6 Things I have stressed about as a new blogger.


6 things a new blogger will stress about. Mamiskilts.co.uk


New to Blogging


First of all, I can hear you all asking, why have I only covered 6 things? I have stressed about so much since starting my blog four months ago, that I could write nothing else ever and still never finish. It is a steep, although fun and empowering learning curve.

So why 6? Well, they are the 6 main things that have caused me to overthink, obsesses and stress. I could have picked my ‘top’ 5 but thought that list would be too short. How about 10 things? Pretty mainstream in my opinion. More than 10 items would get TLDR. I love to be different so six it is.


Six Things:



  1. Wordpress v Blogger
  2. Photography- stock photos. Beautiful lighting. DSLR. Backdrops.
  3. SEO
  4. Numbers/email sign ups/analytics in general.
  5. Template, layout and design.
  6. How often to post. Which days. What time. All the rules.


See there is actually more than six if you pull it all apart, but let's not get too picky. :)



Wordpress v Blogger

Blogger vs Wordpress from Pinterest.com
The age old conundrum that I see time and time again asked in group chats. As a new blogger, I have felt very pressured to switch to WordPress paid-hosted and that I will never be a true blogger until I do. I eventually bowed to pressure in May of this year and can safely say it was a disaster.  The principal of WordPress is fantastic, it is an excellent, open-source, website tool but it is a steep learning curve of HTML and CSS. There is a lot you can do through plug-ins but for me, I would have needed to have dedicated weeks and possibly a few months to creating a website which at the time of my life wasn't doable.


I needed something more easily accessible, ‘off the shelf’, so went back to blogger while I decided what is it that I actually want to achieve and what is it that I need to do. Blogger is a free blogging service that does exactly what it says on the tin. They have several gadgets that help you to customise your site and it is easy to drag and drop. You have got access to HTML and CSS but it's not something that I've ever been particularly keen on learning or wanting to do. I could pay hundreds of pounds to somebody to build me a website but again not something I wanted to put into somebody else's hands. I wanted to build my own website and do it myself.


I love my blogger blog at MamiSkilts. I love the layout and love the functions that I've created. It is not going to win any awards, but that’s not what I set it up for.


Photography


Photography is another item at the top of the list of things that I've stressed about since becoming a blogger. A lot of what I've read advises that images are as important as the content of your posts. I absolutely agree and understand the importance of photography. We live in a very visual world. We like images of things that we can digest quickly, we don't want to have to do a lot of reading and pictures can tell a thousand words. However, I am not a photographer by any stretch. I've dabbled with it in the past but it's not something that I found particularly easy or enjoyable to pick up. I'll quite happily snap away on my smartphone but admittedly don't get the sort of quality of pictures that other bloggers do with their beautiful flat lays, stunning lighting and pretty backdrops. All of which you can achieve for a very low cost yourself by buying a few bits and pieces from Hobbycraft shops etc. My youngest son is a keen photographer he has a nice DSLR camera and he does a few snaps for me and hubby even though he's got the same smartphone as I, just seems to have a knack for photography that I don't and he can create some stunning photography work that you wouldn't believe is from a smartphone so he is basically my (un)official photographer.


My absolute go-to tool for making my photos look like awesome stock images and up there with the top bloggers is Canva. A free service that enables you to do so much from adjusting lighting, transparency, fading, and filters to adding text and other images onto a vast choice of layouts. I do everything in Canva from blog headers to Pinterest pins to social media posts to logos to email signatures. It really has got it all and a brilliant dashboard with really easy drag-and-drop features and lots of helpful advice if you are looking for something.

Parenting, Pastimes, Prosecco logo - mamiskilts.co.uk
My Logo made using Canva



Google SEO from pinterest.comSEO


Everything you read about SEO is good advice. You want your site to be indexed in Google, You want people to find you, but it isn’t Google magic. It is your hard work at creating keywords. You need a catchy blog post title, but something that would be searched in google. Easier than it sounds to create the perfect headline. Advice is that your headline should be 6-8 words long with approx. 60 characters, containing power words and emotive words. Confused. Yes, another top blogging stress.


I dislike, really dislike, clickbait titles. I try really hard to make my headline true and honest. If you want to click you will. I am not going to try and trick you.


Analytics


I don't want to be viral, or the next Zoella. That would be far too much pressure. I would love to be known and recognised as an expert in my field. I had a plan to sell some e-books. Provide mentoring, consulting and even training services. I would rather have a smaller following that genuinely read and engage than buy in hundreds or thousands of followers.


I do check my site’s domain authority and bounce rate, but I don’t loose any sleep over either of them. The one stat I do keep an eye on is page visits and which posts have proved more popular than others. I like to just cast an eye on the times of day that my posts get read also so that I can tailor social media promotion, but again. I don’t stress about analytics anymore as much as I perhaps should.


Blog design


I have changed my blog design in Blogger 3 times in 4 months, but I am happy with what I have finally. Blogger is easy and functional to apply a new design template to, without losing any of your work and all the new blogger designs are already mobile responsive which is a great feature. I have toyed with purchasing a pretty 3rd party theme, but neither want the added expense or the added stress. My blogging has always been thrifty, both time and money saving. I did a post on how I have done it all for free (except my domain name) which you can catch up on at Blogging 101.


I tinker quite regularly with the layout of my blog. What is featured in the sidebar or footer. What ads are visible etc. I think it keeps the design fresh and inviting for returning visitors and hopefully strikes an impact with new readers.


I love writing. I have a wealth of experience with a great deal to say. That sounds vain, but we need to be proud of our skills. I can be a voice for others. I put my efforts into the content and post design as much as the blog design. I like the design of my posts to follow a colour and layout theme. Readers know it one of my posts and I believe it helps with ease of reading.


Routine


Oh, I have stressed over this. I have done countless research on the best days of the week to post, the best times, how many times a week should I post. When should I promote, where should I promote? AAArrrggg. I have found a balance that works for me and my own personal routine. How do I fit blogging into running my home and caring for my children and dogs? I post weekly on a Thursday and promote daily using Crowdfire social media marketer. I make use of any trending hashtags and take part in a different twitter chat most evenings. I love Facebook groups too and find them my biggest driver of traffic back to my site.


For those that may be interested, this is my average daily routine:


7am Alarm. Feed dogs, make coffee
7:15am Drink coffee while checking: Social media, emails, blog comments, news.
8:15am Shower and get dressed.
9am Write blog posts, make phone calls, general admin work.
12:30pm Lunch and check social media.
1pm Uni work (NOT BLOGGING)
4:30pm Family time, housework, exercise.
7pm Twitter chat. Check Facebook.
8pm TV with DadiSkilts or read or crochet.
10pm Bed.


The beauty of blogging from home means that all of this is completely flexible. I can take the time to run errands, fit around my son’s home tutor and the fact that I take him to school twice a week. I use a planning spreadsheet to schedule my posts and a to-do list for daily and weekly priorities. It all seems to be working well so far.

Have you stressed about anything as a new blogger or an established one? Comment below and let us know what you biggest loss of sleep has been over. #MamiSkilts



Comments

  1. I think it's great that you use blogger. Why follow the crowd if you've found something that works for you!? When I first started, I worried a lot about images. I use styled stock now (lots of people give a few photos for free as a sample). It takes the stress out of a skill that I don't have and don't want to work on now.

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    1. Thanks Emily. I won't lie the abuse has been pretty bad at times for not using WP and even worse now that my new site is in WIX, but I am truly happy with what WIX is offering me at the moment and I doubt many users, especially my target audience will now what platform I have used to create the website. MS x

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