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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
Hindsight can be a terrible thing sometimes, looking back to when you first started on a project and wondering, what if I had known this then? What if I could have done this better? Where would I be now with that knowledge?
I started blogging almost three years ago now, and there are many things that I look back on now to my early days when I was just getting started with WordPress, building websites and writing blog posts and I wonder, what if I had known this back then?
It’s impossible to judge, and of course I didn’t know these things back when I first published an article and hoped that someone, somewhere might read it. I can though, look back and say, I wish I had known these things, maybe I can help someone else by sharing that knowledge with them, so that their learning curve might not be as difficult as mine was.
In the spirit of sharing my hard earned blogging insights with you all out there, here are a few things I wish I had known when I just started blogging!
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
1 – The Power Of Search Engine Optimisation
If I could just name one thing that I wish I had known before I started blogging three years ago, it would be without a doubt, SEO. I wish I had known more about the power of Search Engine Optimisation to bring traffic to my website.
For anyone just starting to blog, I always say focus on SEO once you have the basics set up and your website is live. I wish I had listened to the people already telling me this when I started. That was my biggest mistake! This advice was already out there, I was already reading it, but SEO seemed like a huge minefield, a huge task that could always wait for another day. It took me a lot of time to realise that the one thing I could focus on that would have such a dramatic effect on my traffic was SEO. When I realised this, I started learning about it, and the results are enough to make what seems like a whole load of statistics and keywords actually become almost enjoyable.
If you are serious about blogging long term, then start learning about Search Engine Optimisation right away!
2 – It’s Okay To Invest
The only thing I purchased when I first set up my blog was the domain name and the hosting, and these cost me almost nothing. The only reason I bought these, was because they were absolutely necessary to start the blog! Anything else that I didn’t need, I didn’t even think about paying money for.
Over the years, I gradually acquired subscriptions and purchase to products and programmes that ultimately have saved me time and helped me to progress as a blogger. Things like Lightroom to improve my pictures, Search Engine Optimisation tools to help me drive traffic and a Premium WordPress Theme to make my website actually look vaguely professional. I spent the money at the end of the day to improve myself and my website, but if I had spent it sooner, I could have progressed a lot faster.
3 – Marketing Is Everything
I must have watched Field of Dreams too many times before I started blogging, because I was under the delusional impression that if I built the website, people would simply come to read what I wrote. I didn’t realise how much competition there is out on the internet, and how difficult it is for anyone to find you.
I learnt the hard way that I really had to market my website, my articles and eventually my brand where ever I could. I began paying for the odd Facebook Advert, sharing my work in forums and groups and finding unique ways and places to advertise something I was proud of.
After all, there is no point writing something if no one is going to read it. You need to market it too.
4 – Network And Learn From Others Who Have Done It All Before You
I mentioned already that when I started posting and blogging, that people were already telling me about the power of SEO. I just didn’t really understand it, or want to really learn. I didn’t listen. I thought I knew better. The truth is, I didn’t know better, and rather than taking the much easier step of listening to those that had already been blogging for years and had also learned the hard way, I put myself back months, maybe even years by continuing to believe that I didn’t need to listen to their advice.
Eventually I have learned, but I could have done things a whole lot quicker if I’d listened to begin with.
5 – Treat Your Blog Like A Business
All of these points really combine to create one over riding piece of advice. Treat your blog like a business from the start if you intend it be a business. You might not know yet if you do want it to be a business, or if you just want it to be a hobby, but the moment you want to start making an income from your website, you have to treat it like a business.
I thought blogging would be easy. I can tell you, it’s not. But if you treat it like a hobby, it will only remain that way. If you want it to be a business, you have to start acting professionally, and start treating it as a business to make it a success.
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