The 10 Most Important Blogging Lessons I’ve Learned So Far

I’ve been blogging since I was in high school over a decade ago. Granted, MySpace blogs probably don’t count (even though mine were really earth shattering). ūüėČ But I’ve had a few others since then.¬†¬†Most of them have been just for fun, but I finally decided to get serious about blogging. It’s a good way to employ my love of writing. I want to write for a living, but I can’t rely only on book income quite yet. A blog is one the best ways for me to supplement my income, especially as a new work-at-home mom.

Blogging, however, is not without its trials. I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. This post contains blogging lessons I’m learning as I go, including what I’m glad I did, what I learned to do, and what I wish I’d done differently.

Here’s a list of the most important blogging lessons I’ve¬†learned so far:

This post contains affiliate links to help me keep my little blog up and running. Check out my disclosure policy for more details. 

Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme.

Contrary to popular belief (and many articles found on Pinterest), blogging won’t pay off overnight. I’ve read¬†articles about bloggers who made four or five figures within a few short months of starting their blogs. Sometimes that happens, yes. But what many people aren’t willing to admit is that they had to try idea after idea until they found one that worked. Some folks are more than open about their blogging journeys, including all of the setbacks they faced when they first started. I’m thankful for those people and their stories. They encourage me to keep going and to keep searching for what will work best for me.

{Need help setting up your new blog? Here’s how I did it!}

But I’ve also had to remember that bloggers who make six figures a year are also doing more than writing simple blog posts. They’re employing multiple strategies — such as writing books, teaching e-courses and workshops, and writing sponsored posts — to bring in that kind of money. All of it takes time.

Google rewards longevity.

That means if you plan on doing any affiliate marketing, you should include affiliate links in your posts from day one. Even if your only readers are your cat and your mom. Eventually, you may have an old post that sees sudden spikes in traffic. When that happens, you’ll wish you’d already included affiliate links in those posts to increase your earning potential.

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Persistence is necessary.

Blogging feels great at first. When you start your new blog, you might feel really motivated to crank out multiple posts per week, connect with other bloggers, and share everything you write. But don’t be surprised if you reach a point when you feel like you’re wasting your time.¬†When I started this blog, I felt very motivated. I worked on it during my lunch breaks and in my spare time. It felt great.

Then I started comparing my progress to other writers and bloggers. That’s always a bad idea. Even when you’re tempted to compare your progress to someone else’s, it’s important to persist and keep moving forward on your own path. Keep doing what YOU do, not what someone else is doing.

Rejection is normal.

This is especially true for new bloggers. When you don’t have thousands of monthly readers or huge social media platforms, people won’t take you as seriously. I’ve been rejected by plenty of brands, affiliate programs, Pinterest group boards, and other seemingly great opportunities. Some won’t even bother to respond when you reach out. It’s okay. Brush it off and move on to the next opportunity. Instead of taking every rejection personally and wallowing in it, focus on making your blog stronger and better than ever.

{These blogging tools have made my life so much easier.}

Data-driven content is better than short, fluffy posts.

People want to read what will help them in some way. When I think about the posts that catch my eye, they’re always posts that promise to help me or improve my blog, writing, marriage, home, health, attitude, or life in general. Blog posts with valuable content and actionable data will keep readers coming back more than short, spur-of-the-moment thoughts or opinions. That’s what will prompt them to pin or tweet your post, bookmark your website, or sign up for your email list.

Think of the email lists you sign up for, then think about your own blog. (Without getting compare-y on a personal level, remember.) Are you offering enough that you would sign up for your own email list?

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Connecting with other bloggers is necessary.

My highly-introverted self balks at this one, and maybe you do, too. But it’s so true. As bloggers, we need each other. We can offer encouragement, advice, and support where people who don’t “get” blogging can’t. Besides, once you embrace your tribe, you might actually enjoy the camaraderie. ūüôā

If you’re not sure how to connect with others in your niche, start with social media. I created this social media cheat sheet for novelists exactly for this purpose.

The 80/20 rule isn’t just for work habits.

It applies to what you know, too. Give away at least 80% of what you know through blog posts, newsletters, and free downloads. Whatever remains — the other 20% — can be used to create content that people will gladly pay for, such as books, e-books, courses, planners, downloadable worksheets and packets, and more. No one will trust a person who asks for money at every opportunity.

Case studies are good.

Admittedly, I’m still learning about this one. I haven’t done any case studies myself yet, but I’m planning on incorporating more in the future. Plenty of successful bloggers swear by them.

Don’t say too much too soon.

I tend to get overly excited when someone contacts me with a new opportunity to connect or work together. Someone contacted me once about becoming a beta reader for her book. I was so eager that instead of just accepting her offer and asking how else I could help, I¬†excitedly threw my own idea back at her. (I think I may have scared her off.) Anyhow, always be kind, but don’t be desperate. Connecting with others on a genuine level is a process, so even though you may be excited, stay level-headed and take it one day at a time.

Creating comes first.

As a writer, this is my personal favorite. It is entirely possible to make money through affiliate links, ads, sponsored posts, and more. But creating your own content will always be more fulfilling and lucrative than simply promoting someone else’s products.

As an affiliate, you only earn a small portion of the sale. As a creator, you get 100% of the profits from whatever product you create. When you create your own high-value content, you ultimately have more pride and ownership over what you sell. Personally, that motivates me more than only promoting others’ products (even though I use, read, and believe in them). It gives me goals to work toward each day, Ultimately, creating my own products gives me more faith in my overall earning potential in the long run.

I don’t think I’ll ever be finished learning about blogging. That’s a good thing because it always means there will be new ideas to try and ways to improve.

Blogging isn’t the only place where I’ve had to learn from my mistakes. Grab some coffee and download Ink Blots & Happy Thoughts: 20 Lessons Learned in My First Year of Freelance Writing for plenty of other lessons I’ve learned along the way! (Currently FREE on KindleUnlimited! *Happy dance*)

Ink Blots & Happy Thoughts: 20 Lessons Learned in My First Year of Freelance Writing e-book by Meg Bliss >>> download it here! | writing tips, writing books, writing quotes, freelance writing, work at home moms, make money online

Fellow writers and bloggers, I want to hear from you! What lessons are you thankful you’ve learned along the way? Let me know in the comments below. Before you go, don’t forget to join the¬†Ladies in Read community on Pinterest!


The Top 10 Most Important Blogging Lessons I've Learned So Far from TheLadyinRead.com | blogging tips, writing tips, freelance writing, work at home, work at home moms, make money writing, make money online, how to start a blog

 

 

About Meghan

Meghan is a novelist, blogger, and copyeditor fueled by coffee and red lipstick. When she's not typing away you can find her reading, organizing, or watching old sitcoms and superhero movies with her husband, cat, and baby-to-be.

6 Comments

  1. henajose

    This is definitely a good set of tips coming straight from a long time blogger. Also appreciate the fact that you have been blogging from college days.

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