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My blog is a little over a month old, and in that short time I have already learned so much.
Although I’m not a veteran blogger (yet), I am still really keen to share with you what I’ve learned, what I would do differently and how you can kick off your blogging journey!
If you’re reading this then you are probably interested in starting a blog.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably read hundreds of posts on this topic already.
Do what I do, take the information you need and leave the rest.
There are so many brilliant ideas out there, but not all will work for you. That’s perfectly fine!
You’re probably wondering “Who is this chick? Why is she giving me advice when she is so new to it herself!?”
That is exactly why I am here writing this post! All of my learning experiences are so fresh that it isn’t watered down.
So let’s get started.
This is what I suggest you do before you even start doing anything else.
Research is so important before you start any big project, blogs are no exception.
Even though I know this rule, I failed to implement it.
Before I had even launched my blog I had a thousand ideas of what I wanted to do.
So I ran off and got myself a domain.
The issue I had is that I didn’t do any research into where I was getting my domain from.
I did a quick search and found Godaddy.
“0.99 cent domain, that’s amazing!”, I thought to myself.
Without doing any reading or research I signed up.
I very quickly realised my mistake!
Godaddy don’t offer free SSL certificates, it’s an added feature you have to pay for.
It is SO important to have a secure site, and they don’t allow you to transfer your domain for 60 days. so now I am patiently waiting my transfer date so I can send it over to Cloudways.
Something that I could of easily avoided if I had of done a few minutes of reading.
Ask for help, advice and tips
In my past I have been known to keep quiet and not ask for help, as I get older I am finding that asking for advice from those more experienced is one of the greatest resources we have.
In the past month I have joined many groups dedicated to blogging and starting a business… I probably wouldn’t of survived my first month without them!
Of course there is also the support I have gotten from my family and friends, which is just as appreciated and important.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I have quickly found that it can be the difference between a good start and a rough one.
Don’t get too consumed or obsessed with your blog
In my readings on blog advice I came across this tip and highly recommend it.
A blog is a great thing to do but don’t let it make you forget you have other things going on in your life.
I am constantly thinking about my blog.
What will I post next, when is the best time to upload that awesome picture to Instagram, should i check my stats again, what can I do to improve my content?
The list goes on and on and on…
This went on for the first few weeks, then I started to notice some negative effects of my behaviour.
For example – I am a stay at home mum, Luna goes to daycare Monday – Wednesday every week. (This is a big reason I started the blog, because I am fortunate enough to have those 3 days a week).
Before I started Mindful Galaxy, I would spend those 3 days cleaning, organising, cooking, preparing.. all of the usual housewife stuff.
Since I started Mindful Galaxy… well, let’s just say that my house leaves a lot to be desired at the moment!
Another thing I did before this was yoga every day that Luna wasn’t home. I’ve also let that one slip!
So I have had to consciously take the time and effort to fit cleaning and yoga into my new schedule.
These are now my “non-negotiable”, something a friend suggested I start doing.
Everything else gets planned around these 2 things, not the other way around!
Even though I feel like I have heaps to do and very little time, it is important that I remember that I have a life outside of my blog.
Heck, I wouldn’t be working towards my end-game if I did that.
Mindful Galaxy has the word “Mindful” in it for a reason!
Take advantage of free trials
There are so many programs, apps and advice out there designed to help bloggers efficiently utilise their time.
Most of the best programs have a fee, which is to be expected.
Before you know what is the best fit for you, try to trial as many for free as you can.
Once you find your fit, you can either stop there or keep going to see if something even better exists.
But I do recommend that you stick with what you’ve found works.
Free trials lead me to every website and program that I now use.
They host my fantastical pages. I have since upgraded my account and gotten a domain name attached to it, which I much prefer over the mindfulgalaxy.wordpress.com
However, when it comes to testing the waters I think that WordPress provide a brilliant platform for that.
This started as a trial but now it just seems like the most logical fit for my online store
This is what I use for my mailing list.
It is free for the first 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send 12,000 emails a month, which is awesome since I am just starting up.
Tailwind is something special that needs it’s own description!
What is Tailwind?
I’m sure you have heard a lot about Tailwind, and for good reason!
I’ve been using it for less than a month and already my views have improved enough for me to want to stick with it.
Basically it is an amazing program that allows you to upload your image, pin it to multiple boards and schedule them to be uploaded.
This means you’re not sitting there manually uploading constantly (which takes a lot of time, especially when you have to right descriptions for every post manually), you won’t be flagged for spam because they are nicely spaced out and it is a lot less work for you.
Tailwind have a really good trial of 100 free uploads, as well as a month by month or annual subscription choice.
Have a clear idea before you launch
Know exactly what you want and prepare for it.
Your site, ideas, business plan and most importantly your focus.
A month in and I’m still adjusting everything!
In the last week I have made huge changes to my blog. I’ve changed fonts, picked a colour scheme, reworked all of my header images.
It has been very time consuming and something I could of easily avoided if I had of been patient and gotten a clear idea of how I wanted it to go. Not just 800 notes scribbled in my Bullet Journal.
This one seems obvious, but it isn’t as easy as it seems.
Before I started I thought “Write posts? That’s not so bad!”. But it isn’t just the writing.
There is proof-reading, editing, photo taking, photo editing, header image creating. It all takes time.
As a mother of a toddler, if I had of known how much time it took to do all of this I would have waited a bit longer before going live. Just so that I had the photos ready to go!
A week ago I tried to take photos of my oils, you can see below that this didn’t go so well!
I took Luna outside, I sent her off to play and chase some chickens. All she wanted to do was touch the oils and steal my camera!
Another thing I wish I had of done from the beginning. It wasn’t until a few weeks in that I realised I couldn’t keep having notes scattered and no clear idea of what my week would look like.
This is where my free printables idea came from.
I started to make myself some Printables for personal use and put them all in a planner.
Now I have this wonderful planner which keeps me organised and focus.
Here is what it contains:
- Month at a glance
- Weekly overview
- Monthly review
- Advertising tracker
- Social media tracker
- Lined paper for general note taking
It seems like a lot when you write it all out like that, but it really isn’t!
Now, instead of being in a state of “omg what am I doing now?” I am looking at my list and checking things off as I go.
As someone who is a serial multi-tasker, it also helps me stay focused on the task at hand rather than jumping all over the place
If you want to know more about Bullet Journals as a organisation system, you can jump over to my Bullet Journal blog posts and find some information on how to utilise these beauties!
Choose the right domain address
When picking a domain, make sure it is as close to your brand name as possible.
When I was looking at options I had things like “MindfulSpace.net” pop up.
While that wouldn’t of been the worst domain name, it doesn’t match my brand and would just leave readers confused.
If you are using a free service such as WordPress, you will be given the option to use a sitename.wordpress.com address or sitename.home.blog site.
I went with the .blog option first. Again, no research or clue what I was doing.
While I liked the idea of a .blog address at first, a lot of social media sites wouldn’t allow me to post a .blog address on my posts.
I couldn’t even send the link in Facebook Messenger, It was super frustrating!
So I had to change my whole site over to mindfulgalaxy.wordpress.com, which then got eventually changed to mindful-galaxy.com.
Again, I made more work for myself than I needed!
Don’t get sucked in by “Get rich quick” promises
Man, I hate these so much.
I have no doubt that some blogs have become an instant success over night, however these are the exception to the rule.
Most things in life are a lot of work, time and commitment.
You can spend time reading these posts if you want, however I really recommend that you don’t. It is much more realistic and likely that your new blog will take time to grow.
Try to be patient
I know, it’s easier said than done.
You have your ideas, you have some content and you just want to get out into the world. Share your story. I get it, don’t worry.
When I started setting up my blog I kept telling people “Oh, it won’t be live for at least another 2 weeks” because I really believed that I needed to polish it all off first.
I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this.. that plan went out the door faster than a kid going to a theme park.
Within a week of starting I had gone live. I really wish that I had waited, and if I did it differently I would definitely wait.
Sure, it was really nice to be out there and getting some views, however I was so worried about how un-prepared my blog was that I spent heaps of time readjusting, changing and redoing everything.
So if you can be patient, then you really will benefit from it. I promise!