It’s been almost ten years since I began my blogging journey and what an adventure it’s been. Like many entrepreneurs and bloggers, my path to entrepreneurship started out of personal frustration.
When my daughter was born, I knew that I wanted to stay-at-home with her, but I also wanted to make some money. As I searched online for work-at-home jobs, I had a terrible time deciphering the scams from the legitimate opportunities. It was after months of frustration that I decided to create my own website for women who wanted to work-from-home.
I had done a quite of bit research on blogging and monetization, that I figured it was a simple and straightforward path. But with time and experience, I found that there was so much more than just creating content and making money through online advertisements.
If you want to work-from-home as a blogger, here are some helpful blogging tips for beginners:
1. You Gotta Have Patience
There is no such thing as an overnight success.
When I first started blogging, I would look at other popular bloggers and think, “Wow, it happened so quickly and easy for them” but the truth is, it took a lot of persistence and hard work for these individuals to get where they are today.
Take Heather Armstrong of Dooce, she started her blog in 2001, and while she has obtained a crazy level of success, it took her about four years to get there. Darren Rowse of Problogger, another success story, started blogging back in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he started making the big bucks.
The point is, although blogging is fun it’s not always easy, it takes time, dedication, and patience to be a successful blogger.
2. You Need to Have Persistence
Did you know that 99% of bloggers quit or give up?
According to this Twitter Poll, 54% of bloggers quit due to lost interest, 18% didn’t have enough time to dedicate to blogging, 18% didn’t make enough money, and the other 10% quit for other reasons.
I’ve also seen this phenomenon.
Many bloggers that I connected with when I first started out are nowhere to be found, with abandoned websites, and social media profiles that are floating around in cyberspace. And it’s not just a few that have bit the dust; I’d say it’s more than half. Having the right mindset upfront and knowing that blogging is not a sprint, but a marathon will help keep you focused for the long haul.
3. Don’t Make Comparisons
“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” – Unknown
From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to monetize my blog. For this reason, I made sure to treat my blog like a business, and one thing that you hear over and over again is to check out your competition. I followed this advice, but I made a careless mistake in doing so. I started to compare myself to other bloggers and gauge my accomplishments against theirs.
What did this do for me? It made me feel awful, jealous, and insecure.
Justin Zoradi from Storyline says, “The comparison game steals your joy, halts your momentum, and brings your greatest insecurities to the forefront of your mind.”
As an entrepreneur, you have to have a positive mindset. One way to do that is to focus on the joy of being you — once you do, you’ll find your own path, audience, and success.
4. Know Your Target Audience
When I started The Work at Home Woman, I thought I knew who I was targeting regarding clients and sponsors. But it wasn’t until a couple of years later when I was on a mastermind call that a light bulb turned on. On the call, they were talking about Pareto’s principle (the 80-20 rule), which states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. This got me thinking about what clients brought in the most money for my blog, and let me tell you; I was way off in who I thought my target audience was.
Take the time to narrow down your target audience. Had I done this from the beginning, I would have made more money along the way. Lesson learned.
5. Diversify Your Income and Traffic
My main monetization method when I started out was Google Adsense and direct ad sales. And while these served me well for a couple of years, out of the blue, Google banned me from Adsense due to what they called invalid click activity. While I would never jeopardize my Adsense account with false clicks, some hacker (my email server was hacked into during this time) or click bomber had no qualms about doing so. I appealed the case, but Google declined my request. This incident made me realize, that you can never count on anyone revenue stream for your income.
This is also true for other things like website traffic. Stuff on the web is continually changing and evolving, and if you want to make it as a successful blogger, you need to be adaptable. This includes both how you make money and how you market your blog. Keep up to date on the latest news and trends and always be exploring other individual’s blogs, more than likely, you’ll learn something new.
6. Invest in Your Business
Often when new bloggers are just starting, they try to do everything themselves so that they can save some money. While I’m an advocate for bootstrapping, often you’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches by using a professional system from the beginning.
For example, when I started, I kept track of all of my income and expenses on a spreadsheet. While this worked okay, it made tax time A LOT of work. Now I use an online bookkeeping system, while it does cost money to use, it is well worth the cost. It makes doing my taxes a snap, and it automatically pulls transactions from my financial accounts, so my bookkeeping is automated.
Here are some other areas where spending some money upfront will make your blogging life easier:
- Premium plugins for advance blogging capabilities
- Hiring independent contractors to help with tasks that are outside your wheelhouse
- Using reputable website hosting and email marketing services
- Automation and organizational tools
Related Content: 10 Fabulous Freebies for Bloggers
7. Don’t Be Overly Obsessed with the Numbers
As a blogger, I am always checking and monitoring my numbers:
- How many Instagram followers do I have?
- How many Facebook followers do I have?
- How many page views did I receive today?
- How much money did I earn today?
It can drive you nuts and create a ton of self-doubt, especially if your stats start to go down. Let it go, focus on creating quality content and cultivating relationships, when you do something that you love the rest will fall into place.
On the other hand, don’t ignore your numbers either. Checking your stats weekly is sufficient to monitor what’s going on and alert you to potential issues or problems.
8. Always Be Learning
In her book, The Chic Entrepreneur, Elizabeth Gordon suggests reading a new business book every month. When I first had my daughter, I thought I was too busy to read a new book every month, but when I took her advice, I found that you can find the time – you just need to make it. Cut out a little TV watching, read while you’re waiting for appointments. I like to take my books in the car so that I can read while my husband is driving. And of course, there are audiobooks. Learning exercises your brain and helps get those creative juices flowing.
If you’re starting your blog on a shoestring budget, don’t worry, there are plenty of free blogging resources to help you on your journey:
- Blogging Success: Tips for Creating Content, Getting Traffic, and Monetizing Your Blog
- Free 10-Day How to Start a Blog Course
9. Find a Blogging Tribe
One of the great things about blogging is it can be done independently from home — which is great for introverts. But as a new blogger, you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone and meet other bloggers. Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of challenges, add in the specialty of blogging, and it is essential to have a core tribe of bloggers that you can talk to for advice, questions, recommendations, even venting frustrations.
Not sure where you can find a blogging tribe? No problem.
First, search on Facebook for blogging groups — there are a ton. Join a few and see which ones resonate with your blogging niche and personality. This may take some trial and error, but there are a lot of excellent groups where you can connect with local and nationwide bloggers. The other place to search is Meetup — here you can find local blogging groups that meet in-person. You can also attend blogging conferences, join mastermind groups, or attend live training events — all three will introduce you to others who are in the same boat.
By no means is this list complete. I’ve been blogging for almost ten years, and I still learn new things all the time. So perhaps that should be number ten, expect the unexpected and roll with the punches because things are always changing on the web.
What helpful blogging tips do you have for beginners? Are you a new blogger? What questions do you have about blogging? Drop us a note; we’d love to hear from you!
Originally published April 5, 2013. Content updated October 16, 2018.