I have been blogging for well over a decade. I started off with a tiny personal blog, which I didn’t tell many people about. Actually, I had several blogs over the years before I started blogging under my own name at artiatesiadeal.com. That blog was my first non-personal blog, as I used it as a portfolio to showcase my web design work in hope of getting work.
Now I’m working on another – this one, shetalksbiz.com. Starting this new blog, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what I have learned since I first started blogging. If I knew then what know now I would have tackled that blog very differently.
Here’s 6 six things that I have learned over the years that has help make me a better blogger.
#1 – What it really means to monetize your blog
I attended a blogger event once to learn about a new plugin called nRelate (no longer available), which allowed you to put related post links at the end of your post. This helps with internal linking and keeps readers on your blog longer.
We were all chatting and the discussion turn to monetization. I think I was the only blogger there who wasn’t monetizing her blog. At that time I thought that only meant running ads.
It took me a while to add a hire me page, but when I did, it made a difference. Monetizing your blog is more than just adding Google Adsense or affiliate links. Once you start providing your services or selling products (whether it be physical or digital) you are monetizing – making a pathway to earn money from your blog.
#2 – The importance of having a list
There is no worst feeling of launching a service or product and hearing crickets. You get upset or overwhelm which will lead to frustrations. Or you may even decide to give up. This is why you should have an email list, even if you do not plan on launching or selling anything in your beginning stages.
You want that list, your community to be there for when you do decided to launch. I’m not saying they are going to buy, at least you know you will have eyes on it. You can start growing your list in a variety of ways. For example blog subscribers are those who want to read your blog in their inbox.
Or you can put out a newsletter or eblast sharing content that you don’t put on the blog. Another piece advice about growing your list is to don’t waste money on these fancy email marketing services. Yes, it can be a pain to transfer your list in the future but why spend money on something when you numbers don’t support it.
Zero signups and you putting out upwards of $20 a month to a service just for it to sit there and collect dust. That’s money can be invested into something else.
#3 – The amount of money and time it takes to run a blog
Unless you are just blogging as a hobby, there is not reason for you to be spending tons of money. If your focus is to build your personal brand and/or business, it’s going to take some money to make some money.
Your domain name and web hosting is just the basics. I’m not encouraging you to spend your life savings, but by all means make free resources work for you as long as you can. However, remember that free resources can only get you so far. If you don’t have the money, then put in the time.
Eventually the time will start to pay off and your take that money and reinvest it. If you need the money for other things do a 50/50 or some sort of split that benefits your particular situation. Also keep your personal and business expenses separate. It will save your the headaches come tax time.
#4 – The importance of having goals
What is the point of having a blog these days? You can have a blog as a hobby, which is perfectly fine. You can also have a blog as a part of a business or it can be your business. Either way you should have goals, both short term and long term. If you are not the best at goal planning, may it how you are looking at it.
When I start setting goals, I would always do long term and never broke them down. These days I’m still starting off with the long term but I’m only focusing on 90 days out, basically quarterly goals planning. Therefore you can break it down into 3 buckets 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. And break those down even further so you are not overwhelmed.
#5 – Content – how to plan ahead and how to repurpose it
I sucked at planning ahead. I would have weeks without new content to my blog. Sometimes I would put up what I called filler content, which probably never got read by anyone because it sucked. I wish I had learned how to master the art of bulk writing and scheduling out my content earlier on.
Therefore, when I was busy with client work my blog wouldn’t have been neglected. Also knowing that your content can be use in many ways to get more eyes on it would have been helpful too. A blog post with just images and text and be repurposed into an audio or video recording for those who like to listen rather than reading.
Podcasting or audio recording, along with video is very popular plus valuable. You don’t have to do everything but definitely give it a try and see what works best for you and your audience.
#6 – Creating evergreen content
Evergreen content doesn’t have an expiring date. It’s always relevant. A lot of the content I had created for my blog wasn’t evergreen. My blog started out as a portfolio, showcasing my work in hope of getting work. When work was slow I start writing about other things.
Again I didn’t have goals, a plan or a clear focus. After taking a year off from blogging, I tried to restart my blog. I became frustrated because some if not most of my old content was useless. You must learn about evergreen content and how to use it across multiple mediums to get more eyes on it.
In conclusion, when you have been blogging for a long time, you come across a lot of things. Everyone will have his or her own story. Hopefully my experience can help you navigate the blogosphere a little easier. One last piece of advice, never stop learning because this industry, like technology is forever evolving.