A while ago, I wrote a post about what I’d wished I’d known before I started blogging. You can read the article here; I’ll summarize the six gold nuggets for new bloggers:
- only reblog 10% of someone else’s post.
- hot links are bad.
- it takes a long time to write a post
- I need to be myself.
- it’s easier than it sounds.
- it’s harder than it sounds
I got a lot of responses to that post, with readers sharing what they wish they’d known when they started blogging as well as what they’d learned since. Which one’s resonate with you:
- I agonize over pushing the “publish” button.
- I needed more tools on how to blog. I wish I’d researched more.
- It’s a learning experience.
- Keep up a regular schedule of posts (at least one a week). This is the difference between 10 views and 100. Once a week minimally.
- I schedule my posts a week in advance, so if fits better with my life.
- The first time I blogged, I gave up because I did not know it took time to build a readership.This time, I’m ready.
- I like to think of blogging as using your non-dominant hand – it sharpens all facets of my writing brain.
- It is hard work, but anything worthwhile is.
- I wish I’d set up an email address just for my blog.
- Keep personal information private. It’s tempting to hang it all out there, but don’t. Being a digital citizen has rights AND responsibilities; one of those is to protect privacy.
- Respond to comments. Engage with your community. Yes, this takes time, but that’s what blogging’s about.
- I had no idea how much time I would spend connecting with other bloggers.
- Read other blogs and comment.
- Blogs cost money if done right. If you don’t use one of the all-in-one-free packages (like WordPress), you need hosting, a domain, problem solving, maintenance help, not to mention SEO guidance.
- Your voice is your blog. Don’t be afraid to let it out.
- Give lots of credit to others in your posts–especially if you use their material. Linkbacks are easy. Trackbacks bring your blog to the attention of others who might come visit.
- Blogging is fun. Make time for it.
- Push your blog posts out to your social networks.
- Be careful with pictures. If they aren’t in the public domain, you can’t use them without permission. A linkback isn’t sufficient!
- Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.
- You’ll want to quit a hundred times as you wait to build readers, gain traction, accomplish your goals. Remind yourself why you started. If that reason hasn’t changed, continue blogging.
- Don’t expect to make money blogging. It rarely happens. Do it for other reasons.
- Today’s blogging is not yesterday’s journaling. Now, it’s focused, purposeful, and uses correct grammar and spelling.
- Work smarter by using tools that are available: editorial calendars, Hootsuite, Twitterdeck, Google Analytics.
- I wish I would have done my homework upfront to research the different blogging platforms and educated myself on the pros and cons.
- I had no idea about the communities, linkups, sharing and connecting available to help new and experienced bloggers.
- Be proud of what you blog about. If you aren’t, change it.
What would you add to this list?
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.