Two years ago I launched into a blogging endeavor on a whim with no prior expierence or “Blogging Knowledge.”
I was more than just a new blogger, I was actually a terrible blogger (but taking action is always key to starting something).
To say that my participation in blogging has been similar to riding a roller coaster would be an accurate way to describe the past two years. Just like roller coasters, blogging can be exciting, fun, sometimes scary, sometimes stressful and always surprising.
For the better part of my relatively short blogging career (Money Life Wax is now two!) I had no clue what I was truly doing. In fact, I made just about every mistake of blogging you probably could. From…
- Creating a really bad domain name the first time
- Having to rebrand month two
- Writing really, really unfocused articles
- Starting a blog on Wix instead of WordPress
- Designing graphics on Word
- To not even using proper grammar when differentiating “Pay Off” and “Payoff”
The list could go on forever!
However, since I am no longer a “New Blogger,” I decided to impart a little blogging wisdom after reflecting back on the past two years to hopefully help new bloggers avoid some of my pitfalls!
Six Rules All New Bloggers Need to Know!
One of the most important things I think most new bloggers need to figure out is when do they plan on blogging!
Most new bloggers will quit blogging because of perceived “Lack of time.” Truly, time is a major reason why many people don't start or don't finish most things in life, not just blogging.
Knowing this, you have to figure out what you can commit time-wise and what works best for you. Most mornings you will find me doing some sort of combination of the following:
- Hitting snooze 1x (9 minutes of sleep more, thank you Steve Jobs)
- Feeding Morgan (My dog), making coffee and walking her
- Running, Reading, Reflecting (Sometimes 1 or all 3)
- One hour of focus with no distractions
Personally, I have found that I am a better writer in the morning with a cup of coffee and a clear mind. I can get down my thoughts way quicker in the morning. In the mornings there are just fewer distractions, less “other things” to do and so on.
Most mornings I get a rough draft written in less than 30 minutes before the day can take many twists and turns.
So rule #1 for new bloggers to follow: Plan Your Blogging Time Accordingly
Avoid Blogging ADHD
Similar to blogging rule #1 for new bloggers, while we are on the time efficiency topic, do your best to avoid what I commonly refer to as “Blogging ADHD.”
I will be writing a blog post (Like this) and five minutes later I am surfing social media, playing with my dog outback, or worse checking my page views as if they're going to magically jump.
The quickest way to get nothing done blogging is to try to do everything all at once.
Whether you find yourself surfing social media, distracted by things going on around you, or if you're like me and you can waste tons of time designing photos or formatting – do your best to avoid blogging ADHD.
Blogging ADHD When Writing…
As a caveat to time, you can also have blogging ADHD when writing.
When I look back at some of my early blog posts as a brand new blogger I cringe at my early content. I somehow managed to throw student loans into every blog post – even if the focal point of the post was budgeting.
If it helps, plan your posts out with headings and do a little research to see how successful bloggers structured their content!
So rule #2 when it comes to blogging…
Rule 2: Avoid blogging ADHD when writing and blogging!
Social Media & Blogging
When it comes to social media and blogging, social media is a necessary evil.
There is no doubt you will want to spend time promoting your blog on all the different social media channels:
However, when you feel like you have to do it every second of the day, social media can contribute to your blogging ADHD as a new blogger.
In other words, social media can be very distracting!
So if you're a new blogger, or even if your a normal person who spends too much time on social media, limit yourself to checking social media in the mornings, one mid-day check, and then a night-time check.
I use How Do Blogs Make Money?
What about the act of promoting your blog on social media?
Social media, though fun and even distracting at times, is like I alluded to earlier, a necessary item for your blog.
In addition to your written content, it allows readers to interact with your brand and personality, thus building a stronger/loyal readership. However, this doesn't mean you need to spend all your time on EVERY social media channel.
Depending on your blog's niche, you will want to stick to the social media channel that best aligns with your blog!
- Pinterest = Great for lifestyle, mommy blogs, food blogs, etc.
- Twitter = Great for personal finance blogs and interaction, but not for driving traffic
- Facebook = Great for all blogs, but it is a pay to play platform
- LinkedIn = Great for personal finance and business type blogs, but not a mommy blog!
- Instagram = Who knows! But it is quickly growing!
Rule #3: Have a social media strategy for your new blog!
Invest in blogging courses to be successful.
Like a turtle on top of a roof, to be a successful blogger you will need to find a way to get some help.
Whether that help comes in the form of direct mentorship and guidance by developing a relationship with a successful blogger or just taking a few courses, you will need to learn how to blog better.
One of the quickest and best ways (In addition to following successful bloggers on social media and joining their Facebook Groups) is to take blogging courses.
Blogging courses that are worth considering:
Stupid Simple SEO: If you want to drive traffic to your blog and make money long term blogging, you will want to have a presence on the largest search engine ever… Google!
Organic search engine traffic is essential to having a thriving blog. Social media traffic can fall off with the adjustment of one algorithm. However, search engine traffic will always be there in some form!
The Stupid Simple SEO course not only takes your SEO expertise from zero to pro, but you can also start driving traffic to your blog that has the potential to be ongoing!
Just look at this photo from when I took the course to now as it pertains to my organic search traffic:
Use my exclusive Stupid Simple SEO link here, this course only opens up several times a year!
Bloggers'Secrets by The Savvy Couple
A course I personally use and stand by is Kelan and Brittany's of The Savvy Couple course, “Blogger's Secrets.”
I truly wish I had a course like this as a new blogger and I highly recommend the Blogger's Secrets course to anyone who is looking to take their blog to the next level!
Think of this course as a road map to help you with just about every aspect of your blog from starting out to monetizing strategies and growing a profitable blog.
Be sure to get on the waitlist for this course as it also only opens several times a year and be sure to tell Kelan & Brittany I sent you with my link here!
Rule #4: If you're gonna make it big, don't be afraid to invest in yourself blogging!
New bloggers need to make money freelancing… at first.
The skills it takes to run a successful blog are the same skills that most small businesses need help with, which is a way for you to make money as a new blogger.
Digital marketing agencies help small business owners with their social media accounts, SEO rankings, site appearance, and their website content/rankings/design.
I have actually gotten pretty good at helping small businesses rank higher by providing really authentic content for their websites, which is just one way to make money with your blog.
While you can monetize your blog in several months, you also want to be cautious “Over monetizing” your blog. So freelancing by doing the following is a great way to earn money with your blog:
- Freelance writing
- Freelance web design
- SEO consulting
- Social media managing
- Graphic design
How do you land a client? Just use your blog as a portfolio!!!
The best way to start landing clients is to first tap into your “Power Base.” Start by answering this simple question: Do you know some small business owners near you who could use some help with their internet presence?
Tell them you would like to grab some coffee and see how you can provide some mutually beneficial digital marketing services (Read about how I made over $5,000 freelancing in 2018).
Rule # 5: Make money freelancing until your new blog becomes profitable!
Lastly, avoid new blogger burnout!
No matter what you do, be sure to set yourself up as a new blogger so you avoid blogger burnout!
Whether that means making sure you never touch your blog on certain days like the weekends or avoid checking your pageviews every 36 seconds.
Not only is blogger burnout a real thing, it is possible that enough blogger burnout can end your blogging career! Most of the broken links on my blog come from comments that belonged to bloggers who didn't renew their domain names.
Just make sure you have a business plan with your new blog and you're mindful of your personal time outside of work and blogging.
Personal Note: Many bloggers have mentioned or discussed something about their spouse and their blog. Truth be told, it is really easy to spend 3-4 hours just blogging for hours. Be sure to keep in mind that because your blog is always in reach of your laptop and never perfect, you need to separate your personal life from your blog at times!
Rule #6 might be the most important new blogger rule:
Rule 6, avoid blogger burnout and be sure to give yourself personal time!
Q: As a new blogger, what did you focus on (Or perhaps, still are)?
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and many more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their newborn son, their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! In case you were wondering, Josh uses Personal Capital to track his net worth and his first investment account ever was an Acorns account 😎