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I’m nearing my first 6 months blogging and I was wondering how best convey what I’ve learnt in the most useful and actionable way that I can. After all, the whole point of reading about lessons after 6 months blogging, apart from satisfying your curiosity, is to actually come away with some good tips that you can implement.
You can also take a look at my summary of the top tips to starting a blog which is a summary of the 3 biggest things a new blogger should consider before starting.
But I think a full summary of my first 6 months blogging will be useful too, as you’ll no doubt get ideas as you read through about some of the things you may want to do and some of the things you will definitely want to avoid.
So let’s get to it.
Here's what we're going to be covering...
Lessons from my First 6 Months Blogging Full Time
I started my blog back on the first of July of 2017. I started my blog the day I realised iI wasn’t being as useful as I could be. Up to that point, I’d been serving business owners for over 10 years, providing websites, optimisation and marketing services.
You can read about that on my About Me page.
The crux of it is that I decided that I had something cool to share, and a blog is a perfect vehicle for doing just that. So, without hesitation, I started a blog and became a full-time blogger.
Objectives and Goals of a Blogger
I didn’t set out with any clear objectives. I was simply excited at the prospect of creating content
and then reaching somebody who needed that content. In a way, that was my only goal.
Naturally, there’s always a self-serving element behind any venture, even if it’s just to feel good about doing something. But unlike many, I think content creators are in a position where they can lead by providing real value. In fact, the market makes it so that it’s almost unavoidable. We have to provide value in order to earn trust.
So when it comes to the self-serving element, mine has to be to grow a following. Artists, writers and content creators do what they do in the hope of reaching others who appreciate them.
That’s the payoff for the hard work and dedication that this takes.
But I didn’t have any clear thoughts about monetisation, or any grand plans.
I realise of course that I have to figure out a way to pay the bills, but I need an audience before I can do so, and so that became my only objective.
Horse before the cart type thing.
I’m not saying that planning a whole strategy out from the beginning is bad. On the contrary, if you can do this, that’s great. But I do think that you also need to dip your toe in the water and test to see if you get traction with an idea.
And I say this from experience, having tried in the past over a dozen things that I was convinced would work, and then fallen flat on my face.So there has to be a balance when it comes to planning forever and actually taking action.Click To Tweet
In my experience, things almost never go according to plan once you start moving, so my strategy was to have a vague plan with one objective and then to be prepared to tweak as
I went along, depending on what results I saw.
I think what made the whole process easier for me, especially since I didn’t have a clear plan,
was the fact that I fully committed to becoming a full-time blogger. I went full in. I didn’t think of this as my plan B. I made it my plan A.
Thinking of any work I do outside of my blog as my plan B is, I believe, one of the smartest moves I made from the start.
Your Blog’s Reach is Key
Something else I did at the start, was to realise that in order to have a wider reach, I needed to be creating content in more than one medium. Blogging and being found in the search engines
is not a short-term play.
I had to consider other channels, from social media to podcasting to video blogging etc.
I chose video because I have some experience of creating video tutorials, so started a YouTube
This invariably means that I have to work twice as hard to grow not just a blog but a video channel also. But I think you have to accept that these are the rules of the game. This is how you play today.
In fact, I’m very aware that I should be doing podcasting as well. But I haven’t had time yet to look into that yet.
While the work of running a blog may be a bit harder than it was a few years ago, the benefits can also be a lot greater, because potentially you’re multiplying your ability to reach your intended audience by working in the medium that your audience prefers to consume.
It all comes down to accepting what it is that we have to do, choosing a few methods, and then rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.
Mistakes from a Blogger During the First 6 Months Blogging
I also made mistakes. Heh. In fact, I bought a bunch of domain names – the .com .net etc, to secure the brand, and I set up a blog and a Facebook page and other social media pages, and then I decided that the name didn’t have a ring.
So I had to abandon it.
I then bought another bunch of domain names and did the same thing!
It was frustrating and it cost me time and money that I didn’t really have.
I finally thought of theycallmehoz.com as my brand. The incredible thing is that my friends actually do call me Hoz, and have done for years. My brand-to-be was in front of me all this time, and I never actually realised it.
So finally I had my branding.
The second mistake I made was with my content. I hadn’t actually thought too deeply about my
core topics, and I actually started blogging about things I saw on t.v. and things I saw out and about, finding insights about marketing in those scenarios.
I then happened to create a WordPress tutorial on YouTube and the video received such a good response that I realised I needed to change the direction in which I was blogging. I had found an audience that was ready to use what I know, which was, of course, the whole point.
I had been blogging for about two months at that point, so this meant going back and re-writing my content and even deleting some older content.
In hindsight, I think I was so excited to get started that I could really have spent a little more time
deciding on the actual topic of the blog.
Deciding on your blog topic is key. Ignoring this can be a costly mistake.
As a blogger, you need to find your voice as you go, but you need to at least be heading in the right direction. If I had to do this again, I would dedicate some time to thinking about what I wanted to spend so much time blogging about before committing.
But again, it’s key not to overthink this. Overthinking will lead to procrastination and
overplanning will probably result in wasted time because you will probably have to make changes
as you go anyway when you start to discover what works and what doesn’t.
Always Learn From Others
When it comes to advice for new bloggers, my single most important tip after 6 months of blogging is to learn all you can from others, especially other’s mistakes.
There are plenty of bloggers documenting their journeys. Their advice is your guide on what to avoid, what to do less of and what to do more of.
And that’s priceless.