If I had to start a new blog today, then there are so many things I would do differently.
Without any doubt, I can grow a blog much Quicker today than what I did when I started blogging in 2015.
When I started blogging in 2015, I was very new to blogging and I didn’t had any idea about how to grow a blog.
But from my almost four and a half year of experience, I learned some harsh lessons about blogging.
I hope that by reading this guide, you’ll get some invaluable tips and insight if you are new to blogging or even if you don’t have years of experience in blogging.
If you have not started your blog yet, then be sure to check out our Step by step guide to start a Blog which makes money.
This is a complete guide which covers everything from deciding a niche to making money from your blog
1. It Takes Money To Make Money
Most of the people don’t understand this simple yet most important concept.
When I started out, I made just a few investments for purchasing a low-quality cheap hosting & domain.
As time has gone on my costs have gone through the roof, I understood the importance of good hosting, Premium themes, email marketing & lot more stuff and invested on all these things.
Almost for a year, I was spending more than I was making.
That being said, I have made some great investment in blogging tools that helped me be way more productive.
Always remember that the money you are spending on your blog is not just your expense, It is an investment for your blog & life which will come back in increasing amounts.
Yes, but from my experience, I would always recommend to spend wisely, because how you spend does make a difference.
Don’t forget to check out Blogging tools I use for my blog.
2. Keyword stuffing is terrible for your SEO
In the beginning days of my blogging, One of my Blogger friend told me that “if you repeat your target keyword many times into your blog post” it ill help you to rank well in Google.
I took this completely wrong…
I started doing Keyword stuffing into all of my Blog Posts.
Don’t know about keyword stuffing?
Here is how a keyword-stuffed blog post looks like!
Keyword stuffing simply means when you fills or “stuffs” a webpage with the same target keyword in hopes of ranking higher for that keyword in search engines.
This tactic used to be work in 2008 or till 2009, but now this is considered as a strictly black-hat tactic.
If you are doing it in 2019, then be ready to get your site penalized by Google.
Your blog content should aim to educate, engage and serve your blog readers. You are unable to fulfill this purpose if you are stuffing your content with Keywords.
You should always aim to write for the real people not for the search engine.
To help your content rank for a specific keyword, Focus on “Optimizing” for the keyword instead of “stuffing” in the keyword. Use your target keyword in all the right places where it fits naturally.
Additionally, I will recommend you to instead of repeating the same keywords, Use multiple related Long tail keywords into your blog post to rank higher for the thousands of keywords.
3. You need to be passionate to get success
Do you know?
In 2016 i started many new blogs, but i failed!
Because i was not passionate about that niche.
You will never get success in your blogging career, if you don’t have passion about your niche.
In the beginning days, you have to write for hours & hours without getting any reward.
If you aren’t driven by passion, You won’t be inspired to keep up with the workload & Produce amazing content without earning a single penny.
And if you don’t care about what you’re writing then why should your readers cares?
4. Build An Email List Before You Even Begin
If you are in the blogging field for a while, you might already have an idea about the importance of building an email list.
The biggest blogging mistake i made was not building any email list in almost 2 years.
Not only me, if you ask any of the successful bloggers about their biggest blogging mistake, Chances are 90% of them will say “I did not start list building from day 1.”
Do you know Jon Morrow founder of Smartblogger built over 13,000 subscribers list, before he had even written a single post!
If you are not started building an email list yet then make it a priority today.
- Get an email marketing platform like MailChimp or Convert Kit. I always recommend ConvertKit to my readers because I personally use it and it’s easy to use.
- Make a strong landing page with the help of professional tools like LeadPages or Thrive Architect. I personally use Thrive architect because it is affordable and it has lots of features to build a good landing page.
- Offer content upgrade, lead magnet, or simply give users the option to subscribe when they visit your blog.
- Start writing for some authority blog on your niche and mention your lead page link in the author bio or within the article.
5. Proper Keyword research can drive thousands of visitors every month
In beginning, the biggest blogging mistake I was making, Writing content on whatever keyword comes in mind.
Literally, Suppose I read a blog on topic “Seo” today, Next day you will find an article on SEO on my blog.
Yes, Don’t laugh at me, I know I was too Dumb.
But soon I realized without doing Proper keyword research you can never rank in Google and get organic traffic.
For those who don’t know what is keyword researching:
According to Brian Dean, Keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in search engines with the ultimate goal of optimizing content around those terms.
Understand the importance of Keyword Researching:
Suppose you started a new Blog on “Digital Marketing Niche.”
The very first article you wrote on your blog is about “SEO”
Now, do you think you’ll rank your article on Keyword “SEO” in Google search engine?
Do you think you’ll beat Wikipedia, Neil Patel, Moz Blog, Search engine land from your very first blog?
I don’t think So…
Before targeting a keyword you have to analyze the top results from Google search for the selected keyword, Check DA, PA, Social Share, Content Quality, Backlinks and many more things.
So, know I hope you have understood that writing for any keyword will not help you in getting traffic from search engine.
Helpful resource: How to Do Keyword Research for Your WordPress Blog
I know you must be thinking “How can I find a Keyword for which i can rank my post easily“?
There are many Free & Premium Keyword research tool, that’ll help you in Finding Low competitive Keyword.
I personally use SEMrush keyword magic tool that gives me details of search volume, the number of competing pages, the average cost per click, related keywords and a lot more details.
SEMrush will make your keyword researching Process very easy.
Just enter any keyword into SEMrush and it’ll tell you how much-estimated traffic you can get on this keyword from different countries, Competition score, Number of backlinks needed, Your competitor who is already ranking on that specific keyword as well as lots of related keywords.
Suppose i wanted to write a content on the keyword “Tshirt” I will simply enter this keyword and check all the data which’ll help me analyze that i can rank for this keyword or not.
Yes, it is so simple.
Use this EXCLUSIVE Link to Get 14 Days Free Trial of SEMrush Pro Account (Worth $98)
Links play a major role in the ranking of your site because Google determines how trustworthy a website is through the number and quality of the links.
Search engine Robot views each link as a sort of recommendation, which means the more links a website had pointing to it, the more credibility it holds, and it would rank higher in Google search results.
Frankly speaking, I came to know about Backlinks after almost 6 months of starting my first blog.
But as a beginner i did not knows the ways of Building Backlink.
Somehow I came to know about making backlinks from Forum and commenting and i made few links with those methods.
Those methods worked for me because it was 2016017 i guess.
In 2019 those types of links do not add any value for your site and Google also considers those links as spammy backlinks.
In 2019, It is very difficult but not impossible to get backlinks for your blog.
Here are few Technique to make good backlinks for your blog:
Helpful Resources: How to Build Backlinks in 2019 (11 New & Unsaturated Ways to Try)
8. Use Internal Linking to Boost SEO and Conversions on Your Website
Internal linking is very important especially for your new blog. Internal linking are actually those links from one page on your site to another page on your site.
Adding internal link not only help you in boosting SEO of your blog, but it also improve user experience, reduce bounce rate and increase audience Dwell time.
Plus it is also a great way to get new readers to read old content.
Here’s a visual to help explain that:
Best Practices Of Internal Linking:
Use Keyword-Rich Anchor Text: Once you have decided that which links should be on a page and which pages should get link value, the next important thing you have to decide is what anchor text you want to use.
It is always recommended to use keywords in your anchor text.
For example, here’s how Neil Patel linked his different article in this one post with the keyword-rich anchor text.
Link to Important Pages: Whenever you link a page with the other page, you are basically sending link authority to that page.
Which will basically help that page to rank well in Google.
Yes, everyone knows the fact that internal linking aren’t as powerful as compared to the external link.
But it still helps…
So, It is important to strategically link to important pages.
Just go to SEMrush tool, Find those pages on your site which have maximum External link and then Finally link FROM those pages to the pages that you want to rank most.
Don’t Use The Same Anchor Text every time: One of the biggest internal linking mistakes I made till 2018 was adding same anchor text for different pages.
It is always recommended to use different descriptive anchor text for each page.
Here’s a visual to understand it better.
Helpful resource: Internal Linking Guide By Ankit Singla from Master Blogging.
9. Your Blog Probably Won’t Blow Up Right Away
I’d love to sit here and tell you that all you have to do is start a blog and you will be able to become an overnight sensation.
Yes, I would love to tell you that you’ll be able to make million dollars of cash from the day one of your blogging.
Sorry to burst your bubble, It is not going to happen.
It takes time to build authority and loyal following base and building a strong foundation is the best thing that you can focus on early on.
I have seen Everybody wants to be successful, but most of the newbies aren’t willing to put in the work in order to get that success.
I have seen many of my friend who starts a blog and quit it in just 2-3 months.
Do you know when I started my first blog, I did not even earn at least $100 in the first 17 months.
I know, I was not taking it seriously, I had no proper plan that’s why it took lots of time.
Maybe you get success lot earlier, all depends on your hard works, plan & strategy.
So, Be patient with yourself learn new things about blogging, Put the right strategies into motion, build an engaged and loyal audience and take your blog to the next level in order to earn a decent income from your Blog.
10. Think Twice Before Launching Another Blog
As a beginner, I was always attracted to different niche.
Firstly, I started a Tech Blog just after 2 months of launching Tech blog, I started an apk site.
Then I started a motivational website, then Jokes websites and list goes on.
Do you know all of my websites was big failure?
Because I was not passionate about those niches, I was not consistent on that niche.
I was just attracted toward others success.
This is not just my story, In beginning days most of the peoples are attracted toward different niches.
From my experience, i would always recommend to focus on only one niche.
If you work consistently on the niche you are passionate about, you will definitely get success in a long time.
11. Get More Traffic Via Social Media
When i started my first Blog, I hopped that i would receive tons of Traffic from Google search engine because all of other Popular blogs on the same niche were getting lots of organic traffic from Google.
The sad reality is you won’t get too much traffic from Google when your blog is brand new.
It takes time to build trust under search engine.
So, How to get traffic in Initial days?
The simple answer is You can get tons of traffic from social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Quora, etc.
To get social media traffic you need to engage with other social people, Tag everyone, be present in Facebook groups and build solid relationships.
This is the simple strategy i used on Bemakemoney to get traffic & tons of engagement.
Helpful resource: 7 Ways to Generate More Social Media Traffic in 2019
In this highly competitive world, It is important to make unique image for your content which get lots of shares & backlinks.
Whenever You visit a top blog in your niche, you’ll find that they use lots of High-Quality images.
Because images make it easier for people to read your content, Decrease bounce rate and help your readers to understand the information you’re giving them.
For Example: Whenever you’ll visit Brian Dian blog, you will find he uses tons of unique & high-quality image, graphs & infographics in their content which helps him to get lots of social share & backlinks.
Helpful Resource: 5 Super Easy Ways To Create Images for Your Blog Posts
13. Guest Blogging is an effective way to grow your Blog
Guest blogging is a highly effective technique to get backlinks to your site as well as get tons of traffic.
As a newbie we always underestimate the power of Guest Blogging.
I will always advise to every beginner blogger that you should write more articles for other’s blogs than yours.
Through Guest Posting, you can get referral traffic as well as you can increase your brand awareness.
Here are the exact step to do sucessful guest posting:
Determine Your Guest Blogging Goals
Before you begin, the first thing you have to decide is what is your goal from guest posting.
Mainly most of the bloggers have typically these three goals:
- Positioning yourself as an authority and a well-known name in the industry.
- Getting traffic back to your website.
- Building backlinks to your website.
Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Once you have decided Your goal, next thing you have to do is finding Guest Blogging opportunities.
If you are blogging for a while, you probably have some popular blog name in your niche in your mind. You can contact them for Guest Posting,
Additionally, you can use any of the given below keyword to find blogs in your niche that accept guest post. Make sure to replace the term Keyword with your niche.
- keyword “submit a guest post”
- keyword “guest post”
- keyword “guest post by”
- keyword “accepting guest posts”
- keyword “guest post guidelines”
Send Your Pitch Guest Post
Once you find some guest posting opportunities, next thing you have to do is sending Pitch for the Guest Post.
Note: It is always recommended to do some research about the blog before sending Pitches. Like- What type of Post they are writing on their blog, How Other Guest bloggers have written their post on that blog etc.
Here is an example of Guest Posting email template posted on Backlinko Blog.
Write Your Guest Post
Once a Blogger accepts your guest post request, finally send them your article and you are all set to get backlinks, referral traffic and lots of exposures.
Helpful resource: Guest Blogging Guide by Ahrefs Blog
14. Use Content Upgrades to Skyrocket Your Blog Subscribers
I am sure that you must have heard about Lead Magnet in Past.
Those who don’t know about lead magnet, It is basically something you offer your audience for free in exchange of their email and name, Like you can offer an E-book, Worksheet, checklist, PDF etc.
In 2019, Content Upgrade is more effective than Lead Magnet.
So, now you must be wondering what is content Upgrade?
Basically content upgrade is a piece of content created specifically for a particular blog post or page, that you offer as a bonus to your readers in exchange for their email addresses.
In comparison with lead magnet, a content upgrade is more specific.
Let’s understand it with an example.
For Example – Optin Monster has a content upgrade that allows you to download the Content Upgrade Checklist for free of Cost.
Example 2: SleekNote offers a content upgrade on almost all of their blog post and content upgrade convert them around 28.83% More than the traditional lead magnet.
That is insane!
The keys with content upgrades is to offer them from day one when starting a blog. Make sure to check out 30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List on Optin Monster Blog.
15. Write your posts in a conversational manner
Have you ever wonder why you fall asleep in your school or college while listening to the lecture but never fall asleep when you have a conversation with your friend.
Because it’s a human mentality, everyone prefers conversation over lecture.
The same thing applies for your blog content too.
When Neil Patel used to write in a conversational manner on his blog, People started spending 22.7% more time on his blog.
How to make your content more conversational:
Using the words “you” & “I”- You should write your content exactly like talking with a friend, You and I are two words which helps you in developing more connection with your readers.
Short Paragraph – In 2019, People never prefer to read 1000 words paragraphs. It feels like a lecture while reading lengthy paragraphs. Always try to write as short as the possible paragraph in your content. For inspiration go and read some of the articles of Backlinko Blog.
Don’t write to impress: Yes this is very important, Just tell me one thing When you talk with your best friend, what kind of words do you use? Do you try your friends to impress with your High-end Grammatical words? I don’t think so. So, use simple words instead of high-end words which everyone can’t understand.
Tell a Story: Yes, one of the most important parts of a conversational writing piece is that it tells a definitive story. You should deliver your message or content in the form of a story so your reader should feel that they were talking with their best friends.
Helpful resource by CopyBlogger: How to Write Conversationally: 7 Tips to Engage and Delight Your Audience
16. Join Facebook Groups in your Niche
When i started my first blog, I didn’t know about how facebook group can help a blog.
But when i started Bemakemoney, Facebook Groups became the game changer for me.
First of all Facebook Groups related to your niche is a great place to find some inspiration.
Not just for finding some inspiration, facebook group can help you in different ways.
With the help of these Facebook group, you can ask your queries or question to some of the top bloggers in the Blogging industry.
Moreover, there is no doubt that You are going to learn different techniques and strategies from Professional bloggers, which will definitely help you in growing your Blog.
Talking about My experience when I joined some of the popular Facebook Group in my Niche Like – The Bloggers’ Team [Let’s Grow Together], Blogging Lift VIP Group, Master Blogging, Bloggers passions and many more and frankly speaking I got lots of benefit from them.
I got opportunities to make some good friend in my industry Like Santanu Debnath, Sumit Sao, Saurabh Tiwari, Anil Agarwal, Swadhin Agarwal, Manish Sharma, Istiyak, Ankit Singla, Santosh, Rahul Bhichher, Navin Rao, Ashfaq Ahmad, Akshay Hallur, Ryan Biddulph and many more awesome people.
I also got opportunities to share my article in their group which initially helped me to gain lots of social shares and referral traffic.
So, As a beginner, it is good to join some Facebook groups and connect with like-minded people.
17. Don’t ruin your site user experience & SEO by continuously changing your blog theme
You’ll laugh at me when you get to know that i am that type of guy who was changing almost 7-10 theme every week.
Yes, that was one of my biggest mistakes I made early on, and I have also seen many bloggers who are not sticking to a single theme.
Now, I understood the importance of a good theme and all thanks to Generate press theme which I am currently using on my all blogs from the past 13 months.
As a newbie, we get attracted to different themes & design every time which is not good for your blog.
If you are changing the theme every week or month it will ruin user experience on your blog.
So, just stick to a good theme & site design for at least 6 months.
I recommend using Geneartepress theme to all my readers because it is one of the most light-weight themes which is filled with lots of features.
18. Add videos to your blog posts to increase engagement
One of the most important metrics for SEO is how much time a visitor is spending on Your blog post.
If a person visits your site and instantly or in just few seconds get back to another search result, even if you are ranking #1 in Search result your article ranking will start declining due to increase in Bounce rate.
So, one of the easiest ways to increase page on-time on your blog is to adding video content into your post.
As not many people (even big Pro bloggers) are not using videos in their blog post, you have a high chance to stand out from the crowd and increase engagement.
The best part?
You don’t need to be a professional videographer or spend lots of money to make a video, You can shoot amazing video with the smartphone you’re currently using.
In case you are not able to make your own video, still, you can embed other’s youtube video into your Blog post to increase engagement on your blog.
If adding Video into blogposts is an art then Brian Dean is a Picasso of it .
19. Improve your website Loading Speed (Hosting Matters)
You have to understand the fact that Google uses your blog page loading time as a ranking factor.
Not just for the Sake Of Google & SEO, You should focus on Page loading for your blog audience too.
According to 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Such user activity indicates that the website does not provide any value to visitors and that’s the reason why Google does not rank your site in search engine for a higher position.
If you find that your blog is loading slowly, here are some ways to speed it up.
Hosting Plays an important role in improving your page loading time.
As a beginner, I didn’t had any experience of Hosting, so I started using Hostgator (EIG ) hosting because they were providing hosting at cheap rate as compared to premium hosting providers.
But when I was on Hostgator I was struggling to maintain my site speed to at least under 3 seconds.
But when i moved to siteground, My site speed automatically got increased….
This is the difference between a Good Hosting and a bad hosting..
You can check my siteground hosting review for more information about siteground.
Apart from changing hosting, you can optimize image & use caching plugin to improve your page load time.
Helpful resource: WordPress website Optimization Guide by Tom
20. Take Backup Of Your Site
Do you know what is the lowest moment of my blogging career till date?
My site got hacked three times in a month..
Yes, when I was using Hostgator hosting my Cpanel got hacked 3 times. That’s why I always recommend everyone to use premium hosting like siteground.
After my site got hacked, I faced too many problems…
But the biggest problem was I don’t had my site backup, so that i can restore my site.
When i contacted Hostgator team, they told me to pay approx $100 to get backup.
Finally, somehow I purchased my site backup from a WordPress developer company and restored my site.
As a beginner, we never understand the importance of backup, But my friend take the backup of your full site at least every week or months.
Otherwise, the hard work of your years can be ruined anytime.
If you are using siteground hosting, then you don’t need to take manually backup every week, They automatically take your website backup every day.. You can download your backup anytime.
21. Steal your competitor’s keywords to skyrocket your traffic
Earlier, we have already talked about the importance of keyword research.
But sometimes, we don’t get the right keyword to write content on our blog which can drive tons of traffic from Google search results.
In this situation, You can steal the keyword of your competitor for which they’re ranking.
Yes, over the time I came to know about this technique which helped me to get thousands of profitable keyword for which i can rank my site and get tons of traffic.
All thanks to SEMrush tool which made so easy for me to find the keywords for which my competitors are ranking.
Just go to SEMrush tool Domain Overview section, type in the URL of your competitor’s blog.( Although Neilpatel.com is not my competition but for the demonestration purpose I entered his blog URL so that I can get maximum keywords)
On the next screen, You will get to see the different sections. To find your competitors keyword just go to ‘Top Organic Keywords’ section and click on the ‘View full report’ button.
That’s it now there you’ll get the list of all the keywords that your target website ranks for. In my case, there are approx 251,631 keywords that neilpatel.com ranks for.
From there you can check other metrics of the keywords and find some suitable keywords for your blog.
This is my favorite strategies because it helps me to come up with the new topics which can easily rank in Google.
23. Avoid your Haters
There’ll be always so many peoples out there who will hate your writing.
There’ll be always so many people out there who will speak negatively and try to demotivate you every single day.
Internet trolls are almost everywhere. Even Virat Kohli and Cristian Ronaldo get trolled by people on social media.
Because It’s easier for people to hide behind the computer screen and criticize you than it is for them to actually create any sort of quality writing themselves.
So, as a beginner, it affects too much as you are new to this world, sometimes just because of those shitty comments, you will fill demotivated.
But my friend you have to stay strong.
Always share genuine and authentic things on your blog, Stay true to your values and beliefs.
That’s more than enough..
24. Stop checking your Analytics again & again
Do you know from beginning days to 2018, I used to check my Google analytics as well as adsense data every single day.
But one day one of my very good friends suggested me to don’t check analytics every day, It will affect somehow affect you.
And from my years of experience, i also agree with him.
Because when we are new, we are keen to know the result every single day.
But as you all know in beginning you are not going to get loads of traffic, In initial months may be zero people visit your blog.
This zero figure will always make you feel low and honestly speaking it doesn’t matter whether 10 or 20 people visited your blog whether you earned $0 or $10 via Adsense.
So, i would always recommend you to don’t waste your precious time by staring on your analytics every time.
You really do have a lot more important things to do when starting a blog.
25. Don’t Waste Your Time, Be productive
I can’t say I am a very productive person, But I am far more productive now than I was two years ago.
Being a blogger you will actually face many challenges in comparison to other 9-5 employees.
If you have ever worked in a multi-nation company you better know that all those companies follow their routine and discipline strictly and that is the biggest reason behind their huge productivity.
But when we talk about bloggers they often face lot more challenges in the beginning because they don’t have any idea of the blogging business, they don’t treat their blog as a Business and that’s the reason they struggle.
Here is some piece of advice that has stuck with me and had a huge impact on my productivity.
Over to you
So, guys, this was some of the mistakes I made when I started my first blog, Hopefully, you can avoid these mistakes and become a better blogger than me.
Making a mistake isn’t the end of the world.
But the person who learns from his/her mistakes and corrects them definitely becomes successful.
So, what other blogging mistakes should you avoid? Share your experience with us in the comment section.