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Blogging For Dummies: Lessons Learnt From 3 Years Of Blogging

Blogging For Dummies - How to get started with blogging

One of the most frustrating things for all new bloggers is the lack of readers at the start. "Write well and they shall come", is probably the most frustrating piece of advice from some of the gurus out there. I've been blogging for nearly three years now and have seen some super ups and downs. This post is as much a reflection piece as it is some advice for all new bloggers looking to increase their traffic. If you want your blog to take off and succeed, here are some tips I've picked up along the way as well as some pitfalls you should avoid making.

Set a posting rhythm and stick to it

Blogging Tip - Set a posting rhythm

I'll be the first to admit that when i started blogging, i only posted when i felt like writing or had something to say. Sometimes i could do two posts in a day and then go for weeks without making another post. I'd venture that this is something most blogging newbies do as well. While it's completely natural and authentic to do so, it could be very frustrating for your readers.

Once a reader has discovered your site or blog, you want to keep them coming back for more. Just like TV shows have a predictable schedule, the best way i've found to increase readership is to simply post at frequent intervals. The hard part for most new bloggers is sustaining a frequent enough posting routine when there aren't that many readers. The motivation to write certainly takes a dip when no one is reading.

So how often should you post? While there's no hard and fast rule, most successful blogs tend to have a new post once a week at the minimum. Most of the bigger blogs usually have a new post every day and some even have multiple posts per day. To sustain this sort of posting frequency, they usually rely on "guest writers" or hire writers to do the writing for them. 

Don't make the mistake of posting only when you feel like it or you will find yourself losing your fans over time.

Write Good Content Every Time

It should go without saying but only publish your work if it meets your standards. You may be pressured to cut corners in order to keep us with your posting schedule but i can't say this enough - lousy content means no repeat visitors. On the other hand, good content will have your readers coming back day in day out.

So what exactly is good content? When it comes to content quality, you need to know who you're writing for. What are your readers looking for when they visit our site? Are they looking for in-depth articles or do they want something with an airy-fairy feel that strikes a more personal tone? You need to put yourself in their shoes when writing your articles.

Good content also means well formatted articles that are free from spelling and grammatical errors. Type your article in Microsoft Word, or better yet, use Grammarly to spot the errors in your posts before you publish them.

Stick to a few main themes for your blog

stick to a few main themes for your blog

When you start your blog, it's only natural that you want to write about all the random musings that are going on in your head like nuclear proliferation, male grooming tips as well as how to get that perfect coffee bean grind. This might work if you're building a personal fan-base and your fans just want to interact with you, but otherwise, the visitors to your site are just going to be confused about what your site is about.

On EyeObserver for example, i focus on technology - helping my readers learn more about Smart Homes, cryptocurrencies, gadgets and blogging. As much as i like writing about travel destinations and the economy, these topics just don't jive well with the rest of my blog posts, so i've created a separate blog for them. 

Could i get more traffic if i cover more topics on EyeObserver? Most definitely. I'd rather have more focused traffic, readers who are interested about technology and want to learn more about some of the niches that i cover. As an added bonus, focusing your site on a particular niche helps to rank new articles in Google.

Don't rely on a single source of traffic

Don't rely on a single source of traffic for your site

Ideally, you want your blog visitors to subscribe to your blog so that they're alerted every time you publish a new article. These are your fans who will read anything that you write (for the most part). How do you get people to visit your blog in the first place?

There are a couple of ways that readers discover your site. Ranking in search engines for certain keywords is probably my favorite way to gain readers. Search engines tend to bring in targeted readers who will find your content useful. Once your content has ranked in search engines, you don't have to do much in order to bring in the passive traffic to your site. 

Promoting your site on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) as well as on relevant forums are another great way to bring in traffic. Unlike search engines, you have to actively promote your site from time to time in order to bring in the traffic as your social media posts can get buried real fast.

The reason why i say that you shouldn't rely on just a single source of traffic is because the algorithms that Google, Facebook etc. use to determine what sites/posts get shown changes all the time. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have also been known to delete accounts on a whim and if you were solely relying on your two million Twitter followers for traffic, then you'd be screwed. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

Don't rely on a single way to monetize your blog

If there's one lesson i've learnt from all the blogging gurus out there, it is that they have something like thirty different ways that they monetize their site with. The big earners for most of them are their own programs / books as well as a few high paying affiliate programs. They then augment this with a lot of smaller affiliate programs so that they aren't left at the mercy of any single affiliate program. 

Unless you're selling your own product, being an affiliate of someone else's product always leaves your vulnerable to changes in the affiliate program. The same applies to advertiser earnings which have been going down in general, as the landscape becomes more competitive.

You don't need to buy an expensive book or course to be a successful blogger

you don't need expensive courses to become a successful blogger

With so many people looking to get rich by blogging or Internet Marketing, it seems that the only ones who are truly making big money are those selling the systems to becoming a successful blogger. This is reminiscent of the California Gold Rush, where the ones who got rich weren't the miners themselves, but the ones selling them the tools and supplies.

Selling "success" is big business and it isn't uncommon to see successful bloggers selling their book, system or course for a few hundred dollars. I've read a few books, never attended any courses, but found most of the knowledge from the books to be freely available on forums and sites like MOZ and Ahrefs.

Success in blogging can be distilled into a few simple steps:
  1. Write well
  2. Write often
  3. Promote your site on relevant forums, Facebook groups and other social media
  4. Reach out to big sites within your niche and hopefully score a guest post or two
  5. Engage your readers in the comments section
  6. Rinse and repeat
Just as no matter how many karate books you read won't turn you into a black-belt, reading blogging books alone isn't going to turn you into an overnight success. There is a ton of hard work and luck that goes into making a successful blog. Courses may be of value if they give you access to a network of other bloggers who help to promote each other. From a knowledge perspective, however, it's probably better to stick to reading forums like Blackhatworld or WarriorForum. This way, you pick up ideas and real world experience from many different people.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading my thoughts on blogging and i hope you find some of the tips useful when starting your blogging journey. There will be ups and downs for sure, but if you stick with it, the rewards will definitely come. 

In full disclosure, there are a few affiliate links in the article above. They don't cost you any extra and i get a small amount to help keep the site going. Thanks for all your support the past three years, and here's to many more :)  


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