Blogging is a challenge. Over the years, I have created and dumped a lot of blogs, and all that trial and error has added to my experience. Still, I can’t help but feel a tinge of regret thinking if I knew what all I know now, my blogging journey would have been very different. I am sharing my experience now to help other new bloggers in their blogging journey.
Here I go:
I understand that free hosting is attractive but in the long run, you will desire more control over your site and free hosting won’t cut it anymore. You need to opt for paid hosting with trusted companies like GoDaddy and BlueHost. WordPress as a content management system is recommended.
The blog design makes or breaks the impression. Most new bloggers opt for free themes and granted, some free themes from reputed providers are commendable but again, free themes leave your blog unprotected from malicious attacks. When choosing a theme, focus on user interaction and interface. You wouldn’t want the visitor getting lost reading the blog, right? The Genesis platform and child themes are recommended.
It’s true. Content is no more the king, the position is usurped by marketing. If you can’t market your blog, it will be rendered useless. Choosing between free and paid marketing options is your call entirely. Even if content is considered the king, marketing is the queen and we all know, a queen is always important!
The blogging industry is like a big family and not isolated islands. You need to get out and promote yourself and social media is the best bet. Start with one platform at a time. Go to Facebook and connect with bloggers. Join groups and interact on pages. Such activities help to build blog value and develop long-term connections.
If you’re stuck with something, don’t sulk or give. Instead, go out and ask for help. When I started blogging, I wanted to do everything on my own. While there is nothing wrong with this attitude, it calls for a high learning curve and if you’re juggling jobs and blogging on the side, you’ll lose patience quickly. Therefore, when in trouble, ask other bloggers to help.
Every blogger experiences this. We login to Google Analytics or Jetpack to check blog traffic every few hours. I can certainly understand the excitement but frankly, you’re wasting valuable time. Staring at the stats won’t improve it. Instead, focus on taking actionable steps to improve traffic building.
Whoever says you just need to invest an hour daily to make blogging a success is either a big fat liar or has a team of people working behind the blog.
Blogging is mind-bogglingly time consuming. You never know when the time passes away. There are simply a lot of things to do. You act as the writer, networker, administrator, moderator, PR person and to top it all, you have to strategize blog monetization.
The best bet is to compartmentalize all activities and dedicate time slots to accomplish all.
This should on your priority list. From the day the blog goes live, embed a subscription form. Use MailChimp or Aweber; both are recommended. If you want to make money from blogging, you need to have an active list of email subscribers.
Another point to note here is that don’t bombard the subscriber list with product and/or service offers in every email. You will certainly lose subscribers. Build a connection, a relationship with the subscribers. They should trust your judgment and only then you can build money from an email list.
If you want the blog to enjoy organic traffic, employ on-page SEO strategies with very blog post. On-page SEO strategies are those which are employed to improve the search engine ranking of a particular post. You can find a lot of on-page SEO literature online. To start off with the basics, ensure to place the primary keyword in heading, URL, content and Meta description.
A lot of bloggers first complain and later quit blogging altogether because their blog couldn’t get good enough traffic to earn even a penny. Whether you want to earn from advertising or PPC methods like AdSense, spend a lot of time learning keyword research.
Keyword research guides you with content development. It helps you target ideal readership and convert them into email subscribers, and monetize them in the long run.
There are a lot of other things which I still wish to have known before starting blogging but for you, these should suffice for now. Maybe I will write a follow-up post to complement this.