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10 Pieces of Advice for My Blogging Self

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Back in 2004, when I was focused on learning the basics of how to write, I also started blogging.  I had no idea what I was doing.  There really were no ‘rules’ or ‘how to’ books or examples really. I just opened up an account and away I went – posting to my hearts desire.

Oh I wish I’d known then what I know now.  I could have saved so much time and grown my network so much faster.  But I guess the journey and the education has been worth it all.  I know I still have a lot to learn.

Over at the Eclectic Six blog we’re asking:

Remember back to the first day you decided to start a blog. You thought up a name for yourself and loaded up a brand new blog. If you could give that version of yourself some advice for the blogging journey you were about to take what would it be? Is there any piece of info you wish you knew then that could have saved you time, effort, headaches? Share your advice and maybe you’ll spare some other newbie a headache or two!

 

So here it goes – Advice to the 2004 Blogging Me

~ Enough with cutesy names – pick a name and URL that can grow with you no matter what stage of life you’re in and stick with it. ( I can see keeping Home To Heather forever.)

~ Fork out the cash and get on self hosted wordpress asap – it’s WORTH IT.

~ Learn SEO.  You need to.

~ Take a photography class and invest in a good camera – This is something I still need to do!

~ Figure out what you want to write about in a concrete way.  Map out your categories and focus.

~ Keeping up a blog is not easy, but you’ll love it and you’ll be bonded to your blog like it’s a child….it’s a part of you.  Embrace it and enjoy the process.

~ Don’t get sucked into the review / giveaway thing.  You don’t HAVE to do what others are doing.

~ Don’t work for free. Put the effort you would have used back into your blog and accomplish something on your to do list.

~ Make blogging work for you – figure out what you want and work towards it.

~ Don’t forget about the writing.  Take time to weave a story.  Find the funny. Find the lesson.  Make your posts useful or entertaining or both.

 

This advice is meant for my 2004 self and might not apply to you.  Don’t be offended but if you disagree please comment and tell me why because it might help a newbie somewhere along the way!

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips, Heather! I am starting a blog and will take your advice to heart :)

  2. Great advice, Heather – thanks from a new blogger! SEO is like an alien planet to me, and photography. Luckily my sister is a pro at that last one… :)

  3. SEO is still mostly a foreign language to me after 4 years. I think the most important piece is making it work for you.

  4. A great post! I’m still lost when it comes to SEO and three months into blogging finally decided what I want to focus more on, not just reviews and giveaways, they’re nice to have, but I want to do more then just that and hope that my readers stay and enjoy the other things I want to focus on.

  5. Some good advice there! The hardest part about blogging is keeping it about you. This is my struggle, maintaining my likes and dislikes. I’ve started a few new features that interest me and will be a weekly feature for me. Stuff I want to know. If I’m blogging about them, I’ll be watching out for them. I always have to tell myself “why did you start doing this?”

  6. Wow! Thanks for all the helpful tips! The “Don’t work for free” is especially important.

    • it’s easy to think of it as ‘helping’ and I think we should always help if the situation calls for it….but at the same time, we can’t be taken advantage of.

  7. You’ve shared some great advice! Interesting how much we can learn in a few years :)

  8. Good stuff. I second your advice.

  9. I would tell myself to stay focused on my niche and not stray off the path. I did that big time with my old blog.

  10. Great tips, Heather!

  11. Yes– DON’T work for free! You wouldn’t work for free anywhere else right??? Need to start being bolder and just telling peeps what I charge!

    Thanks for the tips!

  12. Great list! I really wish someone had told me some of these things when I first started, especially the whole giveaway thing. I got really burnt out quickly.

  13. That’s some great advice! I’ve learned a lot in the past few years of blogging, most recently, the self-hosted part! Love being self-hosted, it’s really worth the $$!

    • it really is worth the money and it allows for so much more control and freedom. I’ve heard of blogs being shut down by blogger out of the blue and I would FREAK out if that ever happened to me. Being self hosted I feel like my blog is safe and under my control.

  14. I like the “you don’t have to do what everyone is doing”.

  15. I am thinking of jumping to WP, but not there yet… love that you know how to do your own thing, and what is right for you!

  16. My advice is never stop learning. Things change everyday, and I agree, do what works for you, not what everyone else is doing!

  17. I wish I had this advice when I first started my blog. I titled mine 50Plus Single BBW. I know for sure I won’t always be 50Plus and who knows about the other two. Not a good decision for sure.

    • hind sight eh? If it doesn’t fit, then change it. Changing to my current url was the best thing I’ve ever done blog wise…

  18. This is very interesting. I’m coming up on 2 years with my blog and I don’t think I’d tell myself to do anything different. Maybe I haven’t learned anything. I don’t know. I like my name and I don’t ever see changing it. I’m not interested in give-aways or reviews either. My blog is growing slow and steady. Maybe I’m not ambitious enough, I don’t know. I watch closely how other bloggers (some other bloggers NOT ALL other bloggers) interact with each other and the ‘trying to fit in’ reminds me of high school too much. So I tend to stick to the sidelines and do my own thing. I tend to gravitate to the bloggers who are similar. If people like me than that’s awesome, and I hope they do. We’ll see how it goes. I like this advice though, it’s very helpful.

    • I think your name is great and you’re doing a very good job of it. I love your blog because you just do your own thing and it reads very honestly. What you’re doing is working. Keep at it!

  19. OK… you’re not the first to tell me to head to WordPress. Currently I’m sitting on a Blogspot blog with almost 500 posts. Can I transfer them over do you know?

    • Yes you can transfer them over. If you want to make the move I’d consider doing it sooner rather than later – if your transfer file gets too large then you have to splice it up into smaller bits and it can be a bit of a pain. Still do-able, but a pain :)

  20. I really want to learn more about SEO, but it seems like such a big hill to climb. Great post.

  21. Such a terrific post! I agree with every single point. The only one I would add is to find your tribe of trusted bloggers. This community can be incredibly supportive and finding your network is key!

  22. Great advice to your 2004 self and to my 2007 self! I still need to get a better camera especially since the one I was using has died. Love this post! :-)

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