I used to blog for fun for years before I started this blog. It’s always fun to share your thoughts and ideas with the world and see what people have to say. I started blogging again in earnest this year and have been going steadily since May. I have made many mistakes along the way, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far after 4 months of “serious” blogging.
Copyright, Copyright, Copyright
I can’t emphasize this one enough! I was really careful about what pictures I used in the beginning, because of all the horror stories about getting sued, but I was shocked to find out that you can get sued by font companies too! If it can happen to NBC, it can happen to you! I just used one of the fonts that came with the computer not realizing it can get you in trouble! I had to take down my beloved logo that I spent lots of time making, because the font company doesn’t let you use the font for logo purposes without paying a premium. Wow. If you’re trying to monetize your site in the future (like me) and want to avoid getting sued, I would make sure that all your content, including fonts, are truly free.
Know Your Audience
My blog in the past was mainly for family back home to hear of my adventures abroad. This time around, I’m trying to make my blog for a wider audience. At some point or another, I will have to leave this world, and this blog–if it’s still around–I hope will be a testimony to other moms out there who are looking for answers and encouragement. It really helps to have a target audience to keep your writing consistent and appealing.
Break Up Content into Different Blogs If Necessary
If it looks like you have too many topics, than you probably do. I started out with way too many topics! My menu got completely overwhelmed, so I moved content to other websites based on content. I felt bad that people were following me to see more cooking, when the main point of my main blog is definitely not recipes. It’s better to divide topics so followers don’t get spammed with content they don’t want to see.
Use Your Own Content As Much As Possible
I’m still not finished going back through all my content, but since I started and have looked at a lot of different successful blogs out there, I’ve noticed a trend: they all use their own original work. A lot of my pictures come from Pixabay, but I was thinking in the future, I would really love to change all the photos to my own work. Hats off to all the people out there who use their own stuff from the get-go!
Don’t Neglect Tedious Technical Work
I know it can be tempting to just get your content up as soon as possible, but it’s a good idea to go back and add things like ALTs (alternative descriptions) to all of your photos. This makes it possible for the search engines to classify your photos, therefore boosting your rankings. I have been slowly modifying slugs (part of the url of your post) to make it easier to find pages. Some of my subject lines and slugs don’t match, so I’ve been trying to fix that. Make sure you do this in the beginning, because once your blog gets a lot of traffic, you won’t be able to modify the pages so easily! Also, don’t forget to back up your site in case it gets hacked!
You Don’t Have to Do It All
In today’s world, it’s expected that you be a jack-of-all-trades kind of a person, but you don’t have to be. That’s why good companies hire multiple people for multiple jobs. It’s not easy to be the marketer, the accountant, the tech guy, the editor, and the coffee girl all in one day! There’s no shame in starting out small. Don’t rush or you could make careless mistakes. Who knows, as your blog grows, you could potentially hire people to do all this extra work for you. (Wishful thinking, I know.)
Take Your Time
As a mother of 2 little toddlers, it can be frustrating trying to update the blog on a regular basis. Some websites I visited that talk about blogging as a business said you should be updating at least 3-4 times a week! My advice is: don’t overdo it. You don’t have to let other people dictate how and why you post. It’s your blog, right?
Never Forget Your Original Intention
I love this one because it is used often in Japanese. “初心を忘れない.” I’m not a fan of the guy who first said it, but it’s a very important concept. As we run around in life trying to do this and that, we can lose track of why we even started something in the first place. My original intention for this blog is to give glory to God for all that he has done in my life and to encourage fellow moms out there who are having a hard time. Japan is a great place to visit, but a very difficult place to live for a variety of reasons. This blog will help you understand why.
I hope this post is helpful! Keep up the good work, everybody! God bless!!! And Jesus Reigns!!!