Starting a blog can be a great experience but before you hit that publish button for the first time, here are a few things that we’ve learnt as we’ve started our journey that we wish we knew at the start!
1 – It’s Easy To Start But Hard To Keep Going
Let’s get something straight from the beginning; starting a blog is super easy. Anyone can do it and that’s why it’s such a great form of expression. The signup and starting process is super easy and can be done in minutes.
But whilst it’s easy to get started it can be hard to keep going.
For a blog to have a chance you will need to consistently and regularly top it up with great content which will take effort. This can be particularly difficult in the early days when you have yet to establish any kind of audience.
What we’ve learnt from building our Amazon affiliate site is that you need to prepare yourself for this before hand.
Set realistic expectations upfront.
For example when we first started pretty much everything we read about SEO and ranking on Google suggested it would be about 6 months before we saw any real action on there. That’s why we didn’t lose hope in the first few weeks when we didn’t see any activity and were overjoyed when we ended up getting 10 clicks within the first 6 weeks.
To keep you going through the inevitable rough periods that will come, have the expectations front and centre knowing that in some cases you may exceed them, whilst in other areas it will take longer as we’ve also seen.
Decide upfront that you are in it for the long-haul and make a determination to stick with it.
2 – It Is Not As Complicated As Some Would Have You Believe
As much as SEO specialists, developers and a whole host of online marketers like to make it appear, this whole blogging and website thing is not as complicated as some would have you believe.
Yes of course there’s lots to be learned (more on that next) and it takes effort (see above); but what area of life where there’s potential for growth doesn’t?
The point is, if you are prepared to spend time learning, then anyone can pick this stuff up and get to grips with the basics they need to get up and running.
Some would have you believe that only those with technical backgrounds can build a website and get it ranking but the truth is today just about anyone can.
3 – You Will Need To Learn
Having said the above, let me say this; you will have to learn a lot.
There’s no getting away from that but that is part of the main benefit to you starting a blog/website. In a lot of cases those seeking to start a blog already have a desire to learn more about various topics and are keen to share that knowledge or passion.
There are lots of new things you will need to learn to make your blog a success for example how to build sites on a platform like WordPress, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), social media marketing and a whole heap of other cool stuff.
But the great thing about the time we live in is that it’s super easy to learn a new skill.
Before we started our Amazon affiliate site we knew zero about SEO. I didn’t even know that you could register your site with Google to get it appearing on their search results faster.
But through devouring hours of knowledge via podcasts, reading tons of articles online and most crucially starting out and experimenting we’ve managed to build a site that is now growing in traffic by over 50% month on month and continuing to get more and more content onto page 1 of Google in a highly competitive niche.
My point is, although there is lots to learn, there are plenty of tools out there that will help you if you’re prepared to put the effort in.
4 – You Need To Select A Niche
If you’re starting your first site, you need to select a niche and stick with it. There’s so much content out there and it can be easy to get tempted with trying to cover tons of stuff on your blog.
But your best chance of success lies in selecting one particular niche and going deep into it. As well as making it easier for you to organise your content, it will also make your site appear more relevant on search engine results.
From our experience, our site started performing a lot better when we focused on one particular niche from a broader category.
Focusing in one area will help you to identify your core audience and get traction more quickly.
5 – You Can Make Money But It Will Take Effort
For a lot of people, starting a blog is a way to try make some extra money as well as giving them something meaningful to do.
Making money from blogging is simple but not easy.
When I say simple I mean the concepts around how to do it is fairly straight forward. As long as you can drive traffic to your website there are a number of ways you can make money be it selling products and services, advertising or affiliate offers.
But the reality is making any kind of money with a blog when you are just starting out is hard work.
It took our site just over 3 months to make its first sales. It felt brilliant to see the validation of the model we had employed but it also took a lot of perseverance in those first few months as there were times when it seemed like it was never going to happen. This is even though pretty much everything I read prior to that suggested 9 – 12 months before you make your first sale.
Overall, whilst it is definitely possible to make money with a blog, don’t expect to do it overnight.
6 – Focus On One Thing A Day
When you think about the overall goals of your blog it can be inspiring but also draining.
One of the best ways to keep you going, is to simply focus on accomplishing one task each day that will take you closer to your overall goal.
It may make sense for you to break down your overall goal into objectives for each month, week and day for the first few months to give you some traction. A 3 month plan to start things off can work quite well.
After that, the only thing you’ll then need to do is focus on hitting that one target each day and you’ll be confident in the knowledge that your working towards your bigger objective. This will help you overcome a lack of motivation or even frustration when you’re not seeing the kind of results you want especially in the early days.
This could be a goal to write one piece of content every day or at least a social media post.
Whatever it is, make sure you are clear on what it needs to look like to help you move forward as momentum is crucial in the early days.
7 – It Can Be Highly Rewarding
If you’re prepared to put the effort in, starting a blog can be incredibly rewarding in many ways.
You can give you a way to express yourself and build an audience whilst also creating a side income if you’re in it for the long-run.
There’s also something about starting from scratch and seeing your vision come to life that will surely give you a buzz and keep you motivated.
What Do You Need To Know Before Starting A Blog: Tell Us What You Think