Hey, awesome bloggers-to-be! Apparently, some of my readers are missing the time when I was writing more on blogging for beginners. Well, your wish is my command!
Today, I'm gonna share with you a lot of my own blogging experience. Despite all the hours and learning curve I've put in my first 6 months of blogging, a lot of mistakes were made on the way.
So, if you're at the start of your blogging adventure, you may want to give this article a profound read. Hopefully, it would you tons of time and frustration.
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
Quite frankly, if you ask 10 experienced bloggers for advice, you'll receive 10 different responses. And that shouldn't be surprising.
Just because people are different. Therefore, no 2 blogging journeys are exactly the same.
Related: Why You Should Start Blogging Online
Even more, when creating a site, every single blogger has his own goals he's hoping to achieve. Some people just need to be heard. That's why their blog is never meant to be more than a hobby, a place where they can share their vision with the world.
But I'm not here to talk about that. On the contrary, my desire today is to help those of you who are determined to build a business.
In other words, this post will be focused on all the things I would have done differently when starting a money-making website from scratch.
Basically, it means that as a newbie blogger you have no idea what you're doing yet! No worries, though, that's the way it's supposed to be.
Let me ask you:
What was your initial reaction when the thought of becoming a blogger passed through your mind for the very first time?
Personally, I laughed at myself for a couple of minutes. I mean, me - blogger? What the hell do I know about that?
Long story short, if that statement is painfully familiar to you as well, here is the good news:
Above all, it's natural to be afraid of doing things you know nothing about. Especially, activities that will require tons of your time and efforts. Not to mention, who can tell if you'll ever find any success?
Now, I hope you won't mind me talking about those super-duper successful bloggers for just a minute longer.
Related: Top 10 Most Successful Blogs
A while back, when I decided to give the whole blogging thing a try, a started with a lot of research on the topic. I was determined to find the real facts and is it really possible to make a living as a blogger.
Naturally, I wanted to trace how the journey went specifically for the people who've found huge success with their websites.
That being said, no matter how different all of them may be, I found a common theme:
To sum up, all of those 4, 5, and 6-figure bloggers couldn't stress enough how important is to get the proper blogging, marketing, and business education first.
In other words, no matter what you think you know about building a money-making website, you'll need professional help to guide you on your way.
Moreover, you can only benefit from the knowledge and experience of the people who are already where you really want to be as well.
So, professional education was the first thing I focused on.
If that is something you would like to dive in as well, check the results and testimonials of the online teaching platform that transformed me from an ordinary girl to a full-time blogger.
A quick heads up - it's FREE to join!
Now, even with the best education, you'll still mess up and make plenty of mistakes along the way.
Without further ado, here are the 10 things I wish I knew from the start:
Generally, every newbie blogger starts with a free theme. Considering your blog is not making any money yet, why should you pay for a Premium Theme when there are free ones you can use?
I thought so too. At least, for the first 3 months, I did.
Meanwhile, I did try not to dwell too much on some obvious facts:
Firstly, the options to customize a free theme are limited at best. For instance, it was a real struggle just to fit my header photo exactly how I wanted it to be.
Secondly, what about a gorgeous design, table of contents, featured posts, post grid, testimonials, lead generation, pricing table, star rating, click to tweet...?
In other words, all the fancy-pants material is out of reach with a free theme!
Actually, I can answer this question with another question:
How much does your time cost?
Instead of wasting countless hours to try and make your website presentable, isn't it better to use this time for the things that really matter?
Like producing valuable content, building a strong Social Media presence, driving traffic to your website, etc.
Ultimately, you'll buy a Premium Theme. At least, you'll if you look at your blog as a serious business and you treat it as such.
The way I see it, the sooner the better!
Personally, after long and in-depth research I found my perfect match - Thrive Themes.
In my opinion, no other paid theme can compete with them where high conversions rate and fast building of an email list are being concerned.
Related: Thrive Membership Review
But if you're not a fan of Thrive (can't think of a reason why!), the second best choice would be Elegant Themes.
To be honest, they also have a lot to offer. Still, I don't consider them nearly as good as Thrive Themes.
Ouch, the wound from this one is still open, still bleeding...
Don't get me wrong, Google SEO is still one of my main concerns. Above all, this is the biggest search engine in the world we're talking about!
However, to rank on its first page will take you a lot of time and hard work. Considering the colors of your site haven't even dried yet, do you think that Google will trust your blog just like that?
Nope, doesn't work that way! Eventually, it will, but not just yet.
We're still talking about blogging for beginners, remember?
So, what are you supposed to do in the meantime? What's the answer to the traffic question?
Pinterest. The one and only!
Related: How To Drive Traffic With Pinterest
In short, because it's much easier for a brand new website to increase its page views with Pinterest than with any other search engine or Social Media.
More importantly, the competition is way less than it is on Google.
Shamefully, I waited a bit too long to jump on Pinterest. Three whole months, completely wasted...
Currently, Pinterest is responsible for 80% of my traffic.
On top of that, once the Pinterest users start to actively engage with your content, your rankings on Google will improve as well.
To be completely honest, I didn't totally screw this one up!
Meaning, I was getting the right keywords research education, I had a killer keyword research tool at my disposal at all times.
As a result, I knew what I was doing in that department.
That being said, I did fine for the first couple of months, but I could have done better!
For instance, I went after too competitive keywords. Even when I knew that I'll have a much better chance to rank for the "low hanging fruit" ones instead!
Basically, because that's the only way to get decent rankings until Google starts to show you some affection.
And because it's better to rank higher for a keyword that has 30 searches per month than to not rank at all for a keyword that has 1,000!
So, you better not follow my example! Yeah, to be bold and a complete newbie is not a combination you would like to bet on.
Honestly, not working to build my email list from day 1 is what I consider my biggest mistake to date.
Even more, I was hearing that I need to do that over and over again. However, I did choose to ignore the most precious advice I've ever been given.
Eventually, I started to pay attention to the list building after about 2 months of blogging.
In short, because your email list is and always will be your most valuable business asset.
Firstly, because when Google's algorithm change, your rankings may suffer. Therefore, you'll probably lose potential leads and customers.
Secondly, Social Media may disappear and all your following will crash and burn to the ground.
But when you own an enormous email list, none of the above will matter. Because you'll always have direct access to your audience.
"If Social Media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel."
Personally, the only email service provider I trust and can't recommend enough is Convertkit. Incredibly easy to use, amazing value for money.
Now, wait a bit before you get mad at me!
Considering I'm a perfectionist freak myself, I can see why the above statement may not make a lot of sense to you.
That being said, just hear me out:
When you're just starting, there will be thousands of things to take care of. Therefore, you shouldn't waste countless hours in revising your content over and over again.
Let me tell you - when I was writing my first posts, all of them had between 120 to 180 revisions.
How crazy is that?
So, I was spending the whole day on a single article just because I wanted it to be the best piece of content that could possibly be.
Guess what, your audience doesn't care if you use the most sophisticated phrases out there, they care about the value you can bring for solving their problem.
“Done is better than perfect.” - Mark Zuckerberg
And that's what you should focus on!
Generally, I think that most of you will agree with me on the following statement:
When a website's pages are stuffed with ads, it's a big turn off for the readers.
Personally, if it takes me 7,8 clicks to close all the pop-ups and offers before I'm able to reach the content, you can rest assured that I won't be visiting that blog again.
I mean, I get it - we're all trying to monetize our websites. However, there are better ways to do so without tons of ads.
Simply said, because the first and foremost goal of your blog always has to be to help your readers, not to push them to buy.
Make no mistake, I'm not saying that you shouldn't go for any ads at all. But the ones that you have are not supposed to suffocate your audience.
In my opinion, affiliate marketing is a much better option for monetization. Especially when your current situation can be best described as blogging for beginners.
For example, if you write a product review, leave an affiliate link for your readers.
Subsequently, it will be their choice to visit that product's sales page or not!
To sum up, the best way to grow as a blogger is through trial and error.
Meaning, you shouldn't stick to a program or strategy just because it's working for somebody else. A much better option is to try different things until you find what will work best for your website.
On that note, I found very early on that on many occasions a tiny detail can do miracles for my business.
Quite frankly, to best explain what I have in mind I'll need an example.
As I already said, the biggest part of my traffic is coming from Pinterest. Naturally, I'm interested in everything that can help me in that department.
For instance, I can't complain about the number of new Pinterest followers I'm gaining every single day. Meanwhile, my Pinterest profile is not working alone to achieve that new audience.
Actually, it's getting extra help from Milo Tree.
Milo Tree is what prompts my readers to follow me on Pinterest directly from my website. And it's doing that with a simple slide-in that costs me $9 per month!
In other words, find the things that will greatly benefit your business and use them to the best of your website's advantage.
At the end, no matter what people say, it's OK to be a newbie blogger.
After all, every single 6-figure bloggers was an amateur at the start of his blogger journey.
Speaking of 6-figure bloggers, if you want to learn more about blogging for beginners, Alex and Lauren from Create and Go have a lot to say as well. You can find it here.
So, with a lot of work and efforts on your part, you'll get there as well.
If you're interested to become a successful blogger but have no idea how to do that, check My Top Recommendation.
Any questions or opinions on this article? It's what my comments section is for!
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