Hello, my friends!
I haven’t done a blogging post before, but I have had many fellow bloggers and writers ask me why I switched from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. Even though there are plenty of articles on wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org, this post is for any teen blogger like me, who isn’t a pro (yet ;)) and why I personally switched. Plus, I shared my top ten blogging tips, and a free blog planner!
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, or already started one, this post is for you!
why i switched
I originally started blogging on wordpress.com in October 2021 for fun and to grow in my consistency. After about 6 months of blogging, I decided to start focusing more on building my platform, and developing an author brand. After that, I then began to do more research because I wasn’t happy with wordpress.com, and so, that led me to switching over to wordpress.org in October 2022.
I’m currently using Porkbun for my domain, with my website hosting from a private provider, my professional email is through Zoho, and I use a variety of Canva, PicMonkey, and the editing feature on my laptop to edit photos and design my graphics.
(I’d love to share more about the behind-the-scenes behind this blog, if any of you are up for reading a post like that, let me know in the comments!)
what’s right for you?
I would say that it depends on what you’re wanting to do with your blog. If you are just starting out and don’t know if you want to continue blogging, then I’d say use a free platform like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.com. But, if you want to have a more professional-looking blog, and are willing to put in time and effort, then I’d say go with wordpress.org.
A lot of people say that wordpress.org is terribly complicated and awful, but I completely disagree with that. If you do your research, and have basic website design skills, it’s not all that hard. If I wasn’t a perfectionist about the design of my site, I could have had my site up in 2-3 hours, or less. (But, since I took forever choosing a theme, logo, colors, fonts, and such, it took me at least 7-8 hours, not including writing posts.)
In the end, I would say that it all goes down to your goals for blogging. If you’re just trying it out, use wordpress.com, Weebly, Wix, or another free provider. But if you want to be more professional with your website, my recommendation is wordpress.org.
my top ten tips for blogging
- Be authentic and share about your life. Quite a few of blogs I have read, I have no idea who the writer is, other than their three-sentence about page. 😛 I’d say my biggest tip is to be yourself. Share about your life. Let people know that there is a person behind that computer screen, not just writing tips or whatever that blog’s topic is.
- Design your website and make it cohesive. This is where I’m incredibly picky, but it’s true, design matters. You know that saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” well, guess what? Most people judge books by their covers. 😉 And most people are going to judge your blog by its design. Or it’s lack of it. Pick a color scheme of no more than four colors, and stick to it. Have a font that’s easy to read but pretty to look at it, and keep your featured images cohesive. Canva is one of my favorite design tools to use, along with Picmonkey.
- Use photos. Using photos to break up text is so helpful. No one wants to click on a link to a post, and see this daunting page of text with no text breaks. Using photos, especially your own photos, is a great way to keep readers on your post, instead of closing the tab.
- Know who you’re writing for. For example, my main audience is creative teenage girls. It’d be a bit odd if I wrote a post about my favorite laundry detergent when most girls aren’t going to be shopping for laundry detergent. 😜😂 Keep your posts focused on what your readers want to read, which brings me to my next topic:
- Write what you want to read. I’m a teen girl, so I’m going to have a pretty good idea of what posts I enjoy reading. And the posts I enjoy reading are the posts I’m going to enjoy writing. I’m not going to have fun reading or writing a post about laundry detergent, but I am going to have fun reading or writing a post about blogging, which is something I’m interested in, clearly. Don’t make blogging seem like a chore, have fun, and write what you enjoy reading and writing.
- Be consistent. This is something that drives me crazy, don’t post three days in a row, and then not post again for a month. That’s going to make me hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button. Whether that’s posting three times a week, or once every other week. Be consistent.
- Use proper spelling and grammar. This is so important that you’ve probably already heard it about a million times and wonder why I even bother. But honestly, if a blog post goes like this “hey guys sorry i didn’t post yesterday i have no idea what to post anymore and need ideas lol i just got finished with school and it was great (not) ok, bye” it is very unlikely that I’ll follow it, unless the content is superb. But if the writing is like that, chances are, their content isn’t going to be that great either. See, using proper spelling and grammar shows that you put time and effort into your blog posts, and readers appreciate that. Bad grammar is like having messy hair and wearing sloppy clothes – it just doesn’t make a good impression and readers are likely to unfollow.
- Don’t stick to just one niche. The myth ‘you have to write about one topic and only one topic’ is not true, in my opinion. Most readers want variety, but also, don’t post about your cat, a book review, the trip you took, writing tips, a craft project to do, productivity tips, and your small business. I have four main pillars of content for my blog, writing, DIY projects, photography, and recipes. Having those four pillars gives me space to have a variety of things to post about, but also, keep a consistent theme of my content.
- Focus on blessing others. Your focus shouldn’t be getting more followers. It shouldn’t be getting a thousand pins on Pinterest. Your focus should be to bless the readers who are reading your blog right now. Create good quality content. Create content that when readers close the tab they’ll have a greater knowledge of whatever topic you write about. Whether that be blogging tips, a recipe, inspiration, or a book review. Let your focus be on blessing others, and write for your readers.
- Have fun. Definitely the most important. If blogging is a chore, don’t do it. No one is going to want a read a blog that there wasn’t work and time and effort put into it. Yes, you should create good content and have a good quality design, but also, enjoy yourself. Post things that you enjoy. And that you know others will enjoy too. Connect with other bloggers, and enjoy yourself!
get the blog planner
If you’re like me, I have a crazy hard time keeping all my posts, ideas, and plans organized. Running a successful blog is a lot of work, and that’s why I created this planner for you!
It contains a post-brainstorming guide, yearly overview, monthly calendar, editorial calendar, weekly overview, weekly post planner, and post list. Sign up for the planner below!
Would you like to see more blogging posts in the future? What other freebies, like the blog planner, would you enjoy? What are your blogging tips?
Have a lovely day, and thank you for reading!