You feel stuck.

Frustrated.

You started a fantastic blog, and wrote some epic content that should teach and inspire. But just aren’t getting the results you thought you would.

You’re not alone.

I’ve been there. Other bloggers have been there.

Running a successful blog is a process. In fact, it has taken many of us years to figure it out. I’ve been online for 5 years now and still haven’t figured it all out.

Luckily, you have some experts who have been there and done it all. So I posed the question to 22 expert bloggers:

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started blogging?

Here is what they had to say.

Vladimir Gendelman of Company Folders and Printwand

“I wish I had known to have a successful blog, you need to produce quality content for your target audience. It’s not about you. What does your audience want to know? What do they need? It’s about providing a comprehensive in-depth analysis to readers no one else is creating. It’s not just about writing, either. Custom images help break up text and illustrate key points.”

 

Brian DeanBrian Dean of Backlinko

“I wish I knew how to build my email list.

When I look back at the #1 thing that’s helped grow my blog, it’s not even close: it’s my email list.

Even though I knew it was important on day 1, I had no idea how to build it properly. So I just copied techniques that other blogs were doing. I had the occasional win, but it was dumb luck.

Fortunately, after testing a million different strategies, I discovered two things that made all the difference:

  1. Popups (Yes, they’re annoying. But they work)
  2. Content Upgrades

You can almost ignore every other strategy and focus on these and you’ll be good.

I just wish I knew about them sooner! I’d have 2x+ more subscribers.”

 

Gary KGary Korisko of Reboot Authentic

“There’s a balance you have to strike between doing your own thing and doing exactly what you’re told to do by others. You need to study, to enroll in courses, and to get coaching from those who are already successful. Rather than winging it and hoping things eventually turn out ok (a horrible strategy), you really do need a formal education.

But you also need to create your own flavor and make those proven principles yours in a unique way that doesn’t just blend into the woodwork. So the tricky part is walking that line… taking time-tested strategies and making them look brand new with your own unique style.”

 

Adrian JockAdrian Jock of AdrianJock.com

“When I started blogging I had lots of things new bloggers don’t have: an online marketing experience of 7-8 years, a mailing list interested in the topic of my niche blog, two books written by me that matched 100% the blog, and more.

So I didn’t start the blog for the sake of blogging, or because that was the fashion. The blog was a marketing vehicle that I needed in order to increase the exposure of my books and the income.

The one thing I wish I knew when I started blogging is… nothing. Nothing at all. I wouldn’t change a thing from what I’ve done.
But let me tell you what I wish I knew when I started my last blog for a different kind of audience and for a different goal:

If people want to buy shiny stinky fish, you shouldn’t try to help them by teaching them how to catch some fresh fish.

(No, it’s not about buying and selling. And it’s not about fish. Just a figure of speech.)”

 

neil patelNeil Patel of Neilpatel.com and Quick Sprout

“Consistency. If you don’t blog consistently your blog won’t grow. When I started I thought I could do it for fun, but it didn’t work out well. When I started to blog consistently the blog grew… but I had to put in time on a regular basis for months before I saw results.”

 

 

Mi MubaMi Muba of Be a Money Blogger

“The one thing I wish I knew before I started blogging is the conceptual difference between blogging and advertising as the blogging simply influences people to buy which things from which companies while in advertising a company itself asks people to buy its product.

If a person gets to know what he ultimately is going to do on his blog he can easily plan everything from the very first day after starting his blog to bring the most relevant people who he can sell a product and equally first influence them with his freebies and free contents to eventually convince them buy the premium products on his recommendation.

So knowing the basic conceptual difference between blogging and advertising is must to do blogging successfully.”

 

DreaAndrea Beltrami of The Branded Solopreneur

“I wish someone would have told me when I first got started that it’s all about who you know! That it’s building relationships that is the secret sauce in the solo success recipe. It wasn’t until I pulled my head out of my ass and realized that my peers were allies and not competitors, and then started building friendships with them that I started raking in the traffic and exposure I wanted.

The second thing I wished someone would had told me when I was getting started was HOW to go about building those strong friendships with my peers…and in a way that was totally authentic for me. I’m NOT a fan of kissing ass or being fake in the name of making connections, so even after I knew what I needed to do I didn’t know how to do it. I know it seems like a no-brainer when it comes to how to make friends online {I mean, I have some of those in my real life….lol} but it wasn’t clear to me for far longer than I’d like to fess up to.

That’s when I turned to my go to tactic…stalking! I studied and watched every move my mentors made and eventually was able to reverse engineer their methods and find the best ways for me to celebrate my peers and earn their trust and support. These days my brand besties are precious gems I seriously don’t know how I’d live without!

I share 9 of my most kickass relationship building strategies in my post, How to Get an Influencer’s Attention Without Being a Suck Up. If you’re not the Mac Daddy of friend makers online yet I’d urge you to devour these strategies and implement them in your efforts ASAP. Your brand will high five your badass over and over again if you do!”

 

Sue AnneSue Anne Dunlevie of Successful Blogging

“The thing I regret the most about my blogging career is that I didn’t know about blogger outreach until I started reading Blogging Wizard, about a year into my blogging journey.

I don’t know if Adam Connell realizes what a big part he played in getting Successful Blogging to be a popular blog. I so appreciate it, Adam!”

 

Adam CAdam Connell of AdamConnell.me and Blogging Wizard

“Email beats social hands down

The first thing I did when starting my blog was to encourage my readers to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

But this caused 2 problems:

1) Some people would click through to a social network and get distracted (and never return).

2) Negative social proof – showcasing how few followers you have on a social network is not a good thing.

So I was going nowhere fast.

What was the solution?

…. Build an email list.

For a long time I was too focused on publishing content regularly but conversion rates were shocking.

Eventually I offered a free PDF and my list finally started to move in the right direction.

And the great thing was that it was far easier to drive traffic to my blog from my email list; in comparison to using social media.

Here’s the kicker:

My Twitter following was around 8x higher than my email list. But my email list drove more traffic.

The 3 point formula to grow your list faster

1) Offer something of value to your audience

2) Make your offer as relevant to what people are reading as possible

3) Make it easy to subscribe and access your offer

If you want to check out some of the specific tactics I’ve used, check out my list building guide.

Here’s the bottom line:

Building a following on social networks can be worth while but you should never rely on it.

This is like building a house on rented land – if the network makes even a small change, your traffic could nose dive. So if you rely on your blog for income, that could put you in hot water.

When you build an email list, that’s yours. Nobody can take it away. Sure, email delivery is a big part of this but there is a degree of control that you have over that & steps you can take to improve it.

Remember – diversify your traffic, and diversify your income. You’ll be glad you did.”

 

AdrienneAdrienne Smith of AdrienneSmith.net

“When I started blogging I was doing affiliate marketing and I was taught the right way to go about this.  I had great success with it too.

The issue most people have today though is that things are always changing.  Hopefully everyone is already crystal clear on what it is that they do so that when people visit their blogs they know instantly.  That they are clear in each post they write with their message of how they can help their specific audience.  We’ve evolved though now to where you can’t speak to everyone and expect to get great results, you have to just speak to your target audience once person at a time.  The mass marketing approach is history.

I think the issue most people have today is that they aren’t 100% clear exactly on what it is that they actually do or how they can come across to their audience in a way to really help them with their needs.

It’s a process though but one definitely worth learning.  I’ve evolved a lot myself since those affiliate marketing days and I wasn’t 100% clear myself on what it was that I wanted to do so until you know that then I suggest not being upset if you’re not getting your desired results.

Blogging is a journey but it’s one that you’ll find so very rewarding.”

 

Julian SJulian Sakanee of Blogging Aid

“Google is NOT the only source of traffic.

When I started blogging, all I did was hope for first page rankings. I was taught that ALL backlinks were bad. And ended up wasting a whole year doing nothing but writing content that no one was ever going to read.”

 

BrenBrenda Pace of BrendaPace.net

“I wish I would have known what a time commitment it would be and everything that goes along with writing a post and clicking Publish. However, I’m glad I made the decision to blog because I’ve made so many awesome friends over the years and wouldn’t trade them for the world.”

 

 

EnstineEnstine Muki of EnstineMuki.com

“How I wish I knew how to build a list for my blog when I started blogging back in August 2012. Having a targeted list is a sure source of traffic and income.

I blogged for month before ever getting my first blog subscriber. I think that was the mistake I did and if I have to restart blogging today, I’ll do more on list building.”

 

Krista raeKrista Rae of KristaRae.co

“The one thing I wish I knew when I started was the importance of fellow bloggers, creatives, and business owners who understand you and have your back. I thought I was perfectly fine doing it on my own, but I was getting nowhere fast until I met the awesome ladies who are like my sisters now. Not only do they share my content, but they are always there to encourage me, keep me going when my mind is telling me to quit, and let me know when one of my ideas isn’t quite as great as I think it is. For anyone who hasn’t found fellow bloggers to surround themselves with I encourage you to start reaching out and making relationships. It scary, but it sure is worth it!”

 

kelliKelli Cooper of Life Made to Order

“The one thing I wish I knew about blogging when I first started was something I had known for awhile but was having a harder time applying it to this endeavor in particular, because it was something that was really important to me, something with which I really wanted to succeed. And that wisdom nugget is: It is all about what we are ‘being’ not what we are ‘doing.’

Our energy—the sum of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs—is the thing that determines what shows up in our lives. It really isn’t the actions we take, though that certainly plays a role. But our actions are always a manifestation of our energy. We just don’t do things for no reason.

And when we aren’t energetically aligned with success, and what we want to accomplish, the actions we take tend to give us lackluster results at best. We have to work really, really hard to make any sort of headway, and talk about frustrating and exhausting.

I got really caught up in what I should be ‘doing’ when I first started, and did a lot of stuff I really didn’t resonate with because I thought that was what I ‘had’ to do. It was harder to trust my energy-oriented approach because it has been very deeply ingrained that we have to ‘work hard’ to be successful, that the hard work is what actually makes us ‘deserving’ of the success.

But eventually I got back on track, and started focusing more on my inner world. I got more comfortable on letting my inner guidance lead the way as far as any action I took—if something resonated and I enjoyed doing it, I did it. If it didn’t resonate, I didn’t do it.

I committed to being myself on my blog, and writing for me first and foremost, knowing if I was authentic, ‘my people’ would find me. When a blogging tip that seemed interesting caught my eye, I read up on it, but for the most part, I just did things my way.

When I felt compelled to take action, I always checked the motivator—do I truly feel inspired to do this or do I feel I ‘have’ to do this or else I won’t get a specific result? When it was the latter, I would do my best to pull back, and that often felt very uncomfortable; but in doing that, I made room for the inspired actions to make their way in, and there is a lot more leverage behind them, and they are a lot more enjoyable.

I highly suggest bloggers make their personal development a priority. There tends to be a preoccupation with practical tips like using social media, how to write a catchy headline, etc… and that has its place of course. But all that ‘doing’ will only take you so far if you don’t have the right mindset, and you’ll work a lot harder than you have to, which will likely lead to you not liking blogging very much.”

 

Ron SelaRon Sela of RonSela.com

“Thanks to improved technology, the Internet has become the best tool for communication. It is also as a treasure trove of information. From students to scientists, everyone relies on the Internet. We all search for current news, historical data, scientific evidence and statistics.

Information found on the Internet has been posted by various people (like me) who own blogs and websites. Today, blogging has become the best means of offering users current information. Blogs also serve as forums for inspiring creativity. Also, they are platforms for discussing various issues.

Before I started blogging, there was one thing I wish I knew:

Never give up

When users browse the internet and search for benefits of blogging, the one thing that will stand out is that one will be able to make money. There are hundreds of posts that have been created describing how one became successful thanks to blogging.

What many bloggers don’t reveal is that professional blogging takes so many resources. Resources like time, money, hard work, intelligence and perseverance to be successful. It also takes time to recoup the initial investment.

Many people who have read such posts and have started their blogs gave up within the first three months (I was almost joining the group of quitters). This is brought about by the lack of visitors which is as a result of poor or no internet marketing.

What one needs to know is that there are billions of blogs and websites currently online. Therefore, don’t expect online visitors to find your new blog easily.

To be successful in blogging, never give up. Learn strategies that will help the blog to be visible online and attract more visitors.”

 

James MJames McAllister of Help Start My Site

“If there were one thing I wish I knew when I started blogging, it would be that you have to treat it like a business from the very beginning.

While it would be nice to think that we could do whatever we wanted with our blogs and make money doing so, this is unfortunately not the case. We have to adhere to market demands, and the same basic business principles that have been in place for hundreds of years offline still apply in the internet marketing world as well.

This means we need to choose a niche with real demand behind it. We need to take the time to come up with both a scalable marketing plan and a monetization plan, and understand how these systems will work with each other.

It also means we need to be willing to offer some unique edge against our competition. Blogging is becoming more and more competitive every day, so it’s very important to make yourself and your brand memorable. The easiest way to do that is to be exceptional at whatever it is you’re doing – whether it is publishing a piece of content or writing a blog comment. Regardless of what it is, if you’re average at something, you’ll never be remembered for it.”

 

Ryan BRyan Biddulph of Blogging From Paradise

“I wish I knew that blogging for fun is the way to go. Right now, I’m checking my emails for the week. This is 1 of many features I’m responding to, and I find myself offering the same exact piece of advice. The fact that I’m receiving so many feature requests while putting in 1/20th of the work I used to put in shows that it’s your energy behind your actions, not the actions themselves, that manifest certain outcomes.

The “fun” energy is irresistible. Can’t contain it. And you will shine stupid brightly (whatever that means) when you blog for fun. Doing so detaches you from outcomes and allows your energy to flow, making you a free, creative dynamo.

My wife Kelli and I are often spotted offering this energy advice in round ups. It’s because we have lived an amazing, inspired, wickedly special life, circling the globe, blogging full time from some of the world’s most gorgeous tropical hot spots, for years, by managing our energy and by following our fun.”

 

FrancescaFrancesca Nicasio of Be a Freelance Writer

“Grow your audience ASAP.

You don’t need to have a full fledged blog to grow an audience. As long as you can produce content, you can start building and engaging with your community. How? Start growing your email list from day 1.

That’s what I did for BeaFreelanceWriter.com. I set up a basic landing page to collect email addresses, and then I sent out newsletters (with just content—no links) while the blog was still in the design stage. At the same time, I also wrote guest posts for other reputable sites to grow my list.

When BeaFreelanceWriter.com was ready to launch, I already had over 1,000 email subscribers, and this enabled the blog to gain decent traction right from the get go.

If I had known about this when I first started blogging, my previous projects would have been a lot more successful.”

 

Erik EErik Emanuelli of No Passive Income

“I wish I had known more about SEO.
Now, I’m NOT an expert, but when I started blogging, I was really a newbie. I made several serious mistakes like purchasing 1000 backlinks for 5$, sidewide link exchange, over optimization and other SEO disasters.
Today, if I’m sure about something, it’s that I must focus on the users and readers, delivering original, high-quality and added value content.
I believe this is the way to go to feel safe and avoid any Google penalization.”

 

Carrie SmithCarrie Smith of Careful Cents

“The one thing I wish I knew when I started blogging is that you have to treat your blog like a business. It needs a consistent content publishing schedule, a monetization plan, a regular focus and goal for the results the content’s going to produce. It took me three years to realize this and I’m only now seeing results of my hard work. I lost a lot of time and wasted a ton of money trying to figure out how to make a blog work. Thankfully though, now it’s repaying me for the time and money lost.”

 

CoriCorina Ramos of Not Now Mom’s Busy

“The one thing I wished I had known when I started blogging was how much work was going to be involved. During my first year of blogging all I read were posts about putting up banner ads then just sit back and watch the money come in. That was very misleading. There was no direction as to how to create content, drive traffic and most importantly how essential it was to connect with visitors.

It’s not that I would have changed my mind about blogging but I would have been able to create a better plan for my blog and I would have known who my target audience was and what they were looking for rather than just posting ads I thought would make money.”

Now to you: If you’re just getting started (or even if you’re not!), What is the one thing you are struggling with in regards to blogging? Leave a comment and let me know.