If you look at the most popular blogs that you like to read every day, then they might look perfect to you, but the truth is that every successful blogger had made hundreds of mistakes but they learned a lot of from them and they kept improving and that is why they are where they are right now.
I started my first blog in 2005 and I had made so many rookie mistakes and I laugh at myself whenever I remind myself of them.
Today, I want to share with you five things I wish I knew before I launched my very first blog.
If I would know them back then, then I would do many things differently so I would get better results faster and smoother.
I am sure that this post will help you, whatever you are just starting your own blog and you do not even know a single thing about blogging, even how to add a logo, or if you have already been adding new content to your blog for a few months.
There are really big chances that you do not know about things that I mention in this post and it is really important to know about them because they will save you a lot of time and I believe that they will also save you from unnecessary nerves and mistakes that can be very costly for your blog.
It does not really matter if you are starting a simple site where you are going to share travel pictures or pictures of your cat and you do not plan to update it regularly, you need to take these things into consideration.
1) I Should Avoid Free Web Hosts Like The Plague
I have to honest with you guys that I tried to be a cheap a$$ when I created my very first blog and I went with the free web hosts.
I did not really realize how dangerous it can be to use such free services.
I tried to save a few bucks here and there, but I was literally ripped off by these so called free web hosts.
One time, I lost my blog and all content and data, because the said company went out of business and they did not leave any prior notification to their clients.
It is a consolation that I had a back up saved on my own disk.
Since then I never trusted any free web hosting company.
The thing is that such websites look very attractive for new bloggers that do not really want to spend any money on their domain name, hosting and other things that are crucial.
Even some of the most popular free blogging platforms like WordPress.com or Blogger.com will put lots of ads on your blog without asking you for the permission and they will not even let you put a one affiliate link in your posts if you are not willing to upgrade to paid plans that are ridiculously expensive.
For example, you can not even change a theme that you have chosen at the very beginning and you have only a few GB of hard drive space which is nothing these days.
You will very quickly exceed that limit after you add pictures, gifs or other visuals that are must have if you want to run a successful blog.
Some sites like Wix.com make it super hard for you to move your blog outside of their platform, because they want you to stay forever with them, no matter what.
Not to mention that free web hosts have overloaded servers which basically means that your blog is going to be super slow and it will even go down when it gets more traffic than it usually does.
Did you hear that search engine sites like Google or Yahoo are not big fans of websites that use free hosting and it is one of the biggest reasons why you should stay away from them. Forever.
Just, do not expect much if any organic traffic from Google.
Free sites not only load slow, they are using subdomains like StartABlog2Day.Wordpress.com and they look very amateurish all of which make sites like Google do not take them seriously, hence they never rank well.
On top of that, free hosting can close their free service at any time and what it means is that you will lose your blog and all the data.
Going with a good, reputable paid web hosting from the very beginning is the only right way.
Do not be a cheap a$$ like I used to be back in the day.
I learned it myself through the very hard lesson so it is better to avoid free host services and go with the paid one.
Hosting a blog is dirt cheap nowadays, we are speaking about the cost of a one pizza per month, so everyone can afford it.
2) It Is Better To Post Quality Post Every Week Than To Post Generic Posts Daily
Now, please answer this question honestly:
Would you rather read a one quality post every few days or a short post with not much of helpful information every day?
Now, I think that is an obvious one but it is was not so when I was adding my first blog entries.
Back in the time, I would tell to myself that I have to add posts every day and the more I add them the better.
I saved some of these posts on my computer and I would not even share them with you because they are so bad that it is actually painful to read them.
You have to make sure that your posts are really helpful for your readers and they solve issues that your audience might have.
Just like on this blog, I do my best to help you to start a blog that will stand out from millions of other blogs in your chosen niche.
I have learned over the years that the only way to succeed is to create long, comprehensive posts that your readers will be very excited to read.
It is better to add a one 2,000 word post per month than to create new mediocre posts that do not contain any unique information every day.
If you do not want to believe me then just try to search for something on Google and I am dead sure that first results will be sites that publish posts that are quality, packed full of great information and very engaging.
A high quality content is a key to success in blogging and every popular blogger will tell you that.
3) There Is Not Such A Thing As An Overnight Success In Blogging
Prior to starting my journey in the blogging, I have read many books that promised easy ways to gets rich quick and there were (and still, unfortunately, are) many bloggers that do the same.
So I launched my first blogs, I thought that after publishing a few posts that promoted some products, I will have lots of visitors heading to my new blog and I will get indeed get wealthy in a short amount of time.
What I did what you think?
I published five or so articles that were only 200 words long and after doing that, I did nothing and I waited many weeks for money magically come my way.
Of course, nothing good happened from it, except that after some time I learned from that mistake that there really is no such a thing as an overnight success in blogging.
You might see some interviews with the most famous bloggers and they seem to look so cool and relaxed, but the truth is that they work very hard most of the time when they are alone and no one sees them.
Do you think guys like Brian Clark and Darren Rowse become successful overnight?
I do not know a single blogger that achieved any success quickly and I have been making money online for a decade.
Here is the truth:
Some big bloggers are smart and they understand how people think and what they want and they are good sales people so they know very well how to sell anything.
So because people want to make, fix, do everything quickly, easy and cheap so what these bloggers do is they try to sell their courses and ebooks that will somehow make you wealthy in a month or even faster and people buy their products.
If you believe that you will make a blog today and become rich overnight, then you are in for a big disappointment, my friend.
Forget about making lots of cash in first months or possibly even years, focus on creating a valuable content on a regular basis and after you provide a value for a long time, money will come naturally to you.
4) Focus On A Single Topic
Another thing that I wish I knew before I started my very first blog is that it is better to focus on a single topic rather than on multiple topics.
I have to admit that some of my old blogs died because I thought that if I create a broad blog, it will attract more visitors and I will make more sales than if I would start a blog in a small niche.
It is really hard to rank a blog that covers different topics because there is lots of competition and usually sites that rank on the top are big companies that spend literally millions of dollars each month on SEO, marketing, design and content creation so it is really almost impossible to beat them.
On the other hand, if you start a blog which focuses on a very specific topic like growing food at home then there are way bigger chances that your blog will get traffic from Google and other search engine sites because simply there is less competition in that niche.
I have been creating such micro niche blogs and not only they are easier to rank, but such traffic is very targeted because your visitors are only interested in growing food at home so if you have an ebook or some other product, there is a high probability that they will buy what you are offering.
Do you think that it would be easy to compete against multi million companies if you were to cover such broad topics like marketing, SEO, blogging on your new blog?
I can assure you that you would make more money if you would focus on a specific topic like email marketing for small businesses unless you have a big budget (I am talking about millions of dollars) and you are already a successful blogger.
NerdFitness is a very good example of a successful niche website that caters to a very specific audience.
It is a fantastic fitness blog which helps nerds and average people lose weight and get fit.
Do you think that Steve Kamb, the owner of NF, would be so successful if he would create a broad blog?
5) There Are Better Ways To Monetize Your Blog Than Google Adsense
In my first years of blogging, I was only monetizing traffic from my blog with Google Adsense.
I was fooled by some other “established” bloggers to believe that is the best way to make money.
Google has paid me just a few cents for every person that clicked on their ads on my blogs and since I did not know any better at that time, I thought that it was the only way to bring in the dough but dude, I was so wrong about that.
One day, I learned from my friend that was running a similar blog to mine that there are actually more profitable ways to make money online.
You can actually sell different products, like ebooks, videos, courses or offer your service to people and there is also an affiliate marketing where you can promote products that you do not own yourself but you will be still paid better than if you would use Google Adsense.
Since then I never monetized my blogs with ads.
Just think about it:
If you are earning cash with ad networks like Google Adsense, you will need to have at least thousands of visits per day to make just $1000 a month.
On top of that, there are big chances that if your visitor clicks on the ad, they will be sent to another site and they will probably never come back to your blog.
Now, let’s say, you have your own ebook on painting for kids and it is relevant to your blog’s main topic.
If your ebook is really good and helpful and it is something parents are looking for, even if you sell it for just 5 bucks and your blog gets 100 visitors every day, you would make $50 a day if only ten people buy your ebook.
Now, if you were to monetize the same blog with ads, you would make less than a one buck a day.
I will always recommend to create your own product, it can be a t-shirt, a course or something else that will meet the needs of your blog readers and that is where the real money lies in.
There is no doubt that if I would know all of these things mentioned in this post when I was starting my first blogs, I would have done many things differently.
I just hope that you will take this knowledge but do not think that after reading this post you will not make any mistakes.
It is okay to make mistakes, because mistakes are teachers and you would be stupid to not learn lessons from them.