Blogging isn’t pretty. It’s not easy. There’s a lot of work that has to go into your blog before you can even become successful and start to make money.
When I started blogging, I could have done so much more to get my website off the ground. But, there was so much to learn. SEO. Promoting. Pinterest. Basically, all the important things that every blogger tells you that you must do. I wanted to do everything, but I didn’t know where to start.
Every blogger has their own mistakes, but I don’t think that you guys deserve to find out the hard way. So, last week, I took upon myself to find successful bloggers and ask them what they wish they had known when they started blogging. Here are their responses.
1. Debbie Gartner at The Flooring Girl
Net income: $10,000-$12,000 per month.
One of the most overlooked areas for new bloggers is SEO. They seem to be intimidated by it, but it’s really not that difficult (in fact, I teach it to people in under 2 hours). SEO is the lifeblood of my blog, and I make way more on SEO traffic (it’s one the keys to making more money on affiliate marketing, as well as ads and products you sell). And, once you have it, it is much more passive, and it allows you to scale your blog.
Second, I wish I knew about the power of pinterest sooner. I missed out. I’ve been able to drive a lot of traffic from pinterest and it jumpstarts the SEO on my blog posts so that they rank on page 1 3-4 months sooner. These 2 are synergistic. SEO is the key and Pinterest is the enabler (or enzyme) to speed it up.
Also, while it wasn’t critical at the beginning, I wish I better understood the power of having a high grade host. I experienced this once I finally upgraded and made a big leap. Good hosting improves your site speed and usually pays for itself within 1 month.
2. Sonam at Live a Little More
What I wish I knew before I started blogging is the fact that it is not a rocket science, it is not as difficult as it seems to be and I wish I would have started writing years before or wouldn’t have given up my first blog 2 years earlier after just writing one post and getting demotivated. Being intimidated by words such as SEO, hosting, domain etc was so easy but now that I am already working on these things it seems like I was worried for nothing. Also, if I knew making money by blogging was much easier and realistic than I thought, it wouldn’t have taken me so long. Having knowledge on means to promote your own blog, get traffic and making profit of writing would have helped me to do things better and differently.
Overall, a bit of technical knowledge about SEO, hosting, domain, getting traffic and much more self motivation to keep going are the things I wish I knew before I started blogging. As I am only a month into blogging and I do this part time as a hobby, I haven’t applied any means of revenue to my website yet, but I have a strategy planned for my blog and I will soon start making money through it.
3. Divine at Ladies Make Money
Income: $8000-$10,000 per month between two blogs!
I wish I knew how important SEO was as well as how to plan my blog topics a little better instead of writing about whatever or anything I wanted.
When I first started blogging most if not all my traffic came from Pinterest (This is fine), but I wish I implemented proper SEO tactics as I could be experiencing better results right now. I now understand how crucial SEO is and why every one should focus on this from day 1.
I am now going back to update and make changes to certain posts and I hope to see better results in the next few weeks or months.
In the meantime Pinterest is my blog lifeline! As blogger, you should absolutely diversify your blog traffic.
Picking the right blog topic is also a great way to be strategic about your efforts and increase your income. I know check my Google Analytics to tell me which topic/ subject line most of my readers are interested in.
I also pay attention to popular topics on Pinterest and in Facebook groups to find popular blog post ideas!
4. Amanda Patrick at Blessful Health Coaching
Background. I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years but taking it seriously the past 6 months. I average between $500-1000 a month right now but have recently made some changes to increase that.
If I could go back and give myself advice, I would tell myself to take blogging seriously from the beginning. I don’t think I realized the full income potential involved.
I also would say to make sure your focus is solving a problem for your audience or teaching them something. Unless you are famous, not very many people will care about your opinion. You need to keep your focus on how to help people solve everyday problems, no matter what your niche is about.
My last bit of advice is to not fuss over your blog name, design, and colors. As long as you have a clean blog that is easy to navigate you will do fine. I spent so much time, in the beginning, trying to tweak my colors and such that I lost time I could have been creating content.
5. Victor Yusop at Absolutely Freebies
Background. I started blogging a long time ago in 2006 but stopped in 2012 because I wanted to focus on other things. I got back into blogging in June 2018.
One of my blogs which was revived in 1st November 2018 is at https://absolutelyfreebies.com. I basically started from scratch. I deleted the old content and installed WordPress.
The blog got zero visitors in the beginning. I created my Pinterest account on 2nd November and just over a month later, I got 21K views and a couple of visitors from Pinterest per day.
Everything that I know about Pinterest, I’ve learned in the past few months and I’m still learning. So it’s possible to make Pinterest work for you in a few months.
Thanks to Pinterest, I managed to make $17.34 from the blog in its first month. Mostly from AdSense and some affiliates.
If you’re new to blogging, don’t get discouraged that you didn’t make any money in your first month. I am not new to blogging and have had my fair share of failed blogs too so I got some experience to back me up.
I think it’s important to learn and focus on SEO right from the get-go. The traffic from the search engines usually only starts to kick after 6 months to 1 year later so it’s important to start today.
Organic traffic is the best kind of traffic you’ll ever get. It will make promoting and making money from affiliate programs a breeze as long as you got targeted traffic.
Also, try to publish as many posts as you can, especially in the beginning, to get the ball rolling. The more posts you have, the more pins you can create to attract Pinterest traffic.
That being said, creating quality posts is still more important than posting frequently.
6. Dale at Blogging Her Way
Income. $2,000+ a month (between two blogs)
When I first started blogging, I wish I had known not to spread myself too thin worrying about being present on every social media platform. At first, I was trying to juggle Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and it was just too much.
After a few months, I sat down and looked at my traffic and realized almost all of it was coming from Pinterest. Despite having thousands of followers on Instagram, it was driving very little traffic, even though I was spending hours on it every day! And same with my Facebook page: I was wasting so much time on it with no results!
I ended up getting rid of both Instagram and Facebook and focused solely on Pinterest. I recommend that all new bloggers pick one social media platform (ideally Pinterest!) to focus on at first. After you have mastered that platform, you can add another, but don’t overwhelm yourself trying to be everywhere at once!
7. Caitlin at Real Mom Recs
Background. I’ve been blogging for about 18 months so I’ve figured some things out by now, but I’m definitely still learning every day. The 10 month mark was a turning point for me and when I started making a regular income from my blog. I make about $2,000 per month now consistently.
To achieve success in blogging, the most important thing is to figure out what people want to read. I started out writing whatever I felt like- the funny things my kids said that week, a recap of our favorite family trips, my personal struggles as a mom. Soon I figured out that no one knew me or particularly cared what I had to say about these things!
Once I flipped my perspective and started writing about what other people want to learn about, everything clicked. I found an audience of pregnant women and new moms who had so many questions about pregnancy and babies. Having 4 little ones myself, I started writing from the viewpoint of an older sister or more experienced mom friend. I shared things I thought they’d like to know: what is it actually like after giving birth? What do contractions feel like? How do you start breastfeeding the right way? That is when my site took off.
After you have some great, helpful content, you’ll need to learn a bit about how to get traffic (hint: Pinterest and SEO). But the content should come first. Once you have something useful to share, marketing it on those platforms is the easy part.
I hope that this helps some of you out there! As always, thanks for reading and please share this post if you found it useful!