5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

Lime & Shine is fairly new. I’d been thinking of starting a blog for quite a few months but I was stuck on what to name it. This post is not going to be me cribbing about how much there is to do because I love it. I love Lime & Shine. In such a short time, it has managed to prioritize itself in my life. I love working on Lime & Shine and I love watching it grow. But there definitely are a few things I wish I knew before creating this blog… things I have now realised and want to help budding bloggers (like me) with. So, let’s get on with the 5 things I wish I knew before I started blogging.

But wait, you may have a question right now. You may be wondering why I’m writing this post if I’m a newbie and don’t have much experience blogging.

I think this is the best time to write such a post.

Why? Because if I fix my issues now and continue blogging and postponing this post to like September 2020, I’m going to forget about the small problems I faced when I was starting out. By reading this post, you are gaining first-hand insight into the problems you might face if you’re just starting out or planning on launching your blog. If you’re an experienced, established blogger, you have probably already gone through this. But if you’re a new blogger, this post is just what you’re looking for. You’re not alone. We’re in the same boat.

5 things i wish i knew before i started blogging
You’re going to get confused about which hosting site to use, and that’s okay.

THERE ARE JUST SO MANY! I knew that I wanted to have my own domain and you probably know that it doesn’t come free of cost. There’s WordPress, there’s HostGator, GoDaddy, BlueHost, SiteGround, DreamHost & so many more! And the worst part is that similar plans on these different platforms cost more or less the same. I remember I just couldn’t decide between which one to use because the benefits, too, were almost the same. I went with WordPress because it is the most widely known platform and I had a friend who had used WordPress and not faced any problems with it.

So, I’ve been using WordPress and really enjoying it. There are just so many theme options, it’s wonderful!

The cheapest plan (Personal) on WordPress does not support plugins but they’re something worth upgrading for

When I started off, I chose the Personal plan on WordPress which was about INR 200/month. I used this for a while – maybe the first two weeks – and realised that it was not for me. Why? Because when I began this journey, I knew what I wanted from it. I didn’t start blogging JUST as a hobby. I want Lime & Shine to grow and become a business. For this, I needed additional features such as a professional-looking site, contact forms, pop-up forms and an email list subscription, analytics of the site & so on. These features were not supported by the plan I had initially chosen.

Now I pay INR 800/month and have access to all the things I just listed. I also understood how much plugins can help – not only with the beautification of your site but also with its growth (SEO). Thus, if you want to make your blog your business, the upgrade is worth it.

blogging
It’s more work than you imagine it to be

I remember this vividly. Before I launched Lime & Shine, I was very excited. I thought it’s going to be great. I didn’t see any issue with it – I enjoyed writing so what possible problem would there be in publishing this writing & probably, hopefully making a business out of it?! I was wrong. I completely disregarded the fact that blogging was a side hustle for now I had other things going on. I’m a student in university and I didn’t remember to take into account that workload when I drafted ridiculous plans for myself. I thought I could easily churn out 3 posts a week.

In reality, I struggle to manage 1.

It’s not easy. Especially when you’re just starting out. Setting up the site, designing the site, creating social media accounts, linking these accounts, joining relevant groups & clubs, learning to create pins and infographics, engaging with other bloggers, finding bloggers to follow & connect with, constantly monitoring the site and its stats… IT IS CRAZY. Why? Because if at all you’re like me, you will obsess over this new child of yours. Everything else takes a back seat and you prioritize your blog. If you don’t do that, it’s good. But if you do that, it’s okay, it’s normal (…I guess).

Writing a post of around 1000 words is a task in itself. After this you have to edit it, create pins, add links & media… it’s quite a lot of work. And when you’re so tied up, you have to push yourself to be productive. Want to know how? Click here!

But guess what? I still love it and I do it every chance I get. I’m not trying to scare you and drive you away from the idea of blogging. I’m just telling you that if you’re going to have this baby, you better be sure you’re going to love it and give it the time it demands. If you have a passion for writing and sharing stories with the world, you’re going to do great.

And it’s okay if you only manage 1 post in two weeks because you’re so tied up. Remember this & make it your mantra: quality over quantity.

SEO is not as complex as you may think it is

When I was introduced to the concept of SEO, I was kinda terrified. I had read somewhere on some trusted site that for a period of 0-6 months, Google considers your site as scam and it does not show up in the search. I don’t know whether or not this is true, but it really scared me because another thing I read was that organic traffic is the best traffic.

So what did I do?

  • I read up about SEO and how blog posts can be optimised
  • I got familiar with sitemaps and Google Search Console and started working with it
  • I took advantage of the Business plan on WordPress and the SEO plugins it offered
  • I made sure each of my posts had good readability and short URLs

Where did this get me?

Well, I’m not terrified of SEO anymore.

It’s only been a month since the site was launched so I don’t have a Google ranking for my posts yet, but a ‘lime and shine blog’ search does show my blog on the first/second rank which it didn’t earlier. Hey. Baby steps, okay?

SEO
You can start signing up for affiliate programs already

This is something I hadn’t done and didn’t think I was going to do until I grew my blog a little, but now that I did it, my first blog earning – $25 – is due! Sign up for these programs and use relevant links in your post. If you’re putting in the work, you should be rewarded! However, remember to note bombard your blog with ads and links. Why? Your site is new and doesn’t have a loyal customer base yet and if all you’re going to give your readers are ads, they’re unlikely to return. I have about 10 posts now and only 1 of these displays an ad.

PS: I have no previous experience of blogging and no ‘inside connections’ which I used to bag my first earning.

That’s it for this post! These are the 5 things I wish I knew before I started blogging. I know I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but I hope this helped!

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Are you a new blogger too? Let’s connect!

Leave a comment below sharing one thing you wish you knew before you started blogging!

 

Love,

Shanaya

lime & shine