In February, Women Winning Online turned one. Much like we celebrate a baby turning one, I wanted to do the same for my blog, my readers, and for me! The first year blogging can make or break a blogger. Many bloggers give up after six months. Blogging is hard, getting traffic is hard, and making money is hard. But you know what else blogging is the first year?
A whole lot of fun!
I have learned over the last year that blogging is a giant experiment mixed with helping people. With that in mind I thought it would be fun to ask my fellow bloggers that have been blogging for a year or more, this question:
“What is the number one thing all new bloggers need to know when they are first starting out blogging?”
1. Suzi Whitford, Start a Mom Blog
One thing all new bloggers need to know is their audience. Just like an actor needs to live and breathe the new role he is playing, so a new blogger needs to live and breathe like their audience. Once you understand your audience’s problems, hopes and dreams – then you can create the perfect content that will convert and create life long customers.
2. Jen Morrow, JenThereDoneThat
Before you hit publish and your first blog post, write out your niche. What topics will you write about? Brainstorm some topics that you want to cover, then review to ensure that your niche is not too narrow that you will run out of topics. On the other side, ensure that your topics can easily be defined to avoid too many topics that will be difficult to engage with readers.
3. Angela Tempest, The Blogging Blog
Have an editorial calendar and stick to it even if you change the actual post content – get a routine going!
4. Carly Wood, Lovely Blog Academy
That it’s not going to be easy; you’ll get bored, disillusioned and that it’s not a get rich quick scheme. That it’s always easier if yo choose to blog on topics you’re really passionate about.
5. Megan Stonelake, Empathic Parenting Counseling & Coaching
I think it’s crucial to identify your main goal for blogging. Is it purely a hobby? Is it to make money? Are you hoping to grow your business? There are so many reasons to blog, and it’s important to focus on your reason and not get distracted by why someone else is doing it.
6. Amanda Nel, Easy on the Tongue
It would help if they have a clear plan of who they want to reach, why they want to do it and if it is only a hobby, a business or a long-term objective. I started my blog mainly because I figured that within 10 years from now, I could earn a decent income to be able to retire!
7. Kelly Snyder, The Sassy Book Lover
Join blogging groups and interact. You learn so much and make friends.
8. Gina Butler, Gina’s Library
Do not compare yourself to other bloggers. This is not a competition.
9. Kristen Smith, If The Saddle Fits
That it is ok & normal for your blogging goals/perspective/brand to evolve as you learn.
10. Daniela Uslan, Daniela Uslan | Honest & Intuitive Content Marketing
All new bloggers need to know that the key to finding your people is being yourself. The better they know themselves and the more they foster their creativity and intuition, the happier they will be and the moe they’ll be able to connect with the people they are meant to serve. Blogging is a huge task and can get very overwhelming very quickly. Without that feeling of self-worth and a sense of experimentation, it is easy to lose steam and stop blogging altogether.
11. Stephanie Parker, Cultivating Foodies
Do not start a blog with the intention of making money. Start writing about something you LOVE. People can spot the difference from miles away. Be authentic and go for it!
12. Tania Vaughan, Hartan Design
Don’t blog about what you think will be popular. Write about what you love and are passionate about that authenticity will come through.
13. Eden Fried, EdenFried.com
Blogging is a marathon not a sprint so don’t feel discouraged if you feel like things aren’t “clicking” for you right away. Proficient blogging comes with time, energy, and patience and it’s only with consistent effort that the fruits of your labor begin to blossom. Keep this in mind on the days that you feel “low” because it’s perfectly normal to struggle along the way. In fact, the struggles and challenges are what makes the little blogging victories and milestones so exciting to celebrate.
14. Kim Sementa, Wildflower Four
New bloggers need to know that all bloggers started out as new bloggers. Don’t compare yourself to someone who has already “made it”. It’s okay to set that as a goal for yourself, but know that it takes time and effort to get there.
15. Christy Saludares, From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom
Blogging is not a race. It’s a marathon. A marathon you need a lot of other people’s help to complete.
16. Sarah Bluford, The Designer Mama
Take everything one step at a time and make sure to start building your email list early on. And have fun with it!!
17. Alina Muresan, Orgali – Nourish and Love
“I just can’t mention only one thing, so I will mention two :). Write useful, practical, engaging blog posts and be consistent.
The content of your blog will make people come back. The better the content of your blog becomes, the more you will help people and the more they will come back for more (which will increase traffic to your blog).
Also, consistency is very important. Regular blog posts and regular posting on social media where your target audience is.
How often should you post on your blog? The best schedule is the schedule you can stick to and that doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. Can you post 3 times a week? Great! Keep going. Can you post once a week or once every 2 weeks? No problem! Keep going, but always show up for your readers.
You might wonder where your target audience is so you can choose the right social media to be present on. The easiest way to find out is to ask your readers where they like to spend the most time. Is it Facebook? Is it Pinterest? Or….? Find out where they like to hang out and show up there regularly (again, find a schedule that works best for you, one that doesn’t make you pull your hair out).”
18. Jessica Gilbert, Ava Grace Fashions
It’s not going to be perfect ever so just post it, start! You will improve so start TODAY!
19. Bernadette von Buelow, Mom+Carrot
I think many new bloggers feel like they need to wait until they have a minimum of 15-20 posts written before they can officially launch their blog and create an email opt-in. I believe there is no need to wait! If you have an idea for an opt-in, go for it. Set up a landing page and get it circling around Pinterest. I recommend you start building your email list (and your confidence) from Day 1.
20. Jamie Heil, Toys In The Dryer
Have a passion. Blog what you know and love otherwise you’ll run out of content way too quickly.
21. Andrea Warren, Waldorf Salad & Cottage Fries
Give it time!
22. Arfa Nazeer, Epife
Non-hosted and self-hosted blogs are different. A strong niche before they step into the blogging life.
23. Darci Lopez, Life Unplanned
New bloggers need to know that this is their “race.” They are competing only with themselves, as no one can give what they can to the blogosphere. They are incomparable and need to remember that every day they are working on their business.
24. Rita Golstein-Galperin, Expat Renaissance
There are no over-night success stories. In the words of Picasso: “It took me 30 years to be able to do this in 30 sec”. Plan ahead, get clear on your goals, show up and do the work. As simple as this… there might be shortcuts and down falls along the way, just bear in mind you’re here for the long run!
25. Jennifer Smith, The Art of Better Blogging
Consistency is the biggest precursor to success. Not followers, not traffic, not anything else- consistency!
26. Margo P, Joyful Homemaking
It’s a lot of work, but if you love it, it doesn’t seem like work!
27. Laura Seabolt, You Should Grow
Get a self hosted WordPress site from the beginning. Switching over is a pain. I know from personal experience!
28. Yolanda McAdam, suite532
Know your ideal audience and customer persona!
29. Tamara Mason, Parenting 2 Home Kids
Just start writing posts. Everyone is a beginner at the beginning. Progress comes before perfection.
30. Barbara Bodnar, Barb’s Bits
Blog something you know!
31. Emily McGee, My Adaptable Career
You’re always going to be pulled in a million different directions and have so many different things you want to try. It takes discipline to focus on the most important work, things like creating content and growing your list, but you’ve got to focus if you want to be successful!
32. Yami Platero, Boss Latina
Everyone starts at zero. No matter how farther along everyone else seems to be, they started at the same place you are right now, so don’t get discouraged at your lack or pageviews or you lack of conversions at any given point in time when you first start out. The key is to continue and refine your strategies, learn and keep moving forward because tomorrow there will be someone who is where you are today.
33. Minuca Elena, Minuca Elena
You need a beautiful, professional website. Many new bloggers do the right things, they write good content, comment on other sites, try to build a following on social media, join communities of bloggers, etc. Often time they ignore one basic thing: first impression matters. Free themes for WordPress are ugly, but a premium theme costs around $100. An email marketing service, quality plugins and a good hosting that ensures your site loads fast, also can be more costly.
If you start blogging from passion, not for financial profit or you are just not willing to invest money before earning anything, then you should be aware that there are other options to create an attractive site, besides WordPress dot org.
You can use website builders, like Wix or Squarespace to create a stunning website for free. For example, with Wix, you can create a new site very fast, even if you don’t have any coding skills. They have hundreds of beautiful templates and a huge free photo bank that are free.
Also, every website has its mobile version which is free, and you can set it any way you want.
34. Dana Clausen, Bloom Marketing & Masterminds
Use the Grammarly extension to help with typos.
35. Charlotte Anderson, Carolina Honeybees Farm
Most people don’t skyrocket to success, it takes time and patience.
36. Amanda Ensling, Living Fully and Free
You do not need to have it all together. There is always going to be something to do, and the best thing you can do is not allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Enjoy the experience of starting your own blog instead of allowing yourself to get bogged down by all the people around you who make it look so easy. Enjoy learning the business of blogging.
What a great list these 35 ladies have shared with us! As we have learned blogging is:
- Work, but fun work
- A great way to connect with others
- A way to write about our passions
- A marathon, not a sprint
- Our own journey, not one we should compare ourselves to others
- About knowing our niche, our readers
- Planning and setting goals for success
- Action! Don’t wait until it’s perfect, jump in now!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. What would you add to the question: “What is the number one thing all new bloggers need to know when they are first starting out blogging?” Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!