5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Blogging
When I started blogging many years ago, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I knew how to write, and I new a bit about design and layout, but the intricate world of online networking and SEO was something I was ill-prepared for. Of all the things I've studied and learned along the way, there are a few things that would've made a big difference had I known them from the beginning.
1. If You Plan on Doing a .com, You Should Do It From the Very Beginning
A .com or .net is always preferable to a free blogging platform if your goal is to create a professional blog, and with Blogger, it can cost as low as $12 per month. Whether you go with a custom domain on a blogger platform or a self-hosted blog, a .com both looks more professional and helps with SEO. It can also prevent broken links in the future.
2. Labels Are Everything When It Comes to Internal Linking & Site Traffic
As you build more content, you'll want to build internal links in the form of suggested related content and subcategories. Especially if you plan to do a lot of your own web building, you can make this process way easier on yourself by planning out in advance your main and subcategories. Use these categories to help you generate related content that will not only help generate more traffic but will help you both define and stay on point with your blog's main message.
3. Images Have a Huge Impact on Site Traffic
One of the biggest ways you can sabotage your site traffic is to not properly tag your images. Especially if your blog post images are for recipes, decor, or fashion; you can get at least twice the amount of hits on any given post if the coinciding image is properly labeled in its original file. For example, if you've taken your own photo of a brownie recipe, you should label your image in the way people search. With the Google option of image search, it's now more important than ever. Use phrases like "easy brownie recipe", "best brownie recipe", "basic brownie recipe", etc. If you're blogging about product-driven trends like fashion, using product titles and item numbers can also greatly increase your number of relevant search hits.
4. The Blogs that Say You Can't Get Rich Blogging Simply Aren't True
I remember when I first set out to make money blogging, I read somewhere that even the top-earning bloggers are lucky to make $1000.00 a month. At the time I was naive enough to believe it, and that kept me from trying as hard as I should have. When I started coming closer and closer to that figure despite my blog still not being what I would consider hot stuff, I found ProBlogger and realized that the top-tier bloggers weren't just barely clearing $1000 a month. They were clearing well over $10,000.00 a month! So why not me? I was damn sure going to try.
5. The Sooner You Get Serious About Blogging, The Sooner You Actually Make Money
It can be a scary thing to devote a lot of time and effort into something you aren't sure is going to pay off. But the irony is you'll never make money off blogging unless you treat it like a real job. I'll devote separate articles to let you in on my tricks for knowing when a blog is worth the time and effort beforehand. Though I'll go ahead and tell you right now that your blog, first and foremost, should start with something you're passionate about.
There are many things I've learned after all these years of blogging, including many things I wish I'd known much sooner. What are some things you wish you had known before you started your blogging journey? Please share your thoughts and any questions in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Stef Etow from Mumsy app via Death to Stock Photo