Bloggie Wednesday: If You Could Start Your Blog All Over Again, What Would You Change?

Bloggie Wednesday: If You Could Start Your Blog All Over Again, What Would You Change?

© Dayzi

A few days ago, I was going through my blog reads on Feedly when I stumbled upon a blog post by Rae (The Notice). She asked several bloggers this question: if you could start your blog all over again, what would you do differently?

I thought it was a very interesting question and it made me think about how my blog was when I started blogging about beauty in 2007 (I started a personal blog in 2004 but that was never for public consumption). Beauty blogging was such a niche topic back then even though it’s a very broad subject now. In hindsight, there were many things I wish I did differently. What better way to share them with you than in a Bloggie Wednesday post, eh?

What I’d Change

Forget Blogger, start with WordPress
Before you think “oh boy, here’s another blogger dissing Blogger”, I’m not. Beautyholics Anonymous started on Blogger (or Blogspot, in case you’re wondering) and remained on Blogger for 2 years before I moved on to WordPress. However, there were a lot of things on Blogger that I couldn’t do that I would be able to on WordPress. It doesn’t have plugins so anything I want to even resemble what WordPress does had to be hard-coded in. While it did help me work on my coding skills, it was a lot of time spent in front of the computer in the wee hours of the morning (I already had to face a monitor at work so many hours a day).

When I finally migrated to WordPress, I couldn’t import all of my posts and comments over. There was a limitation to the Import tool and I lost a few blog posts and a lot of comments. Blogger’s a good and free platform to begin with but if you’re intending to do more with your blog than just make it a hobby, I suggest starting with WordPress immediately.

Snap the domain up and start with it
BA had a Blogspot link for quite some time before moving to its own domain. I should have purchased one right away since it wasn’t even that expensive at the time. Surely my own dot com sounds better than a Blogspot dot com? 😛

Reply to comments
I’ve mentioned this before but I think it’s worth mentioning again. I cannot believe I was so damn lazy to not reply to comments back in the day. You’d be surprised to know that I actually received a lot more comments back then than I do now. Yet, those comments weren’t answered. I lost a lot of those readers and that, to date, is my biggest regret. If I could start BA all over again, I’d reply every single comment.

A tip: if you’re on WordPress and reply to comments, I highly recommend a plugin like ReplyMe. When you’ve replied your readers’ comments, it sends each commenter an email with your reply. This is one of the best plugins I use and it drives engagement with my readers because they know I’ve replied their comment and sometimes, we even keep the conversation going either on the blog or via email. If you’re on other platforms like Blogger, try Disqus. It’s not my favourite commenting system but it has a reply-email-to-commenter feature as well. Choose the lesser of two evils, I say.

Even though there were regrets and things that I should have done better when I started blogging, there are some things that I’m glad I did back then.

What I’m Glad I Didn’t Start With

Spend money and review what I really like and not splurge on every new release
When I started blogging in Malaysia, there was no such thing as working with brands. Local and international brands didn’t send me products to review. I never knew that international bloggers had that opportunity because to me, if I wanted to blog about a new product, I had to buy it myself. And it was such a fun (albeit expensive) endeavour!

Having said that, I’m glad I didn’t splurge on every new release. I wouldn’t be able to afford it and as I made no money out of blogging back then, everything came out of my own pocket. I bought what I really wanted to try and reviewed those instead. Many a time, they were not new products at all.

Not branding my blog
Now I’m sure most blogging gurus and consultants would gasp in horror and say that I should have created my own brand from the very beginning. If I created my blog now or even a year ago and know exactly what I wanted the blog’s direction to be (ie a business), then yes, I would have created a brand for myself even before I started blogging.

When I started my blog in 2007, it was never meant to be any sort of brand. It was a hobby for me at the time and something I was experimenting with. I had no logo, I didn’t know what my blog’s colours would be, what font it would stick to, what I was going to write about, what I wasn’t going to write about and so on. I’m glad I had that chance to play around and to discover what I really like and don’t like. BA had the chance to grow from nothing to something I’m very proud of today. In today’s fast-paced blogging world, taking 8 years to discover my blog’s direction would have been a business suicide but I wouldn’t change that fact for the world.

Y’know, even with the regrets that I have and things I’d change if I get a do-over, I don’t think I will. I’m glad they happened because even though some of the lessons were tough, what I learned stayed with me over the years. I would never have savoured readers and their comments as much as I do now if I didn’t know what it felt like to lose them. I wouldn’t have picked up coding quickly if not for needing to hard-code better functions to my blog on Blogger.

What about you? If you could start your blog all over, what would you change? What wouldn’t you change?

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.

For weekly updates, news and heaps more fun stuff, do subscribe and join the awesome BA Insider community!

Join the BA Insider Community



14 comments… add one
  1. Kat Ness

    My blog is still young so I don’t know what I would change from the beginning as I’m still learning about myself. I love knowing when someone replies to comments.
    Kat Ness recently posted..Palmer’s Cocoa Butter CC CreamMy Profile

    1. Tine

      A good thing about blogging now is that you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. Back then, I had no idea what I was doing. 😛

  2. Paris B

    I’d make the effort to take pictures and take better pictures. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a single thing, because as you said, it’s been a hell of a learning curve along the way, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The journey has taught me a lot and brought me newfound appreciation for the simple things – what blogging means to me. Granted, having a brand is nice, but then if I wanted to be a brand, I’d make sure all my social media accounts were standardized to my blog name. Yet, I haven’t done so, not because I don’t want to but because I like that the blog is my blog, yet I’m recognizable as my own person with interests outside of the blog. Coz if I were just all about beauty, I’d be bored silly.
    Paris B recently posted..I’m not saying I dislike the 3CE Glossing Waterful Foundation… Oh heck! I do!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh god yes. If I’m going to be all about beauty only, I would have quit ages ago. We need variety or else we might as well just close shop.

      I remember one time when I was updating my media kit, I realised that my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest don’t have the same names. In fact, only Twitter and Pinterest share the same name and they have nothing to do with my blog’s name at all! I didn’t think of putting the same name in all accounts back then. You know, I’m actually glad they’re not of the same name. Like you said, we have our own interests outside the blog and I like those social media accounts to reflect that and not only about beauty. Some social media “gurus” will probably call that stupid but hey, that’s the aha-aha I like it!

  3. Rae // theNotice

    YES to all of these things!! I couldn’t agree more, esp. when it comes to starting on Wordpress and taking the time to take great photos.

    I definitely regret not starting out with Disqus installed, too — I’ve tried to switch to it three or four times now, but because my blog is so old (and the archives are so big), I’m having a lot of trouble transitioning over. :/
    Rae // theNotice recently posted..Kaia Bamboo Tapioca Beads review, photos | A semi-DIY cleanser/exfoliator/maskMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh dear that sucks 🙁 That’s the problem I find with not starting out with WP sooner; I lost blog posts and comments in the import process too. Argh.

  4. MonicaP

    Yes, I also regret starting on blogger and then I paid someone to move me to WordPress and it was quite the learning experience. I do like WP A LOT better now, but it was a hard learning curve.

    I also wish in the beginning that I stayed true to my casual style. I tried to “dress up” and most of that clothing ended up in the Good Will. So now I have a beauty and casual fashion blog .. I’m happy with it 🙂


    1. Tine

      Yeah I agree, WP has a steeper learning curve compared to Blogger. But once you really get the hang of it, how awesome is it? 🙂

      A casual fashion blog is good! Seriously though, how many of us dress up that much if not for work? Sure the pictures are nice on a lot of fashion blogs but really, I can’t be arsed to dress up that much. 😛 I love looking at casual fashion blogs because it gives me ideas on how to make outfits work without trying too hard and buying more clothes.

  5. gio

    Definitely take the time to learn how to take better photos. That’s something I never enjoyed, and am still struggling with, but need to master. Beautiful pictures can really enhance a blog.
    gio recently posted..The Complete Guide To Glycolic AcidMy Profile

    1. Tine

      That’s true. These days, I notice that blog photos are getting really really good. Like professionally-done good. I too struggle with taking better photos with better styling and composition. There’s only so much of my wooden desk as background that I can use for my product photos. 😛

  6. Ling

    Thanks for sharing this post. It has made me think. A LOT!


    1. I wish I started blogging earlier instead of just reading blogs and waiting for them to get updated
    2. When I did start blogging, I wish I didn’t blog on Xanga for so many years and made the move to my own URL earlier
    3. BUT I wish I bought a better URL and chose better blog names with broader outreach if that makes sense
    4. I also wish I knew how important it was to have photos that fit my blog layout instead of in unusual cropped sizes

    SO I have really long list of stuff that I wish I could change about my blogs but at the end of the day, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve kept blogging since 2004 and don’t regret starting my blogs (even though I keep wishing I consolidated them all into one but every time I think of doing that, I start a new blog LOL!).
    Ling recently posted..Project 100 Pan // Empties 6-10My Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahahah I still think your beauty blog name is awesome. 😛
      I’m glad you didn’t stop blogging. The blogosphere need more bloggers like you. 😉

  7. Bugs

    I don’t blog but as a blog reader, I love the ReplyMe. I tend tocomment more if a blog has that plugin. About Disqus, I’m not sure if that is the same with another blog that I follow. To comment I need to choose a profile or something. When I comment, I don’t like my comments to be linked to my profile. For that I’ve stop commenting on that blog. Correct me if I’m wrong, please. I’m a tech-idiot.

    1. Tine

      I love your comment especially because it came from a non-blogger’s perspective. I’m so glad the plugin works and that it helps you to know that comments you’ve left on other people’s blogs are replied and not ignored.

      Unfortunately, that’s a problem with Disqus, that you have to be signed on to something to comment. That’s one thing I don’t like about the platform because it’s one extra thing I have to sign up for. But for non-WordPress users who can’t use plugins like ReplyMe, Disqus is probably one of the better options in order to get similar features. Like I said in the post, gotta choose the lesser of two evils. 😛

Leave a Reply

Share your latest blog post with us!

Scroll To Top

Not another bloody pop-up! I know. But now that I've gotten your attention (because this is how I roll *ahem ahem*), come join the BA Insider community! Sign up for a weekly newsy letter for your beauty and lifestyle fix. Straight to your inbox.

Because I love you for reading this and not closing the pop-up just yet, you'll also receive a FREE Skincare Cheat Sheet where I share some of my tips for taking better care of your skin. Let's keep that gorgeous mug of yours glowing!

We hate spam as much as baked beans. We also won't share your details with anyone because we're selfish like that.