To Newbie Bloggers, From Newbie Blogger
Blogging is just a case of writing something interesting, informative, helpful or funny. Then everyone in the world reads it and you get companies pay you loads of money to write about them or their stuff. Easy. Anyone can do it. I could write a post in less than an hour and have the £’s directly in my bank account. 100+ views a day, 20+ followers a day on Twitter and my Instagram will be soo huge it will be uncontrollable after about a week won’t it?
Oh hang on a minute, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, BlogLovin’, Pinterest, Google+, engage with other peoples blogs, what is this nonsense you speak of? Crowdfire, Buffer, Blogspot, WordPress, Domains, are you speaking English right now?
Maybe it isn’t so easy then. Maybe I will have to spend a little more than an hour a day at this blogging thing. So I won’t have an army of 10k Instagrammers within a week and my Tweets won’t grab the attention of multi-million pound industries begging for me to write them an article? AND there’s other social media out there other than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So writing something I like and believe to be good content isn’t all it takes, there’s extra effort involved too… Wow…
I’ve been blogging now for just over 4 weeks. DadvWorld was ‘launched’, my first post was posted on 26th February 2016. I had no knowledge, scrap that, I have no knowledge of the real blogging world at all. In October 2015 I started a blog writing about Everton Football Club, don’t judge me! I’ve recently moved it across to WordPress from Blogger as after some research it seems WordPress is far better, it is. That blog though is where I simply write what I think about the on-goings at the club and share it to all the Everton groups on Facebook, relatively easy and just something I like doing. DadvWorld though is far more personal, at least that’s where it’s going. I’m only 11 posts in, 12 with this one and already I think anyone that’s kindly read all of my posts will have built up hopefully a good idea of who I am.
First thing you must do is buy your domain! Do this for 2 main reasons, first one being, if you have aspirations of blogging more seriously then yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com doesn’t look as good as good as yourname.com also I don’t think your DA rating will be a true reading if you have either of the 2 examples above. (DA ratings, jeez, I told you there’s loads I’m just figuring out now!) Secondly I was speaking with another blogger only yesterday, they waited to see how their blogging went before buying their domain, which is perfectly normal I did the same but was lucky, not like this blogger, they decided to finally buy their domain and someone had already taken it! This means they then had to change their name slightly. That can be a nightmare! Like me for instance other than having mild OCD I wanted everything matching, after all if I am to become a small ‘brand’ at some stage it’s easier if everything matches, my email, website, Twitter, Instagam etc are all dadvworld. Imagine having one or worse, several that had to be tweaked slightly! ARGH! It’s only £15 so do it. There are other plans etc that cost more but spend the £15 it’s not a lot to lose if you get fed up.
So at the 4 weeks mark I’ve had 734 reads of my blog, 107 likes on my Facebook page, 102 Instagram followers and 338 followers on Twitter. The other things like, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, Tumblr aren’t worth mentioning because I’m still yet to solve those puzzles. Now I’m not all hung up on stats, however they’re the only way for me to try and gage how well I’m doing. The comments I’ve had have been excellent and I value every last one of them! Someone other than my wife taking the time to read something I’ve written AND like it is very good for the ego, an excellent confidence booster. I also keep track of the stats to see what’s working. Facebook is the one and only source of traffic for my Everton blog and it gets a few views but I’ve not tracked that so well. DadvWorld however is far tougher to get traffic via Facebook. The groups have so many rules to follow and frankly I’m scared to post in most of them for fear of being told off or not returning a comment to a blog discussing the art of crafting chess pieces, something I have zero interest in whatsoever! People without kids, not all but most will see my blog name and not be interested, that’s OK and a like or forced comment from them isn’t really my aim, I appreciate it all the same but ideally we all want consistent readers. People who will read all/most of your posts and look out for your tweets etc. So #Newbies beware, to engage on Facebook there are rules to follow. I suppose I should mention I do my best to follow them and do still think it’s a great idea, especially to get you off the mark when you’re first starting out. I try to just get involved with 2 or 3 most days so it doesn’t take up hours on end or get confusing and I miss people out. I’ve actually found some fantastic blogs through this method 🙂
Twitter and Instagram I’ll cover together. I love Twitter, you’ll see me engaging most days @dadvworld not always Dad or parent related, just life related. I never used it much at all before starting my blog but now I’m finding it the best way to connect to other bloggers. Ask them questions, all the time, I don’t think they mind, everyone I’ve interacted with so far has been great and after all, the more established Bloggers are the best source of information because they’ve tried and tested everything we novices are yet to explore. They’ve also got where they are by being nice people! Blogging is very personal so if you’re a dick then you will probably earn more unfollowers than followers. Yes UNfollowers is actually a thing! Apps like Crowdfire will update you on people that followed you, thought you were rubbish and unfollowed you. Only kidding about the rubbish bit, I’ve had about 6 accounts unfollow me, 2 of them were offering me Russian wives, another wanted to show me their white bits and a few accounts that were simply looking to spam the hell out of my inbox. I don’t think any actual people have yet figured out I’m blagging my way through Blogging. Instagram I need to use more. If I spend a few hours messing around on there I get some engagement but the minute I stop so do the likes and follows. I tend to post a picture and get quite a few likes but followers are a little harder to come by. Still a work in progress this one. I will say though you 100% get back what you put in. There’s no surprises that I have far more engagement via Twitter than anywhere else as I spend more time on there. #Hasgtags, use them. I used to sneer at people hashtagging things, idiots aren’t they, it appears not! It’s a very useful way of putting your content further afield than just your followers, people search hashtags and if they search one you’ve included on your post then they’ll see it and may even give you a like and follow. I spend very little time on Pinterest and the others hence no worthwhile stats, however over the next few months I do plan to make time for other social media. (Make time, HAHA, I’m a Dad, where do I expect to get time from?)
Apps I’d never heard of before I picked up from people on Facebook mainly. Where Facebook groups and other people’s blogs come in handy are finding out what people are using and what for. Crowdfire, this one tracks your followers and UNfollowers on Twitter and Instagram. It also allows you to set up an automated response to send to people when they follow you. The word on the street is, don’t do this, it annoys people! On Crowdfire you can schedule posts too. So if you know you want to do a promotion post for your blog twice a day, then you can set this up. I think I may do this more further down the line but at the moment I don’t feel I have enough umpf to be doing this regular. Bloglovin’ is anyone’s guess, I’m still not sure on this one. A place where you have an account so you can post your blog on there and see loads of others. I’ve posted ‘I think’, where it went I don’t know, it’s on my list of ‘Research & Learn more about’, this list is bigger than my Twitter following! StumbleUpon is the same. I love stumbling through other people’s blogs and liking them however I’ve no idea where my posts go when I click share. Through my phone when I share half of the time it say’s it hasn’t worked? I did receive an email telling me my blog was being ‘StumbledUpon’ followed by mentioning a few of my posts were in the bodybuilding category! Buffer is another one that helps control social media accounts I believe, I have it downloaded and logged in but I’m yet to give it my full attention. At the moment as I’m new and just a small drop in the blogging ocean I’m happy using the usual apps for now and can branch out the bigger I get, hoping I do get bigger!
My advice for any apps or websites you hear of, just take a look or download them, sign up and see for yourself. Trial and error, may as well give them all a go now while it’s all still fresh, no harm in logging in and never using it again if it’s not for you.
I’m only a month-ish in so not a wealth of knowledge but thought it would be good to share my findings with other people at a similar stage to myself, I’m in the same boat as you. I would definitely recommend above all though, YouTube and/or Google everything. It’s all there, other bloggers have masses of knowledge and I’m learning every single day. I read and look at tonnes of other blogs every single day because it’s the best way to learn. DO NOT compare yourself to established bloggers who have awards sticking out their arse and 10 Million followers and are making loads of money full-time. If you do it will seem an impossible task and you will start trying to copy things they do, don’t do that, you’ve clearly chosen to blog because you have something to say, you have something to offer, say what you want how you want and the rest will fall into place.
I hope you’ve found something useful out of this, let me know your experiences so far, is there anything you recommend, any apps or websites you use? The blogging community is full of good people get involved 🙂