Being a beginner blogger is tough.
You spend a lot of time reading and learning about new things.
And then, try them out only to realize they don’t work.
Yup, I’ve been there and done that!
If you find yourself not being sure what to do, this post is a great place to start.
In it are 38 of the most useful tips for beginners I can offer based on experience.
I hope it will be useful in helping you figure out what to do next or take you past the current stage you’re in.
Tips on Becoming/Being a Blogger
Don’t Focus on Yourself; Focus on Helping Others
One of the most common misconceptions about blogging many beginners have is believing that their blog is about them.
That they should talk about themselves and their lives
That they should write about their interests
But, it’s actually the complete opposite.
While you started a blog to help yourself, be it support yourself, express yourself or make extra cash on the side…
…Your blog shouldn’t be about you.
Instead, it’s about your audience.
What they’re interested in.
And, more importantly, what they need help with.
By solving their problems, you become a BETTER BLOGGER.
And you’ll see that, as your readers will:
- Keep coming back
- Tell their friends about you
- Share your content
- Comment and engage with you
- Follow you on social media and subscribe to your email list
Which, ultimately, helps you reach your blogging goals.
Make a Consistent Blogging Schedule
Blogging isn’t a get-rich scheme.
It takes time,
And a lot of effort.
So to be successful in blogging, you’ll need to be consistent.
- Making enough time to blog
- And, doing it on a regular basis
The best way to do this is to set up a blogging schedule.
This ensures you:
- Set aside enough time to blog to make any progress
- Do it consistently
- Know what you’re going to work on each and every day
Always Be Learning & Be Ready to Adapt
Blogging is always changing.
In part, that’s because Google keeps changing and the rules of social media keep hanging as well.
That means you need to keep learning and adapting to the changes.
As a new blogger, it’s always a good idea to set aside time to learn. This can be via:
- Reading blogs in your niche
- Checking out blogs about blogging, SEO and social
- Reading books
- Watching courses
- Participating in Facebook Groups
- And more!
One thing I’ve noticed when I read blogs is how quickly things can get outdated. It’s why I always make sure to check the date of the post or when it was last updated.
You’ll be surprised to see that many tactics and strategies that were written 1-1/2 or 2 years ago are not obsolete and don’t work at all.
So, as a blogger, it’s important to always stay up to date.
Don’t Try to Be Perfect; Learn as You Go
Another thing I’ve learned about blogging is that it can be overwhelming. There’s just so much to learn, including:
- How to write good content
- Social media, and within that Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and so on
- Building an email list
- Connecting and engaging with readers
- Networking with other bloggers
- And so much more!
When you try to do all these things at once, or even just try to keep them in mind, it can get overwhelming.
What’s the solution?
Just focus on what’s in front of you. Leave the rest for later when it’s time to learn about it.
In short, it’s like the saying, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there”.
This lets you focus on what you need to do RIGHT NOW. Not the things for next week or next month.
So if you’re a beginner blogger, start with just these few things.
- Set up your blog
- Learn to use WordPress
- Find who your audience is and where they hang out
- How to write amazing content people want to read
- Pick 2 social media platforms you want to focus on
Once you get any step done, add a new step that takes you further in your blogging journey.
It’s always easier to you yourself. And, people will appreciate your authenticity!
That’s one of the things that make a successful blogger.
Here’s a quick exercise…
- Take a look at the 3 top bloggers in your niche or bloggers you look up to
- Read 2-3 of their posts
- Take note of their personality, voice and tone
You’ll notice they’re all different!
But, they’re all the same in that they stick to what’s natural to their personalities.
- Neil Patel speaks in a confident, authoritative voice
- Derek Halpern is a bit blunter and more assertive
- Suzi Whitford is friendly and very nurturing
They’re all successful because being themselves allows them to effectively deliver their message and connect with their audience.
Bottom line, be yourself.
Find a Course That Takes You Through Things Step By Step
If you look around, you’ll find tons of blogging courses around.
That’s inevitable because bloggers need to make money.
At the same time, they’re looking for ways to get better at their craft.
But, what separates a great course from a good course (for a beginner), is one that takes you through things step by step.
That last part is crucial…
Because when you’re starting out, there are a lot of things you still don’t know. And from experience, the best way to ingrain good habits and learn the proper techniques or procedures is to see an expert to it.
Them telling you about it doesn’t really help.
That’s because when they do that, they go from step 1 to step 3 to step 6, skipping stuff along the way.
In the beginning, you’ll just get lost. Worse, you’ll end up taking shortcuts or doing things the wrong way.
So a course that takes you through steps 1 to 10 one by one, explaining each step along the way is the best and quickest way to learn.
You’ll Get Tempted By the Shiny Object Syndrome… Avoid It
Blogging is all about marketing (and sales)!
Always remember that!
That means, you’re bound to see a lot of articles, sales pitches or social media posts that sound like:
- “How I made $10,000 in 2 weeks”
- “How I grew my followers by 5,000 in 3 days”
- “How I because a 6-figure blogger in 1 year”
- And so on.
Along the way, they’ll tell you a “secret formula” that’s works for them or is guaranteed to get you more subscribers, followers or income.
The problem with this is you’ll end up chasing every new shiny object that you read about. This can be:
- Building a dropshipping site
- Creating an ecommerce store
- Making money with affiliate marketing without a blog
- Using Facebook retargeting
- And many more
As a result, you’ll end up trying so many things without taking the time to become proficient with one.
When that happens, you not only increase your risk of burnout, you also don’t get very far in any of them.
Don’t Get Sucked into FOMO Either
In addition to the shiny objects, you’ll also experience that Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).
- Being afraid that if you don’t take this webinar, you’ll miss something groundbreaking
- Or, not buying this course will keep you from becoming successful
Every blogger has been there. And, they’ve done it.
So you’re not alone!
But, take it from someone who’s wasted enough time with being FOMO… don’t, just don’t.
Instead, focus on what you need to do. And, prioritize up to 3 things at a time.
Will you’ll miss some useful stuff? Yes.
But, limiting what you’re doing to what’s important, you have a better chance of moving forward.
You’ll Experience Blog Envy
Like FOMO and the shiny object syndrome, this is another very contagious blogger disease.
Blogger envy is just what it sounds like…
Being jealous of other bloggers’ success.
This can be in the money they’re making, the size of their followers, their influencer status or something else.
While normal, blogger envy isn’t very productive.
You just end up spending time comparing yourself to other bloggers who are more successful.
The reality is, their success has nothing to do with you.
And, being envious of it doesn’t do you any good at all.
If they make more or less money than they do now, it doesn’t affect you in any way whatsoever. That is unless you enjoy the feeling of schadenfreude.
Bottom line, focus on yourself and what you need to do.
Take a Break When Blogging Becomes Tedious
Like office work, blogging (at some point) will become tedious.
When this happens… TAKE A BREAK!
It will be there when you get back.
If you blog more than 4 hours a day and write a lot of content, this will likely happen sooner and later. At least that’s my experience.
For some reason, writing seems to be more draining when done for too long. Then again, maybe that’s just me.
Taking a break, even a short one like one or two days helps you clear your mind and come back refreshed.
More importantly, it keeps you from burning out or start hating to blog.
Embrace Failure & Enjoy the Journey
Blogging is HARD!
Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
And because it’s challenging, you’ll FAIL.
In fact, you’ll fail a lot.
That’s because you’ll always be trying new things. In the process, you’ll fail in order to learn.
While it’s easy to feel down when this happens, you shouldn’t.
One way to do this is look at blogging as a journey.
Keep the destination in mind. But, focus on the journey and the process involved with blogging.
Tips on Starting a Blog
Stop Overthinking Things and just Do Them
Just do it!
Like the Nike ads you see, blogging is all about doing.
It’s easy to overthink things.
Or, get caught up trying to read all the great articles about blogging or your niche.
But, you need to start doing to get the ball rolling.
One thing I learned about blogging is that you’ll learn as you go. By doing things yourself, you’ll get to see a lot of the nitty gritty details that successful bloggers don’t talk about.
More importantly, you’ll be able to see first-hand what’s working and what’s not. From there, you’ll know what you need to fix.
Create Your Blog Plan
If you want to eventually make money from your blog, it’s a good idea to create a blog plan right from the start.
While it doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-blown business plan in the beginning, you do need to have an overall plan for your blog.
- Knowing who your audience is and where to find them
- What kind of traffic sourceswill you be relying on?
- What is your blog about?
- What’s your content strategy?
- How will you promote your blog?
- How will you be making money from your blog?
These are some of the few things your plan should have.
By answering them, you’ll be able to figure out the basic roadmap your blog journey will follow.
If You Want to Make Money Blogging, Treat It as a Business, Not Like a Hobby
Once you have your blog plan ready, you’ll need to start creating a work routine.
This routine is a blogging schedule that will allow you to achieve the goals you set out in your overall plan.
By treating your blog as a business and not a hobby, you’re telling your brain that you’re taking blogging seriously.
This makes you work harder. And, it keeps you from dilly-dallying.
A few ways to help you get started in treating your blog as a business include:
- Making a blog business plan
- Treating it like you would office work
- Knowing how many hours a week will you blog
- Following that work schedule
- Being ready with what you’ll work on each day
- Creating a to do list or a blogging calendar
- Not setting aside tasks that you’re afraid of or don’t feel like doing
Develop Your Brand & Voice
Part of what makes you unique is your voice. And, it’s a part of your brand.
Developing your brand takes time, and a lot of self-discovery.
That’s because you need to figure out:
- The approach you take when talking to your audience
- Your voice, tone and the message you want to convey
The, there’s the more tangible side of your brand. These include:
- The look and design of your site
- Your logo
- Your brand colors
- The fonts and text you use
- The images and graphics
Together, they represent you.
You can be funny, serious or professional.
All these things help you connect with your audience.
Decide If You Want to Focus on One or Multiple Niches
Which option you decide is really up to you.
They just vary in the way they approach things.
But, it’s important to be aware that Google favors single niche sites.
That’s because if your blog focuses only on one topic, say Paleo, all your articles will be relevant to that.
Google likes that because it wants to give people the best results. As such, someone looking for Paleo is likely better served by a blog that’s all about Paleo that one where only 1 or 2 articles are on the topic.
That said, if Pinterest is where you plan on getting most of your traffic, a multi-niche site may be better.
This lets you create posts and pins on multiple topics.
In doing so, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your blog.
Also, Do You Want to Focus on the General Niche or a Specific Sub-Niche
In addition to writing about a single or multiple niches you’ll also need to decide whether you’re going to be a generalist or focus on a specific sub-niche.
What does this mean?
- As a generalist, you talk about the broader niche. For example, if your niche is personal finance, your blog can cover everything including budgeting, saving money, retirement, investing, student loans, mortgage and so on.
- If you focus on a specific sub-niche, you’ll only choose one (maybe two) sub-topics within a large niche. In the personal finance blog example, this would mean focusing on investing only. So, you’ll talk about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and so on.
Like choosing between single and multiple niches, this choice is about 3 things:
- Market Size – Writing about the general niche gives you a larger, broader audience
- Focus – blogging about a sub-niche lets you focus more on a specific audience. While you may have less traffic than a broad-topic blog, the visitors you get are more targeted, which improves your conversion rate (percentage of people who’ll end up buying from you).
- Depth – being limited to a sub-niche allows you to go more in depth about that topic. This makes you more of an authority.
Create a Content Plan & Editorial Calendar
Having an editorial calendar and content plan allows you to organize your blog posts.
This is key because:
- It lets you have a list of topics ready (so you don’t need to brainstorm last minute)
- You know that your articles are related to one another and FOCUS on topics your audience is interested in
- Your content has a good mix of different types of posts (ex. how-to posts, list posts, question posts, case studies, testimonials, etc.)
By planning ahead and having everything laid out, you know exactly what to do when it’s time to sit down and write a blog post.
When Writing a Post: Know Who, What, Why & How
The most important thing when writing a blog post is knowing the:
- Who – are you writing the article for?
- What – what is the purpose of the article? Is it to get shares, build your email list, sell a product, or something else.
- Why – will your readers want to read this post (as opposed to similar content on other blogs)?
- How – will it help solve a problem your reader has?
Knowing the answer to these 4 questions allows you to narrow down:
- Your topic
- How you’ll approach a certain subject
- what information your article will contain (and not contain)
- Actionable steps they can take to improve their lives
Quality Content & Content Promotion are Your 1-2 Punches
As a new blogger, two of the most important things to focus on are:
- Writing high quality content
- Promoting your blog
You need to figure out these 2 things before you can make the other more advanced things like building your email list and creating your own digital product work.
- Content builds trust and credibility
- Promotion allows new readers to learn about your brand
Together, they drive traffic to your blog which fuels your email list and ultimately, your income.
Don’t Be Afraid of Spending for Blogging Tools
Blogging tools are an essential part of your business.
They’ll save you time, make you more productive and efficient.
The key is figuring out which tools you NEED, and which you WANT BUT DON’T REALLY NEED.
That’s because most of them aren’t free.
Some of the essential tools you’ll need as a new blogger include:
- Blog hosting – costs just $2.75/month and allows your blog to be see online (BlueHostis my #1 choice)
- WordPress – free software that lets you publish blog posts and design your website without any programming
- Tailwind – lets you schedule your pins on Pinterest (Amazing Time-Saver!)
- Convertkit – for building your email list
Blog Traffic Tips
Post Often, Post Consistently
Writing more posts often yields more traffic.
It may not be in the beginning because people still don’t know you or your brand.
But, after a while, all that hard work pays off.
That’s because people start discovering your blog posts on social media or Google.
This is why it’s important to keep a consistent blogging schedule. Doing so allows you to produce articles on a regular basis, which helps your traffic grow.
Be a Self-Promoter
If you want people to notice you, you need to promote yourself.
Start by getting yourself out there.
This means getting to know people by visiting their social media pages and leaving comments on their blogs.
You’ll also want to promote your blog and consistently share your own blog posts.
I’m an introvert…
So, this isn’t something that comes natural to me.
And, you might be in the same boat as well.
But, if you won’t promote yourself, no one else will.
What’s worse is that if you don’t do so, people may see it as a lack of confidence on your part. They can misconstrue it as you not being confident about the quality of your content, yourself or your brand
When that happens, they’ll be less likely to share your stuff.
Why should they, you yourself don’t, right?
Use Social Media
Social media is probably the fastest way to get traffic as a new blogger.
The only thing faster would be to pay for ads, which costs money.
What’s great about social media is that you don’t need to have a big presence to start getting traffic.
Unlike Google, which takes at least 3 to 6 months to get a good number of visitors, social media platforms like Pinterest and YouTube can drive thousands of visitors to your blog within a month or two.
More Importantly, Grow Your Social Media Presence
Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to use social media.
You have to make a conscious effort of growing your presence.
- Getting more followers
- Connecting with your audience
- Networking with other bloggers
- Getting more traffic to your social channels
Together, they let people know about your blog and bring traffic to the posts that you spent hours writing.
But, Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
That said, one problem that most bloggers experience with social media is trying to do too much.
There’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and many more.
If you try to do them all, you won’t have time to blog.
This is why it’s a good idea to limit your focus on social media to 2 or 3 platforms at most. At least in the beginning.
That allows you to spend enough time to promote your blog. But, still have time to write content and do all the other essential blogging tasks.
So which ones do you choose?
Pick the social media platforms that deliver the highest ROI (return on investment).
Often, this means choosing the ones that drive the most traffic to your blog.
And, the ones that increase audience engagement the most.
Get to Know Your Readers
Above, you’ve read about the importance of helping your audience.
The question is how?
Unfortunately, only one person can give you the answer to that question.
That’s because they’re the ones looking for help or a solution to a nagging problem they have.
So, the best way to understand that is by getting to know them.
You can do so by asking them.
Yes. It’s that simple!
Here are a few very simple, yet effective ways of doing it:
- Ask them in your welcome email
- Set up a poll or a survey
- Talk to them on social media
- Reply to their comments on your blog
- Reply to their social media posts or queries
- Join and participate in Facebook Groups where they hang out
The more you know about your readers, the better you’ll be at providing a solution.
Don’t Shy Away from SEO; Learn It, Use It
Currently, SEO = Google Search.
That’s because Google owns 93% of the web’s search traffic.
So, you’re better off just focusing on the 800-pound gorilla.
This simplifies things and lessens the amount of knowledge you have to consume.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
One reason is that Google uses over 200 factors to decide which blog post ranks at #1 for each and every keyword search. Worse, nobody really knows exactly what those factors are (except those working in Google’s search algorithm team).
This makes SEO daunting for most bloggers.
But, learning SEO, albeit difficult and time consuming, is well-worth your time.
That’s because once you start ranking on Google, it sends visitors to you blog on a daily basis without extra work on your part.
Do Guest Posting
One way to boost traffic and your SEO authority is to do guest posting.
Guest posting is when you write a blog post on someone else’s website.
Why would you want to do that?
By writing on other peoples’ blogs,
- You get exposure to their audience
- Some of their readers may find their way to your blog (but don’t expect a lot)
- You can link back to your blog (this increases SEO)
- It allows you to promote your products and services (in the author bio or call-to-action at the end of the article)
The hard part about guest blogging is getting accepted.
As you would expect, the bigger the blog, the harder it will be to convince its owner to let you guest post. That’s because they’ll likely have tons of people asking as well.
And, more importantly, what’s in it for them?
If you can figure out how to make it worth their time and effort (they’ll need to proofread, format, add images and publish your article), then you’ll increase your odds at landing a guest post with influencers in your niche.
Network With Other Bloggers
In addition to your audience, the other group of people you’ll want to connect with are fellow bloggers.
In addition to being able to guest post on their blogs, friendships with other bloggers opens a lot of doors for the both of you. These include:
- Helping one another out
- Becoming an affiliate of their product
- And many more
Your Audience, SEO or Social Media: Know Which One to Focus On
Ideally, you want to focus on your audience above all else.
But from experience, what you focus on depends on what kind of blog you have and where your traffic comes from.
I come from an Amazon blog background. And I can tell you that it’s very different from other forms of blogging.
Here are a few reasons:
- You don’t need an email list to make lots of money
- With Amazon blogs, be it FBA or as an Amazon Associate are much easier to sell (at 30x monthly earnings).
- That’s because your blog doesn’t revolve around you. If your blog and audience focus on you, your buyer loses all your goodwill once you sell. Thus, eventually, they’ll lose your audience’s interest as well.
In contrast, running a blog where you’re the face of your brand means there’s more audience participation. After all, they buy products from you because of you.
So, choosing what to focus on will depend on the kind of blog your have. Here are a few examples to get you started.
- Amazon FBA or Associates Blog – SEO
- E-commerce or Drop Shipping – SEO and Social Media
- Niche Blog – Audience and Social Media
Tips About Making Money from Your Blog
Invest in a Good Blogging Course
Blogging courses aren’t cheap… There, I said it.
For the most part, they cost over $100 and can run all the way up to $1,000. But, if you pick the right ones, they’ll be well worth your time.
The alternative to investing in these courses is, to learn things yourself.
While that works for some people, it’s not the most efficient way for most of us. That’s because it takes more time. And, you need to go through a lot more trial and error.
All the time you spend trying to figure out often ends up costing more money than if you had taken a good course in the first place.
I should know… I held off buying a blogging course when I started because I thought I was saving money.
But, looking back, I actually ended losing money doing so.
That’s because time is money. And, I would have been able to start earning money earlier that I did.
Lesson here is, don’t make the same mistake I did.
Choose a good course and speed up your learning curve.
Start an Email List
When it comes to blogging, traffic solves a lot of problem.
But, not all traffic is created equal.
- SEO or Google traffic is great because of it’s size. But it takes time to rank on Google. And, the visitors you get from it don’t really know you.
- Social Media traffic can be fickle. You also need to work for it day in and day out.
- Paid traffic from ads stop the moment you don’t pay up.
That’s why your email list is the most value kind of traffic.
- You can always reach them because they’ve given you permission to email them
- You get to talk to them one-on-one
- They know you, which makes them more likely to listen or buy things from you
- You’re able to get to know them intimately
This is why biggest influencers in your niche have huge subscribers. They know that the “money is in the list”.
So what are your options?
If you’re starting out, Mailchimp is a good option because it’s FREE up to 2,000 subscribers. This lets you get your “feet wet” without paying while you “learn the ropes”.
Once you hit the 2,000 subscriber mark, it’s time to switch to something that’s more feature-filled. For this, I recommend Converkit.
Begin With Affiliate Marketing
One of the best ways to monetize your blog is via affiliate marketing.
That is, you promote someone else’s product and service to your audience. And, if they happen to buy something, you earn a commission.
These products can be anything. They can be items on Amazon, software tools, blogging courses or even coaching services.
What’s great about affiliate marketing is that it allows you earn money without creating or maintaining a product or service of your own.
Just as importantly, it lets you see which items your audience likes.
This gives you potential ideas to create your own product later on down the road.
Know Who’s Going to Buy Your Product
Don’t try to sell to everyone.
…Or you’ll end up selling to no one.
Part of why choosing a niche for your blog is important is because it lets you know who your audience is.
This lets you cater your product to them.
Knowing who will buy your product is key if you want to be able to sell consistently.
Take for example you have an Arts & Crafts blog…
As such, it makes sense to sell or promote drawing materials, watercolor, glue and even art or DIY courses.
On the other hand, if you have a travel blog, the same items above won’t make any sense. And, if you try to promote them to your readers, chances are very few people will buy anything.
Instead, promoting airfare or hotel discounts as well as travel guides or accessories are a better choice.
Make Sure They’re Willing to Buy Something & Can Afford It
Part of knowing who will buy your product means understanding their willingness to purchase items.
And, if so, at what price range.
It’s also important to understand a few things about people and their buying habits.
Some people will never buy anything from you
Others are only interested when the item is free
Many people aren’t in “buying mode”. At least not in the moment they visit your blog.
That said, it’s your job to find those that are looking to buy something. That’s the only way you’ll be able to make money with your blog.
And, from there, figure out how much they’re willing to pay.
This is why you’ll see products in the same niche often priced similarly. For example,
- Fitness products are often $30 to $50 or so
- Blogging courses cost over $100 most of the time
Create Your Own Product
At some point, you’ll want to make money selling products. Doing so gives you complete control of your income.
- You’re able to tailor the products and services your audience needs.
- You get to price it as you see fit
- You decide on the content and how it’s delivered
Unlike affiliate programs which can close any time or change their commission structures, your own product will always be available as long as you want it to be.
That way you don’t wake up one day with a nasty surprise that wipes out your income.
When it comes to your own product, creating an ebook or course are the most common.
- Ebooks are easier to make. They also require almost no maintenance. But, you can’t sell them for more than $40 or $70 max.
- Courses can run all the way up to $500 to $1,000. Of course, you can always offer something less than that depending on your audience’s budget. But, they require more work to produce. And, need to be constantly updated.
Or, Provide a Service That People Will Pay For
At alternative to eBooks and courses are services.
They work in a similar fashion in that people purchase your service for a fee.
But, providing a service does have their one distinct advantage.
Some can be recurring.
For example, being a Pinterest VA or a Facebook Ads Manager means recurring monthly income as long as you’re getting results for your clients.
The same is true for coaching. You can charge for one session, a pack of 6 to 12 sessions or do it on a recurring basis.
The amazing thing about services is that sky’s the limit in terms of what you can offer.
- If you like writing, you can offer freelance services and get paid per article
- If you’re a jack of all trades, you can be a VA and do all sorts of jobs
- If you’re good at graphic design, you can create images, infographics and posters to websites
Blogging is hard work!
It takes a lot of time and effort to establish yourself.
More importantly, it’s not a quick get-rich scheme.
If you’re just starting out or are stuck somewhere in your blogging journey, the tips above will help you get back on track.
They cover many of the lessons and mistakes I’ve made in hopes that you can learn from them.
…And, help speed up your progress on the way to reaching your blogging goals.