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10 Realizations that Will Crush Your Little Heart In Your First Year of Blogging

This guest post is by Moon from Experiments in Passive Income.

This post comes from someone who has made a ton of mistakes and is on her way to learn from those mistakes. You and I probably have a lot in common … after all, you’re here to learn about blogging and how to do it well and, well, I’m trying to do the same.

Being the owner and author of a blog that is in its first year of infancy, it’s been an emotional roller coaster ride—kind of like riding a car with a driver who makes you think of your impending death thanks to their inept braking skills and their random urges to switch lanes (without looking).

As a new blogger in a very crowded niche, I’ve found the year tough. It’s been tough finding my voice among so many others, producing content that is rich and teaches others a thing or two, attracting traffic that sticks (subscribers)—all while trying to establish a schedule.

Still, it helps to be prepared. Here are ten things that will crush your little heart in your first year of blogging:

1. You’re still waking up to low subscriber levels.

After eight months, only 100 subscribers are subscribing to your blog feed. Yeah, that will kill you inside. You might smile on the outside and tell yourself all’s well … but you’ll have to swallow your pride and evaluate how you’re hindering your blog’s growth. Are you presenting your readers with boring content? Or do you need to guest blog to bring exposure to your new blog?

2. You realize that attracting visitors is more than just good SEO.

Sooner or later, you’ll realize that attracting visitors to your blog is more than just good SEO (long-term strategy). At that point, it’s time to buckle down and learn how to use Twitter, su.pr, and Facebook properly to garner thousands of views a month.

This type of social media marketing needs to be done, and done well. And it will take you more than a few minutes to promote your content properly and on a daily basis. No one wants to simply hear noise on their media streams—give them that, and they’ll quickly stop paying attention to you.

3. You realize what SEO entails.

Eventually, it dawns on every budding blogger that SEO involves much more than just incorporating your keywords into your content excessively and using keyword rich links. If you want search traffic, you need to spend a few hours a month learning about SEO and actually executing it. It’s amazing how much time I’ve spent catching up on SEO, but I’m still not using it properly. I bet you’re not, either.

4. You fail to monetize your blog.

When you don’t earn even a measly $100 per month from your blog, despite trying hard, it hurts. But earning money through your blog is more than slapping ads on it. Keep trying!

5. You realize there are no easy ways to make money through your blog.

It’s absolutely essential that you write great, unique content and create a list of subscribers who love that content. It’s not 2001 anymore! People have become wary of the Internet, and they want proof of your success before they’ll trust you. Give it to them.

6. You understand that you need to do more for others.

You want subscribers? You need to do more. To get that list going, you should probably create a handy, free ebook or report that deals with a topic related to your blog, and helps your readers. Yes, you do have to help others in order to help yourself.

7. You recognize that good content can take more than an hour to create.

Great content will definitely take more than an hour, especially if you’re a beginner. Anyone can produce good content. You’ll need to write unique and in-depth content to give your readers something to talk about and impress other fellow bloggers—to get the buzz going, so to speak.

8. You realize that people want to read specifics and in-depth case studies.

Your readers can find generic crap anywhere. There are tons of blogs that talk about growing your traffic or making money online … and the majority are boring!

Instead, show readers how you’ve helped someone grow traffic or what strategies you’ve implemented to make money through your blog. This is precisely what I did when I showed my readers how exact domain names can kill the competition! This kind of content takes a bit of time and experience to develop. Keep plugging away!

9. You understand that networking is a necessity, not an option.

This doesn’t mean you re-tweet someone’s post occasionally. You need to converse with your followers, ask questions, and interact with other bloggers—successful ones as well as beginners in your niche and peer bloggers who started around the time you did. Create a group that helps promote each others’ posts. You never know who will get your hype snowball rolling.

10. You realize that you’ve been doing most things wrong!

Just because you knew all this stuff doesn’t mean you executed it at all, or executed it properly. At the time when I started my blog, I thought I knew something about blogs and making money online. But that learning is an ongoing process. Once you realize this, you might feel momentary despair. That’s okay—as long as you continue to take steps and improve your efforts.

Despite all these things that might have you sobbing under the blanket with a pint of scotch, hopefully you’ll realize that you should keep going. In fact, if you love what you’re blogging about, the pure thrill of having your content go viral or making your first few sales will probably have you giggling like a school girl and make you realize that it’s all worth it.

I’ve made all these mistakes and then some and I won’t be quitting any time soon! What mistakes have you made in your blogging experience? Share them with us!

Join Moon as she shares results of her passive income experiments at her website. You can check out her free ebook, To The Moon & Back, in which she details all her experiments in the span of a year

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Comments

  1. David says:

    Great advice and I will definitely keep learning, trying and executing. I watched a Tiger Woods DVD documentary today and one point made was that his success took a lifetime of preparation, starting at age 4! He had parents that did excellent parenting. Too bad Tiger has been tarnished with his recent scandals.

  2. The first year of blogging is full of challenges and opportunities. This is a great post and a good lesson for newbie bloggers.

    Krizia

  3. Steve says:

    Everything you say is 100% accurate. I keep telling my friends and readers that blogging success comes with time and only if you have good content. I follow Yaro as well as your blog and I have to say that you two are my favorites. The information that you provide is always right on. Keep up the good work.

  4. Steve says:

    Great article. Everything you say is so true. I watch my blogs everyday to see how many visits I’ve had. It’s a slow and painful process but I will never give up.

    Thanks for sharing this info.

  5. Great post…I definitely go through all of these with one blog…and another seems to have a life of its own. I don’t understand a lot about the in depth SEO and promotional tools…but I definitely want to learn. Thanks for the post, getting on that…now.

  6. TJ says:

    Wow, great post! The question “what mistakes have you made” has me cringing! I am probably the most epic mistake maker in all of blogging history. I sat here in Germany and blogged for nearly two years before I realized that the entire point is to link/interact/and comment. I just sat here pecking away in my own artistic solo bubble. In the beginning I actually feared that you had to “ask” to link to someone else’s site or post! In hindsight, the bigger mistake I made is that I didn’t find a site like this or an actual person with some experience to be my mentor.

    I might be super slow, but I’m really grateful to finally find people who know what they’re doing and are willing to share…I don’t understand most of the technical stuff, but I feel like I’m starting to at least develop a bigger picture of what the blog-o-sphere really is…. thanks again!

  7. Alexis says:

    I see you’re a man of experience. Your post is very useful and rich.
    I’ve just started blogging recently and i can see the potential if things are done properly.
    Providing good content as you are doing is one of the most important thing for blogging success.

    Thanks buddy!!!

  8. Very good post. Monetizing a blog can be difficult but creating your own products centered around
    your niche can be a very good way to do so. Put a survey on your blog and see where the most interest
    lies and create information products about those interests.

  9. Those are some excellent realizations for bloggers who have blogged for a year and haven’t achieved much success.

    I’m sure that this list will help them improve their blog to become and even bigger success.

    Two important tips are to keep going don’t give up and try different things.

  10. jason says:

    That is a really great post. It really got me thinking about stuff. Blogging is not intuitive and in order to be successful, it is important to go out and see what works. I have been experimenting with different sites and haven’t really started my own blog yet, but this article really inspired me to get it going.

  11. I hate to admit that I’ve been avoiding Facebook, for some reason. Just never got started with it. Point #2 convinced me it’s finally time.

  12. I’m pretty depressed now. I don’t do most of this.

  13. For someone who is a newborn in the blogging world I appreciate articles like this. Except when I realize that I need to work on all 10 of these items. Thanks a bunch.

  14. Sherry says:

    Years ago I would get down in the dumps pretty darn quickly when I didn’t see the results I had anticipated. Although now days I am well aware that this business is a marathon and not a race, I sometimes can still get a bit anxious when I start a new blog. Consistency and patience… two important words to remember. Thanks for a great post that got me thinking!

  15. chris says:

    Excellent write up – I am in the very beginning blog stages and am encountering MANY of those points. I WISH I can get 100 subscribers after 8 months! I am close to making some money – but nowhere close to $100 a month! Blogging is an ongoing process and i will not give up on it!

  16. Shirly says:

    I really needed this post right now. I’ve been blogging since September (2010) and as luck would have it, I chose a name that went straight to the top of Google. I also put up a post that has driven lots of traffic to my blog.
    But much as I’m excited about this, I know I’ve got a lot to learn about everything. I don’t even know how to analyse figures etc to make heads or tails about the traffic I’m getting and how to convert them. I know that I’m getting repeat visits, but I’m not sure whether they’ve subscribed to my rss feeds etc.

    Help from the community would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you for this well-timed post.

  17. senthuran says:

    Hi guys….I’m a newbie ….I started my blog with an introduction of myself just today.And i should say this is a GREAT POST…I was hell of an advice and thank u very much…

  18. Nice post moon! I too have made many mistakes in the past year and am glad to see you’re still hard at it!

    On my way to get your ebook now.

    Cheers,
    Ryan

  19. Ramya says:

    Right article at the right time… looks like I’m not alone! and ‘m glad about it :)

    Its been more than a month since I’ve started regularly writing for my blog and this article was the need of the hour after I looked at my blog statistics!

    I definitely need to put in more effort!

  20. Alexis says:

    Thanks Moon!
    Your advices are very very helpful. I experienced most of what you mentioned.
    I avoided facebook for a long time now i’ve realised i have no choice but to use it.

  21. Chris B. says:

    Another thing is you realize that you, yourself, should also be a contributor on other communities that started way before you (as well as at the same time, ala #9). Do you see anything missing in your peer communities? Do you think you can improve upon certain things?

  22. Mike says:

    Great article and thanks for sharing! It’s been about 8 months for me and I’ve had some really great experiences with blogging. I love writing but interesting content can be tough especially when I’m balancing a full time job.

    This article is a great reminder to keep going!

  23. I think a lot of people go into blogging thinking it will be an easy way to make money, which is far from the truth. You have to really enjoy it and give it your best like you would with anything else. It will definitely be hard in the first year. I’m in my second year and I still haven’t met a lot of the thresholds you mention in this post. But I’m getting there.

  24. Charles says:

    blogging is certainly full of challenges but has abundance of oppertunities.

  25. keneiyizoba says:

    Great post. All you have said is true. We should all blog just for the sake of helping people not neccessarily to make money. if you are in blogging for the money, You are in for a suprise. Growing traffic is a slow and tactfull process.

  26. Naya Nalasin says:

    After two years of irregular writing posts on my blog, I finally realized that I can earn some dollars when I started to see cents and then dollars trickling in on my Adsense interface. But the days of discouragement still come — when I see 360 impressions and there’s only one click. What I need is really speed — speed in writing articles that I can submit to prominent article sites that provide back links and that also offer revenue-sharing opportunities. Have a great day!

  27. Hi Moon,
    Nice post, I can see lots of effort and heart spent on this post. All the best for future.