Inside: Blogging is a ton of work, but over time you’ll learn what’s worth it and what you need to stop worrying about. Get advice from a 2nd year blogger!
August marks the birth month of Medium Sized Family! I love to spend a little time reflecting on how far the blog has come, and this year I have 2 years under my belt as a blogger.
When I wanted to be a music teacher, I went to college and studied the subjects they told me to. Blogging is a whole different beast! Sure, you can take classes to learn how to be a better blogger. But it’s tough to figure out what’s valuable… and what’s just noise.
While I have no intention of becoming a blogger who blogs about blogging, I would like to share some of my experiences this year. Maybe this will give other bloggers an aha moment. Or maybe you’ll decide that you’d like to try blogging yourself! Or…not. 😉
8 Helpful Things I Learned About Blogging In My Second Year
Keep Up With Ever Changing “Rules” of the Internet
Just when you’ve got the hang of something, it changes. That’s technology for you!
If you don’t find a way to keep up, you’ll be caught totally off guard by algorithm changes. Google doesn’t care if you know about their rules or not. If you break them, you can kiss any cooperation from Google good bye. And that’s going to make blogging nearly impossible for most of us.
Keep up with the latest by subscribing to newsletters. Not only do these people know what’s happening on the internet, they also share amazing tips. Some of my favorites include…
- Create If Writing She’s got fantastic tips on email lists, writing, and Kirsten keeps me up to date on news in the blogging world.
- Busy Budgeter (Scroll to the bottom of this post to sign up) Rosemarie emails tips for bloggers about productivity and streamlining the blogging process.
- Meera Kothand More intensive ideas about growing your email list
- Brilliant Business Moms For taking your blogging business to the next level. (I’ll confess that many of these ideas feel a little advanced for the time squeeze I’m in now, but I am storing them up for when my youngest is a bit older.)
Getting traffic to your blog is a never ending battle! This year I learned that it’s dangerous to put too much into just one traffic source. Much better to have 2 or 3 different sources. More than that and you’ll stretch yourself far too thin (unless you can afford to hire help!).
Right now I mainly focus on getting search traffic through SEO and Pinterest traffic. (Pinterest was doing well last year, but like most bloggers, I lost a lot of traffic during an alogrithm change. Now I’m trying to cautiously rebuild that traffic.)
Never Stop Learning
Most successful bloggers and business people will tell you that learning is always an important part of their job. In the blogging world, you always have to be on your toes.
So I agree that learning is important. But it’s more important to seek out the info you need than to succumb to deals on courses just because everyone else is doing it.
In the past year, 3 courses have given me the most bang for my buck.
SEO for Busy Bloggers: This course helped me learn how to write articles that are interesting to humans but also make Google happy. It doubled my search engine traffic, and now that’s consistently my number one traffic source day after day! This course is currently closed. 🙁 But be ready when it opens again! I thought about buying this one for months before I pulled the trigger, and it did not disappoint!
Pinteresting Strategies: This is actually an ebook rather than a course. I didn’t sleep on this one, because I could tell that it was going to be worth it! The price is right and the information is fantastic! Despite the fact that my work hasn’t been consistent (it is summer time!) I’m already seeing a bump in Pinterest traffic. More than that, this book helped me finally understand things I had struggled with since I began blogging.
Profitable Blogging Summit: This summit is totally free and just once per year. It was in April last year (no word on the timing for the coming year yet, so get on the list now to be in the know!). The “catch” is that you have limited time to watch the videos. You don’t have to watch them live (yeah!) but you only have 24 hours to watch a set of videos before they are pulled and new videos are released.
While PBS is free, I ended up buying the package deal this year. Not only do I get to access the videos any time, but I also was able to join a mastermind with Kirsten Oliphant and Paula Rollo. I’m not saying they’ll do that again next year, but I did learn a ton from them!
There’s no one way to get paid for blogging. Most (all?) bloggers get their money from a variety of places. Always be looking for more drops to fill your bucket. For instance, find new affiliate to check out. This is fun, because it’s lead me to some companies I would never have known about!
I always try new companies myself to make sure I have a good experience. If a company is well worth the money (or even better, they’ll pay my readers!) I let my readers know about it.
Those other bloggers? They’re not your competition. But thinking that way can lead to your downfall pretty quickly! Learn to find buddies in the blogging business, especially people in your same genre. You can bounce ideas off one another. My favorite part is finding people who think the #yearofno is kinda cool (instead of looking at me like I have two heads!).
Writing Is Tricky!
Finding a balance of revealing your personality to your readers without making every post all about me, me, me is hard. I’m still learning this one! If you can find the right balance of give and take you’ll develop a super fun community of people.
My pals on Facebook and I have a ton of fun talking about all sorts of topics!The biggest things I learned in my second year of blogging.Click To Tweet
Don’t Force It
Anytime I pull together a post that doesn’t feel right just so I can publish something, it doesn’t get much traffic. That’s because it usually doesn’t have my whole heart. I’ve found I’m better off not posting anything than to put something less than my best out there.
Which brings me to…
Let It Go!
Bloggers have to do it all!! But keep in mind that no one can actually do it all. So focus on the things you do best and always remember that your job is to help your reader.
What a fantastic second year of blogging it’s been!
Thank you SO much for coming along for the ride. I absolutely adore my readers, and your encouragement has literally changed our families lives. <3
Have you ever been curious about starting your own blog? I recommend you begin with this FREE course called 3 Steps for Starting That Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of. It’s put on by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, so you’ll get advice from someone with a super successful blog!
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