I know you have such moments when you simply say, I wish I knew these things before I started blogging just like me right now. In order to help you as a new blogger, this post comes with a free checklist recommended for beginners.  Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you. 

I was still in highschool before when I first heard about bloggers and vloggers and I found it amazing that people could make a video of themselves putting make-up on or ranting things openly through their site. As much as I love writing, and using it as a way to release some emotional baggage as a teenager, I couldn’t imagine myself publishing it for people to see how I feel or how I am. Aside from notebooks, I have used my laptop to write and rant, without knowing that after 10 years, I am doing what I thought would be impossible.

This year, I started to put up my blog through WordPress, but before I decided to do it on this platform, I have also considered other platforms like Wix and Jimdoo. In fact, I have already started on Wix, but not self-hosted.

That was a waste of time, I have started on Wix with a different domain name but very fit to my former chosen niche. Why waste of time?

For a beginner, these things should have learned before starting to blog

I could have chosen a definite domain name that really suits my niche or my possible contents.Some says domain name doesn’t really matter as long as you have good contents. But for me, I still followed what I liked. I jutted down some possible names that would be suitable for my blog. Wise thing to do is check these prospective names on https://www.domain.com. It may be heart-breaking and frustrating sometimes when you come up with a good name already that you really like and after checking it, it’s not available anymore. Pondering over a name for days doesn’t give you a guarantee too that your blog would be noticeable and would gain audience. People have different lines on their palms, that luck of blogging after a couple of days might have worked on others, but not on you, or on me.

Now that you have a name for your blog, decide in which platform you would do it. 

Regardless of how I have liked Wix when I decided to make a blog and use Wix as a platform, I didn’t read many recommendations about it. What I like about Wix is that it’s easy to edit, no html codings which I have experienced on WordPress. 😉 In the end, I still did it on www.wordpress.com. You could start making your blog  here now.

What I could also recommend to use, or maybe if I didn’t opt for WordPress, I might have used Squarespace. I find it so neat and so simple in an elegant way. Check out this website builder here.

You have now your domain name and you’re on your chosen platform. Let’s say, on WordPress, it would look like this: www.iwanttodoblogging.wordpress.com. Did you notice something? Are you satisfied?

Well, seeing my then blog with wordpress on it, I had decided I want to really own my blog and brand it as mine. That’s why, I decided to purchase a web hosting plan. So, what is Web Hosting? It is a service that enables your website or your blog to be found by users on Internet. I had hosting plan before on One, but I have read many recommendations about using a hosting plan. There are these three hosting services that I have often read on Google search and Facebook groups, namely: Bluehost, GoDaddy and Siteground. What am I using now is the GrowBig plan from Siteground and they also offer a free service for transferring your domain from your old web hosting if you buy this plan and the GoGeekplan.

Get Siteground here

You have a domain name already and a hosting plan, this would look like this www.iwanttodoblogging.com/net/org depending on what kind of domain extension you would use. What could be missing? It looks empty and feels empty right?

You need a design and a theme.

Before, I have used the free themes, but I wasn’t satisfied with their limited features. Sure, you could buy the premium versions, but when you could buy a whole package of a theme which is cheaper than the premium version, why not go for it, right? I have decided to have a clean and simple look, and I found it on Rima them from Themeforest. I had no complains, I was satisfied. It has a lot of plug-ins and features, if you would like to know more about it and the available themes, check it out here. And oh, it was only below $25!

Yet, I wasn’t a bit patient and I could have educated myself more about WordPress and the world of blogging and coding. I want to get started already with a ready Blog so I could concentrate on writing. Blogging would cost you money if you wanted to monetize it in the future. You need to invest on it and you need to work on it like how you treat your job. Like your job, blogging must also be mixed with fun, or else you’ll get burned out and be pressured. That’s a no-no.

If you have noticed my blog now, or if you’re familiar with the themes from Themeforest like Rima, you could have already detected that my theme is not from Rima anymore. As I have said, I wasn’t that patient. That’s why I hired a web-developer for designing my site, and I just had to say what I wanted to be done on my blog and how I wanted it to be. Not more than $100 I have a new look for my blog. Still, it costed me money, yet, I didn’t regret it. Blogging is not cheap, else, you may get a cheap result too. 

Now you may have a gorgeous blog, but would that suffice?

News on Internet are spreading about this GDPR compliant. Is your website or blog GDPR compliant? I didn’t know about it before but engaging with other bloggers brought me to reality. It is a regulation that protects the personal data and privacy of EU users. Although this GDPR is applicable for personal data of EU residents, this regulation is being enforced worldwide that collects this information. For more information, check it out here. What I find so shocking is to have discovered that if your website is non-compliant, you might pay for $20 million, according to Internet search result as my source.

I should have known that I would still consider making my blog legally compliant and protected. There’s a blogger and a lawyer, Amira, who sells a legal bundle which is GDPR compliant already. Buying this bundle will be worth your budget which consists of Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions, plus there are 9 bonuses included in this bundle. You could read her blog post about protecting your blog and online business in 3 ways. Here’s the link to her post

Are you ready to protect your blog before you pay for penalty or Buy Privacy PolicyDisclaimer, and Terms and Conditions now before it is too late.

Buy this Legal Bundle here.

Now that the blog is already legally protected, you may ask yourself, ‘‘what now?’’ Before I launched my blog, I had only drafts of articles that I wanted to post once my blog is ready. Draft. That means not yet finished. I thought that was a mistake. I could have written more before I publish my blog.

There are struggles in writing

I am sure I am not alone with this dilemma. Yes, you could write, you’re good at it but every now and then, writer’s block hit you. Before deciding to type on your laptop, you have already ideas on your mind, your brain is already drafting and typing in advance. Now you’re all ready and set everything, you’re like frozen on your seat, and don’t know how to start the sentence anymore. It really sucks whenever it happens to me. Sometimes, it’s rather better if I write randomly. Once ideas come, I have to write them immediately.

There are some mistakes when I wanted to write and couldn’t come up with a single sentence. It could be my focus or my environment which is the main culprit why I am having a writer’s block. Sometimes, it depends on time. Waking up today, I decided I have to do my chores first before I dive to my laptop. It is sometimes too irritating when I am typing and realizing at the same time, how messy my room or my desk is. It drives away my concentration and my pleasure in writing. What I find so suitable for writing is morning after waking up, unless there are still more chores to be done, or late evening, but not too late that my eyes are already heavy, and the lids tend to droop already.

There may be simple things, but they play a big role in blogging which I should have considered before starting it. I have always this want to write, but sometimes the brain won’t cooperate with what my heart is telling.

It’s not always about you. 

Yes, you own your blog, you have chosen the name and you have paid for it. But darling, it’s not always about you. Click To Tweet I have told myself exactly the same thing after realizing it. If I want to monetize my blog, then I don’t have to publish my emotional baggage and rants every single day, some people don’t want to read those things. Furthermore, how can I earn through them? You could post some personal things about you, especially if your blog is about more on personal and fashion, but if your blog or domain name is about business or something educational and all your posts are about relationship and moving on tips. Hmmm..maybe you have indeed made a mistake already in step number 1 in making a blog. I might have forgotten to stress it, but choosing a niche before starting is also very important. I have decided before to focus only on health, but I have realized, I have a random mind and a spontaneous personality.  Not being able to focus on one subject, I have settled to have different niches on one blog, hence I have this name. 😉

Blogging needs maintenance

Like many engines, blogging needs maintenance too. I am not sure in other platforms, but on WordPress, some plug-ins and WordPress itself need updates. You need to see to it that your blog is still working, or still active. Domain and hosting should be renewed too, if you only purchased the 1-year plan, or else you would lose all of it.

Your blog is not published for nothing. It has a purpose, it’s for people to visit and read. Your blog should have a purpose. It’s not only for reading purposes, it may provide entertainment, information and solutions.

Getting audience or visitors for your blog is a wide topic, but key points are social medias. I use Facebook Page and Groups in promoting my blog, I post on Instagram and also on Twitter, but they’re not enough. For some, that social magic works. There is Pinterest, on which I have to work too, because I heard it’s very effective in growing traffic.

Blogging is not that simple as I thought it is. 

Aside from using Pinterest to drive traffic to the blog, SEO plays a big role too as well as google keywords and ranking. There’s also another story about growing your email list and subscribers, and how would you make people sign up to subscribe. Regarding these matters I have to read more and start working on it already. Your post may be very helpful, with your own photos, but it doesn’t show on Google’s first page. I should have realized; these things matter before I started this journey. But I didn’t regret it, or I have not even considered of quitting. Education is a key. Like what my boyfriend told me, that’s why I need to read more about WordPress and HTML. Patience is a virtue; remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. 😉

Like mentioned above, if you want to start blogging, it is better to have a checklist or a planner wherein you could keep tabs on what is missing. Hence I have created this checklist planner which would be really beneficial for aspiring bloggers, or if you wanted to start with this journey. It is a 3-page printable Prospective Blogging Planner in pdf form.

What’s your experience? Why are you blogging? Did you regret choosing this path and how do you manage it? I would love to know about your story too.