When I started blogging, I thought you just write your blog post and hit publish and your work was done. Little did I know that there was SO much more to blogging than that.
In this post, I’m going to share what I didn’t know when I started blogging that I know now.
Hopefully, if you’ve just started your own blog, this post will help you out.
What I Didn’t Know When I Started Blogging
I had no idea that SEO was a thing!
When I first saw it I was like “what the hell is that” so I Googled and read other bloggers blog posts about it.
SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimisation”. This means that in order for your blogs to be discoverable on search engines such as Google, they need to be optimised for that.
Since moving to WordPress and installing the Yoast SEO plugin (for free), I have help with that so I don’t need to be stressed about it anymore. WordPress gives each of your posts an SEO score so you can see how well it’s been optimised for search engines and helps you to improve your posts in a way that’ll help them appear in search engines.
This way you get more readers to your blog.
The Importance of Keywords and Keyword Research
Knowing which keywords to use in your posts for SEO purposes is so important.
When my blogging journey began, I just wrote posts without using any particular keywords and keywords are actually pretty important.
I now see the importance of keywords and I’m making use of keyword research tools, one of which is Keywords Everywhere.
That I Actually Need To Promote My Posts To Get Readers
I honestly used to think that after hitting publish, my job was done. The worst part is that as I said above, I didn’t even have SEO optimised posts so how the hell did I think people would find my blog? hahaha
Back when I started, I’d get maybe 5 readers a day (if I was lucky).
I now know that to attract readers, I need to tell people that my blog actually exists by promoting my blog posts.
My posts are promoted on multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to name but a few.
Domain Authority (DA)
DA is a term I picked up after joining the blogging community on Twitter and Facebook.
I remember when I started my blog interview series and was looking for interviewees, I’d get asked “what’s your DA?” and have no idea what the hell they were talking about.
I looked it up…
DA (abbreviation for Domain Authority) is your site’s search engine ranking score (SEO being one of the ranking factors). The higher your DA, the higher you’ll rank in search engines and the more traffic you’ll get to your blog.
I am still working on mine, it’s not high but I’m getting there. There are still things I need to do to improve it but can’t afford to do right now.
Building backlinks is one way I increase my blog’s DA.
How Much Work Goes Into Blogging
Blogging is quite a lot of work, it’s not just hitting publish and thinking your work is done like I thought when I started.
If you want your blog to grow and succeed, you need to put in time and effort.
After writing your posts you need to edit and promote them. Promoting is not just a once-off thing, it’s continuous. And the more platforms you use for your blog, the more promotions you need to do.
I tweet daily, create pins for Pinterest and create posts for my other social media as well.
I’m on Mix, Facebook, Twitter, Medium and more to promote my blog content and spread the word. It’s best to focus on a few channels, you don’t have to join them more but the easier it is for your audience to find and interact with your blog, the more your blog will grow.
Of course, creating content that’s actually engaging is key!
I’ve even taken a few blogging and writing courses to improve my writing skills.
That I’d Need To Spend Money To Grow
Truth be told, the best blogging resources are not free!
If you want unique stock images to attract your readers you gotta pay for them and I’m not at that point YET. I use free stock images at the moment and sometimes I see them on other bloggers pages because I mean if something is free, everyone has access to it.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with using free stock images, I’m just saying that paid ones make you stand out because your page will look more unique. You’re less likely to come across the same image you used on your blog on 5 others.
Getting the word out about your blog to a wider audience does require some advertising. In the past, I’ve spent some money on Facebook ads and it was worth it. My page grew immensely!
It didn’t occur to me when I started blogging that I’d need to buy a domain and get premium membership on my blogging platform in order to gain full access to all the platforms features.
That Tools Exist To Help You With Blogging
There are a variety of blogging tools available to help bloggers run their blogs that I didn’t know existed when I started.
The tools available will help your blog run more smoothly and put less pressure on you as they will help you with blog management and do time-consuming tasks for you.
Examples of such tools are post scheduling tools such as Social Media Scheduler to help you post to your various social media channels. These tools allow you to automate to posting process so that you don’t have to do everything manually.
How Much Fun It Would Be
I thoroughly enjoy blogging!
Never knew I’d be having this much fun when I started.
The blogging community is so warm and inviting and there’s always a fellow blogger willing to help and explain things you don’t understand. Also, it’s the most supportive community I’ve ever been part of.
You should also check out my blogging tools and resources post if you need extra help, it’ll prove quite useful; especially for new bloggers.
That about sums up all the things I didn’t know when I started blogging.
There’s still so much more to learn every day as things change and improve over time.