Blogging Do’s and Don’ts – Day 14. Wow! Already 14 days since I started my own blog. Wow, what a journey so far! Honestly, I read it would be easy to start a blog and while that was somewhat true for the signing up part, after that, it hasn’t been quite as easy and it is a LOT of work! There is just so much to learn, so much research to do for everything you want to know or write about. And then, in my particular situation (I suck at writing!), it takes me forever to write anything (I do spend many hours on each post!). On top of it all, you still have to find time to read other blogs and maybe even comment. It is a major time commitment, and if you are like me, with a full-time job and kids at home, it can get a little overwhelming.
Since the goal of this blog isn’t to add stress to my life, I will do it at my own pace and will get there eventually. No matter what, the experience so far has been quite enjoyable.
PROGRESS SINCE LAST REPORT:
- Googled everything and anything about blogging and WordPress. There is a ton out there!
- Almost finished my second book on how to start a blog. (including Blogging for Dummies). I should have done the reading first but a little late for that!
- Added Pages; I wanted to have separate tabs for Home, About Me and Disclaimer so I had to set up pages. It was a pretty easy process but I should have done it before I started posting anything. I am still trying to get the home page to be static but it messes up everything else whenever I do it. Any tips would be appreciated.
- Before your first post, create a page.
- Added one User; I didn’t want my post to keep showing up as “admin” so I added myself as a new user with the Editor role. It is very simple to do.
- Before your first post, create a new user for yourself
- Installed Re-add Text Underline and Justify plugin; Didn’t like the look of my post, I find justified text easier to look at and underlining is nice once in a while. All I had to do was install the free plugin and then change the Editor style under Settings/Writing to Re-add underline & justify buttons. Now all my posts have the additional underline and justify selection. It seems that everything requires a plugin. Anybody knows if there is a limit of plugins you can install?
- Installed Akismet anti-spam plugin; every blog I read recommended installing it right away.
- Install Akismet plugin as soon as you create your blog
- Stats for visitors and views; Based on my findings, I installed two free plugins to keep track of my stats; Jetpack for WordPress and Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights. I will see which one I like best and decide if I keep both or not. To my disappointment, the stats with the plugins didn’t match the numbers shown on the cPanel. The latest were great and encouraging but the numbers with the plugins are pretty sad! I had 0 2 visitors to date!. I checked other blogs and they all seem to get some traffic even at the beginning, will see if things pick up now that I started posting comments. Do you know why there is such difference between stats on my cPanel and the JetPack/Google Analytics?
- Posted my Disclaimer; I made this my top priority so viewers would know what to expect.
- Have your disclaimer ready before starting your blog.
- Posted the About Me; I am not really happy with it so will keep working on it..
- Prepare your About Me page before starting the blog so it is all ready to be posted on Day 1
ADDITION TO MY TO DO LIST:
- Pick a schedule. I need to set a schedule for my posts, highly recommended by most bloggers, but it is early in the process so I am not sure yet what I am comfortable with. I am sure I will find the right schedule after a few weeks. This is still supposed to be fun so don’t want to have too many deadlines.
- Affiliate marketing; I backed off on this one. Got all excited at first and then realized how much I should learn about setting up my blog first and write quality posts before thinking of making money. I need to focus on improving my blog and increasing traffic (can only go up at this point!)
- Post relevant comments on other blogs. I slowly started this week but I am not very comfortable with it yet.
- Learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization); I started reading about it but not sure I understand everything. Still went ahead and installed the free plugin Yoast SEO for WordPress to get me started but haven’t finished setting it up yet. If I I want search engine to find my blog/posts, I need to understand everything about SEO.
- Learn about SEO basics before starting the blog so you have some understanding on how it all works.
- Learn about Social media and how to set it all up; I am not ready f or this yet but I will need to make it a priority. I got a crash course for Instagram and Twitter from two of my minions yesterday and will enlist their help when I am ready to go.
- Gravatar; Need to register and add an image/picture. Not quite sure how it really works yet.
OUTSTANDING FROM PREVIOUS LIST:
- Follow up on my offers – When I signed up with Hostpapa, I had a bunch of free coupons and credits. I need to go back and make sure I use up anything I can.
- Email list and subscribers management: Every blog I read says they wish they did this from Day 1 and didn’t realize how important it was. I probably just need to add a plugin. Any recommendation?
- Affiliate links; learn how to add links without the banner. I find it too busy when you keep seeing the full image.
- I noticed blogs with “Copyright”, probably not something I need to worry about right now but should look into it at some point.
Overall so far, it has been really fun and I have learned a great deal about blogging. But it is a lot more time-consuming than I expected and can get quite complex. I don’t know how some bloggers have great content and still managed to answer comments on their blog. How about you? Care to share your experience?