Blogging Basics Series: What I Learned My First 6 Months Blogging

Posted in Blogging Basics Series
on February 28, 2017

I can hardly believe that it’s been 6 months since I’ve started blogging.  It has been such a fun, amazing journey, and I encourage anyone who is considering starting a blog to go for it!

In my Blogging Basics Series, I will walk you through the process of starting your own successful blog.  But, first let me share with you the 5 important principles I’ve learned during my first 6 months of blogging.

Pull up a comfy chair and grab your latte, and join me as I reminisce about the beginning of my blogging story…

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Find Your Unique Voice

When I starting blogging, I knew I had a story to tell.  I knew I felt led to share what I learned  during my walk through infertility and miscarriage.  I knew I wanted to encourage mommies and mommies at heart.

But, it took me a while to find my unique voice, and really narrow down my special gifts, knowledge, and experience that I thought others might find helpful.

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about joining this “blogging club”, to figure out what it is you want to share with the world.

What makes you special and different from every other blogger out there?  What do you want to share with others that will help them in their every day life?

I began my blog before I knew what my exact niche would be.  I wrote about a variety of topics, and began to notice trends in what my readers were enjoying.

Slowly, but surely, as I continued to write, and eventually my unique voice…and therefore my niche…was discovered.

My blogging purpose came to me in the car, after I’d noticed one of my posts about babies that I posted that day, had gone viral-ish and given me one of my highest page-view days of all time,

“Babies are my Business, & Mommies are my Ministry.”

I knew in that very moment what I was supposed to be sharing here at Lattes, Lilacs, & Lullabies.  I needed to share my knowledge that I’d spent years acquiring after taking care of hundreds of momma’s and babies as a nurse.  Topics that came second nature to me, seemed to be exactly what my audience was looking for and needed in their everyday life.

I also realized I needed to speak encouraging uplifting words, because I knew that mommies in all stages of their journey…whether they are mommies at heart or mommies right in the thick of motherhood…were my ministry.

Don’t delay starting your blog because you don’t have it all figured out yet.  Your unique voice will come with time, and with experience.

Learn Everything You Can 

I poured every waking minute into learning about blogging long before I ever typed a single post.

I actually prepared for an entire year, before actually taking the plunge into the blogging world.  You certainly don’t have to wait that long though. 😉

I read hundreds of posts on Pinterest, and found a couple of bloggers that I connected with, and followed their advice on starting my own blog.

One resource that is still invaluable to me, is “Building A Framework” by Abby Lawson.  I first discovered her blog, Just A Girl And Her Blog, on Pinterest when I was searching how to set up a website.

Not only did I find a very valuable source of knowledge in how to set up an incredible blog, but I also was inspired by the many DIY, decorating, and organizational posts that she shared.

I looked to Abby like she was my big sister in the blogging world, and aspire to be her one day. 😉  I purchased her “Building A Framework” blogging program and saw my blog grow to quadruple the page views in just a months time!!!

I learned so much from her program, and I refer back to it often as a resource.  It is my pick for the #1 resource for bloggers, whether you’ve already begun your site or are starting off brand new.  There is something for everyone, at any stage of the blogging game in “Building A Framework”.

The time you spend learning everything you can about blogging, analytics, SEO, social media, photography, Pinterest, and so on is well worth your time and effort.  Your blog will benefit from taking the time to learn as much as you can.

And, believe me, I don’t think the learning piece of this journey is ever done.  There is always something new discover in the blogging world.

Set Up A Good Quality Website

When I first started out, I took the advice of all my blogger idols, and started a self-hosted WordPress blog.  I purchased hosting with Bluehost, and set up a StudioPress Theme, called Genesis, on my website.

I knew nothing about any of these terms, or what a self-hosted blog meant when I started Lattes, Lilacs, & Lullabies.  Thankfully, “Building a Framework” and Abby’s other awesome resources for bloggers, walked me through the process of setting up a high quality blog.

From widgets to plugins, to analytics and necessary documents, Abby outlines exactly how to set up your website.  I felt so proud of myself, that without any computer background, I set up my own website and customized it.  It was a very satisfying. I even impressed myself! This blog is, quite literally, my baby.

I purchased an inexpensive theme on Etsy, that I fell in love with, that was prettier than the included Genesis themes.  The slider is what sealed the deal for me. 😉

I also found a graphic designer on Etsy, that worked with me to customize a logo that fit me and my blog perfectly.  The bicycle for Mackinac Island, right down to the rose gold lettering, she designed something totally unique and special for my blog that cost me around $10!

Spend some time setting up your blog, invest in good hosting that will take care of any problems on the “backend”, and invest in some unique branding that will set you apart.  You won’t regret it.

Adopt an Attitude of Service 

You may be the most interesting person in the world, or the best writer this side of the Mississippi.  You may take amazing photographs, have impeccable style, and impressive cooking skills.  You may have traveled the globe, or won a noble peace prize for all we know. All of which makes you a very interesting blogger….

But, if you don’t offer a solution or something to the reader, your experiences and amazingness will fall on deaf ears.

I had to learn early on in my blogging process, most people don’t want to read your online diary.  What I find cool and fun, others probably won’t, and that’s ok.

Readers seek out advice from bloggers when they are looking for a specific knowledge base. They are looking to you to help them solve a problem, give them some instruction, or give them a freebie.

So, adopt an attitude of service when you begin writing your posts.  As yourself, “how will help my readers?”.  “What would I want to learn if I were searching for this same topic?”

Don’t get me wrong, feel free to write about your recent Date Night, or your Likes & Links…I think those kinds of post should definitely make you more human and easier to relate too.  But, make the personal posts fewer,    and the helpful, pinnable posts your main content.

And, finally…

It Takes A Village

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned along this journey, is that I cannot build my blog on my own.

I depend on family to friends to encourage me and keep me focused and grounded.  But, I’ve also learned to rely on blogging friends that I’ve made throughout the last 6 months, to help me promote this blog of mine.

  If you’re just starting out, one of the most beneficial things you can do, is search for Facebook groups for bloggers.  Facebook groups specifically to help you grow your blogging business, filled with members that are uplifting and like-minded.

One of my favorite Facebook groups is the Building a Framework group.  We are all similar in that we have used Abby’s system to build our blogs.  The group is very positive, and Abby herself is often involved in answering questions too.

I also stalked some of my favorite bloggers on Pinterest and took notes on the Pinterest group boards they were part of.  I slowly worked through “applying” to Pinterest group boards that were in my niche, and have connected with bloggers on Pinterest too.

It really does take a village to promote your blog.  And, the more people who see your blog and share it, the faster it will grow.

“The goal as a blogger is to find your tribe, & build your tribe!”

So, where are you at in your blogging journey?  I hope you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your very own blog, and if you’ve already begun, I hope you found something new here today to help you.

I’m very excited to announce that I may partnering with Abby Lawson, since I’m a proud promoter of her Blogging Handbook, to help with her relaunch of Building a Framework.  Her program will be available again for purchase starting March 7th, and I’ll keep you updated on the details over the next couple weeks.

In the meantime, Abby has written a free guide called “5 Types of Blog Posts That Will Boost Your Blog Traffic” that you can downloads by clicking here.

I’ll see you back here on my blog very soon for more blogging tidbits in this Blogging Basics series.  You won’t want to miss it.

{Photography provided by Rekita Nicole}

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18 Comments

  • Reply Kate

    Really interesting post, particularly about finding a niche and a community. A great help for new bloggers like me.
    Kate || http://www.katerattley.com

    March 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you, Katie! So happy you stopped by and welcome to the blogging family. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 9:58 pm
  • Reply jehava

    I agree so much! Awesome job so far, keep up the good work!

    March 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you so much, Jehava. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 9:59 pm
  • Reply Ilka Elise

    That was such a nice and helpful post. Thank’s for sharing <3
    I started my blog 10 month ago and really love it.

    March 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you, Ilka. So glad you found this post helpful. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 9:59 pm
  • Reply Janett at Lifestyle Inspire

    Your blog is absolutely beautiful! I found you through a FB group and I am so glad I did 🙂 You have such helpful blogging tips in this post. It’s so true, it does take a village to help grow your blog! Thank you for sharing these helpful tips with us 🙂

    Janett

    March 1, 2017 at 2:28 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you, Janett for your kind words. Thanks for visiting my blog. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm
  • Reply Ashlen

    Such helpful tips! Thanks for sharing all you’ve learned, we can learn enough.!

    March 1, 2017 at 4:04 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thanks, Ashlen for stopping by. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 10:01 pm
  • Reply Jen

    I think you’re right, when you blog about something that you’re passionate about, or that is part of your life it’s easier. I love that you said you studied before you started blogging, a lot of people say to jump right In, but that didn’t work for me. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    March 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      So glad you found this post helpful, Jen. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 10:03 pm
  • Reply Grace

    First off I love you bike logo, so cute, it was the first thing that struck me when your site loaded! Also I am a new blogger too so I am learning so much of this right now!

    March 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you so much Grace. I loved the bike logo too. Good luck with your blog. 💞

      March 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply Rochelle Valle

    You definitely have to find those people that will help you that have been in it for a while. Then you must have your own unique style to set you apart. Great lessons!

    With Love Rochelle

    March 2, 2017 at 8:23 am
  • Reply Crystal

    I love your logo at the top of the page. Thank you so much for sharing this helpful post.

    March 2, 2017 at 9:03 am
  • Reply Lauren

    Great read! As a new blogger, I definitely needed to read this.

    March 2, 2017 at 11:02 am
  • Reply Tee

    Great tips and well laid out. I needed to relearn the basics, so thanks!

    March 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm
  • Leave a Reply

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