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Blogging is one of my biggest passions. So learning about blogging is something that I really enjoy. Here are the most important lessons that I’ve learned in the last year.
I am a strong believer that one of the most helpful things to do, before setting any goals or making any ambitious plans, is to take the time to look back at what we learned so far and see how those things can help us in the future.
In my case, the last year (and especially the last 8 months) were full of learning opportunities when it comes to blogging. I took online courses, I attended events, and I met some amazing bloggers who inspired me.
So before setting new goals for my blog I thought a lot about the most powerful lessons that I’ve learned this year. And I share them with you, hoping that they will be as helpful for you as they were for me.
1. Blogging is all about playing the long game. And perseverance does pay off.
There are many courses out there promising amazing results in a very short time. They talk about skyrocketing traffic in a few weeks, gaining thousands of Facebook followers in days, reaching millions on Pinterest with just a few changes.
The truth is that I never believed in miracle solutions. As in any other job or business, success comes from hard work.
Maybe there are bloggers that experience a huge success overnight. But honestly, I never met one.
All the success stories that I’ve heard in the last year were about perseverance, hard work, and the courage to keep going after all the difficult moments.
So all the courses that I’ve taken were focused on building a long-term success. Because I truly believe that this is the only strategy that works.
Also, I never chased viral posts because they only bring a short-term spike that disappears as fast as it comes. Instead, I focused on long-term strategies focused on SEO and high-quality content for Pinterest.
Both of them require patience and perseverance but the results are worth the effort.
Instead of having a viral post once in a while, in an unpredictable timeframe, it’s much better to have many articles that bring constant traffic and help to build a community that lasts.
So one of the best investments that I’ve done this year was the Sticky SEO course. It helped me understand what SEO really means and how I get create articles that rank better in search results.
If you want to improve your SEO strategy (or to create a strategy from scratch), I highly recommend this course! Kelly is an amazing trainer and I loved being part of both of her courses (Sticky Blogging and Sticky SEO).
Both of them are closed for registration at this time, but in the meantime, you can register for a free mini-course about getting more traffic with fewer posts.
UPDATE 1/14: Great news! The Sticky SEO course is open for registration for a few days! If you want to improve your organic search traffic, this is the best course to help you with this! You can find out all the details here: Sticky SEO – Grow your traffic without social media.
Here is an example of a post that ranks first on Google and it brings constant traffic without any additional effort on my part.
The first result is my blog post and the forth is from Pinterest where my pin is the first one on the list.
I also took several Pinterest courses that were helpful for understanding the algorithm and continually improving my reach. Still, at this point, I couldn’t say that I have a favorite course that I would recommend as the best.
I’ve learned useful things from all of them but I’m still looking to improve my pinning strategy. So if you have any recommendations I would be happy to find them out.
2. I shifted my perspective from waiting to “have time for blogging” to “making time for blogging”.
This has been a huge step for me. As a stay-at-home mom, it was always easy to complain that I don’t have time for blogging. And it is true that it’s not easy to find free time as a busy mom.
But one day I wrote an article about the fact that for most people the problem is not the lack of time but the lack of focus. And it made me think more about this.
My main problem was not the limited amount of time but the lack of clear focus and the tendency to procrastinate. So I started to rethink my priorities and make more time for what is important to me. And it works!
photo credit: Undrey / shutterstock.com
Ever since I shifted my perspective on this, I get more things done and I’m a lot more productive. I still complain about the lack of time because having more time for blogging would be even better. 🙂 But I learned that I can obtain a lot more in a limited time if I set clear goals and I don’t let anything distract me from them.
I wrote more about time management here: How to manage blogging time better and get more done.
3. Traffic is important but building an email list if even more important.
I know that I lot of bloggers feel frustrated when someone tells them that traffic is not important. Because it is! We all write hoping that other people will read our posts and relate to our message.
And the truth is that usually the bloggers saying that traffic is not so important are the ones that already have a lot of traffic.
Although I do admit that traffic is important, I strongly believe that building a community is even more important.
Traffic can be influenced by a lot of factors: a viral post, algorithm changes on Facebook or Pinterest, seasonal interest on specific topics, and so on. But a community is something that lasts no matter how these factors change.
This is why building an email list is so important!
We cannot control Facebook algorithm, Pinterest smart feed, or any other social media changes. Because we don’t own them. Instead, we can control how we manage our email list and how we interact with our subscribers.
Once I understood the importance of having an email list, I focused on it and this was the best choice that I’ve made.
Building my email list is much more important to me than building my social media accounts. My Facebook page is on auto-pilot and I only spend time ones a month to schedule posts.
My Pinterest strategy is a combination of automatic pinning through Boardbooster (a great tool) and manual pinning on just a few boards.
So I don’t spend a lot of time focusing on them. Instead, I focus on building my email list and connecting with my readers.
photo credit: Joana Lopes / shutterstock.com
It wasn’t easy at first but things got a lot easier in time. And I also had a lot of luck because I was part of the beta testing team for an amazing course that is focused on building an email list.
It’s called List Love and it’s one of the best courses that I’ve taken! Jennifer is a great teacher and the steps are very easy to put into practice. If you want to grow your email list, this is the course that you need!
This course helped me be more intentional about my email list and the results were visible soon after implementing the lessons.
I’m still working on connecting with my readers and building a stronger community. As the number of subscribers grows this is more challenging so in the next months I plan to focus more on this.
Also, I have set a goal of reaching a specific number of subscribers on my main email list before launching my product. So I hope to accomplish this in the second quarter of this year.
My plans for the next months of blogging are built on the lessons that I’ve learned in the last year.
So they include focusing on SEO, Pinterest, and growing my email list.
I hope that this year will also be the one when I launch an online shop for my blog so I’m looking forward to reaching my goals and making this next step.
>> What about you? What was the most powerful blogging lesson that you learned in the last year?
I would love to learn more about your experience!
More tips and resources to grow your blog
If you want to grow your blog and find out about tips and resources that can help you do this, I invite you to join my blogging newsletter.
I don’t publish a lot of articles about blogging on my blog because I focus on content that is helpful for my audience (parenting tips and ideas). So I decided to create a newsletter especially for sharing my blogging journey and the lessons that I learn along the way.
If you want to join, just fill in the below form and then check your inbox! The first freebie you’ll receive after signing up will be about creating a successful editorial calendar for your blog!
photo credit preview photo: Solis Images / shutterstock.com