How to Survive Your First Year Blogging

Last Updated on: June 15th, 2015

 First year blogging image

There are millions who have started blogging, and there are still many reasons to continue to blog.  The sad reality is that only a small percentage of bloggers succeed.

Why do they succeed? Because they don’t quit. No joke. Too many bloggers quit too soon, and they quit during the first year.

Bloggers quit because they don’t:

  • Believe anyone cares and they give up too soon.
  • Understand what it really takes to become a successful blogger.
  • Make money right off the bat and get discouraged.
  • Want to write and create quality content on a regular basis.
  • Have a support group.
  • Strategically network within their niche.
  • Guest post on more established blogs.

Can you see yourself as a professional blogger?

The first 12-months of your blogging career is the most important. What you do in the first year can set you apart from those who fail. In essence, you are building the foundation that will either help your succeed or fail.

Be strategic about everything.

Blogging is a business. Before you write your first blog post, know why you are writing it. Who is your audience? Why would they read your content? What are you doing to create superior content instead of the fluff people churn out day in and day out?

Think strategically about the following from Day One:

  • The name of your blog matters. Don’t hastily name your blog in one sitting.
  • The content you develop must be superior. Longer posts are better for sharing and SEO.
  • How are you going to monetize your blog? Do you want to sell ads, products, books, sponsored posts, or offer services?
  • Make the right connections. Network offline and online.
  • Post regularly, but focus on quality rather than quantity.
  • Promote your content feverishly. Most failed bloggers ignore blog promotion.

Network with your peers.

Those who succeed with blogging are very good about building relationships. Identify influencers in your niche and become regular readers and commenters on their blogs. Don’t overdo it. It is reasonable for you to try to do this with about 10 blogs. It is a lot of work to keep up and stay engaged with that many blogs.

It is very important to be genuine. Don’t fake it. Make an effort and really read blog posts and provide thoughtful comments. You can also interact with the readers of each blog you are following.

Be honest. If you are new be upfront about it. If you know something admit it, if you don’t admit that too.

The best ways to network are through:

  • Email
  • Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks.
  • Forums
  • Seminars
  • Tradeshows
  • Industry networking events

Write for others more than for yourself.

I mean this in two ways:

  1. Write guest posts. Guest posting should be a major part of your first couple of years of your blogging career. Bloggers who fail or give up spend the majority of their time writing on their own blogs instead of guest posting. The simple fact is that when you start out nobody is reading your blog. Your job is to get in front of readers of more established blogs. There is no better tactic than guest posting.
  2. Write for your audience not for yourself. As you write consider the people who read your blog. What’s important to them? Why would they read your blog posts? Do you really have amazing content? The most linked and shared posts are 2000 words or longer.

Mention influencers in your posts.

Include influencers in your blog posts without expecting anything in return. Link to posts as long as they are related to yours. Then, reach out to them through email and social media. Tell them that you have linked to their content and explain what you liked about their content. There is a good chance that some of them will also share your work.

Focus on value, NOT frequency.

During the first year or blogging, focus on value more than anything else.

Bloggers who fail start out posting one of two short articles a day, and they end up burning out and creating a bunch of fluff.


So, instead of frequency, focus on value. Write long blog posts. The most highly shared blog posts are thousands of words long. It will take you longer to write, but longer posts help your blog rank above short, fluffy blog posts.

Expect a marathon.

From the very beginning expect that you won’t make money during the first year of blogging. If you do, it’s a bonus. Bloggers who give up too soon expect to make money too soon. For most bloggers it takes years to succeed. Expect that you are on a multi-year long journey.

Keep learning, writing, and networking.

What do you do to stay on top of your game?

I bet you have learned a few tricks already. What do you as a blogger that makes you unique, or helps you stay on top of your game?

Share in the comments, please!

George Mazsola photo

 

George Meszaros is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Success Harbor, a business hub dedicated to provide advice for small business owners and startups through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also cofounder of Webene, a website design and marketing company.

 

 

Image credit – photo credit: dvorak via photopin (license)

8 thoughts on “How to Survive Your First Year Blogging

  1. I’ve been in business for 4 years, and have recently started blogging more consistently after learning the importance of blogging for your business. I recently got my feet wet in the guest blogging arena, but have heard other bloggers say guest blogging is dead. Mainly because no one clicks on their link in the post, and they don’t really get any traffic from guest posts. Do you think guest posting is going to be a thing of the past? Would love your thoughts Lorraine.

    • says

      Tiffany, guest blogging is NOT dead. It’s here to stay. However, the results might not be immediate. But over time, more and more people will eventually start talking about you and your business. Trust me on that!

      I’d guest post on blogs in your niche if I were you!

      Any other exposure helps, too.

  2. hi lorraine; well after reading this i believe i am a professional blogger and i did just pass the one year mark for the blind blogger. i could do better at consistency but i really stink at monetising. am ready for someone to show me how to sell ads and affiliate products. because obviously what i’m doing isn’t working. haven’t done any guest posting since starting the new blog but have done a lot of interviews. just this week i did one with wess schafer the sales whisperer that will be posted on youtube as well as in audio. but i believe i can always do better. thanks for your suggestions and reminders, max

    • says

      Max, it’s great to hear that you’ve passed your milestone mark of one year on the Blind Blogger! Good for you!

      This post serves as a reminder of the many things bloggers must do and face… even for pros!

      Congrats on recognizing that there is always room for improvement, too. Consistency is important, but not as important as value. Remember that, Max.

  3. Alexander Svitych says

    Thank you Lorraine for a very useful post!
    Regarding guest-posting, which strategy would you recommend – contact bloggers directly asking to host a post, or searching for some popular guest-posting sites depending on the topic? Any other method?
    Have a great day!

  4. says

    George and Lorraine,

    Great post. I think you hit hail on the head when you talk about guest posting. Not nearly enough new bloggers are using this marketing tactic to help them generate a following. It could be they have no clue about guest posting, or they feel they aren’t “good enough” to have a guest post.

    As a freelance writer, it’s imperative that we guest post to build our portfolio and expand our reach.

    Thanks for the tips!
    Elna

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