Blogging is not all what it Seems to the beginner...
...there is waaaay more to it than what meets the eye!! Today my blog is 1 month old. I have dabbled with writing and blogging for years before launching Lea Bella Blogs but I have never taken it too seriously. Some posts on this blog date back to early 2017, I kept these posts as I thought they were actually OK! This time though, I decided to focus more on writing and creating content online, and in order to do so, I have tried to educate myself a little along the way.
In this post, I am going to share with you my Top 5 Things I’ve Learnt In My First Month of Blogging. Hopefully it will help out some of you new bloggers too!
Search Engine Optimisation. WTF. I am still getting to grips with this and had no clue on where to start. I’ve read sooo many articles on this and there doesn’t seem to be one key idea to make this work - it’s more of an ongoing project for each individual blog. From what I can gather (and I’m going to give you my knowledge in layman’s terms) it’s learning to use keywords throughout your blog posts AND in the back end of your website, to improve the search rank on google and the like. So, for this blog post I use the word ‘blog’ a lot - use it in your title, subheadings, and in the bulk of your text to improve the chances of your post being ranked higher when someone searches the word ‘blog’. Also use long-tailed phrases too. For example, I use the phrase ‘Lea Bella Blogs’ in my meta keywords section and now, when I type it into google, my website ranks as the second search on the first page - right behind my twitter page (@leabellablogs). SEO groundwork also takes a lot of time. Do you research and be clever about what keywords you are going to use.
2) Blogging Takes Time
OMG! This was a big one! I was quite naive about how long it actually takes to put a blog post together. I thought it would just be a case of tap, tapping away and letting the words flow and pressing publish - hell no. It takes more time and planning than I ever imagined. Not including photo taking, editing, coming up with keywords for your SEO, maybe using affiliate links, the list goes on! Plan your time effectively and give yourself time to promote your blog on your chosen social media platforms once it’s written, you don’t want to spend your time putting your beautifully written blog post together for no one to see it!
3) Utilise Pinterest
Before my blog launch, I used Pinterest to look at nail art, fashion and home interior inspo. I didn’t even actually know that it was a search engine!! Well it is! It’s a great platform to drive traffic to your blog - I have had 14K viewers in under 3 weeks, which is more than I’ve had on any other platform. Insane. Make sure you create a verticle image which is ‘pinnable’ as Pinterest asthetics are real. Landscape pictures just don’t cut it on Pinterest. No way sister. Pin other people’s pins on your boards too - pinterst loves this and will boost your pins in the searches.
4) Dont waste too much time in facebook groups
There are tonnes and tonnes of blogger Facebook groups where you can share your content and get comments on your blog posts. How-ev-er. There are some people on there that act as Facebook group / Blogger police and there are loads of rules to follow about commenting back on posts within 24 hours. For us who are working on full time careers as well as blogging - this is mostly unachieveable especially when there is 150+ blogs to comment on - a lot of them of which are not of interest. So, find a group which accepts you linking your blog post on the wall, rather than on a monitored thread, and see if you get any interest. I do, but not much. It’s a bit hit and miss. If commenting on threads is your thing, this will work well for you. But for me - I would focus on other platforms such as twitter and Pinterest instead.
5) Apply for monetisation anYway
For me, blogging is my side hustle. I work hard during the week in my career but it doesn’t allow time for writing, which is what I love doing. It’s how I express myself. So, as much as my blog is a hobbies that I enjoy, if I can make money whilst doing it - I bloody well will. I applied for Google Adsense in my first week (of the re-launch, blog had been open for 18 months with 3 posts and my domain was only purchased the week before). It took two weeks for Google to approve my blog - but they approved it! I was so shocked! But it proved to me that even the smaller blogs can be monetised. So do it. Just apply and see what happens. Also sign up to some affiliate partnerships. I chose Amazon and Booking.com, and got accepted on both. I try not to use them a lot and will only
promote things that I believe in, have stayed in, or love the most. Stay authentic and true to yourself. It can be easy to try and sell every product under the sun when you have an affiliate link for it. But your audience will notice and will not trust your say when you’re trying to flog them everything on the market. This is a quick way to drop your audience!
And a bonus tip...
...Blog because you love what you’re writing about - not to keep up with anyone else! The good thing about a blog is it’s your corner on the internet. You get the say on what goes on there and you decide on how much or little you want to share. No matter how unique your niche is, or how fancy your photos are, if you don’t love writing you’ll never succeed anyway. Blogging is not a get rich over night hustle. It takes work and passion and with a bit of humour, you can make something of it.
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Leave me a comment below on the things you learnt when you started your blog, or, things that you would like to learn.
- Lea Bella x