It is necessary to start WithLoveWen.com sharing how I started blogging and by providing tips for beginners in blogging. Let’s call it a blogging journal or blogging 101. Documenting essential steps while creating this blog from the beginning and until monetization: from hosting services, themes, SEO, Google analytics, affiliates, security and every new level of learning and growing on this journey.
HOW I STARTED BLOGGING
I am excited about this category because I will be able to answer questions from friends and followers interested in starting a blog as well. Don’t worry; I’ll be as detailed as possible so it could be easy to follow. Let’s start by saying that I do not consider myself an expert on the subject. I’m still taking baby steps as well, but I enjoy the creative process of designing and maintaining a personal blog. Because yes, creative ideas will be your number one skill to give life to new content.
No, I do not have ten years of experience in blogging. Neither, I know it all about successful techniques. My “blogging” comes from personal experience. I self-taught myself through online certificates, books, videos, and networking. Such effort into learning took me from being clueless about blogging into a monetizing affiliated blog. The primary key has been to stay curious, informed, creative trendy, applying new tips and never to stop learning.
I find inspiration from books, articles, online magazine, subscriptions, marketing agencies and from interacting with other bloggers. Learning and growing while blogging will never end, mostly because of the industry of digital marketing and content creation. It is always changing; demanding growth, improving the rules and bringing up a new social media trend each year.
The industry of content marketing is improving the rules and bringing up a new social media trend each year. Hopefully, my journey of “Do’s and Don’t” will give you ideas and guidance on your new blogging journey as well.
But I’ll be more detailed on my two new projects: one is a free guidance e-book for my subscribers, and the other one will be my first self-publish e-book and online course (more on these later on the blog). These projects are all related to blogging for beginners. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a link for download once these projects are done. I’m excited!
MY HISTORY BLOGGING:
I created my first writing account back in 2009. It was called Cecy On The Road and yes, because of the book by Jack Kerouac. Back then I used to write about my bucket list and a future bucket list of exploring new places. It was a private daily journal. I never shared. I did it because I found enjoyment while writing, not knowing that I was already creating content or “blogging.” I designed my first account using Google Blogger, a free online space to share freestyle writings.
Later in 2012, I started a blog called Pressure Creates Diamond. Don’t ask me how I kept coming up with those names. I have no idea. Ha! “PCD” was a personal blog. I was dealing with the loss of a family member during that time. While trying to cope with grief and pain, writing became my self-defense mechanism. It was helpful by the way, and it healed me a lot. I will never stop recommending the fantastic benefits of journaling, having the right book in your hands as my favorite A Short Guide to a Happy Life or taking time for yourself to write your thoughts at a park. That’s a whole new subject, perfect for a future post.
Books Every Aspiring Blogger Should Read
But I would say that my biggest inspirations to start a blog came from these people: Tim Ferris and his genius The 4-Hour Workweek, Elizabeth Gilbert and her magical Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and the always charismatic and visioner Gary Vaynerchuk and his book Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion. Do yourself a favor before starting a blog and read at least one of these books and you will better understand the concept of creativity and the future of digital marketing.
During that time, I became friends with other bloggers and discovered a supportive online community. Additionally, got into the habit of writing daily. Still, I was not familiar with the concept of blogging plus marketing and brands altogether. It was just a creative writing hobby. The following years became life-changing in unexpected ways. At the end of 2014, I created and founded my first monetized and affiliated blog using the WordPress platform. I bought my first domain TheOrangeDreamer.com.
Blogging Mistakes Most Beginner Bloggers Make
This time, I decided to invest in hosting services and discovered that Bluehost was suitable about prices for beginners. The basic plan cost less than $6 per month. Of course, cheap hosting comes at a high price. In a future post, I will give you a list of hosting companies, rates and whether you should invest.
Later, I was approved by Google Adsense, which is a coding app that you can quickly add to your blog and make money. Google display advertisement on your page and you make money per click on your page. It is pretty simple and straightforward, as long as your website has all the standards to gets approved by Google.
I still laugh while typing TheOrangeDreamer.com, because it was during the creation of that first official website when I learned the most about blogging, and when I encountered my most significant challenges as a new content creator.
Blogging Mistakes That Cripple Blogs in Their First Year
Let me be sincere. I made tons of mistakes. Some of those errors are laughable today since I no longer see them as a big deal. They were probably necessary to learn the proper fundamental skills of blogging. At one point, when I thought that I was finally getting my hand into “blogging” and thought I had everything under control, then that’s when it happened. I experience a setback into my content creator process, social media consistency and daily efforts. TheOrangeDreamer.com was hacked and brought down.
Have you cried in front of a computer? I did that day. I was hysterical actually. Don’t laugh. I was miserable. All of my effort and work were gone in a matter of seconds. A hard lesson about the importance of online security, maintenance, cleaning cache, updating permalink, cleaning media and deleting inactive plugins. Number one security tip? Cheap hosting is a nightmare. Investing in a good hosting company which supports the security of your blog it is of extreme importance. I will go further and say that if you are not willing to pay for maintenance security then don’t even try blogging.
Owning a website sometimes feels like having a home where you could bring your ideas. But having a website, without investing in good defense or protection; it is also comparable to having an open house in a bad neighborhood. Leaving the doors and windows regularly open for anyone to come in and steal your stuff. It is a big no-no, and it was a great lesson to learn early in the game.
Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them Fast
Much of my work got stolen. Strangers got credits for my writings and photos. Pretty much my website was an open gateway for anyone with basic coding knowledge and interest in my words. I found my pictures on an Indian travel site. And my words were posted on two different blogs. I went through the rule of reporting plagiarism, but I wasn’t knowledgeable and became discouraged by the process and stop pursuing the online claim.
Such unfortunate bad decisions took me to consider security as my number one priority in a blog, even before content. Because to create, I need to have my ideas protected, knowing that I will get the full credit and benefits for my work.
Of course, there is no such thing as one hundred percent protection on the internet. It is now a personal matter to educate myself on the best tools, tips, and plugins to defend my website. I became dissuaded to start fresh, no doubt. But, I kept myself resilient and determined to create a new place and even better this time with the best hosting company.
BLOG HOSTING SITES:
When the incident happened, I recruited the help of Bluehost my past hosting service back then, to help me clean up the mess. I always back up my content weekly and was able to recover a semi-part of my words. However, my beautiful traveling photos were everywhere on the web. I lost many months of work, customizing features and designing my website.
I decided to do an upgrade of transforming my website into what it is today, WithLoveWen.com. I’m making a significant effort in layout, design, themes, protection, followers engagement, email subscription and tons of skills required to do things the right way. Plus new techniques getting approved by affiliates, working with sponsorship and partnerships opportunities. Improving content quality, visual retina and pretty much staying up to date for better content and catch up with new marketing trends.
I am now in a happy place of blogging because I keep on growing organically. A good thing, since I am done creating new domain names forever!
How To Start a Blog – Easy to Follow Guide for Beginners
On my next blogging 101 post, I will provide a step by step guide for new bloggers on how to create and start a blog. Please share with your friends. Saved it to read at your time or to print, so you could carry a copy with you and add your notes while you create your first blog. These posts will be part of a series from the original blogging journal post. Come back often to WithLoveWen.com to follow-up on the sequel.
How to Stay Motivated With Blogging
My goal is to be resourceful. Blogging takes work and time and is not always easy to come up with new material. However, if you love it and feels creative, then persist. I promise it will also be fun. I have invested daily hours, late nights, including weekends into the creation and maintenance of WithLoveWen.com. In the beginning, it will be frustrating and extra hard. Especially, let’s say if you are a mom or working full-time while starting your new blog. Stay committed and motivated regardless of the obstacles and do and learn a little every day. Down the road, your hard work will be rewarded. Keep on reading to learn new blogging skills to monetizing. Subscribe to my newsletter to get my latest articles.
Let’s Create a Blog
The next blogging post will be a long step by step guide for new bloggers on how to create and start a blog. Please share it with your friends. Saved it to read it at your time or print it so you could carry with you and add your own notes while you create your first blog. These posts will be a series of long-overdue tips from the original blogging journal post. Come back often to WithLoveWen.com to follow-up on the sequel.
Set Up a Blog
Starting a blog is not difficult, but at the same time, it’s not a simple project because it requires a lot of time. If you are like me, a detailed oriented person on design, you will also want to take your time making things pretty. I founded two previous blogs before WithLoveWen.com, so I had experience creating the basic set up. But still, it took me a couple of weeks customizing details into WithLoveWen.
I wrote my biography before launching and the page with contact information. I selected and edited my About Me photo. Also, I launched this blog with two brand new posts. That means that the days before launching I was busy getting creative and writing those posts. I also took several flatlays pictures and edited them for the new posts while using Photoshop and Lightroom. And I did all of that before launching my blog.
Getting Ready To Start A Blog
What am I trying to say is that starting a blog the right way it is very time-consuming if you want to do it right. If you work full-time or if you are a stay at home mom (hardest job on earth) then you might need to work during the night and over the weekends to start your new blog. Because you are adding a bit of you to your blog. Your taste, your ideas, talents and an introduction to your future inspirations. And that’s precisely what I’m going to teach you how to bring that alive.
If you are looking for a quick step by step that will make you start a blog in two hours. Then this long step by step might not work for you. This guide is for a new blogger who is picky, selective and who wants to be proud of the work invested by showing the new domain to the world.
Grab a pen Sista! (Or brother). We mean business on the next blogging post.
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I will include new blogging tips in my newsletters. You might be able to gain new skills and get useful ideas for your new blog. Stay committed and motivated regardless of the obstacles and do and learn a little every day. Down the road, your hard work and creativity will get rewarded.
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All opinions and photos are my own. Happy Blogging!