My blog is brand new this year in 2018, but let me tell you about all the mistakes I made when I first started it up.
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A little about me –
I am Autumn and at the end of 2017, I thought why not start a blog AGAIN? I had done this before as more a journaling blog before my son was born. During that time I didn’t think blogging was a big deal and so I never took the time to learn about what I could do with one.
So my first thought was… What the heck will my blog be about? So I wanted to draw on the experiences I was facing at the moment. I had been working 10 hour days, spending my Friday nights looking for things to do with my two silly kids and husband and had been taking hundreds of pictures of my weight loss journey. There were many nights that I just had to hold on to my own internal motivation to keep going, but friends online kept saying how perfect my life seemed. I thought, if only they knew that almost every night I am a complete wreck and slowly just trying to keep my life together. With everything from parenting, clean eating, working out, being a great wife, and juggling a career amongst it all, I knew that this was something many women must also be feeling and alas “She’s A Wreck” was born. Learn more about me!
Taking a blog from thought to reality has proved harder than I thought it would have been, so to help newbies like myself I’ve come up with a list of what to do and what I’m doing to start out.
And Here We Go!
I started out by jotting down my blog ideas and sharing them with a friend and my hubby. And then I quickly started writing things down and from that, I noticed there were so many spelling and grammar errors that I would need something to help a sister out. So I got started with Grammarly, installed it into my computer and got up and going! This was super helpful so that I didn’t look like a fool on my blog. I wish I had known about it before I even put pen to paper.
Choosing A Host – I thought this was going to be as simple as just signing up at blog host sites such as Blogspot, Wix, or WordPress and then boom done. But I was wrong! I am sure you can easily start up a blog by signing up and just get going, but my mission was much more so I needed to step it up.
Knowing that there are plenty of sites out there to start a blog I did my research and found WordPress to be the best. But here’s where I went wrong: I signed up for WordPress with a premium account, got my domain name included and thought I was ready to go. But what I found was in order to optimize my online presence I was going to need plugins, customizable themes and much more and this simply wasn’t going to be possible without a self-hosted site.
After doing lots of research from other bloggers and Pinterest, I found self-hosting to be the best way to go. This blog is hosted on Siteground, which by far has been amazing!
Siteground is known for its super fast support, speed, and security all of which I knew for a newbie was going to be important. Here are just a few quick facts about the host that inspired me to choose them.
Signing up for a post at Siteground, was fast and very easy. Because I had started my site somewhere else, I had to do a little legwork to get it started but the support was fast, reliable and useful.
Themes Baby Themes! – After you’re all set up with your hosting, domain name and your site is ready, the next step is choosing your theme. There are plenty of themes out there to choose from but, it’s all a matter of choosing your look and finding a theme you love. Free themes that you’ll find on WordPress while they are good don’t often allow much customization and creativity and trust me, I learned this hard way. My thought process was simple, I just didn’t want to spend the money. But it’s definitely worth whatever you spend, and there are some out there that go for as little as 25 bucks.
At heart, I am a girly girl so that why I chose to use a theme from Beautiful Dawn She offers some very beautiful feminine themes that are easy to download and upload to your self-hosted WordPress account.
Research – I will say that this is my most important piece of advice and that is to; read, read, read and research. You can’t go into anything at all without knowing the area. I took to Pinterest and google and read as much as I could about starting a blog. There are tons of sites out there that helped me discover how to get started, but this took a lot of time. I set myself up for a research phase, where I would look for what was out there and what wasn’t. Then, I would jot down those sites, save them, pin them and keep them in mind for what would help me out. The help is there and most of it is free, you just have to find it.
Sharing is Caring – Weather you decide if you’re going to use social media or not to help draw traffic to your site. Sharing on social media is super important, set up a page on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook. Use these sites to help draw traffic to your blog, whether you’re posting your original content or sharing with others, it’s a must! All my research told me how important this was. But back in November, I didn’t think I would need to utilize social media as an essential element but it’s 2018, not sharing would only be a disservice to myself and all the people I want to reach.
Linking Social Sites – So I knew about sharing on social sites but what I didn’t know before diving in was that a key element of your blog is linking your social media accounts! If you’re planning to drive traffic to your site by posting things online then you want to also make sure your blog site has all the links you need to keep your readers connected to you. MiloTree can do just that for your blog, you will able to link your accounts to Milo Tree which you can then add to your blog as a plugin.
Post-it, Post-it, Post-it – Get a notebook, calendar or even your phone out and ready to set a calendar for when you’re going to post on the site. The more you post, the more it’ll become a habit. I found that even if my post weren’t ready to share that I would still write them down, save it and go back to it when it was time to get going.
Don’t Stress it – I was really worried that this wasn’t going to workout, I thought “I work full time and I have kids who need to eat dinner every night. How in the world am I gonna get this done?” But I learned not to stress it, in time it will come to you and you have to start out little by little. If your pages aren’t doing what they are supposed to do and your pictures aren’t loading, just don’t stress it. It’s hard enough trying to get a blog going and stressing it, isn’t going to help you out at all.
Schedules – For me, I knew my troubles would come from finding the time! If I could just have more than 24 hours in my day then I could get it done but guess what? We all get the same 24 hours every day and it’s what you do with it that sets you apart. I knew if I was going to blog every day and try to turn this into a full-time thing then scheduling had to be included. I limited the time I would spend on the blog during the week and gave myself hours on the weekend. I knew doing this would help me stay anchored to my goal while still tending to the needs of my hungry kids and grumpy hubby. So whether it’s an hour a night or 5 hours on the weekend, give yourself the time and stick to it.
Let Loose – It’s only been a few weeks for me and sure enough, it’s been a wreck, an adventure and lots of fun! The best tip I can leave you with is to Let Loose! Have fun, mess something up, learn from it, post it and repeat. – That’s a recipe for a beautiful wreck any way you slice it.
| Recommended Blogger Resources
This site is built with love and hard work with the use of many great products and resources. Here are some links to some affiliates that I use on this site that I hope can be helpful to you also.
MiloTree - I use this to grow my following on my social site. It's a smart pop up that easy to use, install and set up and will help you grow on social media and attract new subscribers. You can read a more in-depth explanation of Milotree and its use here.
Beautiful Dawn Designs - At heart, I am a girly girl so that why I chose to use a theme from Beautiful Dawn, she offers some very beautiful feminine themes that are easy to download and upload to your self-hosted WordPress account.
Siteground - After doing lots of research, I found self-hosting to be the best way to go. Siteground is known for its super fast support, speed, and security all of which are essentially important for having a great blog site.
Wordpress - Although I use a self-hosted site Wordpress is the platform that my blog is also run on. Siteground has the WP admin dashboard and has been great and easy to use. If you're not ready to self-host yet you can still get going with Wordpress at a great startup cost.
ShareASale - This is an affiliate network that houses that can help to increase your sales, develop your brand, and generate interest in your site, here is a blog post where I wrote all about it.
Grammarly - This is the best writing tool you’ll use ever. I am no grammar nazi so I am grateful that Grammarly exists for me to be able to keep my writing professional and proofread. You can also read more about Grammarly and how to use it here.
I hope that these little pieces of advice help you in any way you need! Are you a blogger? Have you made the same mistake? Let me know in the comments below!