Life is a matter of choices,
And every choice you make makes you.
John C Maxwel
To start a blog or not?
The odds were 100 to 1 against me. I had no idea of any blogging topics for beginners to even get started.
But I decided to stop playing it safe like I had done my whole life. I gambled and started FamilyGrowthLife.com.
It’s been a long, hard road strewn with giant, concrete hurdles that at times seemed impossible to clear.
But like the tortoise, slow and steady, I am clearing them one baby step at a time.
Here’s what this post tackles:
Ready? Let’s jump in.
CONQUER YOUR NEGATIVE MINDSET
Have you seen incredible Pinterest pins like:
How I made $2000 with my 1-month-old blog!
My August Income Report – $5000!
My reaction – TERROR …..
A little voice urged me to QUIT! It screamed at me….. you can’t do this ……. you don’t know anything about how to start a blog …… on and on it went ….
But a story of triumph in a Facebook post by Prerna Malik of Content Bistro inspired me to quit skulking behind my doubting demons and start my blog.
Jorden Roper’s post, How to Stop being too Chickenshit to Start Freelance Writing also jolted me into action.
So, the first thing I needed to do was to recode my brain from CAN’T to CAN DO and MUST DO.
HOW TO CRUSH BLOGGER OVERWHELM
The flood of free online blogging tips for beginners confuses the new blogger.
Tombs of step by step blogging information put me into permanent study mode. I read, bookmarked and made notes
and started the process of learning about how to start a blog again every day.
For a while, I blog – jogged on the spot.
Jocelyn Kate of jocscelynkate.com in a Facebook post described it as a state of ‘ Paralysis Analysis ’. Her advice:
You need to design a learning plan for yourself. As if you’re a teacher outlining a curriculum or a student (only you’re the student and teacher).
I found this priceless advice. It was my life vest when I was drowning in a sea of baffling blogging how to’s and to do’s.
CREATE A CHECKLIST OF BLOGGING TOPICS FOR BEGINNERS
Frown lines and knotted shoulder muscles marked this phase.
A cycle of research …. notes…. research … and still, more research about blogging topics patterned my days.
By chance, I found Blogging Wizard’s, The Blogger’s Guide to Preventing Information Overload by Christine C. Renee.
This post guided me to create a plan of blogging tips for beginners.
So I designed a simple checklist of all the blogging topics I needed to study to start my blog.
But, that’s only half the story. I still had pathetic tech skills.
Studying about starting a blog is one thing, but actually working on the backend of a WordPress site is like taking a swim during
HOW TO START A BLOG IF YOUR TECH SKILLS SUCK
Was I now ready to launch my site and start blogging?
No, not by a long shot.
Let me tell you my tech ignorance kept me awake many nights.
I had made the decision to start a blog but …..would I ever be able to do so with my close to zero tech know – how?
But Elna Cain’s blog post How to Start a Mom Blog in 2017 (for Beginners) slew my doubts at once.
This post was a ‘Starting a Blog’ GPS for me.
It is a kind of blogging Show and Tell which is dead easy to follow. She explains the whole process with step by step screencasts.
Elna gives many valid reasons for her choice of Siteground as her hosting company.
The factor that influenced me most was – guess what – the Tech Support via Live Chat.
Believe me, the support is amazing. I consulted them several times for help.
I now had my own, self-hosted site! Yaaay!
If you are still doubtful about starting your own blog, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR WORDPRESS SITE
Have you ever been separated from your kids in a store or a mall?
You know the sheer panic you feel?
Well, that was WordPress for me. It proved to be my biggest blogging NIGHTMARE.
The itty bitty nitty gritty details in the actual blog set up were as much fun as snuggling up to a cactus.
Oh, the relief when I discovered WP Beginner videos.
Short videos about everything from title tags, slug, meta tags, permalinks, Image attributes.
I got to know the WP dashboard with Nick Foy TV – WordPress Tutorial for Beginners – The Ultimate Guide (2017).
I overdosed on other YouTube WordPress videos ( too many to credit ) as I grappled with WP.
Suzy Whitford’s Blog by Numbers e-course was another lifeline for me. This course, with easy to follow modules, illustrated all the stuff I had to do to customize my blog.
Suzi’s step by step method of video teaching helped me to:
•understand the difference between pages and posts
• structure my menu with categories
• set up social media buttons
• organize the about me section of the sidebars on my site
Wow, after all that I felt like I had just come out of a dark tunnel.
I now had a functioning site. Ready for the next step?
HOW TO WRITE CONTENT THAT ATTRACTS READERS AND SUBSCRIBERS
Finding, researching and writing content for my blog went on in jerks and jolts.
Lack of experience in writing online copy shrieked and screeched at all my efforts. I wrote, edited, rewrote, edited and went on in this loser circle.
Exhausted by my lack of progress, I prowled Google. It did not fail me. Read on to see the gems I found ……
HOW TO WRITE USING A BLOG WRITING TEMPLATE
I happened upon How to write Oustanding Blog Posts that Google and your Readers will Love by Meera Kothand.
This post is a must-read for new bloggers. She gives a zillion tried and tested blogging tips and tricks that a newbie would be insane to ignore.
Meera’s Blog Writing Template is a winner. Like slicing a pie into quarters, the outline helps organize fragmented ideas into bite-sized chunks. Easy to work from.
HOW TO WRITE SIMPLY, BETTER AND FASTER
Google also led me to stumble upon Henneke Duistermaaat’s blog. She proved to be my savior in shaping my writing skills.
Out went frilly adjectives and useless adverbs. In came Thesaurus, my new BFF.
HOW TO WRITE GREAT INTRODUCTIONS
The skills below I gleaned by foraging the blogs of successful bloggers:
- • topic choice
- • crafting headlines
- • creating outlines
- • formatting tips
- • research tricks
- • SEO strategies
You know what? After all that intense study, I still found it hard to focus on the writing.
I found myself stuck in the perfection hamster wheel.
The result – taking ages to complete a single blog post.
HOW TO WRITE FASTER: 12 TIPS FOR FREELANCE WRITERS by JOHN SOARES rescued me from this panic and chaos treadmill.
I used his 12 point guide to increase my productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique ( Write for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Do 4 such sets before taking a 15 – 20-minute break) worked wonders for me.
Taking a quick walk in the garden after each set also boosted my writing output.
To boost my focus further, I forced myself to remember Done is Better than Perfect!
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
This is a big-time stress for the new blogger.
But, blog posts need readers.
One way to get eyes on your blog posts is to promote them on social media.
But you need to have a structured plan for social media promotion for it to work for you.
I chose to be active only on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
I joined a few facebook groups run by my favorite bloggers.
The help and support given in these groups are immeasurable.
Behind the scenes blogging tips and skills available in these groups is an education in itself.
I used each group’s special promo days to promote my blog and blog posts.
The Mom to Mompreneur and Blogging Like We mean It facebook groups were awesome. Their support and encouragement helped me to ‘ just get it out ‘ there and to adopt the motto Done is better than perfect.
Twitter turned out to be a treasure trove of blogging news
It helped speed up my blogging education.
I found the WP plugin BetterClick Tweet a great way to encourage readers to share my blog posts.
Tonia Kendrick’s How to Rock Twitter with Free Tools showed
me the importance of a Twitter strategy.
Points to consider – what content to tweet and how often to tweet to get readers to your blog.
I loved her video on how to design colorful tweet graphics.
Pinterest is a must do to promote your blog.Traffic to your blog can zoom overnight if used properly.
I found Pinterest most demanding. As usual, I turned to my best buddy, Google.
The following resources tutored me in how to maximize my blog traffic through Pinterest:
- Profitable Pinning: 4 – day Pinterest Roadmap for the Blogger by Eden Fried
- Profit from your Passion E-course by Krista Dickson.
- The Blogging Like we Mean it Facebook group proved to be a
- strong Pinterest backbone for me. Any and everything related
to Pinterest from Pin Design to Pinning Strategy is discussed.
- I got truckloads of valuable info to use from this group.
The journey to starting my blog was an uphill climb. Let’s recap. The obstacles were:
- 1. Negative Mindset
- 2. Blogger Overwhelm
- 3. Creating a Checklist of Blogging Topics for Beginners
- 4. The Handicap of Poor Tech Skills
- 5. Setting up a WordPress site
- 6. Content Creation
- 7. Productivity
- 8. Social Media Marketing
I’m nowhere near the summit. The learning curve is still sharp and steep. But I hung in there and started my blog.
You can too.
Start by trying out a few of my beginner blogging tips.
Perhaps, you’ve already started your own blog or website? Have you any tips to inspire new bloggers?
Let me know in the comments below.