A Thank You Letter to Bloggers Who Blog about Blogging

My face as I try to learn about blogging

My Daughter Totally Mimicking My “Learning” Face

Dear Bloggers Who Blog about Blogging,

I must send you all a sincere thank you. I am a novice blogger. I started this blog one year ago and then put it away on a shelf in my closet for nine months. I was completely swamped from the demands of raising a toddler while simultaneously teaching America’s youth. I still read your blogs, dear Bloggers, but I had no time or energy to do any blogging of my own.

When summer break hit, I resolved to blog my little heart out. I absolutely love to write, but what I have learned this summer is that there is a certain art to blogging that is different than the journaling I have done my entire life. I learned there is so much I do not know about blogging. To educate myself, I turned to the best resources I could find…other bloggers.

*All of the links included in this post are for the purpose of sharing what I have learned. I have no affiliation with any bloggers mentioned and will not receive any commission for this post. 

Here are seven things I have learned from other bloggers:

1. You must be consistent.

As with any skill that you want to get better at, you must practice. You have to write every day and post often. I have been able to post 2-3 times this summer and I would like to keep the momentum going throughout the school year. Like training for a marathon, my goal is to post every day for the next week. Mostly because I want to see if I can do it, but also because I want to see which days result in the most page views.

2. Social media is your friend or..co-worker.

Truth be told, I am no social media guru. I use Facebook to share photos with friends are relatives who live far away. I joined Instagram for the same reason. I joined Twitter to follow celebrities like Justin Timberlake. Then, I started following other parenting bloggers and a whole new world opened up! You people completely understand my #momlife, #toddletlife, #parenting dilemmas. I love the 140 character anecdotes, but I also love that I can share my posts and read ALL if yours! I actually have no idea how to “grow followers”, but I love the ability to interact with like minds. like meeting around the water cooler to share ideas every day.

3. Your blog must be visually appealing.

I seriously spent four straight hours in the middle of the night looking at the various themes on WordPress. I was using the Oxygen theme, which can make your home page resemble a fancy magazine layout, but it was too busy and not mobile friendly. I noticed that many of the bloggers I follow use a plain white background and then embellish with cute fonts in bright colors. Great photos can also completely make a blog page.

4. You must get your own domain name.

If you want to turn your blog into a business, you have to own your own domain. You can upgrade from a free WordPress account, to a paid account and register your very own domain name. I did this a little over a week ago and became a little giddy, to be honest. it was so easy, plus a paid account comes with the ability to monetize your blog and do some real advertising. 

5. There is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Say what? I had NO idea about this until two days ago. According to the hundreds of articles I have now read on the subject, WordPress.com is great for newbies like myself, because they do all of the web hosting and make setting up your first blog super easy. Transferring over to WordPress.org means you get to host your site and upload custom themes and plugins to make your site a lot more functional. I just joined Blue Host to help me with this transition. in which I would have been LOST without all of you bloggers and your step-by-step posts and videos!

6. You can monetize your blog.

This means you can do what you love and make money! I am still trying to figure this one out. I have become an Amazon Affiliate and registered with Shareasale to promote companies that I love and believe in like Zulily and Ergobaby. I also signed up with Tomoson to review products I am interested in and receive a commission or freebies. While I definitely would not mind making a few extra bucks, I only want to mention particular products or companies that I believe in. Some bloggers know exactly how to find the perfect balance between sharing things they personally endorse and making a boatload of money. I have not yet harnessed such magic.

7. You need to follow other bloggers.

Following other bloggers is how you learn. I LOVE finding new bloggers to follow. I shamelessly steal tips and tricks from other bloggers. I try to emulate them like they are my virtual mentors. For example, I had no idea what a widget even was, until Ana Spoke explained how to make one for your book on her site. She also models how to be funny and informative at the same time.

I learn about mommy blogging and how to demonstrate you are an expert on your topic from Angela. I steal pretty much every Montessori-based activity and do them with my toddler.

I borderline stalk Carly at Lipgloss and Crayons. I adore the layout of her site and “love” every post on Blog Lovin’. She is a teacher and mom just like me! It’s like we’re soul sisters!

Here are five things (out of  million) I still need to learn:

  1. How to grow my social media followers. I keep reading your posts, bloggers, but I am social media challenged.
  2. How to monetize my blog in a way that may ultimately bring home the bacon, but will not make me come off sounding like a used car salesperson.
  3. How to create my own theme (that matches my “brand” and personality) on Blue Host.
  4. How to create a regular posting schedule that fits in my life and maximizes page views.
  5. How to use Google Adwords. I have a credit with WordPress, but I have no idea how to create the best advertisement and effectively analyze the data.

Here are Three Ways You Can Help Me or Yourself (if you are also a baby blogger):

  1. Check out my Pinterest Board “Blogging Love” if you are on your learning journey. Or you can send me pins to add if you are an expert!
  2. Join Blog Lovin’to find great bloggers to follow and learn from, like me!
  3. Comment on this post if there is anything you think I should add to help new bloggers or if you can answer any of the burning questions I still have!

 

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