10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

starting-a-blog-how-to-blog-start-a-blog-create-a-blog-victoria-hockadayChances are you’re thinking about starting a blog…maybe you’re thinking about things like how to choose a blog name, purchase a domain and install WordPress on your site.

You probably have written a few blog posts and you’re excited to tell your friends and family about your business blog.

Then all of a sudden things get more complicated…

You hit a wall and start asking questions like:

“Is blogging dead?”
“Am I too late?“
“Will this work for ME?”
“How will I make money blogging?”.

Gah!

You feel like everyone else is ahead of you and you can’t help but feel overwhelmed and envious when you see other people achieve the success that you want to achieve.

I see you and I’m 100% in your corner.

I’ve learned some big lessons on the way and had my fair share of failures and hiccups.

That’s why in today’s post I want to share my pearls of wisdom, so you can benefit from them and move past your anxieties asap.

Solve a problem

I hate to break it to you but your blog isn’t a business.

And your social media presence isn’t a business.

They’re both just platforms.

If you want to make money blogging you need to solve a problem.

You need to add value and fulfil a need for people.

And that means creating consistent content, adding value and more value, and in this process, you can begin to sell them things that will help them.

There are a few things you need to take into account:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are they struggling with?
  • What question from them come up time and time again?
  • How can you create content to address their challenges?
  • Can you sell a product to help them?
  • Is your blog niche profitable?
  • Are people searching for your topic?
  • Will companies pay you to promote their products?

Here’s the bottom line:

If you’re starting a blog, you need to be able to solve a problem for people.

You need to be super organised

If you’re serious about starting a blog you need to be super organised.

In the beginning, I wasn’t the most organised person with my blog, probably because I was given poor advice to not focus on creating content from one of my coaches.

#badadvice

I also wasn’t clear on my blog niche, who I was writing for and how I would plan my blog content based on what people were searching.

My digital marketing know-how wasn’t as good as it is now, so that definitely impacted my blog.

Then everything changed.

I pushed myself to get clear on who I wanted to be, how I wanted to add value and who I wanted to help.

I got clear on the services and products I wanted to create and I started writing blog posts that were relevant to my target audience.

After doing a ton of keyword research, I created a blog calendar and gave myself deadlines to publish the posts.

You need to invest money upfront

When I was starting a blog, I had a theme with WordPress and I knew that If I wanted to sell products and services, I would need to invest money in tools and resources.

I got serious about blogging and I got started with email marketing, list building and up-levelling my website.

Here’s some of the tools I used to kick-start my blog:

I decided to get a feminine theme with Bluchic because I was determined to have a stylish and professional looking website and turn it into a profitable blog.

And I did! Overtime I started selling my email marketing sequence, email marketing toolkit and winning digital strategy clients who were paying £1,500 to work with me. If you’re serious about blogging, you can get started at £2.43 a month.

Blog design is important

Your blog design can evolve, but you want to have a consistent look and feel on your blog.

When I started out, I struggled getting my website looking professional because I wasn’t familiar with WordPress.

It probably took me 2-3 months to get the swing of things but once I bought a theme with Bluchic, I was able to have a stylish and professional website within 1 week. Luckily, the theme I purchased came with step-by-step video tutorial, so I was able to do it all myself.

And it has paid off tenfold! I’ve had dozens of comments on my blog from people saying that they love my website and they’re going to come back to my site. I’ve also had more enquiries coming directly from my blog.

If you think about it, people see branding and design before they see anything else, right? It’s the first impression they have and it’s the one thing that drives interest and curiosity.

Don’t overlook this one and invest in a good WordPress theme today.

Spend 20% of your time creating, 80% promoting

Creating new content isn’t always the answer.

I set myself the challenge of writing a blog post every day for 14 days and here’s what I learned.

  1. My audience can only consume so much – if I purge a ton of content on them they’re going to get overwhelmed.
  2. Not every post is going to be highly detailed.

In short, I realised that if I wrote more often my blog posts are less detailed and when I wrote less my blog posts are more detailed. So, it’s a balancing act and at the moment I’m working on writing one highly detailed blog post per week.

I also realised that even if I’ve written the most detailed blog post, If I’m not promoting it on social media, nobody’s going to see it. That’s why I’ve doubled down on pinterest marketing to grow my blog traffic and I share my blog posts 100-150 times per week.

Whew, that’s a lot to add to an already jam-packed to-do list. I hear ya.

Want to know my secret weapon to promoting my blogs without spending hours at my computer?

Pinterest. Yup, for just one hour a week I promote my blog posts on Pinterest and it’s been a life-saver.

Create a goal to reach 25,000 blog views

Did you know that you can get £1,200 income from ads if you have 25,000 blog views?

Yep – as soon as you have 25,000 monthly views you can promote ads on your site with Mediavine. So, if you’re starting out set yourself a goal to get to 25,000 page views and you can start monetizing your blog asap.

I have a confession though. I don’t always recommend ads and I recommend that you keep them to the minimum, so that you’re website visitors aren’t put off and don’t come back to your website.

In my opinion, if you’re a complete newbie and you’re building trust with your audience, I wouldn’t bother with ads because you’re losing website visitors and potential customers. But once your website is getting more views, you can give sponsored ads a go.

And, if you want to sell digital products, you need to have a big audience to make it sustainable. So, aiming for 25,000 monthly views is a good goal for if you’re looking to create digital products.

Be in it for the long-haul

The reason why many bloggers give up is because they’re hustling for little return. They expect their blog to grow exponentially within the first couple of months of blogging.

But the truth is that Google and Pinterest are search engines and it can take 9 months+ for your content to found and distributed on those platforms.

And there’s a lot that you need to do to become a pro blogger: from writing blog posts, posting on social, developing digital products to offering services. The point is, there is always something to do and you have to put in time, late nights to be consistent with your content.

Don’t compare your chapter 2 to someone’s chapter 20

When you’re a newbie to starting a blog it can be easy to compare yourself to others and feel like a failure. But remember that those big bloggers that you envy have been growing their blogs for 5-7 years.

Keep your blinders up and stay in your own lane.

Be realistic with your blog goals and give yourself 9-12 months to see it get traction.

Pride yourself in your consistency, passion, grit and be your biggest cheerleader. The ones who are persistent are the ones who succeed.

Start making money asap

When I started out I wasn’t clear on how I was going to make money blogging, but I learned the hard way what’s important.

As time went on I realised that I needed to sell high-ticket services if I wanted to have a profitable business.

So, I created a value ladder of services based on how I wanted to add value, who I wanted to help and how I wanted to help them.

For example, I knew that I wanted to help course creators grow their audience and launch online courses using simple and strategic marketing methods.

So, I created the following services to help them:

Digital Strategy

GROW their audience with pinterest marketing, SEO & content.

The Email Marketing Playbook

NURTURE their audience with welcome email sequences and email newsletters.

Launch Strategy

LAUNCH their courses using the innovative marketing strategies that are working right now.

If you’d like to create some offers for your business but you don’t know how to get started, I can help! I’ll help you create a value ladder of offers and a client attraction roadmap, so you can get more clients and grow your income. Get in touch here.

Have a blog business plan

When I started out, I knew that I wanted to sell high ticket consulting.

Then as time went on I realised that having 1:1 clients isn’t sustainable, so this year I’ve been working on a signature online course, so I can take some weight off my shoulders and supplement my income.

I pushed myself to really think about the future dream of my business.

It included all the courses I wanted to have, how big my audience needs to be to successfully launch a signature course and the steps I need to take to get there.

Bear in mind that if you want to sell online courses, you need to have a BIG audience. If you’re just starting a blog, I’d think about offering high-ticket services first as this will give you an income stream as quickly as possible.

And if you want to get clients like clockwork, invest your money in Facebook ads because this will grow your email list and bring you a flood of client enquiries.

Grow your email list

If you’re starting a blog, you need email marketing, period.

No other marketing strategy has the level of intimacy and ROI that email does.

So, don’t delay and start growing an email list asap, so you can have a loyal tribe of people who want to learn more from you and are interested to hear about your products or services.

Here’s the most basic steps to get started:

  • Cook up a piece of content that your audience would love
  • Create a landing page using Leadpages
  • Add a list building pop up to your site using Optinmonster
  • Create a welcome email sequence with Flodesk

CONGRATS! You made it to the end!

There’s my biggest lessons that I wish I knew before starting a blog.

What points did you find the most useful? Let me know in the comments below