I started blogging because I have this urge to help people discover this challenging yet fulfilling business. I’ve been blogging for a while now, and I sure have learned a lot along the way.
Having had a blog for at least a couple of years now, I know I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. And I still have much to learn!
So I thought I’d share some blogging do’s and don’t for bloggers who are just starting out. This will hopefully help you avoid the same blunders I’ve committed, and find the same fulfillment–financially and personally–that I found in this endeavor.
Do be yourself and be honest with readers
You know what they say about trust: It takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.
In the age of the internet, there’s very little you can hide successfully. People are empowered by information, which they can access with the click of a button.
So be genuine, be authentic. Say what you mean and mean what you say in your blog. Your readers will love you if you are honest.
They might even purchase products and services you recommend. And that’s exactly what you need to do for you to make money blogging.
Do learn SEO and know what improves readability
To earn money from your blog, you need to get lots of traffic. And your best source of readers would still be organic traffic. These are visitors who find your blog through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
For you to rank high in Google searches, you need to master SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. This involves a number of things that are focused on keywords that people enter when they do a search. I wrote about some simple SEO tips for beginners in my previous post.
Part of SEO requires that you make your articles readable, i.e. easy to read for your audience. Sentences can’t be too long, paragraphs should have less sentences, subheadings are important. This is one area where blog writing significantly differs from writing a book or a technical report.
Do promote your blog through social media and other marketing channels
If you’re really serious about making a living from your blog, you better get serious about marketing it as well.
You would do well to share content via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media networks. This will widen your reach significantly. If you don’t share to social media, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with potential audiences
Social media is just one way to market your blog. Other marketing strategies include e-mail marketing and paid advertisements such as Google adwords.
Do create educational content, not just updates
Which of these two articles would you most likely click and read:
- Places I visited in Paris this summer
- How I toured around Paris on a budget
If you’re like most people, you would be more interested to read the second article. One of the reasons for this is the second article promises to offer helpful and/or educational content.
People may be interested about the places you visited. But they’d be even more so if you show them how you did it on a budget, right?
So make it your aim to always write content that can help and educate people.
Do post consistently
Try to post content as regularly as you can. It can be 1 article per week or every 2 weeks, but just be consistent. This is a good way to keep loyal readers and attract new ones.
And it would help you stay focused on your goal of making money blogging. Blogging could and should be a business for you. If you blog only when you feel like it, then you’re not going to accomplish much as far as retaining an audience. Forget about earning money if you’re just treating your blog as an occasional pastime.
Do build your mailing list
E-mail marketing is invaluable to bloggers. Some would go as far as saying that it is more important than social media marketing.
People who sign up to your newsletter are those who willingly opted in to be a part of your promotional campaign. They have reached a deeper level in your marketing funnel, and are much closer to completing it. They are open to your suggestions regarding services and products you would recommend, along with the engaging content you plan to provide.
Do join mastermind groups or communities
Sure, you can just do things on your own and figure out things by yourself when you’re just starting out as a blogger. But that would be like insisting on not using a map to go to a destination you’re not familiar with.
There’s a wealth of knowledge available to you, and people willing to help you navigate the way. The community that has helped me the most has been Wealthy Affiliate. Check out my other blog post where I wrote more details about Wealthy Affiliate and how it has greatly helped me.
Don’t overlook spelling and grammar
Your blog will look more professional and you will gain more trust with your readers if you mind your spelling and grammar.
Double check what you’ve written before you publish it. You can ask someone to help you proofread, if possible.
Don’t neglect the design of your blog
With all the free templates and design ideas available on the internet, you have no excuse for having a badly-designed blog.
Make your site eye-friendly and easier to navigate for your visitors. Having awesome content is of course still the most important thing. But if a reader were to choose between two blogs with related content, they would most probably go for the one that is better designed..
Plagiarism is a very serious crime in the blogging world, and frankly in any industry. Search engines like Google may also punish your blog and de-list it from the search engine results page for publishing plagiarized content. And most of all you will lose the trust of your readers.
Don’t expect overnight results
One of the easiest ways to get discouraged about making money with your blog is to set unrealistic expectations. Don’t think that the cash will all start flowing in after just a few blog posts.
It’s just something that doesn’t happen overnight. But if you keep on posting awesome content that helps people, and have a great marketing strategy in place, it will happen. Consistent bloggers can see great results within 3 months or so.
Don’t treat your blog as a hobby
When you think of blogging as only a hobby, you can’t hope to earn any substantial amount of money from it.
Think of it this way: Nobody starts a business and manages it only as a hobby, right? It’s exactly the same with your blog. You need to mean business and write with intent if you want blogging to be a significant source of income.
Don’t forget to engage with your audience
Build a relationship with your readers. When they comment on a blog post, send a reply. When they e-mail you, make it a point to reply within a day or two. Monitor your social media posts, and actively participate in dialogues with your followers.
It may not be 100% possible to reply to each and every comment, especially when you start getting so many followers. But showing that you exert an effort to connect with your readers is a good way of establishing a trusting relationship.
Don’t stop learning new strategies
The internet is always evolving. Google for example updates its search engine ranking algorithm hundreds of times every year.
This means that what works well today, may be obsolete by tomorrow. A really effective way of staying up to date with the best practices in the blogging industry is by having mentors.
And that is exactly what a group like Wealthy Affiliate is—a platform that connects people like you and me with the best bloggers on the world wide web while providing the best training related to starting and monetizing your blog.
In blogging, as in life, you’re going to make mistakes and experience a setback every now and then. I came up with this list of blogging do’s and dont’s because I want my readers to minimize their mistakes and setbacks as much as possible.
I myself received a lot of help when I was just starting out. Wealthy Affiliate really helped me get my blog up and running, and made each step of the way much easier. Membership is free so there is no excuse to not get in there and start interacting with the community. Click to: Login and create your free profile today.
If you have questions about my experience with Wealthy Affiliate, feel free to leave me a message in the comments.