Blogging, INFLUENCER, Instagram

10 Things You Should Know Before Starting A Blog

Picking Daisies Blog has officially been live for over a year now! When I first started I thought this would be a fun little hobby, not something that would help me pay the bills and become my baby like it has.

I am so grateful for the journey and not only has my blog grown, but I have grown as a person.

When I first started blogging I literally knew NOTHING. My husband bought me a book full of blogging tips that truly did help, but there were countless days I would just cry from frustration. Researching I would find I need to master SEO and hire all these people and do this and that and it was so overwhelming.

Over the course of a year, I have found what works and where you truly need to spend your time and energy when developing a blog.

Today I am sharing with you my top 10 tips for starting a blog! These are the things that are most crucial to learn and the rest will come.

Let’s get started.


1) You Do Not Need To Hire A Website Designer or Graphic Illustrator

When I first started my blog, I hired a Graphic Illustrator to make all my graphics, logos, headers etc. I ended up spending close to $400 a month for almost 6 months until I realized for the level my blog was at, that I was more than capable of making the graphics myself. There are HUNDREDS of design apps that allow you to create Pinterest worthy graphics and pins without bleeding you dry.

My Favorite Graphic Sites Are:

-Canva.com
-Unsplash.com
-Lightroom App

I constantly hear people are waiting to start a blog until they can afford to hire a website builder. I will say right now, it is the BIGGEST waste of money. I personally host my blog through GoDaddy which I absolutely LOVE. When you have a domain through GoDaddy, you get the option to add WordPress.Org for $6.99 a month as your website. With WordPress.Org it is not only SO easy to use, but comes with THOUSANDS of free Website templates and plugins. You don’t have to pay someone to build you a website if you spend a few hours playing around on WordPress.Org and watch a few YouTube videos on how to utilize the site.

2) Don’t Waste Your Time Learning Everything About SEO

SEO is important when it comes to running a blog, but it is quickly becoming a thing of the past. When you first start researching blogging everyone says learn and study SEO. However, it is the biggest waste of time. Google changes their SEO strategies and algorithms DAILY. If you spend all your time trying to learn SEO you will never be able to keep up and won’t have the time to actually blog.

There are a few things you should know about SEO and ditch the rest.

-Use 1-2 Keywords in your URL. Take this blog for example, my title is “10 Things You Should Know Before Starting A Blog” and the URL automates to www.pickingdaisiesblog.com/10-things-you-should-know-before-starting-a-blog This URL is extremely spammy to Google and will move you to the bottom of the searches. Instead change the URL to include 1-2 keywords and let your article do the talking. So today’s blog URL is: www.pickingdaisiesblog.com/10blogtips it is short and to the point.

-Change the title names on your pictures to the name of the blog and include a useful caption that includes keywords or make the caption the title of the blog

-Create social media with the exact same name as your blog. Meaning your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest should all match the name of your blog. This will show Google you are legit and rank you higher since there are multiple sources validating you are not spam or a computer.

-Include your website on all social media and ask any collaborations you do that have blogs as well, to do a link back to your blog

3)Ditch Linktree

Linktree is a free website that allows you to create a landing page for multiple links. However, you are literally driving traffic away from your own website. Instead, create a landing page on your own blog. It is extremely simple to do and doesn’t even need to be displayed on your blog.

USING WORDPRESS TO CREATE A LANDING PAGE:

Pages> New Page> Title: [BLOG NAME]> URL: [BLOG NAME] Body: Your multiple links.

You can keep it simple and number the links, or use a plugin that allows you to create link blocks. You don’t want to send someone to a different website where they then have to choose what link of yours they want to visit. Instead, send them to your blog where you have “Recent Posts” in your side bar, they see your header and logos and get a feel for you. How many times have you been on a website or blog and saw a title that caught your eye and next thing you know its 30 minutes later and you are 3 pages deep on someone’s page.

Using your blog as a landing page also increases your monthly views and visits which will help you rank higher in Google and help you get more brand deals.

4) Learn How To Create Catchy Titles

Titles should give you an idea of what you’re about to read without giving away the entire blog. However, you need to make them catchy enough for someone to want to stop scrolling and spend their time reading your blog.

The thing about blogging, is that someone has to dedicate their valuable time to sit down and actually read what you have to say. It is different than Instagram where they spend 3-5 seconds looking at a post or a podcast where they can listen while they are getting ready, driving, cooking etc. Blogs make the reader take their attention off everything else and devote time solely to your post.

So you want to create titles that grab the reader and make them feel like it is worth the time they are loosing.

There are hundreds of websites out there where you can enter your keywords and they will help you create titles. The most popular blogs are “10 Tips…” “Must Haves for…..” “Quick Guide…” things that show the reader it will be a quick, yet informative read.

And one rule above all else: DO NOT CLICK BAIT!!!! You can alter the title to be witty but do not say “10 Tips For Creating A Blog” and then make your post a long, drawn out post about your blogging journey without giving quick, easy tips for readers. For example in this blog, I have made the tips short, sweet, and bolded. You are able to skim through this blog just reading the bullet points and gain so knowledge on the subject. And if you wish to read more, I have included information like this. But I am not making you waste more of your time reading the entire post and forcing you to decipher through the text just to find a little bit of useful information. You want to make it as easy as possible for readers.

Which brings me to my next point…

5) Get Rid Of Fluff

How many times have you clicked on a recipe on Pinterest to make for dinner, but you have to scroll through paragraphs and pages before you actually get to the recipe?! It is ANNOYING and I bet you give up half way through. Going back to my previous point, readers are giving up their precious time. If you are going to make a long article, make it useful. Don’t worry about word count, content is more important.

So get rid of long intros and excruciating painful conclusions. Narrow it down to 3-5 sentences as the intro and 2-3 sentences in the conclusions. Make sure the body is solely content related and NO fluff!

6) Utilize Multiple Social Media Outlets

SEO is becoming a thing of the past with Google constantly changing their algorithm. So utilizing various social media outlets will not only help drive traffic to your blog but will also help boost your SEO! Just make sure to use the same username for every platform.

That being said, find platforms that work for you. I personally only use Instagram and Pinterest. These two outlets drive the most traffic to my blog. I would like to spend more time on Facebook but Facebook is adopting stricter algorithms and unless you pay for ads, your post aren’t seen organically. So Instagram and Pinterest are my main sources for traffic. Twitter and Facebook wouldn’t work for my niche, but may for yours! Also, Youtube is a great way to generate traffic (and generate income!)

Don’t worry about doing it all. Find what ones work for you and then give them your all. Quality content is KEY!

7) Create a Monthly Blogging/Social Media Strategy

It seriously baffles me when people say they don’t create a monthly strategy. You can’t have quality and consistent content without a strategy. In a perfect world I would be three months ahead, but I’m about a month ahead. What works for me is to create an excel sheey that looks something like this:

DATE l INSTAGRAM POST l STORIES l BLOG POST

So I go through first and decide what I want all my Instagram post to be about for the month. Then I go through and add in what blogs I am going to write and what days they are going to launch. I try to match my Instagram content to my blog. Then I create a word document and create a table with the DATE and CAPTION. I write out what picture I am going to use or take, what blog post I am going to write (then after I schedule it I include the link) and then write out the caption. I think its way easier to write it on a word document so I can check for any spelling or grammar errors and go back easily to edit as needed.

Planning it out this way has helped me create maximum content. I don’t put unrealistic expectations like a blog or even post every day. I don’t post sponsored post on Saturdays since engagements are low and never on Sundays. Having everyday mapped out allows me to create quality content and really put my time and effort into every aspect (including stories).

If you need help creating a social media strategy, you can sign up for my accountability program and we can get some goals/ideas/strategies set!

8) Put Effort Into Your Blog & Instagram Pictures

I have to say, when I don’t see quality pictures on Instagram, I unfollow. To me I want to follow someone who puts effort into their pictures. Even if that just means its a clear selfie with a dope filter. I think spending the time to crop, edit things out, or use a preset, helps draw people into your Instagram. I get so stressed sometimes worrying about blog or Instagram pictures. But after watching a few YouTube videos and spending time taking/editing the picture- I’m pretty confident with what I got.

And don’t be like everyone else! Develop your own aesthetic and change it as you change! There is nothing wrong with being different and I can promise you it will catch the attention from others. I buy presets from Etsy or Instagram but overtime have found just playing around with the brightness can take an ordinary photo to the next level. Ditch the blury, close up, out of focus pictures. If you are trying to build a brand out of your Instagram and Blog, then look how real brands take pictures.

NOTE: This doesn’t mean you can’t be real. Post the facetune free and messy home pictures, but in a way that’s intune with your brand.

(And please don’t post 3 times a day or the same picture but different poses 500 times. I see SO many people trying to build a brand but their last 8 pictures is from the same photoshoot just with different poses).

Post with intent!

9) Engage With Your Followers and Create Genuine Relationships

I swear- no one hypes you up more than your blogger/insta bestie. Over this last year and a half, I have met so many INCREDIBLE, SUPPORTIVE women. But to have a friend, you have to be a friend. Strong women empower women. So when you are on Instagram or looking for bloggers to collaborate with, find people you genuinely connect with. This will not only help your growth but you’ll connect with some incredible people.

Never think you know it all or you can do it on your own. There is ALWAYS something you can learn from someone. Once you stop learning, you stop growing. Also, you don’t want to climb to the top alone because then there is no one to celebrate it with. Build those AUTHENTIC relationships and watch not only your brand grow, but you as well.

10) Don’t Be A Sell Out

This is HUGE. Recently there was a collab going around for these hemp drinks.I love anything Hemp or CBD and was so excited to try them out! First of all, they tasted like the worst edible you could ever imagine. 2nd, they were selling them for $10 a bottle. TEN FREAKING DOLLARS. There is no THC in them so at that price, it is totally absurd. I refused to promote them because I would never spend $10 for a drink and especially one that tasted THAT bad. But then I saw other influencers and bloggers that are on the same collab website promoting the drinks. And I unfollowed every single one. Now, it wasn’t just my taste that thought they were bad, I had 10 people try them and all of them couldn’t even swallow the first sip.

There have been so many companies that either reached out to me, or I reached out to and once I received the product if it wasn’t up to my standards I offered to ship back (at their cost). I will NEVER promote something I don’t truly believe in and love. And neither should you. Your followers will be able to see through your bullshit. Don’t sell yourself out for free shit and crappy sponsorships, especially if you’re not being paid for them.

Another thing I will note, is make sure your content doesn’t get absorbed by collabs and sponsored posts. Your followers are going to stop caring about what you have to say if you’re just selling random shit to them every single post. QUALITY OVER QUANITITY and crappy free products isn’t worth your longtime goal.


I am so excited for you to take a leap of faith and start your blog!! I will be launching courses over the next couple months to help you one on one of develop the brand and blog you envisioned.

In the meantime If you are still having a hard time accomplishing your goals, sign up for my 5 week Accountability Program where I will work with you one on one to make a plan you can actually stick with to crush your goals!

USEFUL LINKS

XOXO,

Mariah

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