13 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Blogging

by bloggingdev

 Starting a blog can be intimidating in the beginning. Imagine you are going to write a piece and then thousands of people are going to read it and form opinions about it. It is a feeling that can not be described.

But definitely, writing a blog is not fun and games. It takes a lot of effort and hard work to make it a huge success. Especially if you are a budding blogger.

So many pitfalls are witnessed during this journey. Therefore, in this blog, I am going to share some expert tips with you to make sure you avoid any mistakes that you are making currently.

So, grab a cup of coffee and be ready, we are about to begin!

 

13 THINGS BLOGGERS NEED TO KNOW DURING BLOGGING

In this section, I will discuss some tips that I feel each and every blogger should know while starting a blog so that you don’t have to worry about making your blogs successful.

 

1. ALWAYS PUT QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

This is one lesson that I have learned through practicing blogging for a long time. After publishing various blogs SEO has taught me that” Quality always wins over quantity when it comes to blog posts.

Yes, you heard it correctly! “Quality wins over Quality”.

This means Posting daily or even weekly posts simply isn’t mandatory. If you do it correctly then even posting once a month is sufficient. In fact, this gives you the entire month to spend on promoting your content. Google used to give some advantages to fresh websites. However, sites started abusing that and launched a dozen of irrelevant articles per day. It worked for a while, but then Google banned this leverage. Now those sites are extinct.

Tell me honestly – Would you rather have ten OK posts on your website or two posts that are amazing? I would rather have the two amazing posts. This is because, the two posts are of high quality and hence gather more engagement, receive more backlinks, have more authority, and boost our website SEO. If you want to learn how to create a rewarding blog from scratch, check this out.


2. FORMATTING YOUR POSTS IS AS IMPORTANT AS WRITING THEM

Just like great content with catchy images and videos increases the reader’s time on the page and post engagement, so does a well-formatted blog.

The one big truth that we all need to face is that “ People don’t read everything word-by-word anymore”. With increasing time, the attention span of people is getting shortened. Now, an average reader just skims through the posts that he/she reads. Additionally, there’s too much content and too little time to do anything else.

That’s where formatting comes into play. A well-formatted post makes it easy for your readers to skim, then dive in if they feel it is worth their time. 

So, one obvious question that might pop up here is -“How do you go about formatting your blogs the correct way?”

Here are some tips for you to consider:

  • Divide long parts of your content into different sections by placing headers and sub-headers
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists to focus on key information
  • Use Bold words or sentences to emphasize important points
  • Break the monotony of texts and use images and videos to make your content more digestible.
  • Use short paragraphs (no more than 4 to 5 lines)
  • By default, the reader’s point of reference is left to right. Therefore, either place your images on the left side(preferably) or center. Do not break the uniformity.

 Keep these tips in mind while drafting your content and it will make a considerable difference.

 

3. BUILD AN EMAIL LIST FROM THE VERY BEGINNING

Many bloggers make the mistake of not focusing much on their email lists. An email list can take your blogs to the next level.

Just Imagine:

You wake up, not that excited for the day. You start making a cup of coffee and while you were waiting for it to brew, you open up your emails.

What you see is there are over $1000 in sales from an email campaign you sent last night.

Wouldn’t this brighten up your day?

Creating an email list should be a priority when starting a blog and even before you post your first blog. But if it wasn’t, that’s OK – “better late than never”. Get an email marketing platform like Mailchimp, Hubspot, Drip, etc, and get started. There are billions of users actively using their emails making email marketing a lucrative way to boost your online presence, brand value, and user engagement.

 

4. STICK TO ONE NICHE IN ALL YOUR POSTS

One of the biggest mistakes I made while starting my career and notice other bloggers too is not sticking to one theme in all the blog posts.

I understand that there is an urge to do something different with each post that you make. Also, different people all have different interests so to cater to everybody’s needs you might want to switch themes in every blog. For Example, if you are a photographer you also love traveling and watching movies. So, you decide to start a blog that has all these three topics sprinkled all over. But in reality, this does not work.

Here’s why:

  • Finding the right readership for your blogs will be difficult. Different themes in every blog post will also create confusion amongst your blog audience
  • Achieving great results in SEO will be more difficult. Google likes sites that are mainly dedicated to a single topic since this makes easier to understand.
  • Money comes from direct and targeted traffic. If you are talking about different topics all over your site, getting targeted traffic will be difficult making monetization hard for you.

If you really want to talk about different things, I recommend starting a separate blog. Until you can find a niche audience and have strong posts around each and every topic, it’s just not worth it.

  

5. PAY ATTENTION TO PAGE LOADING SPEED

Whether you’re running an e-commerce store online, a blog, or an online business, page load speed does matter a lot.

People will bounce off if your page takes more than 3 seconds to load( especially on mobile devices). Moreover, Google uses your blog’s page load speed as one of its ranking factors. This means, that if the page load speed is not fast, your website won’t get ranked high.

To see how fast your blog page loads, you can various speed testing tools like GTmetrix, Google Pagespeed Insights, Pingdom, and many more.

If you find that your blog is not loading quickly, here are some ways to speed it up:

  • Optimize images: Images make up 50-60% of blogs these days as images are a great way to enhance the user experience. However, if your images are larger than 50KB it can bulk up your blog pages slowing their speed. Optimize your blog images, shrink their size under 50KB and then add them to your blogs.
  • Use a cache plugin: What a cache plugin does is when a visitor returns to your website to see a page again then it delivers a cached version. This considerably reduces the page loading time.
  • Pick a faster host: Choosing a host for your website with high speed and less downtime is a must.

What’s important is to be performance-oriented from the very first day you begin writing and uploading your blogs, and not treat it as something you can come back to later on.

 

6. ADD VIDEOS IN YOUR BLOGS TO SPURT UP THE ENGAGEMENT

Do you know? One of the most essential metrics for SEO is your visitor’s on-page time. The simplest way to increase users’ on-page time is by adding videos to your blogs.

However, I do not see many bloggers using videos in their posts. Videos are a great way to stand apart from your competitors and boost engagement. I understand you are not a videographer but a blogger. But, the reality is you don’t have to be a professional videographer or shred tons of money on fancy types of equipment to get started. In reality, your smartphone is just enough. If you are wondering how to create videos for blogs, then click here.

Even if you do not want to make your own videos, no problem! Try to add relevant Youtube videos already present online. Here’s how to add Youtube videos to your blog.

Finally, even if you do not want to go for any of the above options, you can go ahead and hire professional video creators for yourself. There are various online platforms like Freelancer.com that will help you with the process. Always check their reviews and ratings before going forward.

7. RE-SHARE YOUR OLD CONTENT TO BOOST YOUR ENGAGEMENT

As your blogs start to grow, there will be new visitors or followers to be tapped into. There are heavy chances that your old posts are skipped by your new followers simply because they have joined later. In fact, as different people are online at different times, the reality is you can not target all of them with your post. It is not surprising to know that even your old followers can skip your blogs. Therefore, you need to circulate your old content to hit multiple time zone and boost your engagement.

You can even freshen up your old content and post it again on your blogging site or various social media handles. Refreshing old content and sharing it again also indicates to Google that the website is being updated with newer relevant content and hence boosts your ranking.  Thankfully, you can add various scheduling plugins that you can use to put this on autopilot.

8. BLOG HEADLINES ARE AS IMPORTANT AS THE BLOG CONTENT

Your blog headline matter as much as your blog content. Here are a few reasons to know why:

  • Blog Titles make it easier for readers to find your posts and make them want to click more.
  • You have 5 seconds or even lesser to grab user attention and a good blog title does this exactly.
  • Titles are a great way of telling what your readers can expect in the blog.
  • You can put keywords in your blog titles which helps in SEO.
  • Get readers excited with intriguing and unique titles.

Now that you know why titles are important, you might want to ask-” How to create one for yourself?”

Here is a list of a few tips to make a great blog title:

  • Use numbers n your headlines.
  • Most people are on the web to solve their queries. Using “How to” in your titles is a great way to target all these people looking out for some suggestions/solutions.
  • Use promising headlines. These headlines will assure readers get a lot of information as they read the blogs. One example is “The Ultimate Guide to XYZ”.
  • Do keyword research and add keywords in your headlines to attract new audiences and boost blog SEO.

 Go on…Use these tips and work on your titles as much as you do on your blog content.

 

9. ADD A FAQ SECTION TO SAVE TIME

Adding an FAQ section to your blogs is a must, here are a few reasons to support this argument:

  • FAQs considerably reduce your time since half of the customer query is resolved after reading the FAQs. Therefore, you can reduce the number of redundant emails immensely by just adding a FAQ section.
  • No matter how elaborate your website is but if you do not have a FAQ section, people will have to scroll through various blogs to look for their answers. However, adding a FAQ section enhances the user experience of your website.
  • What is more interesting is, that you can boost the SEO of your website through FAQs by adding internal links and keywords in them.
  • FAQs widen your audience as they may bring people who don’t know about your company onto your website after reading some questions they were looking for.
  • In fact, FAQs are a great way of building strong relationships with your blog audience. Since people will look forward to your content more if you resolve their queries.
  • FAQs are a great way of projecting yourself as an industry expert.
  • Additionally, FAQs help you understand your audience better and hence give you a chance to serve them better.

Do not just create your blogs but also a FAQ section to get better results.

10. DO CONTENT AUDITS

As much as I hate saying this but the truth is – not everything we write remains relevant always.

Regardless of the niche you choose, there are always new developments, new ideas, and new things springing up.

The truth is that no one can predict the future. So however much you think a piece of content will remain evergreen/relevant forever, it is not true.

Due to this, the idea of doing regular content audits is great. Especially if you’ve had your blog online for more than 1 year.

A content audit is carried out to check which of your posts are still relevant, which need to be updated or removed entirely, and lastly to see which can be consolidated.

What does that mean?

We recommend you make a spreadsheet featuring all your blogs and segment it down into three sections namely:

  • Keep and improve: Posts that are still relevant but need a little brushing up to attract more prospects. You can edit, delete some parts, or modify them as per your needs.
  • Consolidate: To make a resource much more in-depth and complete you can combine smaller posts to make one big post.
  • Delete Posts that do not hold any relevance at a given point in time and can be deleted entirely. These can be some old sponsored posts, news posts, reviews or how-to guides, etc.

Once you have a list of posts mentioned above, start working on them accordingly. Some things that you can do with them are:

  • You need to set up 301 redirects when consolidating smaller posts to big ones.
  • Set up 410 status codes for the content you delete.
  • Fix internal links.
  • Update images on your blog posts and make them more sharable on social and up-to-date as per the current requirements.
  • Remove dead links.
  • Upgrade your content wherever needed
  • Update your tags and/or categories to make your website more consistent.
  • Change the publication date to now.
  • Delete all your comments when you republish.

Doing an audit like this and upgrading your old content is not only proof that you care about your blog audience but is also basically a signal to Google that everything on your site deserves to rank since it’s up to date(fresh).

Do site audits more often and see the benefits yourself!

 

11. WEBSITE SECURITY IS VERY IMPORTANT

I understand that some things are out of your control. If your server crashes, there’s not much you can do about it, but just wait for it to be up and running.

However, there are a few things that can be under your control.

 Firstly, keep your website updated. If you do not update your site it will become prone to malicious activities. Secondly, get yourself a security plugin or trustworthy solution to keep your website security under check. Keep yourself updated about all the notifications it sends you. You absolutely need to secure your website. It is really really important.

Some tips to secure your WordPress Website are as follows:

  • Implement SSL certificates
  • Use Strong passwords
  • Install a security plugin like Wordfence Security, All In One WP Security & Firewall, iThemes Security, etc
  • Update your core WordPress files
  • Use themes and plugins by a credible source only
  • Frequently backup your data
  • Hide your WP-admin page from hackers with plugins like WPS Hide your Login

Go ahead, and secure your website.

 

12. GIVE YOUR BEST STUFF FOR FREE

The common mistake many bloggers make is making their best stuff available only to their subscribers. Is it helpful? NO.

 Think about it this way, while listening to the radio, you do hear songs that are Number 1 or popular. This is probably why you hear to that channel. On top of it, all these songs are for free. Why? Because this is how they get you tuned in.

You may call this “The Radio Technique ” if you like.

The thing is this:

Free, great stuff gets people through the door and when they come, they start looking out for more. They go like- “Damn if this free resource is this good, how amazing will the paid content be”.

Here is where you win. This is where you get to sell your subscription and online courses effectively. In a nutshell: If you are starting a blog, always give your best stuff for free. It has a huge ROI!

 

13. KEEP GOING AND HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF

As they say it correctly “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” If you set your mind on a goal and work towards it consistently then nobody can stop you from reaping the benefits. We all know starting a blog is not an easy process and it takes a lot of time to make it successful. Sometimes even years! During this process, many bloggers lose out on hope and switch to other occupations. However, this should not be the case! Be patient, work hard and success will follow. Just trust the process. Even if by any chance (1%) you don’t get the success you will gain experience and a wide knowledge which will only help you.

I hope these tips helped you in some way. If they did please share this blog forward in your contacts. Do let me know if you have any suggestions.  Drop in your query if any and we would be happy to serve you. Stay tuned for some more content, see you!

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