Last week, WordPress reminded me that it has been four years since I signed up and that got me thinking about the things I wish I knew when I started blogging.
There are lot of things that I wish I had learnt faster, and much earlier. I wish I had given a thought about several things that I did out on a whim, some of which turned out fine and others not so much.
Things I wish I knew when I started blogging
I have been blogging for quite a while now, first at Musings Over Nothing and now at Elgee Writes. I have no doubt there is a lot more for me to understand, to implement and to make my blog better. But I also understand why it took so long for me to reach where I am.
Here I am to spill my wisdom to others, so that you will figure things out faster than me. I am sure there is something for both new bloggers and experienced one alike. Let us get on with it.
- Figure out your why
- YOU decide on on the level of your privacy
- Clean and minimal blog design
- Be open to learning more
- Involve your readers
- Blog engagement – Quality over quantity.
- Being civil and polite never hurt anyone
- YOU be YOU
- Do not be hard on yourself
- There is no one way to measure success.
Figure out your why
Identify the reason(s) behind your blog. Blogging demands a lot of time and effort and you need to figure out why you want to do it.
Are you planning to earn through blog? Is it going to be your portfolio? Or do you want to be known as an authority? Or is it just a way to express yourself or for fun?
Knowing why and how you are going to be blogging right away, will help you plan your next steps.
The older blog I had was strictly personal, for me and my friends. But Elgee Writes is more than that, and my content and promotion strategy is entirely different from the older one.
All I am saying is figure out what you want from your blog and work accordingly. Not all blogs are same nor yours have to be.
YOU decide on on the level of your privacy
Some of us consider our blogs as a place to discuss only books, or whatever is your niche, while others take it as a personal space to talk about their lives and more.
It is your blog and you get to decide what and how much you want to share about yourself. The same holds good for your social media profiles as well. Take charge of them, as you want to.
Just a word of caution: be wary of what you post out there.
Clean and minimal blog design
We shouldn’t judge the book by its cover. Sure. But it is a fact that we all love a clean blog and we can’t deny it.
Make things easier for your reader’s eyes, especially the menus and side bars. We understand the need of ads, blog rolls and buttons, but keep only what is essential.
I learned this one the hard way, because I somehow thought all those badges and GIFs on my sidebar were essential. Now I am all for minimal look.
Be open to learning more
Any blog would look a lot better with custom design, some personal photos and graphics. Of course You can use a default theme, stock photos and book covers as well.
But learning the basics of photography, coding and even a bit of designing might help somewhere in the future. There are so many resources just a click away on Google. Utilize them wisely.
Dig deeper into Google analytics and maybe SEO too. Here is a starter post on SEO for book bloggers will nudge you in the right direction.
Search Engine Optimization is really important if you want your site to be on Google’s first few pages, so the early you start the better. I wish I knew how to do this in the early stages of blogging itself.
Involve your readers
The main goal for most bloggers is to boost the blog engagement. But often we fail to let the readers know what is expected of them. Calling them to perform an action is critical.
Ask them to follow your blog. To share the post. Link up to your other posts. Keep them interested. Always end the post with a question and tell them to reply as a comment on your blog. And lastly respond to all the comments in your blog.
This is one of the main things that I wish I knew when I started blogging, because I am spending a lot of time now to edit my older posts to add it.
Blog engagement – Quality over quantity.
Another tip to improve your engagement is by leaving comments on other blogs and open a conversation. Ask a question or make a comment that is valuable to the blogger or the other readers.
When you leave comments like ‘great post’ ‘lovely review’, it doesn’t create a rapport nor adds value to anyone. Think about it.
Being civil and polite never hurt anyone
Of course you want people to remember you, but for the right reasons not the wrong one.
If you disagree with anyone else’s post, be polite and remember it is their opinion in their own space. If you wanna talk about it, do so politely and state your reasons in a civilized manner and WALK AWAY.
Don’t be a keyboard warrior or a grouch. There is enough space for everyone in the world wide web. The sooner you understand this, the better.
YOU be YOU
Try to stay as original as possible. Avoid trying to be everywhere and joining every link up and meme possible. Do not let your blog be driven by the hype and read only the books that everyone is reading.
Or read just the ones that are new and popular. Do just what you want with your blog and read what you want. Do not let your blog change that. At least, not too much.
Do not be hard on yourself
Most of all do not be too hard on yourself. Blogging takes a lot of time and it is not always easy to be the fun cheerful persona you may have taken in front of leaders. But that is okay.
Life happens and everyone understands that. Take a break when you need it and your readers may miss you, but they are gonna be there when you come back.
There is no one way to measure success.
You will never find the right way to blog, because it doesn’t exist. There is no instant success formula. Every one does what they think is right and they drive to the success they perceive it as.
For some it might be the number of followers or visitors while a few others blog for the free ARCs they receive from the publishers as a recognition. Strive for what you want for your blog.
So there they are. My ten little things that I wish I knew when I started blogging or a little bit earlier. We are all just in different levels of the same game. So if you ever need a patient ear or a solution, feel free to reach out, new blogger or not.
Previously on blogging tips for book bloggers
- What’s A Successful Blog To You?
- Why Book Blogging Is Different From Other Niches?
- Book Blogging Is More Than ‘Just For Fun’
- SEO For A Book Blogger – Things You Can Do Today!
- Blogging Terms You Have To Know As A Book Blogger
- How To Write Book Reviews – A Guide
- Adding WordPress Follow Button To Your Self Hosted Sites
What are the things that you wished you knew when you started blogging? Do you have a bit of learning or suggestion to share? Let us talk.