I have been blogging for all of about 5 minutes. However, in those 5 minutes I seem to have learnt more than I learnt about the internet and social media over the last 5 years. Some of what I have learnt now seems so incredibly obvious, but some of it I spent weeks trying to figure out. So here are the things I wish I had known before I started blogging! The difference between self hosted and hosted blogs. This was the biggest and the most complicated piece of learning I undertook. I literally spent hours and hours reading as much as I could to understand how to begin a blog. I kept coming across loads of other really inspirational blogs, and I thought they must have figured it out – so can I. I did make loads of mistakes – I bought a domain, I bought into a website builder, and then I realised that I didn’t want a website; I wanted a blog! So after spending about £40 for nothing, I eventually just went to www.wordpress.com and it was so incredibly straightforward I wondered why I had tried to make it so complicated. I get that eventually I might want to become self hosted over at www.wordpress.org but definitely not yet! The importance of linking social media. Before I started blogging, I had a Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter. I had used each of these a little bit, but without much consistency. They were all in my name but in no way linked or particularly thought about. Since blogging, I have realised how very important they all are. All of my different social media sites now have the same user name as the blog, and I’m making sure I’m keeping up on them as much as I can (I just need to stop procrastinating and spending too long reading all the other brilliant posts!) What on earth a linky is. This is another one of those areas that I spent ages trying to figure out. Thankfully I came across a fantastic blog by Cuddle Fairy which explain it so clearly that I was able to almost immediately join a linky and have joined up with at least one a day since. Definitely take a read and it will all make perfect sense. A simple explanation is that a linky is a way of linking up with other bloggers. You link one of your blog posts to someone else’s blog post (and lots of other people do the same) and share it with a particular hashtag. The only other thing I have now done is to find a few linkys I want to join up with and scheduled them on my computer to make sure I don’t forget which days to join in! I know that I still have so much more to learn, but I am finding that every day I am learning something new and am loving blogging and beginning to join in with the fantastic blogging community. So if you are a brand new blogger, just go for it – you definitely won’t regret it!