Blogging truths that will help beginner bloggers (and intermediate!) to become more successful without as much stress, money or time wasted up front. Learn from a blogger who has been at this work for over 7 years – so you don’t have to worry so much about whether you’re doing it right, or waste money on the wrong things. I want to help you become a success, and love your job – so let’s get started!
I’ve been writing this blog of mine for 7 years now – how time flies! I seriously can’t believe that it’s been that long, but they do say that when you love your job it doesn’t feel like work, and that’s SO true for me.
Over the past few years I’ve learned a LOT of lessons!
It would be impossible not to after all this time, wouldn’t it!
…and as such I want to share these lessons (what I will call “blogging truths”) with you today – in the hope that I can save you valuable time, stress and money in the process.
They are all the things I wish I’d known up front – and I’m sure you’ll get loads from this post – so let’s get started, shall we!
#1 – STATS AREN’T EVERYTHING…
Most bloggers will determine their success by stats. Whether it’s page views, social media followers, email subscribers, or something else – the stats feel like a badge of honour.
And I used to be the same….
It’s true that SOME page views are obviously needed – as you want people to read what you’re writing – but successful bloggers know that stats are not really important when it comes to making money.
I find it fascinating to look at income reports from successful bloggers and see what their stats are like. A large percentage of these people are making a considerable income with very few page views and subscribers.
You see – it’s about WHAT YOU DO WITH PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARRIVE AT YOUR SITE rather than how many come….
If you spend time on things that will make the most difference to you and your bottom line, like sales funnels and creating a community – then you’re much more likely to succeed than if you are just chasing those stats.
Stats really don’t mean much if you aren’t making income from it, after all…
#2 – MAKE IT PERSONAL
This is something I really struggled with at first.
I don’t want to over share – and I definitely wanted to keep my daughter and hubby out of things as much as possible (after all, they didn’t ask for me to write about our lives online!).
But – when I started to add in more of the personal touch to my emails and posts, something amazing happened.
I found that I got a LOT more replies, and a LOT more interaction from my readers.
Of course – this seems obvious when I’m writing it down – but it’s all too easy to forget when you’re actually IN it.
People like to feel connected.
You don’t have to overshare at all – but having more of your personality means that your blog is truly yours – and people will come back to it because of you (even if they could get the answers elsewhere).
Another fantastic benefit from being more personal is that I started to get more and more ideas for my writing – because it’s a LOT easier to talk about what I’m actually doing rather than trying to gather post ideas from out of nowhere….
#3 – NICHE DOWN
Yes – my blog is about organising – and that’s a very broad niche because I’ve let it cover life AND home (that’s because I believe that both are intertwined so it feels right).
However – you won’t see me sharing posts about my favourite outfits, or writing about my travels etc…. – because they don’t belong in this niche.
It’s SO important to stay on track – that way people know what to expect from your blog, and will keep coming back for more.
If you start to go too broad (trying to please everyone, OR because you have loads of hobbies and interests) then you’ll probably lose a lot of your followers.
It’s hard to find people that love everything you love.
Yes – there will always be some bloggers that blog about anything and everything – but you’ll more often than not find that the majority of really successful bloggers have niched down. They will write about one main topic such as food, money, blogging etc… – and stay on that track.
It really does work!
#4 – YOU’LL NEVER FINISH
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but once you start a blog, it’s an ongoing thing, and it’s VERY difficult to get off the treadmill.
You will always have ideas for posts, products, emails, growth etc… – and you’ll often be inspired by other bloggers when you’re reading their blogs.
It would be pretty much impossible to finish a blog – it’s not like a book or a business website where there’s only a finite amount of information you can add, AND the blogging world changes so quickly that there will always be updates to do.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – but you need to be aware that you will never finish!
#5 – YOU’LL WANT TO GIVE UP AT TIMES
Even though this is the best job I’ve ever had, I still have ups and downs.
After all – it IS still a job – and sometimes it can be difficult to keep the momentum going.
If you’re aware of this (it happens to EVERY blogger every so often) then you can ride these times and go with it, rather than worry and possibly give up when you should have stuck at it.
#6 – FACE TO FACE TIME IS CRUCIAL
Blogging can be very lonely.
I love alone time – I’m an introvert at heart and thrive in my own company – but even I struggle sometimes with being lonely.
If my daughter wasn’t at home, then I would go literally days each and every week without talking to anyone if left to my own devices.
As such, I’ve learned to socialise whenever possible.
I work in cafes so that I feel less alone, I arrange weekly catch ups with friends, I email/watch videos etc.. with other bloggers, and I attend at least one blogging conference each year.
As such, I get to chat to all types of people, and that face to face time really makes a difference to my sanity.
A great idea if you want to blog but thrive on being part of a team is to create a blog with someone else, or get a team as quickly as possible. You can, after all, create the blog that works for you – and it doesn’t have to be a lonely experience.
#7 – BATCHING IS YOUR FRIEND
I’ve tried a LOT of different ways of working over the years – and I can firmly say that batching has been the best thing ever for my blogging work.
When you’re in the mode of working on something, it’s easier to keep going – rather than switching constantly.
So – now I will time block my days and have larger chunks of time for specific tasks.
I love batching specifically for the following types of tasks: –
- Drafting posts
- Social Media scheduling
- Creating graphics
- Proof reading posts
- Working out the editorial calendar (posts AND emails)
All of these make sense to do in batches because I am in the right mode.
For example – When I draft posts I don’t have to think about making them perfect, I simply write and let myself brain dump. I can get loads done in this mode – but if I try and switch to writing AND finishing a post at the same time, I get too distracted by making pretty graphics, making sure it’s keyword rich, making each sentence as good as possible etc…. It’s far easier to draft a few posts in one session and then in another session go back and re-read and tweak.
#8 – DON’T COMPARE
I can’t remember where I heard this first – but it’s a really bad thing to compare your own blog with another persons.
This is because you really don’t know their story.
Even if you’ve been blogging for the same amount of time – there are so many variables that can make a difference to what you’re doing and what they’re doing: –
- Time spent each day/week
- Training taken
- Skills (writing, graphics, tech etc…)
- Help received
- Focus and drive
Everyone is different, and if you compare then you’ll pretty much always come off worse. You may be seeing success from a blogger who on paper has done the same things as you, but you really don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and what struggles they’ve had.
They may be comparing themselves to you, too!
#9 – DON’T OVERTHINK
Oh, how I need to keep reminding myself of this!
You can easily spend time worrying instead of working. Overthinking what you need to do can be a true killer of bloggers – and you only have to take a look at a blogging Facebook group to see this.
People are asking question after question – worrying about whether they are doing things right – and this leads to total procrastination and inaction.
You HAVE to just get things done. Perfection will never come – so embrace the fact that something is GOOD ENOUGH.
I have gone back and re-done MANY parts of my blog as I’ve learned things over the years – you don’t have to have all the answers right now – trust that they will come.
Blogging is truly a journey – so enjoy the ride!
#10 – EMBRACE OVERWHELM
Your TO DO list as a blogger won’t ever get done. Fact.
As you get more and more involved in blogging, you’ll have so many ideas, you’ll hear of tips and tricks to try, you’ll need to update and keep ahead of trends etc…. – and it can be overwhelming to say the least…
I tried for years to get ahead – so I could relax a little.
But the truth is – if you get ahead on one thing, something else will fill the gap.
I try and be 2 months ahead in my posts – and even when I am, that time will be taken up with creating products, enhancing the blog in some way, or doing training.
Overwhelm is just part of the process – so embrace this, and you’ll learn to love it rather than resent it.
#11 – THE RIGHT TRAINING IS INVALUABLE
Having spent thousands of pounds on training over the years, this is a truth that’s invaluable to learn.
If you can find someone you totally trust who is ahead of you in the blogging life (me, I hope!), then take their advice on what they class as a good training course.
I have taken a LOT of courses that haven’t been worth the time or money I spent. I’ve learned the hard way that there are only a handful of courses I would ever recommend to you – and only a handful that have really made a true difference to me (like EBA**, which is by far the best all-round training I’ve ever invested in when I got serious about blogging as a business).
Before you take any training, read as much as you can about it from people who have taken it.
You also need to be aware that buying the training does not guarantee success – you have to also be willing to follow what’s said – so the last thing you want is to be overwhelmed with all the training you’ve bought and not have time to do it.
Do training WHEN YOU NEED IT and you’ll have massive success.
#12 – IT COULD TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE…
EVERYTHING I do now is a possible post.
I write about homemaking and life, so that stands to reason – but whatever you write about, you’ll start to think about stories of your own life to weave into posts and emails – it just happens like that!
… and that’s a great thing if you enjoy blogging – but be aware of the rest of your life as well, and try as much as you can to get the balance right.
Here are some ways I’ve worked out to make blogging fit with my life rather than take over: –
- Take at least one day off technology each week – no phone, email or computer…
- Schedule in time with friends and family – and make this time a priority
- Take time for yourself – make sure you focus on fitness, eating well, and getting enough sleep
- Don’t forget #4 in this list – IT NEVER FINISHES – so always keep that in mind and learn to close that laptop and live as well!
So – there you have it – loads of blogging lessons I WISH someone had told me when I started this blogging journey.
I hope it’s helped you to see the bigger picture – and made you less worried if you’ve been thinking or doing any of the above.
Blogging is such a different way of life, and relatively new as a career choice – so it stands to reason that we are all just learning as we go. Make it your own – and stop worrying about everything else – and I’m sure you’ll love it!