Education: What to Learn While Creating Your Blog
Now that you’ve done a little research, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want your blog to be about, where you want to host it, and what you’re going to use to stay in contact with your readers.
Before you actually start creating your blog, you need to learn a little bit about the tools that are available. It might sound a little bit out of place to do this first, but I promise you, you’re going to want to know the whats before you get into the hows.
If you find one tool is a bit difficult to use, you can always switch to another. You’ll know what’s out there to switch to if you do this research first.
This post is Part 2 of a five-part series on creating a successful blog:
Successful Blogging for Beginners Introduction
Part 1: Discovery – What to Do Before Starting a Blog
Part 2: Education – You’re here!
Part 3: Creation – What to Do to Create Your Blog
Part 4: Launch – How to Launch Your Blog
Part 5: Growth – How to Grow Your Blog
Sign up for the free e-Course and receive all 5 sections in a completable course format. Track your progress as you learn!
Learn how to use your blogging platform
It’s time to research your blogging platform of choice. You’ll be able to find information about WordPress here at Blogging Butterfly, but there are a lot of sites out there with information about blogging platforms.
Find a good blog post or video (or maybe a few good ones) about your chosen platform, or maybe find an online course dedicated to tech trainings around your favorite platform.
You don’t need to learn everything all at once. Building a blog is a process. You’ll learn things over time through experience. At a minimum, learn how to create posts, upload images, customize your themes, and add plugins (if possible).
Learn about email autoresponders
If you’re going to run a successful blog, you’re going to need a way to connect with your readers. Email is the best way to do this. Through email, you can tell people that you’ve uploaded a new post, tell people about your favorite products (with your affiliate links inside!), and build a relationship with your biggest fans. As a blogger, email is your best weapon.
In order to collect email addresses and send mass emails, you’re going to need what’s call an email autoresponder. It will greet new subscribers, manage email broadcasts, and give people a way to unsubscribe from your list (which will happen sooner or later, but it’s perfectly okay).
There are a lot of options out there, but I suggest MailerLite* if you’re looking for a free option, and ConvertKit* is a great paid option. ConvertKit was made by bloggers for bloggers, so it’s a highly recommended tool. At the moment, I’m using ConvertKit.
Do a little research into the features of each one before committing to one tool. If you think you might take a bit of time to get your blog set up, you might want to stick with MailerLite to begin with.
Important: do not purchase email addresses/lists. Not at all. Not ever. This is spam and is illegal in most places. You also wouldn’t have a very high-quality list as well, since they’d just be random people and not people who are actually interested in your content.
Also be aware that purchasing lists of email addresses is different than buying ads for leads, which still allows users to actually enter their email address and opt-in to receive your emails.
Learn SEO basics
SEO is just short for Search Engine Optimization. A lot of people sleep on this but this is one of the most important aspects of blogging. This is what will make your content available in search engines like Google, Bing, and even Pinterest.
Without proper SEO, you’ll get poor rankings in search results, if you ever manage to appear in them at all. If you don’t rank in search, you’re going to have trouble building your organic traffic (traffic from search).
It’s important to learn the basics of optimizing each one of your posts for certain keywords. You also want to make sure all your images are optimized as well. How do you think Google knows what to show you when you use image search? Image optimizing will also help your blog posts show up in Pinterest, which is a huge traffic source for many bloggers.
Try starting here
SEO can be a pretty complicated topic, so let me mention a few things you should look into to start with.
- Long tail keywords
- Using keywords in your posts
- Keyword research
- On-page SEO
- SEO for images
These are all things that are pretty easy for you to take control of as a new blogger. I suggest you learn them and use the techniques in has many posts as possible. There are some times when it might be difficult to find keywords for your posts but don’t stress about it. Remember, organic search will not be your only method of traffic.
Here’s a great post on Forbes that covers a few of these things. Look into other sources as well.
Learn strategies for social media
Social media is important for building traffic to your blog as well. This is the “word of mouth” of this era. You don’t want to miss out!
To properly use social media for blogging, you’re going to need to look up social sharing plugins, social media schedulers, and learn about strategies for post timing and reposting content from other blogs.
Share content from others
Yes, you absolutely want to post articles from your competitors! People don’t want to follow accounts that are only promoting their own stuff. You’re also going to need to post often and consistently. Doing that with only your own content is going to be pretty much impossible, especially when you’re just starting out.
Why start learning now?
So why learn about social media strategies before actually creating your accounts? It’s going to be difficult to spend time building a whole bunch of accounts up at once unless you plan on paying a service. You’re going to want to focus on one or two at a time. You need to know which one will be best for your niche.
Whatever you choose, I suggest you seriously think about adding Pinterest to your list. Like I said before, Pinterest is a major traffic source for blogs and businesses alike.
Take advantage of social media tools
If you need some ideas for what tools to look for, check out the resources page. I have lists of all sorts of tools and plugins for WordPress and social media.
I also have posts available to help you get started with creating your own Twitter strategy and some tips for creating a follow-worthy Instagram. Pinterest requires graphics with a specific size ratio and SEOed images so check out that post as well.
See you next week!
Next week I’ll be getting into “the fun stuff” and talking about the actual creation of your blog. Don’t forget that you don’t have to wait! I have all 5 sections ready in this free e-Course.