So you want to start a blog? Live the laptop lifestyle and make money online?
I went full-time on the online income life last year and it’s been a wild ride. I wish someone would have shared these beginner blogger tips with me in 2016.
Last year I left the high paying corporate 9–5 career to bet on myself. My goal was to help people, learn how to make money online and free up my schedule to pursue professional golf.
Almost a year later I’m still at it and (finally) gaining momentum. While I’ve had a blog for around 31 months I really have been actively blogging about 12 of them.
If you wonder why no one is reading your blog I bet you’re making some of these mistakes. Here are my 31 beginner blogger tips and lessons from 30 months of hitting a keyboard a lot.
30 Beginner Blogger Tips
1. Ignore The Laptop LifestyleBlogging is not the laptop lifestyle shown on Instagram. While you can earn a ton of money blogging it is far from an overnight success. Understand that blogging is like anything great, it takes hard work & determination to make it.
2. Learn 1–2 Social Media Channels.Most bloggers start a new blog and create 8 different social media accounts. Trust me, you will burn out and it’s not really necessary. Master 1–2 platforms like Pinterest and Facebook and grow from there. The more time you spend on social the less time you are creating epic content.
3. Document Your WinsIn the beginning, blogging isn’t easy. Keep a “Wins” folder in your Gmail so you can always go back and look some of your biggest wins.
4. Always use WordPressI started with Weebly because I was intimidated by WordPress. Eventually, I realized to grow I needed to switch to WordPress. Needless to say, it was a costly mistake. Start your blog on the biggest platform available. It may look intimidating but it’s not that bad. Plus Bluehost makes it easy with one-click installation. Download “Elementor Page Builder” plugin to create awesome custom pages and posts if you want to make it super simple.
5. Use Medium to Hone Your WritingMedium is a great platform for bloggers or anyone who wants to start writing online. It’s great because you don’t have to write about your blog topics all the time. The more you write the better you will become. The “10,000” hour rule is real!
6. Don’t Listen to NaysayersPeople tend to get confused with things they don’t understand. Blogging and becoming an online entrepreneur is no different. If a friend, family member or coworkers laugh at your blogging goals, let them. The joke will be on them in the future. Keep doing you and create an awesome website. I bet someone laughed at Zuckerberg one time…how’d that go?
7. Use Awesome ImagesDon’t spend all your time writing and throwing together a few random, boring stock images. Use Canva to great images that match your site. And make sure you use stock image sites like Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay.
8. Invest in YourselfAs Warren Buffet said, “The best investment you can make is in yourself.” I 100% agree — spend some money on yourself on your growth and development. Take a course, pay for blog coaching or attend an event like FINCON. I have done all these AND read or watched thousands of hours of free content. If you want to make it work, you can do it but its up to you. Don’t be afraid of investing in yourself.
9. Create An Email List From Day 1Start collecting your reader’s emails from day one. Use a quality service like ConvertKit, don’t try some service that makes your emails undeliverable. Make it easy on your readers by sending them your blog posts after you publish them.
10. Have Clear GoalsAre you blogging for fun? Do you want to earn money? Are you trying to make this a business? Ask yourself these types of questions so you are clear on your blog goals. (Hint: there is no wrong answer)
11. Know That Failing is InevitableAs Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” No one likes to fail but if you want to achieve great things it is inevitable. Blogging is no different — it’s a lot of work for minimal rewards at the beginning. Your blog only becomes a “failure” once you stop writing and give up entirely. If you’re burnt out take a few days when you need but never be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes and keep going.
12. Become Obsessed With ReadingAs Tony Robbins said,“Leaders are readers.” The easiest way to be a great writer is to be a voracious reader. Make reading a huge priority in your daily routine. Read other blogs, websites, and books daily. There’s a reason Bill Gates reads 52 books per year and Warren Buffett reads 80% of his day.
13. Own Your DomainDon’t start your blog with a free blogging platform. It’s almost impossible to change later — save yourself future stress. Trust me, it’s worth it. Start a blog with Bluehost and save yourself a ton of money and frustration in the long run.
14. Take Action When You’re ScaredIf you don’t know how to make a “squeeze page”, film a Youtube to go with your blog or whatever else…figure it out. JUST DO IT! This actually applies to anything in life — take action when you are scared. Take action, “fail” and repeat until you fail your way to success.
15. Spend A Ton of Time on Your HeadlinesI used to spend all my time writing blog posts and slap together a title at the last minute. Horrible idea. Use Coschedule’s headline analyzer before posting and try to get a 70 or above. Few people will read your content if your title sucks. Don’t skimp!
16. Create a Content ScheduleAccountability in anything in life is crucial to success. Blogging is no different. Don’t post on a Monday and then wait two weeks before your readers hear from you… stay consistent. Even if it’s 11:59 pm on the day you’re supposed to post, do it. Create a lasting habit by making a calendar and sticking to it. Google and your readers will appreciate it.
17. Create Useful Lead Magnets (Freebies)People need a reason to subscribe to your site. Make your freebies awesome. The better your free stuff is the more likely people will pay for your paid products in the future. I just started using Creative Market for templates and I couldn’t recommend them more. You can easily download ebook, checklist, and workbook templates and customize.
18. Don’t Skimp on SEOI’m far from an SEO guru but the longer I blog the more I realize how important SEO is for the long game. Download the Yoast plugin and optimize all your posts and images to make sure your site is quick. Use tools like Pingdom to find ways to speed up your site. And if you want to really learn SEO check out Stupid Simple SEO. It’s a ridiculously awesome course that breaks down everything you need to know about SEO for your blog. Without building backlinks it’s going to be really hard to get consistent blog traffic. Check out sites like Neil Patel and Backlinko for easy to follow SEO tips.
19. Network With Fellow Online EntrepreneursI won’t lie I’ve been horrible at this. But blogging can be very lonely especially if you are full-time. Reach out to people you admire, blogs in your niche or blogs you like reading. Join Facebook groups, masterminds, and get social. Not everyone will reply but most will and are usually stoked to give you advice. They might also let you do a guest post which is great exposure for your blog. Remember, bloggers are people — treat them nice and you will get rewarded.
20. Learn KeywordsThis is a crucial step and one of the most important beginner blogger tips! Keyword research is not a fun subject but it’s crucial for long-term blogging success. I ignored this for years and paid the price with minimal traffic and posts that very few have read. Don’t spend all that time writing only to not have your work read. I learned more than ever from Mike’s course Stupid Simple SEO. Check out my top blogging SEO tips here to learn more!
21. Edit Your Posts (A Lot)Yoast SEO plugin will help with editing but I also encourage that you use spell check and an app like Hemingway or Grammarly. While an occasional error won’t be a big deal don’t publish without reading a few times to yourself.
22. Write For Your AudienceThis is hard for new bloggers and one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If your blog is all about you people won’t read it (sorry). Focus on how you can make the reader feel special, learn something, get inspired or laugh.
23. Accept That Blogging Isn’t EasyYou’ll get pissed off, frustrated, and want to quit — a lot! It’s part of learning something new. If you can’t figure out a widget, have writer’s block or aren’t getting traffic don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Acknowledge where you are, what you want to do and try something new to achieve it.
24. Embrace the SuckMy first posts were so horrible and lacked any real substance most of them are deleted. But I actually saved them on my G-Drive because I wanted to remember how far I’ve come. Your writing skills are probably going to suck at the beginning. It’s okay, it happens to everyone. Remember that it takes time to get really good at anything. Writing is no different. Stay consistent, read a lot, and keep learning. Eventually, you will get awesome!
25. Become a Freelance WriterI’ve learned so much from writing for other blogs and websites. It’s great to learn the processes and see how bigger sites operate. I’ve been writing for Well Kept Wallet, Money Peach, Knowledge for Men, Fearless Motivation and tons of other sites. It’s amazing to see how sites that get millions of views each month operate internally. Plus, you get paid to learn!
26. Use Trello and G-DriveTrello is my new favorite blogging tool. It makes it so easy to stay organized and not miss any deadlines.
27. Guest Post FrequentlyGuest posts are great because you are getting in front of a new audience and gaining a backlink. Plus, I’ve found that you seem to step up your writing when you are posting on another site. Guest posting is a win-win-win.
28. Don’t Neglect PinterestAs a male, I thought I didn’t have a chance of making it on Pinterest so I avoided it for the first 18 months of blogging. Big mistake. It wasn’t until I took Pinterest Avalanche until I finally started understanding what to do on Pinterest.
29. Stay Consistent and PersistentAs Napoleon Hill said in Think and Grow Rich, “One thing we all know, if one does not possess persistence, one does not achieve noteworthy success in any calling.” Blogging is no different. Stay at it, if you want it bad enough you can make it happen. Don’t quit, stay consistent and persistent in your writing endeavor!
30.Trust The ProcessIt’s easy to follow the next shiny object. Don’t fall victim to this like I did. Trust the process — write epic content, build a tribe, stay consistent, and persevere when it gets tough.
31. Have FunIt’s cliche, I know but don’t stop having fun. Blogging has the potential to change your life. You will learn, grow, read, and develop more than people who aren’t blogging. Starting a blog led me to publish three books, getting on podcasts, attending masterminds, and meeting people I would never have. Most side hustles or passion projects don’t have this kind of opportunity for personal growth. Don’t get so worried about making money that it loses its fun.
Final ThoughtsBlogging can be a lot of fun and a lucrative passion if you trust the process. Don’t try to rush the process and expect millions of readers overnight. Master your craft, build trust with your audience, and become an expert storyteller. What are some of your biggest beginner blogger tips and learning moments? Let me know in the comments and if I can help in away please don’t hesitate!
Make Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer!
Enter your best email and hit "Lets Go" to grab my freelance writing cheat sheet. I'll send you my step-by-step formula to teach you how to build a writing business with no experience, make $5K+/month & work part-time.
Latest posts by Michael Leonard (see all)
- Episode 46: Why Freelance Writing is the #1 Online Business in 2020 - January 7, 2020
- Episode 45: Why 99% of Blogs Fail (and How to Find Success) - January 5, 2020
- Episode 44: What is Freelance Writing? How to Get Paid to Write Online - January 5, 2020