Plan ahead when starting a new blog


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What advice would you give to someone just starting out in blogging?

 

image by cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos

image by cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos

A recent LinkedIn discussion I was involved in asked what the most important bit of advice was for people just starting out in blogging.

 

As I shared in the discussion, my biggest advice is to plan ahead.

 

Knowing where you want to go will definitely help you make decisions on everything from the software you choose to blog with, to how you promote your blog.

 

For example, I always knew I wanted my own domain rather than one of the free blogs, because I wanted to have full control over content, design, growth, change etc.

 

But when it came to choosing blogging software, I went for the easiest to use, as I was just starting out. I chose Weebly Drop and Drop because it’s pretty much so simple, a monkey could do it. For ages, I was really happy with the layout and style of the site. And I had phenomenal growth in my first 12 months, ending up with a number of Google #1 topics, plus I had a heap of regular and guest contributors.

 

The one thing I didn’t foresee was how limiting Weebly would be. I couldn’t really do much beyond the basics and every time I created a new page, I was reinventing the wheel, having to put everything in place again. Even something as simple as reusing a photo meant I had to keep a folder of them on my desktop and upload them again and again every time I wanted to use them.

 

And having multiple contributors exponentially increased my workload. As I didn’t want to give everyone the log in and password for my site (which would allow them to change any and everything on my website), I had to manually upload all of their submissions myself.

 

Then my husband started using WordPress for his blog, and I was amazed at all the different features and benefits it had over Weebly. I was having some serious blog envy every time I’d look at his site, but the thought of moving it all over to WordPress gave me nightmares.

 

I eventually did move it – months and months after I first thought about it, which only made the job even greater to do.

 

But I am so glad I did. Now all of my contributors have their own log in and passwords and can post their contributions ready for me to do a final edit.  Wordpress has so many features it would take me all day to list them all, and I am now a complete and utter WordPress convert.

 

The only thing I wish is that I’d used it in the first place, because there were downsides to changing over. While I was able to manually transfer over comments (which was good, as some posts had more than 60 comments), I wast able to transfer over the social media shares, and I had some pretty impressive numbers on that old site.

 

Hindsight is always 20/20, so that is my number 1 piece of advice for anyone thinking of starting a blog. Know where you want to go so you can plan ahead and avoid making the same mistakes I did. Keep an eye out over the coming months as I share more hints and tips for migrating my site to WordPress.

 

What’s your number 1 piece of advice for someone just starting out in blogging?

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About Riley Banks

Riley Banks is the author of Vampire Origins, and The William S Club. She blogs about books, entertainment, and writing. For more information on Riley Banks and her books, go to http://www.thewritersshack.com/riley-banks/

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