You learn a lot as a new blogger, especially what you would do differently if you could start over.
I republish old posts at least once a week, both for a boost to search engine traffic and as a way to improve old articles on my blogs.
To be honest, it’s almost embarrassing looking through old posts.
The learning curve as a new blogger is steep, like Everest steep! This is stuff they don’t teach in school so it’s pretty much trial-and-error for most beginning blogs.
I’ve found everything from SEO mistakes that could have meant huge traffic to ways I could have made thousands more on old blog posts.
It’s a common theme in blogging. Half the time spent at the blogging conferences I go to seems to be spent breaking down old myths and laughing about how hopelessly lost bloggers were when they first clicked publish on their sites.
But that doesn’t mean you have to start your blog from scratch.
I reached out to seven highly successful bloggers, we’re talking a millions in combined traffic, to see what they would do differently if they were to start blogging in 2017. Following the stories of millionaire bloggers is hugely motivational and can get you started right.
There were some common themes, things that every new blogger should watch for to start blogging. There were also some surprises that will help you get your blog growing fast.
How I Would Restart as a New Blogger
Most of the responses seemed to revolve around a few common themes like changes to content, search engine optimization and learning the business of blogging.
That makes sense. These three ideas are really the three core pillars of blogging and can mean the difference between a successful blog or being one of the 95% of bloggers that stop updating their site before their six-month blog-a-versary.
- Content is what it’s all about, right? Providing engaging and useful information that keeps readers coming back. A good content strategy is a lot harder than just putting words on the screen.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most neglected parts of blogging. Fortunately, that makes it much easier to rank on Google if you’re one of the few to put the time in learning SEO.
- Blogging as a Business! Blogging isn’t just publishing random thoughts and hoping money comes in from somewhere. It’s a business like any other. Treating it like a business will put you ahead of 99% of the blogs out there.
Blogging Restart with Content in Mind
There’s more to great blogging content than just jotting down your thoughts. Creating a content strategy for a new blog will help you build a focused readership and get noticed by Google search.
Katie Brewer, CFP of Your Richest Life shares how she would create more content before starting, to give readers more to read on her new blog.
It's always hard to juggle everything when you're starting a business with a limited budget. If I could start over again, I would have created a lot more content before launching my firm. I started with four blog posts written but I would have preferred ten to twenty blog posts already completed at the launch of the business.
One of the things I felt that I did well was paying someone to help me edit my content while I was getting started with blogging. It was worth every penny to have an experienced writer give me feedback on how to structure your content and how to make it more reader-friendly.
Holly, The Work at Home Woman is one of the most successful bloggers in the remote career space for women. She shares a mistake I made as well in the beginning, sacrificing quality for quantity blog posting.
When I first started blogging, I was in a constant race to get new blog posts published. What this meant is I often cut corners. I didn't interlink blog posts; I didn't optimize my images for the various social media platforms, and overall my content was thin.
If I could go back and give myself one piece of advice, it would be to slow down and not worry about pumping out new content. Instead, focus on quality by creating well thought out articles that are relevant to my target audience, and which contain optimized images, keywords, alt tags, meta descriptions, and catchy titles.
The idea of quality content leads well into our next section, implementing good SEO for your new blog.
What good are ten blog posts if nobody reads them? After a week or two on your blog, search is going to be about the only traffic to your older posts so they better be high enough quality to get Google’s attention.
Starting a Blog? Learn SEO Early.
I downloaded the traffic stats for four of my blogs late last year. What I saw nearly knocked me off my chair. Just ten posts on one blog, about 5% of the total posts, accounted for 60% of the traffic.
Wanna know where almost all that traffic was coming from? From Google search.
For most bloggers, a few highly-ranked posts account for almost all their traffic. If you haven’t thought about how you will rank your posts on Google…it’s time to start.
Meg of Mapping Megan offers some easy ways to boost your search traffic by optimizing the images you put in blog posts.
Optimize photos for SEO! One of the biggest SEO mistakes bloggers and niche site owners make is forgetting to correctly title, caption or optimize their photographs. All too often bloggers upload photographs leaving the title as 453DCM.jpeg, which is horrible SEO practice.
Simply changing the title of your photographs before uploading them will do wonders for your SEO, and mean that your photos are showing up in google image searches under relevant keywords and search terms.
Remember that photos in Google searches are clickable and direct traffic through to your website – by not optimizing your photos and thinking of SEO when you upload them, you are missing out on this traffic. Make sure you also add alternative text and a description when uploading to WordPress.
Michael, the Super Millennial offers a couple of good lessons for new bloggers besides the importance of SEO.
I would have started sooner. I thought about starting a blog for a year before I actually did anything. Once I started my blog I didn't submit content regularly or promote consistently on social media.
I would have never used Weebly in the beginning. It may be easy to use but migrating all the content from Weebly to WordPress was expensive, frustrating and a definite learning experience. I would also have learned more about SEO, Pinterest, and networked with other bloggers.
I was fortunate to stumble upon the secret of SEO for blogging early. I realized that even many successful bloggers were totally avoiding a search engine optimization process. Putting together a process I use with every new post has helped me rank even new blogs I own.
I put my entire eight-step SEO process in a new book, Google SEO for Bloggers, to help new bloggers get the Google love they deserve. The book guides you through every step to get instant search traffic on every post.
- How to find keywords for which you can actually rank and why most bloggers waste their time on worthless keywords.
- How to jumpstart your posts with pdf, audio and video that will reach more people and get instant links.
- The link-building strategies I use to rank for even the most popular keywords.
Treat Your New Blog as a Business
Read any successful blog and you’ll see a pattern of learning and application. The bloggers that make it to hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors and a six-figure blogging income are the ones that treat their blog as a business, putting in the time to learn every aspect.
Kristy Lopez says the top two things she would do differently if starting a new blog would be mentorship and research.
First, I would have partnered with someone who had the time and experience to mentor me because that knowledge is extremely valuable to helping get a business up and running faster, smoother, and making money sooner.
Second, I would have done more research to better understand the online business environment, terminology, and how websites work as this would have shortened my launch and learning curve time.
Ivan, the Biz Penguin started his online business career in 2007 but it wasn’t until later that he discovered how to launch online magazines and blogs.
If I were to start my career all over again, I would have started earlier in 2005 and go straight to building online magazines and blogs. I would have started right and with a strong base for launching more digital businesses and learned how to run them right.
One very important part of your blogging decision is choosing the topic or niche on which your blog revolves. Jon Haver of Authority Website Income says he would have chosen a more obscure niche if he were to start blogging again.
By choosing an obscure niche, you are likely going to be choosing a niche that not many people have thought of (and might not of heard of). This would hopefully allow you to rank quicker and become a big player in that space.
You don’t have to know everything about digital real estate before you start blogging. Another of the biggest mistakes is perpetually putting off starting a new website. Focus on the big three themes above to get started blogging and you’ll be off to a great start as a new blogger.