Starting a blog was like a dream come true. Finally, I have my own online space to talk about what’s important to me.
But, after three years on this journey, there are a couple of things I wished I knew while starting.
Hopefully, you can avoid these mistakes as you build your own blog.
Decide early on whether you want to do this full-time
I know it might be pretty difficult to predict whether you are going to make a livable income from your new site when starting.
But what I’ve come to realize is, deciding early on whether you’re going to turn the blog into a full-time job later or simply keep it as a side hustle goes a long way to determine what you bring to the table.
Here’s what I mean, if you know, that sometime in the future say, 2 or 3 years down the line, you are going to go full-time into blogging, your mindset, the amount of energy you bring and decisions you make will be significantly different compared to if you had no intention of ever turning the side hustle into a full-time gig.
Think of the blog as a business
Most new bloggers often see their new site as a side hustle. As a temporary gig on the side that keeps them busy while waiting for the big thing.
Sure, nothing is wrong in that, especially when you know you are not in it for the long term.
However, someone that decides to go all in, it is essential to think of the blog as a business.
You see when you see the blog as a business, you will begin to take branding seriously, you begin to pay attention to cash flow, and your attention is focused on products or strategic relationships that would help you grow your business.
Unfortunately, it took me quite a long time to make that mindset switch from seeing my blog as a side hustle to a real business.
Blogging isn’t free
One of the prevalent myths about blogging is that it is free. The truth is, it is not free. You are either going to pay in cash or time to grow your blog.
Sure, the cost of entry is incredibly low. With as low as $100, you can launch your blog. But for a serious blogger, you will need to spend to grow your business.
Most hosting service providers charge an unbelievably low fee for first-year hosting like MangoMatter. And most of them offer a free domain name to boot.
While there are free email marketing services you can use at the beginning to get real features like A/B testing capabilities and access to analytics that can help you grow your email list, you will need to upgrade to a paid version.
Relationships are important
It took me a long…long time to realize just how much nurturing strategic relationships with other bloggers in my niche could impact my blog’s growth.
You see, when you were just starting, nobody knows you. You probably don’t have a large social audience to leverage. That’s where having a good relationship with established bloggers comes in handy.
They can help you spread the word of your new blog to their audience. They can feature you on their blog and, of course, link back to your content when you publish. These relationships give you those vital first exposures you need as you build your brand.
Social media audience is important
Just like you want to have warm, working relationships with other bloggers, you also have to have your own social media audience.
As a new blog, search engines like Google don’t trust you yet. This means you are not going to see any traffic for the search engine yet therefore social media audience is very important to promote your blog.
So, while you wait for all the SEO work you did to kick in (hopefully, you understand SEO and is seriously implementing it on your new blog), you are leveraging your social media audience to drive traffic to your site.
Your content length matters
Except you are Seth Godin that only publishes around 350-450 words on his blog, you don’t have to worry about your content length.
If your goal is to rank on Google, you will have to consider publishing long-form content of at least 1500 words.
Not only does detailed, long-form content help you to completely and thoroughly cover a topic, but your readers will also love you for it, and of course, search engines will reward you with top ranks and increasing traffic.
So, there you have some of the things I wished I knew when starting my blog.