Today, I want to talk about the ugly side of blogging and “6 Blogging Secrets Successful Bloggers usually Don’t Share”. Many bloggers are claiming how easy blogging is and that you should start your blog right away.
But, blogging can be a tough business, and even though I believe that if you are passionate about a topic, you can start a successful blog, there are a lot of secrets and misconceptions about blogging I want to address in this post. There is an ugly side to blogging, and it’s important to talk about it.
Here are my 6 Blogging Secrets successful Bloggers don’t share:
1. Blogging is complicated. Building a successful blog can take longer than everyone makes you believe!
There are hundreds if not thousands of blogging tutorials on “How to Start a Blog” in just a few minutes, which makes you believe blogging is effortless. The hard truth is starting, and setting up a blog is easy, but continuing and building a blog is hard work.
Building a successful blog contains many things, such as the ability to learn a lot of new concepts very fast. When I started blogging, I thought to create blog posts was all there was. However, building a successful blog means knowing not only blogging but:
- Email Marketing
- How to grow Traffic (learn more here)
- Leveraging Social Media
- Creating interesting Titles
- Producing consistent Content
- Using List Building Strategies to grow Subscribers
- Finding the right Audience
- and so on
Ps: Grab my Free Guide on Start a Blog Blueprint to get started!
Building a “successful” blog really takes a long time, and there is a steep learning curve to it. I have never made a better decision than to start a blog, but the ugly side of it is a lot to learn and do.
My Top Tip:
Now, I know this might piss you off but, the reason I have been able to build a traffic and income-generating blog faster than other bloggers is that I have invested in myself and business. I have taken a serious amount of online courses about blogging, social media marketing, SEO, and more. Here are my favorite ones out of the “yes, dozens” I have taken over the years:
- 5-Day Start a Money Making Crash Course (FREE)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Stupid Simple SEO
- The Pinterest Lab (my signature course)
- FB Side Hustle Course
- Ultimate Bundles Bloggers Toolkit
2. Certain blogging niches are easier than others, but…
Another one of my “6 blogging secrets successful bloggers don’t share” is that some niches work better than others. But how come?
For most bloggers, Pinterest will be their biggest source of traffic. Meaning, that most people will find a pin they are interested in on Pinterest, which will then lead them to the respective blogger’s website.
When it comes to Pinterest, however, certain niches are generating a lot more traffic than others because they work well on Pinterest. These are, for example:
- Home + Decor
- Babies and Moms
These are just some examples of topics people love to search for on Pinterest.
Now the point I want to make is that if you are tapping into one of these niches, it will be a lot easier and faster to generate traffic to your blog than with a topic such as “money.” Just because of the sheer amount of people looking for those topics on Pinterest.
But, here is the catch. Traffic alone will not build a loyal tribe. If you have a very broad niche such as “food,” this could mean anything and everything. Who is your target audience? Often I see really broad blogs fail because they have not honed in on who they are actually talking to. So here is what I recommend:
My Top Tip:
Choosing a very broad, easy niche will help you create traffic to your blog faster. This will, in turn, help you make money with ads if this is your primary goal.
However, if you are looking to really make a living with your blog, then the money is in targeting the right people and niching down. Rather than attracting everyone and focussing on a vanity metric such as blog traffic, focus on building your true tribe and ideal customer.
Fewer people will make you more money if they are the right people! If you want to learn more have a look at How to find you Blog Niche.
3. Your Top 5 post will bring in 90% of your Traffic
Writing a successful blog post has a lot to do with trial and error. There are many different aspects of how a post resonates with your audience. In fact, my top 5-7 posts are bringing in 90% of all my traffic to my site, and I have over 100 posts on my website! So how can you create a viral blog post?
- First of all, you need to know your audience. What are their biggest struggles, and how can you help them solve that problem.
- Second, you need to have a really good headline. If you don’t pique interest in your article from the first moment, your post could be excellent, but no one will click it, because your title is not engaging. Also, check out my post on “A Foolproof Way to Figuring out Viral Blog Post Titles” for more help on that here.
- Third, provide a ton of value in your post and serve, serve, serve!
- Know your Audience – what are they interested in. Check your analytics to see what is already working.
- Use the free “Headline Analyzer” Tool to create a viral post headlines
- Create Click-Worthy Pins (I recommend creating 5-10 Pins per Blog post)
- Ask your Audience! Survey them in your emails or use Survey and Quiz tools to ask what they are struggling with! I love Interact, for quizzing my audience!
4. Making money with your blog is possible but making a living blogging takes a lot of work
I have already started to mention how to make money with your blog, but I wanted to dig deeper. One of the ugly sides of blogging I see is bloggers posting their income reports, giving you the idea that blogging is a quick way to make a lot of money. Have a look at my post “15 Ways to Start making Money Blogging” to get a more realistic idea of how it looks like.
Sorry to burst that bubble, but blogging is not a “quick” way to make “loads” of money. Blogging can be a great way to make money and “can” provide you with a bunch of freedom, but it takes a lot of work!
There is so much to blogging. I assume you are still working alone on your blog without a team. This means you are filling a gazillion hats, constantly learning, and testing new ideas.
For you to make a living blogging, you need to build a business with systems and strategies. Blogging can, for sure, make you money and provide you a good life, but what is not true is that blogging is easy, fast, or simple work.
My Top Tip:
- Hone in on your ideal Customer/Client/Avatar – don’t try to sell an air-con to someone living in Iceland
- Create consistent high-value content to build the “Know, Like and Trust” factor
- Start building an email list from day one and communicate with your audience. My favorite email marketing service is ConvertKit.
Here is a great introduction video I created, where I teach you how to get started with building forms you can include in your website to start building an email list:
5. It’s tough to build traffic from Google as a brand new blog
Another one of my “6 blogging secrets” is that if you are a brand new blogger, focus on Pinterest, and leave Google for now.
Ranking on Google is hard work, needs a lot of knowledge, experience, and strategy. It is something you should totally be focussing on once you have got your blogging basics covered, but leave if you are a beginner.
I hear so many bloggers rave about how good Google traffic is and how important it is to focus on Google. However, as a brand new blog, you will have a tough time ranking on top pages at all. This is because Google first wants to get to know your site a bit better before pushing you into the search results.
This analysis can take from 6 months to a year before you even start ranking with a brand new site. So if you are brand new and you need to figure out all the other blogging stuff, leave Google for later in your story.
My top Tip:
Focus on Pinterest. Start building up your Pinterest account and see traffic floating in from day one. Here is a screenshot from my Pinterest account. I get on average of over 500K monthly views on Pinterest, which a part turns into direct blog traffic.
If you need more help designing click-worthy pins, download your “Pin design Guide” for FREE below!
6. Not everyone is your tribe
In my last point, I want to go even deeper into a topic we already covered, which is “finding your ideal customer.” As a new blogger, it can feel really good when you see your blog traffic increase and more and more people reading your blog.
However, once you get used to seeing people come and go, you start wondering how this is actually making you move forward in your business, and the hard truth is, it’s not. Or better, not alone.
Traffic alone will not make you more money (except maybe ad income). Honing in on who you are attracting and building that relationship with your audience, on the other hand, will.
My Top Tip:
Not everyone is your tribe! Focus on having a smaller audience and email list with people who love you, your voice, your niche, your style, and in the end, your product.
Get to know your audience, understand their pain points, and your blogging business will skyrocket. I don’t know if you have heard this saying before, but you don’t need to have more than 1000 loyal fans to make a living blogging.
Stop focussing on vanity metrics such as the number of people visiting your blog. Start trimming down your tribe, and your blog business will be successful.
-> Check out my post “7 Ways to figure out what your Audience wants.”
I hope you have found my insight on the “6 Blogging Secrets Bloggers Don’t Share” helpful, and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Talk to you soon
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