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A Year In Blogging: Here’s What I Know

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What I’ve Learned In My First Year Blogging

 

It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since I embarked on this crazy journey in the blogging world. I really didn’t know what would happen. My goal originally was to make money and create an online presence to make this happen. I had no clue how I was going to achieve this if I am being totally honest.

I have loved writing since I was a little girl. I came to the conclusion it was my best option after taking Marketing classes and realizing I didn’t see myself as a salesperson per say but perhaps it was a way I could help people and make money at the same time.

 

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Before You Start

Before launching my first blog I studied. I read every article I could find on blogging and how to start a blog. So when I started I had a blog that looked established.

I believe this is so important. Have the essentials on your blog which includes all the social buttons and content, content, content.

I wrote over 50 posts before I even shared my blog with the world. There is a learning process with blogging but it’s important to learn all you can on your own first.

 

Don’t Have A Plan? Get One!

 

A plan is so important and will avoid floundering. Your plan will change often but having some idea about what you hope to achieve is important.  I didn’t really have a plan and it is only now making itself known to me. However, I did know a few things. I knew who I was writing for originally. In my opinion, that is the most important question to ask yourself.

Look At Me!

Writing good content is so important and we think that we will write something amazing and people will read it. There is no guarantee of this and I believe this is where people feel like giving up. We spend way too much time lost in the obsession of page views. Within the first few months, my page views were amazing, I was pulling in 400-700 views a day.

I looked at the stats all of the time and unfortunately, I found it hurt my blog more than it helped. The Internet is a fickle bitch. You can be up at 700 one day and 50 the next. I think what happens is we start writing for the views and this is bad. What winds up happening is everybody is writing the same thing and we lose our unique voice.

 

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The Blog Tribe

So this is probably the point in which you say I am full of crap. I don’t believe in the Blog Tribe. There I said it. I kept reading how beneficial it was to form a group with others in your Niche and helping each other. While I believe forming relationships in your niche is great and can lead to opportunities, forming a tribe really didn’t work for me.

People come and go so frequently in this world. I formed a small group and it didn’t last. There is a lot of cliqueing in blogging and I figured out that wasn’t for me at all. I have one really great friend in my niche but aside from that, all of my blogging friends range from Marketing to Mom bloggers because everyone can help you. Networking should surely be part of your plan but be open to bloggers in a bigger range.

SEO And Such

You absolutely have to learn some basic SEO including keyword research , placement and even some HTML coding. SEO is important even if you are just telling the stories of your life. There is no other way to be visible in the big pool.

HTML is important because knowing how to make simple fixes to your website is so much easier than asking for help every time something goes wrong. It will happen a lot. I know when I had blogger there was a lot of HTML I had to do myself so when other things came up it was so useful.

 

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Social Media

Social media is 80 percent of blogging. I believe many don’t get it or don’t want to but it’s true. At first, it will drive you crazy because it’s so time-consuming so here are a few things that helped me.

 

 

Get a scheduling tool. I use Hootsuite and Tailwind. Engagement is key to being successful online but you can get lost in the posting. Figure out where you get the most traffic and focus on them primarily but don’t leave the others out. Facebook and Pinterest are my top two but I also get traffic from Twitter and  so I schedule my time accordingly

You have to help and talk to others. Engage with other’s content. I see so many just dumping their links and never doing for others. The fact is you gotta give to get. If you don’t help, no one will want to help you either. Keep in mind that help may not be as you expect either. Sometimes it can be a referral or a link back.

Facebook

The mighty f-word! I did like so many others. When I found out about the groups I joined as many as I could and thought the big groups were the best. Eventually, I was spending the entire day on Facebook. One of the drawbacks I find in the big groups is too many fish!

I came to realize how important it was to have a strategy there and the different groups I needed to be in. There are basically three types. There are dumping groups, Mastermind groups, and thread groups. I belong to about 50 groups yet am only active in a handful.

Dump groups are those groups that generally are really big and not monitored where people just share their links. Knowing the best time to do this is essential because I find people don’t really scroll too much and your posts get lost.

 

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Mastermind groups are those that are about engaging in the effort to help each other and brainstorm ideas. Whenever you can help someone with a problem, you should. It’s a great way to network, learn and build authority with other bloggers. One I really like is Bloggers Mastermind

Thread groups are great for Social Media support. I always find two threads a day. They are great for the sharing and because there are mandatory rules.  You should also join groups that are niche specific, this is a good way to reach an organic audience.

I started my own group a few months ago and all of us should appreciate the challenges. Group managers don’t really get anything more from it than you do and it is a lot of work we do for free. When I realized my group wasn’t going to be huge, I decided to make it a little different.  I do the threads of course but there is a lot of social interaction in my group. You can find it here Crazy4blogging

As bloggers, we tend to forget Facebook is about the conversation and it always has been. Think about your personal page and how you get your friends to interact with you. You want to do the same thing when posting.

 

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I  have learned a lot in a short time and it has been a great experience. I learned things I never thought I would and connected with people from all over the world. That’s the great thing about the Internet. What was your first year like?

 

The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

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54 Comments Write a comment

Writer And Coffee Addict Living The Blog Life

54 Comments

  • klaudia October 16, 2016

    I really like that post ! No bla bla , no chi chi , just the way it is. I can relate to all of this , as we went that path more or less together, thinking back when we started communicating for the very first time …. what did we know about all that ?! Not a lot , and look at us now . Still here , still bogging , still not rich (LOL) but on the right track. I agree with your opinion about the ‘tribe thing’ , it might work for some , but not my cup of coffee either. Looking forward to reading your second aniversary post in october 2017 , and so god will , I might remember my own blogging aniversary day.
    klaudia recently posted…Paraben dangers – Why are parabens bad in body & baby care products ?My Profile

    • Heidi October 16, 2016

      god willing right, you are so funny!

  • aish das-padihari October 16, 2016

    Right now, most of my traffic comes from Facebook. I do post on Twitter and Instagram, but they don’t benefit me that much. Pinterest does bring some traffic as well. But I’m still at a stage with blogging, where I have to promote my stuff aggressively to get attention and there is so much to learn.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    • Heidi October 16, 2016

      I do too aish, I just developed a system that saves time and is more effective for me.

  • Jennifer October 17, 2016

    My first year wasn’t as planned. I posted haphazardly as I figured out templates and WordPress and all the other things that go with it. The second year was better and this year, I feel like I’m really starting to make some progress.

  • leana October 17, 2016

    well done Heidi you are doing a very good job. your success is a very good example of hard work and great passions. i think to become a successful blogger you need commitment and mindset. without commitment and mindset you never succeed. thanks for sharing this useful post. keep it up

  • Erika Ravnsborg October 17, 2016

    IT’s true. You learn a lot when you blog. That’s what I find.

  • Jennifer Kelly October 17, 2016

    Happy 1 Year Heidi! You are amazing in every way!
    Jennifer Kelly recently posted…Motivation Monday – Monday Mingle #1My Profile

    • Heidi October 17, 2016

      Thanks for putting that in writing:)

  • Eugene Uttley October 18, 2016

    Hi. I love how wry you are about the internet is fickle and blogging friendships are fleeting… just the truth. This is a great post. Cheers.

    • Heidi October 18, 2016

      Thanks Eugene! Thanks for reading

  • Christine Tatum October 18, 2016

    That was awesome! Now you tell me I should of had 50 posts before sharing any! 😳😳 I guess I like floundering. Lol!
    Christine Tatum recently posted…My PredicamentMy Profile

    • Heidi October 18, 2016

      That was just me, the idea was to look like a operating website

  • Amie October 18, 2016

    I just really can’t seem to get on with my Facebook page. Maybe I need to try integrating with groups etc a bit more. I’m just learning at the minute but I’m pleased with the building traffic I am getting now 🙂 #bigpinklink

    • Heidi October 18, 2016

      honestly the groups are the way to go, I don’t see much with my facebook pages either

  • Jessica October 18, 2016

    This is a great post. I am a fairly new blogger and trying to navigate through the blogging world. I always appreciate reading a post that is informative but real. Thanks for sharing! #BigPinkLink

  • Roy Miller October 18, 2016

    I found it interesting that you wrote 50 post before you published your blog. Looking back on mine, that might have been a good idea to do. I need to checkout Tailwind.

    • Heidi October 18, 2016

      Thanks. Tailwind is awesome

  • Beth October 19, 2016

    Your group has helped me learn so much but also feel like I had a support group. Thank you for all the time you put in, it doesn’t go unnoticed! Now to follow your tips! Blogging is so much more involved than I ever imagined!
    Beth recently posted…Mom’s Butterscotch Pie Recipe and Ellie’s Halloween CostumeMy Profile

    • Heidi October 19, 2016

      It is and I’m glad Beth that is really what I’ve tried to acheive there

  • Divya @ Eat Teach Blog October 20, 2016

    I absolutely love writing (I’ve been blogging for 4 years now), but I think I struggle with the engineering aspect. The SEO and HTML and all the acronyms. I have no idea how to start navigating through it all!
    Divya @ Eat Teach Blog recently posted…Things I’m Loving Thursday #10My Profile

    • Heidi October 20, 2016

      The nice thing about WordPress is you don’t have to do too much HTML. Seo well yes. Yoast helps alot but knowing about keywords is important especially in your titles

  • Nena Lega October 20, 2016

    One year, but you sound like an expert:) I am currently working on finding a method that is more time-efficient for me as well. This is the second time I hear of Tailwind so I have that one on my list to check out. Thank you for the great insight!

    • Heidi October 20, 2016

      Definitely not an expert but thanks. Tailwind is awesome and free up to 100 pins

  • Jamie Barrera October 21, 2016

    Good Stuff! I just started blogging and I really enjoy it, I mean how awesome is it to read all of the cool things fellow bloggers have to say? Thanks for sharing and congrats on one year!

    • Heidi October 21, 2016

      Thanks and welcome to our crazy world! If you need any help let me know

  • Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum October 23, 2016

    I haven’t quite finished my first year of blogging but I do know its one of the best decisions I made. I haven’t done it for money or fame but just wanted a little outlet, away from just being ‘Mummy.’ I’ve now found a wonderful community of bloggers that I would have never known about if I hadn’t started this crazy journey and have found a passion for writing and photography again. I do wish I had done a little more research about some things first though as I just jumped in with very little knowledge. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  • Sheri October 28, 2016

    I haven’t been on this site in forever! It is nice to hear a out your blogging journey so far. I am almost a year in and did the complete opposite….no research prior to starting, no groups, had never heard of Pinterest and posted my wrote my first post a week after buying the domain. Lol.

    • Heidi October 28, 2016

      I think most people do it that way and we pick it up quick ,don’t we? Thanks for reading

  • Lennae Stubbs October 28, 2016

    Great post and well done on the one year anniversary of blogging! I’ve never really thought to use pinterest much for my blog, I might look into it. Thanks for sharing.

    Lennae xxx
    http://www.lennaesworld.com

    • Heidi October 28, 2016

      Thanks, I felt the same, I would take a course because there definitely is a strategy that works.

  • Amber Myers October 28, 2016

    I know having a tribe has helped me a lot too!

    I always use social media. But yes, like you mentioned, the internet can be fickle. Somedays my page views are amazing! And then the next day, maybe 100 people stop by. Ahh well.
    Amber Myers recently posted…Why My Daughter Loves The YouTuber DanTDMMy Profile

    • Heidi October 28, 2016

      We get too wrapped up in pageviews and expecting too much too soon, thanks for reading

  • Beth October 28, 2016

    Congrats on one year! I celebrated one year in September so I can relate to this post quite well. Social media drives much of my traffic, but I work really hard on SEO and have been successful at organic traffic too. It’s great to read a post from someone who has had similar experiences and is in a similar place!

    Beth || http://www.TheStyleBouquet.com

    • Heidi October 28, 2016

      Thanks Beth, it has definitely been a learning experience.

  • Julie Maloney October 28, 2016

    I’ll look into your group. I love the groups not only for the engagement but I learn a lot from these people and use it in my daily life. Congrats on a year!

    • Heidi October 28, 2016

      Thanks Julie, yes my group is a little different, we do the usual blogging things but we are more of a close knit friends kinda deal

  • Roxy October 28, 2016

    Congratulations on your blogaversary! It’s crazy how fast time flies when you’re having fun. I wish you many more years of blogging success!

    • Heidi October 28, 2016

      Thanks so much, god willing:)

  • Shane October 28, 2016

    Great learnings! I think beyond the SEO and promotions, having a community you can count on is so key to blogging success! Cheers to many more years!

  • Janine October 28, 2016

    I am part of so many groups, but have now narrowed it down to only a select few that I actively used as I just don’t have time in the day. I write a ton and find social media truly does generate traffic, but for me it is mostly Flipboard, Facebook and Pinterest. Automated stuff I haven’t done yet, but will once I get my blog to a certain level. Mind you, it’s only 3 months young 🙂

    • Heidi October 29, 2016

      I love Flipboard too, I have had a few posts go viral there. Thanks for reading

  • Dana October 29, 2016

    My first year of blogging was a lot of trial and error to see which theme I liked, what social media platforms worked best, and what niche I was going to focus on.

    • Heidi October 29, 2016

      Yes it totally is, thanks for reading

  • Valerie October 29, 2016

    I love this. When I started I just jumped in . If only I had planned better.

    • Heidi October 29, 2016

      We all think of these things in hindsight. Thanks for reading

  • Jemma October 31, 2016

    Congratulations on your first year of writing your blog! Here’s to many more.

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  • Carlton January 27, 2017

    Hey Heidi,

    Definitely enjoyed the post and love how real you are. I’ve also tried to establish relationships with others in my niche and only managed to get what may qualify as one. Anyhow thanks for sharing your real thoughts much appreciated.

    • Heidi January 28, 2017

      Yes I have always had a tough time with that and concentrated just making relationships with bloggers period. Thanks for your kind words

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