The Blogging For Beginners
The list of hard tips and soft skills you need to succeed as a beginning bloggers in your first year
Do you need tips for beginning bloggers to make your blogs super successful? Below are all the tips so you can copy the same steps and attain the same success. The advice in this post allowed me to grow from $0 to $9,000 per month in a year. If you want a 12-month step by step plan, you’re welcome to download it here!
#1 What Problem Are You Solving
First thing, when you’re starting a blog make sure you know your “what”. What problem are you solving? Who are you catering to? How are you helping them?
For me on Start A Mom Blog, I’m catering to moms. I know there are other people on my list as well. But my main goal is to help mommies. I’m a mommy. I know the struggles that we go through. I know how distracted we can get. I’m here to help moms start blogs. I know the technical difficulties that moms have. I know my customer. Make sure that you know who your audience is and what you’re providing for them. Always remember what problem are you solving.
It’s good to niche down and focus on an audience and really help them. That’s what is going to set you apart as a blogger. You don’t want your blog to cover a hundred different topics, pick a few that work well together. Google and Pinterest are there to be the big search engines, don’t try to copy them.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Here is an example, Christy from TheHarperHouse.com blogs about modern rustic farmhouse home decor. That is pretty nichy! And she makes over $5,000 per month from her blog.
Carolina from MamaInstincts blogs about nontoxic baby products and makes over $1,000 just from the Amazon Affiliate program.
When you go to the bookstore to purchase a book, do you buy the encyclopedia every time, or do you look for a book that covers a specific problem and gives you a solution? Think about your blog in the same way.
#2 Who Are You Helping?
Number two, know your avatar. Know your audience. I kind of went into that a little bit already.
How to find your audience:
Go to subreddits on Reddit and type in your main category. If you blog about minimalism you can type that in and see what people are talking about. What issues are they having? What questions are they asking? This is how you find out what your audience is struggling with.
You could also go to Quora, that’s another place to answer and ask questions in your niche.
Or you can go to Facebook Groups. In Facebook Groups, there are a ton of mommy groups, blogging groups, groups for minimalism or bullet journaling or any type of niche.
Search in the Facebook search bar and go to those groups and see what people are asking. If you see the same question coming up over and over, that would make an amazing blog post. If that blog post takes off then eventually you can create a product that expands on that topic.
Know your audience. And go find what they’re asking for.
#3 Don’t try to be Perfect as a Beginning Blogger
Number three, don’t try to be perfect. Take for example the video I created with this post, it’s a one-time thing. There is no editing. This is me. This is real. I’m going to mess up but I don’t have the time and the capacity to make things perfect. I can get 80% there and my mommies understand that.
Sometimes, I have spelling errors. Things aren’t polished. But we’re real and they know I’m helping them and they’re helping me. The video is an example of trying to not be perfect because we don’t have time for that. We need to help each other and not try to be a perfectionist. I always strive to do my best, but sometimes things happen that aren’t in line with my plans. And those ‘mistakes’ can work in your favor too. Your audience will see you as a real person and they’ll be able to relate to you more.
For example, my beginning blog posts on my blog were not the greatest. I know a lot of bloggers struggle with this. They wonder, “What should I write about?” “Should I even write?” “Should I blog?”
What should your first post be?
But if you’re just beginning to blog, remember that those first couple of posts are warming you up. They’re preparing you so that you get better. You’re going to get better with practice and exercise. You’re going to get faster and more eloquent in your writing. With any activity that you do, blogging included, if you keep doing it, you’ll improve.
Even though my first blog post are not read by many people anymore they helped me become a better blogger. You’ll accomplish more if you just start.
In your first year of blogging, do this!
And this is something I absolutely love about blogging, the ability to keep experimenting. That’s the whole fun thing about being a blogger. You can try something out. If it doesn’t work you can just take the post or video down. For example, you can try it and if it falls flat, delete the post. It’s a good learning experience.
I know of many bloggers that go back and delete old posts that just don’t work for their niche anymore. Those posts helped them grow and learn. So don’t be afraid to test and experiment on your blog too.
Keep experimenting and trying different things. Maybe your audience is on Reddit. Maybe they’re on Pinterest. Maybe they’re on Facebook. Keep trying different things and you’re going to grow.
#4 Stay Consistent
Number four, stay consistent. This was really helpful for me during my first year of blogging on startamomblog.com
In my first year, I publish a post every week. I know there are some bloggers who do multiple posts a day and I cannot do that, not with two children, a house to clean and dinner to cook.
On the weeks that I was on vacation, had a sick child or were sick myself, I would ask a friend to guest post on my blog for me. Or I would do a quick video and send that out to my email list.
I consistently kept in touch with my readers every week; either through a new post, video or tips to my subscribers.
Stay consistent even if you have to look at different ways of keeping that engagement going.
#5 Grow Your Email List even as a New Blogger
Number five, grow your email list from day one. It’s going to be slow in the beginning. You’re going to try different freebies to get people to give their email address to you. A freebie could be a PDF that helps solve your reader’s main problems quickly in your niche. For example a checklist of ten things you need to do to become a minimalist or how to start your bullet journal in three easy steps. These types of freebies are used as incentives so people give their email address to you.
Once you build your list you’ll be able to know what your readers want and what they’re struggling with, because you’ll be able to ask them directly.
Even if you only have twenty people subscribed to your list and half of them are your family, email them. Get that engagement going, get into the consistency of emailing them at least once a week because you don’t want your list to go cold.
I was scared to email my list
In my first year blogging on startamomblog, I was honestly scared to email my list. It took me a month before I finally had the courage to do it. By that time, I had seven hundred people on it. I was just collecting all these emails and I was never going to talk to them. I was scared of people unsubscribing. But even if they unsubscribe, that’s okay. Not everybody can be your friend. That’s life. But if you keep the engagement going, you’re going to create great relationships and friendships with the people on your email list. Even if there are just twenty people on it, grow it and stay consistent at emailing them.
#6 Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Number six, pick just a couple of affiliates if you’re deciding to make money through your blog with affiliate marketing. Pick a maximum of five in the beginning and promote those heavily. Know the product. Don’t just promote something that has a good affiliate program and a great pay-out, but you know nothing about it or you don’t use it. That’s not authentic. That’s not going to help your reader and they’ll be able to see through it.
Obviously, Amazon would be considered one affiliate in my opinion, and not each item a separate affiliate. If you do promote products from Amazon, make sure you know first hand that they are high quality and helpful to your audience.
Make sure you pick affiliates that will help your reader and that you know about, have used or liked. I am honest with my readers regarding the affiliates I recommend. If things go wrong, I let them know. I reveal both the good and the bad about the affiliates that I use, and that builds a strong level of trust from my readers which I value highly.
An affiliate that I use is ConvertKit. Even though ConvertKit is a little pricey for my audience and a little bit advanced, that is the email marketing service that I use and love.
For example, Carolina from MamaInstincts promotes non-toxic baby play mats. She has many posts on the topic. She does a thorough review of all the non-toxic baby play mats. It’s a resource of a post. People go to it to decide which baby play mats to buy. Because she did the research and knows her products, that post really converts well for her.
If I all of a sudden started talking about non-toxic baby play mats, my audience would be utterly confused. Even though my audience may be larger than Carolina’s, my conversions would be almost zero. My readers are coming to my blog to learn how to grow their online business, not to purchase baby products. So make sure your affiliates are in line with your niche.
So in conclusion, know your affiliates really well and understand how they will benefit your reader. Then only promote the affiliates you truly love and don’t spread yourself too thin.
#7 Create Something
Number seven, create a product. Once you have a couple blog posts and you’re starting to build your email list. You can talk to your subscribers and ask them what will make their life better. From that feedback, you’ll know what product to create.
Maybe start with a little ebook that you can charge twenty dollars for. Something that helps them solve their main problem step by step. If that ebook does really well, turn it into a course. That’s what I did the last year. Creating an ebook and course for moms worked really well for me. If you want to follow the same method and process, I highly encourage it, I’ve outlined it in the 12-month step by step free planner.
#8 Be a Friend
Number eight, build friendships with other bloggers. When you go into the niche Facebook groups you’ve joined, reach out to a couple of other bloggers that are in the same niche. Don’t see them as competition. See them as co-workers. As bloggers we need to help and build each other up.
Because blogging is a long-term thing, it takes a lot of energy and a lot of time. It’s lonely. You need those online friends to help and encourage you. Especially when you get stuck and demotivated. Having some friends in the blogging world who know what you’re going through really helps you stay focused and motivated.
How to make blogging friends
Go into Facebook groups that are in your niche and create a post along the lines of, “Hey friends I’m a newish blogger. I blog about this and this. Does anybody else blog about it? I’d love to form a small mastermind group so we can encourage and help each other grow.” You will be amazed at the number of responses you get!
Make a small Facebook group of five to ten other bloggers and help each other. You can discuss things and build friendships. Share posts and repin pins. You can guest post on each other’s blogs and share links. It’s a great way to grow as a beginning blogger in your first year.
#9 Really Be Yourself
Number nine, be real. The internet is full of wonderful, beautiful and gorgeous people. But sometimes it feels like they are all photoshopped. It seems so fake.
Be real for your audience. Be yourself. We go online to make connections with other people. We want to see people being real. That speaks volumes to us.
My home is not perfect. I am constantly cleaning up, reorganizing and donating to get rid of the clutter. Things aren’t perfect and they don’t all match. That’s okay. I want to show you that I’m a friend and that I’m a normal person. I’m a tired mom of two wonderful little girls, who sometimes drive me crazy. I get snappy and have moments I am not proud of.
I try to be the best version of myself online, but I am still real. And I know my audience appreciates it.
Show your personality. If you see a couple of my videos, you can see my personality and I’m a little quirky. The more real you are, the more your readers can relate to you and build a relationship.
I’m very personal in the emails I send to my subscribers. I frequently ask them for advice and input on motherhood things, like how to get my baby to sleep through the night. My readers aren’t just subscribers to my blog, they are my friends. I help them with their blogs, and they help me in countless other ways!
When I started blogging I heard this quote;
Even though there are tons of mommies that have mommy blogs, you connect with that person, that blogger behind the words and behind the content. You form a relationship with them. That’s what makes you follow them. Not so much with the content they put out. Yes, it could be amazing. But it’s about the blogger behind the blog. You see their personality shine through and you’re like “Ah I like that person, I want to be friends with them.” That’s how you get a lot of followers.
Below are a few of my pictures from my Instagram account. I know I should tailor my account to be more professional and in line with my brand, but at this time, I like to use it as a personal connection with my readers. I showcase my life, not my blog, on my Instagram. You’re welcome to follow along and see how normal and boring I really am.
#10 Stay Positive – The Hardest Task for Beginning Bloggers
Lastly, one of the most important things to remember in your first year of blogging is to stay positive. It’s so easy to get demotivated and depressed. When you see bloggers who are making money faster than you are, or who have crazy traffic numbers, you can easily become envious and feel like you’re not good enough.
But try not to fall into the comparison trap. It’s a downward spiral. There were numerous days in my first year of blogging where I just sat on the couch and cried. Seriously, it was that bad. My hubby would have to console me and let me know that with consistently hard work it’ll pay off.
I was sad when others stole my ideas, or grew faster than I did, or when I got an angry email from a reader. I’m a pretty emotional person and those little things really got to me.
Negative thoughts, jealousy, and depression can zap your productivity!
Now I constantly surround myself with positive blogging friends, I avoid the temptation of visiting the blogs that make me feel depressed and I stay off social media unless I’m working. Facebook or Instagram can quickly become a showcase of everyone’s perfect lives. Constantly looking at that can make anyone feel inadequate.
So when I feel myself drifting into a negative mindset, I close the browser window or put down my phone, and quickly focus on all the amazing and positive things in my life!
Step by Step Plan for Your First Year of Blogging
I hope this blogging tips list of actionable tips and soft skills help you succeed in your first year. I also created the 12-month step by step free planner how I grew my blog from $0 to over $9,000 per month. You’re welcome to download it and follow it too! Remember, the secret is not in the plan itself, it’s in the implementation of the plan!