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.
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.
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).
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?