What is one thing you wish you had known before starting a blog? I asked successful bloggers and entrepreneurs this question for their best tips for new bloggers.
From knowing your “why” to figuring out how to format content, there are several important things to know before starting your own blog.
Watch this video below (and subscribe to my YouTube channel) to learn the 10 most important things to do before starting a blog!
Here are 17 things to know before starting a blog:
1. Know Your “Why?”
The most important thing to keep in mind before starting a blog is to make sure that you know why you are creating a blog. It’s important to know that there are many ways that you can leverage your blog so it’s important that you become clear about what that goal is.
Some ways you can leverage your blog include improving SEO, generating leads and opportunities, branding, thought leadership, authority positioning, how-to’s, and many more.
Closely related are making sure you know the resources that you will use to grow your blog (time and money) and who you are targeting- your target clientele.
Gresham Harkless Jr., Blue16 Media
2. How You Want to be Perceived
We live in a world where perception is everything–and that rings true for social media.
When choosing the right photo, consider your following and the purpose of the platform. The photo you post on a business-oriented platform like LinkedIn may look very different from the one on your personal Facebook profile. However, always ensure that they don’t send conflicting messages about who you are.
You never know when a recruiter or business partner may look on a search engine or to your more personal social media profiles to learn more about you.
Greg Gillman, MuteSix
3. The Right Platform and Hosting for Your Blog
Before starting a blog, decide which blogging platforms fit best to you.
Therefore, consider the different prices, accessibility, functionality, and control level of the platforms, and if they can work well for your traffic. For instance, if you will receive tons of traffic, you must consider website speed and performance too as relevant factors in decision-making.
Chiara Sternardi, PhotoAiD
Use this plugin to increase your website speed because that’s important to decrease your bounce rate and increase your SEO.
It’s best to use your time wisely and take this course to start your blogging journey (this is the same course I took to launch my blog in 7 days while working full-time as a lawyer). It’s totally worth the investment!
You can read my detailed review and results from it here.
4. Make Your Blog Legal
How to make your blog legal is often forgotten as one of the things you need to know before starting a blog.
This is because bloggers focus on content and forget the technical aspects of blogging. Making your blog legal means ensuring compliance with the different laws and having these right legal pages on your website.
Watch this video to learn what they are and why you need them on your blog.
You can use this Starter, Premium or VIP legal bundle (by a lawyer) to get done with all three legal pages in just 15 minutes as shown by the testimonials.
Related Blog Posts on How to Legally Protect Your Blog
Check out these blog posts on essential business contracts, legal documents and tips you need to ensure your blog is legally compliant:
- 16 DIY Legal Documents for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs
- 3 Must Have Legal Pages Bloggers Need
- How to Make Your Blog ADA Compliant
- 15 Expensive Legal Mistakes to Avoid as a Blogger and Entrepreneur
5. Not All Blogs Make Money
One thing that shocks a lot of first-time bloggers is that not all blogs make money. Even if you’re the most gifted writer in the universe and have a million things to say about a topic you’re passionate about, that doesn’t mean your blog will necessarily be successful.
However, these things don’t come easy. To make real money, you need page views, and to get pageviews, your site has to be authoritative. That requires serious work. In short, whether you’re getting into blogging for the simple love of your topic or to make a living, know that there’s a chance your blog might not make money – ever.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
In order to make money from your blog, you have to learn these essential tips and tricks to start making $100,000 a month.
Is Blogging Dead?
Blogging is certainly not dead! The earning potential depends on the time and effort you put into it.
It is possible to make six figures from your blog within the first year. Focus on creating quality content, building a strong following, and be patient with your blogging journey!
Below is an example of a successful lawyer and blogger who made $78,000 in a single month and was able to quit her job to become a full-time blogger.
Related Blog Posts: When it comes to things to know before starting a blog, you also need to know how much does it cost to start a blog that makes money, so check out these blog posts below to learn more!
6. How Frequently You Should Post
When establishing your blog, frequency will need to be a key issue, just like it is with everything else you’re doing to market your brand online. If you try to do too much too soon, you risk being overwhelmed or burned out by the blogging experience.
However, if you post too infrequently, it may be tough to create a substantial audience. If at all possible, commit to writing at least one post per week for the first several months of your blogging career.
Examine your schedule and set firm deadlines for when you want your pieces to be published.
While not all of these will be innovative pieces of online literature, something as simple as a photo and a few words can go a long way toward letting your audience know you’re serious about staying active. From there, you can make more informed judgments about whether or not to create more content in the future.
Jay Bats, ContentBASE
Thinking about what your blogging schedule should look like? Check out these 5 secret ways to create a blogging schedule you’ll actually stick to, and here are 7 SMART blogging goals you should aspire to achieve.
Watch this helpful video to learn 7 things NOT to do when starting a blog: don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more blogging and legal tips!
7. How to Build Links to Improve Rankings
Another important thing to know before starting a blog is building backlinks. Backlinks to your page are one of Google’s best indicators for ranking a site. The more backlinks you have, the better.
In addition to improving your ranking, they assist search engines to index your pages more quickly and also generate referral traffic. Building links will entail building strong relationships, networking, and targeting your content toward people who can provide backlinks.
You also must ensure you create quality content since most people will avoid linking bad quality content.
Building links to improve your search engine ranking is essential when starting a blog.
John Tian, Mobitrix
Tools to Build Backlinks and Improve Your Website Rankings
Use this awesome resource to build backlinks for your new blog and also increase your SEO. Below are some more helpful SEO resources for you:
- Free SEO Masterclass to increase traffic to your blog (even as a beginner blogger)
- SEO Blueprint you’ll need to rank your website on Google quickly
8. Don’t Let Perfection Prevent Progress
Just start. Your first blog posts won’t be perfect. It’s OK. The more you post the better they will become. Don’t waste time trying to write the perfect blog post. What you think will be your most popular post oftentimes isn’t.
Let your followers influence the direction your blog will go. It’s ok to pivot from your original idea.
Jeff Becka, Fence Resource
9. Do Your Competitor Research
One thing you should know before starting a blog is that you can’t skip competitor research. If you seek to monetize your blog eventually, you’ll likely need a ton of traffic.
The best way to see what type of content and what keywords will perform well is by looking at the current search engine result pages (SERP) trends. Look at the top-performing sites in your niche and find out what they’re doing that’s working for them. You’ll get a better sense of where to start and what readers in your niche seem to like.
Eric Ang, One Search Pro
Best Free SEO Tools
Here are 13 best free SEO tools you should use for keyword research and improve your SEO.
10. Grasp The SEO Basics
Having a basic grasp on SEO is important when starting a blog. Earning traffic and views is as much about employing smart marketing as creating strong and entertaining content.
While not every post needs to be SEO optimized, a smart blogger learns how to pinpoint and target the keywords that will lure niche readers to the site, and plans content that will help the blog appear in search engines.
Carly Hill, Virtual Holiday Party
RELATED BLOG POSTS TO SEO TOOLS YOU NEED BEFORE STARTING A BLOG
Here are some helpful blog posts related to SEO that you’ll love:
If you want to learn more about SEO, I’ve written four blog posts dedicated entirely to the subject:
- SEO Basics: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Understanding SEO and Mastering It
- Secret SEO Tips to Make $20,000 a Month Blogging: Interview With Debbie Gartner
- Honest Review of Stupid Simple SEO- Is it Worth It?
- How to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
11. What Gets Posted Online is Forever
Every blogger needs to know that whatever words get posted online usually get stuck there.
You may have editing tools at your disposal, but readers have screen-grabbing tools at their fingertips, so don’t post a piece of content that you aren’t willing to stand by. People dig up old Tweets, podcast conversations and profile photos all the time – so be mindful of that.
If you are expressing a bold opinion, think hard before you post. That is something that can boomerang on you when you apply for jobs later or gain media recognition for your content. Write cleanly and don’t post anything that might embarrass you or jeopardize your career down the road.
Scott MacDonell, Bambee
12. Pick a Primary Purpose
Pick a primary purpose for your blog, even though the subject matter may broadly range over time. This will help you in the content creation and writing process, as well as attract your ideal audience because your blog won’t feel like a random yard sale.
For instance, if you decide the blog’s purpose is to help families live more mindfully, posts about environmentally-conscious meal planning and volunteer activities fit nicely; a food blog that posts recipes and restaurant recommendations might also promote organizations that tackle food insecurity.
Blogs are a great place to discuss dynamic topics and show multiple dimensions of you and your business, so make it easy for future followers to find you by picking a primary purpose before you start a blog.
Tommy Chang, Homelister
13. How to Promote Your Blog the Right Way
Even if you provide a lot of valuable and original content, you may not reach the people who will appreciate it. It’s vital to figure out your promotion strategy before you start blogging.
If you’re a beginner, go for social media to start promoting your content. Create an account on Instagram.
People love sharing small snippets of information or relatable, helpful quotes in the form of a picture. You’ll be able to naturally build a strong following and learn to use Instagram’s simple analytics.
Take it a step further and combine it with TikTok.
You may think it’s just a dancing app, but you’ll be surprised to find all the different niches in TikTok that have strong communities.
The growth you can get on TikTok is unparalleled to any other social media platform, so try it out. If you want to move into more advanced steps, start learning about SEO to ensure your blog pops up when people search for specific content on Google.
Nicole Ostrowska, LiveCareer
Here are 13 different ways to promote your blog and increase traffic.
14. You Won’t Get Traffic for Months
One thing you should know before starting your blog is that it won’t get traffic for at least 1-2 months, assuming you put in a lot of SEO efforts in the first couple of months.
If you are creating a blog that you hope will rank on Google and bring you a lot of traffic, and eventually money, don’t expect it to happen fast. It takes months for Google to rank your pages, so just persevere with it and keep your expectations low to begin with.
louisa smith, Epic Book Society
How to get traffic to your new blog is definitely one of those things you need to know before starting a blog.
Use these 21 secret strategies to Increase Monthly Page Views from 17k to 400k+ in 10 Months!
Also, use Pinterest tips here to increase traffic to your site. This is definitely one of the things to know before starting a blog. I use these Pinterest templates to create beautiful-looking pins, which in turn result in more clicks and traffic to my website.
15. Blogging Might Become a Chore
A few years ago I started a blog. Contrary to my expectations it become popular among that niche! In the beginning, it all seemed like a dream – fans contacting me saying they love my articles, collaborations with other bloggers, receiving freebies, etc.
But at some point, it started feeling like a chore. You’ve probably heard the saying “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Well, I’m not sure if I agree with that. Although I did love writing for my blog sometimes I just…didn’t feel like doing it.
And when you get out of the loop people start noticing, your website traffic goes down, brands stop contacting you and it slowly starts to die out. Point is – do not expect it to always feel effortless and fun. Sometimes it does feel like just another job.
Claire Grayson, PersonalityMax
As a new blogger, blogging can certainly feel like a chore especially if you don’t know how to monetize your blog. I recommend using these strategies to earn your first $1,000 quickly.
16. Time and Effort Required to Maintain a Successful Blog
Before starting a blog, you should also be aware of the time and effort required to maintain a successful blog.
Consistency is key when it comes to blogging. You need to be able to commit to publishing new content on a regular basis in order for your blog to grow and attract new readers. Blogs require regular updates and new content in order to be successful.
When you spend time planning and creating quality content, your blog will be more likely to succeed. If you’re sincere about wanting to connect with your readers and build a following, then you need to be prepared to put in the work required to make your blog a success.
Lenny Terra, 10 Best For Men
Top Blogging Courses for Beginners
Here are the top 5 blogging courses to make six or seven-figures:
- This Pro Blogger bundle that teaches you everything you need to know to become a professional blogger!
- This affordable blogging course that teaches you how to make $1,000+ within 6 months
- This popular course is taken by thousands of happy students, and is a step by step method to help you create a professional blog quickly without breaking the bank.
- Bloggers secrets shows you the exact strategies you need to turn your hobby blog into making over $1,000 every month!
- Want to work less and earn more? Learn how this blogger earns $11 million in revenue while only working 10 hours a week!
The Blog course, taken by thousands of happy students, is a step-by-step method to help you create a professional blog quickly without breaking the bank.
17. How to Format Content
One of the things to know before starting a blog is how to format your content. Bloggers should know how to format their blog posts to make them appear an expert in front of their audience.
A well-formatted content increases reader time on page and engagement in the same way that stunning photos do. Let’s face it: people no longer read everything word for word. In today’s world, the ordinary internet user skims. There’s simply too much information and not enough time to do it all.
This is when the formatting comes into play. A well-formatted content allows your viewers to quickly skim (to determine if the post is worth their time) and then delve in if they believe it is.
Leslie Radka, GreatPeopleSearch
How Long Does it take to start a blog?
It really depends on how much time and effort you put into it.
Some people can start a blog in less than an hour, while others may take several days or even weeks.
It also depends on what platform you use to create your blog.
For example, learn how I started my blog in just 7 days while working full-time as a lawyer here.
If you want more control over the look and feel of your blog, you should consider using a self-hosted solution such as WordPress.org and a good theme like this one.
Once you have everything set up, it should only take a few minutes each day to maintain your blog.
Related Blog Post on How to Create a Successful Blog (6 Steps)
Here’s a helpful blog post on how to start a profitable blog with 6 essential steps you need to follow.
Final Thoughts on Things to Know Before Starting a Blog
Now you know the essential things to keep in mind before starting a blog. Your blog should offer readers something they can’t find elsewhere.
Also, be prepared to commit time and effort to your blog. A successful blog requires regular updates and engagement with your audience.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try new things and see what works for you and your readers. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start blogging!
No matter what kind of online business you start, just make sure to protect it legally with these 13 tips below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel (thank you).
Related Blog Posts on Things to Do Before Starting a Blog
Check out these other helpful blog posts on starting a blog:
- 8 Steps to Writing the Perfect Blog Post
- 4 Reasons to Join this Awesome Facebook Group and Promote Your Blog for Free!
- 15 Pro Blogging Tips for Success
- How to Make $20,000 a Month Blogging as a Beginner
- How to Get 1 Million Pageviews as a New Blogger
- 50 Blogging Tools and Resources to Make $35,000 a Month
- 7 Ways to Monetize Your Blog
- 8 Easy Ways to Get Your Blog Noticed