I am starting this blog sharing my blogging history and providing tips for beginners. Let’s call it a blogging journal. Documenting each step taken while creating this blog from the beginning and until monetizing: from hosting services, themes, SEO, Google analytics, monetizing, affiliates, security and every new level of learning and growing on this journey.
HOW I STARTED BLOGGING
I am excited about this blogging category on my blog because I will be able to answer many questions from friends and followers interested in starting their blog as well. I will try to 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 sincerely enjoy the creative process of creating and maintaining a blog. Because yes, good creativity while coming up with new content will be your number one skill. No, I do not have ten years of experience blogging. Neither, I “know it all” about successful techniques for blogging. My “blogging” is based on my personal experience, which took me from being clueless about blogging to monetizing my blog. I keep myself curious, informed, creative and motivated while applying new tips on my blog.
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 the industry of digital marketing or content creation, is always changing; demanding growth, improving the rules and bringing up a new social media trend each year.
The industry of content marketing is always changing, demanding growth, 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.
I created my first blog account back in 2009. It was called Cecy On The Road. Yes, because of the book by Jack Kerouac. Back then I used to write about my bucket list and future dreams of traveling and exploring new places. It was a private daily journal. I never shared it. 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!. This new space was also created using Google Blogger. “PCD” was a personal blog, at that time, I was dealing with the loss of a family member. While trying to cope with grief and pain, writing became my self-defense mechanism. It was helpful, and it healed me a lot. I will never stop talking about the fantastic benefits of having the right book on your hands or taking time for yourself to write your thoughts in quiet. However, that’s another subject, perfect for a future post.
During that time, I became friends with other fellow bloggers and discovered a supportive online community. Additionally, got into the habit of writing daily. Again, I was not familiar with the concept of blogging + marketing + brands altogether. It was just a creative hobby. The following years became life-changing. At the end of 2014, I created and founded my first monetized blog on WordPress. I bought my first website domain TheOrangeDreamer.com through Bluehost.com. This time, I decided to invest in hosting services since Bluehost is suitable for beginners at the early stage of blogging. The basic plan cost less than $6 per month. Later, I was approved by Google Adsense, which is a coding app by Google that you add to your blog. Google display ads on your page and you make money per ads clicked on your page. It is pretty simple and straightforward, as long as your website gets approved.
I still laugh while typing TheOrangeDreamer.com, because it was during the creation of that first official website where I learned the most about blogging and when I encountered my most significant challenges as a new content creator.
Let me be sincere. I made tons of errors. Some of those errors are laughable today since I no longer seem them as a big deal. Probably necessary to learn the proper fundamental skills of blogging and in order not to repeat them. At one point, when I thought, I was finally getting my hand into “blogging” and have everything under control, then it happened. I received a blow into my content creator and social media dreams and 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 fell miserable. A hard learned lesson about the importance of online security, maintenance, cleaning cache, updating permalink, cleaning media and deleting inactive plugins. Owning a website sometimes feels, as having a home to place your ideas. But having a website, without investing in good defense or protection, it is similar to having a house and 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. 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 coding knowledge and an interest in owning my posts.
Such unfortunate disaster and bad decisions took me to consider security as my number one priority in a blog, even before content; because I need to feel protected to create in peace. Of course, there is no such thing as 100 percent protection online. I considered as a personal matter to educate myself about the best tools, tips, and plugins to defend my website. I became discouraged to start fresh, no doubt. But, I kept myself resilient and determined to create something better this time with a good team.
I recruited the help of Bluehost my hosting service back then, to help me clean up the mess. Thankfully, I always backup my content weekly and was able to recover a semi part of my posts. However, I lost many months of work, customizing features and design on my website. Later, I decided to obtain a new domain WithLoveFromWendy.com and redirect location to replace the old webpage TheOrangeDreamer.com.
The long name WithLoveFromWendy.com came from the fact that I sign my cards, emails, and letters that way. With Love, Wen. After keeping WLFW running well for a year, I decided to do an upgrade transforming my website into what it is today WithLoveWen.com.
I’m making a more significant effort learning the proper way to blogging, layout, design, themes, protection, followers engagement, email subscription and tons of skills required to do things right. Plus new techniques creating a newsletter, getting approved by affiliates, working with sponsorship and partnerships opportunities, improving content quality and visual retina and pretty much staying up to date to get better with content and catch up with new marketing trends.
I shorten WLFW to its current WithLoveWen.com. I am currently in a happy place of blogging because I keep on growing organically. A good thing, since I am done creating new domain names forever!
My goal with this blogging category is to be resourceful to you in any way I possibly can. Blogging takes a lot of work and time and is not always easy to come up with new material. However, if you love it and feels creative then persist as much as I did. I promise it will also be fun and fulfilling. I have invested many daily hours, late nights, including weekends into the creation and maintenance of WithLoveWen.com.
During 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 or watching YouTube videos to learn new blogging skills. Subscribe to my newsletter to get my new articles.
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I will include new blogging tips in my newsletters. You might be able to gain new skills and obtain 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.
On my next post on “blogging,” I want to continue sharing tips for creating and maintaining a blog. Starting with Step 1 and necessary process of establishing and founding a blog.
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Thank you kindly!
All opinions and photos are my own. Happy Blogging!
With Love, Wen
Edited post from its original date. The more recent information added.