Yes, it’s another blogging report. This time I’m discussing the things I wish I knew before blogging at my 9th month mark.
It’s been another 3 months of me blogging already! Where did the time go? I really have been saying that all year.
I just realized I needed to do my quarter update on blogging. I love blogging so much, but these past three months have been so hectic. Between school, work, graduation, and all the stress I had, I couldn’t blog that much. This was my last semester at LSU and I had all virtual classes. Being on my laptop all day was just too much and was so busy.
Anyway, if this is your first time reading any of my blog posts or doing anything, feel free to check out the following posts:
9 Months Blogging Update:
If you have been keeping up with my blogging journey or stumbling upon one of my other posts, you can probably see that I haven’t added that many blog posts. Within 3 months, I have added 2 blog posts.
Yes, you read that right 2 blog posts. 2 blog posts.
1. Everything Has Changed:
Honestly, I have done so much behind-the-scenes stuff with my blog. I have changed my theme, host, email server, and every strategy I had to promote my blog. I am almost starting over, and it’s been going great. My blog has been growing all throughout this month. But I’m focusing more on editing and revising previous posts than writing new posts.
2. The Most Pageviews I’ve Ever Had
It’s like when I don’t do anything with my blog, my page views grow. I have the highest amount of pageviews and sessions this month. I’m so close to getting one thousand blog views this month, and I can’t wait to finally reach that threshold.
3. Less Pinterest.
IDK it’s a trend but I have been less active on Pinterest lately. I have pins scheduled to post but it’s rare that I spend hours on Pinterest these days. I have a few pins that went a little viral but overall, I’m still posting and hoping that the Pinterest algorithm loves me.
Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog:
1. LEARN ABOUT SEO BEFORE SOCIAL MEDIA
I want 75% of my page views to come from Google SEO and 25% of them to come from Pinterest and other social media. I can not emphasize enough the importance of learning Google SEO. (And this is coming from someone who studies social media.) I love Pinterest, but Pinterest takes a long time to get those thousands of clicks that every blogger brags about. They are talking about the old algorithm.
I personally am taking a new SEO course that has TONS of information. I’ll eventually link it in this article, but I need to finish it and see what results will come out.
2. Focus on pageviews first.
A lot of people want to make money ASAP when blogging, but getting consistent pageviews is where the money is. Pageviews are my main priority because I started running ads on the blog. Ads depend on how many impressions and pageviews I get each month.
3. If you want to monetize start out with ads and not affiliate links.
I have affiliate links from both Amazon and Skimlinks. I don’t know why but a lot of bloggers make monetizing through affiliate links look super easy. NO! I have tons of affiliate links on this blog, yet rarely anyone really clicks them. I’d made some money so far, but it’s not easy. I also have another course to finish about sales and blogging.
But I finally found an ad agency that accepted my blog: Media.net. It doesn’t have a meh reputation like Google AdSense does and it pays a little more. I’m not too well versed in ads quite yet, but I have them running and have made some revenue. I wish I actually had taken Sophia’s advice from her Perfect Blogging course by putting ads early on to get readers used to them. I wish I would have BEEN done this.
I honestly hesitated due to hearing that Google Ads slow down your website and that it will turn readers away from a blogging duo who are reputable and offer amazing advice. But I did a lot of research on Media.net before signing up. I also saw how in other blogger’s income reports how much ad revenue paid. I also made a $1 so far which is better than nothing. I might as well monetize my blog through ads right now. I’m getting a lot of views, so why not? Affiliate marketing is challenging right now for me.
4. Avoid any “cheap” web hosting site that bloggers pretend to use.
I learned in 2019 with my first blog that Bluehost wasn’t the web hosting for me. Then, this past year, I learned that Siteground is amazing, but not the web hosting for me. I finally changed to the website hosting that I learned about in a few Facebook groups. I’m not going to diss these two web hosting companies because they are great, but there are not for me.
What made me get off these companies was the high costs. Don’t believe what some bloggers say that the hosting costs like $3 a month. It’s not! You will end up paying about $100-$200 upfront for hosting. Then after the first discounted year or time you selected, the price goes up. I simply could not afford this as a college student.
I recently switched to Lyrical Host due to their price. Yes, I pay a bit more but it’s totally worth it. They have phenomenal customer service and TONS AND TONS of benefits, such as a huge resource library. I would end up asking some of the dumbest questions to the tech support and they were so kind. Also, migrating over from my previous host to LyricalHost was simple and too easy. The tech support handles everything and will answer any question to have. I love them.
If you are interested in purchasing a new hosting plan, check out LyricalHost and if you use my affiliate code: ARIUNI10 for a 10% off discount.
5. Join blogging Facebook groups
I’m a Zillenial so using Facebook is so outdated for me unless it’s to see what my high school classmates are doing or…well that’s it. So Facebook is not a place that I like to go lol. I joined Facebook groups finally after finishing a few blogging courses and wanted to find like-minded people.
BUT Facebook groups are so useful. People usually offer so many sources when you ask a question or when you search in the groups, there is tons of information ready for you. I’ve even gotten some freelance offers by posting in groups.
Basically, if you are a new blogger, check out blogging Facebook groups (even if you are a member of Gen-Z; I haven’t yet found a blogging TikTok community btw.) The group members are also encouraging. Please check them out.
6. Quality over Quantity
So as I continue on my blogging journey, I realize that a lot of the advice I’ve gotten over the years has been either outdated or not possible with one person. I run this whole blog by myself and making sure everything runs correctly takes a long time. I think I finally have my site speed good enough for now, ads running correctly, and Google Analytics set up. *breathes*
That took a few weeks just to get right. I also now am focusing on creating quality posts that rank high on Google than tons of quick articles. I have almost 30 articles published, and some of them need to be edited again for SEO. A lot of blogging advice harps on to create 5-10 posts to begin your blog but as a new blogger, you need to know how to write a great article, which will take time.
Going back and creating better content is definitely a priority that every blogger should have. Google loves quality content. The longer, better detailed the article is the better.
7. Take more blogging classes
Another thing I wish I knew before starting my blog is that I wish I took more blogging courses early on instead of winging it. It is costly but they are honestly worth it. Now, I’m not someone who will drop more than $200 on a blogging course. Personally, I know more than the average person on social media and blogging and so much of the simple and beginner level information is on YouTube or Google.
Seriously, most of the information you need is free.
BUT, a lot of the advanced information is more difficult to grasp. For example, I did not know what SEO was before I took Sophia Lee’s Perfecting Blogging Course and I was blogging for about 4 months. I also didn’t know how to plan a Pinterest social media strategy until I took Pinterest with Ell and about Pinterest keywords with Amy Leblanc’s 2021 Pinterest Courses (Pinterest Pin Description Prompts & Scheduling Shortcuts).
I am taking an SEO course on Teachable because I want to learn from people who know what they are doing and are successful. Instead of spending hours and days and weeks fooling around with and winging blogging, blogging courses gave me a guide of what to do and how to achieve blogging success.
(Until June 20th, you can get both Sophia’s Perfecting Blogging + Perfecting Pinterest for only $99! Use the discount code: SUMMERBLOGGER21 to get this deal!)
8. See your blog as a small or tiny business.
Like a business on Etsy or a side hustle, you have to take blogging seriously. I know that I have neglected my blog over the past few months due to graduation and trying to pass during this pandemic. I was on my computer all day and kind of needed some time off. I also needed to realign my blogging goals and tactics.
But whenever a blogger says “Think of your blog as a small business” BELIEVE THEM.
9. Just use CovertKit from the beginning.
When I tell you MailChimp was a pain in the a$$ to learn, I mean it. Y’all I learned how to code an Instagram filter within 2 weeks for my job, yet learning MailChimp made me want to cry in the corner. I didn’t understand how to navigate the site and the tutorials that people offered were old. I couldn’t afford to buy Premium or another course.
So…I switched to CovertKit. I gained more email subscribers with Covertkit within 2 weeks than 6 months with MailChimp. Covertkit offers the first 1,000 subscribers for free. I love their free plan and recommend me to any new blogger. It was either Mailerlite or Covertkit for my email list. Honestly, I put off email marketing due to MailChimp’s complicated system. I’ll be sending more time working on my email marketing strategy in the coming months.
10. Learn what pages are ranking on Google Search Console.
I love Google SEO and Google Search Console. I even put on my LinkedIn that I am a SEO nerd. I love researching keywords and fitting them into articles. It’s like a game to me. It’s also fun knowing what pages are ranking for what (weird) keywords. But IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT TO KNOW IF YOUR POSTS ARE RANKING. For the longest time, I had no idea why my first few articles weren’t getting any views. Pinterest maybe gave a view every few weeks, but these blog posts were not even ranking on Google!!!
One thing that 9 months blogging has taught me is that Google is vital for bloggers.
11. Make a true branding style guideline to save time
You all no idea how long it takes for me to find the codes for my color scheme. When I make pins or color code blog posts, I have to keep a sticky note with all the codes for the colors. Just go into Canva and create a presentation with all your branding style. It saves so much time. I need to seriously get a defined color scheme down because I’ve procrastinated on it for too long.
Next Blogging Goals:
1. I want to have every single blog post so far rank high on Google.
Straight up, I want these posts to be the highest-ranking on Google. Surprisingly, most of my newer blog posts (yes, the ones who are 2-4 months old now) have been ranking high on Google for a while. I need to edit each one and take my time with each one. I recently did my College Backpack Essentials article over and it already is ranking on Google, yet the older one was not ranking at all.
IDK, but I just have to say that learning SEO should have been one of the first things I learned about blogging. Social media should have been second.
2. I want 75% of my page views to come from organic traffic.
Again, I really am focusing on my SEO strategy because there are plenty of keywords out there ready to be used. Researching long-tail keywords is my new favorite hobby. Google is the biggest search engine. I know that Pinterest is another kind of search engine but it’s so difficult to find quality information about their algorithms that helps bloggers outside of their Engineering Blog.
I still will use Pinterest as a source for traffic but I want it to be 25% due to the unexpected algorithm changes and the possibility that Pinterest can suspend my account at any time or if the site goes down.
3. I need a schedule for blogging time.
I have a summer internship and writing a novel and learning how to be a full-time adult. I don’t have much time similar to how school was. I might do a YouTube series about adulting with Ariel because I’m not enjoying it. LOL. But I really need to plan a specific time about 3-4 a week where I just write for this blog.
4. I will have 2 months’ worth of content scheduled.
Finally, my last goal is to have 2 months’ worth of content and Pinterest pins planned out. I might spend this weekend doing that. I just need to isolate myself and block all my social media. I used to write 2 articles a week for my school newspaper. I can do 4 articles easily but blog posts take a little more time.
But I am planning 1 article published each week for the summer while I re-edit my older articles. I have the content planned, but it’s not written. Make it make sense, right?
Overall, these past months have been so difficult with me and being consistent with blogging. This summer will be my time to hone on a simple schedule.
Thank you for reading this post all about the things I wish I knew before starting a blog.
Wait before you go! Check out these blogging articles: