I’ve been blogging for years and I still have times where I think, “Man! I wish I’d known that when I started. My business would have gone in a completely different direction!” Here are my three biggest wishes because I think, if you learn these things now, it will make your blogging life a heck of a lot easier.
I wish I’d known that it could really work
Back when I started my first blog most people still didn’t even know what a blog was. The number of people surfing the Web everyday was nothing like it is today, and you could almost physically count the number of blogs. So when I saw that first ad that said you could make money online I was a little skeptical. And when I saw an ad that said you could make money blogging I said, “Yeah, right… What’s a blog?”
If I had known from the very beginning that you really could make money blogging I think I would have been a lot more diligent in my efforts. I would have spent more time learning about things like keywords and marketing and targeting an audience. As it was, I just jumped right in for the heck of it. Since I didn’t really think it would work, I just looked at it as a fun hobby when I should have been treating it like a business.
I wish I’d known more about keywords and search habits
For me, keywords were a difficult concept to grasp, and I think they are for most people. Even people who grew up surfing the Web. I think one of the reasons they’re so confusing is because you have to think like the people you WANT to visit your blog would think, but not necessarily like the people who DO visit your blog. You can attract traffic, and then you can attract buyers, and there’s sometimes a big difference.
To this day I pay attention when other bloggers are writing about how to find and use keywords and I’ve never – NEVER – found a blog post that explains it to my satisfaction. If I did, I share it with you in a heartbeat because I think it’s just that important. Maybe I’ll sit down and write one myself someday.
I wish I’d known more about business
When I finally started making money with my blog I was amazed. And like most enthusiastic bloggers I doubled my efforts so I could earn even more. The money came in all right, but within a year I was borrowing money for rent. Yet I was working more hours on my blog than I ever did on my job. It finally occurred to me that I needed to stop chasing every little sale and work on my time vs. earnings ratio.
But that’s not the only business-related problem I had. I had to learn how to carry on a professional conversation with clients, instead of sounding like some kid that just came off a 72-hour WOW marathon. I had to learn how to evaluate affiliate programs and weigh commission rates and a host of other business-type problems.
But, life is a series of challenges and we learn as we go, right? Now, what is it that you know about blogging now that you wish you’d known when you started? And now did it affect your blogging career?