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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?