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. Documenting essential steps taken 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 on my blog because I will be able to answer questions from friends and followers interested in starting a blog as well. 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 and trendy while applying new tips.
I find inspiration from books, articles, online magazine, subscriptions, marketing agencies and from interacting with other bloggers. Learning and growing while will never end, mostly because of the industry of digital marketing, blogging 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 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. To be more detailed, I’m working on a free ebook for my subscribers that will give them an easy step by step process. Subscribe here to receive a link for download once is done.
I created my first writing 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 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! “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, and it healed me a lot. I will never stop talking about the fantastic benefits of journaling, having the right book in your hands or taking time for yourself to write your thoughts in quiet. That’s another subject, perfect for a future post.
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 + marketing + 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.
This time, I decided to invest in hosting services and discovered that Bluehost was suitable regarding prices for beginners. The basic plan cost less than $6 per month. Of course, cheap hosting comes with a high price. In a future post, I will give you a list of hosting companies, rates and whether or not 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.
Let me be sincere. I made tons of errors. 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, I was finally getting my hand into “blogging” and thought I had everything under control, then that’s when it happened. I experience a difficulty into my content creator and 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 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. And number one security tip? Investing in a good hosting company to support your blog.
Owning a website sometimes feels similar to 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. 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 basic coding knowledge and interest on 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 credit 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.
When the incident happened, I recruited the help of Bluehost, my 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 and visual retina and pretty much staying up to date for better content and catch up with new marketing trends.
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 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 towards monetizing. Subscribe to my newsletter to get my latest 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.
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