Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging (Part 2).
When I got serious about blogging, I had no idea that there was a whole vast world behind it. Once I finally dove in and got serious about blogging, I realized that I had so much to learn.
As I always say, I'm definitely no expert, but I do like to share things that I have helped me grow as a blogger, so I want to share a few things that I wish I had known before I got serious about my blog.
Disclaimer: I'm no expert by any means. I just like sharing the things that have worked for me, and I'm crossing my fingers that if you take my advice, it will work for you too!
 BLOGGING IS AN INVESTMENT
This isn't something I wanted to accept at the beginning. I was determined to do everything on my own without paying a dime, but it doesn't always work out that way. If you want to get your blog noticed, you are looking at an investment. Just like any business, you have to put money into your blog in order to get what you want out of it. Things you'll be investing in for your blog:
1// DOMAIN NAME. There are tons of sites for you to purchase a domain name. I purchased mine through GoDaddy for $1.
2// DECENT BLOG DESIGN. You don't need to dish out hundreds of dollars from the get-go. Do your research and compare prices and designers to find a designer that you'd feel confident spending your money on. You can also try your luck at entering giveaways where bloggers are giving away designs. Also, take advantage of designers who are having design sales!
3// SPONSORSHIPS. If you want to get the word out there about your blog, invest in sponsorships with other bloggers to help drive traffic to your site.
 PEOPLE WILL TAKE YOU LESS SERIOUSLY WHEN YOU HAVE A .blogspot.com OR .wordpress.com AS PART OF YOUR BLOG URL
As mentioned above, blogging is an investment, and the first thing you should invest in is a domain name. Having a domain name and dropping the blogspot or wordpress in your site will help people realize that you're serious about your blog and are more apt to take you seriously.
 LEARN TO TAKE DECENT PICTURES
There are tons of tutorials out there to help you take good pictures for your blog. Even if you just have a camera phone, there are tons of ways for you to edit your pictures to make them look decent. Check out tutorials on Pinterest or from other bloggers. People are drawn to photos and visuals, and that's especially true with blogging. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words.
 BE CONSISTENT
If you want to be serious about blogging, then you should keep a blogging schedule. Blogs that post once a month or once every other week sporadically are less likely to get engagement compared to blogs that have new posts consistently. If you only have time to post once a week or a couple times a week, try to post on the same day(s) each week. Also, try to post at the same time each day. This makes it easier for your readers to know when to expect new blog posts from you.
 QUALITY > QUANTITY
Don't just post to post; post because you have something to say. As great as it is for your blog post numbers to climb, it's even better to publish posts that are quality material. So don't worry about putting blog posts out every single day; publish posts of substance.
 MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO CONTACT YOU
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get in contact with a blogger who doesn't have their contact information prominently displayed. I hate when I want to contact someone, and I have to search all over their blog for an email address, and sometimes, I get so frustrated, I just give up. Sure, you can comment on their posts, but not all bloggers reply to posts, and sometimes, replies aren't delivered to your own inbox. If you want people to contact you and engage with your blog, make it easier for people to do so. I suggest having a "Contact" tab on your navigation bar where you include an email for people to contact you and also display your social media sites in case they're more comfortable with contact through social media.
 LINK BACK TO OTHER POSTS
It's so easy for older posts to get lost in all the hubbub of new posts. Linking back to your past posts in your new posts will help drive engagement to your older posts.
 WATERMARK YOUR IMAGES
This is especially important if you plan on pinning your images to Pinterest. The internet is so vast, and with images, articles, and hashtags going unpredictably viral, you never know if your photos or blog post may become the center of attention. Watermark your images with your blog name or website to attract people to your site, and they can enjoy all of the other awesome content on your blog. People are always stealing images, so if you want to allow people to use your images, at least take the initiative to take ownership of them.
 DON'T STEAL OTHER PEOPLE'S CONTENT
Just like you don't want people to steal your photos, you shouldn't do that to others either. If you use other people's photos, try to get permission and always, always, always site the source. Also, you know that whole plagiarism thing they talked about in school and how not to do it? Same goes with blogging.
 AS SOON AS IT FEELS LIKE AN OBLIGATION, STOP
Why do you want to blog? Whatever your answer is, hold onto that during your blogging journey, and when that statement starts to fall to the wayside, and you're no longer having fun or enjoying blogging, take a break from it (or stop altogether if you don't feel like continuing). Blogging usually starts as a hobby, which means you should have fun doing it. When that isn't true for you anymore, don't feel like you have to keep doing it.
There's a reason no one is a blogging expert. It's because there's always something to learn. The blogging world is always growing and adapting, but hopefully these tips will help you make a smooth transition into it.