I started blogging when I was 13, that’s nearly 5 years ago, and I knew practically nothing about blogging in general. All I knew was that I wanted to write stuff for people to read, and WordPress made it easy for me to create a free online blog. I had never heard of SEO’s, affiliate marketing, hyperlinks or HTML codes, and my grammar wasn’t the best either.
During these 5 years I learned a lot and made some real progress, which all paid off. I’m proud of myself for the progress I made but there are still a few things I wish I knew before I actually started blogging. I’ve listed them below and I hope it helps you out too!
1. Treat your blog as a business (from the beginning)
I started my blog during summer break, because I had so much free time and simply didn’t know what to do. I spent weeks to get my blog up and going and it all went well until I had to go back to school. To be honest, I neglected my blog for a year, if not longer, and it took me really long to get motivated again. Not posting regularly from the beginning is also the reason you’re probably not getting the amount of traffic you hoped for. That’s why it’s better to treat your blog like a business from the beginning, even when you don’t plan on making money. This will keep you motivated and inspired, and it will definitely pay off.
2. Do your research
This one probably speaks for itself, but doing good research is important. You don’t have to spend an entire day researching a topic you want to post about, just make sure you know what you’re saying and that it’s all valid (just imagine writing a DIY- face mask -tutorial and you’re telling your readers to put lemon juice on their face…Hell no! ).
3. It’s okay to compare yourself to other bloggers
I’ve searched the web, and a lot of people were discouraging new bloggers to compare themselves with other bloggers. I have to disagree on this though, because what’s wrong with comparing yourself to bloggers and influencers you look up to? I mean, that’s why they’re called influencers right? Yes, it’s wrong to compare yourself too much or take over original ideas from others. But as a blogger, you have to know your position in the blogging community. You have to compare yourself with others to find out what your blog is lacking, this is the only way to really improve your blog in order to get more traffic and become successful.
4. It takes time to grow
This might be the most important one yet. When you’re in the start-up phase of your blog, it’s easy to get demotivated because you’re not getting any traffic. But get this: there are over 1 billion websites online. Nearly 75 million of them are WordPress blogs, and yours just came on top of that. It takes time to grow your blog, create awareness and stand out. Finding out how you want to position yourself online takes time, but it is one of the most important steps to walk through when you’re starting a blog.
Melyssa Griffin has taught me everything I needed to know about blogging with her free online workbooks, templates and sheets. If you’re new to blogging, I recommend checking out her website. You’ll find loads of useful tips and tricks to get started!
5. Connect with readers
Seeking contact and staying in touch with (frequent) readers is so important. Your readers choose to read your blog so you have to keep them satisfied. It’s pretty similar to customer-relationships. Seeking contact with your readers can be as easy as ending your blog post with a relevant question, this will invite your readers to place a comment. Also important: staying in touch. Don’t forget to reply to the comments you receive, and take the time to check out other blog posts (and comment!).
As your blog is growing, you’ll have to deal with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is all about getting your blog posts on the 1st page of Google Search results. To end up there, you have to use certain keywords in your posts to show Google your content is actually relevant and helpful for the searcher. There are a million guides out there that will teach you every single thing you need to know about SEO, so it’s definitely worth it to take the time and do some research.
7. Content calendar
This is probably the simplest but most useful tip ever: make a content calendar. This way you’ll know exactly when to post what, and you can plan ahead. It’s not even necessary to use a real calendar, just write down the days of the week on paper and fill it in! It’s as simple as that and will save you lots of time and stress.
8. And finally, blog because you love it!
Many people think that blogging is the way to become successful, make money online and become an influencer. That all seems really great and it’s not entirely false, but it’s not the spirit you should have when you start blogging. The only way a blog can become successful is when you actually put an effort in it. And the only way you can keep up the effort is to write about what you love.
If your only intention is to make money fast, you’re not gonna get there and might as well give up already.
All in all, having a blog is fun but it does take time and effort. Make sure that you love what you’re doing and you’re actually still enjoying it, that’s the key to making your blog successful!
P.s. here are a few tips to help you create great content:
- Before you publish anything, ask yourself: Am I so proud of this post that I’m ready to show it even to my enemy?
- Subscribe to Neil Patel’s email-list and learn everything you need to know about online marketing.
- If you’re not already active on Pinterest, get on there! Pinterest is full of ideas for blog posts, improvements and motivational quotes. You might even find free worksheets that’ll help you out!
- New to SEO or never heard of it at all? Read this beginner’s guide to SEO and become a pro!