Blogging Tips
Part 2 of 2
The Reader Question thread is where I pick an emailed question from a reader to share with you. I don't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to help. 

Christie of Charis Designs : You're such a great resource for other things, so when I saw your contact email, jumped on that as well! I LOVED the last Bead Soup Blog Party- so much so, that I want to start blogging so I can participate in the August go round. 

Grabbed a name on not my first choice but it'll do) but having never done this before, have no real clue as to how to proceed. What advice/sites/hints/tips can you offer? I know you're a busy lady, but for a newbie are there any "wish I'd known that/done that" things you can throw my way?  

Pearl : There are many advantages to blogging. It's not just fun, but it is a good way of keeping connected with your community, friends and perhaps customers. Blogging is also a creative outlet if you like writing.

Blogging Platform
It's a good thing you chose Blogger. I've used both and I recommend Blogger over Wordpress for beginners. Be aware there are 2 types of Wordpress: is free like Blogger and everything like hosting and software upgrades is taken care of.  A lot of comments I see on the internet extolling the virtues of Wordpress are usually from technically proficient individuals who are talking about This version is not free as you will have to host your blog with some company and take care of everything yourself including software upgrades, backups, SEO (search engine optimization) etc.  If you are technology savvy or know someone who can really help, then Wordpress may be for you. There are many beautiful themes and plug-ins available for those who prefer total control of their blog and wish to do a lot behind the scenes. Some people though, have told me they struggle even with  

So it is preferable to start with Blogger. You can always move it to a self-hosted Wordpress site later if you wish. In the last two years, Google has started to put a lot of effort into Blogger, adding many improvements and seem determined to do more than play catch-up in a highly competitive field. Royal Pingdom rated a number of free blogging platforms and Blogger came out as the most stable.

Blog Name/URL
One tip I have for aspiring bloggers who also have shops is to consider branding right from the beginning. Branding is not a logo but a consistency with all your online and business activities. For instance I am known as beadinggem everywhere - Blogger, Twitter, Facebook etc not Pearl1345! The banner of my Etsy store reflects the design of my blog. Red and white are the colors I use on my business cards and my packaging.
I personally don't mind if someone's blog still has the "blogspot" in the URL. It's the content that matters. However, it is better from a business and branding perspective to register a domain name and point the Blogger blog to it so viewers do not see the blogspot. The blog is still hosted on Blogger.

Blogging Frequency
I come across dead and dying blogs all the time.  Blogging is a long term venture. So decide on a realistic posting frequency and stick with it.

Behind the Scenes
Writing is only one aspect of blogging. Blog maintenance, trouble shooting and design are also your jobs! There are plenty of free design themes and helpful sites online if you search for them. Try this one - Tips for New Bloggers.  It hasn't been updated for a long time but there are some useful tips.

Remember, learning to blog doesn't happen overnight.  Experiment with new designs and blog elements until you get something you like so you'll be in time for that Bead Soup Blog Party in August!

Past Posts :
6 Questions to Really Ask Before You Start a (Craft) Blog
7 Easy Ways to Grow Your Jewelry Blog
For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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