The first month of blogging kinda sucks, I’m not going to lie. There is a ton of work with pretty much zero reward in your first month of blogging unless you call $0.51 from AdSense a reward.
Here’s a few tips I’ve learned firsthand to get you through that first month, and hopefully into months 3-6 when you finally get out of the Google Sandbox hell.
Don’t focus too much on your site’s aesthetics
Everyone wants a great looking website, but what good is a beautiful website if nobody ever sees it? A rookie mistake is spending most of your time on the website looks when you should just be writing A LOT. Build content and try to get some backlinks. Then you can make some tweaks to the appearance along the way.
Consider keeping a blogging journal
This has worked very well to keep me motivated. At times if feels like you’re just spinning tires and wasting time. But if you keep a little journal or log of your progress it can help keep you going. Write down what you’ve accomplished, and set some goals for yourself.
Stop trying to be perfect
Not every post needs to be life changing. You are just trying to build content at this point, the more the better. If you have an idea run with it, plug in a keyword and build your post. You’ll want to be able to add some type of value to your niche, but don’t die with a post. Make your points, proof read it, then move on to the next one.
Don’t expect much in the first month
We’ve all seen the “How I made $3,500 my first month blogging!”… I’m telling you that’s like hitting the lottery. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t make money month one if that’s your goal. Celebrate small victories like your 25th post, your first organic traffic, your first AdSense click.
Get on Social Media out the gate
Pick maybe 2 social platforms that work best for your niche and hammer them hard. For this blog I’ve decided to focus on Twitter and Instagram. If your blog is more visual, like how to build gift baskets you’d likely do better on Pinterest. These are easy to get on, hash tag and build followers.
Write down blog ideas
Your first 2-3 weeks you’ll prob have tons of ideas for blog posts and you’ll be able to blog every day. Eventually those ideas will run out and you’ll need fresh topics. I like to keep a running list on my phone. Whenever an idea for a topic pops in my head I write it down. Writers block is very real.
Join HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
HARO is typically used for generating back links. Reporters looking for people they can quote in their stories and build top quality back links if you are selected. Even if you are never selected HARO is still worth joining as it helps get the creative juices flowing. HARO sends emails 3 times a day of dozens of reporters looking for content. This is a fantastic way to come up with great topics to blog about that might fit your niche.
Practice good SEO
Content is nothing if you’re not focusing on SEO. I use WordPress and have downloaded Yoast for my SEO and find it extremely easy to use. You’ll need to do Keyword research as well as random keyword phrases are of no benefit. Semrush is a little pricey when starting out, so a good trick is simply going to Google and start typing a keyword phrase, if it pre-populates see how many pages come up in the search. The lower the search results, typically the lower the competition, so go for it.
Make sure you’re using a top-quality host
I’ve used a few different hosts in the past. HostGator has amazing customer but my sites always seemed to run too slow with them. I switched over to Siteground and haven’t looked back. The site is very fast, I can host multiple sites off 1 package for cheap, and their backend interface is super user friendly.
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Join some affiliates
If your goal is to monetize your website you should really have some affiliate connections early on. Traffic alone isn’t going to be significant enough to drive any real earnings, probably not for the first year. So you need affiliates to try to convert the traffic you do get into sales and $. The reality is you wont be approved for much in your first month of blogging. You can try CJ.com but expect a lot of rejection with a new site. Still, you can usually become an Amazon Associate, or an affiliate for a hosting platform like I have above. Your affiliates should be a win-win-win, generating you income, helping your reader, and giving your affiliate a sale.
Don’t compare yourself to other blogs
There are over 2 billion articles on Google about how to make money blogging. Don’t fall into this trap and doubt yourself. Just because someone says they made $500 in their first month of blogging it doesn’t mean anything. They could have 3 other blogs they’ve been working on for 10 years and linked to their new blog to generate those sales and traffic. Don’t allow this to be a demotivator, if anything use it as motivation to keep going!
Never forget why you’re blogging
You started your blog for a reason, never forget that reason. Perhaps you dream of quitting your job. Maybe you want the freedom to travel and blog anywhere. You could have a strong passion for the topic and don’t care about money. Maybe you’re trying to change the world. Whatever your reason never forget it.
Blogging takes time to see results, there is simply no way around this. Do a search for “Google Sandbox” and you’ll see that getting traffic in your first 3-6 months is borderline impossible.
You need to have a long-term outlook and just stick with it. If the goal is to monetize your blog just imagine how different your life would be if you eventually got to the point where just 1 blog post a week was generating $500 a month, or maybe $1,000, or $2,500…
Every successful blog started at zero. Keep going, even the stupidest niches generate thousands every month, so long as you believe in your topics, keep posting, do SEO and don’t stop you’ll get there!