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Blogging Then And Now

Posted by on 25th Mar 2010 | 9 comments

If you were starting a new blog today what’s the first thing you would do? I’ve just started a new blog and I started thinking about the difference between my first blog and this one. Here are some of the things I looked at.

Then

I bought a domain, tying it vaguely to some of the services I hoped to offer. I simply added the blog onto that and it had no clear identity of its own.

Now

I thought very carefully about the topic I wanted to cover, and used to some online keyword research tools to find out what people were searching for. I then tried to combine these into some sort of sensible name and then I searched for domain names that combined my keywords.

Then

I experimented with a wide range of blogging software. Not only did I try WordPress but I dabbled with B2Evolution and Textpattern but I didn’t get very far and I managed to mess up my blog a couple of times.

Now

These days I go straight for WordPress, because this is the one that works best for me. Once I had setup may domain name and arranged hosting I did a one click install of the latest version of WordPress and I was good to go.

Then

I didn’t know much about plug-ins. After enabling Aksimet I basically left the blog alone and did nothing to help with search engine optimisation or connecting with my readers.

Now

I’ve tried a number of anti-spam combinations and I always install a set of key WordPress plug-ins including something to back up the database, Subscribe to comments, Comment luv, Google XML site maps and WordPress stats. I also include links to social media communities.

Then

I wouldn’t have known what to do with WordPress theme files. I could just about manage downloading and installing themes but I never interfered with anything. If a theme didn’t do the work that I wanted I simply got another one.

Now

I’ve used a wide range of themes, both free and premium, and I have no problem messing around with the code, though I still need some help to find certain snippets.

Then

It wasn’t very easy for people to subscribe to my blog and follow updates.

Now

One of the first things I do when I start a new blog is burn a feed in Feedburner, and put an email subscription form in the sidebar. Content is also syndicated through a variety of social media channels. My main blogs all have their own Twitter accounts (though generally these are not very active). I also make a podcast feed available on my existing blog and will do so on the new one if readers want it.

Then

I didn’t think about promotion and social networking in any sort of structured way. I was not a member of any forums and there weren’t many places that you could find me online.  As far as the online world knew, I was practically invisible.

Now

I’m a member of several online communities, some of them built around existing blogs, and interact regularly on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This gives me a head start in talking to people about my new blog and makes for a great community on my existing one.

How have your blogging practices changed in the time you’ve been online?

(Photo credit)


Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

9 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Kathy on 25th Mar 2010

    My blogging habits have definitely changed. I think sometimes you just need to get started, then see what attracts the most readers. There's nothing saying this can't be a work in progress.

  • Posted by Zach Hornsby on 25th Mar 2010

    It's always good to reflect back and see the changes that you have made over the years of blogging. I've made many mistakes, but its all a learning experience.

  • Posted by iPhone Application Developer on 26th Mar 2010

    I really like the way you differentiate between old and new blogging style. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Posted by NPXP on 26th Mar 2010

    It's funny to see how things have evolved so much after the domination of WordPress as the leading Blogging software.

  • Posted by Jimi Jones on 26th Mar 2010

    Aahh, the evolution of blogging. :lol:

    This is a fine post, looking back on those early days when we were wide-eyed and full of excitement about out new-found craft.

    I can relate to some of these, making the mistake of starting out with what I thought people would be interested in and failing to do the proper research up front. Hey, we live and learn. ;-)

    Enjoyed the post!

  • Posted by Sharon Hurley Hall on 26th Mar 2010

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. I've certainly learned a lot about blogging in the last five years.

  • Posted by Rajesh Kanuri on 29th Mar 2010

    Awesome compilation.. It really reminded my intial days of my blogging…

  • Posted by Indian Art on 30th Mar 2010

    You have laid the journey of a typical blogger…most people would identify with this post…

  • Posted by Facebook Apps on 9th Feb 2011

    Now blogging style has changed so users aware about new style blogging work.Don't used old work
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