I wrote my first blog post way back in 2008. I was travelling on my own in Southeast Asia and I wanted to let my family and friends back home know how I was getting on. I searched online where I could for I could write a travel blog, with no technical knowledge at all and no idea what I was looking for. All I knew was that I wanted a space online to write about my daily adventures and include my photographs.
I settled on a site called GetJealous. I paid a premium for extra features that included photo storage. (Oh, how I wish I knew and understood about other blogger platforms! But more on that in a sec…) I was able to blog almost every day I was travelling and once I was back in Blighty I was hooked.
I went back to Southeast Asia in 2010 to carry out my fieldwork for my Masters degree, and once again I set up a GetJealous blog to chart my adventures. It became both a habit and a compulsion, to be able to write and share every single day.
Once I returned I continued blogging, but this time setting up Rosalilium on Blogger.From there I began this long journey of learning everything the hard way, which is often the best way. I have gone from amateur to pro. I get paid to blog for others as well as earning from my own blog. There are have been many steps in between and there are many more to go. But as I sit here in my local chicken restaurant listening to samba music, I realise there are so many things that I wish I knew about blogging when I started.
Hindsight is a great thing, but it’s even better when you can share it with others and they can learn from it.
23 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging:
- all of the options available for choosing a platform for my blog
- understood the benefits of being self-hosted
- the transformative benefits good photography can make to a blog post
- the benefits of planning – whether it is planning content, projects, social media or future business plans
- that the posts I wrote in the early days would still generate traffic today (hello natural SEO!)
- he power of blogging pals to support and inspire me
- how many hats I would have to wear as a blogger
- that blogging is not free
- that almost every activity in my life could potentially be blog-worthy
- that staring at my stats would not make more people read my blog
- that meeting other bloggers in real life would make a huge difference to my blog journey
- to learn quickly about SEO, marketing, PR and blogger outreach, including understanding how companies would approach my as a blogger
- keywords and SEO are a thing, it’s worth understanding but not getting bogged down by
- to say no to emails and opportunities that don’t suit my blog or benefit me as a blogger
- to think like a business along with being a creative
- that some of your real-life friends might not ‘get’ what you do
- that design matters
- to focus on carving my own niche and not getting distracted by how well others are doing
- that somebody telling you they love your blog will make you feel like a proud parent
- sometimes you’ll get blog overwhelm but that’s ok. just take some time out and you’ll come back refreshed
- leaving comments and pimping out blog posts by the bloggers you admire builds your blogging karma
- don’t be scared to reach out to the bloggers you admire, most of them are really lovely
- that blogging would change my life and that would be a good thing
What do you wish YOU knew when you started blogging?