My first month blogging: lessons learned + future goals

I made it, I’ve been blogging consistently for a month. Well, even more if we consider my previous blog on wordpress.com. Sometimes I tend to lack in consistency, even if I like what I’m doing. So this is kind of a milestone for me.

I’ll make sure to include that I’m a blogger now on all my social media descriptions! I’ve been looking forward to this moment.

My first month blogging: what I did, what I should have done, what I will do

I had blogs in the past. I had one on Myspace. I had a MSN blog where the background was black and the text was hot pink (yes, I was that emo during my middle school scene phase). I had different blogs on Tumblr. I currently have a Tumblr where I mostly share pictures of my favorite bands, sad lyrics and cool landscapes.

But at some point I wanted to do more than just randomly write about my life. I always have a lot to say about everything. I also love to connect and help others (hey, I’m a psychology student and a soon to be child and youth care student, being helpful is my thing).

During the summer I kept a blog on WordPress.com for a while. I knew from the beginning I was going to switch to self-host sooner or later. I just wanted to try it out first. I wanted to be sure I would enjoy it and I would write regularly. So far I’ve been good at it. I repeat: I’ve been blogging (seriously) for a whole month.

What I did

While I was still writing my WordPress.com blog, I started doing research – a lot of research. I read all the post that there are out there about hosting services, plug-ins, editorial calendars, SEO and such. The more I read, the more I felt like I was so not ready.

So, I bought hosting and my domain name. I chose to go with bluehost, because it was the most convenient option. After getting those things, I gave myself a week or so to write a couple of posts and basically build the whole blog.

I created a logo. I chose a theme and played around with css a lot. I tried to create some sort of consistency in my graphics.

After a while, I created a Twitter account for my blog (that I still have to figure out how to actually use). I also upgraded my Pinterest and I got myself a business account (which is free).

What I should have done

I like to jump right into things and I now realize that one week to launch a website was too little for me. Sure, I’ve done all the reading before and I had a couple of posts ready. But this is my first (as I like to call it) grown-up blog. I familiarized a bit with everything on WordPress.com, but this was something different, especially the plug-ins part (still trying to find the perfect ones).

Over this month, I customized a little bit of my theme every single day. It was time-consuming and I was never happy with the result. I should have had a more clear overview and I should have launched my blog with the theme finalized.

In addition, I should have picked a color palette sooner. I am not completely happy with the one I’m using right now. My idea was to use mainly neutral colors (which I still love) and I also liked the idea of having an accent of red (because in my mind it represented Canada). But, actually, I’m not too fond of the red I picked anymore, so I already have a new color palette. I will start using that in January when I’ll change my logo. That will allow me to get used to it and see if I will still like it in a week or a month.

The last thing I wish I did differently is joining Pinterest group boards and Facebook groups before launching my blog. This way I would have had the time to get familiarized with everything and figure out how those things work without stressing too much.

What I will do

There two main things I want to focus on on the next month:

Start posting more frequently

Except for the first week of blogging, I published a new post every Monday. Now that we’re getting to the end of the year, my schedule is getting busier and busier, but I would love to post more frequently. I have so many ideas for future posts and I want to write them down! I won’t be able to do this every week, but I will try to have something new out every Monday and every Friday.

Engage more with the blogging community

I am not shy and I don’t label myself as an introvert. Sometimes it’s just hard to be the one who starts the conversation, especially online. I’ve joined a few Facebook groups and I saw how amazing the blogging community can be. So, in the next months, I want to get more involved. In particular, as I will be starting college overseas, I’d love to chat with other people attending college and hopefully learn something from them.

One thing I want to do to get more involved in the blogging community is participating in a Twitter chat (do you recommend any?). Another thing I’d love to try is to write at least a couple of guest posts (one is already almost taken care of, I’ll just have to figure out the others).

In addition

I wrote down a couple of goals I’d like to reach by the end of the year:

  • Update my start here page and create a resource page;
  • Create more content upgrades;
  • Reach 3000 page views by the end of the year (finger crossed);
  • Maybe set up a facebook page for the blog.

What did you do when you first started blogging? Is there something you should have done differently? Do you have any tips for a newbie like me?

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  • Gigi

    Congrats on one month blogging! I’m a new blogger myself still trying to get the hang of things behind the scenes and putting myself out there. I’m looking forward to your experiences in Canada as an international student as I hope to move there myself soon for graduate school.

    Gigi | theislandgurl.com

  • Helene Vlacho

    Congratulations! Yes, a Facebook page will help you a lot. I want to reach 3000 page views by the end of the year too. Good luck to both of us! Helene/

    • Thank you, Helene! Good luck to you as well! I really need to set up that Facebook page now as a lot of people told me how beneficial that is!

  • Wow congrats on embarking on your blogging journey! It’s definitely a learning process along the way but well worth it.

    • Thank you, Jennifer!

  • Congrats on your first month! I started Glitter & Grandeur pretty quickly too. It was a spur of the moment decision and I launched without doing much research at all. It took me a while to get in the rhythm of things and pick a color scheme I like but I figured it out eventually. You are on the right track. I, personally, think your site looks great! I like the colors but you need to pick what you love. I am still tweaking my site and learning how to post more consistently and I’m on month 8. I would recommend getting a FB page for your blog when you are ready. Mine brings a TON of traffic to my site. Remember, you are on your own journey. Don’t compare yourself or your stats to other bloggers. You are great just as you are!

    • Thank you for all these tips! Now that I’ve got the chance to chat with some more bloggers, I feel like it’s normal to get through a period of trials and errors, while you keep changing theme/colors/fonts etc. I thought I was being too much a perfectionist as usual. I’m glad it’s the same for everyone. Hopefully, in the future, my blog will match the idea I had in my head (I’m getting there). I will also have to start that FB page, I was just afraid that it was a waste of time for now since I don’t have many followers on other social media, but I will see how I’ll do on there.

  • Great goals and congrats on your first month of your ‘grown-up blog’. 😉 I’m right there with you, I launched my blog about a month ago. I have plans and am getting more organized, but I have set any real goals with time frames. You inspired me to do that asap.

    • Thank you and congrats to you too! Yes, you should write down some goals, but don’t make them too hard to reach, especially at the beginning, so you won’t lose motivation.

  • congrats on a great first month— those are great learnings 🙂
    Good luck on your future goals! Happy blogging.

    — DT | Here I Scribble

  • These are some great goals! Congrats on all the hard work that you have done so far. I’m actually a blogger from Toronto so if you ever need restaurant (or any lifestyle) recommendations, feel free to e-mail me and we can chat 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Jocelynne.

  • When I first started blogging I was a hot mess so I completely understand. I’ve definitely learned more within the second half of my first year than I did in the beginning because I got serious. Keep being hungry for knowledge and you will see a lot of success!

    • I’m so looking forward to learn so much more. I hope there will be a moment when I can feel like I got this! But I have to say I’m having so much fun doing things even if half of the time I’m not sure I’m doing something right or useful.

  • Congratulations! I have currently an author blog but I didn’t do the research or really think about what exactly I wanted as an author blog before starting it. I jumped in with both feet and personally I regret it. I wished I had of taken a month of so to do the details behind the scenes and get things just right. I love your blog, you’ve done an amazing job with it!

    • Thank you! And I think there’s a good part in jumping right into something, which is that you learn from personal experience. I did my research, but sometimes I have some issues and I don’t know what to do even if I’ve read tons of tips and tricks because those weren’t tailored to my situation.

  • This post really made me see what I do right and what I do wrong. I always find new informations and feel anxious about trying new stuff, so that’s an issue but I know when the time is right I’ll deal with it. I posted twice a week on my Summer break and before that every Sunday, but since it’s October and finals, I haven’t posted anything since. I am hoping I’ll find more balance in my life because it really makes me sad when I don’t finish things or abandon them

    • I’m glad this was a helpful for you!

      I totally understand. I’m so worried I won’t be able to post anything when I’ll be overwhelmed by finals, but I’m trying to plan for it. I made a list of posts I’d love to write and now that I have a bit of time off I’ve started drafting some of them. This was I have something to post even during those weeks when I don’t have time for anything.

  • Chel

    Congrats on your first adult blog. Totally understand the overwhelming aspect of having / taking care of a blog. I totally still run on my Tumblr every so often.

    I also get it being difficult to start a conversation online. Involved in FB groups and Twitter chats have helped me out a lot. I’ve even had a lot of growth with a few posts through StumbleUpon as well.

    Good luck to you and I hope you reach your goals for the end of the year. I can’t wait to see what you create for your new logo. The one you have is beautiful as well.

    Kudos!

    • Thank you so much! I’ll definitely want to get more involved in Twitter chats and I’ve already picked a few that I’d love to participate in. I’d also love to get more involved in Facebook groups. I’ve done it in a small group and I’ve had such lovely chats with people. But I’m also a part of a couple of groups with hundreds of people with such successful blogs and I still don’t feel very comfortable engaging in those groups.

  • Congrats on making it one month! That’s actually quite the accomplishment, especially because blogging can be and is so overwhelming. Taking it slow and not paying attention to stats is the one piece of advice I give to every newbie blogger. Just because you’re not getting the hits you want doesn’t mean you’re not producing quality content! Based on this post, I know you’ll reach your goals by the end of the year 🙂
    -Abigail
    livingthegraylife.com

    • Thank you! Blogging is definitely overwhelming, especially at the beginning. But once I had everything set up, I started really having fun. I had fun also designing my logo and picking up a theme, but my favourite part is writing the posts. Thank you for the advice. I am not stressing too much about how many views I get, I know I still have a lot to learn and I just started so I still need to find “my people”. I set my goal for this year at 3000 page views because it seams something reasonable with the traffic I’m getting right now. But I know there’s the possibility I won’t hit it and I’m okay with it, because I’m having fun anyway.

  • sidneyaldaine

    One month! What a ride! I’m really curious about your numbers, you see, I started my blog like a week ago and have noone to compare to!

    • It’s been a wild ride for sure! Especially during the first week. By the way, how many views you get depend on so many things, so you should compare with others, especially at the beginning. The first week I had maybe just 100 views? Don’t stress too much over it. With time you learn how to promote your content and more people will read your blog.

  • Congrats!!!! Welcome to the world of blogging. It truly is life changing. Blogging has helped me cope with so many things in my life. Just writing about my anxiety and depression has helped. It truly is therapeutic 🙂

    • Thank you! Yes it is really life changing. Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve learned so many things not only about my niche’s topics, but also about the blogosphere and the internet in general. I’m not looking at websites the same way I did before now 🙂

  • xoxokleeblog

    you go girl! Blogging is such an amazing thing to get into, you won’t regret it! When I first started, it was a MESS, so you’re definitely on the right track!!

  • One month! Way to go 🙂 Your blog looks great, the layout is awesome! It is nice to have some goals, but dont worry about them to much, just enjoy the experience 🙂 Cant wait to read more from you!

    • Thank you! Yes, I’m not stressing too much to reach those goals right now, as I’m still learning a lot. But I like to have some of them lined out to stay motivated.

  • alexwisdomninja

    Congrats on making it trough the first month, you should definitely start your facebook page, sooner is better than later. Also, try looking at mashshare plugin for increasing your shares / likes. Keep it up!

    • Thank you! And thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely look into that plugin.

  • Congratulations on surviving your first month of blogging. It’s been a struggle for me to get people to read my blog. I’ve been horrible with time management. Being involved with Facebook groups has helped increase my blog readership. I’m starting to see some growth from Pinterest. I have to be more disciplined to be on that site. I have to do a better job interacting with other bloggers. There’s so many blogs out there (for me, it’s difficult to keep up). I’m thinking of creating a day where I just read other blogs and learn from them. I have to have a schedule to keep up with everything.

    • That’s a really great idea! I need to create a schedule as well. Because right now I’m doing everything every single day. I’m on Facebook and the on Pinterest and then checking the comments etc. I hope with time I can get a bit more adjusted. Maybe setting time to check the comments at the beginning or the end of the day. I also need to have specific days to go through Facebook groups because right now I’m spending too much time on it.

  • congrats on your blog. Blogging is a fun journey with lots of lessons and experiences.

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s definitely a fun journey!

  • Congrats for your first blog and welcome to blogger world. All the best and hope you reach all your goal. Your post is great.

    Kintan XOX,
    http://kintanfashion.blogspot.com