It’s been about one month since LifeWithElisabeth.blog was launched and it is unreal how much I continue to learn. The biggest change is that I’m starting over from the beginning with my new site, LifeWithElisabeth.com. Before starting this site, I did extensive research on the best ways to start a blog, the type of plan to get through WordPress, what monetizing was, what affiliates were best – the list goes on forever! I really thought I knew what I was doing before starting my page. Looking back, I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought. That’s why I’m going to give you the top 10 things I’ve learned over the last month in hopes of getting new and potential bloggers in better shape than I was in when I first started!
- Understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Sadly, I didn’t realize they were different until I had already upgraded my page on WordPress.com, so I’m starting from the beginning basically. It’s exciting to be starting fresh again, but save yourself some hassle and go with WordPress.org from the start. The best thing I like so far is that the themes are classic and my page already looks so much better than the previous one. Besides, if you intend to make money from your blog at some point, WordPress.org has the most options for monetizing, as well.
- Be sure to have several posts ready to publish immediately. You want your readers to have something to look at as soon as you launch. You want them to know what kind of content you’ll be putting out in the future and you want to hook them right away. I posted 3 or 4 different articles on my launch day and I wish I had 7 or 8. Your readers want to see what you have to offer right away, not just in one post.
- Set up your email list on day one. This will get your following growing right away, allowing you to reach more people, more quickly. I didn’t start my list until about a week later and I wish I had started sooner. I currently use MailChimp, which is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. As my list grows, I intend to switch over to ConverterKit. I’ve heard is easier to use and can make all the difference in the way you reach your audience.
- Make sure your content will help your reader in at least one way. Why would a complete stranger read your posts if they aren’t going to benefit from it somehow? Be sure you’re reaching your audience with posts containing advice of some kind that relates to your niche. If you’re writing about finances, include posts about how you got out of student loan debt or your favorite financial podcasts, books, and bloggers. If you’re talking about cooking, provide the ingredients, the best tools to use and where you can find them.
- Don’t start just to make money. Your blog will fail if your only goal is to make money. When I first started, I knew I had something to offer people. At just 26 years old, I’ve experienced a lot of cultures, made a lot of mistakes, and learned an incredible amount and I know there are people who can benefit from the advice I am giving. There are tons of ways to make money with a page like this but you will not be successful if that’s all you want to accomplish. You have to have that drive that people will benefit from. No one wants to read a page that’s only trying to sell everything under the sun.
- Utilize all of your resources. There are so many free courses, webinars, and documents of all kinds that can help ease you into this crazy (and awesome!) world of blogging. There’s so much information that I never knew I needed to know. I started reading other people’s blogs for inspiration and tips about how to be a successful blogger and about life in general. One of my favorites since my first day is Eden from mintnotion.com. Her page is beautiful and her advice is even better.
- Try not to focus so much on page views. I know it’s a lot harder said than done, but focusing too much on how many views you’re getting in a day takes away from time you could be spending promoting your page or creating new content. You could also use this time to learn more about what it is you’re actually doing. The first few days, I was checking to see for a silly number every single time I picked up my phone – it was obsessive. This page is my baby so I want people to love it, but it’s more important to actually work on it than checking your numbers.
- Use the WordPress support features. I have asked SO many questions to the engineers from WordPress, they probably know me by name already. They are super helpful and that is what they’re there for! That’s part of what comes with the business plan. No question is too silly and they can refer you to other sources that would be beneficial.
- Choose 2 or 3 social media platforms to promote.We all know there are tons of ways to use social media, but I think it’s important to really focus on only a couple instead of every single one. I use Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to promote my blog and so far, that’s what works for me. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ to promote your page, but you don’t want to wear yourself thin by trying to promote everything on every platform. Put more focus on the few that work best for the audience you’re trying to reach. You want to be sure you’re giving good content that is intriguing to people instead of vague headlines that people skip through.
- Never stop learning. No matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned vet, there is always something more to learn. This business of blogging and online marketing changes so frequently, there’s no way you’ll ever know it all. Just make sure to be open to the changes that come and use all the resources you can find. If you see multiple bloggers talking about the same resources, definitely see what it’s all about! Whether paid or free, there are some excellent courses out there that are guaranteed to help you along the way.
I know I still have so much to learn and so many courses to take. I’m so excited to keep learning but I know it can definitely be overwhelming. With as much research as I did before, I feel like I was as prepared as I could have been. Once I finally started my website, I realized how much more needs to be learned. If I intend to be successful, I will definitely need to be open to learn more every day.
What are your favorite resources that helped you get where you are in this wonderful world of blogging? How much have you learned since starting your page?
Which ones do you recommend for new bloggers like me?
Can’t wait to hear what you all have to say!
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