Blogging is More than a Full-Time Job (What I learned in 8 Months Blogging)
I’m about 8 months into blogging. My first post was September 15, 2019, and has it been a journey. Working in digital marketing, I thought I knew just about all there was about SEO and growing an audience, but I was wrong.
Growing a blog is challenging!
While I didn’t expect results immediately, I did expect it to grow after reaching the 6-month mark. Here are my thoughts on blogging and what it takes to become successful.
What it takes to Become an All-Star Blogger
I have learned so much since starting my blog. I’ve realized that there are a few key elements to becoming one of the “All-Star” bloggers.
When I first began my blogging career, it felt like a weird dichotomy of having to literally make friends with your competition to become successful in the game of SEO. I didn’t do much in terms of building relationships with other bloggers.
So why is it necessary?
If you have any intention of getting traffic through search engines, they rely on links. While I won’t get into the details of SEO, it’s all about links.
Building friendships with other bloggers will give you the potential to work with them and build links to your site.
In addition to the SEO and link building benefits, your blogger friends are more likely to share your content across their social media profiles, boosting traffic to your website.
Know the SEO Basics
SEO has evolved exponentially over the past 10 years.
There’s a saying that “the best time to start a blog was 10 years ago, but the second best time is now.”
Because SEO was so new, you could optimize your posts for some basic technical requirements to almost instantly rise to the top of search engines for your post.
It’s a lot different now (unfortunately). In today's SEO court, you’ll need to build links, optimize on-page requirements (think title and heading tags), build authoritative content, and maintain social media profiles.
Back in the day, there might’ve been 50 main algorithmic components. Now, there are perhaps several hundred, making it much more difficult to rank when you first get started.
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Create Quality Content
This might seem obvious, but creating the best content is required to become a premier blogger.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have an editorial team to keep your content meeting certain standards.
Instead, your content needs to have a voice. Your own voice. With so many bloggers regurgitating the same things, the only way to stand out is by giving it your own touch.
I struggle with this!! Until recently, I haven’t had much of a voice, but I’m looking forward to expressing my thoughts and opinions going forward.
Know Your Audience & Niche Down
The best bloggers write content for the people who read their blogs.
For example, some blogs are dedicated to a younger generation. Their content will contain info prevalent to that generation.
Similar to not having a voice, I didn’t have an audience. But I do now!! I want ANYONE looking to quit their day job to read and learn from my content. Not you? Get outta here!!! (Jk, jk please stick around)
How Much Time Does Blogging Take?
For those who claim blogging is passive income, I couldn’t disagree more. For existing blogs with thousands of posts and backlinks, this might be the case. But for newer blogs, this is extremely misleading.
Between creating new content, making connections with other bloggers, promoting your content on social media, normal maintenance to your website, and doing blog outreach to gain backlinks, it can easily become a full-time job of its own.
While working on increasing your productivity can help, there’s still a baseline of work required to maintain and grow your blog.
I have spent roughly 10 to 25 hours per week on the blog for the past 8 months. To be transparent, I have not made a single dollar off of this blog.
What I Learned
Here’s a list of some things I’ve learned since starting my blog.
You MUST Be Dedicated
If you expect to make money within the first 3 months of starting your blog, don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. I knew this to be the case before starting, which is why I still blog to this day.
At first, you’ll likely be writing to an empty crowd. Those who stick through this period are much more likely to succeed than those who blog on and off.
Starting From Scratch is Difficult
If you do not have any sort of following and are starting your blog from scratch, it’s going to take even more time to get rolling. Making connections with other bloggers in the community is vital for those starting from scratch.
Don’t Get Caught Up in Design and Details
When I first started blogging, I thought I might be capable of using my design skills to one-up my competition. But this is simply not true. There are so many poorly designed blogs that receive significantly more traffic than mine.
I’m not saying to avoid it altogether, but it shouldn’t be a priority.
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Blogging is not easy. You must be extremely dedicated if you ever wish to monetize your efforts. You'll need to be okay with putting in significant work before seeing any return on your efforts.
For those who do become successful, 99% of them will tell you it's worth it.
Have you started a blog? Comment your experience below!