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Seven Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Blogging

Becoming a Better Blogger One Keystroke at a Time

I started blogging on and off in 2004, and finally got serious toward the end of 2006. I eventually became self-employed, which was undoubtedly a great achievement.

But I can’t deny it’s been a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows along the way.

Thankfully, years of struggle gives you clarity and experience. And while I have learned dozens of lessons in the process, here are some of the most important ones (in no particular order).

Take Opinions with a Grain of Salt – Even from Influencers

The world of blogging and marketing is full of educated opinions as opposed to hard facts.

For example, it’s common for someone to say that Quora and Yahoo Answers are dead for traffic purposes simply because they’re old news. Others may state that there’s no such thing as passive income, or that making money with AdSense is next to impossible.

Approach every piece of knowledge and opinion with caution – that includes information from me, as well as your favorite bloggers and even influencers. The best thing you can do is to test and try everything yourself.

Blogging Styles are Subjective

Simply put, there’s no right or wrong way to becoming a better blogger and publisher.

The way you publish and present content is entirely up to you. It’s about personal preferences combined with your overall audience.

Who cares if you’re too informal and enjoy smileys and LOLs and the occasional typo? The online world has gradually adapted a more “humane” and casual approach, often used as a marketing tactic to resonate with readers.

Take the time to find your voice and don’t try being someone you’re not. Your audience will love you.

Be Engaging and Acknowledge Others

important blogging lessons

Have you ever been on a date where the conversation is purely one-sided? The other person is going on and on about himself and hardly seems interested in you. Before long, you’re just looking at the time and dying to go home.

Guess what? This is how your followers feel when you neglect them. Long gone are robotic, generic, yawn-inducing articles, so avoid inadvertently writing a user’s manual.

Tell a story, ask questions, include names, acknowledge someone else’s opinion in your next article (go through your previous comments and mention a person that stood out). Be wide open and build an emotional connection.

Digestible Content is Now King

Do you remember those gigantic walls of text? Weren’t they just painful to read?

Make it easy on the reader by using italics, bullet points, short paragraphs, sub-headings, tables, and anything else to break up your content.

Aspiring Blogger? There Are No Excuses

Let’s compare your blogging desires to weight loss: There are those who lack the time and settle, and then there are those who make the time and thrive. They get up at 5am – three days a week – just to work out before a long day at the office.

Similarly, becoming a better blogger will often require some sacrifice. A lack of time to blog can be handled in various ways: Getting up earlier, cutting back on TV by a mere 45 minutes, going to bed a tad later, and/or hiring a virtual assistant.

Granted, I’m not saying any of this is easy; however, I used to bring up every excuse in the world to avoid starting and maintaining my own blog in the past.

Then I got more realistic about my approach, obtained a Todoist account, kept better track of my time, and the rest is history.

It’s Not All About Competing

becoming a better blogger

So, you just found out that some guy has a similar product or service as you….and it’s perhaps more affordable.

While you could (and should) try to make yours more attractive, sometimes working together is just as good (depending on the situation). Learn from each other, embrace a specific style, and perhaps form a joint venture if you believe two heads are better than one in this case.

Family and Friends May Doubt You – and That’s Okay

It has probably happened to you or someone you know. Your mother wonders what exactly is that you do, and perhaps doesn’t think you can earn from blogging as you would from “a real job.”

Likewise, your work schedule is constantly interrupted by friends who want to hang out whenever they please, because “you’re unemployed,” after all.

Years of blogging have taught me patience, and now I understand other people’s perspective. Society grows up in a world where blue/white collars are the norm, so “working in your PJs” just doesn’t cut it.

Give your people some time to let your success sink in. Otherwise, simply let your lifestyle (as well as your paycheck) speak for themselves 😉

Bonus: Competition and Saturation Are Subjective

Remember: You don’t need to dominate a market; you just need a small piece of the pie to live comfortably.

Your Turn

Now I’d like to hear more from you. How has your journey toward becoming a better blogger treated you so far? Did any of these lessons click? Maybe you’re currently struggling, changed your blogging habits, or have consistently dealt with those who doubt you? Leave a comment below and share your story.