Before You Begin Blogging: A few things you should know

So you want to blog…well there’s plenty of room on the bandwagon, come on up. Most of us are happy to move over for the newcomers. Blogging is fun, easy and a great way to meet others and become a part of a wonderful, growing community. Before you begin though, there are a few things you should know.

1. It takes time to build up traffic – Traffic isn’t going to flow immediately. You’ll have to get out there and promote the hell out of your blog. If you’re brand new to blogging and think you’ll have hundreds of visitors in the first week, even in the first few months, you couldn’t be more wrong. It takes time, patience and trust to build up an audience. It’s not enough to sit back and hope they show up.

2. It’s a lot more work than you think – Unless you’re just interested in a personal blog, one not for public consumption, you’re in for a bit of work. You’ll have to get out there and do a bit of shameless self promotion. It’s not enough to post and wait. Your content has to be optimized for search and you’ll want to drive others to your site. You’ll have to visit other blogs and forums and pimp the heck out of your blog without being spammy and annoying.

3. Revenue takes time– If you’ve never done this before and think the revenue will flow immediately; you’re in for a rude awakening. If you don’t have traffic, you won’t make money. Period. Even if you do have a few people here and there, it’ll be a while before enough visitors come along and make it worthwhile. Very few people get to quit their day jobs thanks to the revenue from a brand new blog. My most popular blog, Freelance Writing Jobs, took two years before the revenue truly started to flow. Now I can even pay someone else to help with the updates.

4. Don’t rehash the same old content – Many bloggers are successful with blogs about blogging or making money online, but that doesn’t mean all bloggers are. Certain topics have been done to death and unless you have something unique to offer, you’ll just get lost in the crowd. Research other blogs in your niche and see how you can add an original outlook, rather than rehashing the same old ideas.

5. Don’t think of other blogs as competition – I think a big mistake is how many bloggers see others in their niche as competition, but that shouldn’t be the case at all. Instead, think of them as valuable members of your community. Instead of avoiding then, befriend them. Link to their blogs, discuss their content and visit them and comment. Not only will this cause them to take notice of you, they will also probably reciprocate and help drive traffic your way.

If you’re serious about blogging, you can do very well, but don’t jump into it blind. Do your research. Learn how to optimize your content and drive traffic to your blog. Research the different ways in which you can montetize your blog and work on building up a community. The people who take the time to do it right are the ones who do well.

4 thoughts on “Before You Begin Blogging: A few things you should know

  1. Deb, you’ve almost convinced me that the effort isn’t worth it….I mean a BLOG…what am I even looking for anyway? But then I got to thinking. It can create an outlet for me, ME. Who cares if anyone ever reads or responds? Things I can’t say to my husband, I can say in my Blog. It may save me from shreiking like a maniac, and ‘keep the piece’ a while longer. You see, “we” don’t need counceling (as I was told last week). Counceling just makes “you” (really me) angry. Wow, does my husband need to get a clue.

    Anyhow Deb, you haven’t scared me off. It will be a nice step away from my intense work schedule and less than enthusiastic family life.

    Thanks for letting me share – Heather

  2. As someone who deals with brand new bloggers on a regular basis I can tell you the biggest mistake they make is to think it’ll all happen quickly. It doesn’t. Sure, some people find quick success, but most don’t. Those who go the distance however, do well. It can take months to get those first few comments, I think above all, new bloggers need to be realistic.

  3. Deb,
    You are totally right here. I’ve witnessed the “death” of about 7 bloggers in the last 3 months who go disenchanted because no one was replying to their first post;-) Haha.

    New bloggers need sober advice like this, together with the positive “hope” that with hard work, you really can make it work. In fact, I’m convinced that the internet guarantees success to those who work hard and learn from their mistakes. You can’t fail if you work hard.

    But if you’re lazy like me…that’s another story;-)

  4. Deb: This is much needed advice, though I can already “see” a lot of newbies grumbling about it, and probably afraid to comment. I wrote about the same thing tangetially, late last month, and there was dead silence. Only one person, who knows me, commented. People don’t want to hear this kind of thing. But instead, they get disappointed with their “unsuccessful” blogging efforts and give up.

    Look at it another way. If you think of a professional blog as a type of magazine publishing, then know that MOST print magazines don’t turn a profit in years 1-3. Any that survive that period can make it, but will not necessarily. Thankfully, with blogging, there are techniques to shorten that time period, but initially it does take work. Once you’ve put in that work and established yourself, you just may be able to pull off a 4-hour work week.

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