My blog turned five at the end of July which is a major milestone because most people quit after the first year or two. When I first launched my blog I had no idea what I was doing and I was totally winging it because my first post was only five hundred words that took me three days to write and gave me so much anxiety that I almost decided blogging was not for me. I decided I was going to give myself thirty days before I quit and moved on to something else because everyone gets anxious when they start something news and you shouldn’t quit after doing something once. People start blogs for various reasons and some people do it to spread awareness about their health or sometimes people do it because they think it’s going to make them super rich so they never have to work again. Blogging has given me a lot of skills that I did not have before my blog but sometimes I get the impression people don’t understand what it takes to make money from a blog and think we just sit at our computer for an hour and just like that we are loaded. I have been blogging for five years and through that time I have made many mistakes and accomplished many things that have helped me grow as a person and improve my readership. In this post, I am going to talk about things I have learned in my first five years of blogging that I hope you can learn from and apply to in your blogging journey.
Blogging is not a get rich-quick scheme– Some people start a blog because they are truly passionate about something and don’t care if they make zero dollars from their blogs while others do it for the wrong reasons. Sometimes people start them because they read on Pinterest that you can write one post that will go viral and be making thousands of dollars in three months which will allow you to quit your corporate job but those are the blogs that fail. Blogging reports can be dangerous on Pinterest because it can give new bloggers the impression that it’s easy to get rich off of a blog but what you may not see is the people making a lot of money are getting a lot of sponsored posts, creating products and courses but are not relying on blog posts alone! Some people start a blog because they think it’s an easy way to make money and and be lazy but lazy bloggers don’t make money and if you want to sit around and do nothing blogging is not for you. Technically it is possible to get rich off of a blog and become an overnight success but it is very rare and most people you see running blogs full-time make little to no income and do it because they love to write!
Not all bloggers are qualified to give blogging advice- Most bloggers will give blogging advice at one time or another but not all bloggers will give good advice or should be giving blogging advice at all. I have read posts from bloggers with twenty minutes of experience who are giving blogging advice and selling courses on how to create a successful blog and it makes me so mad. Why are you creating courses on building a successful blog when you haven’t done it yet? There should be some rule that you can’t create courses that promise readers something if you haven’t personally achieved it because you can’t teach someone something that you haven’t figured out yet. Blogging courses can help you grow your blog but not all bloggers are going to be qualified to be selling blogging courses but some people still create them and fill their courses with what sounds good to make money. Blogging courses can help grow your blog but if you are not buying from someone who knows more about blogging than you do it will get you no where!
Social media is helpful but not necessary- People sometimes think that bloggers have to be on social media to grow their blogs but that is not true and some bloggers because it can help you grow but it’s not required. Social media can help you expand but not all bloggers will use social media because it can be frustrating at times and if you focus on optimizing your posts for search engines and constantly growing your email list you’ll do just fine without it.
Consistency is important- I have not been the most consistent with my blog lately because I just got back from vacation and my now I have to get ready for surgery and it’s been hard to keep up with posts but do I try to update my blog at least once a week. Consistency is important for blogs because blogs get readers from all over the world and when you post at the same day at the same time it lets people know when to expect a post from you which will get you more views. It doesn’t matter if you post once a week or once a month and the most important thing is that you are consistent with your posting schedule because it will help you grow!
One good post is better than one-hundred bad ones- Some bloggers will say that it’s better to write a poor post than to not write one at all but that is not true and you are better of not posting than to write one-thousand low-quality ones. Blogs thrive on content and although you can spam your readers and write tons of poorly written posts that took five minutes but that will only last so long. People are smart and eventually they will catch on that you are only writing to get things out and will unfollow you because your not providing them something of value. The more you create the more popular you will become but if you are creating poorly writtent content the opposite will happen.
Some days you may not feel like posting– I love what I do and most days I am excited to create content for my readers but like most people sometimes I wake up and am like “it’s only Tuesday”. Writing doesn’t feel like a chore for bloggers that truly love what they do but on days you are lacking motivation it can and that is okay because you are not always going to feel creative. On hard days that you just don’t want to do it, you have two options and it’s either take the day off or try to get a post started because sometimes that is the hardest part.
You don’t need to be self-hosted– Many bloggers will say that you must be self-hosted to make money and if you are serious about making your blog as a career then you should be self-hosted but not everyone is blogging professionally. Many personal bloggers are doing it to have a safe space to talk about life and don’t care to make money so going self-hosted is not necessary. My blog is self-hosted because I struggled with finding the right theme for months and hated my blog but it’s not a requirement for all bloggers because it can be expensive.
Don’t take blogging advice of people who don’t blog- Friends and family mean well and sometimes will try to give you advice on how to grow you brand but in my experience it’s never good advice because people who do not blog don’t understand all the rules of blogging. A family member once told me that I post too much and that if I posted less I would get more views to my blog. What? This makes zero sense because blogs thrive on content and if I posted less I would lose subscribers not gain them but the only time I can see that might be true is if I was posting every single day and people were getting annoyed by my notifications. Friends will mean well when giving you blogging advice but if you want good advice talk to someone who knows what they are talking about!
Your first post is not going to be your best- Most of the posts I have written in my first year or two have been rewritten or deleted because they were very poorly written and just bad with the exception of the very first post I wrote and I keep that one up to remind me of how far I’ve come. When I wrote my first post I thought it was the best thing ever but now when I look back on it five years later I gag and wonder how I was ever that bad. Does anyone else ever think that about their first blog post or it is just me? Your first blog post doesn’t have to be perfect and probably won’t be your best work and that is okay because you can go back and update it as you improve.
Audio posts can get you even more views- Most people are able to read posts without difficulty but it’s not accessible for all readers and people who are blind or visually impaired may struggle with reading a blog post. When I orginally started blogging I did not create audio posts because it’s time-consuming and I never realized how many views I was losing until I started creating audio version of my posts. I don’t have a lot of audio posts and I am not creating new ones until after I recover from my surgery but the ones I have done do quite well and bring me traffic. Audio posts are not a requirement for bloggers to create but it’s a huge part of accessibility and if you don’t have them you could be missing out on a lot of views!
Designs with fancy colors is not accessible- The first couple of years I was blogging I used a lot of intricate designs and bright colors because it looked pretty and I wanted to add some personality to my site until one of my fellow bloggers informed me that it was not accessible for some readers. Themes with bright colors may look better than plain websites but it’s not accessible and can be difficult for the blind and visually impaired to navigate when there are distracting designs that make it even more difficult to read text. Keep it simple and use soft colors like white to make it easier for blind readers to navigate your site because if you make too hard they will go elsewhere!
Blogging can be overwhelming for new bloggers because it’s not all about writing and there is website building which is more difficult than you think it is. I am able to teach new bloggers a lot of skills on how to grow their blogs but by no means would I consider myself a blogging expert because I am not making a full-time income off my blog and I still have much to learn about blogging. I started my blog to spread awareness about my health and it’s okay if I don’t know every single thing there is to know about blogging because no one truly knows everything but you can always find someone in the community who has a little more experience than you and can answer questions you are struggling with. I don’t know if I will be blogging for another five years but I hope that I am and it’s crazy to think I have been writing this long because it feels like yesterday that I wrote my first post. What lessons has your blog taught you? If you are a new blogger and have any questions about growing your blog please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to help you.
I read all comments because I love hearing your thoughts but you must be kind and keep all comments relevant to the post you are commenting on. You don’t have to agree with everyone but you must be civil when you do disagree because hateful comments towards me or any other commenters will not be tolerated. If you see someone is struggling it’s okay to offer support but please do not attempt to diagnose anyone because it can be dangerous and I can be held liable if it’s bad advice. The comment section of my blog is not for promoting yourself and any links that are dropped without me specifically stating it’s okay to do so will be deleted. If you violate my policy your comment will be edited or completely removed from my site.
Thanks for understanding!