Typically, people tell you all you need to start and run a successful blog is a laptop or whatever gadget you can lay your hands on (as long as it can be used to surf the internet) and internet. Well, I will tell you this blatantly, this is bullshit because you need more than a laptop and data to be a blogger; at least if you plan on making a career or money off it. Oh wait, even if you’re going to do it for fun, you still need more than just your gadget and internet to be a blogger. It takes a lot to be a blogger and I have enough experience to preach that to you.
When I started out blogging (about 5-6 years ago), it was more of a means for me to just let off steam and in my own way, connect with people who are going through similar issues as I am and help them in the little way I can. It was my own “public diary” and so, I didn’t learn anything about blogging. People who know me now will probably not believe this but I had zero interest in making the site look pretty and aesthetically pleasing. I didn’t even have featured images on a lot of my articles; it was just write and post for me and that system worked for me up until my blog was becoming very expensive to maintain.
It was a free WordPress blog but still I needed money to stay connected to the internet to carry out research, to write and to upload my contents on the blog. It did not just stop at that, I had to actively share my contents on twitter and Facebook; which was actually the main money sucker. You see, then, it was more about the relevance of your contents and how relatable people find it (it still is, except a lot of bloggers have replaced value with aesthetics).
You see, then, it was more about the relevance of your contents and how relatable people find it (it still is, except a lot of bloggers have replaced value with aesthetics).
So, you have to make sure you share your contents to the right people; people who really need to read the kind of contents you upload on your blog and then when you find them, you have to constantly have to engage them so you can constantly be in their minds. Majority of my blogging career were spent chatting with my readers on twitter, participating in arguments in relation to what I recently blogged about just so I can throw my link in at some point without coming off like a thirsty blogger looking for traffic.
The hustle was real because it is either people really love you or don’t (bloggers are lucky these days to still get “slay” comments, those days, even nice post comments were hard to come by). If people find your contents shallow and offensive, trust me the frustration of getting no traffic will make you pack up in no time. Blogging was not for the feeble minded back then but I am digressing.
You see, I was team “you only need a gadget and internet to start a blog” till I began to have bigger priorities and could not spend as much on internet like I used to. Of course, because I was spending less and less time on the internet, I began to receive fan mails and direct messages on social media asking me where I went to and when they should expect a new post. In my mind, I was just like: it’s like this people don’t even know somebody needs money to be creative”.
When I got too frustrated with the requests about when I was going to write a new post, I decided to consult almighty google on how I could make money from my blog and it was then I realized that I was not even close to being a blogger. You know why?! Because I knew nothing (apart from uploading my contents of course and even that, I still had so much to learn) about blogging.
It is so crazy that even after I researched and read all sorts of materials on Google, it took me years and years of practice on my own personal blogs (yes, I have created more than one blog). In fact, some of the biggest blogging lessons I learnt was from owning my very first custom site that went wrong from the beginning and to say it was outsourced to a supposed “expert”) as well as working with major blogs like 360 nobs and enrolling to learn full scale digital marketing to confidently say “I think I have this blogging thing figured out”. Why think?! Because you never truly figure it out because trends and algorithm keep changing; just when you think you’ve finally nailed it, there is something new to learn and implement.
Because you never truly figure it out because trends and algorithm keep changing; just when you think you’ve finally nailed it, there is something new to learn and implement.
That is why I have decided to start this blogging 101 series to pass on vital information I have gathered over the years as a blogger, a Google certified digital marketing expert and from organizing and actively teaching at over 10 editions of both offline and online workshops. I will like to help as many budding and new bloggers as possible to not make the same mistakes I made when starting out. I will also like to teach some essential blogging tips, tricks, hacks that will help you grow in stats and in cash every Thursday. So, get your blogger boo to subscribe to be notified when a new post goes up because you do not want miss all the juicy lessons and insights I will be spilling.
In the mean time, be sure to connect with me on Instagram where I share tidbits about my life: @thedakoalice (it’s boring, so let me warn you ahead of time) and of course follow @thebloggersadvocate for daily blogging tips. Oh, if you will love me to teach a particular topic, be sure to leave a comment too; I promise to do justice to them the best I can.