Tuesday, August 01, 2017

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7 Useful Lessons on Starting a Successful Blog


Quote of the day: 

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. -Saint Augustine 



Recently I've had someone new to blogging ask me which was the best platform to use, Blogger or Wordpress. At least narrowing it down to just those two works well. Since I have used both platforms, I explained the pros and cons of each and explained that in the end it all comes down to personal preference. Besides, it is easy to switch from one to the other, and back.

It did get me thinking about my early days of blogging and the main reason for starting. I started because I needed an outlet for my thoughts, something personal like a journal but in this case -one that is open to the whole world to see. It was therapeutic and an escape. This suited me very well. I didn't have a specific theme in mind, because I had a lot of interests -photography, poetry, technology, architecture, travel and such. If I created a blog for all of my interests, there'd be no end in sight so I stuck with just one. All I knew was that I wanted to write and over the years the blog has evolved while staying true to its character.

I can't think of a more powerful tool. Either you are blogging or have a vlog on Youtube, you have a voice. And the louder you want that voice to be will depend on how much effort you put into it.


For beginners

If you are new to the whole blog business it can be a bit daunting at first. Questions like: what content do I write? What platform do I use to write? Do I buy my own domain? How often do I post? And a thousand and one questions obviously. It easy to get overwhelmed with all the information out there.

Here are a few tips that could be of help.

1. Blogger/Blogspot or Wordpress

These two are the biggest platforms in use today. They are both free to use and signing up is easy to do. Wordpress has slightly more users than Blogger owned by Google, and when it comes to features, plug-ins and functionality Wordpress is the better of the two. However, Blogger is simpler to use. As a beginner -depending on your goal, you may want to sign up with each platform, play around with the features for a week or month, and then decide which one works for you. And with their import tools you can switch from one platform to the other anytime. Lastly, they both have vibrant online communities and offer numerous tools to help with the startup process.


2. Find your passion

Why do you want to create a blog? Remember that whatever you feel comfortable with can be your niche. Your passion will be the fuel needed to keep it all together. You can choose one area or combine different things. There are no rules. So pick something you are interested in. People often blog about their arts and crafts, travel, poetry, reviews, fashion, photography, food, health, gardening, painting, the list is just endless. The whole idea is to have fun with your blog.


3. Find inspiration

You will run into the dreaded 'writer's block' phase sooner than later. When you have no idea what to write, but its okay as you find inspiration all around. Visit blogs similar or even different to yours, read articles or stories, think of new ways to do old things, and make new friends in the process. Visiting others will increase your confidence and ability to focus and write more on your passion.

4. Time is everything

As a new blogger don't expect results overnight. It is a lot of hard work to maintain a blog, so don't start with a rush or you will be exhausted before you even get anywhere. You can start with one post a week -depending on your niche, and then build it up from there. The idea is to find your comfort zone -being able to create and maintain your blog, while also taking care of yourself and pursuing other things in life.

5. It's a work in progress

You'd do well not to worry too much about how your blog looks when you start out. The truth is it will always change over time. You will tweak and tweak till you get things right. It's like moving into an empty house. Leaving your stamp on it won't be overnight. There are many free tools and websites -say free stock images for instance, that you can utilize to your advantage. Also keep in mind that your mindset and purpose will also change at some point, and there is nothing wrong with that.

6. Use social media

In terms of getting word out about your blog, using just word of mouth won't cut it. Don't be afraid to share your blog with the world. There are enough resources online to help you keep track and engage with others. Building a social media presence will help you along the way.

7. Keep writing

Write, write, write. Until it becomes a habit.

*

If you are new to blogging I hope you find these tips useful. If you need more help feel free to send me an email. For the pros, please leave a comment and maybe an advice for the new bloggers visiting? Thank you.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Chicago - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?



53 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Why thank you, and good of you to drop by.

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  2. I think I would agree with your post. I started with blogger 10 years ago, but have since created a Wordpress...set it up, just in case I ever switch over. I agree, again....I find it very confusing as to where things are and how to use it. I only did one post. But the header photo I used it gigantic!!! Have no clue how to resize. But I do read several wordpress blogs so I created an account for easier commenting.

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    1. Yes that is true, it may be daunting for a first timer to use wordpress, but as with all things it takes time and practice. I get what you mean though, it doesn't have the minimalism of Blogger.

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  3. I have been blogging for 8 years and I can't imagine life without it. to me it is an outlet for my creative side of me. I started it because I was consumed with photography but in the past 2 years, the writing and creating in software took over. I like my friends I have made and feel like we know each other. they ae E-pen pals.

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    1. It has become a way of life and I can relate completely. Asides being an outlet, it also is a great way to make new friends who share similar virtues-one of which is being a blogger, and like you have said becoming great pals.

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  4. Time is key indeed. Nothing will happen over night at any feed.

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    Replies
    1. The more time one puts into the better the end result. But not so fast overnight, truly.

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  5. I really like your post.Great tips ! <3

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  6. Great advice! As you say, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it!

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  7. Fab tips, especially 4-6!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  8. Great post! I am still enjoying my blogging. I love the quote of the day!

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  9. I find these are great tips!!!
    Well done! : ))
    Have an enjoyable day... afternoon where you are!

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  10. Wow! It doesn't work overnight? Who knew.

    :)

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  11. Nice tips... and a pleasant day to you and yours... our Health new (what we have till seeing doctor next Thursday) was bad... but trying to not allow that to get "down" as much...
    ... things can Always be worse... and we are thankful that things not gotten really worse... and considering our current health... we are much more "functional" (able to do most things , to some extent) than most folks would be under the same circumstances... So, a bit to be thankful for... trying to be in better spirits

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  12. Some really good advice here!

    I played around at blog-city and Live Journal before settling in at Yahoo360, then spent 2-1/2 years there before making the move to Blogger. I've used Wordpress for quite some time now and find it quite good for my purposes. It's entertaining to look back and see how it's evolved over the years. :)

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    1. It sure is, I remember those live journal days, things have sure come a long way. Its always better to try out each platform and then settle on one that suits us, and good to see you've done just that.

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  13. All are good tips. I prefer Blogger. Many Wordpress blogs have no visible way to follow them. As far as content I can see no difference as a reader. I suppose it simply a matter of choice.

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  14. Very succinct and practical post about blogging ~ wish it was around when I started ~ still relevant today too as I and my blog are a 'work in progress' as you wrote ~ thanks ~ ^_^

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  15. Interesting. I starting blogging as a challenge to post one image a day for a whole year---which I did. Then someone said to join City Daily Photo and more people would see my photos so like the little Lamb I can be I followed right along. No guidance, no help, just did it.
    MB

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    1. Sounds like familiar story. Sometimes learning something from scratch can be a great lesson. Look at how far you've come now. Thanks for sharing that.

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  16. I like Blogspot platform but in future I'm planning to choose Wordpress (maybe)). Thanks a lot for the useful lessons))

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  17. Interesting post dear! thanks for sharing

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  18. These are fabulous tips for anyone interested in starting a blog. I particular liked your advice to follow one's passion. I've told that to others who wish to blog, because if you're not absolutely in love with what you are communicating, you will soon lose interest in the writing, and so will your readers.
    Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Yes indeed its all about the love for what you do, and the fire of passion that burns through. Many thanks for your thoughts.

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  19. Write, write, write. I so agree. The best advise I ever received in many respects. Great post!

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  20. ...Blogger may not be perfect, I've had more than my share of heartburn with it, but it works for me. Since writing isn't my thing, I'll just post my thoughts with my photos.

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  21. Excellent advice! The best article for a beginner blogger!!

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  22. i was trying to recall how i got started blogging ... i gotta think about it. it has been a few years ago. going to listen to the tune. ( ;

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  23. Thanks for sharing these excellent tips and advice.

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  24. Excellent tips, these will be very useful for someone starting out and a reminder to those of us who have been here a while.

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  25. This is very useful. What is real impressive is: how easy you made it.

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  26. Hi Blogoratti - well done and well covered for a newbie; I'd say open up a WP account and a Blogger one - makes it easier on commenting on both. Visiting other blogs - ones where you relate to the content and probably the commenters ... then reciprocation will occur. Relax into it ... great and I hope your blogging friend will enjoy their experience. Cheers Hilary

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  27. Thanks a lot :D

    Find Passion is the most important tip my dear. I agree with all that you wrote :D

    NEW COOKING POST | OMG!!! Oatmeal and Chicken Steak Salad. <3
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  28. I always call my blog 'My window to the world'. Windows are there to look out and look in. All the best, Valerie

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  29. Hi Blogoratti, thanks for visiting my Blog. This is really good start-up advice for Bloggers. BUT not all of us are necessarily looking for big numbers of readers. Of course, I enjoy it when people comment but I Blog for myself primarily and if others enjoy it - then I'm happy! I will sign up to follow you.
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s adroit Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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  30. These are all great tips, particularly finding your passion - blogging is supposed to be fun, after all! You're right about time being a factor too; it can be fascinating to see a blog progress over time :)

    aglassofice.com
    x

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  31. How true! I hope more people get back into blogging because it seems so many people haven't posted in forever. They just disappear and you never know where or why. And its true, it is a time commitment and you have to want t write but boy can you meet some interesting folks out there! Smiles! Erika

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  32. I'm blogging just to release my mind, archiving it on the cloud if I have spare times, no matter of what platform I use.

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  33. Great tips! My complaint with Wordpress is that it's often hard to leave comments on their blogs.

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  34. Im a blogspot blogger because its all I knew at the time I started blogging. Ive never had a problem with it but often wonder if I would like wordpress better. Word press blogs seem to have more detail but I dont know. Blogging is enjoyable and rlaxing. I always had a problem reading and righting so this is my medicine hence the typos all over the place.
    Lisa

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  35. Very informative. I think you gave some great tips to newer bloggers. Some of us that have been at it awhile can be reminded of a few tips as well.

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  36. Good post. I don't get writer's block except on my blog anniversary posts, because that's when I try to write something a little deeper than "Here is a duck."

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