I am starting this blog category with a series of blogging tips for beginners. Let’s call it a blogging journal. Documenting each step taken while creating this blog: from hosting services, themes, SEO, Google analytics, monetizing, security and every new level of learning and growing on this journey.
I am excited about this blogging journal series because I will be able to answer many questions from friends and followers interested in starting their blog. 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, but I sincerely enjoy blogging. No, I do not have ten years of experience blogging. Neither, I “know it all” about successful techniques for blogging. My blogging journal is based on my personal experiences, which took me from being clueless about blogging to making a profit. I keep myself curious, informed and motivated while applying new tips on my blog and great ideas from reading books, tons of articles and from interacting with other bloggers. Learning and growing while blogging will never end, mostly because the industry of digital marketing -or content marketing- 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 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 future dreams of traveling and exploring the world. It was a private daily journal. I did it because I enjoyed writing, not knowing that I was already “blogging.” I created such an account using Google Blogger, and it was 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 keep coming up with these names. I have no idea!…haha- also using Google Blogger. PCD was a personal blog, dealing with losing a family member. I was trying to cope with grief and pain. The writing was my self-defense mechanism. It was helpful, and it helped me a lot.
During that time, I started becoming friends with other fellow bloggers and discovered a supportive online community. Additionally, got into the habit of writing daily. Again, still was not familiar with the concept of blogging + marketing together.
The following years became life-changing. In 2014, I created and founded my first monetized blog at WordPress. I bought my first website domain TheOrangeDreamer.com through Bluehost. Paying for hosting services since Bluehost is perfect for beginners who are serious about blogging. The basic plan cost less than $6 per month. Then, I obtained a Google Adsense account -making money per click by allowing Google to display ads on my page- I still laugh while typing the name, because it was during the creation of that first official website when I encountered my most significant challenges as a new blogger.
At one point, when I thought, I was finally getting “blogging” under control, then it happened. I received a little blow into my social media dreams. TheOrangeDreamer.com was hacked and brought down.
Have you cried in front of a computer? I did that day. Hysterically. Miserably. A hard-learned lesson about the importance of online security and maintenance. Hosting a website feels like having a home for your ideas. But hosting a site, without any defense or protection is similar to having a house with open doors and windows for anyone to come in. It was a lesson. Much of my work got stolen. Strangers got credits for my writings and photos, and pretty much my website was an open gateway for anyone with basic knowledge.
Such unfortunate disaster took me into the discovery of many safety protection plugins and tools, which are currently helping with defense now.
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 the features on my website. Later, I decided to obtain a new domain WithLoveFromWendy.com and redirect location to replace the previous webpage TheOrangeDreamer.com.
The long name WithLoveFromWendy.com came from the fact that I sign my cards, emails, and letters that way. After keeping WLFW running well for a year, then I decided to do an upgrade transforming my website into what it is today. Learning the proper way of blogging, right themes, protection, followers engagement and email subscription. Also, how to create a newsletter, sponsorship/partnerships opportunities, content quality, beautiful visuals and pretty much using the right tools.
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 journal is to be resourceful to you in any way I can. Blogging takes work and is not always easy. However, if you love it and persist as much as I did, then I promise it will also be fun and fulfilling. I have invested many daily hours and late nights, including weekends into the creation and maintenance of this blog.
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 a little every day. Down the road your hard work will be rewarded.
Keep on reading and watching YouTube videos to learn new things. Subscribe to my newsletter. Please follow me on social media ( https://www.instagram.com/withlovewen/ ).
I will be sharing on my newsletter my blogging journal, and you might be able to obtain many useful ideas + tips for your new blog. Stay committed and motivated regardless of the obstacles and do a little every day. Trust me, down the road your hard work will be rewarded.
On my future next post on this blogging journal series, I want to continue sharing essential tips for creating and maintaining a blog. Starting with the necessary process of establishing and founding a blog. Plus, I will be providing a FREE PDF with a list of the best plugins to use to secure your blog on WordPress.
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All opinions and photos are my own. Happy Blogging!
With Love, Wen
Edited post from its original date. The more recent information added.