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Everything You Wished You Had Know About Blogging from the Beginning

By Mar 10, 2014January 24th, 201587 Comments

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I have been blogging since 2009. I first started out as a closet blogger. I did! I wrote and wrote but no one came. (That’s not entirely true. One person actually did come. I had no idea who this person was nor did I know how they found me.) I secretly blogged for about a year. How crazy was that? There are a few tips and tricks I wish I would have known from the beginning. Oh boy, how it could have made things easier!

What to know about blogging

Starting a Blog – What You Should Know from the Beginning

Here are a few things I wish I would have known from the beginning:

  • Have a purpose- a reason to write. If you don’t know why, the how doesn’t matter.
  • Build a tribe. That is probably the biggest thing I wish I would have known about blogging from the beginning. I didn’t. The SITS Girls do an awesome job of helping people connect and build a tribe.
  • Don’t compare to other bloggers. That’s a hard one, especially when visiting other blogs and seeing their 88 comments on a consistent basis. Not a good idea to compare.
  • Keep writing. Find a schedule that works and keep at it.
  • Balance social media. The many platforms that are available is a great thing. Concentrating on one or two at a time just makes sense. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful blog.
  • Work smarter by using tools that are available: editorial calendars, Hootsuite, Twitterdeck, Google Analytics and Picmonkey to name a few. It aids in time management. The SITS Girls Facebook page is a great tool for getting started in social media, and so is their forum and Twitter chats on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. I wish I would have found this group a lot sooner than I did. You can seriously go to the Learn tab on their site and stay there for as long as it takes to learn everything you need/want to know about blogging. Seriously!

I also wish I would have known about the different conferences that are held all around the country. I have a friend who just started her blog (Grammy’s Life So Far) the week before she accompanied me to Women Get Social in San Diego. I almost envy her. What better way to begin a blogging career than by attending a SITS conference?

With my new blogging friend in mind I decided to ask some of my other blogging friends what they wish they had known when they first started blogging and this is what they said:

  • Ilene from The Fierce Diva Guide to Life said this: “I wish I would have done my homework upfront, taken the time to research the different blogging platforms, and educated myself on the pros and cons of using a self-hosted platform instead of the free site I began with. I could have avoided a few issues when I made the switch.”
  • I love what Chris from The Mom Café had to say: “Blogging is relational. I had NO idea the amount of time I would spend connecting with other bloggers and that there was an entire community of countless other writers I would need to engage with.”
  • Tamara from Tamara Like Camera said something similar: “I wish I had known I didn’t have to do this alone. I had no idea about the communities, linkups, sharing and connecting. It took me almost three years to discover blogging communities and to begin to build my tribe.”
  • Kendra from Stop Lookin’ Get Cookin’ said: “The one thing I wish I had known when I first started out was photo etiquette.  Linking back and giving credit is great but if you ask permission first oftentimes the owner of the photo will take the opportunity to say thanks by amplifying the post to her readers, which is a win/win situation.”

Thanks to my friends for sharing. And now I’d love to hear what you wish you would have known when you first started blogging!


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About laurielyons

Laurie has been a wife for too many years to count. She is the mother of three mostly grown children. Her last year as a homeschooling mom will come to an end in 2014. Life is changing for this entrepreneur turned blogger and author of her first E-book. She often feels like the odd man out in the blogging world because she is in her fifties, but her love of social media and writing keeps her hanging in and always learning. You can find Laurie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog, Beyond My Blue Door, where she writes about life and the many lessons learned along the way. Oh, and she can hardly wait to become a grandma!


  • Thanks for this post! I JUST started blogging about a month ago and it has been exciting scary, and mostly overwhelming. I think once I get in a groove I will really love it, but reading tips like this is great!

  • So true about not comparing your blog to others! I find myself wondering how in the world people get so many comments, when my mom and aunt are the main ones commenting on my blog (not quite sure how they actually learned that they could comment!). I have to remind myself that I just started doing this a few months ago. Thanks for the great post!

  • THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I have started a new blog, and I too am in my fifties. I started the blog to bring together a community of empty nesters and find out what is happening in their world. I love SITS and I am just figuring out how to build a “tribe”. I am looking for Empty Nesters to share their story and to make friends with all of the clever bloggers out there. What I know for sure is that I LOVE this blogging world. Thank you so much for sharing your tips on blogging!

  • Danah says:

    Thanks for the advice! I appreciate the advice!

  • very nice information, it’s more useful to me. Please keep posting like this.



  • Nice information, it’s more useful to me.Than keep posting like this.



  • What an excellent set of tips! Even though I’ve been blogging for many years, I’m always looking for better ways to do it. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  • Great tips! I’ve just discovered SITS, although have been blogging for a couple of years now, but it’s time to get a bit more serious, am looking forward to reading through some of the old posts and getting busy in the forum!

  • Cailin Koy says:

    It’s all so true! I love community building. It’s a huge part of blogging success.

  • I love one of the comments that said, “it’s like the learning never stops!” because it’s so true, even now that I’m reading all these great tips, the blogging world moves so fast, you always need to learn new things and create new ways to connect with others. There is always a new social media platform!!
    But one thing I wished I had know about blogging from the beginning is, building a tribe. I always stumbled with this, since my blog has two languages, spanish and english and I have readers from different parts of the world and different cultures. It has been a bit hard and confusing but it seems to work now.
    Thanks for the tips!

    • Laurie says:

      Sounds like you have gotten past the tribe building learning curve, which is huge. So cool it is two cultures, but I can see where it would be a lot of work. Thanks for sharing.

  • M4 AEG says:

    Universal Grip

  • So true! When I started blogging I was somewhat a loner, but the more I integrated into the vast blogging community, the more I people reached out to me. I found warm, interesting people who wanted to connect with me. It has been an amazing adventure!

    • Laurie says:

      It IS an amazing adventure. Happy to hear you found those warm and interesting people who reached out to you and you connected with them!

  • G’day! Great read! Glad I did not miss today! There is so much to learn about blogging and social media and is great as we are all unique!
    Cheers! Joanne

  • Amaia says:

    What an inspiring article. The most difficult part to me is the lack of readers or followers, but when I see that you wrote for a year that gives me the motivation I need to continue doing it! readers will come if the content is good enough!

    • Laurie says:

      Keep at it if you enjoy what you’re doing! And I’m not alone in that writing to crickets. Find a few blogs you enjoy and comment a few times and I just bet they will reciprocate. Read some comments on that blogger’s page and you’ll likely find more blogs you enjoy reading and comment some more. To me, that’s the fun part…getting to know new people, albeit it does take time. Hint: the bloggers I mention in this post are great places to start. 😉

  • Love this post! I need to get myself to a conference, LOL!

  • A great and informative read for us newbies. Love it

  • Kanettra says:

    Great Post!!… Every time I see a post with blogging tips or stories from other bloggers when they first began blogging I’ll click on it. I feel you can never know enough. I’m always eager to read others experiences , I feel you can take something positive/helpful from each one.

  • Vicky says:

    I agree and I love to have the building blocks understand t build the technical aspect then focus on what the visual is. Thanks for sharing

  • Such a great topic! I agree that the networking and social media portion is huge. I had no idea that the social media engaging would take so much work. But it’s worth it.

  • Great post!!! Remember, “Comparison is the thief of joy!”

  • Jonealle says:

    Being a brand new blogger reading this does help. I started my blog only 6 days ago and I want it to be a big success. The hardest thing for me is getting out there and socializing and making friends with other bloggers. There seem to be so many that I do not know where to begin.

    • Laurie says:

      I know how you feel, there are tons. If you have anyone commenting on your blog then go visit theirs and leave a comment there. You can also Google your niche and find some blogs you like, or Google a topic you are interested. It is important to find blogs that you enjoy reading, then you can start to develop a relationship there. The bloggers I mentioned in this post could be a great place to begin. Good luck~

  • Jessica says:

    Great post! I agree with a lot of these points, it’s really a world that you don’t even begin to understand until you are actually in it. Then you learn so much you didn’t even realize!

  • Lori Hil says:

    Great points! There is so much to learn in the blogosphere! I love to see bloggers banning together to share!

  • Lexie Wolf says:

    This was a great post. I have only been blogging for about six months. Like some other posters I have been surprised by how much of blogging includes social media and developing relationships. I think that part is fun, but it is definitely taking time!

  • What a great post! I am a new blogger so I love these tips. Thanks for sharing:)

  • Darcy Perdu says:

    Great post — thanks for sharing. I agree about building a tribe — so helpful!

  • Anyone know how to make my profile gravatar in WP small, trying to move over from blogger, HELP!!! Please::::????

  • These are fabulous tips. Like you I didn’t start my blog with the intent that it would become a community, it was just for me. Now I wish I had done things differently but I love my little corner of the Web!

    • Laurie says:

      I would definitely do things differently if I had a do-over but that’s just part of life I suppose. It’s good you love your corner. 🙂

  • These are great tips. Blogging truly is about building a tribe and forming relationships; otherwise it’d be no different than sitting down to read/write a print magazine. The give and take is essential for success and fulfillment, but it also requires a significant time commitment. It’s important to realize that upfront.

    • Laurie says:

      You are so right, Katie. I think it takes (some) new bloggers a little time to figure that out. They sometimes think of other bloggers as competition instead of a network. And I totally agree, it takes a huge time investment.

  • Adrian says:

    I think my best advice to a new blogger is not to burn yourself out. You don’t have to post every single day. I tried that at first and I ran out of stuff I wanted to say pretty quickly. Now I’m fine-tuning and reporting some if that old material in a new way and getting a lot more interaction because now I know how to connect in the blogging world. (9 blog conferences later!).

    And I’m in my 50’s and been blogging since 2007 – c’mon over and visit!

    • Laurie says:

      Always love to meet another 50 something blogger! I only have 3 conferences under my belt with three more to come this year. I love your tip to prevent burnout.

  • Tara Newman says:

    Great tips and yes, blogging is increasingly relational. I actually post less so I have more time to build relationships with my fellow bloggers that go beyond social media. I have met some great people that have had huge impact on my life.

    • Laurie says:

      It seems to be the trend and a good one at that. Sometimes it’s hard to believe the relationships being developed are with people I haven’t actually met in person…yet.

  • These are such great tips. I love the tip about not comparing. It’s so hard to see the blogger who get 88 comments and your struggling along and feel like nobody notices you. SITS is the most awesome blog to attach yourself with. I love their SITS saturday comment links. That’s an awesome way to meet other bloggers and have the meet you. It has helped my blog grow. This past Saturday was the 2nd one I did and I have gained some followers.

    • Laurie says:

      The sitssharefest is really a great place to hang with some really special people. That’s awesome that you have connected and gained followers!

  • Thanks for the tips. I like the one about having a purpose for writing. I didn’t know when I started that blogging would be so good for my google ranking. It helps me come up in searches on topics of kids yoga.

    • Laurie says:

      It is amazing the many different kinds of blogs there are these days. A very viable tool in the marketplace!

  • Great tips! I’ve been blogging for six years, but I didn’t really find my groove until I found SITS and made a tribe! The last two years have been way more fun since I got involved with SITS and really made some friends!

  • Tiffany says:

    Hi Laurie! These are all things I wish I had known a bit sooner but thanks to great sharers like you and the gift of SITSGirl luckily I found them out sooner rather than later. Thanks so much for a great post!

    • Laurie says:

      Hey Tiffany! I agree totally about SITS Girls but you are so rocking this whole blogging thing! You are an inspiration to those of us who have been at it a bit longer.

      • Tiffany says:

        Wow Laurie! That truly means a lot. Thank you so much. It is because of other Bloggers like you and a great community like SITSGirls that I’ve been able to get this far. I’m looking forward to more growth and more connections like this 😀

  • kathyj333 says:

    I’ve been blogging since 2006, and I still blog in secret.

    • Chris Carter says:

      First comment- I see YOU… and wonder why in secret still? Do you want to be in secret? I hope not! Everyone who is sharing their ‘gift’ deserves someone to receive it! Let me know Kathy… and btw- I’m going over to check out your “secret site” now! LOL

      • Laurie says:

        In the words of Ricky Riccardo, splain, Chris. Am I in secret? I’m confused, which isn’t unusual. 🙂 xo

      • kathyj333 says:

        Thank you for stopping by. I’ve been writing there for quite a while. And I’m guilty of thinking “no one will read this anyway, so I’ll post it in like it’s a private journal.” So I’m trying to post in a way that people who stop by will understand my intent. Right now, I’m exploring self hypnosis to change the negative self talk I’m so guilty of.

    • Laurie says:

      But you’re here commenting so your secret is out…Chris is so on it! 🙂 Hint: it’s way more fun out of the closet!

  • Really great tips, especially about finding your tribe. I think also I would add just continue to Be Yourself, don’t try to be all things to all people, stick with your own voice and what you’re passionate about and you’ll soon find your groove. I say this to people because you can actually define success on your own terms as a blogger and it really doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s definition. So long as you’re still connected to your content and your audience, you’re winning!

    And yes of course SITS Girls rocks 😉

  • Laina Turner says:

    I agree that SITs is one of the best investments of my time.

  • Excellent tips! I have been blogging for 7 1/2 years and I used to let the comment thing get me down. Now, I know from looking at my blog stats that people are there reading, they just don’t comment, and that’s ok. They may just be there for whatever information is in that post. I interact with my fans on my FB page and that keeps me in contact with my readers.

    I love that Kendra mentioned the photo thing. It’s great to link back and give credit, but asking is always best with copyright issues and avoids a hassle and possible law suit from someone who is really overzealous. Anymore, unless I have been specifically sent pictures to use by the PR rep or an author for their tours, I use my own pictures, if I don’t have one, I draw something in Painshop Pro to use that goes with my post, or if I’m really desperate (I needed a picture of Mexican Wedding Cookies once), I use a photo that has a creative commons license and make sure I am using it in the way the owner of the photo intends it to be used with proper credits.

    • Laurie says:

      I agree with the comment thing. It is nice to get comments but people don’t always engage when they read. I’m guilty of that myself. Thanks for adding your photo tips!

  • Thanks for the tips. I’m glad that I found SITS also. Everyone has been so generous. Have a great day!

  • These are fabulous tips! Finding SITs was the best thing I have done so far. The information here is invaluable!

  • Nicki Lewis says:

    Thanks for these great tips. I am fairly new so trying to learn everything I can