Blogging Series Synopsis {Now it’s your turn!}

blogging basics summary by thisblogisnotforyou.comExactly two months ago I started my Blogging Basics Series with the aim of sharing blogging tips from “newbie to newbie” – all the tips and tricks and blogging basics I learnt in the first weeks and months. All the things I found most helpful and wished I would have known from the start.

Now, there are so many things to keep in mind about blogging that I could go on forever. I won’t. Of course, there’s so much more to say and think of but the most basics things (and this was my objective) I’ve already covered.

I could go further and further into detail and some of you might find this rather helpful. But I also don’t want this series to slowly fizzle toward the end and let my newbie blogger friends feel that they’ve been left hanging somewhere along the way.

This is way I’ve decided to bring this series to an end. To do this well, I’ll summarize and prioritize the main points for you – before it’s your turn to add your own points, share what you think I might have missed or show us how your blog has changed over the course of this series.

What is most important and urgent?

In case you have wondered whether my blogging tips were published in a certain order or not: they weren’t. But I’ll put them in an order now.

The question of with what you start depends on what you already have. 

Someone who is just starting from scratch should first of all define their niche and style. Before focussing on the essentials, you should have a clear idea in mind of what your blog will be about and who your reader is. If you’re not sure, do some research and study as many blogs as possible. This will help you decide where you want to go with your blog. When you have a clearer idea of what you want to write about, what niche and reader is addressed, pick a name for your blog.

When you already have a name and a website and started writing already, you have skipped some of the most basics steps already. But nevertheless, your basic priorities should still be the same as for someone who has yet to do all these things:

blogging basics summary by

#1 Content

Putting content (and reader) first, is most essential. Unique content is the heart of your blog. When you don’t care about your content as much as you should do, you’ll never grow your blog to it’s full potential.

Always keep your niche and reader in mind when thinking about what to write about. When you don’t have a focus and just blog about whatever comes to mind, you risk  dissappointing your readers with content they’re not interested in. When your readers  repeatedly do not feel you’re addressing them, they will eventually wander off regardless of how much effort you put into growing your blog and becoming a SEO expert. Content first. Period.

#2 Layout and structure

When you’ve critically examined and improved your content and feel you have a clear focus, only then get down to tackling your layout. Designing and implementing the layout is time-comsuming and you don’t want to start all over again after noticing it doesn’t match whatever your blog is about.

A basic ready-made template is enough in the beginning. Focus on your content first, then start creating a layout and a structure that supports it well.

#3 Make your blog legal

It doesn’t take that long and it’s important for you to be on the safe side. So make sure you copyright your blog, create a Terms of Service and Privacy Policy page and see what else you might need. It only takes a few minutes and there are free generators online that will help you include the all the essential information.

#4 Grow your traffic

When you’re done with the first three steps, it’s time to grow your readership. It doesn’t grow overnight, but if your content is unique and innovative, your readership will sooner or later grow by itself. There are some things you can do to accelerate the process and they’re especially helpful in the beginning. Once your blog has grown to a certain size, you won’t have to put that much effort into it anymore.

#5 Search engine optimisation

It sounds scary and it’s a bit complicated. Don’t panic, because it’s not the most important thing about blogging. It’s helpful in growing your readership and it’s certainly relevant when you want to monetize your blog. When you just started blogging – this is the last thing you want and have to think of.


Some pep-talk in the end:

Be patient – your blog won’t grow over night.

Be consistent and persistent, but never afraid of change. Sometimes change means loss and it’s hard to let go of thing you’re used to. To grow, you have to embrace change.

Make your “big” today your “small” tomorrow. Aim at getting better, but don’t think of your blog as “big” and “finished” already, otherwise you will stop progressing.

Always progressing is essential for having a successful blog. Never stop growing. Once you stop growing, your blog will stop, too.

your turn

 Your turn? Yes!

It’s time to add your own points! I’d love to know what you think I might have missed that would be useful for all newbies out there and what you wish you would’ve known from the start.

I’d also love to see what you learned from this series and whether this effected your blog in any way. Did you change anything? Did you get rid of something? Did you rework your layout?

Whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you! I’m planning to do some sort of a feature post.So if you want to let others know how your blog improved in the past weeks or what went totally wrong in the beginning – this is your chance!

Send me your ideas, stories, before and after’s to 

Read Part 1 {Get People to Look at you}
Read Part 2 {Layout}
Read Part 3 {Content #1}
Read Part 4 {Content #2}
Read Part 5 {Invest your time wisely}
Read Part 6 {Grow your traffic}
Read Part 7 {Make your blog legal}

Liked it? Have feedback? Please do tell me! I love your comments and read and appreciate every single one of them!

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Blogging Basics – Part 7 {make your blog legal}

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to part 7 of my  Blogging Basics series!


…you’re an absolute Blogging Newbie
…you just started blogging and you feel like you could need some helpful tips and tricks
…you have been blogging for a while but somehow feel like you might have missed out some vital steps
…you have been blogging for years but somehow you have trouble getting people to read your blog and subscribe

Last time I told you about what I’ve learnt about growing your blog. Today I give you a rather brief overview about steps and stuff you should consider to make your blog legal.

Sorry again for the delay. I had an incredibly busy week and this post took quite long to write up (I had to do some research, too! You just never stop learning :)).

blogging basics part 7 - make your blog legal by


Let’s talk legal stuff concerning your blog. It might be a bit frightening at first if you’ve never thought about it before, but it’s important to know and have thought about it.

I can tell you right away that I won’t go into too much detail, just because there is sooo much detail that one could write a book about it (ain’t nobody got time for that!). What I’ll do is telling you the most important things you should keep in mind (and find out more about).

The things we’re looking at today don’t necessarily have to apply to your own blog, so please don’t freak out if you feel a bit overwhelmed by all this information.

It’s just guidelines, some of them are definitely important, others may be optional. It’s up to you what you take on. Be critical and do some research to find out which steps you have to take to make your blog legal.


#1 Copyright your own blog.

Although it’s optional, this is important for everyone, whatever blog you have.

Before we get to the part where you have to make sure you are not infringing any copyright, we want to make sure no one infringes yours.

To prevent others from copying – stealing – your blog’s content, you first have to copyright it. It’s as simple as that.

You ask yourself why? Just have a look around and you’ll find thousands of stories of people copying whole articles or even blogs, stealing pictures or selling other’s free patterns online. Yes, there are people like this.

If you love your blog and care about blogging, hearing or even experiencing things like that are incredibly frustrating. That’s why you will probably want to make sure that your content stays your content and people respect your blog.

The least you can do about it is placing a copyright notice on your blog. You need to include a

copyright/all rights reserved/© + “your blog name” [optional] + “year of starting your blog”-“current year”


somewhere in your blog (e.g. footer, sidebar). You’ll find mine at the bottom of each page.

There are also copyright generators online, that’ll help you if you want to include the copyright note into your blog’s PHP. WebWeaver is a free tool for generating auto-updating copyrights (updating the current year automatically).

Obviously, having a copyright notice won’t prevent anyone from stealing your content if they really want to – but it gives you the legal basis to do something against it.


#2 Watermark your pictures.

Another important (and also optional) thing for copyrighting your content is watermarking your pictures – just to be on the safe side.

Pictures get shared pretty easily nowadays with Pinterest, Facebook and Co. Sometimes the original source gets lost on the way, because sadly not everyone cares about copyright (we do!). You never know where your pictures will end up. Even with copyrighted pages there have been incidents when others stole pictures and shamelessly claimed them to be their own.

To prevent that from happening, watermark your pictures with your blog’s logo, your URL or a “©yourname”. You can do that by using any image processing software like Photoshop or open source programs like Gimp. There is also free software online (e.g. which makes it really easy to add text to your images. I prefer the “©yourURL” because people will immediately see how to get to the original source.


#3 Avoid copyright infringement.

Of course, you wouldn’t steal someone else’s content intentionally. But accidental copyright infringement or plagiarism happens all the time. If you’re unlucky you could even get a law suit for this.

Remember to:

Always show sources of pictures that are not your own – and make sure you’ve found out if you’re allowed to share them! Sometimes people won’t allow you to include more than one picture of their article in yours. Whenever you’re not sure don’t be afraid to ask for permission. Most bloggers will be glad to be featured provided you reference them correctly!

You can do that for example by adding captions to your pictures naming the source or making the pictures a clickable link that leads to the original source. Better you do both.

Referencing pictures could look like this:

book jacket 4

Naming the source is especially important when you include someone’s pictures that are not watermarked, so people wouldn’t be able to tell if it was yours or not. This could get you into trouble if this someone learns and cares about this. And frankly speaking, it’s only fair. Imagine you put all this time and effort into something and someone else uses it without giving credit.

The same applies for content in general. You always have to reference ideas that are not your own. Make sure you don’t copy too large a passage of an article. Even if referenced this could get you into trouble. Again, when not sure – ask for permission!

A referenced passage could look like this, if quoting directly:

“What is copyright infringement?

Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.”

– Google Blogger Copyright Tips,

(find the whole article here)

I always try to include a link to the source. If you reference correctly, it’s not necessary –  but again, it’s only fair. If someone quoted me or used my ideas, I’d want them to at least provide a link to my blog, wouldn’t you too?


More steps to make your blog legal

Ok, if you’re still reading – this was the most basic part. Now it gets worse. 🙂

Please do not freak out, some of this might not apply for you – but if it does, take your time to do some research. You don’t have to do all of this on the spot, but you should put it on your high priority list.

Here’s a helpful link to the EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers. 

#4 Terms of Use.

Terms of Use/Terms of Service/Terms of Conditions is used interchangeably and is commonly abbreviated as ToS or TOS. Those are the rules a person or organisation must observe in order to use a service/your blog. It normally includes copyright and any terms of use regarding material etc. you provide for download. It basically should say how things work on your blog and that readers accept such rules merely by accessing your site.

The ToS are meant to protect you, so it’s always better to have them. There a various different ToS, depending on the type of organisation/website/blog you are.

Here’s a good website providing some information on what should be included in your ToS.

If you feel totally lost, try a ToS generator. offers a free ToS and Privacy Policy generator. Simply enter your blog name (in the company name field) and your state and you’ll get a personalised ToS. Make sure you read it and edit it (where necessary) before copying it to your blog. At a later stage, when you feel more comfortable with things like this, you should make the effort and write up a personalised one. It’s nicer and your site will appear more trustworthy to your readers.


#5 Privacy Policy.

Similar to letting your readers know about your ToS, you should be open about what information you collect from them, as well as what you do with that information.

This is why websites have a privacy policy. In a privacy policy you diclose what all sorts of personal information you gather and what you do with it (e.g. whether you keep it confidential or not). This includes using services like Google Analytics or a visitor stats plugin.

Things like that have become incredibly important nowadays. Many people are concerned about their personal data and information being misused, sold, etc.

Having a privacy policy is very important and again shows your readers you care about them and treat the information you’re obtaining about them in a trustworthy way.


#6 Diclosure Policy.

A Diclosure Policy is needed when

– you’re running ads on your blog and thus make money through advertising

– you’re making money or receive free products from sponsored posts

– you’re getting any form of compensation through your blog.

If one of these things applies to you, you should get a diclosure policy. I’m doing none of these things yet, so I’m no expert on this topic, but there are many others that have written about it. Have a look around online to learn how to do this, what should be included, etc.

#7 Are giveaways legal?

To make it even more confusing, when you’re hosting giveaways, there are even more things to think about to make sure your giveaway isn’t an “illegal lottery”. Here are some helpful links to see what things and laws you should consider if you’re offering giveaways on your blog:

– Is your blog giveaway or competition legal? 

Blog law – is your giveaway legal?

Don’t be scared and don’t panic if you’ve never thought about it before. Do think about it now. It’s always good to have some knowledge about things like that, even if you decide to go on considering it “just a hobby”.


In conclusion, …

Blogging has become very popular these days and it becomes harder and harder to draw a line between blogging as a hobby and blogging as business since people learnt that they can actually make money with it. Can a personal blog running ads be considered a proper business?

Since blogging is mostly seen as being “just a hobby” people are often not careful enough. I had a look around and was quite shocked seeing that not a single one of my favourite (and quite famous) blogs that I checked had a ToS or privacy/dislosure policy.

Especially when you make money with blogging or offering giveaways, it becomes more than a hobby. Take it seriously to avoid trouble. Even if nothing happens in 99% of all cases, you don’t want to be the 1% that gets into trouble.

Read Part 1 {Get People to Look at you}
Read Part 2 {Layout}
Read Part 3 {Content #1}
Read Part 4 {Content #2}
Read Part 5 {Invest your time wisely}
Read Part 6 {Grow your traffic}

Liked it? Have feedback? Please do tell me!

And stay tuned…Part 8 of my Blogging Basics is coming up soon! It’s time to recap a bit and time for YOU to get active! x

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No, I didn’t forget about the Blogging Series

Just in case some of you wondered where the annouced part 7 of the Blogging Basics Series is – it’s on its way!

I had a pretty busy weekend and couldn’t write it up on time. I didn’t want to write it on the fly, so this time you have to wait a few days longer – sorry for that!

If you haven’t read all the other parts, here they are:

Read Part 1 {Get People to Look at you}
Read Part 2 {Layout}
Read Part 3 {Content #1}
Read Part 4 {Content #2}
Read Part 5 {Invest your time wisely}
Read Part 6 {Grow your traffic}

Blogging Basics – Part 6 {Grow your traffic}

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to part 6 of my  Blogging Basics series!


…you’re an absolute Blogging Newbie
…you just started blogging and you feel like you could need some helpful tips and tricks
…you have been blogging for a while but somehow feel like you might have missed out some vital steps
…you have been blogging for years but somehow you have trouble getting people to read your blog and subscribe

Last time we talked TIME MANAGEMENT. Today is all about how to increase your blog’s traffic.

blogging basics part 6


Sooner or later bloggers want to grow their traffic. Growing your blog’s traffic means getting more people to visit you site. By increasing your traffic, the ultimate aim is to get a bigger permanent readership. Here are some tips that are helpful if you’re unfamiliar with how increasing your traffic works.

(Since the post is quite comprehensive I used subheadings this time.)


Spreading your link (in a good way).

I don’t know if there’s the right way to leave links to your site, but you should keep some things in mind in order to avoid backfiring. Leaving a link to your blog or website is a very simple and sometimes very effective way to get people to come to your site. But mindlessly spreading links in a very impolite manner can have counter-productive effects.

#1 Comment, but don’t be spam.

Commenting on other blogs and website is a very nice way to spread some love and your blog’s link but, as mentioned before, you have to be fair and polite. You don’t want to end up in the trash or spam folder of other people’s websites. Although you might get some clicks by mindlessly leaving hundreds of links, this will probably not make people like your blog (which is what we want, don’t we?)

To understand this better, here are some examples illustrating how to and how to NOT leave a link.

Comment A: “Come visit my blog : “URL”.”

Comment B: “Awesome giveaway at “URL”.”


Comment C: “What a cute idea. I bet it took ages to make this! Just found your blog at XYZ and love it! Have a look at mine if you’d like: “URL”.”

Comment D: “Great job. Love this idea. – Sarah from “URL”.”

Imagine you’re the one getting these comments. What do you think? Would you like to get comments like A and B? Would you be likely to follow the link?
Think about what you’d like to read in your comments. Comments should be related to the specific post you’re commenting on, they should be nice and friendly and your link should be left in the most unobtrusive way possible.

Don’t be afraid of leaving links to your site, but do this in a fair and polite manner!

#2 Link up (or host link parties).

A second easy way to spread your link is by linking up your awesome posts.
There are thousands of link parties out there where people can share their newest crafts, recipes, DIYs and with a bit of luck get featured. If you have no clue what link parties are, go and google it. Many blog have a link party directory with links to the parties they go to.

When you’ve found your favorite link parties, always make sure you follow their party rules. Every party is different. Some allow multiple links, others want you to link back. Just make sure you’ve read the rules. If you don’t follow their rules, your link might be deleted or not get featured.

You can always start to host your own party, as well. This way (once your party is established in the blogger world) you’ll get a lot of traffic. Be aware that this is a huge time commitment that can be quite overwhelming for newbies. Keep in mind that part of the traffic might just be people coming to “link and run” without having a look around on your blog. If you’re new to the blogger world I would strongly recommend waiting with hosting your own party. Instead, link up your own great posts on other people’s parties and watch the while party thing for a while, before hosting your own.


Visit others to grow your own traffic.

Yes, that’s right. To grow your traffic you need to grow traffic of others. You need to spend most of the time on other people’s blogs, instead of watching your own site stats (which isn’t very helpful and nothing but depressing in the beginning).

#3 Start blogger friendships!

Follow the blogs you love, leave them some really nice comments and show them some love. Follow new blogs, as well. Always remember they’re probably going through the same thing as you are. Sooner or later blogger friendships will be built up. Blogger friendships can be very helpful and are a very nice way to encourage each other in doing what we love. There are things like blogger meetings (if you live close or are visiting the area), guest posts or hosting a party together.

#4 Comment, comment, comment.

To get some love, you need to spread some love. Comment! When you really like a post, let them know you do. Often they will pay you a visit, as well. I often visit the blogs of people who comment on my posts and leave them a comment myself. It’s just a nice thing to do and you discover so many really good blogs you wouldn’t have otherwise.

For getting all the blogs you follow organized I can recommend Bloglovin’. You can follow your favorite blogs, organize them in groups and get all the updates in a neatly arranged news feed. It helps you keep track of the blogs you like and makes it easy to comment on all the new awesome posts that show up.

#5 Getting comments.

There are a few things to keep in mind in order to make it easier for people to comment on your blog.

Firstly, NO CAPTCHAS. NEVER. We all hate captchas and sometimes they’re so hard to decipher that it’s impossible to leave a comment. Get rid of captchas. Better use a good anti-spam plugin and moderate all comments before they get published!

Secondly, not everyone has OpenID, a Google or whatsoever account. Make sure you provide a  “comment Anonymous” or  comment with “Name & URL” option. Most people don’t have an OpenID or do not want to log into an account to comment. They won’t be able to leave a comment even if they want. And what’s wrong with commenting anonymously? As mentioned, moderate you comments or get an anti-spam plug-in to avoid spam in your comments, but make sure that people who want to leave nice comments are able to do so. The best thing is to have a very simple Name&Email commenting format where people have the option to leave an URL if they want to.

#6 Reply to comments!

Show some appreciation. Always try to reply to comments or visit your reader’s blogs and leave them a comment there. Your appreciation will be appreciated, don’t forget that.


Be Google-friendly.

Make Google your friend by using meaningful keywords all over your blog. When you use keywords, your content is more likely to show in Google search. This is very basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If I have the time I might be writing about SEO some other time.

#7 Name your pictures.

Always take the time to name your pictures. Don’t just save and upload them as IMG1234.jpg. That’s not helpful for Google at all. A picture labelled “petticoat tutorial” is more likely to pop up on Google image search! If there’s a description option, enter a short description. This will also show in image search and is a very helpful tool for Google to find relevant keywords.

I also add a “by” to the picture name. A lot of people are lazy when pinning and sharing pictures and just keep the original name. When the name or description of the picture is something like “Petticoat tutorial by”, people seeing the picture immediately know where to find the original post.

#8 Use Google-friendly keywords.

The same rule applies to headings and tags! Use meaningful keywords in your headings and when you add tags to a post. When crawling your blog Google finds these and your blog is more likely to show up when someone googles these keywords.

I used to have pretty keyword-free headlines like book titles or movie quotes. This is not helpful for SEO, trust me. Always keep it simple and clear.

#9 Don’t change permalinks to your posts once they’re published.

This is a common mistake. Always check before publishing your post if you’re ok with the permalink (the link URL to this specific post). Sometimes your blog auto-saves your first drafted headline as the name of your permalink. When you don’t like it, change it before publishing. Once the post is published keep your hands off the permalink. By changing it you risk people who shared or saved the old link to end up on an error page. You’ll lose a lot of traffic when that happens, especially when it’s a link that got shared a lot.

It’s also counter-productive for your SEO. Google counts invalid URL of your blog as “hits” (negative entries) in its index. (You don’t want that).


Getting a permanent readership: Following and sharing options.

With growing your traffic your aim is not only to get as many people as possible to read your blog, but also to get a permanent readership and subscribers. Here are some things to keep in mind.

#10 Offer a variety of following options

To get a permanent readership you need to offer choices! Everyone has their own preference for how to subscribe. You might not be able to provide every option possible, but you should definitely offer the most common ones. Not everyone wants to have everything you write about to end up in their email inbox and if you offer email subscription as the only option they might decide not to follow your blog.

RSS feed and email subscription are the most basic and common options that every blog should offer. I also offer Bloglovin’ and Pinterest. If your blog has a Facebook or Twitter account, add these to your following options.

Always place the options on top of page, prominently, so that people don’t have to search for them.

Never ever subscribe visitors for something without his consent. Every once in a while I get newsletter and emails from blogs I commented on or where I linked up a post without having subscribed. Forcing people to get your email newsletter or subscribing them without given consent backfires. People are most likely to mistrust you and not visit again.

Emails you don’t want to get are also often marked as spam. When that happens a lot, your newsletter mail address might get indexed as a spam address and won’t make it to any inbox any more.

Be aware of that and never subscribe people without them knowing of it.

#11 Show different sharing buttons.

Having a multitude of options also applies for sharing buttons. For getting more traffic you need to spread your content by having it shared by other people. Offer various sharing options like Facebook, Pinterest, email, Twitter or Google+.


Last but not least.

There are many ways to grow your traffic. Not everything works for everyone. Find out what you can do and what you can’t do. Over time you’ll see what works best for you. Don’t expect your traffic to grow over night; it might take weeks, months, years. Be patient. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer. You’re not blogging for your visitor stats, you’re blogging because it’s fun.

No matter if you decide to follow any of this advice or not, always keep in mind:

Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own. Content is king and should always be your priority!

Read Part 1 {Get People to Look at you}
Read Part 2 {Layout}
Read Part 3 {Content #1}
Read Part 4 {Content #2}
Read Part 5 {Invest your time wisely}
Read Part 7 {Make your blog legal}

Liked it? Have feedback? Please do tell me!

And stay tuned…Part 7 of my Blogging Basics is coming up next week! The next part will be all about legal stuff! x

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Blogging Basics – Part 5 {Invest your time wisely}

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to part 5 of my new Blogging Basics series!


…you’re an absolute Blogging Newbie
…you just started blogging and you feel like you could need some helpful tips and tricks
…you have been blogging for a while but somehow feel like you might have missed out some vital steps
…you have been blogging for years but somehow you have trouble getting people to read your blog and subscribe

Last time we talked CONTENT. Today is all about time management and how to invest your time wisely.

blogging basics part 5


#1 Save your drafts.

Sounds very simple, but is important. You’ll never know what your PC is up to. So better save your drafts while writing and when you’ve finished. This will prevent many nasty surprises and saves a lot of time you otherwise have to spend on starting from scratch if something unexpected happens (power blackout, computer crash, your kid’s love for the power button, just saying).

#2 Backup your blog.

Have you made a backup of your blog? If not, time to get cracking!

There are evil forces out there such as viruses, newly-installed plug-ins and updates etc. that could break your blog. (There are 953405809385 million reasons why things like that can happen und sometimes it’s harder to fix the problem than just using your backup to resurrect your blog.)

Make sure that you don’t just copy/download your files but make a backup of your database, as well. This is where the actual content is stored.

#3 Get organized!

Do you sometimes have awesome blog post ideas, but always tend to forget them before you have enough time to write them up? Do you sometimes think that your blog has gathered some dust and desperately needs a new post, but you panic the minute you sit down to write something because you can’t think of what to write about?

Things like that happen and they don’t only happen to you. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be like this. Blogging should be fun. In order to have fun you should take it more seriously.

Getting organized is the best way to do this. It is essential for having a high-quality blog with regular posts that is far from gathering any dust.

What I find most helpful is having a well-organised blogging-planner notebook. I found one thrifting, in which I write down all the ideas I have for future posts or craft projects. I organize them in different categories and briefly write down some bullet points and to-do’s. (Buy this, take picture of that, etc)

I also print out a monthy blog planner and plan ahead. It’s good to know in advance when you’ll write up or publish your blog posts. By writing stuff down you save a lot of time trying to remember everything or having to start from scratch because you forgot everything.

There are some helpful blog planner printables out there you can use.

#4 Have a “blog agenda”.

Sounds cool and is incredibly helpful.

In the same notebook I mentioned above I have a section for my blog agenda. It’s basically a neatly organized longterm to-do list for all sorts of things I have to do, sort out or research in the future (layout ideas, doing some research about certain features or plug-ins, etc). Basically everything that is not blog-post related and often isn’t very urgent but important to keep in mind.

It’s also very useful when you stumble upon information that could potentially be very important for the future, but isn’t relevant at the moment. For example, if you read someone’s post about monetizing your blog you might find really useful information about Google Adsense, affiliate links etc. This certainly isn’t relevant if you just started your blog, but it’s good to keep those things in mind if you’re thinking about making money with blogging. Write down keywords and notes like “find out more about affiliate links” in your agenda category “ads”. This way you make sure, important information doesn’t get lost while you’re keeping your mind clear of things you don’t have to worry about at the moment.

#5 Write articles in advance.

Writing blog posts and articles in advance is useful in two ways: You will get rid of time pressure and your content quality will increase immensely.

By having a handful of posts ready to be published your blogging routine will become more relaxed. Find some time (weekends, holidays, one evening a week) and write up some posts you’re planning to publish in the near future. Make a weekly or monthly plan of when you want to publish them. All that’s left is proofreading and the publish button.

This way you’ll have some time to get a bit of distance which makes is easier to look at your writing more critically (every editor will probably tell you that). With plenty of time for proofreading and reviewing your own posts, the quality of your content will increase, as well.

#6 Don’t make commitments you can’t fulfil.

With making commitments like having regular features, starting a weekly link party/blog hop, hosting regular giveaways, accepting sponsors etc. you raise expectations. This is generally not a bad idea. By fuelling expectations readers will probably be likely to come back to your blog. The disadvantage is that you put yourself under pressure and potentially disappoint readers (or sponsors) if you can’t live up to the expectations you’ve raised.

With that in mind think about whether what you want to do matches the amount of time and other resources you have. If a weekly feature is too demanding, make it a monthly feature. Having your own link party every week sounds appealing, but if it’s too much pressure it might be better to postpone the idea. Making a sewing tips series just because it will attract many readers could backfire when you think your sewing skills still need improvement.

Before making any commitments or raising expectations, always assess whether

– you really want to do this
– you have enough time resources
– you’re absolutely sure that you’re “ready”.

#7 Don’t let Social Media/Social Networking put pressure on you.

If you’ve started your blog only recently, let some time pass by until you start dealing with social media.

All the other bloggers have an incredible social media presence, I know. Don’t let this put you under pressure. Social media is incredibly time consuming. Keeping a Pinterest page, a Facebook page AND your Twitter up to date robs you of so many resources you should invest otherwise as a blogging newbie.

You really don’t need to have a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and whatsoever account in the beginning. Read this last sentence again. You won’t need this before you don’t have a big enough readership. In the beginning it’s more important to invest your time in SEO (search engine optimization), building up blogger friendships, growing traffic and improving your content instead of twittering for nothing.

#8 Your blog is not your life!

Your blog is a hobby, a creative outlet and for some it’s also a small source of income.

What your blog is not: the centre of you whole existence.

If you want your blog to be successful, you have to take blogging seriously. Nevertheless, visitor stats and comments should never set the norm of whether you’re having a good or a bad day and how you feel about yourself. Bring that to mind every once in a while and try to distance yourself a bit (mentally, emotionally) from your blog if you notice you’ve been a bit too obsessed with it lately. Stop watching your visitor stats. Instead, spend some time offline.

Furthermore, keep in mind not to use your private email-address as a contact option on your blog. Give yourself the opportunity to be able to retreat into a “no blogging beyond this point”-area whenever you need to do so.

What your blog is not: your best friend.

When you start blogging, you have to define how much privacy you want to keep. Some people decide to have a personal blog, which automatically brings about more personal posts. Regardless of whether your blog is a personal one or not, as soon as your intention is writing for a larger audience you should keep some privacy. It’s always good to start off with less information about yourself and introduce more and more of your personality after a while (as much as you feel comfortable with). Keeping your target audience in mind helps you to decide what to include in and what to exclude from your blog.

Some people blog about really everything. Everything they would probably tell their best friend. Sure, your best friend might be interested in this (and probably reads your blog, as well). On the other hand it’s not only incredibly time-consuming to write everything up but can also be seriously boring to read for your audience.

To sum up, take a step back every once in a while and keep in mind whom you’re writing for, what might be uninteresting for your readers and why you’re writing at all.

#9 Have patience.

Successful blogging needs time. Your traffic, subscribers etc won’t grow over night. Investing an incredible amount of time in your blog might grow your readership faster than others’, but it won’t make you happy in the long run. It might even lead you to be stressed out, lose all motivation and joy and give up blogging.

Invest your time wisely, take a step back every now and then and be patient.


Read Part 1 {Get People to Look at you}
Read Part 2 {Layout}
Read Part 3 {Content #1}
Read Part 4 {Content #2}
Read Part 5 {Invest your time wisely}
Read Part 6 {Grow your traffic}
Read Part 7 {Make your blog legal}

Liked it? Have feedback? Please do tell me!

And stay tuned…Part 6 of my Blogging Basics is coming up next week! The next part will be all about growing your blog’s traffic! x

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