I have been blogging on and off for a couple of years and started taking blogging seriously over the last couple of months with ThimblesandSpoons (which is basically my baby). Blogging has rapidly become my passion and obsession and I am loving the journey my blog is taking me on, but having looked back I realised that there are a few things I wish I knew before starting to blog.
WordPress or Blogger
Ultimately, I quickly came to realise that a huge number (possibly the majority) of bloggers transition over to or start their blog by using WordPress. I am currently using Blogger, which is super easy to use but is lacking in options compared to WordPress. I feel like Blogger has done it’s job and I’m grateful, but perhaps I should’ve started with WordPress from the get go. WordPress is more well-known, has tons of plugin options and gives you more control over your blog’s look etc (so I’ve heard anyway). For professional use, I think I will be making my move to WordPress very soon and start exploring the self-hosted route.
Stick With A Theme
With blog photos and Instagram, it’s far better to stick with a theme. This means editing your photos to the same settings to create a consistent look. I love this idea, but had no idea it was a thing when I started blogging. After lots of trial and error, I am finally happy with my theme and would advise anyone to consider adapting this idea from the beginning. I found a theme that worked for me by looking at VSCO edits on Pinterest which was just so incredibly helpful. VSCO is so easy to use and really effective for making photos look great, so I highly recommend it if you are looking for an editing app. It’s also free to use with optional (paid) upgrades. if you want to take a look at my Instagram theme click here.
Have A Plan
I can’t stress this enough. For a short amount of time after I started ThimblesandSpoons, I was pretty much winging it and it could’ve been an absolute disaster. I basically ended up writing until 1 in the morning every night just to make sure a post would be ready for the next day. Not advised! Now I have a planning book with all my post ideas and a weekly plan to keep me on track. It’s been so much easier and I have found planning to be a good push of motivation before writing.
Things cost money
If you really want to take blogging seriously, you probably have to spend a little money. I hadn’t given this much thought until I decided I wanted to own my domain name and get rid of that pesky “.blogspot.com”. This didn’t cost a lot but it was still a cost I hadn’t planned for. Becoming self-hosted will also be another cost I am going to be taking on, but I feel it’s worth it. I’ve talked about templates before here and the many different looks you can get for your blog. I would always invest some money into a template if you want to achieve a clean and effective look. So have a think about what you want because costs can be a surprise if you haven’t planned for them beforehand.
Well you live and you learn right?