My first 30 days of blogging was an extremely eye-opening experience. Going into this as an inexperienced blogger my expectations were not particularly high. My initial aspirations in blogging were to write about what was on my heart and mind, and if anyone saw value in reading it, well that would just be a bonus.
Soon after my desires of what I wanted out of my blog somewhat changed, however still staying true to the joy of writing and sharing content.
The first couple of weeks of blogging: Starting out I did some quick research and chose what had proven to be a popular, reliable and trusted online website creation tool, WordPress.com. Choosing my blog platform and selecting a theme on how my website was going to look was exciting and fun.
WordPress offers several plans starting with a free one. However, because I did not want the wordpress.com at the end of my website title. I opted to pay a fee and went with the least expensive personal plan.
√ What I know now and could also benefit you:
Within my first 30 days, I soon realized that I would like to customize my blog with specific features that adding plugins would allow me to do and choosing to self-host my site by using a web host such as Blue Host or Siteground should have been what I chose to do.
Unfortunately, to my disappointment with the basic plan I chose with WordPress.com, I did not have access to plugins. And in order to gain access to the WordPress plugins, I would have to upgrade to the next plan level which required me to pay more.
I also learned by watching and reading many blogging tutorials during my first 30 days other benefits that come with a self-hosted site. I should also note that a lot of these features are available with WordPress.com however the upgrades to gain access to these features are far more expensive than the self-hosting cost.
Fortunately, Blue Host and Siteground make the process of switching to self-hosting easy without the fear of losing any of the existing content you have with WordPress.com or other non-self-hosting web tools.
The benefits of being self-hosted:
- Your website 100% under your control
- Thousands of themes to choose from in designing the look of your blog
- Monetize your blog by using affiliate links, advertising and work with brands
- Marketing capabilities such as building an email list
- Have better SEO
- Appear more professional
- Technical support 7 days 24 hours 365 days
Also during the first couple of weeks, discovering that although I thought my blog content was worth the time spent reading, not many others would immediately feel the same way. I found myself doing a lot of self-motivating and trying to remain focused on why I initially started blogging.
Remember initially I was content if only one person read it because at the end of the day this blog was for me, well that soon changed.
To my surprise, after I got my first few followers, likes and comments something lying dormant inside me woke up! I felt validated in a way and it felt nice, I wanted more readers. Therefore, during those first 30 days, I found myself doing what I could to quickly increase traffic to my website and checked my stats throughout the day a lot.
I even wrote a blog of my experience during this time that you can read by clicking here: Blogging Anxiety The 3 Triggers You Want To Avoid.
√ What I know now and could also benefit you:
When you decide you want to blog you’re excited, trust me I understand you just want to punch those keys and click publish. However, I caution you that before you start writing the content for your initial blog.
Take a moment or two and write down a few reasons why you want to blog and how you expect your blog to grow in the months moving forward. Review this each week, making changes to it as your ideas and expectations evolve. This will prove beneficial because trust me your ideas and perceptions about blogging will change.
The last couple weeks of my first 30 days: I started reading content from other bloggers a lot more. Please understand that it’s vitally important that you engage with other bloggers in order to grow and build your own community.
It makes sense, other bloggers desire what I soon realized I wanted…more traffic and subscribers! Not just subscribers but people who actually read your content and leave feedback. Therefore I was intentional about not just clicking bloggers like buttons just to get on their radar but follow the golden rule…by doing unto others as I wanted them to do unto me… therefore, I read content and left feedback.
And this takes quite a bit of time but it’s worth it as you will quickly experience a positive return.
√What I know now and could also benefit you:
During this time I also came to the conclusion that the blogging world was ginormous and serious business for some and I was like fish out of water. If I wanted my blog to grow and understand what blogging terms like SEO, and plugin meant, I needed more education.
In your research, you will find many, many successful bloggers willing to teach you what they know on how they became successful by signing up for their online courses and tutorials for a fee.
I admit this was a bit frustrating to me but also understanding the business aspect and making a profit. I am with peace with it now because it simply makes sense that if you can capitalize on what you have tried and proven to work and help others build their platform by sharing your winning techniques..well then, why not.
But in an effort not to spend a lot of money in the beginning stages of my blog I have not signed up for one of these online courses yet. However, all is not lost because I have discovered that some of the most successful bloggers who have tutorials and online courses that they charge for, also offer tons of free information, checklist, videos, etc… that I am learning from and using in the meantime to help grow my platform.
One of my favorite blogging professionals who I personally do not know but comes across genuine and shares tons of free information about how to grow your blogging business on her website and Youtube channel is Allison Lindstrom.
The real truth about the first 30 days of blogging for me had many ups and far fewer downs. I attribute this to the fact that my initial purpose of blogging has not changed. My desire is to still write and share but with the added component of growing and offering a better platform for my readers to experience.
My first 30 days have come and gone and I have thrived! Moving forward I now know that the real truth of my blogging experience was rich with stages of insecurities, confusion, and growth. That, in turn, has provided me the opportunity to share valuable content within the tiny little niche that I have carved out for myself in this vast blogging world.