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You guys, my fourth blogging anniversary is this Friday! It’s so hard for me to believe I’ve already been blogging for four years. I started this blog in 2014 out of a desperate need for a creative outlet. Writing has been a super passion of mine literally for as long as I can remember and after college, I was getting the itch to start writing for myself again.
What started as a personal blog that I’m quite certain no one but my mom read has turned into an awesome side hustle that allows me to make a bit of extra income. I’ve learned so much about blogging and running an online business over the past four years, and today I want to share some of those blogging lessons with you!
BLOGGING LESSONS I’VE LEARNED
Blog Growth Takes Time – Nothing Happens Overnight
I feel like I hear the word “overnight success” thrown around a lot in the blogging world. People discover a new blogger who has become really popular and is starting to make a lot of money, and they assume it was an overnight success. Here’s the thing though – there’s no such thing.
Blogging is a heck of a lot of work, and success and growth happen slowly. Sure, there are bloggers that grow and monetize a lot of faster than others, but you aren’t seeing the behind-the-scenes work and the late nights that went into that growth.
When it comes to growing your blog, start with the basics. Work on building a solid foundation so when you’re ready to grow and monetize, those building blocks are already there. Then, when people start paying attention, you’ll look like the overnight success.
You Have To Invest in Yourself
One thing I love about blogging is that it’s a side hustle you can start, grow, and monetize for very little money. The real costs associated with getting a blog set up CAN be quite minimal (depending on what you’re hoping to accomplish). However, I firmly believe that building a real blog that you can turn into a business is going to take some investment.
Most of the investment will come in the form of time. I honestly can’t tell you the number of hours I put into my blog when I first started it, and even the number of hours I put in now. I guarantee there have been weeks where I spent more hours on my business than on my full-time job.
There is also going to be some monetary investment. When you first start your blog, you’ll likely be paying for costs such as a domain name, hosting, and a blog design. Over time you’ll add additional costs, such as social media scheduling tools and an email service provider. And over time, I hope you’ll invest in some blogging education products. There are so many awesome eBooks and online courses out there that can help you grow your blog!
To check out a comprehensive list of my FAVORITE blogging products, check out my blogging tools and resources list.
Done is Better Than Perfect
As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist, this one felt really important for me to share. Often, perfectionism might seem like a great asset. And to a degree, it is. But it can also be a huge hindrance.
Often when I write something, I publish it far later than I should have, simply because I wasn’t convinced it was quite right. I do the same thing at work, proofreading pieces dozens of times for fear of finding a spelling error. So while perfectionism is at times an asset, it’s also a significant time waster and something that can cause really great work to never see the light of day.
Rather than working on something until it’s perfect, work on it until you’re proud of the work you put into it and feel that it’s a genuinely good product.
Sometimes that might mean putting out an A- piece of work instead of an A+ piece of work, but done is better than perfect. If I never published anything until it was perfect, I would never publish anything at all. But I’ve learned that my best work is as close to perfect as I need to get.
Never Stop Learning
When I FIRST started blogging, I did pretty much nothing to educate myself on the business of blogging. Mostly because I had no idea it could be a business! But once I figured out you could actually make money from this whole blogging thing, I threw myself into learning everything I could about growing and monetizing my blog.
And now, years later, I still haven’t stopped learning. I still invest in eBooks and courses fairly regularly and still find teachers that totally blow my mind with what they’re teaching.
Blogging is one of those industries where you will literally never run out of things to learn about. First of all, there is SO much to learn. There are so many different facets to blogging and most of us only dip our toes into some of them. Also, blogging is CONSTANTLY changing, and you have to keep learning to keep up!
Here are some of my favorite blogging education resources:
- Traffic Transformation – This is a super actionable eBook that shares the exact steps to take to increase your blog traffic, potentially by hundreds of thousands of views per month.
- Pinning Perfect – This course teaches you how to optimize your site for Pinterest and gives you a Pinterest strategy to drive a ton of traffic. I’ve taken a few Pinterest is courses and this one is without a doubt the most thorough, actionable, and effective.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – This is a super comprehensive guide to making money with affiliate marketing. Michelle makes over $100K per month with her blog, most of it from affiliate marketing. So you know her tips are legit.
- Six Figure Blogger – This course walks you through creating and selling digital products online and, as the name suggests, making six figures from your blog.
BEFORE YOU GO
These are some of the blogging lessons I learned in the last four years, but they certainly aren’t the only ones! I couldn’t possibly list all the lessons I’ve learned. Blogging is truly a trial by error industry. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll start small, but you’ll learn. You’ll grow.