The First Year of Blogging – What You Need To Know

The First Year Of Blogging: What You Need To Know

Here is a real view of what life is like for a blogger starting out.

To be a successful blogger, you need to have a long term view. This is because there are a lot of things that go into creating a blog that you need to learn (from writing posts and photography, to mastering social media).  But you will begin to master these skills the more you do it. And you will get to see your hard work pay off only after a year or so of blogging.

It is easy to start a blog, the hard part is building it month after month.

I see so many people give up after their first month. These people make the same 2 mistakes.

The 2 Common Mistakes New Bloggers Make

The 2 Common Mistakes New Bloggers Make

1. Too Many Topics

Beginner bloggers start a blog with WAY to many topics. They want their blog to be about “fashion, travel, food, and fitness”. They call it a lifestyle blog. There are uber successful lifestyle bloggers out there, but they usually started their blog with one topic.

The problem with blogging about too many topics in the beginning, is that it is hard to build momentum. By the end of the first month what will you have? Maybe one post on fashion, one recipe post, and one post about your fitness day. That is not a solid blog.

Instead, say you really wanted start a food blog – then you should focus on that. And by the end of the first month you should have 6-10 recipes posted. By the end of the month you will know which sites to submit your recipes to so that you get traffic. You will also have started learning the best ways to take photographs of your food.

That’s how you build momentum.

2. Not Enough Posts (Aim for 20)

The people I see starting blogs don’t create enough content to give themselves a chance of succeeding. After a month, they’ll have 3-4 posts.

It’s like building a bicycle. Too many people try to cycle off after they just get the wheels. You need the whole bike to be able to get anywhere.

Set yourself a goal of 20 posts. Or if the posts take a long time to create, like your own recipe posts, aim for 6-10 in one month. Push yourself hard to get a high number of posts onto your blog, in a short amount of time. You’ll feel a level of achievement – which will then spur you into month 2, month 3, and beyond. 

How I Started

I started Home Tree Atlas in February 2013. I launched the site with 20 posts about basement design ideas. That is something no new bloggers do. Launch with a lot of posts.

When I launched I was able to get 10-30 visitors a day straight away thanks to:

  1. the number of posts I had and
  2. thanks to Pinterest (I created a mood board for each of my posts)

10-30 visitors a day is not normal for beginner bloggers. Most newbies will get maybe 2-3 visitors a day after a few weeks. But I was able to do it because I launched with a lot of posts about the same topic, and heavily used Pinterest.

When starting my blog I wanted to focus on building it, which I knew at that time meant writing a lot of posts. So that’s what I did. I didn’t focus on money, traffic, or the design of the website. I focused on just writing posts and sharing them on Pinterest. I didn’t start adding adverts to my site until 8 months later. Even then I was only making around 20 cents to $1 a day.  It’s tough work in the beginning.

Hack the System – Tips on How to Start a Successful Blog Fast

Here are some blogging for beginners words to live by: “Do something, and share it”.

Create a recipe, then find the websites that shares recipes. Create a DIY project, and then share it on crafting websites. The more original things you can do, and create, the faster you’ll build your traffic.

If you can create something and share it, your blog will grow faster versus just writing about something.

How about doing a challenge or an experiment? A post about “How I Became a Vegetarian for a Month” is much better that “Tips for Becoming a Vegetarian”.

“Do something, and share it.”

You’ll also want to get as good as you can with a camera, as fast as possible. Photos help spread your posts – especially on Pinterest (the number one source of traffic to my site comes from Pinterest). It doesn’t take much to be good with a camera. It’s mostly about lighting. Check out my post on beginner photography for bloggers [coming soon].

Get Started – Build A Successful Blog

The 2 things to remember when starting your blog are 1) focus on one topic to blog about and 2) push yourself hard to produce a lot of content in the first month. This is important because if you can get that feeling of achievement after your first month, you’ll be spurred on to keep building your blog.

I have put together a simple guide on how you can set up your own blog in just about 4-5 minutes: How To Start a Blog – Your Step by Step Successful Launch Guide.

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