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As a freelance content writer since 2015, I know that I have mastered the blogging basics. Life’s good.
So I thought.
Back then, I didn’t know what SEO means.
I didn’t know how to improve my blog posts’ readability.
All I know is that I’m given a topic to write about, (key)words are provided that I need to incorporate discreetly and that I have to cite resources, except Wikipedia.
I thought that was it.
Then I wised up.
I installed Grammarly in my Google browser.
Used Hemmingway to improve readability.
Bought courses about SEO in Udemy and paid a premium for Skillshare.
Attended Teachable Live 2 years in a row.
Followed other content writers on LinkedIn and Instagram.
Watched YouTube tutorials about WordPress.
All these I did to grow as a content writer.
But what about running my own blogging business? What else did I learn after one year?
Below are things I have learned so far, the good, the horrible, and the worst.
1. You need to get serious
If you want to start blogging because you love to write, think again.
Let me tell you this: love is not enough.
When I started this blog, my main goal is personal branding.
I want my own website, to look professional.
Build my portfolio and write guest posts.
Have clients see me as a business partner, not an employee.
Lastly, I want to help other freelance content writers make money blogging.
Then, I started a self-care blog
This is where everything went haywire.
My partners and I can’t keep up. There’s so much work to do.
I neglected my Linkedin profile.
My social media posts have been inconsistent.
Everything is falling apart.
One day, I took a long walk with my dog and thought about what I’m doing.
I love to write. Apart from teaching, I think it’s one of the things I do best.
But to write for a living is a different story.
And if you want to write to make money, you have to get serious about it.
There’s no room for thoughts like
I’m not in the mood.
I’m not inspired.
I need more time.
Blog not because you love to write. Start a blog because you’re serious about it.
Because you have genuine intention to help people which can eventually turn it into a lucrative business.
2. You need a plan
Blogging is the creme de la creme of content marketing.
I believe that when you make high-quality and relevant content, everything follows.
Also, blogging opens a ton of possibilities for you to make money on the side.
- Google Adsense
- Selling your own products (physical or digital)
- Affiliate marketing
- Paid guest posts
- Media kit
- Copywriting services
All this is overwhelming if you don’t have a plan.
I look at blogging as a business that I can run for the rest of my life.
When I finally decided to start one, I made sure that I have short term and long term goals.
Honestly, I’m unable to meet all of them.
But that doesn’t mean I will stop.
This 2020, I have made a new list of goals that will lead me to one of my goals: to be consistent.
It’s the main struggle I’ve dealt with last year.
Regardless, I’m sure that I will nail it this time.
3. Expect that you will spend money on your blog
One of the most important things I learned in blogging basics is to do it right from the get-go. Therefore, I spent money on:
- Domain name from Namecheap ($8.88/year)
- Web hosting from Interserver ($5/month Use code Cherriebalictar when placing an order to get the first month of hosting for just a penny.)
- Guest post contributors
- Video editing
This year, I expect that my expenses are gonna go up. But that’s the thing with running a business. You have to invest.
If you’re not willing to spend money on your blog, you might want to re-think your purpose of even starting one. Perhaps, you’re just want to be a hobby blogger, and that’s okay. But if you’re an income-seeking blogger, you may have to consider having business expenses.
4. Say hello to email subscribers more often
If it weren’t for our Facebook live sessions last year, I don’t know if I can grow my email list.
Problem is, I got emails. That’s it.
I’m unable to reach out.
Say thank you.
Or stay in touch in general.
Having a strong email list is a thriving force of every blogging business.
When social media disappears (just in case), an email list is a backup plan to get in touch with your readers again.
So this year, expect that I’ll say hi to you more often.
5. Master your productivity
How long does it take for you to finish a blog post?
I have a personal goal of writing a minimum of 1000 words.
This will take about 4 hours.
Which includes the occasional distraction from Facebook, emails, and Netflix.
Then, I need another hour or two to work on the graphics.
Lastly, I need 2 to 3 hours to upload everything in WordPress, check Yoast SEO, test the links, and finally hit publish.
I have five blogs.
Plus, I write for clients.
How the hell am I gonna pull this off every week?
That’s the dilemma.
Aside from the blogs, I have social media accounts to run, there’s also my Facebook group, and my email subscribers.
Talking about massive produce.
So, if you hate to be in front of the computer all day (and night), create a working schedule that works for you.
If you’re losing focus, The Pomodoro Technique helps.
Creating a weekly and daily to-do list can also make a difference.
6. You will need help sometimes
I had the opportunity to work with amazing content writers for my self-care blog last year.
Also, I hired someone to edit my YouTube videos.
Yes, there will be times when you think that you have to have your eyes on everything.
But it’s impossible.
Sometimes, to be productive means you need to outsource.
7. Learning never stops
Content marketing is changing.
Therefore, to grow means being open to trying new things.
Which means more online courses to buy.
More Youtube videos to watch.
Facebook groups to join.
Podcasts to listen to.
The internet is full of garbage and hidden gems. Therefore, it’s important to know where to get information that you’d benefit from.
8. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme
There are experts who would say it takes about 3 to 6 months to monetize a blog.
Others claim it can be done in 30 days.
Regardless, I’d say blogging is not for those who are aiming for easy money.
Blogging requires hard work, patience, and consistency.
If you’re not ready to put your blood, sweat, and tears to learn the blogging basics, it’s time to re-evaluate your plan or hire an expert to help you out.
I hope you find this helpful.
How long have you been blogging?
What are your struggles?
Any valuable lessons you’d like to share?
Let us know in the comments. Take care.