10 Tips for New Bloggers from Blogging Pros
These tips for new bloggers are the tips that we wish we had known during our first 6 months of blogging, throughout the many trials and tribulations newbie bloggers experience.
In July 2015, I (Alex) got invited to replace a friend who was going to a business conference in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.
The conference was interesting and so were the people, but what the conference did was reinvigorate my desire to start my own successful blog.
When I came back, I got to work. Most of my spare time was filled up trying to build and launch a blog.
Lauren saw what I was doing on my weekends and evenings, and she volunteered to join in and help me with a few things.
During those glorious first 6 months, we flopped and flailed all over the place.
Those first 6 months of building our blog were a time of massive learning and of growth.
They were some of the strangest and weirdly best times of our lives…
I wrote this blog post with those first 6 months in mind. I thought, “What I would say to us if I had a time travel machine and was able to go back in time to when we started?”
“What advice would I give that would have helped us the most?”
That’s exactly where this list of tips for new bloggers from blogging pros came from!
Make time for your blog.
One of the lessons I learned quickly was that life is not going to give you anything. It doesn’t care that you just started some website or how excited you are about quitting your job and starting a blog.
Instead, it gives you distractions.
Every time I tried to work, another life event arose to pull me away from blogging…
- Work obligations
- Brunch outings with friends
- Flag football
I quickly learned that finding time to work on our blog was going to be one of the biggest challenges to overcome.
And it was only later on that I decided to make a massive mental shift:
I decided to make time.
Every morning, I would wake up at 5 am, before any distractions or problems would get in my way, walk to a local Starbucks, and work on the blog.
Pure, highly-caffeinated, two-finger typing at it’s finest.
It was hard, I was often pretty tired, but I knew what I was working for, and it was the only time I could truly focus.
Next up on our list of tips for new bloggers one that is often overlooked but is VERY important!
Nibble at the big problems.
Being a full-time blogger means that you are a business owner, not just a blogger.
I remember the frustrations I had (mainly with technical issues) at the beginning.
- The blogging platform isn’t doing that thing it’s supposed it to do.
- My blog host is down for some God forsaken reason.
- Why are my cat videos not uploading???
But for real, it felt like once a week, a big task would hit my keyboard and I had to fix it. Something I would have literally no experience with and that I needed to figure out.
And it has only been from going through hundreds, if not thousands, of these types of problems that I learned a strategy to deal with these things:
I nibble at them.
When anything truly daunting comes across my desk that I absolutely do not want to do, I commit to working on it until the moment I feel any real frustration and anxiety.
Sometimes that frustration arises in an hour, and sometimes it happens in 5 minutes. That being said as soon as I start to feel defeated, I move on to something else.
It’s weird, but this process works wonders for me and you’d be surprised at how few problems are truly “urgent.”
Sometimes the “ah-ha” moment to solving a problem only comes from a good night’s rest and a fresh pair of eyes on it.
Blogging is a fluid thing.
PLEASE READ THIS.
Your blog/business is not set in stone. It evolves, changes, and grows and moves WITH you.
Lauren and I used to get so hung up on the little things because we felt like everything was set in stone:
- Getting the perfect blog name
- Writing the most epic about us statement
- Finding our blog’s purpose
- Creating a customer avatar
WE HAD TO GET IT ALL PERFECT.
We wasted WEEKS working on some of these things only to learn later on that they can all be changed (and WILL change). That your blog will evolve and grow with you if you continue to work at it.
You don’t need a perfectly cute domain name, the most epic logo design, and the perfect mission statement from the start.
That stuff will come to you over time if you just continue to work at it. Blogging is a fluid thing, Let it evolve with you, my friend!
Create blog content people want and need (for now).
Here’s some harsh truth for you:
In the beginning stages of blogging, people are not going to care about you.
Blogging about what you did today is great for Lauren Conrad, who is a hit TV star, but for you and me, not so much.
You need to focus on helping people and building an audience FIRST. Only after you have built a relationship should you start writing about YOU.
A good blog starts by creating the content people are searching for. For instance, when you type in yoga poses on Pinterest you see this come up:
You can see what people are interested in:
- Yoga for beginners
- Yoga workouts
- Inspiration, For Flexibility, Etc.
You should be creating content like this that people actually want FIRST.
Here are some resources that may help:
- What to Blog About: Finding Topics Your Readers Will Love
- What to Blog About (Video Version)
- How to Get More Blog Traffic With Pinterest
Next up on our list of tips for new bloggers is actually a HUGE newbie blogger mistake that a lot of people make…
Pick a social media platform and FOCUS.
Another blogging lesson I’d slap my past self in the face with:
As far as social media is concerned: “Stop trying to be everywhere.”
- Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh oh mah gerd!
Knock it off, new blogger.
A jack of all trades is a master of none. The maximum amount of social media focus a blogger should have at the beginning is on TWO.
Pick the two that are the most important for your audience (and the ones you actually enjoy being on).
Lauren and I took this to even more of an extreme and just focused on one: Pinterest.
It was because of this focus that we learned how to dominate Pinterest for Business and Blogging.
Here are some of our stats from our last income report:
We even have a Free 4-Day eCourse on Pinterest and how to get more traffic using Pinterest.
Start building your blog writing routine.
Humans are programmed to be habitual creatures. It’s just how the brain works…
The less thinking and the more automation you can create in the writing process, the better.
My writing routine is simple.
- Step #1. Pick a topic and do the outline from home.
- Step #2. Throw laptop in a backpack and walk to the coffee shop.
- Step #3. Open computer, turn off wifi, drink coffee and write.
- Step #4 (optional): Put in music without lyrics (Tycho, Explosion in the Sky, etc.) if the place you’re writing from is too loud.
- Step #5. Do not leave the shop until the article is DONE.’
Yours may be different than mine, but it is the routine that helps me the most.
Use WordPress as your blogging platform.
Soo… I know some of you are going to be a little bummed about this message. Especially if you already signed up for one of the following:
Here is another lesson I wish I had known:
I used Wix and Squarespace a LONG time ago because I took one look at WordPress and got intimidated by it.
And if I went back in time, I would have forced myself into using WordPress from the beginning. Why?
Because WordPress is too damn powerful to avoid. Because about 70% of websites ON THE INTERNET use it, these other websites like the ones listed above just cannot compete with its capabilities.
It’s just not up for debate.
The time I spent using anything other than WordPress, in the beginning, was WASTED because those hours I could have spent mastering WordPress.
We would have been SO much better off. Here are a couple of great resources to help with this:
Start building your list from the beginning.
Email marketing may seem weird, especially to you newbies.
I remember when I explained it to Lauren that we should probably be collecting emails. The face she made was the perfect mix of contempt and disgust. She HATES when people email her with marketing stuff, so she couldn’t see it from any other perspective at first.
That being said, now Lauren and I both regret putting this off.
Not collecting emails is foolish, because it’s the ultimate way to build trust with your audience.
We make FAR more sales via email compared to randos hitting our website from Pinterest or Youtube.
Most people need that trust factor before they buy a product from you, and email is the easiest and quickest way to build that trust.
Here are some additional resources for you:
- Convertkit – What we personally use and recommend
- MailChimp – Second best option for email marketing (for beginners)
We have a comparison article on the above two options below. You have to be careful because free options like MailChimp come with serious limitations, including how you can monetize!
Blogging is an A-Z thing.
Have you read that famous book online entrepreneurs love? It’s called: “The One Thing”
It’s a great message and a fun read.
And it’s bullshit.
There are quite a few components to blogging:
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Creating Products
- Social Media
There is no “one thing” to have success as a blogger. Blogging success is an A-Z thing.
First, you must work on letter A, then letter B, and so on. It’s only those that can connect A-Z that end up having any success.
For instance, there are tons of bloggers who have a great product, but they can never get anyone to buy it. There are other bloggers who have great content, but they can’t get any traffic to their site.
You have to connect letters A-Z to actually win the game!
My thoughts are this: Letter A is the purpose of your blog, and letter Z is the moment that people love your product so much they are sharing it with their friends and family.
Just focus on going one step at a time and mastering each step as you go!
We have also narrowed down this process into a 5-step process to becoming a full-time blogger.
It outlines the steps that we took (or should have taken after making some mistakes along to way) to get where we are today.
Invest in yourself and your blog.
People suck at money.
Like really suck.
I see it most when people get their tax refunds and can’t help but cringe at what they spend that money on.
You see, these people complain day and night about having no money. How their job sucks. How life is unfair, colleges are greedy, and they just can’t catch a break.
Then they come into some money and what do they spend it on?
Just a bunch of bullshit social status items, materialistic trinkets, etc.
This is where you need to be different from the vast majority of people.
The money we had at the beginning, when we still had jobs, we invested in:
- Audiobooks on Blogging
- Blogging Courses from the Pros
- Blogging Tools and Software
- Our Blog and Our Education
This is EXACTLY why we created our Launch Your Blog Course. Yes, it’s painful to shell out some more money when you’re just starting out.
BUT our course will save you DAYS AND WEEKS worth of trying to figure out your theme, WordPress, deciding what to write about, writing your first few emails, and everything else that takes SO much time and energy for a new blogger.
It’s really one of our BEST resources for newbie bloggers, so check it out if you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by the process!
Okay, back to the money thing…
You see, this basic fundamental lesson is why some people are poor and others are rich.
Rich people invest, poor people spend.
Lauren and I ate eggs and white rice at almost every meal in the beginning (yes, we know this was a little extreme – but we meant business). We sold all of our possessions (cars, furniture, clothes) as a way to quit our jobs sooner and invest in our careers.
We stopped spending, and we started investing our money into our future.
Please please please, don’t make that mistake. It’s probably the most important lesson of the 10.
Create something awesome today!
Co-Founder, Create and Go
P.S. Have you launched your blog yet? If not, this is the ultimate FREE 7-Day eCourse on Starting and Launching Your Blog from scratch. Please check it out and join the THOUSANDS who are already talking about it.
If you enjoyed this article on tips for new bloggers, please leave us a comment or question below! We’d love to hear from you and how you’re doing with your blog!