I have been blogging for over seven years now, which means that I’ve been making mistakes for a long, long time. A lot of them.
That’s what experience is: the ability to make a lot of mistakes, and to learn from them.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 9 most important tips you must know if you’re just starting out.
You know, so you don’t make the same mistakes I did all these years.
1. Invest in a custom domain.
Your blog’s identity resides there. It’s what readers type when they want to show someone this cool article they’ve stumbled upon.
If your blog is “whatever.wordpress.com” some folks might not notice or care, but most will think of you as unprofessional, a dabbler of sorts, someone who might quit two weeks from today.
Nothing lets the Internet know you’re here to stay than a proper domain for your blog.
Oh, and I do wonder what search engines prefer to rank higher? Hmmm… tough question.
2. Chose your niche.
Choose the topic of your blog with care and consideration.
Your blog should mirror your passion and knowledge on a certain subject, not be about anything, everything, and nothing at the same time.
A lot of bloggers set themselves up to fail by writing about a bunch of random stuff, half of them being about topics no one else really cares about, and then they delude themselves into thinking that either:
- they don’t really care about readers
- the world is unfair and all the good bloggers never become popular
Also, you need to know whether you will be able to consistently post on the topic or not.
3. Consistency over quantity.
It is better to post once a week, but do it every single week, on the same day, at the same hour, than it is to post three times this week, once next week, no posts the week after that, and four posts after that.
Focus on consistency and quality, not quantity. These are the blog posts that keep your readers engaged and makes them come back.
Also, it is easy to blog a lot in the first few weeks of your blogging journey. However, delivering high quality content day after day after day gets more difficult as time progresses and ideas dry up, which is why it’s better to hold out a bit.
Schedule posts in advance. Always keep at least enough blog post ideas in your Drafts to last you an entire month if needs be.
4. Blogging is hard work.
People start a blog and think it’s easy.
You know who thinks like that?
Folks who have no idea what blogging is all about.
Blogging can feel like a time consuming, never ending task. Blogging is not just content creation, but also promotion.
You also need to network with other bloggers, work on your visual layout, on your social media profiles, and a bunch of other stuff.
If only there were a checklist that could help you with that.
5. Learn, learn, learn.
Invest some time in learning everything there is to know about blogging.
Learn, because there is a lot to learn, and there’s so much competition that only being genuinely an expert in this field will ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
6. Every single person knows something you don’t.
The moment you think there’s nothing new to learn about blogging, that’s when everyone else starts to surpass you.
Trust me, I thought I knew it all. I was wrong. So wrong, in fact, that I am now working double time to make up for this error in thinking.
7. Expectations are going to break your heart.
Do not expect an easy ride when you blog.
You can do your very best and still fail.You can write your heart out and still no one comments on your post.
There will be days that will have you banging your head against the wall, not knowing what to post.
There will be days filled with doubt, anger, petty frustrations, and a burning desire to delete the damn blog, and never punch those damn keys again.
Also, be ready for this: it is going to take you longer to reach the number of readers you want than your worst estimates.
Because blogging is way more difficult and complex than you think when starting out.
8. Your blog’s success is determined by how much you sacrifice.
Since all this hard work is going to use up your time, you have to be prepared to give up on some thing.
For those that have a full time job – your personal life might be impacted. Or your sleep. Maybe some of your other passions or interests will be affected.
You must carefully decide what is the price you are willing to pay in order to become successful as a blogger.
9. Practice makes perfect.
I am Romanian, which means English is not my first language.
When I first started blogging, I’d struggle to write a few hundred words a day, and call them a blog post.
Let’s just say that I can write a lot more than that.
Do not view your present skill level as being final. It is not.
Blogging is a skill and an art, and you can become better.
It’s all just hard work: coming up with the perfect headline, formatting your post, writing that killer ending line.
As they say, practice makes perfect.
What about number ten?
What do you think is an important blogging tip that a lot of beginners would benefit greatly by knowing about it?