I wish I knew these when I started.

I’ve had my blog since 2009, and there are quite a few things I wish I knew before I started. Hope they will help you avoid making some of the mistakes I made!

Use WordPress – I know, there are so many other platforms but if you’re just starting out, this is the way to go. It’s very easy to work with, you can choose your own template (there’s tons to choose from) and they have a bunch of plugins (features) that will make your site look like you paid to get it designed.

Don’t Force Your Writing – I used to have the mentality of writing about things that I thought people would find interesting. Don’t do that. Write for YOU. Write what YOU would want to read, and the readers will follow. You have to be relatable. Speak from the heart.

Social Media – Have ALL of your social media platforms on your blog. From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. If you don’t have an account with the platforms I mentioned, you need to join them, right now. (YouTube is an exception depending on what your blog is about, and what direction you’re headed).

This is important because one, people can connect with you in ways outside of your blog. Two, people can get direct links to your blog through your social media. Everyone is not going to visit your blog everyday, but they will scroll through their social media daily.

Share Options – You definitely need to have share options under every post. Share options are where people can send your post via email or on one of their social media platforms.

Also, to go even more high tech with this – If your blog runs on wordpress, add the “Jetpack via Twitter” plugin, where you can link your Twitter handle so when it’s shared, they’re also tagging your account and increasing your following on there.

Tweetdeck – This is an absolute must. With Tweetdeck, you can schedule tweets so you’re getting coverage in every time zone without infesting timelines. I schedule tweets before I go to bed (3 hours apart) so that the people who were asleep and not on Twitter when I initially tweeted out an article will see it.

Be Consistent – If you really want your blog to gain some traffic, you absolutely need to be consistent. Aim for at least three posts a week – When people go to your blog, they want to see something new everyday.

Certify Your Alexa Rankings – Alexa.com is a site that will tell you what your blog/website ranking is globally and nationally. If you certify them, they give you more accurate readings from your demographic, how many unique visitors and page views you get a month, popular search terms, bounce rate, etc. It’s free for the first 30 days, then $9.99/monthly after that. If your blog is not something that you’re really trying to push, and doing for fun – this isn’t so important.

Anything I missed? Comment below!

[SEE ALSO: #AskJen: How did you learn to make a website?]