I did it! I passed the 6-month milestone! A lot has happened since I wrote What I’ve Learned After 2 Months of Blogging. And today I’m going to be sharing with you everything I’ve learned in that time. I hope that these lessons will help you on your own blogging journey (and that you’ll avoid some of the mistakes I made!).
Let’s get straight into it.
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5 Blogging Lessons After 6 Months of Blogging
1. Niches are important
I don’t know about you, but when I first started my blog, I was like, “I’m interested in so many things so I’m going to blog about all of them!” But the hard truth is, choosing a specific niche to focus on is the only way to build a dedicated audience.
At first, I thought that all the topics I was covering linked up in some way or another. But as I published more and more blog posts and YouTube videos, I began to realise just how disjointed my content was looking. Between the green tips and the blogging guides, there was absolutely no connection. And people visiting my blog clearly didn’t see the connection either. They’d skim through one post and then hop away to another website because there was nothing related on my blog to keep their attention.
Think for a minute. What draws you to the blogs you read? Why do you sign up for their newsletters and keep checking back for their new posts? Why do you subscribe to certain YouTube channels, or why do you enjoy hanging out in your favourite Facebook groups?
They all have a niche.
You know exactly what kind of content to expect from them, and because they help you solve a particular problem (not all your problems) you keep going back for more.
If you follow a blog about vegan cooking, you’re going to be a bit confused (even uninterested or put-off) when they start writing about woodworking or travel tips. And unfortunately, the same applies to your blog.
By choosing a niche, it’s a lot easier to identify and target your ideal audience. You’ll be able to figure out what it is they struggle with, and what they truly want. Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll be able to produce content that truly resonates with them. And that’s when the likes, comments and shares will start rolling in.
Narrowing down your focus can be tough. I know, because I’ve recently gone through the process of rebranding myself. But no matter how much I care about the environment, I know that eco-friendly tips are not what my audience is reading my blog for. Rather, I’m finding ways to incorporate eco-friendliness into my blogging voice. It doesn’t get the attention of a full post, but I’m finding a way to organically include it in my DIY posts.
See what you can do today to narrow your blog’s focus. Let me know in the comments how you will do this.
2. Don’t feel bad about investing money into your blog
Setting up this blog involved quite a few upfront costs. So when it came to making further investments, I was a bit reluctant. Especially when it came to buying learning materials like ebooks and online courses. When you’re converting everything from dollars to rands, things start to get a bit pricey. Perhaps you can relate.
But here’s the thing. The fact of the matter is that many of us are going this alone. We don’t have anyone to who us what to do or how to do it. There’s only so much we can learn by browsing endlessly through the internet. So by purchasing learning materials from experts who have made their blogs a success, you’re actually helping yourself to move forward more quickly.
My lightbulb moment was when I bought Meera Kothand’s ebook, The One Hour Content Plan. Even though it cost only $1 at the time (about R15), it turned out to be one of the best resources I’d ever come across for that topic. It’s simple: if you want the good stuff, you’re gonna have to pay for it.
This isn’t to say that you must spend thousands on every paid resource you can lay your hands on. Rather, identify the key areas you are struggling with, do research on what ebooks and courses are available on that topic, and then see your purchase of one of these as an investment in yourself and your blog. If it helps you do what you do faster and better, it is definitely worth it.
3. Take care of yourself
Hello burnout, my old friend.
Yip, even when you do what you love every day, it’s still possible to completely wear yourself out. Last week I hit major burnout. I had an email course to finish writing, I had social media to keep up with, and I had lots to do for my blog and YouTube channel. But frustrating as it was, the first thing I did when I realised I was becoming overwhelmed, is I stopped everything and started to take care of yourself.
I know that there are tons of things to do and that you can’t afford to fall behind. But rather take a few days off now to recover than keep pushing yourself until you need to take several months off.
The best things you can do for yourself while you’re taking a break is to stay off social media, eat good, nutritious food, and focus on other things you enjoy doing. By following these, I was back on my feet and wonderfully de-stressed by the end of the week.
And this week, my productivity has soared.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
Speaking of being overwhelmed, it’s all too easy to feel this way when your blog is a one-woman show. I won’t beat about the bush, there are A LOT of things that go into setting up and running a blog. But if you try to juggle too many things at once, you’re going to find yourself stretched very thin very fast.
You’re going to laugh when you hear this. Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to write weekly posts, produce regular YouTube videos, post every day to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, AND still engage with my fellow bloggers. No wonder I hit burnout…
Take it from me: choose one thing to focus on at a time. That way, you can start to get to a point where you are doing it well and consistently. Once you’ve got that under your belt, you can move on to the next thing. I know that there are tools out there that can help you keep on top of your social media scheduling, but by focusing in on just one thing at a time, you will be able to create more meaningful content and connections there.
5. Remember your why for blogging
There’s a reason why I’m mentioning this again from my last post. It’s very important. When you feel lost with your blogging and don’t know what to do next or how to continue, your why is going to lead the way and get you through it.
Now I must confess that my why changed after a few months. I first started this blog to improve my creativity so that I could finally write my novel. In July, after Camp NaNoWriMo, I accomplished that goal. So now I had to figure out my new why. I still wanted to improve my creativity, but I also wanted to help other people achieve what I have achieved.
Defining this new goal helped bring a fresh focus to my blogging efforts. And now every day I wake up excited to work on that goal. My hope is that you will be able to do the same.
So those are the 5 lessons I have to share with you today. I wonder what I’ll have to say after 1 year of blogging… hmm…
What blogging lessons have you learned so far on your journey? What are some of the biggest things you’re still struggling with? Let me know in the comments down below!
As always, thank you so much for reading this blog post – I’ll see you in the next one!