Blogging 101: Top ten things I've learned in my first month of blogging.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My first month of blogging has been amazing and I've loved every minute of it. I've learned so much, including how slightly overwhelming starting a blog can actually be. Lots to do. Lots to learn. I thought I'd share my top ten things I've learned thus far for anyone starting a blog or is a newbie like me. Hope you enjoy!

10 - Publish First Thing in the Morning
According to kissmetrics, "The highest percentage of users read blogs in the morning." Make sure they're reading your new post and not day-old news. This means you need to have the post complete the day before. Edited and ready to go. I schedule my posts to publish at 6am. 

Tip: Learn how to schedule your posts to publish.

9 - Write A Killer "About" Page 
Or writing your "About" page is killer. Either one. This and your first post are the hardest things to write, ever! I mean seriously, my college senior thesis came out smoother than those pages. I find it awkward to talk about myself, but it's important because people want to know about the writer. I was trying to come up with things you should know about me and all I could think was, "My hobbies include Netflix and eating."

Tip #1: What really helped me was going back through my calendar and social media posts. After seeing all of the things I've done I was able to at least find a starting point. I'm more interesting than I give myself credit for. (Even that was hard to write.)

Tip #2: Read other "About" pages and get some good ideas. Here's 10 Ways to Dazzle Your Readers With Your About Me Page. Check it out for more help and examples of different "About" pages.

8 - Time Limits
My first two weeks of blogging were tiring. I had so much to learn and kept finding more and more I didn't know. Blogger or Wordpress? How do I schedule a post? What's a label? WTH am I doing?

I spent a lot of time Googling how to do things. Once I got the basics down I was ready to rumble, oh wait but it was already midnight and I had to get up in five hours. I was so into it, but forgot I had to be a responsible adult the next day. Like teach kids kind of responsible. The serious kind of responsible.

Tip: Give yourself time limits (and/or a bed time). There is no science to this one, just do whatever works for you. Don't go overboard and wear yourself out for the rest of the things you need to do.

7 - Read & Follow Other Blogs 
I get a lot of ideas and inspiration by reading and following other blogs. by Regina suggests, "following 2-5 sites for blogging tips, 5-10 sites in your niche and 3-5 not in your industry."

Tip: Don't just follow blogs similar to yours; follow a variation of blogs. 

6 - Make a Reserve
Some weeks are busy, busy, busy. I don't have time to research, write and edit a meaningful post everyday. To help, I've written extra posts so that I don't go too long without posting. Luckily I haven't had to tap into my reserve, but it's there when I need it.

Tip: Write extra posts for days you're too busy to blog.

5 - Just write it down!
When I start writing a post I don't try to make it perfect on the first try. I do all of the research, find images and write down all of my ideas and important things I want to say. I then go back and edit. If I get everything out of my mind first, it's easier later when I go to fill in the blanks.

I also start posts about a week in advanced. That's what works for me. If I try to sit down and do a whole post in one sitting my mind starts thinking about other things. Squirrel. And I won't get anything finished.

Tip: Just start writing. Get all of your ideas down then edit as you need to. 

4 - Be Yourself
Just be you! I'm not a serious person and I don't try to be in my blog. It just flows. I write how I talk because I've made this an informal outlet. If anything, do it for yourself. I'm not out there trying to impress everyone; I'm just being me and my personality shows on my blog because of that.

Tip: Write how you talk to show your personality.

3 - Take Notes
I have visions and blurbs of genius when I least expect it. (Mostly right when I lay down for bed.) So I don't forget anything, I keep a running note on an iPhone app creatively named, "Blog". This way I'm able to jot down any ideas I might randomly have. My phone is the one thing with me everywhere, so this way I don't miss a bloggin' beat.

Tip: On your phones' notes app, keep a running "Blog"note to write down ideas on the go.

2 - Have a vision. Define your niche.
I had a vision for my blog and did a lot of research before choosing a theme or template to go with.  I wanted them to compliment each other because that's my biggest first impression. And of course I want to make a good first impression. I found 17th Ave Designs on Etsy and loved her work. (Post to come soon.) It was the perfect fit for the vision I had for my blog.

Having a vision helps define your nice. My niche is not makeup. Believe me you don't want makeup tips from me or else we'll both be walking around like Britney Spears when she does her own makeup vs. Britney on the cover of a magazine. My thing is experimenting in the kitchen, working out, traveling and decorating. 

Tip #1: Find a theme complimentary to your vision and niche.

Tip #2: Stick to what you're good at.

1 - Editorial Calendar. Editorial Calendar. Editorial Calendar. 
The best thing I've done so far for my blog is starting an editorial calendar. I cannot over exaggerate how important this has been to my success so far. I made themes for each day of the week and try to stick to them the best I can.

Sunday - Scripture Sunday
Monday - In the Kitchen or Weekend Recap
Tuesday - House Decor or Current Events
Wednesday - Exercise or Random
Thursday - Things I Love
Friday - Funny Friday
Saturday - Product Review

I have my editorial calendar about 70% full from now through January. This is also helpful so that I can start research for a post with plenty of time. I was inspired to start my editorial calendar after I read this post, "Creatively Boost Your Editorial Calendar" from Peg Fitzpatrick. Also, be flexible with your posts. I had to start writing them in pencil, because I was moving them around so much.

Tip: Print out a free calendar (like this one from Short Stop Designs) and start planning out your posts - in pencil.

I hope these tips were helpful. I've already started on my next Blogging 101 post - there is just so much to learn! Of course there are a thousand other things I need to learn, but for my first month, I'm really proud of myself. The feel and direction of my blog is exactly what I want. So happy!

Go get 'em tiger.


  1. These are all great tips! I find that taking notes helps me SO much! When I sit down at night to write I can just look at my notes for ideas!

  2. Thanks Laura! I have the worst short-term memory. If I don't write something down ASAP I'm in trouble. :)