5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

August 16, 2016

I have been blogging since quite a long time and can say from my experience that blogging is neither easy nor too hard. If you're passionate about something and you want to talk about it to like minded people, starting a blog is what you should do.

I started blogging seriously when I started publishing my poems in lit mags a year ago and wanted a space to share my writerly life. My blog was just a poet's portfolio and included mostly just my publication news and updates on works in progress. But then as I met a lot of wonderful poets and writers I felt that the conversations that I had with them were worth sharing with the other writers in my niche - both established and budding.

That's when I started a lit blog to share my conversations with writers and other writerly articles that I came across. In December 2015, I started my current blog on at Priya's Lit Blog and have been publishing author interviews and book reviews regularly. I have worked with many authors and have partnered with some great publishers as well. The more serious you are about your blog, the more rewarding your efforts would be.

A lot of people ask me how I established my blog the way it is right now and I try to respond to their specific queries instead since there are just too many things that go into a successful blog. Making your blog successful is not something you can do overnight and there are many things that I wish I knew long ago so that I wouldn't made many mistakes on the way.

Tweet to us your blog story - #MyBlogStory

Blogger Recognition Award

I have been thinking of sharing some of these things with you since quite some time but I get busy with a project here at Writerly Yours or on my lit blog every time I decide to put together a list of blogging tips. But my dear friend and #WYbclub buddy Chantel DaCosta of My Jamaican Vignettes nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award this week and it seemed to me the best time to share these little things I wish I knew before I started blogging.

Thanks to Chantel for the nomination and I further nominate the following bloggers, most of whom are from my Instagram circles. [The list follows no order or hierarchy.]

  1. Books Ft. Politics
  2. Jorie Loves a Story
  3. Jan's Book Buzz
  4. Two in a Tepee
  5. Jenn Blogs Books
  6. Words 'N' Needles
  7. A Handful of Literature
  8. Bluestocking Bookshelf
  9. Bookish Penchant
  10. Of Pics and Pens
  11. A Bit Bookish Blog
  12. Lost in the Rain
  13. Love, Coffee & Books
  14. Mariiya Tariq
  15. Fuel the Blog
Do check out these blogs if you're into books and writing just as much as we are, at Writerly Yours.

And congratulations nominees, keep blogging and stay awesome !
If you would like to, you can do the following five simple things to be part of this community event :

  1. Write a post to show your award
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  5. Select up to 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

- 1 -

Choosing a Blogging Platform

There are many blogging platforms out there to choose from but you should choose the platform that you think would be best for you. My first blog which I had started three or four years ago was on Blogger and then I moved to WordPress when I saw the wide range of plugins and themes it had. But then I started learning a little bit of HTML and felt that Blogger offers more flexibility or scope for experimenting. Priya's Lit Blog runs on Blogger and so does Writerly Yours.

- 2 -

 Hosting and Domain Name

If you ask me, I would say that the quality of your blog's content is more important than the professional look that a self hosted domain name is going to give you. If you do not know already, Blogger offers free hosting. Yes, you heard it right. Blogger offers free hosting for custom domains and that means you have to spend money just on buying that domain name you want. 

Choosing a domain name can be tricky but just think of a simple name that fits the niche of your blog and personalise it to make it unique and special. When you pick a name, make sure that it reflects everything you want to write about on your blog because changing it later would bring down your blog's rank authority on Google.

- 3 -

 Building your Social Media Personality

As soon as you have set up your domain name, register the same username on all the social media sites that you think you should be using. The social media handles for Writerly Yours are 'writerlyyours' on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This adds authenticity and simplicity to your blog's social media personality as the profiles would be easier for people to remember or to find them on the wide web.

- 4 -

 Blog Design and Branding

I receive a lot of lovely feedback about my blog's appearance from my clients and readers, and it really motivates me to keep blogging. Though there are many professional web designers out there who can help you make your blog look really beautiful, I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of money on designing your blog at an earlier phase. But you can always get one of those lovely themes/templates or blog kits which are available for free or those on Etsy, Creative Market, etc at affordable prices.

You can also get Rosas De Julio - Blog Branding Kit and customise your blog in 30 minutes and $20.

- 5 -

 Start Blogging !

Once you have set up your blog following the above steps, it's time for you to start adding content to your blog. If the niche of your blog is books like that of my lit blog, you could start by talking about your favourite books or authors. You could reviews the books you read and then start pitching to authors and publishers for collaboration.

When you start blogging you'll meet a lot of bloggers from whom you can learn many important things and also collaborate with through blog hops etc. When you receive feedback from another blogger or a reader as a blog comment or on your social media posts, be sure to respond to them as it really helps to appreciate the time they took to look at your blog when there are more than a countable number of blogs on the internet.

If you're a book blogger, you can start by joining the Writerly Yours Bloggers Club to connect and collaborate with our community of passionate bloggers. We read a book each month and host a blog tour in addition to providing a forum to talk about blogging, books and other related topics.

I hope these tips would help you blog better than I have till I learnt these things over a period of time.

[Stock photography by CGS Creative.]

Do you have any questions about starting a blog ? Let me know in the comments below and I'll be sure to answer. :)

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  1. Thanks for mentioning My Jamaican Vignettes blog Priya. Nomination well deserved. And great advice. Still working on the design branding and social media engagement. But it's coming together nicely.

    1. Thanks again, Chantel. It was quite an opportunity to share some tips for the blogging queries I often come across.
      And I'm glad your blog is shaping up nicely after the merger and makeover. :)

  2. Agree with all those points. I was on blogger too in the beginning and no doubt it has its advantages. I still feel new blogger's should start that way.
    I wish I had heard the advice about branding before because it sure is causing me a lot of pain these days. :$

    Thank you for nominating me. It was my plan to write my complete blogging story this week. (11years!!) Hopefully, I can get the blogging tips into it... Or this post will need a new title of its own. :)

    1. I'm glad you like the tips I shared. And it's a lucky coincidence that you were planning to share the story of your blog this week. I shall look forward to it.
      Regarding branding, I would say it's never too late to do the right thing. You can still fix the inconsistencies in your blog's branding if you feel there are any. And I'd be happy to help in whatever way possible. :)

      Congratulations again.

  3. Choosing a name is so difficult! When I started everything I wanted was already taken!


    1. That happens right ! But I love the name you have now - Oh So Becky.♡

      Claiming the username on all social media sites is next important task after getting the domain name you want. The only solution I see for this is to plan ahead and start early.😊

      Thanks for dropping by Becky.

  4. I didn't know blogger offered free hosting! Great post, if only I had read it earlier haha

    C x


    1. I know right ! But I guess you can count on the pros of Wordpress since you have established your blog already. Love the minimalist theme you've chosen.

      Thanks for dropping by, Corran. 😊

  5. Very enlightening. Certainly something all bloggers should read and not just newbies. It's never too late to make positive changes :)

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. Glad that you think it would be helpful for all bloggers. And of course, you said it right - it's never too late to make positive changes. :)


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