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!
THANK YOU, PEARL!!! I am hoping to build my own website/blog this year, and your post is incredibly helpful. I was thinking about using wordpress.org, but now I KNOW I’ll use it!💖
Also, the photos in this post are beautiful!😍 And thank you for offering the blog planner; I can’t wait to use it!
OF COURSE! I’m so happy that it was helpful; I can’t wait to see your blog!! ❤️ Yay, thanks so much!
I totally would like to see a post about your process, by the way….
I’ll definitely do one in the future, then!
Thank you for this, Pearl! As one of those bloggers who was asking about wordpress.org (and is planning to switch soon), this post was very helpful (:
*makes mental note to use this possibly one day 😂😂*
Hey, I loved what you said about the grammar. Being the grammar nerd that I am, I do find it bothersome when people can’t use proper grammar. (Not necessarily when they’re texting friends. I use improper grammar in those moments. Or when speaking to my friends or dad. 😂) You have a point about how what you type will reflect you online. Sigh. Thank you.
And HEY, what if I need to know which laundry detergent to use in college? 😭😭😭🤣🤣
(If you did do a post on that, I would be taken aback. But it’s your blog. 😂)
Thank you for this post!! Quite informative. 😁
I can’t stand when people use bad grammar in writing/blogging, like I get it in texting and informal conversations (I definitely don’t use proper grammar when texting XD) but it really does reflect you online. I’m sorryyyy. XD
I will have to do a post about laundry detergent for you when you go to college 😜 😂
Thank you soo much for your lovely comment, Amelia!
I’m so glad that it was helpful, Alannah!
Thank you for this post, Pearl! For quite sometime, I’ve been thinking about switching over the wordpress.org to not only make my blog more professional, but also since I’m considering author platform building. I love the tips you gave, too! *whispers* And yes, please write more posts about blogging. 🤭
Mm, that definitely makes sense. I’m really happy that I switched and I hope it goes wonderfully for you! 🙂 I definitely will! Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Heaven!
OMG I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH!!!! I especially love all of the flower pictures, they are so aesthetic and calming! Did you take them yourself?
AWW, thank you, Tess! I’m so happy you liked it. And yes, I took them myself using a bouquet of flowers my dad got me for Valentines’ day 🙂 <3
This was so helpful as I’m getting ready to launch my blog! Than you Pearl! 😊
So excited for you to launch your blog, Belle!! <3
Oooh! I love this post! It helps me so much. Sometimes I have a hard time sticking to my pillars of writing, book reviews, articles, and short stories. XD
This is so helpful! I would love more like it! Thank you Pearl!
I’m soo glad it helped you, Aliya!
Hey Pearl! I love this and would totally love to see more blogging-related posts! 😀
So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
This is such a good post, Pearl!! So many good and helpful thoughts. I would love to see more blogging posts in the future!!
Thank you so much, Bethany! I’ll make sure to do another post soon! 🙂
I love this, Pearl!! I would LOVE a behind the scenes post about blogging. I’m new to it and would love to learn how I can improve 🙂
Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I’ll definitely work on doing a post, then. 🙂
This is brilliant, Pearl! You did such an amazing job! I loved every bit of it. Such clarity! I have a question about the first point you made–share about your life. I have been trying to come up with ways to this, but I find it difficult.
My life has exciting moments, but when I try to think of a moment to write about… I can’t figure out which moment would be worth writing about. Do you have any suggestions on how to combat this?
Despite writing consistently, I still feel kind of disconnected from my readers (and I think they feel the same way). I believe more personal content could help; I just don’t know how to go about it.
Thank you so much, Autumn!
Mhm, that’s definitely tough. I think a lot of it is sharing the small moments, the things that seem ordinary but really beautiful and matter. I also think taking photos – not that you have to have a DLSR, an iPhone takes great pictures, too – is super helpful to share. Also, I know your blog is more non-fiction/spiritual thoughts, so you could share stories/life musings that go along with your real posts. An email list is great for sharing those random thoughts, too. 🙂
Thank you for the response, Pearl! It’s helpful! 🙂
Aw, yay! Happy it helped!
This was a great post! I would like to have a blog someday, and it was good to read an overview of what it would be like. And yaaaasssssss it reeeealy bothers me when people don’t use correct grammar XD
The blog planner was really interesting, and it would be helpful to have something like that. I love free printouts. 🙂
Your photos in this post are really pretty! I liked the last one with the white flowers.
By the way, how can I put a picture for my pfp beside my comment?
I’m so glad to hear that, KJ! Me too. XD Make sure to let me know if you do start a blog!
That’s one of my favorites, too. Thank you for your lovely comment! <3
Pearl, this post was awesome, and the planner looks SO pretty and SO helpful! I would love to see more blogging posts!
Thank you so much for these tips!! You’ve actually encouraged me to blog again! 😀
Aww, I’m so happy to hear that, Katherine! I can’t wait to see more posts from you in the future. 😊
This was such a helpful post, Pearl! Thank you so much <3 Yes please, I would love to hear about your blogging process/the behind-the-scenes stuff!
Yay! I’ll definitely make more posts about that then!! 🙂