t’s amazing sometimes to look back to see what you’ve done, what you’ve learned and whom you’ve helped. I have a great blog post idea I have been working on for sometimes now and due to me wanting it to be my best I haven’t been able to complete it, I was also finding it difficult to write this morning when I got this idea, “why not share what you’ve learned within your months of blogging?“ Great! Isn’t it?
Youngprepro is only 4 months but I have been blogging for 8 months now, most of my blogging experience was from building writersincharge but the first blog I had also helped. I have learned a lot within this short period of time, but this post will be talking about the 8 most important lessons I learned in my 8 months of blogging.
1. Success Does not Come Overnight
Ever before I knew what blogging was, I was a very fast person and I believe everything I do must be fast. In my family I was the one who had the fastest education, I get results fast in everything I do so I thought this must also apply online and I should start making money blogging from my first week, how I was wrong!
I blogged for months without anything, no results, no recognition, nothing whatsoever. I started marketing my blog using some unethical methods such as forum spamming (I didn’t know then it was spamming). After facing a lot of problems without results and after seeing how things began to turn around slowly I slowly began to know that there is nothing called overnight success, success only comes after you’ve worked hard and also waited patiently.
I always feel discouraged but I somehow wrote one great article which eventually got one backlink from a then popular site – in my eyes (newbies see sites that are not popular as something which is popular, they mostly judge using Alexa Rank).
I faced the truth, and I began to realize the importance of patience. I started cultivating that habit, and I also began to work hard in order to make things work out faster, and now, I am happy I did.
2. Reputation Matters
Even if it is small, having a reputation for yourself is really very important to your blogging success.
When I started my first blog, I had made a lot of friends, I was known by some bloggers around me and this made everything easier for me when I launched writersincharge. Anytime I send a guest post to my blogging buddies, before I know it the guest post would have been live.
Another thing I discovered from making my first sale online is that it is not how many people you have but how many people trusts you.
How you see yourself is important but how people see you is more important. If you are seeing yourself as someone who knows what he is saying and someone who is being respected but others are seeing you otherwise, then I am afraid, you are in a dangerous pit.
Even though reputation matters, it can also destroy you. I launched my first ebook to build my list and unknown to me it was full of errors (i wrote it in 3 hours) and it was not properly designed, 100?s of my readers downloaded it without notifying me of the error, I later got to know by a close friend.
3. Content is King
You surely will have been told otherwise. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of visitors digg or other social bookmarking sites sent you because of the casual article you wrote, it doesn’t matter how many visitors one guest post sent you which made you think marketing is king, I am talking from personal experience, content is king!
One of my most popular posts was what I never promoted, not even in a single place. I didn’t send this post to my list, I didn’t promote it on any social bookmarking site but I was amazed at the number of visitors this post sent me. After getting results from this post I knew the importance of writing great content.
Before publishing this post, most of my posts do have 100-150 views but this particular post exceeded 1,000 views (what I didn’t promote).
Truly, marketing is important, because this my post I am talking about wouldn’t have done well if I hadn’t built a community that could give it a push around my blog ~ Nevertheless, content is king!
I have always observed my most successful posts, they are the ones with lots of comments, lots of retweets and they are the ones that bring about so much traffic that shakes my blog. It is also these type of content that bring about me being interviewed and listed here and there.
I do take a close look at things around me (even though I do pretend not to) and most interview request and features I got was as a result of me writing great content, not because of the ranks my blog has (far from it!).
Focus all your efforts on writing great content, treat it as if it is the difference between your blog succeeding and failing and you will be so amazed at the results you will get.
4. Marketing is Important
I am always happy because God made me realize this earlier. It was very early in my blogging career that I discovered the power of guest posting, I was amazed at how I started getting traffic from little efforts of guest posting.
It doesn’t matter how great your content is, if it is not being read it has no life of its own.
If you are a new blogger, my advice for you will be to focus 50% of your efforts on content while you focus the other %50 percent on marketing, if you begin to get more traction or you are getting over 100 unique visitors a day you can then focus 80% of your efforts on content and 20% on marketing.
You would not get any result if you write your best content without you having an audience, having traffic is important, having a community is important and only marketing can determine how successful your blog will be – It doesn’t matter how great your content is, it still need a little bit of marketing to succeed.
The best of the best content on the web are the ones that cannot be found, not because they don’t exist but because the writers haven’t realized the truth behind blogs succeeding and many of them give up too early believing it is impossible for them to make it blogging.
I will list (list, not explain) 5 ways you can market your blog for top profit, these are what I use and they are very effective.
1. Guest Blogging
3. Blog Commenting
4. Forum Marketing
5. Blogging Communities
You will notice I don’t use #3,4 and 5 again but they are what helped when I just started blogging, it will not hurt if you give them a trial.
5. There is NEVER Too Much Knowledge
You will always feel like you know something everyday and this is one major reason why so many people have failed, because of their ego.
It doesn’t matter what I know, and it doesn’t matter how successful I become, I will always listen to those ahead of me and below me.
Reading top blogs in your niche doesn’t hurt, learning from upcoming bloggers who know their stuff isn’t bad either. I have learned a lot in my short-term blogging and most of what I learned is as a result of me willing to learn. I wrote a great guest post from the bottom of my heart which I submitted to one blogger, he returned the post to me telling me it was full of errors and that he can’t just read it (let alone edit it), I was so disappointed and my ego jumped in telling me to send it to another blogger, the good spirit in me replied, that why can’t I try to edit it and see if he is right or I am wrong. I listened to the good spirit in me and I re-read the post, you can’t believe I was telling myself I wasn’t the one who wrote that post (whereas I was), it was full of grammatical errors I didn’t discover. That was how I learned the importance of proofreading each and every one of my posts, before publishing it on my blog or sending it to another blogger.
Listen to those around you, keep your ears out from something new. There is always something new to learn, you can’t just know everything.
6. You Have to Pay a Price
While I don’t love talking about the price I paid (that is one of the 48 laws of power), it is no secret we all have to pay a price.
I still spend an average of 10 hours a day on the computer and I have written over 220 guest posts this year, I also have to write for my blog and get the word out there about me.
There is no shortcut to success, there is no how you can avoid it, you have to pay a price. It does not matter which price you will pay, it might be financially or with your time, you just have to pay a price.
Wonders won’t just happen and you can’t just see people promoting your blog, you have to do all these by yourself, you have to come up with content ideas, you have to make sure you have the right headlines, you have to make sure your hardwork is not a waste, those are all the price you have to pay – there is no way you can escape it, not one!
7. SEO Matters
I get almost 2,000 visitors from search engines every month, won’t it be foolish to come and tell you this method is useless? Minus 2,000 visitors from my monthly traffic and you will know a large portion of it is gone.
I didn’t attend any SEO course, I didn’t outsource my SEO, I did everything by myself. You will notice some of my rankings have dropped (like for the keyword “young entrepreneur blog“), this isn’t because of any other thing but because I have relaxed in optimizing my blog for search engines.
Search engine traffic contribute a large percentage to the traffic of most successful blogs and it is one of the best traffic sources because of the type of visitors it sends (they are more targeted because they came through a keyword).
While there are many articles on SEO out there, including some which I have written, one of the best ones I would recommend you should read is Glen’s article on wordpress seo.
Here are some basic SEO tips you should implement on your blog to get more traffic (even than I am getting) from the search engines:
1. On page SEO – Optimize your blog for search engines by making sure you have your keyword in your meta title, your url, your meta description and your meta keywords. Also make sure you have a search engine compliant theme and that you have a clean code.
2. Keyword Density – Make sure you make effective use of your keywords in your blog posts and titles, this can also have a huge impact on your rankings.
3. Linking Structure – Make sure you work hard on building backlinks to your blog, this is the major key to search engine rankings. I was able to get a pagerank 4 for my first blog in less than 4 months and I was also able to get Google sitelinks and ranking for some top keywords for writersincharge in only 3 months, there is no other secret to this than quality backlinks, from my guest posting efforts.
Implement the above three tips and read Glen’s article on SEO, you will be amazed at how much traffic you can get from search engines.
The golden ingredient to blogging success. It was through networking that I knew the power of guest posting.
I have gained a lot through networking and one great person I have learned a lot from (that really impacted my blogging life) was Hesham Zebida from Famous Bloggers, I knew him in my early days of blogging and I have learned a lot from him through knowing him. He made me know why it is dangerous to write your blog posts in all caps (as I used to do before) and he also let me know how powerful guest posting is. I have learned a lot about blogging from him than from any other person.
I have also been able to network with a lot of great people all over the web and one of them is you, who help make sure my posts go viral.
Networking is a golden ingredient to blogging success and it is very dangerous for you to neglect this great key. Network with other bloggers, network with top bloggers, network with medium bloggers, network with upcoming bloggers, network with me, network with others – we all are going to enjoy ourselves and the power of two or more should never be underestimated.
Over To You!
What has been your major challenge when blogging? For how long have you been blogging? What lessons have you learned? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!