What I Wish I had Known Before I Started Blogging

When I started blogging again seven months ago, I leaped into it with a lighthearted manner. I was no stranger to blogging. In fact, I had been blogging — off and on — since I was about thirteen years old. I knew the basic ins and outs of blogging thanks to my personal experience as a blogger, as well as a few courses I took in college. I knew how to create effective content that could potentially be successful, use hashtags to capture the most quality engagement, and the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But what I didn’t know was that there was still a lot that I didn’t know. In fact, I am still learning.

Writer using the laptop
What I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Blogging

What I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Blogging

  • Community matters
  • Good visuals are paramount
  • Social media is an extension
  • Scheduling posts can be a lifesaver
  • The learning never stops

Community matters

Young people celebrating
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

For any blogger, community is important. In fact, it is probably the most important thing. What I learned is that people are not going to actively seek out your blog, because the truth of the matter is, they don’t know that it exists. They don’t know it exists until you engage with other bloggers. In fact, the greatest support system that you will find is from other bloggers.

This is why it is so important that you read and comment on other blogs in your niche. It is important because of two reasons: One, people are attracted to people who they can relate to. The same rule applies to bloggers and blogs. Bloggers are attracted to other bloggers who write about things in their niche or area of expertise. And two, blogging isn’t just about writing and putting out content. It is the give and share of information. It is the passing on of knowledge. It is the conversation that takes place even after the blog is written. I am talking about the comment section, the place where community engagement happens.

Good visuals are paramount

I learned that it is essential to add at least one (preferably two or even three) images in each blog post. The reason is simple: in today’s technologically advanced world, people like pictures. People don’t want to stare at a screen with just words. They want to look at pictures.

I’ve also found that while a good picture is essential, there are other things you can do to make your blog post stand out and look pretty. If you are using WordPress, like I am, you probably know that every post consists of a series of blocks. Each block can be customized with a background color and a font color. Use that to make certain elements in your blog post stand out. Besides the capability of adding color, you can also embed social media links and profiles, quotes, and videos to help bring your blog post to life.

We no longer live in a world in which people have the attention span to read a black and white article. We have to get their attention with color, images, and content that seems to jump out of the screen. There is simply so much competing information on the Internet, so we have to tell the reader from the get-go that they need to read this one.

Social media is an extension

I used to think blogging was a one-and-done operation. You wrote a post, you edited it, and then you shared it on your social media platforms. But I am here to tell you that it is not enough to simply share on social media.

You have to create an engaged presence on the different social media platforms that is an extension of your brand. For example, I use Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote my writing. I don’t just share. I have created a social media strategy for each of these platforms. The information presented has to be tailored to fit the demographics. For example, LinkedIn targets business professionals. Therefore, I create content that is related to career, work environments, and self-improvement. Instagram is a very visual platform, so I create content that is beautiful, but at the same time thought provoking. The goal on Instagram is not to just get likes, but comments, ‘super saves,’ and conversions.

When used effectively, I have found that social media can be an extension to the message that you ultimately want to say. I have asked questions on Twitter related to topics on my blog as a way to not just get the community talking but to hear what they have to say. I have created additional information on Instagram that is not available on my blog as a way to motivate and inspire.

Therefore, use social media to expand upon your message. Use social media to become an expert in your niche.

Scheduling posts can be a lifesaver

Many clocks
Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

I am a writer, who has never done well by planning content. In the Nanowrimo world, I am a pantser because I don’t plan, but instead write whenever inspiration strikes. But then I discovered that I can schedule blog posts on WordPress. At first, I just dismissed it as just another feature that I didn’t think I needed. I soon found out how wrong I was. I found out that scheduling posts can be a lifesaver.

By scheduling blog posts at 9:00 AM every day, I am able to set a goal for myself. I am able to plan when the post has to get written so that it is ready for publication at a certain time. I am then able to carve out the time that I need in the day to create my social media posts on Canva and then subsequently post them at certain times throughout the time. Scheduling my blog posts hasn’t restricted my creativity. On the other hand, it has given me more time back to devote to the community. It has allowed me the ability to extend conversation in the blog comments and on the various social media platforms that I am a part of.

The learning never stops

What I like most about blogging is that there is still so much to learn. Granted, I have learned a lot about blogging and social media within the past seven months. But there is still so much that I need to learn to try to create the best content possible. With blogging, you can’t just take a course or two and expect to be an expect. With blogging, much of the knowledge comes from trial and error. Once one thing is mastered, then there is still something else that you must learn. For example, as I continue blogging, I am excited to learn more about email subscriptions, media kits, guest posting, and Google analytics, amongst others.

Conclusion

I have learned so much about blogging since I started blogging. I have learned that blogging is a process that is not just a medium for expression but a way to create connections between people. I don’t regret not having known about these things, because it has all been a process. But I am hoping that if you decide to start a blog then you are able to use this to not just get a head start in blogging, but to be an effective blogger.

What is one thing you wish you had known before you started blogging?

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Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

34 thoughts on “What I Wish I had Known Before I Started Blogging

  1. I wish I knew about SEO! and scheduling posts save a lot of time especially if you’re working/studying while being a blogger.

    1. Hi Rasya,
      Scheduling posts is such a great time saver!
      SEO is something that I am striving to learn more about.
      Thanks for reading

  2. I definitely need to learn more about SEO and strategizing my posts on other platforms like you mentioned! The dawning realizing that Instagram needed to be a big part of this was a game changer. I seriously love this post and am taking a lot away from it, thank you! 😊

    1. Hi Leigh! Thanks so much for reading. I’m glad that you found it useful. SEO is something that I learning how to do.
      Instagram is definitely a big part of marketing on social media. I realized this a few months ago and completely rebranded my IG.

      Thanks again <3

  3. These are all such good tips. I remember a few years ago, I used to write so many blog posts but never shared on social media! That was definitely a game-changer, especially Pinterest. I’ve been learning more about SEO this year, but it’s definitely a lot of work to master! x

  4. The problem I encountered when I began scheduling posts on WP is that the site will not publish the post when scheduled UNLESS someone visits the site. Thus ‘followers’ do not find out that the post was published until such time as someone not following visits. Seems like WP should have a simple fix for this, but it remains a thorn in the bloggers’ fingers until some more prominent bloggers complain. πŸ™

    1. Ooh I was not aware of this. I don’t think I’m having that problem. I do visit my site shortly after my blog post is scheduled to go live just to see if it did published & looks good..

      1. Since you visit the site, it will be published. Sometime go to a friend’s computer and check. I did this with my wife’s computer and found out that my scheduled posts are not up until visited. As long as you check in with your site when it should be published, you’ll have no problems. πŸ˜‰

  5. Great post Helen! I learned a lot from this. When I first started blogging I didn’t know how to get people to see or engsge with my blog other than sharing on my Facebook page. But I eventually learned that engaging with other bloggers through the comments helped increase my exposure. Once I joined Instagram I started really connecting and engaging with other bloggers. I am so glad I added another social media platform because it has helped my blog exposure and I have made some awesome blog friends as well-including you 😊

  6. Another great post, Helen. Yeah, you are right about each and everything regarding blogging. I started my blog during the early stages of the pandemic, and I have no idea what to do, except getting a domain and posting my articles. I went on Wix in OCt, and I started seeing visitors on my site. Social media is a very important tool in launching as well as communicating with fellow bloggers. Thanks for sharing your blogging experience with us:)

  7. I had a very large following. Afraid of the success, I deleted the site and disappeared. I really regret that. The secret to that success was daily posts. nice photos, interesting content. It’s going to be a long road to get back there, but I learned a lot from the last time, and even utilized those lessons on my podcast. Nice to have found you, Helen. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    Tony
    Finding Subjects Podcast

  8. Great content as always!
    I agree, I wish I knew sooner that writing is just one side of the equation.
    Promoting strategically and consistently is the name of the game.

  9. Thank you for sharing! Awesome points and great content! Web Traffic baby! Websites can’t survive without it!

  10. Hi there,

    As ever, an incredibly useful post.

    Just a question. None of my posts have pictures because I am wary of copyright infringement and I don’t have pictures that are relevant to my recent posts. Any ideas what the rules are for blogs, because if I could start adding them, even retrospectively that would be great? I can’t find the rules for myself, but I’m no doubt looking in the wrong places!

    I would definitely republicise my posts if images are OK.

    Thanks once again for your invaluable advice.

    1. Hi David! Thanks for reading. As for images, any image that you take yourself and therefore own, you are free to post on your blog as they are YOUR images.

      Since you are using wordpress.com, wordpress.com has a photo gallery of free images from its pexel.com library. You can select and use them. Those images are fair use and will automatically be given the proper accreditation in the caption.

      There are also other websites you can use such as canva.com to use stock photos. Just give accreditation, check the licensing requirements,, etc and you can use them.

      1. Brilliant thanks. I will take a look at pexel. Sadly, for the acts and TV shows I am writing about I don’t have any pictures, although I do have a few CDs/DVDs I could photograph.

      2. Another option would be to link to the book/movie on Amazon. That way there will be a picture that the audience can see & view & and they can also click on it to purchase/watch/read if they choose to.

  11. I wish I had known how important it is to engage with your community and in doing so you would be building one… When I first started half blogging I wasn’t really taking it seriously and i would follow and like posts bc I genuinely liked reading them and following bloggers but I would be too shy to comment bc I didn’t think what I had to say mattered but also bc I didn’t take blogging seriously, there was never really anything on my blog or anything recent anyone could follow.. So yep.. Community engagement!

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