Starting out the right way
Here I am two months into my journey and there are things that I wish I had know and had planned for better. As you know, I had an idea to start a blog and within about two days, I had a website, social media and had my first entry posted. As I look back there are some key things that I wish I would have done before pressing publish.
Research, Research, Research
Much like looking for a house in the best location, I should have done a little more research. I like what my blog is about and I think it will get rolling a little better as I get used to the behind the scenes work, but here are some things that I should have looked at further.
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- Website hosting– there was a lot of talk of wordpress.org, setting it up via a hosting service and gaining the ability to monetize your website. I found that I could have a business account via wordpress.com which gave me that same functionality. I haven’t had any issues with this so far, but I worry that when I get to the end of my 1 year subscription, that it might be hard to switch out. When I was setting up my blog, it was very easy and it was one-stop to get my blog started and also set-up my business email. I have since found so many more blog templates than what I have available to me, but they come with an added cost. So I think I will keep what I have for now and save up for when my subscription ends.
- Legal Protection– Did you know that even if you aren’t selling anything that you need to have some sort of legal protection. With the changes in the laws world wide and if you aren’t a lawyer, like me, and you don’t have a lot of money to start with, again me, what do you do? I actually found via social ads and posts a woman who has legal templates to purchase that you customize with your information. Then you just post to your site. I purchased the legal bundle from A Self Guru. Take a look at my Terms and Conditions, Privacy, and Disclaimer pages for an example of what you get.
- Beginner Blogging Groups– Search Facebook! There are so many groups out there that cater to new bloggers. Most have daily activities that you can help other bloggers grow their visitors and they help you back. So many questions come up and when there are issues or changes to the way search works or social posts, you can usually hear about it on those sites.
- Things to Post: I found a great lady who has several great items to help you plan your posts. Angie Gensler has created some great templates with ideas to help make sure you have content everyday of the year. I recently downloaded the 2020 calendar and was able to get the 2019 Calendar also. So I am using it to create a better schedule. Obviously I don’t use everything everyday, but it helps fill in my schedule, especially on social media.
- Picture Editing- How about that, you need images on your website, your social media and Pinterest. While I would love to have pictures that I have taken for everything, it isn’t that easy. In-fact I always forget to take a picture of the recipe that I just made. I had used an online program called Canva.com that I was used to and really liked. So I signed up for the monthly membership where I get access to many premium pictures for use commercially, and it is a pretty simple program that will resize different images for the type of post you are doing. However, I have now heard of different programs but I think for the time being I am happy with the cost ($12.95/month) and will keep my eyes open for new online programs. I have just started loading my own graphic pieces to help customize the look a little more.
- Affiliate Programs: I had mentioned previously that while I like using this platform to keep me on my quest to simple, I did want to try and make some money on the side. (I do have a kid going to college next year). I didn’t do a lot of research on this one. In fact, I think I probably should have waited a bit before signing up. Spending more time getting posts online and growing my followers, before setting up affiliates. However I have now signed up for several different things and I am sure that the list will get longer as I find new items that I like and want to share with you.
- Amazon Affiliates: I like this because I don’t have to do a whole lot. I have products that I like and I share them with you. You can click the link and order something, or not. Amazon pays me for the referral. However, you have to have 3 orders in the first few months of being part of the program or they deactivate you. (please order something)
- Aselfguru.com: The legal templates are not the only things that they have available. If you want to have a guest blogger, you should have an agreement with them. How about a non-disclosure? You can get all of those items there.
- Target: I shop at target and so I have signed up to be affiliate, but I am still not quite sure how it all works with them, so I haven’t posted any links.
- Rakuten: Yep, I get my money from them in the form of shopping rebates (if you haven’t tried it out click here to learn more) I would definitely sign up before the holidays! However, they have an affiliate service also. Again, much like target, not sure how to really set that up.
- Angiegensler.com: I loved her calendar so much that I became an affiliate for her also.
- Ads on blog: When you set up your website you can add ads. For instance I have adsense from Google as well as through wordpress. When someone clicks on the ad I might get a referral bonus.
The number one thing that I have learned is to plan first. I wish I had looked into more information on how to start a blog and found some of those groups before starting. I think that I would have been able to have a much smoother start. But the great news is that there are a ton of resources out there. If you need help there are communities that you can work with, there are courses you can purchase and helpful items that you can get for free.
What things have you learned if you have just started your first blog? Are there resources that you have found to be helpful? Let me know by commenting below!