Can you believe I’ve been blogging now for 4 months? 4 whole months! I know I can’t! Time has certainly flown by, and I’ve learned a lot in these past few months. But before we get down to those lessons, I wanted to give you all a heads-up – I’ve got some big changes coming to this lil’ baby blog!
While many of those changes are going to be happening behind-the-scenes, a few you’ll probably notice if you keep up with me. I’ll also be posting/sending out a reader survey very soon, so be sure to tell me what you think. I can’t wait to hear from all of you! I’m also super excited for a blogging course I have coming up – Erica at Coming Up Roses has a highly recommended course BossPitch – and after hearing what other bloggers were saying and hearing Erica answer questions about it, I am so very excited!
But my biggest change will be for my subscribers. In addition to my usual weekly newsletter I send out with my new posts for the week, I’ll also be sending out my Monthly Updates/Goals post exclusively to you. I won’t be posting those every month anymore, so this Friday will be the last one before you’ll have to be a subscriber to see it. So if you want to stay in the loop, make sure you subscribe below!
Now that little blog business is done, on to the post!
Can you believe it’s already been 4 months since I started blogging? Because I certainly can’t! I’ve learned quite a lot in the past few months, so lets get to it shall we?
1) Blogging is time consuming
I know what you’re thinking – “Well of course it’s time consuming Cameron. What did you think?”. Oh, I did my research. I knew it was going to take me a ton of time. What all the research failed to mention was all the extra work besides the actual writing part. I spend more time working on group threads than I do actually writing and promoting my own post. Which I also figured I would have to do, just not to the extent to which I do it.
Writing/promoting my own posts usually take me 2.5-3 hours, and I post 3 times per week. Threads take up about 3-4 hours of my day. Every single day. Which it why I’m cutting back a lot on the threads where I can. Now that I’m a few months in, I can relax on them just a bit and save myself some time. So far, cutting back hasn’t really impacted my pageviews very much, which is good news.
2) The blogging community is amazing
In every similar post, you’ll see people raving about their fellow bloggers. Almost every one I’ve chatted with are so open and friendly, and (within reason) willing to help you out and give you advice if you ask nicely. Especially if you take the time to leave genuine feedback on their posts or in an email. In just my 4 months, I’ve made a ton of connections with my fellow bloggers, and have come to follow quite a few! I’ve also border-lined stalked a few, but let’s keep that to ourselves shall we?
3) Pinterest is your best friend
Not only can you find a ton of free advice and tips to better your own blog, Pinterest is amazing at driving traffic to it too. Pinterest is my #1 source of new traffic, and after recently jumping on the Tailwind bandwagon last week I’m excited to see the impact on my monthly traffic and views. Pinterest has been such a valuable tool for me to find ways to do this or that on WordPress, but also tips for increasing traffic, social media followers, improving your blog as a whole, etc. You name it, and there are probably thousands of results for it on Pinterest.
4) There’s no “right” way to do it
If you read a few of your favorite bloggers bios, you’ll notice they all come from different backgrounds. You can bet they didn’t all start their blog the same way. While the actual setting up part is obviously the same, their strategies, goals, methods and timelines are all different. While there might be some overlap, you can bet that no two bloggers did everything in the same way and in the same amount of time. There’s no set way to do anything. Just suggested ways that worked for people. So don’t worry if you didn’t do something this month like so-and-so did. It doesn’t mean you’re blog will fail.
5) Don’t Compare
Don’t compare yourself to big name bloggers. Instead, use them to inspire and motivate you. If you compare yourself to a successful blogger while you’re only in your first few months blogging, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed. These bloggers have been working for years to get to where they are. You aren’t going to just get there in your first month. Listen to their advice, and use their successes to motivate you.
6) Blogging is hard work
Just like with point #1, I did my research. I knew it would take time, and a heck of a lot of effort. But after about the second week, constantly being on social media lost it’s appeal. Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest is generally fun for most people. For bloggers it’s work. Constantly thinking about how you need to do this or that, researching hashtags, curating your posts, editing your images, scheduling posts/pins, networking, etc. definitely gets old after a while.
Setting up the blog itself was challenging. Especially when I had no idea how to do anything. It was tedious, annoying, and time consuming. But see point #3 – Pinterest definitely helped me figure out most of it. For the rest, well, I’m working on it!
7) Numbers lie
If all you do all day is check out your stats on analytics (guilty), you’re hurting yourself. If you’re anything like me, you spent a ton of time posting on group threads. Which just inflates your views, brings in a ton of quick pageviews (increasing your bounce rate) and skewing your numbers. Which is another reason why I cut out (and am still cutting out) a lot of threads.
I wanted to get a more accurate picture of where my viewers were coming from, how many were coming, and how long they were staying. I don’t want to rely on Facebook groups for traffic, I would prefer to use them to supplement what I already have. Now that I’m a few months in and more established, I’m able to cut back a bit on those threads. Which will balance out my numbers in the next few months (hopefully).
I’m also working on gaining my followers on all social media platforms. While there are ways to cheat the system and get an instant 10K followers/likes, I want to do it honestly. But I’m sure there are some bad bloggers out there (I don’t know any thankfully), that do this just to get their numbers up.
8) Blogging is expensive
After reading blog after blog, I can tell you that self-hosting, a premium theme, and a unique logo is pretty much standard in the blogging community. Which adds up to some serious $$$. While I’m glad I splurged a bit upfront with most of these things, I wanted to look professional right out of the gate. I also didn’t want to have to set up a theme more than once. So instead of spending money on courses right away, I focused on appearances. Which I’m glad I did. Now I don’t have to worry about doing any major overhauls for a long time! Thankfully once those large purchases are out of the way, you don’t really need much until you want to start adding things like Tailwind, Boardbooster and courses. Which you can do without until you need them.
9) There are a ton of ways you can make money
From selling your own products/courses online to affiliate sales, there is more than just one way to make money from your blog. If you noticed, I cut out/removed all of my ads/banners on my site. Why you ask? Because they were ugly for one. Secondly, they hardly brought in any money anyway, so why have them take up space that I could use to promote myself? Plus it’s not like I have millions of views that I’m making 4-5 figures from those adverts every month. I’m only bringing enough to pay for maybe one coffee shop run a month, which isn’t worth it for me personally.
Instead, I’ll keep using my affiliate links in some of my posts, but otherwise I’m excited to start getting into sponsored posts and pitching brands (hence BossPitch mentioned above). I want to take my earnings into my own hands, rather than rely on my $0.30 off of a product sale and spam the ever living crap out of all of you just to make a few bucks. Instead, I’ll get in touch with brands that I love and use regularly, and incorporate that into my content rather than have a random ad or spammy link/pic in my post.
10) Blogging is a ton of fun
When I first started blogging, I never thought I would love it as much as I do. I had more of a fun hobby that keeps me busy idea in my head rather than my pride and joy and something I look forward to. Despite the shear amount of time and energy that goes into it, I really enjoy doing it. While it has been a ton of work, I’m really proud with how it’s come along and am really excited to grow even more. Plus knowing I’m providing you with value is such an amazing feeling!
So what have you learned after blogging for so many months/years? Anything you want to share?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!