lot higher and it opens you up to a lot more people that may have never found your blog. The majority of my traffic for my site comes from Youtube. If your not shy I would give it a try.

      1. It can take some time. I have been on Youtube for about 3 years but once it picks up it really picks up. I realized that the more videos I made on a consistent basis the more views and visitors I got. Its like anything I guess just time and patience…lol

  4. Excellent tips! I wish I had started with Google Analytics sooner, but it’s been very helpful. Can’t wait to see your new look when it’s done! I’m your newest follower on G+.
    Toodles,
    Sara

  5. I signed up for Google Analytics and hopefully will figure out how to use it! I’ve never guest hosted or had one, but I recently mentioned my sisters blog and she said she had 300 more hits than usual by that afternoon. That took me by surprise! Saw you on Treasure Hunt Thursday and I’m so glad I did!

  6. Great tips! I have a blogger blog and really love it. Everyone always raves about WordPress and switches over. Maybe my blog isn’t big enough yet and I don’t know enough about the differences. I can totally understand making the switch early on in your blogging career though! 🙂

  7. Hoping over from Sweet & Savory Sundays. Read your last installment of advice and I appreciate the info. First off I do not even understand Google Analytics. I have it but don’t get it at ALL!! Second, Google Adsense won’t even accept my blog. And I can’t figure out why!!! GRRR. Third love how you are able to use both sides as a sidebar. I can only use one with the theme that I am using. Can’t use the footer either. I designed my site all on my own cause I can’t afford to pay anyone else to do it! Either way Thanks for the advice!

  8. Thanks for the post! I found it on Titi Crafty Bewitch Me. I love the advice and am currently with Blogger and very nervous about switching to wordpress. What do you think is the main reason to switch? I am just trying to decide if it is something I should do now, or if it can wait! Thanks! Feel free to link up at the Friday Follow along at http://www.leahinspired.com

    1. I honestly don’t know why people want to switch but I thought since everyone else thought it was a good idea I went ahead and did it too. I wish I could tell you a better reason! I switched so early that I really don’t remember much about blogger but I’m very happy with WordPress.

    1. Thank you! I suggest going on YouTube and typing in your question, there are tons of tutorial on how to do blog related things. That’s how I learned to do a lot of different thing!

  9. Hey Dana!

    What an awesome post! I bought the $10 one from Blogger. Thought it would give me extra stuff. NOT! I’m stuck for a year. Thanks for the awesome tips! I actually have your other one from last week on Sverve too :). I’ll do the same for this one as well!

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

  10. Thanks for all the tips Dana! Most of the things I realized as I started blogging. I know I might have to move to wordpress eventually. Thanks for sharing on my blog hop! Here’s this week’s blog hop #9

  11. What am I missing? Where do I find part 1 of this post. I don’t see a link. I liked this part 2 so much, I’d like to read part 1. Thanks for sharing what you have learned.

  12. Part 1 & 2 were a great practical list of what to think about, thank you so much! I’ve had a blog for years, but never put real effort into it, so I appreciate the thoughts this sparked.

    For those asking why they should switch to WordPress – I’ve designed a lot of web sites using WordPress as the CMS and here are a few factors you might want to consider:

    1. WordPress has a much larger active community creating themes and plugins – this means that you can customize your very easily and add all kinds of functionality that you see on commercial web sites. And new things will come out faster. As soon as a new social network is out, someone will update their social plugin to incorporate it so you don’t have to figure it out yourself. Many of these are free. Some very low cost.

    2. The SEO plugins for WordPress are significantly better than the SEO tool built into blogger (go figure since Blogger is a Google property.)

    3. The custom categories, taxonomy and tagging in WordPress allows you to simply create a wide variety of ‘chunked’ content and helps readers continue reading a thread of related posts/content easily. I.e. Keep them interested.

    4. When you get a little more technical, you can even create custom post types for your blog that can streamline your post creation. You can have a post type called ‘recipes’ and set custom fields for #servings, temperature, bake time, calories, ingredients & instructions etc. and make sure that every post is perfectly consistent in how those are displayed so your readers know exactly where to find the pertinent information.

    If you can’t guess, I’m in love with WordPress even though my own site is still (for the short term) on Blogger because it seemed like a quick way to start for me too. I’ve just been so busy working on other people’s sites I haven’t gotten to mine. Plus there are so many templates it’s hard to choose!

  13. I love Schedule Posts in Advance. You didn’t get carried away! I love it! This is something I do already… I have a post written about the robin guarding my garden. Lol
    Thanks for making it ok! Again thanks for more amazing advice!

  14. I think I am going to switch to wordpress but I have over 100 posts. They act like it’s easy on wordpress and I own my own domain. I hope it’s worth it…I just hate all of the fees but I know they must be alot better since they cost money! haha any advice on what template to pick?

    1. Not sure what you mean by all of the fees. Switching to wordpress is free unless you hire someone to do it for you. And templates, it’s really up to your style. I have had others do things for me so I’m no help there, so sorry!! But thanks for coming by!

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