Why First Year of Blogging is More Painful than Stepping on a Lego

Or – what I learned in the first year of blogging.

You guessed it – it’s been a full year of Inspiration Wise. Well, I’m celebrating a day earlier. My blogversary is on September 18th.

And that’s cool, I like where I’m at. This is my 103rd published post and today I’ll be happy to share with you everything I’ve learned in my first year of blogging. Will you learn something? Definitely. Will you change how you blog? Maybe. This post isn’t a guide, it’s more of a list of lessons I’ve been through and should be taken as such. As they say, it’s better you learn about other people’s mistakes, and it’s true. Enjoy mine.

Of course, this won’t be a list of just bad stuff that happened, I’ll also include good ones. That’s how you and me both can be realistic of everything that has happened. Let’s go.

The Biggest Feeling of Overwhelm Ever

When you get into blogging, there are all sorts of stuff you’ll feel like you need to know. There’s digital marketing, SEO, web design, UX, apps, monetization methods. You can easily find yourself making lists, plans, thinking you’re treating your blog like a business, but what you’re actually doing is getting lost in all the info.

Take your time before you create your website and your brand. Take all the time you need to read about the good and bad sides of blogging and decide if it’s for you. Don’t let the “I earned $50k in my first month of blogging” blog posts fool you. I can safely say that most of those are lies. I’ll explain why later. Inform yourself before you start learning.

Once You Start Learning There’s No Going Back

There will always be something new in the blogging industry that you’ll want to know. And this is fine. Just don’t let it take over your time. There are many apps that you can use to organize your to-dos, and trust me – you’ll want to use them a lot once you start following industry trends. Remember to focus more on the quality of your content, than what others are saying. Time balance is the key, or you can do what I did – take a month to learn the essentials.

Knowledge Can Help You Stand Out

How well you know these:

  • Web design
  • SEO
  • Marketing
  • Your niche

Will determine how much you can stand out. I like to say that there are “personal blogs” where bloggers write about themselves, and “educational ones” that serve to educate the visitors. For the first category, you don’t actually have to have a niche, but some basic knowledge of marketing and web design should be present. For the educational type of blog, you’ll have to have exceptional knowledge of all these on the list to succeed long-time. Standing out was always my goal, and I hope to reach some new milestones soon.

Changes Come With a Price

Every change on your website comes with a price. Google is a wild animal, and no matter how much you want to improve, it can throw you on the ground and step on you until you weep. In the first year of blogging, I’ve had my Google Analytics messed up twice, and my Google Console too. You’ll have to think twice about everything you want to move around on your blog and read how it affects you.

Niche Selection Is the Key

Finding a prosperous blogging niche that you’ll love working on is essential for your progress, but also mental health. You can easily go crazy if you write about something you’re not knowledgeable enough. Why? Because topic research will take too much of your time. With personal blogs, it’s easier, since those bloggers know what they’re writing about (themselves) but for a niche blog you’ll have to do some research.

Side note – your niche will determine your audience, community, and the social platform where you’ll grow the most. For example, if you blog about dancing, TikTok is your go-to. If you do home décor, it’s Pinterest.

Blogging Platform Is Important

As you may know, I’ve been on Wix for the first six months of blogging. Now I don’t even count those months in my blogging age (I’m celebrating a year simply because that’s my domain age) because Wix killed me. I wrote more about in the article where I talk about why I finally moved to self-hosted WordPress. The blogging platform that you’ll use to deliver your content is important for many reasons:

  • Ease of use (both for you and visitors)
  • Speed
  • Design
  • Content ownership
  • Branding
  • Monetization options, etc.

Monetization Methods…

I’ve discussed all monetization methods I could find, but monetization brings other issues to the table. Maybe you live in a country that has limited payment options. Maybe you can’t run ads on your affiliate articles. And maybe some blog monetization options simply don’t work for you. What you want to avoid is trying them all at the same time if you’re already busy. If you have time, by all means, go for all 21 blog monetization methods, but not all of them will work out. In time, you’ll notice what’s bringing money and learn to stick to that.

I Earned $50K in My First Month of Blogging Thing

I believe I’m not the only one who frowns upon these blog posts. I’ve noticed that some bloggers are faking their months (the date when their income report is published, the month they mention in their report, and their domain age don’t match), but I wasn’t certain until I’ve had a chat with my manager. To be clear – we have about 100 websites that create content and work on Google ranks FOR A WHOLE YEAR before they start earning income via affiliates and coupons.

I got curious and mentioned these bloggers, and my manager laughed, saying that it’s impossible to achieve that amount of income in one month, let alone at the beginning of their blogging career. Why do they lie? To boost their sales and convince their readers they are legit.

I’ll leave some space for those who write in the B2B niches, but still, let’s be real. Not a single comment on those types of blog posts that I left (stating the facts) was answered on or published.

Community in the First Year of Blogging

You’ll be in a hurry to build a community on your social media, and that’s okay, just don’t treat people as numbers. There are many trackers for followers that I use daily, and I literally see people following me and unfollowing me at the second I follow back. That’s plain disrespect, and many other bloggers don’t like it. You’ll end up blocked by many if you do this. Another thing when it comes to the community – people love activity. Show that you care, give more than you receive, and wonders will start happening around you.

Scammers and Spammers Are Ugh

Do you know how many DMs I got where they wanted to scam me? In the first year of blogging and managing my social media I become so well-versed in recognizing a scammer that I can tell you who will do what once I click the Follow Back button. But these guys, they never give up. I clean more than 10 spammy comments daily, and honestly, it’s starting to be tiresome. Even the IP block doesn’t work!

first year of blogging

Doubt and Confusion Are Real

During the first year of blogging, you’ll have days where you wake up and have doubts. Your writing might not be as you want it to be, you won’t like your theme, your brand, you’ll want to expand to other blogs, etc. You’ll also have days where you’ll be so lost in what you need to do that you’ll leave it all for another day. (Back to the feeling of overwhelm) It’s okay. Blogging is a long-term game, and you must approach it as such. I’ve wanted to quit at least five times by now. I’ll quit only when I feel a sense of relief when I think about quitting. As long as I feel sadness, I’ll keep on pushing.

You Will Fail

You’ll fail in organizing your time, creating that popup, getting accepted. You will fail your schedule, and move your plans to a further date. You will fail in getting visitors to your website. Pinterest can close your account for a random reason. Facebook might ban your domain like it did mine, or you’ll simply get lost in numerous marketing methods. It’s fine, one day you’ll succeed. At least that’s what’s keeping me alive.

Blogging takes time. That’s all you need to know.

Blog Affects Work and Vice Versa

Another thing the first year of blogging has thought me is that my blog is my portfolio. I’m a writer, and having a blog is a great way to showcase your writing skills. Unfortunately, with it comes the need to be perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect writer or a blogger. Everyone will favor what they’ll favor. Don’t let it bother you, or else you’ll swirl into depression.

Another thing with perfection is that you’ll see how much you’ve progressed in time. There’s no other way to be better than to blog constantly and learn from your mistakes. Again, it will take time. I’ve landed an awesome job though, and now my time for blogging is minimized. Have that in mind too.

Love in the Blogging Community

The blogging community has so much to give. I was heavily involved in one cryptocurrency project, and the amount of hate that I saw there can’t be measured with anything else. Those people are just so toxic! Bloggers are great, friendly, and helpful. I was so surprised when I started talking with other bloggers, that I was just waiting for a moment when the vibe will change. In my whole year as a blogger, I have yet to see a hateful blogger.

Social Media Presence

I wish to note that you don’t have to conquer every social media platform at once. I left Instagram for the end (I am doing good on my poetry account though), and now I don’t even have time for Pinterest. Take baby steps, start with the platform you love the most, and move on from there.

Inspiration Wise Is Just a Baby

Like I said at the beginning of my blogging journey – you can’t birth a baby and expect it to run a marathon. So far, me and my blog are crawling, but we’re not afraid of slowly standing up. I’ve got so much in store, that often I don’t know how to plan my days ahead. That’s leading me into a mess and I finish a day doing nothing. I lack a better organization and more time.

Where to Next After the First Year of Blogging

I guess I’ll definitely abandon affiliate sales. Checks simply don’t reach me, and I planned to invest that money back, but now I’ll have to find another egg. I did plan a cool app, but again, I need time to make all the quotes, and right now I can’t outsource anything (Is it just me, or do you have issues with others doing your work too?) What I will finish are my freelance writing courses for all three levels and I’ll run that for a while. I find myself wanting to teach and give my knowledge to others who are just starting out.

I also think I’ll have to migrate to another host. Namecheap just isn’t what I expected it to be, but I’ll leave that for when it starts getting urgent.

For my personal plans, I want to have my poems published in a legit place, and devote more of my time to writing poetry and drawing.

Summary of the First Year of Blogging

I believe I did fairly well. My niche is not the most viewed one, so I don’t get a lot of traffic, but I’m satisfied with everything that I’ve learned in the first year of blogging. Overall, nothing extremely bad has happened, other than Facebook blocking my domain, but I guess that’s fixable too. I’ve had hiccups, but I didn’t quit. Like I said before, my blog is my garden, and I only want the prettiest flowers to bloom here. Love you all!

the first year of blogging

By Mileva Stankovic

Mileva Stankovic is a passionate blogger, looking for new ways to expand her writing skills. Today she can proudly say that she’s been a content creator for many years, and her blog, Inspiration Wise, grew from the need to create.

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