20 things I wish I had known before I started blogging

20 Things I wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

Hey experienced bloggers, what do you wish you knew before you started blogging? What do you know now that you wish you could go back in time and tell your new blogger self?

And hello new bloggers and bloggers-to-be…

If you’re thinking about starting a blog or are new to blogging, wouldn’t it be incredible if you knew the secrets to successful blogging right from the start?

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Advice to My New Blogger Self

Imagine how helpful it would be to have experienced bloggers tell you directly what to do or what NOT to do.

“Hey, new blogger, here’s what works.”

“Hello, brand new blogger, whatever you do, don’t waste your time doing that.”

“Hi, blogging newbie, I wasted so much time doing X, W, and Z, don’t do what I did.”

“Hey, blogger-to-be, if you want to make money blogging, this is what you need to know.”

Just imagine where you could take your blog. And how fast you could get it there!

Who Needs to Read this Post

You need to read this post if you are:

  • A brand new blogger
  • A blogger-to-be
  • Someone with blogging aspirations
  • An experienced blogger who would do it all differently now that you know what you know
  • A blogger who wants to improve blog traffic, blog revenue and blog success

What I wish I had Known Before I Started Blogging

Well, you’re totally in luck.

A bunch of successful bloggers have offered up some fantastic advice for you. Advice that they wish they could have given to their former, earlier, blogging selves.

REAL advice that new bloggers can really benefit from, if they are willing to take it to heart.

So, if you are determined to launch your blog or make your current blog the best it can be, keep reading to read 20 Things These Bloggers Wish They Could Have Told their Early Blogging Selves. Things they wish they had known before they started blogging.

20 Things – Advice to My Early Blogger Self

blogging in a coffee shop

1. Focus on One Thing at A Time.

If Holly, from the blog I’m with Holly, could tell her early blogger self one piece of advice, it would be: “focus on one thing at a time. Pick one (SEO, Pinterest, etc) and master it. Shiny object syndrome is a huge problem!!”

Blogging Lesson: Keep your focus, even when blogging feels overwhelming or like there is so much to learn.

2. Set Goals Right from the Start.

To help you focus your blogging energy and strategy, Sarah from Lets Grow Cook would tell her early blogging self to “be clear about what you want to achieve and set goals right from the start.”

But don’t set set any goals. Sarah would tell her early blogging self to “make sure they’re SMART goals – if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve you’re unlikely to ever achieve it. As a secondary, each time you find yourself doing something that isn’t on a path to meeting one of those SMART goals, then give yourself a 1) good talking to 2) a break – take a walk and come back to it.”

Blogging Lesson: #Goals

3. Don’t Try to Do Everything At Once.

Sophie from the simple and sustainable life blog, My Cup Runs Over, would advise her early blogging self to avoid trying to do everything all at once.

Instead she explains, “think things through first: what’s the long-term plan? How do you want to make money from the site in three years? Start building a business that is set up to monetize in that way instead of just throwing out random blog posts with no end game. Then build up your expertise in different areas (product development, marketing, SEO, social media) one at a time.”

Blogger Linda from All About Baby Blog would share similar advice with her early blogging self, which is good advice for any new blogger today: “take it one step at a time and don’t get overwhelmed – small goals will get you to your big goals.”

Blogging Lesson: Take everything one step at a time.

4. SLOW Way Down.

If Lorie, from Lemons and Zest, could go back in time, she would advise her younger blogger self: “slow down to speed up.”

She explains, “Instead of racing to get as much content on your site as possible, take the time to produce really amazing and well executed content. 10 amazing posts will do wonders more for you than 100 mediocre posts in the long run.”

Blogging Lesson: Take Your Time to Produce Quality Content.

5. Hit Pause on Social Media

If Mary, from the blog Healthy Christian Home, could give her early blogger self one key piece of blogging advice, it would be to “spend less time on social media, and more time creating new content. Try to [make] each post better than the top result on Google – you can do it!”

Blogging Lesson: Spend Time on Content Creation.

6. Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You

It’s all too easy to let fear and perfection hold you back when you’re a new or aspiring bloggers.

Lisa from Coastal Wandering advises that “the most important thing when you’re just starting out is to hit publish. Don’t let the fear of not doing it perfectly keep you from making progress. Remember that everything can be improved as you learn more.”

Jennifer from the blog Organize Envy offers similar advice. “Don’t let fear of failure (or success) stop you. It’s ok to make mistakes. Just go for it, never stop learning, and don’t quit!”

Blogging Lesson: Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

7. Let Go of Perfectionism

Samantha, from the blog Recipe This, would tell her early blogging self and new bloggers not to get so wrapped up in trying to be perfect.

She explains, “Don’t feel like you have to be perfect. Readers want the girl next door that they can relate to. They don’t want perfect photos or everything to be perfectly polished. Relax and be the real you.”

Blogging Lesson: Neither you, nor your blog, need to be perfect to be successful.

8. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Bloggers

If she could tell her early blogger self (and new bloggers) one blogging lesson, Crystal of the blog Simply Full of Delight would advise, “Don’t compare yourself to others.”

She points out, “We all start in different places, with different levels of knowledge, skill sets, and different obstacles to overcome. Every blogger has a different focus with their business whether it’s developing a product, a YouTube channel, a social media following, etc. It’s important to not get caught up in comparisons, it will rob you of the joy of your own success.”

Blogging Lesson: Stop the comparison game.

9. Embrace Change.

Blogger Shelley of Two Healthy Kitchens would tell her early blogging self (and advises new bloggers) to “be ready for an ever-changing adventure. Be prepared to pivot frequently, and know that your idea of what blogging is will change dramatically over the next 8 years. There is no end point, no time when you have it all mastered. You’ll be constantly learning new skills, which will be exciting and keep things always-fresh, but will also sometimes be frustrating. Just keep working at it, a little better, every day. It will be worth it!”

Blogging Lesson: Go with the flow and evolve.

10. Just Ask.

Blogger Michele from Confessions of Parenting would give her early blogging self (and new bloggers) this important advice for growing a successful blog and blogging career:

“Don’t be afraid to ask! There are so many awesome people out there willing to answer questions. And if the answer is no or they ignore you don’t be afraid to ask someone else. I have learned so many things by messaging someone letting them know how much I loved something they were doing and then inquiring about it more. By helping one another that’s how real blogging relationships and friendships form and you are going to need those!”

Blogging Lesson: There are no dumb questions.

invest in yourself, your blog, and blogging career

11. Invest in Yourself.

One important lesson blogging has taught Michelle from Secret Home Designer, it’s the importance of investing in yourself. If she could, she would tell her early blogging self (and new bloggers) to: “Fast track your knowledge and skill set by investing in yourself and your blog via courses/ebooks. Learn the best goals to set for each month of your first year so you have focus and a roadmap, this will help you with overwhelm and drive.”

Blogging Lesson: You are your most important asset.

12. Build Your Email List From the Start.

The blogger behind A Centsational Life advises that new bloggers, “build an email list from the very beginning. If Google & Pinterest tank your traffic from one of their algorithms, you can still communicate with your readers (email subscribers) anytime.

Blogging Lesson: Don’t delay building your email list.

13. Network.

Taryn, from the blog Joy Filled Eats, would tell her early blogging self and new bloggers to “Make friends.” She notes, “networking with other bloggers in my niche has helped me so much. We learn from each other.

Blogging Lesson: Get out there and connect with other bloggers!

14. Stay Persistent.

Jacqueline, from the blog Mom Money Map, would advise her early self (and any new blogger) to be persistent. She explains, “there will be ups and downs. Algorithms change. Keyword rankings are constantly in flux. Just keep on learning and mixing up who you’re learning from so you have different perspectives and experiences to consider. Keep your eye on the end goal and stay motivated. 

Blogging Lesson: Keep going!

15. Build Backlinks

If Monica of Conquering Motherhood could go back in time and tell her early blogging self an important blogging lesson it would be to understand backlinks. “Understand the importance of backlinks to your blog posts, not just the main domain! I got so many backlinks to my home page at the beginning but almost nothing to my specific posts. Only understood later that it’s backlink to the posts that really help SEO.”

Blogging Lesson: Take time to understand how backlinks work.

16. Learn SEO Early.

Blogger Adriane from Put On Your Party Pants would tell her early blogger self (and new bloggers) to learn SEO early! “Learn SEO early, expect slow growth, and know that people care about what you can provide them, not your personal story. Blogging will be a lot of work but it will be worth it. 

Sarah from The Remote Mom shares a similar perspective about learning SEO early on. She notes, “the biggest mistake I made was not investing in learning SEO early on. By not learning SEO, I missed out on traffic, and spent a lot of time writing posts that wouldn’t rank. I also had to go back and edit many of my earlier posts.

Blogging Lesson: Don’t wait to learn SEO.

17. Know What People Are Looking For

Sarah of Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream would tell her early blogging self to do keyword research early on.” Knowing what people are looking for and what they call it can make a huge difference to a post being found and bringing in traffic.

Blogger Trinity of Dollars Sprout also notes the importance of figuring out the type of content that engages reads and ranks.

She explains, “When I first started blogging, my writing was self-focused and broad. Truthfully, I didn’t know what type of content people actually wanted to read! Fast-forward to today, and now I know the type of content that engages readers and ranks on Google. Every new blogger should learn how to find blog post ideas that their readers will love.

Blogger Lil of Lil Tigers hopes other bloggers will learn from her blogging mistakes. “I just realised after 1 year off blogging that I chose the wrong keywords. Learn from my mistake and make sure to use keywords with low competition and enough search volume.”

Blogging Lesson: Understand what people are searching for, use the right key words, and try to give them posts that will answer or solve their problems or satisfy their interests.

18. Make Pinterest Part of Your Blog Strategy

Tiffany of Saving Talents would tell her early blogging self (and new bloggers) to get on the Pinterest bandwagon asap.

She notes, “figure out Pinterest – whether that’s with a training course, hiring someone, or trial and error. But don’t just ignore it. Join some blogging groups and read every post – learn from those who have been doing it longer. And network. Find a support system within those groups.”

Blogging Lesson: Don’t underestimate what Pinterest can do for your blog growth.

To learn more about using Pinterest to grow your blog definitely take time to Read How to Leverage Pinterest to Grow Your Blog.

19. Optimize Your Images.

Your images don’t have to be picture perfect. But you definitely want to optimize them for size and SEO. Blogger Ruchi would tell her early blogging self and new bloggers to “Optimize images for size and SEO. Many bloggers don’t know that they can rank their blog images on Google by properly giving Alt tags to images.”

Blogging Lesson: Make sure your blog photos are the right size and optimized for SEO.

20. Be Consistent.

Over my many years of blogging, if there is one thing that I have learned along the way, which I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger blogger self, it would be to blog consistently. Blog regularly, however you define that. But do it consistently.

This doesn’t mean you have to generate new daily blog content. Maybe you post once a week. Or twice a week. Whatever you do, just be consistent about it.

Blogging Lesson: Blog with consistency.

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things i'd tell my new blogger self and things i wish i had known before i started blogging

Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts, too. So, drop a comment below and tell me what you think about this post.

What do you wish you knew before you started blogging? If you could go back in time and tell your new blogger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

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18 thoughts on “20 Things I wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging”

  1. This is extremely sound advice…and this is from someone who is 2 months into blogging for the first time… great read! I love how you brought tips in from other bloggers. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Man, I wish I knew most of these before started my blog. I was so overwhelmed with things on a to do list. It can be very frustrating. Thank you for giving a heads up to people starting out.

  3. Very helpful post as I’m very new to blogging and often times feel overwhelmed with all there is to learn and do while also managing motherhood, a career, and family life.

  4. I think my biggest issue and take away is not comparing myself to other bloggers. It’s hard because they seem to be more experienced and know so much more!
    I really needed to hear that as a brand new blogger. It can be pretty intimidating and a huge hinderance!

  5. These tips are really helpful as a new blogger! There are definitely some things I hadn’t thought of. It can be overwhelming, but I definitely want to think about a few of these things.

  6. Thank you for this, there’s a lot of good advice here. It’s helped me to decide and plan what I need to do with my youngish blog next.

  7. Wow this was incredibly helpful! I just recently started and I feel really overwhelmed. I learned some really good tips and I actually feel some pressure off after reading this ! Thank you !

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