Let’s talk about blogging, how I got to blog, (although I am an engineer by education), and what have I learnt so far after countless years of blogging. I wasn’t sure about the number of things I want to share with you, because I always want to share so much, so let’s see 11 Things you should know before you start blogging.
My blogging experience started around 2008 (maybe a bit earlier). I can’t really remember the moment I discovered Blogger. That’s the platform from Google that people started blogging on. I was a beauty blogger at first. With the same dose of thoughts posts that I have today, but at a reduced frequency.
Years have passed and so did my passion for blogging. It never disappeared, but I think there were a few years that went by without publishing anything. School kept me busy.
But since 2017, I decided to publish regularly, and that’s what got me some constant traffic on my blog. And I learnt a lot about blogging in the past 3 years.
Still, I do realize how much I still have to learn. As everything else, blogging too is a learning process.
What are the 11 Things you should know before you start blogging?
1 Choose a niche before you pick a domain name
As I already wrote about my beginnings as a blogger, I was rather confused about my niche (and I had no idea blogs have to be about niche stuff) and I just used my 7-grade nickname for my domain.
Of course, it was free to use it on Blogger, but even when I decided to pay for a domain, around 2016, I chose the same name.
And now I am stuck with JuliaSomething which has nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that it has my name in it. I guess it could have been worse. But SEO wise, terrible. I will discuss SEO later on, don’t get crazy on me.
2 Post consistently
One of the fundamentals of blogging is the work of writing and publishing.
As I already told you, I only started to publish constantly around 3 years ago, in 2017.
And what have I learnt from it?
The more content you publish, the better you become and the higher the chances of people landing on your blog.
3 Read other people’s blogs from your niche
If you want to stay competitive, you need to know what others are doing and what they are writing about.
Living in a bubble will keep you in a bubble. Take it from someone who still chooses to live in a bubble.
Research and make a list of blogs from your niche as early as possible. Read them, follow them, study them, and get inspired by them. Of course, try to choose the one that other people are reading too.
4 Look out for the trends and apply them
By reading other blogs and website, some trends will start to become more obvious. The way they ask for newsletter subscription, or how they compose the titles. Or perhaps it’s something with the theme they use, the platform they host their blog on.
What are the current trends from your niche?
I’m not talking necessarily about Google Trends, that’s for topics (and right not it’s all about coronavirus pandemic and it’s driving travel bloggers crazy).
5 Don’t expect that your friends you will read your EVERY blog
… Because they won’t. It’s a harsh reality, but you have to adopt this mindset, that your friends and family don’t care and are too busy to be bothered.
Don’t take it personally, they still like you (maybe), but they might not be so interested in your topics. And that’s ok.
Your friends are not your audience, so stop stressing them, because they will most likely get annoyed by your tactics and ignore completely after a while.
6 If you want people to read your blogs, then write useful information
People are all in a hurry, and most are using the internet to make their lives easier. Everything else falls in the bucket I don’t have time for this.
How do you write useful information? You research it.
See what people are reading on other blogs, what are they searching for online. Again, checking what the competition is doing, might give you an idea.
Many online tools give the exact keywords and phrases that people are searching for on Google, but that’s a HUGE topic ( and I will not start it here).
7 Typos make you look bad
Obviously, I am not a native English speaker. And I do make all kinds of grammar mistakes, I confuse words, and have tons of typos.
And it’s not good. People don’t want to take advice from someone who can’t write. That’s the truth. I use some paid tools to aid my typos and grammar, and even so, some mistakes manage to slip.
What to do? Read the blog post out loud, read it backwards, ask someone else to read it. Then you can buy tools to help you, but there’s no solution to a limited vocabulary.
8 Results take a long time
I’m so full of these bloggers that brag about their hundred thousand viewers after 2 months of blogging. That’s bullshit and I don’t trust them.
Blogging takes time.
Writing takes time, and it takes time for people to reach you. It takes time for Google to acknowledge your blog (and to decide if it show be shown to others). It’s a long process and I consider to be a beginner after all these years.
As with everything else, there’s no magic formula. And if someone is claiming otherwise, asking you money for some sort of course or service, it’s bullshit. Don’t waste your money.
9 Everything you need to know is already online (and free)
Yes, most courses are not full of information that you can’t find anywhere else but are merely an organized resource (but limited) of what’s already available online, for free. If you’re willing to look for them and do the work.
If there’s something you need to know, want to learn or that you’re struggling with, then there’s probably (at least) one forum/blog/resource available online.
10 Blogging is a lot of work
You have no idea. You either do it because you LOVE it, or it will be a waste of your time because nothing will come out of it if you are not willing to work for it. And blogging is a lot of work.
I tried to do some research for this blog post. I found out that a lot of people are asking things like how can I make $1k per month from blogging and how to make money from blogging and it made me laugh.
There are a few bloggers that started with a huge Instagram following and drive their traffic from there, or that are supported by some super big website (another huge talk that I will not open here).
But for most of us, the struggle is real and it sucks. Ever since the lockdown of the world happened, I’ve been kicked out of my job, have no extra income, and I’ve been blogging more than ever. It takes the entire day!!! (maybe I’m trying to drown my sorrows?!)
I will tell you a secret. Today I feel so tired from writing yesterday’s Travel bucket list post, and all I wanted to do was to sleep.
But I couldn’t because I had to write another blog today (it’s part of my personal challenge to blog daily for 30 days) and that’s how I got to write this post. A post that was supposed to be around 500 words so then I could go to sleep, but it got to over 1000. I sure talk/write a lot.
Which brings me to my next point…
11 Talk to a blogger
And ask them how blogging works.
You might be surprised to discover that it’s nothing like you have imagined, and it would be better to make this discovery before you waste months and years of your life building something.
I offer my humble help, as a blogger that still tries to make it, that blogs daily and is convinced that this is the only job she wants. That’s me!