I’ve been blogging for around 3 months now and in that short time, I feel like I’ve learned a lot. From photography skills to catchy titles to SEO, this shit ain’t as easy as it looks.
I decided to start blogging because of my love of writing, makeup and skincare. I’m always looking at new products to try out and writing has always been a passion of mine. I mean I literally work as an editor and writer to then come home and spend more time writing and editing for my blog. And I’m not sick of it!
So I thought, what better way to combine the two than to create a blog where I write about makeup and skincare products (as well as any other little tips I have)? And so I created A Woman’s Confidence.
My blog definitely has a long way to go and there are things that need improving and changing. But since starting blogging, I’ve enjoyed every second of it.
So from my short time in the blogosphere, here are 10 things I’ve learned about blogging so far:
1. Blogging is hard
Whilst I never wanted to take blogging lightly, I never anticipated that it would be so difficult. Or time-consuming. You have to master photography/writing/editing/social media/marketing/SEO/how to monetise your blog. And that’s just the start!
The amount of work you can do on and around your blog is endless. If you’re not creating a post for your own site, you can be guest blogging elsewhere. If you’re not scheduling a load of posts on social media, you’re looking into affiliate marketing. There’s a lot to learn.
For me, that’s great. I love learning. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take a lot of work. Unless you have multiple people working on your site in different areas, the chances are you have to do it all yourself.
2. Social media is your new best friend
Having an online presence, community and readership are absolutely essential in blogging. The best and easiest way to do this is by using social media.
Everyone uses social media and out of these people, a lot of them spend a lot of time on it. So whenever you have a new post go up, a quick, easy and free way to share this is on social media.
I’ve found Twitter the most useful. I’ve had a lot of support from other bloggers on there and, besides Facebook advertising, I’ve had the most amount of traffic onto my blog from Twitter. It’s great! But really, the more platforms you’re on, the more people you’re connecting with, which ultimately leads to more people looking at your blog.
3. Connect with and support other bloggers
This is perhaps one of the most crucial things I’ve learned about blogging. It’s all well and good promoting your own stuff over social media, but that’s not really enticing to people unless you engage back.
We all want our blogs to do well. We all want a big readership and to earn enough money that we can blog full-time. But the thing is, there are thousands of people just like you who want their blogs to be successful. And they’re probably not going to be a dedicated reader or connect with you if they never get anything back. It takes a lot of time and effort to be a blogger and people want to see a return on that, naturally. Plus, it tells them that their blog is actually interesting and they’re not just writing to nobody.
So be kind and supportive. Read other people’s blogs and tell them what you like and what you don’t. Comment, retweet, like, share links and subscribe. It’s really easy and it shows the world you’re into the blogging game. Ultimately, if you support people, they’ll support you back.
As well, reading other content is great for shaping your own writing.
4. Plan ahead
I have times in the week where I’m either busy or just want to chill out and because I work full-time, it does take up a lot of hours in my week.
So to make sure my blog doesn’t suffer because of this, I use social media scheduling sites to allow me to plan some of my posts out. I use Tweetdeck for Twitter, which is really easy to use, and Hootsuite for Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, both of which are free. These are life-savers because it ensures my social media doesn’t just go dead and that I have posts going out throughout the week.
5. Oh, photography is actually pretty hard
I never thought I’d say those words, but taking nice photos for my blog has been harder than I’d expected. You have to consider angles, lighting, props, flat lays, colour schemes etc. to create attention-grabbing images.
Taking pretty pictures is particularly important for Pinterest and Instagram which are completely photo-orientated.
This is one area which definitely needs work as I should look into flat lays and props far more than I have, but I think I’m starting to get the basics. Also, Canva is a really cute photo editing tool, which people use a lot for Pinterest.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is vital for getting your website ranked in Google and makes it more searchable. Using keywords, links, tags, excerpts, meta tags etc. are all part of the SEO process.
It’s pretty easy to get a basic understanding of SEO, but difficult to get really good at. But hard work, research and consistency are key elements to getting good at SEO.
I’ve personally found these two videos very helpful as a beginner:
Also, if you’re a WordPress user, check out the Yoast SEO plugin, which is really insightful and helpful.
7. Google Analytics
If you want to track your website’s performance and all of its different components, such as bounce rate, where your traffic’s coming from, website visitors, most popular posts etc. then Google Analytics is a must.
It’s relatively easy to install on your site but will give you endless data that will help you identify which parts of your site are doing well and what needs improving.
Looking at it for the first time, it’s pretty confusing and overwhelming. But Google offers Analytics Academy for free, which is a step-by-step guide into how Analytics works and how you can make the most out of it.
I use Google Analytics to try and work out what my readers are enjoying and what they’re not to, hopefully, deliver more interesting and engaging content in the future.
8. Editorial calendars
I personally find this step really useful. I plan out what posts I’m going to do for the next few weeks or even months, so I know what I’m working towards and if I need to buy anything, then I have time to get it all.
I didn’t have an editorial calendar when I first started blogging and would just decide on what I’d write about each week. While this was fine, I sometimes felt like if I’d have to rush to try and get my posts written because I didn’t have enough time to plan or buy things to review in time.
Using a content editorial has been very helpful in this respect, especially for makeup looks. If I knew I had to do a variety of looks for a blog post coming up in a few weeks, it gave me time to create the looks and take pictures, rather than trying to do them all in one day. So, I definitely like having an editorial calendar.
9. Your blog will change
And that’s okay.
Even in these 3 months, I’ve found so many things in my blog that I want to remove, add, change and improve. It’s all part of the process of creating a strong and identifiable brand.
I have times where I love my blog and I have times where I really don’t. But going through these thoughts are important as I feel like it gives your blog a strong sense of identity that your readers will want to come back to.
10. It’s rewarding
The main thing I’ve learned is that blogging is fun and rewarding. It honestly feels so good when I put a post out and get people reading, commenting and engaging. It’s something I work hard on and put money and time into, so to have a pay-off at the end is great. And that’s what keeps me motivated.
I really hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to hear about other people’s experiences of blogging and what they’ve learned from the process.