Bamboozled by Blogging

I’ve been blogging a month now! One whole month! Whoop Whoop Holla, Yayy me! Enough hooting my own horn, let me tell you that this has been one big old steep hill of a learning curve… curve? Mountain, no, try, about to erupt volcano! Gigantic slippery glacier! Am I being dramatic? I don’t think so and I’m sure there are a hundred bloggers nodding their heads saying “Oh baby, yep you’re right.” But I’ve uncovered some blogging tips along the way which I’d like to share with you.

 

Bamboozled by Blogging Blogging Tips Newbie Blogs Beginner Bloggers

But there’s always the other side to that curve or mountain, as big as it is for you.

And I feel like I’m slowly edging down the slope, hanging near the top where I reckon I’ll be for a while. Because blogging is tough. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to do. It’s more than just picking up your laptop, tapping on the keys and pressing publish. I’ll admit I was fairly naive as to how much was involved when I started blogging but boy was I determined to learn. I want my blog to be successful. I’m glad I have kept walking… crawling… a few days there I was scratching with the tips of my nails to keep moving on….because I’ve figured out quite a few things the last month and with knowledge comes power and drive. An 8 cylinder engine would have helped in those first few weeks but we all start off with a banger of a car when we’re learning to drive.

Blogging can drive you crazy, make you anxious, stress you out, suck all your time and energy. My first few weeks where tough but mostly because I jumped in the deep end and forgot my bright orange and red armbands to keep me afloat! I’ve always been a writer and thought blogging would come naturally to me, which it does but there’s sooooooo much more involved in blogging. My first few weeks I stressed myself out with Linkys (What’s a Linky? Keep Reading), with getting a post written, edited, designed and tagged every day. Yes every day! I blog as much as I can and I like to get at least five posts out a week but I’m learning to deal with the schedule of it all and trying to de-stress my blogging life. But boy should I have started slower or what!!

I was Bamboozled by Blogging at the beginning but I’m slowly getting to grips with it. Let me impart my wonderful wisdom on to you if you’re a newbie blogger, like me or if you’re thinking of starting a blog. If you’re in doubt, don’t let this post freak you out, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had, ultimately satisfying and I wish I had started years ago, so do as  I did,  and Just Do It!

So, what have I discovered, in no particular order!

Blogging Takes Time – Quite a lot of Time

Fargo
Hi Fargo! I’ll make time with B to watch you soon

I thought my evenings after A went to bed would be enough, an hour or two at night, and myself and B would have time to snuggle on the couch together and binge watch some TV. Nope. He’s still waiting for me to join him on the couch to watch Season 2 of Fargo. Blogging is all consuming. Every second of your day you will want to tweet, Facebook, check your stats, answer comments, read new blog posts, make comments, jot down an idea, write a quick post. I’ve been scolded by our two year old for using my phone when she wanted to play and don’t think I haven’t notice the glances B sends my way when he sees me pick up my phone for the 1,354th time that day. I’m learning to prioritise and organise my blogging life to fit in with my real life to give both their deserved and individual attention.

Back Up, Back Up, Back Up

My first lesson hit hard. I lost an entire post, which was 1500 words long, in a split second, never to be retrieved again except from my poor tired brain at 11pm at night. Of course I couldn’t go to bed and write it in the morning, I had to do it then and there when I could remember most of it. 1:45am I finished and I was up at 6:15am to go to work. I was not a happy camper that day. So, back up your work and save repeatedly as you write. I mean, for the love of Pete, the save button is there for a reason!

Blogging is Not All About Writing

Bamboozled by Blogging Newbie Bloggers Tips for Bloggers Beginner BloggerBloggers wear many, many hats and are frequently buying more. We are writers, critics, researchers, editors, copy writers, blog tech wizards, artists and graphic designers. We are involved in PR, advertising, reviewing, event managing… what else have I forgotten… oh and we make great cups of coffee for those endless hours at the keyboard. Prepare to amaze yourself with skills you never thought you had!

The Technical Side

I’m not going to go into the unbelievable amount of technical knowledge you will learn through blogging, there are a ton of amazing blog posts that can explain it much better than I ever would. I do just want to say one thing though. I set up my blog on WordPress and I love it. I have bought my domain and hosting but have still to transfer over to it (for some reason I’m nervous about that – terrified of losing everything in one schwoop). But back to WordPress, it took me eight hours! eight full straight hours to set up my blog. I really didn’t think it would take this long, but between going through themes, designing, uploading, writing About Me pages, contact pages, it took that long. I love how my blog looks but don’t underestimate how much time you’ll spend tweaking it and designing. There are still elements I don’t like, don’t understand and want to fix like the blog post title superimposed over my own awesome graphics on individual posts (?????), but all in good time.

Linkys – Link Up Spectaculars

Bamboozled by Blogging Newbie Bloggers Beginner Blogger Tips for Bloggers

If you haven’t joined a Linky yet, jump on the bandwagon, you’ll be very welcome! Nope, this is not a brightly coloured coil wire you walk down the stairs … Slinky IYDK… but places to share your blog posts with other amazing bloggers.

Bloggers are so friendly and welcoming and most of all supportive. So many beautiful bloggers organise Link Ups which is no easy feat. It’s time consuming and demands a lot of attention from the hosts as well as the participants. I’d love to be a co-host some day. Have to prove my worth first I suppose 🙂 But I’m here if any of you want me! I’m in this for the long haul!

I found out about Linkys at the end of my first week of blogging. They are some of the best collections of blogs you’ll come across. There are so many to choose from. I couldn’t choose, I did as many as I came across and I keep coming back every week as much as I can. If you don’t want to add your own post, they’re a great place to read some brilliant blogs and get inspiration. Bear in mind they are time consuming as after you upload your own post, you read and comment on as many other posts as you can. This takes time. So I’ve started allocating ‘Linky Time’ into my day to make sure I’m being fair. It’s not nice to post and run. We won’t like you for that!

So far, these are the Linkys I’ve been involved in. As I say, I try to come back every week but as there are so many (and I’m sure I’ve missed loads here) it’s not always possible. There are so many great link ups and obviously time is a huge factor for everyone, so choose which ones you like and suit your blog. If I have forgotten anyone let me know and I’ll update this list (sincerely sorry if I left you out – lets call it a rookie error!)

#KCACOLS with A Moment with Franca

#ForTheLoveofBlog with A Mum Track Mind

#WhatImWriting with Writing Bubble

#JustAnotherLinky with Life As Mum

#DreamTeam with 3 Little Buttons

#FridayFrolics with Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

#PicknMix with Mummy and Monkeys

#MarvMondays with Hello Archie

#AnythingGoes with My Random Musings

#CandidCuddles with Cuddle Fairy

#BloggerClubUK with My Random Musings

#WayWow with View From In Here

#TheBabyFormula with New Mummy Blog

#CoolMumClub with Mum Muddling Through

#TheList with You Baby Me Mummy

#StayClassyMama with Admissions of a Working Mother

#ABloggingGoodTime with Diary of an Imperfect Mum

And Finally – For the moment at least – Blogging Anxiety

Am I the only who who has this?

First week was fine, but by week two I wanted to do do do do. I wanted my blog to be awesome and fine tuned ASAP, right there, right then. I wanted the SEO to be perfect, the writing to be magical, the images and graphics to lure everyone in, I wanted to tweet and facebook and share share share until I had a million subscribers and a trillion followers. By week three I realised, hold your “Donkey Horses” as my daughter would say.

Bamboozled by Blogging newbie Bloggers Beginner Blogger Tips for Bloggers

You can’t have it all in week one or week ten or by that 1 year anniversary. Blogs change and grow and develop and it doesn’t happen all at the same time, or at the beginning. I’ve been reading so many incredible bloggers who share their blogging tips. Aby from You Baby Me Mummy (follow her twitter here), Corinne from Skinnedcartree (follow her twitter here). These bloggers and many many more are invaluable. They teach and guide us newbie bloggers to focus. Bloggers need focus, otherwise you may get like me and suffer blogging anxiety. I’ve learnt to tone down and now heading into week five, I definitely feel a lot more focused. I’m setting goals, scheduling blog posts, and actually remembering ideas once I write them down. I still have Baby Brain and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon!

Most of all, blogging is supposed to be fun! I just didn’t realise how much was involved and tried to do it all at once. Figure out how much you want to do and enjoy it!

My blog is slowly growing. I get ridiculously excited when I see someone new has signed up to follow my blog. I don’t think that feeling will ever get watered down. But ultimately, I’m writing for myself, I’m sharing my experiences and I’m LOVING writing. To know that I’m also being read, is pretty awesome. I’m more patient now than I was at the beginning and realise that my blog will grow, I just have to keep writing!

I hope these blogging tips help even just one person who is finding those first few weeks a little daunting. The blogging journey is hard, but very rewarding. Plan and focus and it will get easier. Don’t get bamboozled by blogging. You won’t regret starting on this journey with your very own space on the blogosphere, Just Do It!

Thank you so much to all of this awesome bloggers who have talked to me, offered tips, followed my blog, commented on my posts and even just said hi. The blogging community is unbelievably welcoming and friendly, those who are old hats at this and those like me who are new to this world. Thank you all!

 

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47 Comments

  1. I am mystified by everything you just wrote. I understand the first blogs syndrome and saw myself when you talked about picking up the phone and wanting the followers.
    I entered the blogging world a couple of months ago to log down my thoughts and as a form of therapy. I didn’t really look round my own website to adapt it (I will now). I also didn’t realise how much more can be done.
    Thank you very much for that.

  2. Congratulations on your first month of blogging.
    We all go through the struggles you mentioned. After losing a couple blog posts because of lack saving, I switched to Evernote. LOL
    Wishing you tons of success with your website and I’d love to stay in touch!

  3. I can’t believe I stumbled across this today-I was just about to set aside half an hour to find out which linkies were on which day as I did my first one on Sunday this wknd and you’re right-they do take some time if you want to give the commenting your all, so I was going to look for ones which will fit in with my scedule! Hard work done for me so Big Thanks!!! And good luck with your blog. I’m new too! X

  4. I love this post hun, I’m so with you on everything you said. I have been blogging for three weeks although I did read up on how to blog for about three weeks before that. It is so time consuming blogging is always on my mind, it’s hard work but super fun at the same time. I love linkys and link up to about 20 in a week to see which ones fit me best, I think k I link up to 9 just on a Thursday. It took me ours to work out WordPress and still haven’t figured out everything.

    1. It takes time to get to grips with everything doesn’t it! I’ve done 4 link ups today alone and trying to keep up to date with all the commenting. I hope you’re really enjoying it though. I’ve been wondering where blogging has been all my life!

  5. Happy blogging anniversary ! I’m amazed at the amount of posts you’re able to do. I’m aiming for two a week and still struggle . And yes to the phone – I’m actually getting cramp in my hand from typing on it so much

  6. I really feel this post. Blogging, it’s hard work- love it though but so much to do and so much I want to do but never get done. Next on the list is to start editing the site. Ekkk! And grr, I’ve also lost mega posts by using the app for wordpress, it’s heartbreaking! Your a month in whoooop! You honestly wouldn’t be able to tell your a newbie. Site and posts are great 🙂

    1. Ahhh thanks so much! Feel like a newbie though haha! I plan on overhauling my whole site in august when I have time. Need to wrap my head around it first. Paid for a domain I’m not even using yet cos I’m too frightened to transfer it over 🙂

      1. I’m too scared to transfer mine as well. I’ve heard stories of losing posts and followers etc so same as you I’m going to do a bit more research and then take the plunge 🙂

  7. I’ve been going two months and only done about five posts. Spend too much time on all the other bits. Thanks for your tips. I need to get back to basics. Too much time on Instagram!

  8. Blimey – and you’ve only been doing this a month?! I was writing online for years before I even did anything with linky’s, so go you! Uou’re well ahead of the game. I think the only thing I’d say (and I’m by NO means an expert) is that although it CAN become all consuming, it doesn’t have to be. I guess for me, at the moment, it’s not my ‘job’ so I don’t feel that pressure, but whenever I’m starting to feel sucked in by it all then I step right back. Writing is my passion but for me blogging is about living, living is not about blogging. Hope you keep that love for writing that is so evident in your posts; lovely to read xx #brillblogposts

    1. I’m slowly learning to focus my blogging and not let it take over but it’s difficult because I’m enjoying it so much. Family comes first though and always will. Writing is also my passion and I’m so glad that blogging is giving me the outlet to be creative with my writing again. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

  9. A month? Hang on, allow me to let that sink in! Your blog is fab!!! I’ll be honest, I have no idea how the technical side of it works, hence why a year on my site is still basic at best but hey, I write I can’t profess to be an IT expert! Looking forward to reading more from you #brillblogposts

    1. Blogging sounds like such a simple thing to do but there really is a lot in it. I’m only slowly learning how to structure my time with my blog (amazingly stayed off twitter for most of the day). It does get easier once you get to grips with the promotion side of things. Also it’s so much fun! Can’t believe I didn’t start this sooner! The very best of luck with your blog 🙂

  10. You’re about as old / new as me and I’m so pleased to read we’re having quite similar eye opening experiences. It’s mad isn’t it? I really love your writing style and look forward to reading lots more of your stuff 😊 #fortheloveofBLOG

  11. My blog has been going since September 2015, but it’s only been the last two months where I’ve really been trying to make a go of it. It’s hard work, yes, with so many other talented bloggers around to compare yourself to. You just got to remember why you’re blogging. I do it because I enjoy writing and it’s therapeutic. I also want to make new friends. #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. The people I’ve met have been incredible. I didn’t know the blogging community was so amazing. It’s meeting these people that makes blogging fun. I’m loving writing again too. It was a part of me I lost years ago. So nice to have it back

  12. I’m two weeks in and it’s definitely some kind of roller coaster! Here I am stood in my kitchen, between emptying the dishwasher and sorting the washing during nap time… Commenting! Never considered myself a multitasker in the past, but hey look at me!! Lol.
    Lovely post

  13. I’ve only been doing it properly for a few weeks and it’s definitely a lot of fun! Like you I’m still excited at the thought of anyone reading it at all! Keep up the good work!

    1. I didn’t realise I’d fall in love with blogging. Originally it was just a way to write again but it’s become so much more than that! Thanks for reading and the very best of luck with your blog too! 🙂

  14. Wow – what a great post – are you sure you’ve only been doing this 1 month?! You have managed so much in these 4 short weeks, I learned a lot from the post and I’ve been blogging a few months now! I’m still fairly reserved at doing linkys but this is a great list if I ever broaden my linky horizons. Love #fortheloveofBLOG though where I found this! x

  15. I’m a newbie too, been blogging 2 months and loving it. I just find myself getting annoyed at all the other things I need to do (like going to work!!) that mean I can’t get my blog on!

  16. Wow you have only been blogging for 1 month, that is amazing! I honestly thought you had been blogging for longer. Blogging is crazy, I set my blog up on a whim and had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I’m now 6 months in, and even now I find it overwhelming, with so much to do on the blog. I often have to take a step back to think about why I set my blog up in the first place when I feel it is getting too much. You’re blog is fab Geraldine, I love reading your posts, blogging is a learning curve, and it can be as big or small as you want it to be. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    1. Yup just a month but I’m in it for the long haul! Loving it so much! I should have started years ago but theres always a right time for these kinds of things. But you’re right, I need to keep focused on why I’m doing this. That’s probably the best tip of all!

  17. Hi! I’m a month into blogging now and I was hooked by every line of this. I can relate to so much; the anxiety, the excitement, the fear of the lingo, etc, I am quickly learning that bloggers are indeed HUGELY welcoming to newbies and generally just lovely. Looking forward to reading your blog posts, new and old, and congrats on your writing award – well deserved! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much and welcome to the wonderful world of Blogging! Its incredibly addictive and the deeper you go the harder it is to get out of it. But its incredibly satisying and thrilling. If you ever need any help, give me a shout. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have

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