This week, I downloaded the Genius Bloggers Toolkit (which is like a huge library for new bloggers (and established bloggers) on any topic that you can think of!) I decided to start out by going through the section for new bloggers. I’ve blogged on and off for a while, but I thought it would be a good idea to see if there are any holes in the knowledge that I’ve gathered through experience.
The first thing that I looked at was the 28 Day Blog Launch Calendar. I really wish I would have had this when I started my blog. There is so much valuable information in it. On day 1 alone there is access to a free course that walks you through setting up your first blog as a newbie. It has exercises that help you figure out what you are going to blog about and get up and running in no time. There are also some great tips on naming your blog. This could have really helped me with traffic at the beginning. Let’s talk about the rest of the things that I wish I would have known when I started my blog.
Figure Out What Your Blog is About
This sounds kind of basic, but I know that it took me a while to figure out exactly what my niche was and what I wanted to blog about. I’m sure it’ll continue to evolve over time. This is covered on day one of the 28 Day Blog Launch Calendar. It also helps to come up with some keywords that you want to focus on. Choose ones that have good traffic, but not so much competition. Ubersuggest.org is a great resource for this. You can also check on keywords that your competitors are ranking for as well.
Get a Good Idea of the Most Useful Plugins to Download
There are so many plugins for WordPress. I spent a ton of time looking at Plugins and trying to figure out what to use (and what was really needed.) The Plugins listed in this resource are exactly what I use now. If I would have followed this guide, I would have started out with those right off the bat. It would have saved me so much time. I created a list of the plugins that I use now to help any newbie bloggers out there to save time.
Plugins I Use Now
- ConvertKit – Needed to use ConverKit forms on my WordPress site.
- Akismet – Protects comments and contact form submissions from Spam.
- Antispam Bee – Prevents comment spam and trackbacks.
- Insert Headers and Footers – This allows you to insert code like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc. into headers and footers without having to edit theme files.
- GoogleAnalytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights – Super easy to read dashboard for site analytics.
- Yet Another Related Post Plugin – This plugin curates related blog post content from your posts and puts it at the bottom of each blog post.
- Yoast SEO – A simple to follow system for ensuring that you don’t miss important SEO when creating your website, posts, etc.
Get Started With An Awesome Email Marketing Software Right Away
It took a lot of trial and error to make my way to ConvertKit. I really wish I would have done it from the beginning. It is so easy to use. You can set up an opt-in in minutes. The forms and landing pages are beautiful. Plus, it didn’t require me to spend hours piecing together a bunch of systems, and hoping it worked. (Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt!) I watched a five-minute video and created my first opt-in in minutes. It looked professional, worked seamlessly, and allowed me to start growing my email list in 15 minutes or less.
This is one of my favorite tips for new bloggers – Get ConvertKit! You won’t be sorry!
Make Sure to Install Anti-spam Plugins Right Away
I don’t entirely understand why, but spam is a thing and it’ll drive you nuts. I kept getting random one-word emails until I installed anti-spam. Since I’ve installed that, the random emails have stopped. Now when I get emails, they are likely to be sent by real humans. Which is a huge win as a new blogger there is nothing more disappointing than getting an alert about a message from your site only to see the word Pineapple in the message.
Create a Content Calendar/Idea Area
I created a Google Sheet for content ideas and planning what I will write about when. I set aside time to brainstorm ideas for blog posts so that I’m never without inspiration for my next post. It makes it so much easier to write when I already have a post idea planned. Sitting down and not knowing what to write is a huge time waster.
Guest Blog Post for Visibility
One of the quickest ways to grow your audience is to get in front of someone else’s audience. One way to do that is to write guest blog posts. I wish I would known this a new blogger. It’s something that I added a few months after I started my blog. This is a great way to get backlinks to your site and boost website traffic. You definitely want to do it the right way so you aren’t wasting your time. This is a great article on using guest blogging to get more traffic.
Bonus: If you are writing for a more established blogs, you will actually get comments and likes which is a huge ego boost!
Set-up Yoast SEO for pages (including categories)
I didn’t immediately realize that you should use Yoast SEO for pages and category pages. It wasn’t until I set-up my domain as a project on Ubersuggest and got its recommendations to improve my SEO that I realized that I should do that. It took me quite a bit to fix all of that later (and I’m sure it affected my website traffic negatively until then.) Spend some time on keyword research and write unique keyword dense descriptions for each page and category.
In Conclusion: As a New Blogger, Use A Getting Started Resource
As a new blogger, I wish that I would have used a resource like the 28-Day Blog Launch Calendar. It would have saved me a ton of time, trial, and error. I would have gotten my blog up and running much more efficiently. My traffic might have improved much more quickly too. If you are a new blogger and have questions about blogging, feel free to send me an email. I’d be happy to help you out!