Blogging for Beginners: Lessons from the 1st year

I thought I’d give the post a week challenge on gratitude a brief hiatus to share some of the things that I’ve learnt on my blogging journey. I can’t believe it’s been 1 year already!

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I’ve made my fair share of rookie mistakes along the way and have had to use google to fix most of them. With the internet full of free advice from well-meaning people, I thought I would add my 2 cents worth.

 

Why are we here?

Answer that! Are you trying to make money, get famous, or simply sharing a personal journey? By being clear on the purpose of the blog, you will be able to name and ‘market’ it appropriately. You are also likely to retain readers because people know what kind of content they are plugging into, therefore what to expect. On the topic of marketing, almost everyone has a blog, but not everyone is comfortable sharing publicly. If you want to write just to keep an online diary, make sure your blog settings are private. Also, the ‘about’ page should always have something in it. Nothing puts off potential subscribers than encountering the default. That’s a rookie mistake. Don’t make it.

 

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Source: WordPress

 

Names matter.

I’ve mentioned before that I started blogging on a whim, so one of the biggest brain blocks for me was settling on an adequate name for the blog. I was quite stuck because there are so many cool names, but they are ever so specific to motherhood, lifestyle, fitness etc. I then had to really apply my mind to the things I wanted to blog about. I was very sure that it was not a motherhood blog, nor was it one about my career or ‘lifestyle’. I ended up on a site that suggested the first word be a verb or feeling, then the second something that defined you. I settled for delightedivorcee, partially because I made a mistake when registering delighted divorcee and had to permanently delete it from the WordPress domain.

Add that to lessons learnt: pay attention when registering the domain / blog name. In any case, I quite liked the ring of the single ‘d’ version of the name and it was quite relevant to the topics I intended to cover.

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Consistency is key

If you want the people to keep coming, you need to give them something to constantly come back to. Enough said.

 

Know your zone

Like anything else you put online, potential backlash and ramifications can be far-reaching. Think twice about what you are sharing because you could become famous for all the wrong reasons. And because it’s on the internet, faux amis are a reality. Remember this:

  • Haters will look for things to hate
  • Not everyone will be happy for you (no matter what you write)
  • You are allowed to speak your truth

Noting the above, limit the things you post to those that you are comfortable with people knowing.

 

Hammer Grammar

Nothing is quite as off-putting as badly written pieces. I think we all inadvertently turn into grammar police at the first sight of bad English. I’ve had one or three grammar snafus, so I check in triplicate before posting anything. I have grammarly installed both on Word and in chrome. I spell check, and before I post, I paste the entire article onto google translate and listen to the audio. That’s my winning tri-factor – yet to fail me.

 

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Source: funnyand.com

 

Shift happens

We grow and we change. That’s ok. If you blog about it, be sure to update the look and feel of your blog, the “about” section, and consider a name change. A year ago, I was a delightedivorcee, now I’m Rue on Adulting. If my life was the written word, you would have noticed a visible shift from bold and capital letters to soft italics. I’ve grown and I’ve changed. For the better.

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Thank you for walking this journey with me over the past year. I look forward to continuing adulting with you all!

 

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