10 Things I Learned in My First 6 Weeks of Blogging

When I launched my blog on my 26th birthday, I had NO idea what I had let myself in for. I’ve had to learn a lot very quickly, a lot of things I hadn’t even considered before I started blogging! I’m by no means an expert but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far so I wanted to share some of that with you!

Here are 10 tips I’ve picked up along my journey so far:

1. Take Time to Learn

I used to have a blog on Blogspot – it was extremely basic, right down to the free theme I didn’t take the time to edit. As a result, my blog ended up looking like 3894754 other blogs out there and it didn’t stand out AT ALL. I still use a free theme now on WordPress but I’ve taken the time to learn how to customise and code it to make it unique to my site and to suit my chosen content.

When it comes to blogging, the learning never ends. Everything is evolving all the time – and I LOVE it. Of course there are going to be days where you’re banging your head off your desk because you can’t figure something out. But there are tutorials for everything – do not give up!

2. Invest in a Domain/Host

Having a “.com” site is more visually attractive than a “.wordpress.com” or “.blogspot.com” It’s also easier for your readers to remember which in turn will make them more likely to come back.

3. Plan Ahead

I go through little burst of productivity, in one day I can often write 3 or 4 posts. I always like to have a bit of a “post bank” behind me, just in case something happens which affects my writing schedule. It means I will always have something ready to post every Wednesday and Sunday, even if it was written a few weeks ago. I like my opinion posts and reviews etc to be right up to the minute but if I’m just posting something like a recipe or a playlist, you can stockpile these. That way, you always have something ready to go.

4. Set goals and stick to them

As I mentioned on the previous point – I post twice a week, on Wednesdays and on Sundays. People are more likely to keep visiting their blog if they have an idea as to when your new content is going to be available. If you know you’re going to be away from the computer when you usually post, you can use scheduling tools to make sure that your content is still going up on time.

5. Posts Don’t Promote Themselves!

Promoting content takes more time and co-ordination than I could ever have imagined but the rewards are worth it. Platforms like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram open you up to a massive audience and gives millions of others the opportunity to find your blog instead of just your family and friends from Facebook. Don’t underestimate Facebook though – there are LOADS of blogging groups which allow you to showcase your posts, engage with other bloggers and share tips and content together.

Make sure that you include a comments box under your posts so that your readers can ask questions/leave feedback. It’s a great way to learn who’s reading your posts and connect with other like-minded people. So far I’ve found the blogging community to be a lovely bunch, it’s more about supporting and helping each other instead of competing.

blog desk laptop

6. Keep an Eye on your Analytics

I use the Jetpack plugin to see which posts my audience interact with the most and at what time people are most likely to be reading my blog. This helps me to choose the best time to post in order to reach the widest audience. I tend to find posting new content around 7pm works, as people are generally finished work and school for the day. If I can, I share my post to my social media accounts at the same time.

I’ve found that a large portion of my daily traffic comes from Stumble Upon. I’m not sure how this has come about – I add each new post to Stumble Upon as it’s published but I haven’t done anything else beyond that. I’m still trying to figure this out so if you’re savvy on Stumble Upon – please get in touch!

7. Use Pictures

Images are great. They help to break up lengthy text posts and add visual interest. I try to mostly use my own images. You don’t need a fancy camera or mad editing skills. I use my iPhone and Instagram to do a bit of editing to make the pictures look sharp. There are plenty of websites out there with free stock images you can use too, such as Unsplash. Just make sure they’re relevant to your chosen topic and if you’re using someone else’s image, make sure that you have

a) asked their permission

and

b) credited them properly or else you could end up in a lot of bother.

I used Canva to create my featured images and the graphics I use to promote my blog posts on Social Media. It’s free to use and it’s a simple and stress-free way to create professional looking graphics.

8. Spell-check and Proof Read

I’m sure this goes without saying but make sure that you run a spell-checker and proof read your work before it goes live. Poor spelling, punctuation and grammar can threaten not only your credibility but your scope for readership, as search engines such as Google will not pick up posts with words spelt incorrectly.

9. It Will Take Over Your Life

I’m constantly thinking about new ideas for posts, and new ways to promote my blog. I am also guilty of hitting refresh 38958 times per hour checking my stats. However it is super important to maintain a blog-work-life balance. The offline world is just as important as the online one!

10. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

This is a big one for me. I had no clue about Search Engine Optimization when I started blogging and now it’s almost all I think about when I’m writing content. I use the Yoast SEO Plug In to make sure that my content is as search-engine-friendly as it can be before hitting that “publish” button. Yoast uses a traffic light system to rank how SEO friendly your post is. It’s simple – if you want your posts to reach a wide audience – they need to be able to find it!

blog office desk blogging

Free Stock Photo courtesy of picxclicx.com

I hope you’ve found this list interesting and/or helpful – if you have, leave me a comment and let me know!

70 Comments

  1. December 3, 2017 / 4:24 pm

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  2. December 3, 2017 / 6:25 pm

    I thought blogging would be easy but now I’m realizing if I’m going to be consistent next year, I’ll have to make or get a planner for my posts. These are great reminders. Thanks.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      Yes it’s definitely a lot harder than I expected! Time-consuming but totally worth it! Thanks for reading x

  3. hal
    December 3, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    It’s super helpful! Planning ahead is the hardest thing for me to do but when I do things go so much smoother!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      It is hard – especially when you’ve got writers block! I think the key is to make the most of productivity bursts when you have them!

  4. December 3, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    I love your term “post bank.” Such a cute way to put it! Thanks for the tips girl.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 2:04 pm

      Thanks so much for reading x

  5. December 3, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    Although I have had my blog since February but I haven’t been able to properly blog. This is a great list of reminder for me. I have never heard about stumble upon will definitely try it for my future posts!!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 8:30 pm

      Definitely add your pages to Stumble Upon ! Like I said – I don’t 100% understand how it works but it’s sending me some solid traffic so I won’t complain! Thank you for reading x

  6. December 3, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    Welcome to the blogging community! Spellchecking is something I didn’t do until at least 6 months in to blogging and I wasn’t never organised enough to have back up posts there and ready. You’re doing wonderful already, I’m excited to see what your blog has to come.

    Zara xx

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much Zara – that means a lot! I’m absolutely loving being part of the blogging community so far. I’m organised now but ask me again in a few months ? thank you again for reading xx

  7. Shevy du Toit
    December 3, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    These are all really great pointers for a new blogger, I’ve delved a little more into SEO optimisation and have a blog coming out next week about it but more than that, Pinterest is so underrated. I use Tailwand as a Pinterest scheduler and I’ve only been using it for a few weeks now, since then apparently I’m getting over 1000 impressions a month over there. Not much but more than zero ?

    Shevy
    http://moonsomnia.com

    • megansays
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 1:28 pm

      Hey! Sorry for the late response to your comment – I approved it and then it disappeared! I can’t wait to read your post about SEO – please link me when it’s up!

      I have Tailwind as well – I’m still getting the hang of it but we’ll both get there eventually!

      Thank you so much for reading x

  8. December 3, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    I can’t believe you learned all this in your first 6 weeks, it took me way longer haha! These is some really fabulous advice for new bloggers though, I definitely agree with getting your own domain, it was the best decision I ever made with my blog!
    Alice Xx

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Alice! To be fair I’ve been a bit obsessive with it ? need to follow my own advice and disconnect more! X

  9. December 3, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    These are all great things to be paying attention to! I’m still learning loads 2 years on! Post promotions and planning ahead are my must dos

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      I don’t think we’ll ever know everything about blogging but I love that! Thank you so much for reading x

  10. December 3, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    I’m new to blogging so these tips really help. Planning really is the best way to keep a blog ticking along! Especially if you’re busy! And disconnecting is just as important as connecting! Loved this post xx

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      Exactly – if you don’t have a plan – it’s easy just to give up when writers block hits. Thank you for reading Jasmin 🙂 x

  11. December 3, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    Organization and planning are so important so that you don’t get overwhelmed or lose motivation! SEO is something we are working on at the moment! xx corinne

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 9:14 pm

      I’d be so lost without Yoast SEO! Thank you for reading ladies xx

  12. December 3, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    This is so helpful. I just started my blog a week a go and I have so much to learn especially when it comes to the layout and customising etc but it’s a journey after all ?

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Exactly it’s a journey – and you’re doing so well already! I’m excited to see where your blog goes!! Thank you for reading Emerald 🙂 x

  13. December 3, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    I’ve been blogging for over a decade and with my latest blog, I’ve decided to rebrand and pay a bit more focus on it. I definitely agree that blogging will consume a lot of time in your life – it’s almost like a part time job! – and I’ve learned that posts definitely do not promote themselves! I absolutely love blogging, even though it does require some efforts but it’s a great journey to meet people along the way and claim a little corner of the internet as your own.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Exactly I love being part of the blogging community. It is time consuming but it’s worth putting in the effort when it pays off. Thanks so much for reading x

  14. December 3, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Just remember to enjoy it, girl =) If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that YOU’RE the main USP of YOUR blog. It will take over your life at times, but don’t forget that this is just a little part of your life. Make sure you invest the right time for your blog but also invest MORE time in your offline world. x

    • megansays
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      You’re SO right – thank you!! I think once I’m a bit more established I’ll be able to disconnect more – when the online bits start to come more naturally! Thank you so much for reading x

  15. December 4, 2017 / 1:25 am

    Welcome to the blogging world Megan! I remember writing a similar post a few months after launching my blog last year…it’s amazing quite how much knowledge you accumulate through blogging especially when it comes to social media, seo and building your website etc. I hope you’re enjoying it so far! xx

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 1:59 pm

      Thank you so much Maggie – I’m absolutely loving it so far. There is so much to learn – it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes but it’s worth it when you start to see strategies producing results.

      Thank you for reading x

  16. December 4, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    This post is super helpful! I’ve been blogging for a little over a month and I think I’m ready to invest in a host and a domain. There’s a lot I still need to learn but I’m excited for what’s to come.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 1:53 pm

      There is so much to learn but you’ll get the hang of it in no time! I would definitely recommend investing in a host and domain – it makes all the difference!

      Thanks so much for reading x

  17. December 4, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Great post! I just started blogging myself and have definitely found it consumes my life, but in a good way. I’m constantly trying to think of new idea, so it’s a wonderful creative outlet for me. I need to take your advice about coming up with a set posting schedule. That’s a very smart idea. I also find participating in webinars hosted by social media influencers/bloggers to be extremely helpful!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      Thank you so much for reading – I’m glad you found my post helpful! Do you have any recommendations for good webinars?

      xx

  18. Shell
    December 4, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Blogging is definitely a whole lot of work. It’s a huge commitment but so worth it! 🙂

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 3:44 pm

      Absolutely – thanks for reading x

  19. December 4, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    I love this! I am around 8 weeks into blogging so I am definitely still learning! I think planning and writing blog posts ahead is key and saves a lot of time also! Thank you soo much for these tips 🙂

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Hi Kiarna – thank you so much for reading – I’m glad my tips helped you 🙂 We can learn together 🙂 x

  20. December 4, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Haha, totally agree with number 9. I never expected to be sooo occupied with one thing! Love your blog btw.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Aw thank you Jo! Yours is super cute too – I just checked it out 🙂 x

  21. December 4, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    Promoting is something I definitely need to work on for sure. I definitely invest in a domain name and hosting just to make it more official for sure.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Meghan! (Also – nice name!) x

  22. December 4, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    There’s definitely such a huge learning curve in the very beginning of starting a blog. Great tips here for newbies to it!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Thanks Kate – I think once that initial feeling of “omg I’m so overwhelmed” goes away – the jigsaw falls into place 🙂 x

  23. December 4, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    First, congrats on your first 6 weeks! The one about it taking over your life made me laugh because it is so true. You have so many great tips in here for new bloggers. I wish you continued success!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 4, 2017 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you so much Shann – I really appreciate it x

  24. December 4, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Yay! These are great reminders and tips, thanks so much for sharing! Enjoy the process, can’t wait to follow along 🙂
    -Ashley

    • megansays
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Thank you so much Ashley – that means a lot coming from an established blogger like yourself! x

  25. December 5, 2017 / 12:09 am

    You have learned more in your first 6 weeks than I did in mine, that’s for sure. Blogging totally does take over your life (or at least your mind! I’ve become used to constantly thinking “with this twist this could be a really cool blog topic”, haha.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Ahaha yes I’m the same, literally everything I do becomes “How can I write about this?” but when inspiration strikes you can’t say no!

      Thank you so much for reading Jordyn 🙂 x

  26. Luci
    December 5, 2017 / 1:04 am

    Really great post to those who are new to the game in blogging. It took me a while to really get a hand on blogging. One thing that I did learn to never give up.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 11:05 am

      Exactly – never give up! I just had a look at your blog and it looks great! Well done 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading x

  27. December 5, 2017 / 2:16 am

    These are great lessons. There is so much to learn when you first start blogging! I definitely needed to learn about promoting each post.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 9:53 am

      You’ll get there! Thank you so much for reading 🙂

    • megansays
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 1:25 pm

      Thanks Erica! It means a lot coming from someone with such a pro blog like yours! x

  28. Emily
    December 5, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    These are incredible tips!! Blogging can be a bigger challenge than you think but it does get easier over time!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 6, 2017 / 10:09 am

      Thanks for reading Emily – it does for sure get easier with time, things start to become second-nature (thank goodness!) x

  29. December 5, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    You have some tips. I love doing my own images. I use canva, too. The proofreading is extremely important. Grammarly doesn’t always catch things, so I have someone else (who is good with spelling and grammar) proofread.

    • megansays
      Author
      December 6, 2017 / 10:43 am

      I have never used Grammarly – would you recommend? I got an A* in English so I’m relying on myself at the moment ? thanks for reading Amanda x

  30. December 5, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    Great post! Reminds me of my initial blogging months! It;s good you are trying to up your game bu learning as much as you can. Thanks for sharing.
    Do drop by my blog as well : http://styleovercoffee.com 🙂

    • megansays
      Author
      December 6, 2017 / 12:37 pm

      Upping my game and trying to help others as I go! Thanks so much for reading – I’ll head over to your blog now x

  31. Karen
    December 5, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    Its so amazing how much you learn about blogging so quickly! Its a huge learning curve but totally worth it! Glad you found all these tips and youre sharing them with everyone!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 6, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      Of course – plenty of people have helped me on my journey so I hope I can help others too 🙂 Thank you so much for reading 🙂

  32. December 6, 2017 / 6:56 am

    Bloggers learn so much from scratch, and on the go! I suppose that’s why we love it. And also why we find ourselves at #9 …

    • megansays
      Author
      December 6, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Exactly and you have to be so quick at learning to keep up! Thank you so much for reading x

  33. December 6, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    There’s definitely a learning curve with blogging so enjoy the ride! As a blogger, my advice to you is not to compare yourself to other bloggers. Every one goes at a different pace and has different amounts of time to dedicate to it. 🙂
    Cheers! Sarah Camille // SCsScoop.com

  34. December 6, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    LOL, saying that blogging will take over your life is an understatement! All I think about it blogging and content and photos, all day long!

    • megansays
      Author
      December 7, 2017 / 10:33 am

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!

      Thank you for reading x

  35. December 27, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    I love these tips, Megan – take time to learn, posts don’t promote themselves, and it will take over your life (lol!). One of the reasons I’m so obsessed with blogging is because there’s always, always, always something new to learn and try. Best hobby ever! haha.
    Seriously though – these are valuable lessons! There’s definitely a lot that goes into promotion that I wouldn’t have imagined before. I always wondered how all these other bloggers grew their audience! And when you think about it, it’s through consistent promotion 😉

    xoxo
    Krista

    • megansays
      Author
      December 29, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Krista! Happy New Year 🙂 x

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