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I started my blog about two months ago and I already feel like I’ve learned so much. I didn’t just jump into the blogging world, I read about it for 5 months. I studied all that I could and I thought I had a good idea of what needed to be done and how much time I would need to spend on my blog weekly. I was greatly mistaken.
Let me start off by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form a tech savvy person. I’m the type that can’t figure something out so I get mad and storm off (my husband calls is techy tantrum). When I was researching, I had come to conclusion that all I would need to do was write a quick post, throw some pictures in, and hit publish. I couldn’t understand how all of these bloggers were spending 40+ hours a week working on a blog.
Once I started and realized what I was actually up against, I had a new found respect for all of the bloggers that were making anywhere from $2,000-$100,000 a month. There is so much that goes into having a successful money making blog and so much I wish I would have prepared myself for.
This post does contain affiliate links in which I do receive a commission to subsidize my coffee addiction.
Here are the things I wish I would have done before launching my blog.
Had More Posts Written
When I first started out, I launched with only two posts. My plan was to post once a week and build my page up. The problem with that, is that when I joined Facebook groups and tried to promote my blog, I only had two posts to do that with. If I had started out with ten+ posts, I would have been better equipped to get my blog out there. If I had more blog posts, then I have more chances for blog exposure.
Take time before you launch and write out 10-15 blog posts, even if they are rough drafts. This will make things so much easier for you. You can thank me after your first month.
Pinterest ready Pictures
I knew from the get-go that Pinterest would end up being the number one source of traffic to my blog. The day I launched and posted my first two posts, I instantly got on Pinterest and pinned them. I knew that the pictures for Pinterest should be rectangular, just from using Pinterest, but had no idea that they were suppose to be a certain measurement (735 pixles by 1102 pixles). I just edited the pictures I had and threw them on my post.
Soon I started to notice that on every Pinterest or Facebook group I joined, the rules clearly stated “vertical Pins only”. After some research I realized that vertical pins are the 735×1102 and should always be a incorporated into your blog post for easier sharing.
I personally had no idea how to make these photos the correct size. Through Pinterest and other blogs, I quickly learned about Canva. Canva is an amazing and free tool that allows you to edit and create photos for all kinds of social media outlets. Not only can you create your own template, but Canva also allows you to use a free (or inexpensive) already made template.
Another tool I’ve used to make Pin worthy pictures is StockSnap. Stocksnap has loads of free stock photos that you can use in your blog without worrying about copy-write infringement.
I get my photos from Stocksnap, edit and add a Pinterest size template in Canva, and place them strategically in my blog post.
*Side note – Pinterest is a visual search engine. When people are scrolling through Pinterest they are looking for something that not only captures their attention, but also gives them a clear idea of what they can expect by clicking on that photo. The best way to give them that clear idea is to include the title on the photo.
Enough Pin-able Photos
While we’re on the subject of Pinterest, I’d like to bring up one of the things that took me most off guard when I first started pinning my own posts. Bloggers that are most successful at utilizing Pinterest will pin the same post with numerous different photos.
Have you ever wondered why when you look up a certain topic and click on different pins you end up on the same blog page? That is because these clever SOBs have pinned the same post with different photos. This gives you a better chance of reaching more people. What is visually attractive to one person may not draw in another person the same way.
I recommend having five different Pinterest photos for each post to better your chances at reaching everyone.
Organized Pinterest Account
Here we go again, more Pinterest talk.
I’ve had my own personal Pinterest account for years. I’ve never once worried about organizing my boards or adding board covers, but when I switched my personal account to a business account things had to change.
Everything I was reading said that to increase my account views and followers I would have to change the appearance of my Pinterest boards. Having an organized board with board sections that are easy to follow made all the difference in the world. I’m still in the process of organizing and changing the appearance of my Pinterest, but have already grown my monthly viewers from 2k to 35k.
Check out my Pinterest and follow me to keep up with my posts and pins.
Getting to Know WordPress
Choosing a hosting company can be a stressful decision to make. Let me make it a little easier on you…chose Bluehost. There are numerous reasons to chose Bluehost i.e. access to WordPress, 24hr help-desk, a free domain name,it’s self hosted, AND it’s only $3.95/month. The top reason I chose Bluehost is because I knew that there’s so much information online about how to navigate through a WordPress blog through Bluehost. I knew that I would have all the support I would ever need, especially not being tech savvy.
I signed up with Bluehost and launched my blog the next day. My biggest regret is not giving myself enough time with WordPress to really get a grasp of how everything works. I spent many nights trying to figure out have to navigate myself through certain situations and quite honestly only managed through it because of the access to so many other Bluehost bloggers.
If I would have given myself even just two weeks to play around with the site, build up my post library, and work on my Pinterest photos I would have been sitting pretty.
Everything I’ve read said that signing up for an email subscription program before you launch is vital. I figure that I could wait until I got my email list to at least 50.
Then, as part of Heather and Pete Reese’s 10K Traffic Challenge, I signed up for ConvertKit. Honestly, I don’t know how I would have been able to keep up with the email list without the help of ConvertKit regardless of how many subscribers I had. There was so much I was trying to do in the first month that worrying about keeping up with emailing was the last thing on my mind. The great thing is that ConvertKit can do it for me. And the first 14 days are free!
If you already have a blog but don’t have an email subscription service, What are you waiting for?! Sign up today using my link to ConvertKit.
Affiliate Marketing Plan
My main goal in starting to blog is to eventually be able to quit my job and become a working stay at home mom. To get to that point I need to get affiliate sales.
I knew what affiliate marketing was before I started blogging, but I didn’t have any kind of written plan. I had all of these ideas in my head on how I could use affiliate marketing in my blog, but no real strategy on how to make it happen. I’m confident that if I had an action plan written out, it would have been much easier to implement it and start making money.
Take some time before you hit the publish button, think through and write out your affiliate marketing strategy. How do you plan on making your money?
All in all I definitely do have some regrets, but I am still making it happen. If you think that blogging may be something you want to try then click my link and sign up with Bluehost. Make it happen for yourself! Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.