I often ask myself this question: “If I had known how hard blogging for a living is, would I have ever started?” The answer is probably yes, but in all honesty, I just wish I knew some things in advance of starting. Here are those ten things…
Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging Before I Started
10 – It Takes Time
One of the biggest problems for anyone who starts a new blog is they don’t see readers or subscribers to the likes other people have straight away. 99% of all bloggers start with no readers, then work their way up. The other 1%? They probably had subscribers to an old blog or social media accounts with lots of followers.
9 – Cumulative Interest
This attaches to number 10. Over time, the more you blog the more readers you will earn. Remember that most people will find your blog via the search engines, but you need that content to appear in the search engines. So blog often and blog well.
8 – Idea Generation
This is one of the hardest parts of blogging. Finding ideas for things to blog about is something I really struggled with at the start. So what I did was (an idea I got from another blogger) start to carry around a notepad and whenever I had a thought of an idea I jotted it down. These days I have notepads full of ideas.
7 – More Than Money
Sure, the money with blogging can be good, but you soon realise it is not about that. It’s about the notoriety of being known or being asked to give talks on blogging. It is those sorts of things that don’t bring in any money that is the most valuable.
6 – Skill Set
So you think you are a good writer and could easily start a blog? Well, think on, because the skills you need to keep a blog going are much more than that. You will need to be a coder, graphic designer. video maker, SEO marketer and even a social media expert! But don’t worry too much, those are the skills you will easily learn along the way.
5 – Haters Gonna Hate
For me, it is the grammar police that is the hardest to deal with. Face up to this fact and you will be fine: Not everyone will like your blog and are mean enough to tell you so!
4 – Guest Blogging
This is harder than you might think. In the early years, money is a real issue, so when a company or marketing agency comes up to you and offers you a cash sum to post an article that doesn’t relate to what your blog is about and doesn’t suit your style it can be hard to say no. But do try to not sell out too much. The odd guest article (that is suitable for your blogs readers) is fine, but remember not to upset the apple cart too much.
3 – Highs and Lows
Stats are something that you will pay far too much attention too. A number of readers, where, when, how many pages. When the simple fact is none of that really matters! Do you have readers? Then you are doing something right! Times of the year like Christmas and New Year will affect your readership levels. Even the weather can affect how many readers you get. My advice is to relax and don’t worry too much about it. Stats will go up and down all the time, day in, day out. As long as those regular readers are still with you, nothing else matters.
2 – Costs
Sure, you can start a wordpress.com blog for free, but it is not long till you want to spread your blogging wings and fly the coop (so to speak). It is that moment things start to cost money. Domain fees, hosting fees, themes, plugins and even mail shots. They all cost money, but you have to see it as a long-term investment. Blogging is not a quick buck race, you need to think long-term in every aspect of it.
1 – Consistency
This is the single hardest part of blogging, but also the most important one. You need to blog Consistently no matter what that consistency is! If you blog once a week, then make sure you do. Blog a few times a week, then next week make sure you do the same. You have to see it from your reader’s eyes. If you turned up at a pre-arranged meeting spot and the host is a no-show how annoying would that be? Treat your blog like a soap-opera and make sure it is constant and people will get to the point where they feel they would miss it if you didn’t post.
I hope these tips haven’t put anyone off blogging, as it is a great way for people to express themselves and their skills. If you have anything to you wish to add to this list please do leave it in the comments below and show other bloggers the joys (and pains) of blogging.