9 Things I Learnt In My First Year Of Blogging
We Learn + Grow As A Person Every Single Day
Since starting All In My Head, I’ve learnt so much about blogging, writing, social media, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Believe me, I know I’ve still got so many things to learn about. That’s just the way of blogging – there’s always new things going on. That’s what makes it so exciting!
But in this past year, I’ve learnt a few things that I want to share with you all. Perhaps you’re thinking of starting a blog, or you’re already in that first year. This post was created to give you some info + advice that I’ve picked up and learnt during my first year as a blogger.
I hope you enjoy them!
1. Success Is Relative + You Should Celebrate Your Own Successes Without Comparing Them To Other People’s
This is a pretty huge one. When I first thought about blogging for business, and taking it seriously as a potential way to make an income, I got seriously bogged down with all the income reports and success stories out there. I began to feel like there was no way I could compete!
I decided I needed to take a step back, and start focusing on my own achievements. That’s when I started tracking everything that was happening with AIMH – and it made me realise something. I was already having successes every single month!
It’s all about your own goals and targets – set yourself achievable and realistic goals, and then focus on hitting them. Don’t stress about what other people have going on. This is your blog, your biz + your personal journey.
Check out my post here on setting yourself goals to smash in 2018!
2. Content Is THE MOST Important Element Of Your Blog
I started off writing about beauty and lifestyle posts, that weren’t in-depth, had terrible photos, and didn’t provide any value to my readers.
Once I started thinking about what I really enjoyed writing about, I began to write some seriously valuable posts that my readers loved. These posts were actually helping them, and providing them with value.
Providing useful and helpful content to your readers is the way to turn your blog into a potential business. You can write about whatever topic you like – just turn the posts into something that your readers can gain value from. If you’re a travel blogger, simply change the post idea from things I did in Las Vegas, to top ten things to do on holiday in Las Vegas.
By changing the topic around slightly, you’re actually helping your readers who are interested in the subject, and they will come back for more. You will be seen as someone who has experience and expert advice and knowledge, and people will really warm to that!
3. You Don’t Need To Be Perfect To Start
If you’re wondering whether you have the skills necessary to blog, and the thinking and planning is putting you off, then I urge you to stop worrying and just go for it!
Honestly, you do not need to be perfect to start. Even if you feel that you’re going to mess things up – I promise it doesn’t matter! Your journey has to start somewhere, and believe me you’ll learn so much along the way.
My writing has improved massively over the last year, because I’m working on it constantly. Once you start getting into the habit of writing everyday you’ll see how it improves as time goes by.
If you don’t start, you can never practice, and then you’ll never get better! Just go for it, learn along the way and enjoy the ride.
4. Start Growing Your Email List Right Away + Don’t Be Afraid To Actually Email Your Subscribers!
If you’re serious about growing your blog into a business, then you’re definitely going to need to start an email list. It’s the key way to communicate with your readers, without any rules established by other people. Your list, your rules!
There’s something much more personal about landing in someone’s inbox and people are much more likely to get to know and like you if you communicate with them directly. You can build better relationships with your readers, and this leads to more traffic, more sales, and a bigger, more profitable business.
If you need help starting an email list, you can read this post about setting up with Mailerlite and getting your first subscriber.
5. Pinterest Is One Of The Best Tools For Growing Your Blog Traffic
It’s true! Pinterest is an amazing way to seriously grow your blog traffic, and reach all kinds of new audiences. If you think Pinterest is just for recipes and DIY then you’re wrong!
There are literally thousands of topics being shown on Pinterest and blogging and entrepreneurship is really having it’s moment. You reach literally tens to hundreds of thousands of people each month, without paying for a single ad.
I’ve written a couple of posts about Pinterest which you can check out below:
6. Don’t Hesitate To Try + Earn Money If That’s What You Want To Do With Your Blog
Honestly, you don’t need to wait until you have a certain amount of traffic or subscribers before you try to earn money from your blog.
It depends on how you plan on making money, but you can definitely start with some methods immediately.
I think the best way to start, no matter how much traffic you get, is affiliate marketing. You can still get clicks on your links no matter whether 10 people view your blog each week, or 10,000. Of course you will earn significantly more if you’re getting more clicks on your links, but you can definitely start straight away.
You can check out these two affiliate networks that accept most bloggers no matter how much traffic they have. [I was accepted as a really new blogger, so I know it’s possible.]
There are lots of other methods for monetizing your blog, and these differ depending on personal preference, and the type of content you product. Some are also more viable once your blog is more established, and you have more traffic, such as ad placement.
Take your time and get to grips with something like affiliate marketing to begin with, and add more income streams as your blog grows.
7. Create Goals + A Plan To Achieve Them
There’s nothing more important than creating goals for your blog and business. It’s the best way to remain motivated, and help yourself push through the days where you’re feeling less than productive.
By setting yourself clear goals and finding ways to achieve them, you will be able to take your blog to places you never thought possible!
I set myself monthly and yearly goals that are in line with my all time dream for my blog and business, and do everything possible to achieve them. It keeps me heading in the right direction, and I get such a feeling of satisfaction when I tick things off!
Spend some time on a regular basis focusing on your goals. I also recommend physically writing things down, because it really helps having that visual aid. It helps me see exactly where I’ve come from, what I’ve already succeeded in, and what I am working towards.
Don’t forget to give yourself a break sometimes too! It’s easy to lose track, and forget to take time to eat, shower, and generally look after yourself and your home. But set aside some time, and make sure to do those things, or else you’ll begin to feel out of it.
Your blog and business is important, but so is looking after yourself!
8. Focus On Your Strengths When It Comes To Blog Traffic
Of course it’s important to try to get traffic to your blog from different sources. However, if you only focus on one, then you might hit trouble is something happens to it. It’s a good idea to use Google Analytics and check out your top 3 traffic sources, and then focus on those.
You can’t possibly master every single platform and method out there to get blog traffic. You will find that you can’t get any real traction from any of them!
To begin with, it’s really important to focus on the ones that you’re already seeing success with, and build on those.
It might be that you have great results with Twitter or StumbleUpon, or people are coming directly to your blog by typing your address in their browser. Find out what your top traffic sources are, and then do everything you can to grow them.
I’ve written about finding out your blog traffic sources, if you want to look into this further.
9. Have Fun + Blog Because You’re Passionate About It
This is really important. It’s no good trying to blog for business if you’re not passionate about writing, and sharing your knowledge and experience. It will show through in your content, and people won’t be as receptive to it.
People can tell if you’re bored by what you’re writing about!
Not only that, but a few months or years down the line, you’ll get bored too. And you will be tempted to give up. Soo many blogs fail because people lose interest, and no longer feel passionate about what they’re writing about. Of course, you can’t predict the future, so who knows what will happen a few years down the line. But if you don’t really have the passion for it now, then it’s probably never going to happen.
There’s nothing better than finding something that you really love, and trying to make a living from it. Blogging is one of those things that takes up so much time and energy and if you’re not excited by it then it can become a chore.
I have a serious love for writing and creating things that will help my readers, and it’s still not changed in this first year. Since starting in April, my blog has become really important to me, and I love the things it brings me! I can’t wait until I can fully rely on my blog full-time, and am working towards that with everything I’ve got.
2017 Is Done, But 2018 Is Going To Be Such An Exciting Year!
When the year ends, another year begins. It brings with it fresh opportunities, new goals to chase after, and a whole fresh outlook on life.
I’m really excited to see how my second year of blogging goes, and what new opportunities will come my way!
I wish you all a happy new year, and can’t wait to hear your successes and wins as the year goes by.