Spend just as much time promoting that content as you did creating it. In an environment like that, you can’t just rely on your main keyword for the entire site and then keep creating your content around “whatever” loosely connected topic. Why? That’s why you need to experiment with different setups to find the one that’s a perfect fit. You wake up, excited for the day. And that's okay! Rather than watching newbie bloggers flounder like I did, I thought I would share a couple of things I wish I had known before I hit “publish” on my first post. It’s not a WordPress issue or anything. Influencer marketing is a hugely under-rated tactic. All fair questions, my friends. Select a checkbox to have WordPress installed automatically. But I, personally, wasn’t all too worried about hosting or anything server-related for the better part of my blogging journey and especially not when I was starting a blog for the first time. I’m not saying every post needs to sell something. 1. This is where you get to sell one-on-one consultation, premium multi-part courses, speaking appearances, real estate … you get the idea. If “good grammar” is the only thing you have going for you, you’ve lost. Over time, your email list will become your biggest source of traffic – and sales – if you treat it right. Here’s the in-the-nutshell version if you don’t have the time to listen to the entire episode + some tips of my own: Start by compiling a spreadsheet featuring all your posts (URLs are enough). If you don’t want to do this yourself, there are plenty of WordPress maintenance companies who will handle things for you…for a fee. Kristi Hines gives some great tips on forum marketing in her guide on Hiveage. It’s just a matter of networking, building strong relationships, and targeting your content to the people who can provide links. Get an email marketing platform like SendinBlue , or ConvertKit , if you don’t already have one. Just a few […] Then you go off and do whatever you want – your work is done for the day. I hope this resource has been insightful, and that it’s going to help you avoid some of the early mistakes that most bloggers make. Finding the right readership will be difficult. My good friend Aaron Orendorff talks about that exact problem during his interview on the Rebel Growth podcast. Once the group members know your face and like you, then you can share your own posts. CodeinWP stands for all-things-WordPress. On top of that, other things you actually don’t need at all – they’re just one more “shiny object” that looks cool but isn’t actually all that useful. Especially because, as those high-quality articles gather backlinks, they have more authority and increase the value of internal links (which I’ll talk about next). The more your network grows, the easier it becomes to promote your work, and the more opportunities naturally come your way. The problem with editing as your write is that it stops the flow of ideas, disrupts your creative thinking and makes storytelling harder. While you’re waiting for it to brew, you head into your home office to check your email. But I’m not taking a shot at the vast majority of WordPress developers – I’m just gunning for some of the bloated monstrosities you’ll occasionally find on ThemeForest. It will be harder to monetize your blog. For more info, Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media Studios wrote an excellent guide to internal linking. 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog. In other words, the only way to have good ideas is by having lots of ideas. Updating your old posts is one of those techniques that basically every blogger with experience speaks highly of. During my first year as a PhD student, I learned a lot about my new field. It becomes harder and harder to come up with unique content ideas. We don’t update all of our content this often. First, you know that the issue indeed is important to at least one real, breathing person – in other words, you have confirmation that a given problem doesn’t exist only in your mind. You develop more refined promotion tactics for your blog posts that actually require some planning. But as the saying goes, you never know until you try. You put on a pot of coffee. This is about paid vs free content. Tim Ferriss – a guy you might have heard of – also sees value in allowing himself some freedom in this regard. Let me show you something; this is one of our list posts on this blog – featuring some cool WordPress themes. But that’s a mistake. Watch a lot of videos. The guide was written based on our experience growing this very blog to 400,000 monthly readers. Become a loved member of the community. Raw information! You decided you want to start your own blog, went through a quick 'research' and probably even tried Wordpress. There’s a different degree of difficulty with keywords, and some will unfortunately be above what you can target in your first couple of years blogging. Most of our interaction with a computer happens via a keyboard, right? Looking back now, there are plenty of things that I wish I knew before starting a blog which would have made my journey I heck of a lot In a nutshell: Starting a blog? Please don’t skip reading this one! And you’re getting it for free. Ask yourself these four questions before you quit your job to start a business. That’s when I go to my competitors and…steal the keywords they’re ranking for. Read a lot. Most of the time, these comments are just angry people hiding behind anonymity. Now, obviously, there’s a lot more to SEO than I can explain in 250 words. “How to start a blog? Too much content that’s already quite optimized. But sometimes I’m feeling lazy and would rather have someone do the work for me. Sounds like a lot of work, I know, sorry about that, but there’s just no other way to do content publishing in the web landscape of today when starting a blog. If you want us to expand on any of the points discussed here, feel free to submit your questions below. Share other bloggers’ content, comment on their blog posts, follow them on social media, and send links and people their way. You know how there’s money to make on the internet. And it’s a must-have in today’s highly competitive world. The simple fact is that no one can predict the future. No one likes doing maintenance. Long story short, the faster hosting setup still got a better grade right out the gate than the slower hosting even after doing a range of optimizations to it. I really can’t emphasize this enough – security is one of the most important under-the-radar things when learning how to start a blog! Note that you don’t need an expensive camera for this when you’re just starting a blog for the first time. So grab a coffee and get cozy, we’re about to review everything we’ve learned in the past 8+ years. Don’t make my mistake. These people are the most likely to share and link to it, since they have a stake in it. Plus, the final effect won’t necessarily be any worse than if you had a pro designer or developer on the payroll. ), there's always that element of the unknown. This isn’t just a quick, “pop in and leave a link” strategy. Blogger, author of “WordPress Complete”. I’m sure you’ve heard of a lead magnet. Marketing Benchmarks From 7,000 Businesses, if our blogging team decided to go on vacation for a month, there's always a new angle, a broader or deeper scope, or a different format, certain things you either can't write about or must tread lightly on, The Pros and Cons of Blog Comments [+ Does It Matter for SEO? You have a great place to then promote that post once done. But who are “we” exactly, right? Am I … Does it matter whether you earned $10 or $12 via AdSense today? Just read his post and try to start applying the ideas to your writing – and don’t wait, do this right now as you’re learning how to start a blog for the first time. So what’s the point? Here’s an example of Quuu’s ROI on $10 spent: And that’s for a very small niche – RVing and campervans. I really mean that you should write down everything that you can think of that relates to the topic. And more importantly, you need to find a suitable niche that has the potential to make you money: I believe that passion is fueled by success – if you start making money with your blog, you’re more likely to keep going. Really, this one is a no-brainer, there’s no need for me to keep talking about this. In the end, building a blog is one of those things that seems simple in itself, but the gap between just doing it and doing it to its fullest potential is actually huge. Apart from that, if you have more devices, you can synchronize your content across all of them. With that particular post, I didn’t even have to answer it myself! In short, here’s what the steps are involved in starting a blog (we discuss them more in depth in the following chapters): * When you’re ready to buy your hosting, make sure to use the above link for Bluehost. Introduction. You need to develop thick skin. We have published more than 2000+ guides and videos on our YouTube channel to help you master the art of blogging. Don’t worry about him. That pull to be “liked” can cause you to try to make your blog appeal to as many different people as possible. But it also benefits you by showing off helpful content on your social media channels. I was able to get into a Slack group consisting of some of the most well-known marketers and writers on the web. As much as I would love for this not to be the case, not everything we publish remains evergreen indefinitely. Starting a blog is actually pretty easy. To start a successful blog, you need to both enjoy writing and understand digital marketing. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t all that I had to do. Go back and expand the list to top 30-50. But when starting a blog, you might find yourself even more productive in some dedicated blogging apps. They’re not alone, either. More specifically, let’s talk about how easy SEO really is, and the common mistakes people make when starting a blog. Don’t think one of the puppies you posted is cute. Maintenance itself doesn’t build your blog’s content, audience, or revenue. The cool thing about Buzzsumo is that once you write an article answering a common question, you can go to that forum where they asked and link back to the article. Internal linking is important for SEO, but it’s also important to help your readers get around your blog. Anyone can go and leave an answer. I was bringing my high school English repertoire to my blog, and that wasn’t good. After all, there are some pitfalls you might not be aware of. We’ve looked through all these companies in our research piece. Social media and blogging are two peas in a pod. Randomly picking topics based on what you think your readers might like is a lot like playing the lottery. Grab your readers’ attention to make them actually read the rest of your post. When building a post like that, make sure that you get to the core of your answer right away. Also, this gives you an indication of the type of keywords that might be related to the problem. But let’s just say that it took us some trial and error to get to that level. Send out a survey to your email list, or by using. Eight Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My WordPress Blog. It just needs to give your reader a “next step”. Because even though blogging is a long-term investment ... That's one of the greatest things about blogging. But before you just throw up some pictures of your products, find out the 3 things I wish I knew before starting an Etsy shop. You can use a tool like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to see keyword search volume and difficulty. Just sitting there, fully indexed by Google, and full of outbound links pointing to other websites using fun anchor texts like “louis vuitton bags” or whatnot. You’ll write emails, sales pages, product descriptions, copy for your website and ads, social media posts, and probably even articles for your blog. Blogs are unique in the way they work. For that reason, doing regular content audits is a great idea, and especially if you’ve had your blog online for more than 12 months – perhaps not the thing to worry about if you’re just learning how to start a blog for the first time, but still worth keeping in mind. While there are blogging platforms out there that allow you to build a blog entirely for free, they do carry a number of limitations: You’re stuck with the platform’s subdomain and can’t get your own domain name without paying a fee. 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog If you were thinking of starting your own blog, there are some things to consider (but by all means, start!). Years of experience have taught me that it doesn’t. But for now…. That way, even when just starting a blog, you can still get a ton of engagement. Yes – looking at analytics data over time is helpful. Here’s what you achieve when you do that: This is the exact thing we did with at least a handful of posts here: We’ve mentioned keyword research here already, but I wanted to open this can of worms for one more minute just to make sure that we’re all on the same page. No worries though, you’ll still pay the standard amount so there’s no cost on your part. I won’t rehash what Devesh said because he already laid it all out perfectly. They’ve heard about WordPress, its incredible popularity, excellent features and designs, and now they want to join the pack and build a WordPress website of their own. We did the testing for you. Save your blog from becoming a total flop. Here are the best places to share your new blog post: You probably saw this one coming after tip #15. I’ve been blogging since 2018 and let me tell you: it’s been a learning curve! Unless you’re running a huge ad campaign that requires real-time monitoring, these analytics don’t matter at all in your day-to-day life. Step two is to create content for (or rather about) those keywords. That’s because most people do social media all wrong. Then sites started abusing that and pushing out a dozen crappy articles a day. Has 2,500,000-words of experience publishing content. To learn more about designing great images, check out this guide (on creating images from scratch) or this one (on getting and then tweaking free images). You really do have a lot more important things to do when starting a blog. But there’s something you should be doing more often: I’ve mentioned this briefly above, but it deserves its own spot on the list, so here goes. Because most of the time you can’t even improve it by much anyway. Instead, focus on just the essentials, and get just one plugin per purpose. There really is not much more to say here … you really can learn how to start a successful blog and then execute on that knowledge by yourself. There’s just too much content and too little time to do anything else. This is a lesson I’ve learned in my study of SEO, and in how to create a blog in general. Work on making your post look great immediately before you hit the publish button. Just one click: Yes, it benefits us by improving our reach. Divide long text with headers and subheaders, Use bulleted and numbered lists to point out key information, Bold and italicize key points (but don’t use both at the same time), Add quality images (rule of thumb is to use one every 300 words or so), Use short paragraphs (no more than 3 to 5 lines at most – this helps with skimming and mobile reading). You’ve probably seen or heard of this before. Money comes from direct, targeted traffic. Quality over Quantity. Would rather read a PDF? Internal links are especially important when you’re starting a blog. So all-in-all a $6.47 profit. That’s me calling you to take action. It’s in-depth and gets you through all the important stages of developing an SEO strategy and executing on it which is very important when starting a blog. Ideas! I encourage you to set strict limits to avoid wasting time. Turns out, they did! How often to do the full audit? We’ve already talked about primary keyword research. Easy peasy. You should only pick the keywords that are both popular with people and ones that you’re also able to rank for. I wish someone would have sat me down and said … This is an extreme example. For a beginner blogger, this can be both a blessing and a curse: A blessing because putting emphasis on these components can set your blog apart, help it grow, and make it successful. Why Are My Emails Going to Spam? Think about it this way: Your blog isn't just a promotional tool for your business. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. The look of my website was an area that I struggled with. I too catch myself editing this or that as I write, but the key is to notice this and try snapping yourself out of it. And you can also get some more data-focused insights like: When first starting a blog, you put up a contact form because you think it’s something you need, even if you’re not expecting anyone to use it. It seems natural, it’s what we did when writing papers for school. Write first, edit later!”. Download the complete guide here: My income tripled almost overnight. Just recently, hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites were hacked as a result of a vulnerability that was actually patched before it was discovered by hackers. They use it as a publishing platform where they just push out their blog posts. Check out this guide on how to create an about section for your site. Eh, not quite. Seeing data visually helps readers process it quickly, and looks really nice in a post. III. There’s no coding knowledge required, no website-owning experience, and no design skills or whatnots. Google used to give some merit to sites with fresh content. With blogging, on the other hand, the content you create today will continue to generate results long after you first hit "publish." Now, I try to speak with readers, not at them. Join now (it’s free)! That’s OK – you can create animated videos so you never have to appear on screen. Occasionally, you will get a comment with a legitimate gripe that you should address. Use images to make your Quora answer stand out from all the other ones. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the art of optimizing your content in order to rank for certain keywords on search results like Google. But that’s not the best path to take. (Note: The 769 paid results are from a $5 test I spent just to see how well paid promotion does. Think of it this way, when you turn on the radio (if you haven’t moved to Spotify or podcasts completely yet, that is) what do you hear? Because I tested my form plugin via my admin account (which was excluded from seeing cached pages), I never ran into the issue in my testing. Download the complete guide here: * This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and then purchase the product, we’ll receive a small fee. You’re certainly in the right place! Luckily, you're not the first person to start blogging. So as it turned out, the email was sent to a random email address sitting on my main domain name – newinternetorder.com. And hey, if you ever need help, that's exactly why we created the free Blog Topic Idea Generator! You’re essentially borrowing (stealing?) You see, I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2017. This guide will give you a roadmap to getting from 0 to a fully functional eCommerce business. There was a problem, but it was a caching issue. Unless you can really find a niche audience and still have very strong posts around each topic, it’s just not worth it. Are swear words part of your personality? So we got two hosting setups, did the testing, and then optimized the lower-performing one via a couple of standard methods. I hope that helps you understand it. That got me an in. Staring at analytics is almost as addicting as your Facebook news feed. 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog . There was little planning and no direction. Long story short; this was the day I learned the value of reliable and high quality hosting. Maybe you win, maybe you don’t. Then, as you start to get a little bit of traffic, someone actually uses your form and sends you a message. For example, check out how Henrik at The Positivity Blog has two quick FAQ questions above his contact form: If your contact form plugin allows it, you can also use conditional fields to achieve much the same effect by asking users what their email is about before they’re allowed to send it. Even though grammar isn’t something you should be obsessing over, getting a quality post out the door and into the wild is still a process that needs to be thought through. Then, once you have the whole draft written, this is when editing can take place. There is a lot of things I wish I knew before I started this blog. Regardless of your niche, there are always new developments, new ideas, new things to write about, and also new things that relate back to your older content. I'm not going to act like business blogging is easy, because there are many ways in which it's not. There will never be a shortage of things to blog about in your industry. It takes a lot of time, investment, and energy. Create content that’s the best on the web for the topic and keyword you’ve chosen. Hopefully it will help extinguish some of the anxiousness you're feeling about "the unknown.". This goes deeper. All it takes is going to Quora, following a handful of topics that relate to your blog niche, and paying attention to the questions that people ask. For now, while it may sound intimidating, it’s actually a simple process that should be considered when starting a blog. Free, awesome stuff gets people through the door. Walk Before you Run First things first: There’s no quick way to become a successful blogger. A little of routine maintenance now will prevent big problems from happening later. Guest blogging is a strategy for getting backlinks and traffic to your site. Will people read my posts? Pro Tip: Add charts and graphs when relevant. Since making this series over a year ago, a lot of things has changed. Topics will come to you more easily, your writing will get stronger, you'll create content more quickly, and the results will follow. Even if you have 1,000,000 Instagram followers, that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make a ton of money off of a blog because people engage with different platforms differently. Reach out to them on social media or via email and just ask! Wasting your effort because of non-working pages sucks…but a little bit of testing can prevent that from happening. And while that can work, it usually doesn’t. I might catch some flak for this one. It’s basically something you offer your audience for free in exchange for their email, like an eBook, checklist, or worksheet. If you want people to engage with your blog, you should do the same. Trying something new for the first time can elicit a whole range of emotions. You won’t get this discount if you visit the Bluehost site in any other way than via the link above. Find keywords with a fairly low ranking difficulty around your niche. A content upgrade is like a lead magnet on steroids. Make an effort to update those every 3-5 months. Originally published Mar 10, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017, 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging. Many people wonder how to make a WordPress website. As a result, it’s easy to fly by the seat of your pants and still do just fine. The simplest way to monetize your traffic is to lead the ads to a blog post with a really strong content upgrade. And all they had to do was download their post as a PDF and offer it to their readers. I’d actually still consider spending some money to promote these, with one caveat: You need a way to monetize that traffic. It’s a common mistake to think that your best content should be reserved for your paid customers. You should do email outreach to influencers, write guest blog posts (some strategies), and even consider paid promotion like Facebook ads or Quuu Promote. By trying to appeal to everybody, you really just end up appealing to nobody (OK, nobody is a bit hyperbolic…but you get the point). It doesn't mean business bloggers should write scared -- it just means they have to be aware of the limitations and take the proper precautions. The content you publish on it is a product of its own that needs promotion, too! Bet anyone who starts blogging for HubSpot five years ago, we earn a commission much as I have! '' says HubSpot lead editor Corey Eridon your readers ’ attention to the who. 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