It took me 98 posts and approximately 2 years to learn the skills of Blogging. It took me a little longer than others to learn things. But it is fine and I do not have any issue in sharing my failures.
With every mistake, I learned something new and it gave me a little more boost to continue doing my work. One thing I can boast about my Blogging journey is that I did not take anyone’s help in learning these skills. But I realized later that this was one of my biggest mistakes. I realized that if I would have taken some courses I would have learned the skills much earlier.
That is why I decided to share my Blogging journey with you so that you do not commit the same mistakes as I did.
I am a techie and I have around 9 years of experience in the IT field. The curiosity to do something different and of course, my inclination towards writing brought me to Blogging. Even though I was in IT I knew very little about WordPress. However, later on, when I realized that WordPress can do wonders, I became a fan.
Like everyone else I started my Blog but without thinking much only to realize later that it is not that easy.
My mistakes became the milestones of my Blogging journey.
Let us discuss them:-
– Understand the difference between a Blog and a Website
– Did not research the niche and just jumped into Blogging blindly
– Started writing the articles without any research on keywords
– Wasted a lot of time on doing unimportant and irrelevant things
– Took a lot of time to realize the importance of articulating
– Did not understand the importance of content marketing
– Learned the importance of good quality content very late
So let us try to pick every topic from the above list in their chronological order in my Blogging journey and answer them.
Understand the difference between a Blog and a Website
Initially, I did not differentiate much between a Blog and a Website. However, when I started working I realized that there is a vast difference between the two.
A blog is very specific, focussed and limited in nature. The blog revolves around one or hardly 2 to 3 ideas.
However, a website can be huge with a lot of functionalities.
A blog is mostly run by one person or a small team of 2 or 3 people however Website is developed, maintained and supported by multiple teams.
The main idea behind running a blog is to influence a particular section of society. For example, Fitness and Health Blog will focus to interact with the people who are interested in fitness.
Blogs publish a maximum of 2 or 3 articles per month while that is not true for Websites.
Did not research the niche and just jumped into Blogging blindly
This was by far the biggest mistake I made. Initially, I thought that I would just publish the articles and people will start reading them. I did not have an even bit of an idea about SEO. Once I started reading about SEO only then I realized the importance of niche. But just reading multiple articles does not give you a complete idea. I tried my hands on a couple of niches. This experience gave me a better understanding of the niche.
I realized the importance of choosing the correct niche.
What is the correct niche?
Well, below are the criteria for a correct niche:-
1. The niche should be Funnel-shaped
Funnel-shaped means that you should start with a micro-niche however that niche should have the scope of expanding later. For example, if you start writing on Blogging and after some time if you start running out of ideas for the content then you can expand to Affiliate Marketing, Content Marketing, etc.
2. Do not compete with Corporates
Another very important thing to note is that you must not choose a niche where corporates are fighting. These corporates have huge teams that work tirelessly to appear in top-results. They make SEO for that particular niche very costly and competitive. You cannot compete with them alone.
Started writing the articles without any research on keywords
I have seen many people who write the article first then stuff the keywords later. Never do this mistake. Hence, once you have finalized the niche another important aspect is doing proper keyword research. You must make sure that the keywords should have medium or low competition, always select long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords help you rank for multiple keywords and at a cost of marketing just one article you can get traffic equivalent to multiple articles.
Google Keyword Planner is the most simple and accurate tool to do keyword research.
However, in some cases, it does not tell you the complete information and that is why I use SEMRUSH along with Keyword Planner for the research.
Hence, start writing an article only when you have done the proper keyword research.
Wasted a lot of time on doing unimportant and irrelevant things
The Internet is full of information. And I feel there is a lot of misinformation as well. I struggled a lot due to misinformation. My humble suggestion to all the bloggers who are starting now is that you should only focus on doing SEO correctly and writing high-quality content. For SEO many bloggers suggest that you can divert traffic from Facebook, youtube and other social media to your blog. Please do not fall for this stuff.
I am not saying that you can not do that but at the starting of the blog we must give our energy and time to generate organic traffic. Once we have achieved success in SEO only then we should divert our focus on expanding our blog to social media.
I have tried a lot doing these things and ended up wasting a lot of time. So, please pick and follow only the correct advice from the internet.
Took a lot of time to realize the importance of articulating
I took a while to realize the importance of articulating the message in the correct way. Writing an editorial, or writing an article on a newspaper or magazine is completely different from writing a post on a Blog. Google always wants the article to be informative and simple which can be understood easily.
In short, a 15-year-old teen, as well as a 70-year-old, should understand your post equally well. Always try to write in such a way that readers should get a feeling that he or she is actually talking to you.
This develops an interest in readers and increases engagement in your article.
Did not understand the importance of content marketing
Only half the work is done when you publish the article. The rest half is marketing your content on various platforms so that you can get your article rank high in Google search. The marketing is not just getting some links pointing back to your article. Google has evolved its algorithm in the last few years. The panda and penguin updates have made it difficult to manipulate and get your article rank high. There are a lot of things which you should do:-
Reach out to people for the guest post
Do branding of your Blog
Solve problems of your users
Write answers on different websites
Build rapport with other Bloggers
Promote others etc.
All these will help you become a brand. This takes a lot of effort hence you should devote 70% of your entire time for content marketing.
Interact with your readers directly. Mail them in quick successions and keep them updated about your present and future plans. These engagements are very important and help grow your blog.
Learned the importance of good quality content very late
Content is the King!
You will see this phrase everywhere but let me add some context to this. You must understand how and when Google understands whether the content is good or not. Below are three major parameters:-
The length of the article,
The correct tone and grammar,
The most important is the Average time on page.
Sometimes the content is good but still, your article does not rank. Google does not rank your article if user intent for that keyword does not match your content.
Suppose your article started ranking for keyword “Best ways to write”. And you talk about “The best topic to write” in your article. Users will come to your article but will go away soon without spending much time on it. Hence the avg. time on page will reduce drastically and as a result, Google will push your article down.