Things to know when start blogging

Over these years I made many mistakes and figured some things out. Now I wanna share it with you.

Write for readers, not write for yourself

If you are blogging as a hobby, then writing about whatever you feel like is fine. If you are trying to build a popular blog and to eventually make money with it, however, you need to be more conscious about the type of content you’ll publish.
More specifically you need to understand that your content should be appealing and interesting to your readers above all, and not to yourself. It’s about them, and not about you.

About Domain name

When I started blogging I didn’t pay much attention to the domains of my blogs. As a result I ended up with some long and boring domains. This is a big mistake because the domain is one of the few factors you won’t be able to change.
The rule of thumb I use these days is to look for domains with two words, branding potential and a .com extension.

Quality is more important than quantity

As you can guess by the name of this blog, I have always been a big fan of quantity when it comes to content creation. Over the years, however, my opinion has changed a bit.
I still believe that you need to update your blog regularly if you want it to be come popular, but quality should be your first priority. If you only have two hours to spend writing content every week, for example, I would recommend you to spend all the time writing a single, high quality post, instead of writing four small posts to be published on different days.

You need a community around your blog

Apart from writing quality content and promoting that content, there is one more activity that is very important for your blog, and that is community building. It’s important because without a community your blog will not be a blog, but rather a website with some articles.
Your community will enrich your content (through comments and email feedback), keep you motivated, help to promote your blog by spreading the word and so on.
Practically speaking this means that you should engage your readers with your content (e.g., by using polls, surveys, asking questions and so on), and that you should interact with them as often as possible (e.g., via comments, email, Twitter and so on).

Having an email list is essential

When I started, around 2 years ago, I didn’t know what email marketing was. Recently, I started joining the email list of other marketers, but until then I had not considered building my own.
It was a big mistake.
A responsive email list is one of the most valuable assets you can have. And mind you that you won’t be using it to spam people, but rather to deliver quality content that will solidify your relationship with your subscribers.

You need to think about the business model

If you want to make money with your blog, you need to start thinking about your business model right away. That is, you need to have an idea or a plan regarding how you’ll produce value, and how you are going to get paid for that.
Having this clear in your mind will help you craft your content, target the right readers, design your blog around your goals and so on.

Selling ads is not the best business model

When people start blogging they believe that the best, if not the only way to make money with it is by selling ads. This is not true.
Selling ads might be the easiest way to make money with a blog, but it’s definitely not the most profitable one.
On most niches selling your own product will be the most profitable model you can have, followed by selling other people’s products (i.e., affiliate marketing), so make sure to consider these at least.

Checking your stats daily is pointless

When you build your first website or blog you start checking your stats at least daily (some people go further and check them hourly….). Every new visitor is a joy, and a sign that you are doing something right.
The problem with this is that you are wasting time. Every minute you spending checking your stats is one fewer minute you have to work on actually get more visitors. On top of that daily fluctuations might give you the wrong idea of what is going on.
My advice would be to check your stats monthly.

It takes persistence

Everything happens really fast on the Internet, and when you start building your first websites you figure that they will sky rocket (both in terms of traffic and revenues) within a couple of months.
The reality is quite the opposite. While it’s possible, very few websites become popular or profitable before one or two years. If you want to play the game, therefore, come with the right expectations, else you’ll get frustrated and quit too soon.

Choosing the right niche is important

Choosing the right niche is critical if you want your blog to become popular and profitable. Sure, you should follow your passion (as you probably heard around…), but you should also make sure your niche is big enough to generate the kind of revenues you are aiming for.
Also remember that some niches will always be more profitable than others, regardless of their sizes. That is because people inside those niches actually buy stuff, so money circulates more freely.

Learning the technical part helps a lot

The Internet technology has advanced so much that today anyone can build a blog or website in 5 minutes, with no technical knowledge whatsoever. As long as you know how to read, you are good to go.
This is certainly a positive thing, as it democratizes the access to information and to publishing.
If you want to make a living online, however, it would be a good idea to spend some time learning the technical part. Start with HTML/CSS, and if you have time try learning JavaScript, PHP and MySQL.

Over to the Readers

What about you? What do you wish you knew when you started blogging?

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