March 18th was my 1 year anniversary of blogging, and boy have I learned so much this year, and even though I probably have 10 times as much left to learn, I still wanted to share a few things I’ve picked up on in this first year.
1. Linking to linking parties is a great way to get your blog noticed. Check out lots of blogs to find out who people are linking to, and come up with a list of ones that suit your style of blog. Commenting on things you like on others’ blogs is also a nice way of getting traffic to your blog.
2. “No reply blogger” is a common peeve, and a lot of people don’t even realize that is what they are. When someone comments on my blog, the comment comes to my email where it is very convenient to reply to, but if I hit “reply” and someone comes up a “no reply blogger,” it’s a bit more work to go to my blog to reply.
If you blog through Blogger here is how you fix this:
Go to your dashboard
Click Edit profile
Look under Privacy
Check show my email
Click save profile
3. Blogging gets easier with time. When you first start out there are so many things to learn–from the design aspect, editing, working with pictures, adding gadgets and editing HTML codes. After a while though, the learning curve plateaus and it’s more about maintaining good content.
4. There will be times you want to quit, but before you delete everything and close your account, give yourself some time off to make sure its the right decision.
5. Post regularly so people know what to expect and the more often the better. I think bloggers that post every day tend to grow their blog quicker as far as audience goes, but unless you are looking at blogging as a full time job, it’s really hard to do that and keep up with all the other responsibilities of a home and family. Posting three times a week is all I can keep up with, and not feel like I am neglecting my other priorities. So see what works best for you and your family.
6. I have a simple inexpensive $139 camera, and so my pictures are far from professional, but the biggest thing I’ve learned about taking pictures with my camera is that natural daylight results in the best pictures. Also, when I first started blogging, I didn’t edit any of my pictures, and now I realize editing (I use Picasa) can fix a lot of faults.
7. Use a thesaurus (which is online here) if you find yourself using the same words frequently or just want to spice up a post.
Use a dictionary (which is online here) if you are unsure about spelling.
8. Reread posts at least a couple of times before hitting the publish button. I have caught so many mistakes I’ve made that I didn’t notice the first or even the second time of reading through a post.
9. Check out your storage available through your blog provider. A few months into blogging, I just happened to notice under my Google account “storage available,” and I had just about run out of available space. I’m not sure what would have happened had I ran out, but for just a few dollars I was able to purchase lots more storage for my blog and pictures.
Also be sure to back up your blog in case anything happens to your provider.
In Blogger here is how you do it:
Go to Settings
Click on Export blog
Then click Download blog
In the window that opens, click on Save
10. For the most part, people don’t care for music that starts automatically on your blog. I know this is a touchy subject, but music is so subjective anyway, and it can be annoying when you click to go somewhere online and music starts unexpectedly. Also my kids play on my computer at times, and I don’t know where the volume is set till something blares out at me.
There were so many time this year that I would get discouraged and want to quit, but I am so glad I didn’t. I have met such quality people online, learned so many computer skills, become a lot braver at trying new things, succeeded in getting my home in better shape, and my schedule more organized than ever before.
These may not be the most important things to know, but I wanted to share some of what I have learned, and I hope that it can be helpful if you are just starting out blogging. One last tip, anything I couldn’t figure out how to do on my blog (for example, setting up a tool bar) I just “Googled” it, and most of the time was able to find an answer.