The First 3 Months of Blogging is Hard!

By the way, this is my first article here at Performancing. I came here looking for a more interactive place for talking about blogging. My usual hangouts are ProBlogger and Warrior Forum. I’ve been in the game for a few years now.

What I’m really trying to say is: Wazzup!

The first 3 months of growing a blog is difficult. I’d like to share with you what I did differently on my 3-month-old guitar blog ATOMIC Guitarist that’s already surpassing my old blogs. With 3 years of frustration and failure comes wisdom.

Here are 5 ways I’ve gotten through the first 3 months of my new blog.

1. Unconventional Use of AWEBER

This time around I immediately started using AWEBER opt-in e-mail service to grow my e-mail lists. But I did it for the sake of blogging. My list doesn’t see many broadcasts about buying affiliate products or my own products. I’ve been using AWEBER to drive my list back to my content pages, which provides growing traffic on a daily basis. I’ve also found that more guests opt-in to my e-mail list than subscribe to my RSS feed.

2. Networking

What makes the first few months of blogging so hard for me is the lack of comments and interaction. So what I did was find a list of other guitar bloggers with quality material, I put them on my blog roll, and made friends with them. I interact on their fronts sometimes more than they do mine. With my blog being of quality (according to my pals), and with the use of my blog roll, they’ve also added me to theirs. Besides having the ability to be social, this tactic had a lot to do with the instant PR4 I received the other day with Google’s update.

(Some of my best pals include Guitar Noize, and Stratoblogster, IG Blog, and the Mad Stratter.)

3. Predicting Searches

Most of my search engine traffic has come from predicting what guitarists will be searching for in a few weeks/months/seasonally, a piece of advice Darren Rowse personally gave me. I tell you. It works. When the buzz about Radiohead circled the net, I saw gobs of traffic pouring in every minute.

4. Correctly Using StumbleUpon

Although StumbleUpon doesn’t send the best quality traffic, SU has eased my hardships in my first few months of blogging at ATOMIC Guitarist. SU traffic doesn’t convert into dollars with your blog’s advertising, but I saw some serious opt-in numbers to my e-mail list. What you have to remember about StumbleUpon is that you can’t submit a page for the same site within something like 48 hours apart. So I Stumble the pages I like on my friends’ blogs around the same time every other day.

5. Make a Post at Least Once Every Night

For ATOMIC, I developed a strategy I didn’t use prior. I actually set my time on my blog to 4 hours earlier than my timezone, so when I post at 8pm, it publishes an entry marked as the next day. I do this so that anyone who regularly visits my blog the next day will read something “up-to-date.” I don’t know exactly how big of an effect it has, but it seems more professional.

* Bonus Tips for Getting through the First 3 Months of Blogging

  • While other blogs are crashing after just one month of frustration, keep yours pumping. We’re all going through the same thing. I doubt Techcrunch took the net by storm its first few months. Then again, maybe it did. Point is: very few take off that early.
  • Set small goals. For instance, vow to double your traffic to your blog every month for the first 3 months. You can do this by focusing on SEO.
  • Hey, every post doesn’t have to be a novel. From my experience, readers who hang around your blog every day like informative content, but they also want blurbs and they want to get to know you.
  • Don’t take too much advice. Just focus and simplify your blogging strategy with goals in mind. For example, 1) post every day (often with a focus on SEO), 2) comment on others’ blogs every day, 3) work on getting your link out there, 4) build your lists, 5) know that everyone has a hard time the first 3 months.
  • If you hate your blog, change your niche to something you can talk about every day. Don’t blog just for bucks. But blog for bucks so you can continue blogging.
  • If you’re just starting out, think of your first few months of blogging as blogging college.
  • If someone tells you blogging for profit is easy, laugh out loud until your stomach hurts.

Again, this is just one dude’s thoughts on blogging for the first 3 months. Hope it’ll be helpful for someone out there.

Good luck soldier.

14 thoughts on “The First 3 Months of Blogging is Hard!

  1. *Bows as his head grows a quarter of an inch*

    Don’t you hate hearing the same old junk about blogging, Jen? =)

    Reading about crafty newer developments is a lot more interesting.

    Thanks for dropping by my post.


  2. The usage of i.e. AWEBER would be a worth a single article. Such an autoresponder is a beautiful tool for a single subject site. I always was to lazy to set such a thing up. But I see endless possibilities for affiliate sites.

  3. In the plethora of blogging advice out there, Jason, I’ve not yet run across a tip like your “unconventional use of AWEBER”… I like it, I like it a lot!

    Thanks also for the reminder to anticipate where the searches will be. As Markus mentioned, there are great tools to help — I do use 103bees and did use HitTail for the first year or so (should put HitTail back on, come to think of it) — but the data still needs to be acted on, so your kick-in-pants here is much appreciated.

    Good first Perf post, JP…
    More, please!


  4. That’s exactly why I use it. To direct traffic to timeless info.

    Thanks for the chat Pholpher.

    See ya.


  5. Jason, thanks for the reply. I understand now. I thought you were only using Aweber to point people to your new posts. But you have timeless relevant content like 25 guitar lessons, so Aweber is a great fit.

  6. > Most of my search engine traffic has come from predicting what…

    To get the most value out of your existing SE traffic I can recommend two tools:

    103bees: Search Engine Traffic Analysis
    HowTo: Use HitTail for Copywriting Suggestions

    I am using on regular base and it proves to be very simple, fast and helpful to identify incoming SE traffic streams.

  7. Whazzzzzoppp!

    It doesn’t feel like much work to me. It’s pretty fun actually because it’s so effortless when my e-mails are automatically sent. I also like accumulating more and more e-mails and also connecting with people through that stream.

    See ya.

  8. Waaaaaaazzzzzzzzzuuuuuuuupp

    I’ve always neglected to setup an Opt-In Mailing list, because I’ve always seen that as extra work trying to figure out what to send to people. I’ve got ideas though .. all I need is focus, time and energy./

  9. Hopefully you’ll find my reply.

    Pholpher, the reason I use AWEBER is because it’s an autoresponder. You create a series of e-mails and when someone opts-in, the e-mails are automatically sent over time.

    For example, on my site I give out 25 guitar lessons. The links to the pages are within the e-mails that will go out.

    I also broadcast one-time messages with links to pages of my blog and add them to my autoresponding e-mails, so they accumulate.

    Happy Halloween!


  10. Networking is one of the best parts of blogging IMO, and it’s the best way to grow your site. I’ve “met” so many great people through my blog. The beginning can be difficult, certainly, but the payoff is worth it.

  11. Great post. One of the best I’ve read about blogging in the last couple of days.

    Excellent tips that I need to follow like predicting searches.

    Also, I like that term “blogging college”. Sounds about right. Pay now and profit later

    Just curious, why did you choose Aweber over Feedburner’s email RSS feed?

  12. Hello I am in my first few months of blogging. Everything you have shared here is valuable to me. Thanks for the advice and sharing your experience.

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