It was around 3 years ago when I first entered into online world as a blogger and bought my first domain name. When you start at blogging, the process looks like a continuous circle of learning, making mistakes and then repeating. I was so excited to greet this huge world of bloggers but at the same time, I didn’t want to launch my blog on an empty stomach. So for the next six months, I worked on the blog content and website development. Copyblogger.com, Kimgarst.com, SEOMoz.org were the top bookmarks on my laptop and I wanted to cram in as much information as I could.
But even after all this hard work, when I first launched my blog with needed content and a beautiful theme, the results were not up to my expectations. After a lot of discussion with fellow bloggers, I got to know about a few things I should have known before starting my blogging journey.
Being specific is the only way to grow
When I first started out, I wanted to write about everything. Failed to notice, that if I won’t focus on one thing at a time, it won’t result in anything good. I was all over the place and therefore distractions started barging in.
Soon, I realized that if I want to grow as a blogger, I’ll have to stick with one specific niche. Later on, when the blog is well established, I can definitely spread my wings. So that’s what I did. I chose one small niche and tried to share valuable content around it and guess what, it worked, results were definitely impressive.
Blogging is not a zero investment process
I know, for starters, spending money is the last thing you want to do, that’s the same mistake I did. Articles like “How I earned $499 with blogging in my first month” made me think that blogging is a sureshot way to earn money with zero investment but I was so wrong.
Just like all other business, you need to make some investments here too. For eg
- Domain Registration
- Premium Blog Theme
- A mailing list provider
- A hosting provider
And yeah, on some days you might feel that you are spending more than you are earning but in the end, these investments will make your lives a lot more easier.
SEO is not optional
Among all other things that I wish I would have done earlier, the one that tops the list is SEO. There is no shortage of reasons why SEO must be in every blogger’s bucket list. Not focusing on SEO from the starting affected my blog traffic badly. No matter how great your blog or content it, if it is not getting exposure among the right audience, it is of no use.
So guys, the first thing you have to do is to install the Yoast SEO plugin to handover all your SEO worries. The plugins takes seconds to install and can handle most of your on page SEO needs. Once the plugin is done, spend some time reading how SEO works and how you can build high quality backlinks for your blogs. Trust me guys, follow this step from day one and you’ll thank me later 🙂
Social media is not just for fun
The biggest mistake I made during my early blogging career was to not maintaining clean and professional social media profiles. Unlike an average user, if you are a blogger, your social media profile is a big part of your online identity, anything stupid or boring done there, can affect your journey in multiple ways.
But better late than never, when I realized the importance of social media, I used it to my best. As I was a travel blogger, I started making eye catching social media graphics across my profiles. After every journey, I used to make photo collages using tools like Canva and they caught huge attraction from my audience. Pinterest has become my go-to site now, make it yours too 🙂
Writing MORE is not always the answer
Yeah, initially I used to think that the more content I will publish on my blog, the more it will grow but unfortunately, this is not the key.
Writing more can increase the traffic on your blog, SURE!
It can compromise quality, SURE too!
Also when you start writing more and more, you are taking away the time of article promotion which is a very important part.
Instead, it is recommended to post less when you are writing something very detailed, and post more when you are writing less detailed short articles. You have to make some balance!
Test multiple things to find out what works for you. If you are still not sure, don’t hesitate to ask from your audience.
Google’s not always kind enough to recognize good content
Google is sometimes very stupid. On some days, it indexes very short posts within 1 hour but on other days, it takes days to index posts which are super valuable. Sometimes well researched posts don’t get good ranks and bring zero traffic, but some short post ranks on number one and drives enormous traffic.
So if you are also in this blogging journey, you’ll have to learn and accept this behavior and have faith in your passion to get going.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor a successful blog
From Google indexing your blog to getting ranks to getting Adsense approved, everything takes a hell lot of time. Checking your blog stats every half an hour won’t help.
Yes, there are some toppers in your niche but they are on the top because they have been consistent.
Day night hard work, countless well researched articles and a solid marketing strategies is what helped them and what will help you too.
Yes, people become overnight sensation too but that’s a rare thing, so don’t rely on it. If you want to be on top, you have to work hard for it and patience is a virtue that will make you keep going. Taking shortcuts will never make you sustain for the long run.
Time management is must
Losing focus is still common to me, but I am far more productive than I was three years ago. Below are some tips you must follow:
- Time is money and it surely is. Put some monetary value over your time and you will see how it affects your productivity.
- Always prioritize your tasks. Everyday you will have a list of tasks, you need to complete by end of day. Prioritizing them will make you a far more productive.
- Use tools like Asana, Slack, Trello to manage your work and get things done easier way.
Networking is important
Yes, all the bloggers in the same niche are working for driving same traffic, yet networking with them will make you stronger. Find influencers in your niche. Exchange ideas with bloggers. Help them and get helped from them.
You never know, one link from some blog to yours can put smile on your lips.
Learning should never be stopped
Learning is must as it makes us what we want to become.
Yes, focus on your blog day and night but spare some time to read popular blogs in your niche everyday. It will help you analyze on what points your blog is lacking, what’s holding you back.
Learning is the only way to improve and if you don’t improve, you don’t grow.
Wrapping it up!
So guys, blogging is not a one night investment, it is an ongoing process where you will always need to be committed. Learn from others’ mistakes. You are definitely going to fail far more times than you imagined, but if you’re committed, success won’t be too far.
Author: Prince Kapoor is Independent Marketing Analyst and Blogger. While not working, you can find him in gym or giving random health advises to his colleagues which no one agrees on :D. If you too want some of his advises (on health or on marketing), reach him out at @imprincekapur