every new blogger should do this first

10 Things to know before Starting a Blog

Do you want to make money blogging like the top earners? Many bloggers who now earn a full-time income started their blogs as hobbies. The internet is flooded with information about creating a blog yet many fail to speak about the many things that should be in place before going live. Here are 10 things every new blogger needs to know before starting a blog.

Disclaimer: This post contain affiliate links. There are no additional charges to you for purchasing through my links but I will receive a commission when you do. I’d appreciate it if you did.

10 things new bloggers should know

1. Your  audience is not Friends & Family

Unless you are planning to do a journey blog as a means of creating accountability (only), your friends and family are not your target audience. As an aspiring business owner, understand that there is no longevity for your business if the core products and services are used by friends and family.

Keep your business and family on a different page (literally and figuratively).  Have you ever been slightly annoyed by someone who keeps flooding your Facebook timeline or family group with their business venture? Don’t be that person!

There are only a few persons who benefit from having family support to start their business. Before you create your blog take some time to craft your Avatar. In other words, create an imaginary person with all the attributes of your ideal reader so you can be clear who you are speaking to when you write. You will quickly realize it is not your Aunt, Grandma or BFF.

2. Blogging is hard work if you want to make it profitable

You may have seen many top earners sharing their income report and you are in awe. Believe them? You can, but do not think for a moment that it happened by chance or overnight. They didn’t just put up a few posts, add a few affiliate links and passive income came rolling in.

I can testify that building a business through blogging requires  effort, consistency and knowledge. It is one of those things where the rewards are directly dependent on the effort.

The more successful you desire to be, the more time and money that will be required. If you have a tight budget (which many of us do) you will be required to spend more of your personal time to make blogging a success. Be prepared to commit to the process and celebrate the small wins.

3. Use a Self-Hosted Blogging Platform

I know that cash flow isn’t always in your favor but if you plan on having a business, some sacrifices have to be made. This one is totally worth it. When you use a free hosting platform you do not have control over your content. As a matter of fact, it may be here today and gone tomorrow.

Hosting on a free/shared platform is like renting a car from your local dealership. There are many cars of the same type but you have no control over which of them you will receive even if you use their services frequently. That lack of control in business is troubling.

Additionally, as a blogger monetizing your site is important and there are many restrictions with doing that effectively on a free platform. This would mean that you would find a host and install WordPress in a few seconds and your site will be ready to go live. I use and recommend Siteground without reservation. It is cost-efficient, has a 99.99% uptime and their customer service is excellent.

Check out Siteground’s Self hosting for just 3.95/month.

4. Offer at least one service

This is one of the fastest ways to start making money with a blog. It takes a while to generate affiliate income or earn from courses you create. While that happens, there are many things you can do to start earning. Grab the list of 45 Profitable Ways to make Money from Home and see which is a good fit.

Before you remind me how busy you are, remember why you started blogging in the first place. What was your why? If it is just a hobbie then by all means create content and share it with the world. However, when it has something to do with meeting the needs of your family through generating income, you better get started … yesterday. I’ve had my share of confusion about what I could offer as well.

If you are thinking of blogging, you already have in mind a problem (or a few problems) that you will solve for your ideal reader. Use one of those solutions and create a service you can offer. Some in demand services include proofreading and editing, web design, graphic design services as well as coaching/consulting.

 Check out my Pinterest Pin Design Service.

5. Create a schedule and stick to it

Building any business requires finding more time in your day to add additional activities. Starting a blog is no different. I created a post earlier this month showing that there are at least 3 hours that you can use to build your business per day.

6. Blog for your audience, not yourself

This concept was totally confusing when I first started blogging (a month ago). I did not understand the concept. So… I started by creating content for an idea that was totally in my mind.

My original idea was encouraging established businesses to increase their profitability through blogging. However, my first few subscribers (so thankful for them) and persons I shared my idea with started asking me questions that was slightly off topic (per se). They wanted to know how the average person can create an income through blogging.

I used that as a hint and started creating content based on what they wanted to learn about. That was a very important lesson in listening to my readers and validating an idea before starting. No matter how passionate you are about an idea you also need to strike the balance with serving your audience in a way that you can be profitable.

Have you ever been scared that you will run out of ideas? Well the thought may have crossed your mind once or twice. Fear thou not. My experience since starting is that I have more ideas than I have time to write about. Get in the habit of always jotting down your ideas on a notepad or writing them in your phone and you will be surprised at how quickly you may experience this as well.

7. Strive to be genuine, not perfect

It is so easy to get caught you trying to be like someone you admire. As wonderful as it is, it’s far better to be yourself. People crave authenticity. This is how you will find your tribe online. People can detect when you you are just putting on a facade.

There is no perfect content or Niche. There is no perfect blog layout of theme. There is no perfect service or course. That’s why there are so many of them to begin with. I am literally smiling while I type this.

I got caught up in this web of trying to be “perfect” when I just started as well. I changed my theme twice, changed the layout of my blog once and discarded content (huge mistake). If something is not working then by all means change it do not allow your change to be motivated by what everyone else is doing. YOU are not everyone else.

Be yourself. Provide value. Motivate and inspire because as Marie Forleo says everything is “figureoutable.” Just, keep going and listen to your audience. The only changes you need to make are those guided by audience’s needs.

Be genuine when starting a Blog. Your readers value authenticity.

8. Avoid Free Google images like the plague

Grabbing a few images from google is easy and tempting when you don’t know where to get them otherwise. Unless you have plans to earn a lawsuit for copyright infringement (which I know you don’t) avoid them.

Try using Pexels, Unsplash or my favorite Pixabay instead.

9. You need an Email Marketing System

Yes, you heard me right. From Day 1 you need to have a reliable, automated system in place to ensure that you can have a means of communicating with your audience.

The fact is that most readers will not come back to your blog weekly to read your latest content. When you have access to tournament readers via email you can communicate with them whenever you create new content.

According to Business Insider, a Statista poll of 1850 customers revealed that 98.4% of them check their emails daily. This is huge! Your goal is to create great content, earn the trust or your audience and give them a reason to subscribe to your Newsletter or offer.

I use Convertkit to deliver my emails and it has been going great. I especially love the options for automating and segmenting readers based on their area of interest. This way you get a chance to be among the 98.4% of emails that gets checked daily.

Try ConvertKit for 30 days FREE and tell me what you think.

10. Get a Coach or Mentor

You may think this is overrated when you think of getting started but investing in a Coach is invaluable.

Look around in any industry at the high performers. From World-class Speakers/Trainers, Athletes, World Leaders, Business owners; they have one thing in common. They have a Mentor/Coach. They invest in someone who knows more about the process than they do. You are no different.

Do not go broke paying thousands of dollars to retain a Coach if you absolutely cannot afford it. You should however, seek to be a part of a Mastermind group or at the very least get on the mailing list of someone you would like to be your mentor. They all have one (big grin). Do you see a pattern developing?

I am a part of a paid Facebook Mastermind Group with other online Business owners. Not only do I benefit from the advice of my coach but also from the experience of other members who are further along the journey than I am.

Your choice of Mentor or Coach will greatly depend on your Niche and whose style of presentation resonates with you most. This investment will go a long way in shortening your learning curve and steer you on a path to profits faster.

Update: My Former Mentor started a new business and Mentorship was no longer available. I have since joined Billionaire Blog Club.

Conlusion

Starting a Blog is a fun, lucrative means of generating an income online. It requires effort and consistence. You succeed faster when you have a Coach, you are authentic and create content that resonates with your readers.

There is no perfect blog so quit trying. Focus your effort on being of service to your audience. This is often not friends and family so make an effort to separate your business and personal presence on social media.

Did you find value in the tips I shared above? Leave me a comment below.

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16 Comments

  1. Sam @Thiswaymommy.com

    I am loving your blog! Your advice is concise and to the point. I really enjoyed reading this particular post and I feel like you truly broke down both the potential for success and the possible pitfalls as well. Please keep this blog going!

  2. I really love your blog, I am so surprised you just started a month ago. I work on my blog for 3 hrs a day, not counting social media, that just comes and goes through out the day as I have a few minutes here or there. I would like to invest more than 3hrs but it’s a great starting point!

  3. Thank you Jessica. 3 hours a day consistently is going to allow you to grow quickly as long as your time is invested in doing growth related activities.

  4. #2 is THE wake up call Sherri-Ann LOL. Folks know who succeed with blogging; this is like opening a corner store, working 8-12 hours daily for 6-7 days weekly, and doing so for years to make it profitable. Part time bloggers; replace with 3-4 hours daily and 8-10 on weekends. Small business guys. Opening a corner store. Plus you need to do the right stuff with the right energy.

    Ryan

  5. Sheri-Ann,

    Woo! Such a great reminder to set time aside for my business. I just started back at work (I’m a teacher). I talk all the time about keeping your focus on your “why” over on my site. Gosh! I gotta walk what I talk, but it’s been hard this past week because I’m so sleepy. I’m talkin’ getting-in-bed-before-8-sleepy.

    Your post just confirmed for me that having a mentor or coach is important. I mean, I’ve had someone teach me how to be successful in my teaching career. If I really want my blog to be a business, then why should it be any different?

    Thank you so much for inspiring me to stay on top of my work to meet the needs of my audience. I’m going to use your advice to keep on keepin’ on. I may be worn out for a while, but my purpose is way worth it!

    • The journey isn’t usually easy but when your “why” is compelling enough it keeps you inspired to stay on track.
      We all have days when we go off course but knowing they way back makes a huge difference.

  6. A agree with all your tips. I’ve been blogging for 2 years and came to these conclusions. However I would say that you should blog for your readers/audience AND yourself. If you are not doing it for you and your passion, it may be shortlived. Great tips though! The last one is a great one. Having a mentor is good advice!

  7. Fantastic Post! It’s always great to be reminded who exactly you are writing for and not miss the mark by writing for yourself. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Pingback: How to use your Job to Start a Business -

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