6 Lessons I Learned in Two Years of Blogging
This is a guest post by Aseem Kishore. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Back in March of 2007, I started a personal blog using the Blogger platform so that I could create a knowledge base for myself. Two and a half years later, I now run two blogs that generate more than double the income of my current job.
Over that time period, I’ve gone from never hearing of a blog before to managing several writers, switching between multiple hosts, interacting with lots of bloggers, etc, etc. Though it’s been a great experience, it has not been without its share of pains either.
Those pains, however, are what can either make you lots of money or make you frustrated and give up early. There were several times when I was sure that blogging was over for me, yet with some luck and helpful people, I managed to make it through.
Here are six lessons that I personally feel can make a difference for anyone who wants to become a successful blogger. If you feel differently, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.
1. Backup everything — Yes, before passion and content and everything else, make sure you back up anything and everything. That includes the database, the images, and any other files that comprise your website or blog.
Even if you get zero traffic, that content can still be valuable, you may just not know it yet. Make sure you have several backups and backups of the backups.
2. Learn SEO — I agree that great content will get you traffic, but it’s still essential to have basic knowledge of SEO. Permalinks, post titles, keywords, sitemaps, etc. You should know about these things and implement them.
SEO and content have a kind of symbiotic relationship in my mind, where both get benefits if the other is around. Also, you don’t have to know a ton here. Personally, I’ve never hired an SEO and probably won’t, but it may not be a bad idea to go to a SEO conference or take a class. For me, just reading online was good enough.
3. Write consistently and often — Unless you start making more money from consulting gigs, book deals, or selling your own products, then you should make sure you write consistently. I’ve written 1 to 2 posts on Online Tech Tips every single day for more than two years.
Granted, I now have writers, but this was after a year and a half of writing by myself. Matt Cutts of Google has publicly stated that it’s best to add content to your blog on a daily basis, if possible. This makes a difference, I promise.
4. Get good help — Another reason I believe I’ve been able to do well in blogging is because I can rely on some really good people to help me in areas I don’t have an expertise in.
Frankly, most people are not Linux or programming gods who can type commands away to configure their own servers or modify their themes. If you can’t do something yourself or don’t know how, it’s best to connect with someone who does, even if you have to pay.
Having a really good technical person you can rely on is very important. If you can do it yourself, great, but if not, reach out to other bloggers or friends and see if there is someone you can trust to help you.
5. Build links intelligently — Firstly, make sure you don’t buy links or do link exchanges or write posts for money. Now, if you have great content, you’ll probably not have to do any link building after a certain point.
However, in the beginning or if you’re not getting much traffic, you need to get people to notice your site and content. Write guest posts (like this one), submit your site to directories like DMOZ and Yahoo, share news on social networks, link out to other blogs in your niche, join blog carnivals, etc.
6. Relax & take breaks — Finally, try to keep yourself from becoming a miserable person. Blogging can do that, no matter how much money you make! It can be frustrating, annoying, tiring, and plain stressful.
Do not become obsessed or compulsive otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy. Take breaks with family or friends and try not to think about your blog for sometime. Of course, don’t neglect your content, but make sure your life is balanced.
That’s it from me! Maybe these were not the most mind-numbing new lessons you’ve heard of, but they were absolutely key for me. And I’ve learned that reading something and implementing something are two very different things. When you implement, you’ll see the benefits.
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40 Responses to “6 Lessons I Learned in Two Years of Blogging”
Nail @ Daily Affiliate Tips
Backing up everything is one of the most important lessons I learned recently. I was about to lose all the things that I have on my PC because of a software error. Fortunately, I didn’t lose them and backed up everything.
From my time as a programmer, I have learnt that back up is the most important thing. We need to contstantly back up and its better to make copies in 3 batches not on same date. Like back up for this week, last week’s back up and the week before that. So that if your latest back up is not the one you really want, you can go back to previous dates.
On another subject, I wonder sometimes if hiring someone to write your blog makes it personal enough.
The first point is very important. I try to do a backup of both blogs every week.
Even though it is unlikely that data will disappear from blogspot, I still prefer to backup regularly, and send them as email attachment between 2 email accounts.
Kent @ Leawo
Thanks for telling the truth of blogging. I really appreciate that you tell it with your heart. Yep, daily blog post can surely make a difference no matter it is on a money basis or a traffic basis. But spending a considerable time on daily blogging could severely consume one’s mental energy and result in idea famine. So I try to not think about my blogs at night and hang around with my friends or my favorite readings. Taking a mental break is especially important for long time mental work endurance.
Kok Siong Chen
I think it will become a problem for me to update my blog on daily basis. I will spend almost 3 hours to write for an article usually. However, i will try to do my best on it. Thanks for sharing!
Bachrum @ Online Business Solutions
Your #7 lesson remind me in my first time blogging experience. My wife is not support me for making money online until I gave her my earning.
That was unforgettable experience.
Thanks guys for all the great comments! I’m glad everyone enjoyed the post!
One more lesson I would like to add that I forgot in the post:
#7 – Make sure your family supports you blogging. If my wife didn’t think the blog was important (especially in the beginning when it made no money), then I would have given up a long time ago.
If it’s important to you, make sure your family understands that also. If they don’t automatically support you, convince them why it’s worth the extra time!
Great article here. I’m learning every day anything I can about becoming a better blogger, whether it be to earn money or just to share what knowledge I have with those who read what I write. Either way, this is good information for anyone who is considering blogging.
In fact I’m having some issues with my new blog I’m working on now.
Great post and you are so right about back ups, my blog got hacked and and i lost everything, over a years content im just starting to get content back on it now. There is a post on my blog about back up check it out its buy matt garrat and i embedded his video in the post.
Keep up the good work….
Totally agree about posting often. I’ve been blogging for about a year and was surprised at all the posts that appear in the SE’s under random searches.
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