10 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

10 Things I Learned Blogging

1. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are Two Completely Different Things – I started blogging on Blogger and shortly decided to switch to WordPress after reading multiple posts about how WordPress is the place to be.  What I didn’t realize is that there is the .com and the .org version.  So, I picked the free version.  I eventually realized the difference and had to transfer everything over again.

2. Branding and Consistency is Important Across All Social Platforms – Your viewers need to be able to recognize your work whether it’s on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or any other social media outlet.  Making a statement by branding your blog helps readers to pick you out of the crowd.

3. Pinterest Optimized Photos Are A Must Have – I used to think that creating images for each post was silly because the important part is the words.  I’ve since realized that in order to get viewers, you have to entice them with the pretty pictures.  Creating Pinterest Optimized photos has actually been one of the most fun parts of blogging!

4. Facebook Sharing Groups are a Big Help – Getting views without giving a push start is virtually impossible when beginning to grow your blog.  Luckily, there are a ton of Facebook Groups to help with that extra push.

5. Viewers Love Free Downloadables – Yes, anything free and easy to access really entices viewers.  Downloadables have also been another fun part of blogging.

6. Giveaways are Overrated – I tried a little giveaway but I used a free plugin rather than paying for the standard ones.  So, it was hard to navigate and didn’t have much success.  I was also thinking about the Giveaway Process and decided I’m going to hold off for now.  Giveaways seem to be something that will work a lot better for me once I have a larger following.

7. You Can Make Money Without Many Views – At first I was under the impression that you had to have at least 10k views to start making money.  All you have to do is be determined and put your feelers out there.  In the first year of blogging, I made around $1000.

8. StumbleUpon is a Fantastic Way to Validate Your Post – Most of my posts get around the same amount of views but every once in a while, I will have a post gain a bunch of views because of StumbleUpon.  It is very exciting to see this happen and sometimes surprising.  In one month, two of my four posts skyrocketed.  BBQ Uglies and How to Complete Your To-Do List in 5 Steps.  I expected the To-Do List post to get a lot of views, but was very surprised by the BBQ Uglies post.

9. Keeping a Consistent Schedule Is Important – When I started blogging, I was blogging three times per week.  I quickly realized this was too much and took a couple months off of blogging.  I then jumped back in and began posting only once per week, on Saturdays, and I have enjoyed it much more.  I’ve been able to be consistent which brings viewers back to my blog, and I’m not overwhelming myself.

10. Only Work on Your Blog When You Want To  – After getting burnt out from blogging, I decided I was only going to blog when I wanted to and that I was going to blog ahead just incase I got to a point that I didn’t want to blog.  This has happened actually.  In April, I really didn’t feel like writing, call it writer’s block.  Luckily, I’d created all of my blog posts in March when I was in the writing mood so April I was just able to do some sharing and glide by.  I always try to stay about a month ahead in my writing.

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18 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

  1. Cassandra says:

    So many amazing things! I’m still working on so many of them but I’ve found having a consistent schedule and editorial calendar incredibly important. As well as joining Facebook groups. But number 10 is spot-on. Once blogging isn’t fun, it’s time to take a break. Congratulations on a year of blogging!

  2. Jen says:

    Great tips! I started on Blogger for the first 8 years and just made the switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog a couple of months ago and loving it! Thanks for sharing your list of groups, very helpful!

  3. Laura Harris says:

    This is a GREAT list! I always love reading reflective posts like this. I definitely need to focus on creating Pinterest-friendly images. I also have had little success with giveaways. There is so much that experience can teach us!

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks for sharing this great list of things you learned about blogging. I agree that Giveaways are not always a great way to build the right kind of traffic. And, yes, I think a lot of people learned about wordpress.org and .com the hard way!

  5. Aileen says:

    Happy anniversary! I just celebrated 1 year, too! I had the same experience with giveaways, but found they are much more successful if you go them with a group of other bloggers. 🙂

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