I have been blogging for a good long while, and there are some things that I wish I had known from the get-go! But the only way to really learn anything is to jump in head first and just do it.
That’s what I did, and it took me a looooong time to see the progress that I wanted. It takes time to set up a successful blog, one that makes money and makes you really happy.
So what do I wish that I knew before starting this whole blogging adventure, and what advice do I have for starting a successful blog?
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The 7 things I wish I knew starting out, to grow a successful blog.
Find a REALLY good host.
This was my MAJOR issue starting out.
I started with Bluehost, which is all good and fine. But what I came to realize was, I AM NOT as tech savvy as I thought, I don’t know how to code or optimize my own website, and I didn’t want to spend years learning before I was actually able to run my blog.
Bluehost’s basic package (about $2.99 a month) is a great deal. And I have heard plenty of people get great results from using Bluehost.
But let me tell you, I was definitely crying on my husbands shoulder in our kitchen one night because my website kept crashing. Over and over and over, for 3 weeks.
I kept getting in contact with Bluehost’s customer service, and they would say right back to me what I had just said to them. I told them I needed help trying to optimize my site, and they would respond with “It looks like you need to optimize your site.”.
My computer is lucky it survived me not throwing it against the wall at that point.
Needless to say, I am no longer with Bluehost’s website hosting. (I still use them to keep my domain active, but they no longer host my website.)
I later found the host I am using now, WPengine. THANK GOODNESS for them.
(Click the banner below to be directed to my affiliate link for WPengine, and get 3 months free with the annual plan.)
Why I use WPengine instead
They are the absolute BEST hosting site I could ask for. Their customer service is fast and responsive, with kind people who actually help you fix your problems. There really aren’t any problems though, because there is NO coding involved anymore. Not trying to optimize my site all by myself.
It’s a miracle.
PLUS you get Genesis for free, along with a ton of Genesis themes that you would otherwise have to pay for.
I pay a lot more for WPengine than I did with Bluehost, but I’m no longer in tears once a week. My site runs fast, loads quickly on mobile, and has NEVER crashed since I switched.
Having a reliable host is absolutely a top priority if you want to run a successful blog. It just is.
Set up an awesome Pinterest Business account.
By awesome, I mean key-worded to the max. Having a good Pinterest Business account set up is one of the first things you want to do for your blog.
You can have a fun Pinterest account with cute board names (I feel like everyone has one for their personal account, right?), but if you are going to run a business, cut the cute-ness.
No one is searching for boards called “all that cute stuff” or “artsyness” (guilty of using similar titles on previously owned boards), so if you want traffic, BE SPECIFIC about what your boards are about.
Titles like “Vegan Meals” or “Fall Clothing” are much better because people are looking for those topics.
Pinterest is a search engine, and if someone wouldn’t “Google it” or type it into the search bar on Pinterest, don’t bother titling something with that name, because no one will be able to find it.
Know from the beginning that Keywords are vital for traffic.
Knowing this from the get-go will make your life a ton easier later on.
If I had done my research about keywording EVERYTHING while I was setting up, I can guarantee that my traffic would have spiked a lot sooner.
When I started out I just threw articles together, made what I thought at the time were nice graphics for Pinterest, and hoped people would come to my page.
That doesn’t work.
You need to keyword your Blog post, title, descriptions on your pins, the titles of your pins, and even the words on the pictures that you pin.
Don’t ONLY write what you love, but what others need.
Think about it this way, people are purposefully SEARCHING the web to find answers. Whether that be how to use Kinesio tape, what to make their family for dinner, or what to wear to an event. People are looking for answers.
SO, what answers are you providing?
Your audience is looking for something specific from you, and if you only write fluff posts, or about random things that you are passionate about, they may do okay on Facebook.
That’s where your friends are, and they would probably love to read about your life-related posts. But until you have a following that is just crazy about you, people don’t want to read your diary.
They want answers to their questions.
Figure out what your audience is searching Pinterest for, and write about how to help them with those needs.
Spend some time making it yours.
This is YOUR business! Own it.
Throw your own spark of style into your site, whether it be making your own logo, finding your voice through writing, or adding YouTube videos to your blog posts. Find what makes you stand out, and what you have fun with, and own it.
Do the work beforehand.
This is important if you want to be successful.
Doing the work beforehand allows you to keep up with the demand for content.
In order to keep up your traffic flow, and keep Pinterest happy, you need fresh content at least once a week.
That means once blog post, 3-5 pins for that post, and posting your fresh content EVERYWHERE you frequent.
Having 20-30 blog posts ready to go before you launch is a great idea. I know that a lot of you may have already launched, so this may not seem like its advice for you.
BUT, if you have time during the week, just get busy and write, write, write. Stock up your posts (and pins) while keeping up your one post a week.
That way, when you don’t have time to write one week, you have a handful of helpful posts there and ready to publish.
Hustle kid, you got this.
You need to invest in courses (or ebooks) to be successful.
Why do people go to college? To learn how to be successful in their chosen field. This is a job, like any other job. And like any type of work that you want to be successful at, you NEED to learn from people who have been where you are.
The #1 course that I HIGHLY recommend starting with, for those of you who need help figuring out Pinterest is:
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche by Alex and Lauren at Create and Go.
I was averaging 100 page views per day for MONTHS. Basically from November 2018 till February 2019. I started their course in February, and by March my traffic had more than tripled.
That was when I had my first 2k pageview day, on March 27th 2019.
I almost cried I was so happy.
Alex and Lauren are amazing teachers, and their courses provide real, applicable info that has helped me on my blogging journey in SO many ways.
There are a lot of good blogging courses out there. Another that I would recommend is a course from one of my favorite bloggers and YouTuber’s, Allison Lindstrom.
Her course is called “Blogging to Win” and she goes over all of the basics, as well as the business side of running a blog. If you are a new blogger and want a good way to get started, check out Allison’s course, and her website! I have learned so much just by watching her YouTube channel, so anything she comes out with I am always excited about.
Anyone can do anything. If you REALLY put your mind and heart into blogging, you can become a success and make your dreams come true as well.
Feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have about blogging, or how to start your own blog! I will do my best to get back to you quickly, and love hearing from you guys.
Till next time,