How 2 years of blogging zoomed by so quickly is beyond me. I guess when you enjoy what you do, time do pass by faster. I still remember back in October 2017, I signed up for Wealthy Affiliate and created my first blog.
Did you know that Smart Affiliate Hub is not my first blog?
My first blog was an informational website about vaporizers to help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes. That website didn’t last very long though as I couldn’t find the motivation to constantly produce content.
Shortly after, I created Online Self Employed which is basically what Smart Affiliate Hub is today. I made the name change after thinking twice about branding. Not that there was anything wrong with that name.
But if you don’t like your domain name, you won’t take it as seriously.
At the time, Online Self Employed was just meeting its 2 year mark. By making the domain name change, I lost some of my authority. But I still believe it was the best decision of my life.
Fast forward, Smart Affiliate Hub is reaching its 2 year mark as well and I’d like to share my experience with you all to hopefully motivate you to never give up and always strive to achieve your goals.
What I Learned After Blogging For 2 Years
Here, I will try to break down everything that I’ve learned over the past 2 years of blogging. Some of these might shock you, especially if you were told that blogging is a great way to make money with minimal efforts.
#1. You’re Probably Not Going To Replace Your Job Just Yet
Many people including myself started because we wanted to replace our boring day jobs. Replacing your job as a blogger is not impossible, I’ve met quite a few during my vacation trips.
However, an expectation of replacing your job early on in your blogging career is not realistic. Sure, there are exceptions of those who are extremely successful after 2 years, but most will not be.
When I started Smart Affiliate Hub, I was still working my regular day job which consumed around 10 hours of my time per day. So before you start your blogging career, do expect to put in time after your regular day or night shift.
There’s also a good chance that you won’t make any money during your first year or two. Even if you do make money, it won’t be anything substantial. This is because it takes time to grow a blog and to gain a huge audience base.
#2. You Must Treat It Like A Business If You Want To Make Money
Even though your blog is not quite a full blown business yet, you should still treat it as such. Why? All-in-all, the mentality of treating your blog as a business will motivate you to put in more effort.
I have the tendency to prioritize my daily task starting with important things. The not so important stuff usually gets pushed back for when I do have time.
However, I am not oppose to blogging for fun. I have another blog that I personally operate for fun called: MewtwoGX. It’s just a blog that documents my gaming experience as well as helpful tips and guides for other gamers.
By no means does MewtwoGX make any money, but I do need to cover my online expenses. So I treat Smart Affiliate Hub more so as a business.
The content that I create on MewtwoGX and Smart Affiliate Hub are similar, yet different. One is aimed toward making money.
Even though, creating valuable content is incredibly important for user experience as well as search engine optimization. You’ll also want to consider creating valuable content that makes money.
#3. Go At Your Own Pace
Seriously, go at your own pace when it comes to blogging. Even though the guy next door blogs every single day does not mean you have to follow his path. Everyone is unique, maybe he doesn’t have a full-time job.
There’s no reason to burn yourself out just to be comparable to someone else.
When I first started blogging, I was super excited to push out content on a daily basis. I had a lot of energy at the time since the whole idea of blogging was so fresh to me.
Many of my friends were impressed by how I was able to work 10 hours per day and getting back to blogging as soon as I get home.
As time went on, I started feeling tired. I was exhausted from blogging after spending an entire day at my regular day job.
So go at your own pace and maintain a consistency. If you can only blog once a week, keep at it once a week. Remember, quality content is always better than quantity.
#4. How To Make Money From Blogging
It is perfectly reasonable to get compensation in the form of money for your work. Personally, I work to live a better life and that requires money.
This leads back to creating valuable content that makes money. In terms of blogging, there are various ways to generate an income. One of the most common method is known as affiliate marketing.
In affiliate marketing, you make money when someone clicks and buys from your affiliate links. These affiliate links redirects your users to the seller and you’ll get paid for sending them a customer.
Besides affiliate marketing, here’s another commonly used method known as Google AdSense. Keep in mind, I don’t recommend Google AdSense until you have a decent sized audience.
When you’re building a blog, it is counter-productive to place Google AdSense on your website. It will drive people off your blog just to earn a few dollars; not worth it!
There are other ways to make money through blogging as well, but I only wanted to go over the ones that I’ve personally used in the past 2 years of blogging.
#5. Building A Community With Valuable Content Is Key
A blog alone is just an empty shell. In order to bring life out of it, you’ll need to build a community around it. And the key to that is to provide your readers with valuable content.
Often times, I will catch myself rambling about something totally irrelevant to my niche. Sometimes I get positive feedbacks from these articles, but often than not, I will not get a response at all.
This is because those who come to my blog are usually people seeking answers to blogging, making money online, affiliate marketing, etc. Thank you all for putting up with me whenever I go off topic though!
With that being said, you want to stick with your niche topic and avoid losing focus. Providing valuable content to your niche audience is extremely important when it comes to community building.
#6. Marketing Your Blog Is Crucial
When you are new to the blogging scene, building momentum is one of the most difficult things to do. You have a brand new blog with zero visitors and nobody knows about you.
You can’t really depend on organic traffic since you don’t have that many content. Also in the eyes of the search engines, you’re a newborn child, so whatever you write probably won’t rank very well.
Good news is, you can utilize platforms like Social Media to get your blog known. So whenever you can, definitely utilize different platforms to put your content in front of others.
#7. It Is Okay To Take A Break From Your Blog
Similar to having a vacation once or twice a year, it is okay to take a break from your blog. During my first 2 years, I would get anxious when I don’t meet my own posting schedules.
Sometimes, life gets in the way and you’ll just have to deal with missing a few posting schedules or two.
Just recently, I came back from my trip to Thailand, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Japan. During my trip, I had planned to continue content production. In the end, I didn’t. I decided it was time to put down the computer and just enjoy my trip.
Trust me, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I thought my blog was going to lose all traction due to my inactivity. I forced myself not to check my analytics during the trip and in the end, everything was alright.
I made money during my vacation trip as always and my blog is still around. So don’t be afraid to take a break from your blog. It will not cease to exist.
Blogging is extremely fun and rewarding if you choose the right niche topic for you. Don’t start a blog if your only purpose is to make money. By enjoying what you blog about, you’ll find it easier to grow and audience. You’ll also come off as a more authentic individual.
The money naturally comes and it will feel more like a bonus. The larger your captured audience is, the more money you can potentially make. A blog without much audience will struggle to make much.
Most bloggers fail to make a full-time income because they simply focus too much on the money. Instead, they should be focusing on building an audience.
If you are new to blogging and need help with anything, feel free to leave a comment down below. I’ll try my best to help you out.