This isn’t by any means a complete list. Rather, just some observations on the things I wish I knew when I was just getting started. I’m sure you have a list of your own, so feel free to add to it in the comments.
- First of all, writing is hard work (just like any other job). Some days, you can’t type words fast enough, and other days, you’ll just sit there staring at a blank screen. Still, you’ll have to motivate yourself to show up and publish every day, or risk losing your audience.
- At first, you’re writing is going to suck. Still, you have to overcome the fear of sounding silly, and hit publish. Otherwise, you’ll never get better. It’s like training for a marathon, you can’t run whenever you feel like it. You have to train every single day to build your strength and your stamina or risk never finishing the race.
- There is no finish line. You know how they say, “writing is a marathon.” Well, that’s true, except there is no finish line. No prize at the end. Just you, and your audience day-in and day-out.
- Nobody cares about you. They only care about finding solutions to their problems. So focus on becoming a problem solving information source to them and you’ll win their attention.
- Readers won’t always comment on your posts, but that doesn’t mean they’re not reading. Take a real estate blog for example, there’s not much to comment on when you’re reading a market report. It doesn’t mean your reader isn’t interested, they just might want to reserve a conversation for a private discussion on the market and they’re real estate needs. The point is: keep writing, and don’t use comments as a gauge for growth.
- Borrowing other people’s audience is a great way to grow. By this of course, I’m referring to guest blogging. To date, I’ve been featured here, here, here and here. Each article resulted in a great deal of traffic and (at least) a couple of hundred subscribers per mention. Here’s the thing, when you’re featured as a guest blogger, it’s the ultimate testimonial. The author who’s publishing your guest post, is essentially vouching for the quality of your content by presenting it to their audience. It works!
- Build your email list early. Period. Don’t wait until you’re ready to monetize your site to start building your list, that’s a mistake. Start building that list early, even before you’re ready to monetize. Get a free account at MailChimp. Aweber has a great service too. (I use both). Ultimately, your email list will grow to be your biggest asset. (Related: Read Copyblogger’s tutorial series on Email Marketing).
What do you wish you knew when you were first getting started?
[…] What Nobody Ever Tells You About Blogging First of all, writing is hard work (just like any other job). Some days, you can’t type words fast enough, and other days, you’ll just sit there staring at a blank screen. Still, you’ll have to motivate yourself to show up and publish every day, or risk losing your audience. […]