10 Blogging Lessons I’ve Learned in my First 6 Months

Posted March 7, 2017 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 2 Comments

A year ago, I made the decision to start my blog. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! Read on to find my top 10 blogging lessons!

Have you ever considered starting a blog?  Are you overwhelmed by all of the blogging lessons you’ve found on Pinterest?  I was in the exact same boat at this time last year!

A year ago, I made the decision to start my blog.  Honestly, while I knew it would be a new challenge, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in the fourth grade (which you can read about here), so the idea seemed natural.  I heard you could even make some money blogging! As with anything I do, I researched blogging lessons on Pinterest for months before I actually dove in.  I wanted to make sure I could do it.

The advice I found was so different than what I’d done for my small hobby blogs in the past.  It was such an eye opener to see what it takes to make a blog successful!  I started my blog and followed as much of the advice as I possibly could.  Today, I want to share the best blogging lessons I’ve learned in these last 6 months.  Hopefully, these will help you on your journey!

Blogging Lessons I’ve Learned Along the Way

This post contains affiliate links.  To learn more about what this means, see my full dislosure here.

If you’re ready to take blogging seriously, these tips will give you a jumpstart on your journey to a successful blog.

1. First impressions are key.  

One of the first things I knew I needed to do on my blogging journey was invest in a pretty website.  Having everything branded from day one was incredibly imsportant to me, and it’s one of the things people complimented even on day one.

The very first thing I did before I launched my blog was purchase a wordpress theme.  There are so many to choose from, so it’s really a personal choice.  You want to find a theme that is mobile responsive and easily customized.  I use Tweak Me V.2 by NoseGraze here on the blog, and I’ve also used Shopkeeper by Themeforest on another website and had great experiences with both.

Another thing I did right away was invest in a branding package. This included all of the graphics you see on this blog that make it uniquely mine.  My logo, colors, graphics, header, and all of the cute sidebar headers that say things like “sponsors” and “features.”

Whether you create yours yourself to save money, or invest in something custom or pre-made, make sure it is professional quality and unique so you can make that great first impression.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up a WordPress Website

2. Readers are selfish.

I mean this in the nicest way possible.  I love my readers, but I also know they wouldn’t keep coming back if they weren’t getting anything out of it.  Who would?

Whether you are offering up super informative blog posts, tutorials, freebies, inspiration, or even just a daily dose of laughter, make sure you are offering your readers something they want or need! That’s what gets them to spend time on your blog.

The 10 Best Blogging Lessons I've Learned Since Starting My Blog

3. The more you blog, the easier it will be.

This might be the number one question I get from people that know me and visit my blog for the first time. “Where do you get all of your content ideas?” “How do you come up with so much to write about?”  Well, here’s my secret.  I write a lot! I know, that’s not actually a secret.  But, it’s true.

The more you write, and the more you focus on your blog, the more you’ll be inspired to write.  The more inspiration you have, the easier it will be to put out new posts week after week.  I was so worried that I would run out of things to talk about on my blog!  I actually came up with a list of around 100 blog post topic ideas before I registered my domain.  I didn’t want to ever have the excuse of not having something to write about.

Little did I know that sometimes the inspiration is overwhelming.  I now have lists for each category on my blog saved to Evernote so it’s at my fingertips at all times.  I use these lists to create my editorial calendar each month, which is how I stay organized and ahead of schedule.

Focus on your blog and write every day.  You’ll be surprised at where it takes you!

4. Be consistent.

This is so important.  When I created my blog I made one promise to myself and to my readers.  I would show up, every week. No matter what, I have that blog post out on Wednesdays.  In 6 months, I have not failed to produce one new blog post a week for my blog.  There are often more, but every single week, on Wednesday at 5 am CST, I have a blog post that goes out to my readers.  It was my commitment on day one, and it remains my commitment now!

If you treat this like a hobby, it’ll never grow into more.  By treating my blog like a job, and showing up when I say I will, I’ve seen amazing growth both on the blog and personally.  I really doubted myself back in July.  I don’t doubt myself anymore!

Related: Starting a New Business: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

5. An email list is more important than a social following.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Having an email list is so, so important.  Probably the most important thing you’ll do, besides creating awesome content.  So much emphasis is put on having a large social media following, but the truth is, you don’t own those platforms.  Algorithms change all the time, and you have virtually no control over who sees your posts.  They aren’t without merit, but should absolutely come after building your list. I currently use Mailchimp for my email list.  It is free when you’re first starting out, which makes it a great option before you start making a lot of money!  I am able to build a landing page and embedded forms, and send out my freebies to subscribers right away.

Related:  How I Tripled My Blog Traffic in 3 Months

6. There’s no easy road to success

It is so easy to look towards successful bloggers or business owners and think they had it so easy.  I can tell you from experience though, that you are only seeing the very tip of the iceburg.  There is so much to a successful business that isn’t shown to the public.  Hours of lost sleep working on the blog, years of building a following, money spent on courses, and lots and lots of coffee.

It’s not ever easy.  If you want to find success in your blog (or any business) you will have to put in hours of work.

The 10 Best Blogging Lessons I've Learned Since Starting My Blog

7. Graphics are so important

I’ve had an online business for years, so I knew that having high quality images was important.  However, I had no idea just how important they were until I started a blog and started learning Pinterest!  What do you pin on Pinterest? Think back to what catches your attention.  I know for most people, clean, organized, bright images do the best.  You also want to have at least one image in your blog post that is vertical & contains your post title.  That’s the pin that will go on Pinterest.  Aim for a very branded template that will be recognizable and stand out from all of the other pins on Pinterest.

8. Passion in your topic makes all the difference

Blogging takes a lot of work.  I’m going to tell you right now that if you aren’t passionate in your subject, you will eventually burn out.  I eat, sleep, and breath organization and business topics.  I’ve run a business on my own for 8 years.  I’m obsessed with planners and organizing. If I wasn’t, It would not be enjoyable to sit down every day and read about it, talk about it, and daydream new areas to learn.

Be very mindful when choosing your niche.  You really don’t want to wake up a year from now dreading the idea of another blog post!

9. Never say never.

One of the newer lessons I’ve learned in blogging is to never say never.  One of my firsts posts on this blog talked all about how I was not going to do something.  I literally said in that blog post, “I will never do that.”  Guess what I’m doing now??  Yep.  The exact same thing I said I was not going to do!

Needless to say, that blog post doesn’t exist anymore.  I don’t like the idea of taking back my words, so from here on out, I will always keep an open mind when talking about the future.  Because, you really don’t ever know how things will change.

10. Learn from the pros.

Don’t do this alone, guys.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the pros.  They’ve been there. They’ve done it.  Let them lead you if they’re willing! My friend Abby, from Just a Girl and Her Blog, is one of those pros that is willing to lead new bloggers to success!  Her course, Building a Framework, has helped over 10,000 new bloggers get started, including me!

Note: Building a Framework is no longer on the market, but there are countless others like it! Do your research, ask around in blogging groups, and invest in a course that will give you a great start.

Don’t Let Fear Get in the Way

Are you ready to start your blog? Don’t let fear get in the way of what can be an amazing journey.  Looking back now, I’m so glad I didn’t talk myself out of blogging this summer!  I hope that you found these 10 blogging lessons useful.  I know that as a new blogger, it is so easy to go into information overload.  Just know that if you are ready to work hard and be authentic, you can go so far with a blog. If you’ve ever considered starting a blog, don’t hold yourself back because you’re scared.  If you start today, you’ll be amazed at where you are in 6 months!

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