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The Three Things to Do From the Very Start

2010 April 9

Things to remember from the very startI know that no matter what everyone says, you’ll still screw at some things when starting over. This is inevitable and some mistakes you just need to make to become a better blogger and marketer in the future.

However there are things that you’d better learn from the very beginning before you make a mistake.

As the one who have been blogging for two years now, I can look back and easily tell what I did wrong from the very start. Some mistakes were exactly those that make me feel thankful for making them now (though at that time I didn’t feel that way). However about some of them I think “I wish I hadn’t done that”.

Those were not anything crucial. But those mistakes held me back for some time or caused some serious headache, so you’d better read further. Here are them:

1. Self-owned hosting and self-owned domain

This actually means no Blogger and no blog. Even if you don’t plan to make anything huge yet, you actually never know. Besides this is not going to be a huge investment. A domain costs around $10 and a basic hosting plan won’t cost you more than $5 per month.

But the advantages of paid domain and hosting are obvious:

  • Full control over your site look and feel: plenty of templates and customization options. At this stage only your own tech knowledge will be your limit. But don’t worry this will change soon naturally.
  • Full flexibility as to your domain and/or hosting transfer (in case your plans change). You will be able to move your site to a new hosting (almost) painlessly no matter how your blog evolves.

When starting over, you have no idea where your blogging career is going to take you, so just try to be flexible.

2. Your well-defined online identity

Even when just starting over, you will have to be slowly getting into related communities to share ideas and promote your resource among fellow bloggers. You’ll have to register at various forums, get to know more people and create accounts at your first social media networks.

You won’t know if you are going to frequent a community or if you are just there for only once. In any case, what you really need to know at this beginning stage is your username you will need for all those accounts.

Make sure to use one and the same moniker each time you create an account anywhere around the web. This will soon start paying off: people will start recognizing you across the networks.

Your online moniker will become your brand name, so take care about choosing a good catchy name from the very start. It won’t be easy to change it after some time passes.

I for one started as SEOsmarty and now I just wish I hadn’t. Plenty of my projects are not related to SEO but my moniker has that strong connotation. Most of my social media profiles are well-developed and there is no way to pick another username or start a new profile. Now I wish I started as annsmarty instead.

3. The connections you build

The foundation of all your future success and the ability to become viral is your network of contacts you are starting to build. Each person that comments at your blog, every person that Tweets your content or emails you is valuable.

Never underestimate the power of connections. Never focus on building relations with only “powerful” bloggers and marketers. You never know which of those contacts will grow into the future partnership and will become the reason of your online career being a success.

I for one spend 80% of my working time networking and only 20% – earning money. But for the people who have now become my friends and partners I wouldn’t be able to earn a penny.

So start right: focus on people you network with and good luck!

Post image by Matt loves kicks

6 Responses leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010

    Ann Smarty, yes all the 3 points you mentioned are very true.
    I would like to add 4th point

    Make a good logo, this will help you in branding, use this logo in all your profiles, many times users just see this unique logo and recognize you. Its very useful, make a good logo which will stand out and dont include any image/word specific to your skills, for example web/seo etc.
    No no knows what kind of social network you will develop in future.

    Amit Patekar

  2. April 26, 2010

    This is really useful information, especially for moms who are starting their own online business. Would you want to work something out with my blog and your blog to share this information?

  3. April 30, 2010

    You would have to talk to the “boss” about this but she is all about sharing, thanks for coming by and commenting.

  4. May 1, 2010

    Hey Beckie,

    Missed your comment for some reason. Sure, that would be great!

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