So I decided to start a blog on 2nd September 2022…
Before that, I never had the slightest thought about starting my own blog. I wasn’t very familiar with the word “blogging”.
All I know is I always got intimidated whenever I came across the word “blogging”.
It seemed like something that I wasn’t made for, something that I would never do!
How I started is another story! You can read it here after you finish reading this post!
On 2nd September 2022, I created a website on Blogger. It was named AliGotInfo (How dumb!!)
Don’t wanna talk much about it as it was just for a matter of days. The next week was the real beginning. On 8th September 2022, I launched a self-hosted blog with Hostinger WordPress Hosting, the one you are reading right now, Infoverses (was looking for Infoverse but it was already taken).
If you read my About Me page, you’ll know that my reason for starting a blog was to get into affiliate marketing (not anymore). So naturally, I was looking to promote a LOT of products. The first product that came to my mind was web hosting as it was apparently the only thing that I knew of.
So my first blog post was about “how to choose the best web hosting service for your website“. I admit, it was copied and pasted from another website (it’s edited now).
Within the post, I put affiliate links to a web hosting service and was full of energy and hope that someone would swing by and purchase from my link!
Let me tell you, I was lucky to realize early on that it doesn’t work like that!
Blogging isn’t easy and it isn’t fast! The sooner you realize this, the better!
After the first few posts, for me, blogging wasn’t just about promoting affiliate products and making money ASAP!
It was something entirely different! The joy of self-expression, the ability to share my thoughts and ideas with the world around me – one hell of an experience!
Along with the joy and excitement, I’ve also had my share of ups and downs and that is exactly what I want to share with you in this blog post.
I’m writing this post on 5th May 2023 (almost 8 months since I started). It is my 44th post. Was going to keep this one for the 12th month but can’t wait to share my journey!
This blog post is all about keeping it real and sharing my journey as a fresh-faced blogger.
I’ll give you an inside scoop on what it’s really like to dive into the blogging world and all the adventures (and misadventures) that come with it.
Let’s get ready to blog and roll!
My Blogging Journey So Far: The First 8 Months
1. Becoming a writer
There’s a difference between being fluent in English and being a native English speaker.
I’m not a native English speaker, but I can speak and write pretty fluently. However, sometimes my expressions may sound a bit off to native speakers, being from India.
But hey, I’m working on it!
When it comes to content writing, it’s not just about being error-free.
You also gotta make sure it’s interesting and professional. Because let’s be real, if I stumble upon something that’s written worse than my English, I’m out!
What can you do about it?
If you’re not a native English speaker, the best way to improve your writing is by practicing as much as possible.
When I read my old blog posts, I cringe at how silly they sound. But as time went on, my writing style and tone improved drastically.
The key is to keep practicing and reading other people’s blogs to learn how they write content.
Don’t be afraid to publish your content even if it’s not perfect.
Over time, you’ll learn and get better.
Let’s talk about self-doubt. We’ve all been there, right?
Doubting ourselves, our abilities, our decisions. It’s like a pesky mosquito that keeps buzzing around, no matter how many times you try to swat it away.
But here’s the thing: self-doubt is normal, especially when you’re trying something new or stepping outside of your comfort zone. The key is to acknowledge it and then keep moving forward.
Don’t let self-doubt hold you back from creating and sharing your content. Remember, you have something unique and valuable to offer, and the world needs to hear it.
One way to combat self-doubt is to surround yourself with supportive people. Connect with other bloggers or join a community where you can share your struggles and successes. Having a network of like-minded individuals can be incredibly empowering.
I highly recommend checking out the Facebook Group called “Becoming a Blogger” by Cate Rosales from Sweetandsimplelife if you’re looking for an amazing community. This group provides exceptional support to help you overcome your self-doubt.
Members include new bloggers, aspiring bloggers, and experienced bloggers. So you’ll find a wealth of knowledge and guidance and support from fellow members.
And finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that even the most successful bloggers have moments of self-doubt. It’s part of the journey. Embrace it, learn from it, and keep pushing forward.
3. Almost no organic traffic
Sorry to be rude, Google! But you are a blogger’s biggest enemy.
I don’t think anyone can ever determine how Google works. When I started, my biggest concern was my blog posts not getting indexed.
My first 5 posts were indexed within 2 days of publishing, but then a long list of blog posts was waiting to be crawled by Mr. Google and get indexed for around one and a half months. I seriously lost my mind!
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The real struggle is to get those indexed posts to rank on search engines.
I am not able to uncover the great secret as to why none of my blog posts are ranking for any keywords!!
In the image below, you will see 39 users came to my site through Organic searches in the last 8 months. Out of 39, I’m aware that around 30 visits are my own (I visited my site through the results of “site:infoverses.online” command)
The remaining 9 came randomly from one keyword that ranked for half a week and then was never seen again.
I’m pretty sure my content is high-quality, my blog posts are on average 2500 words (some even 5000+) and are SEO optimized, and my site is mobile-friendly and optimized for performance. But for some unknown reason, my site doesn’t rank for any keywords (except for one measly keyword).
By the time a site grows 8 months old, shouldn’t it start receiving at least some organic traffic?
I’m starting to think that the lack of backlinks might be the problem. I haven’t really focused on building links in the past, but I’m starting to think that might be the key to unlocking the traffic I’m looking for.
The night before publishing this post, I explained my situation in the Facebook Group above and asked for answers. The admin of the group (Cate) was so generous that she went all the way to her SEO tool and checked my website’s data.
She thinks my site might be receiving a lot of bad backlinks (that can hurt my site SEO) and that I might need to disavow those links (tell Google not to consider them while valuing my website). I have done it and crossed my fingers to see any positive results.
If anyone out there has any advice on how to get my site to rank, I’m all ears!
I may not be getting organic traffic (I will soon), but I damn sure know how to do my keyword research.
Below is a detailed guide to keyword research that I wrote with considerable effort and dedication.
4. Social media ain’t as easy as it looks
Believe it or not, social media is a beginner blogger’s best friend. Almost all the tini-tiny traffic that my blog gets is from Twitter.
While social media will help your traffic kickstart, it isn’t as easy as it seems.
And please don’t get tricked by the initial jump that social sites will give you as a new account.
When I created my Twitter account for my blog, I still clearly remember that my first two tweets (can’t even call them tweets) were just links to my blog post about “how to start a blog” with some description.
I got 2 likes and 3 followers on the very first day. Naturally, I was thrilled and tricked into believing that Twitter is easy and gives you higher reach.
But, that was it! No followers until around 30 tweets, no reach, and no impressions on my tweets despite the fact that my newer tweets were 100x better than my initial ones.
What can you do about it?
My advice to you is simple!
Be valuable, be patient, and be consistent.
These three things are the only way you are gonna sail through the rough ocean of social media.
Provide value in your content. Give your audience something that isn’t boring or said by almost every other person in your niche. Try to be creative with your posts, add a pinch of humor to them.
And most important of all, make friends with fellow bloggers in your niche. You cant be a lone wolf as a blogger. You need to be a part of a bigger tribe.
Share other people’s content and engage with it and they are most likely going to return the favor. Being valuable doesn’t only mean providing value through your posts, but also supporting other people climb the ladder.
Once you are valuable, then all you need is patience and consistency. Know that it will take time to build a following on social.
I joined Twitter at the end of December 2022, and right after 4 months (till today), I have a little over 100 followers on Twitter.
It’s not a big number but if I had been more consistent, I could have easily crossed 250.
However, social media has also been my top source of traffic. The majority of traffic to my site comes from Twitter.
131 users from social media (mainly Twitter). Direct traffic is more because some are my own direct visits and some traffic from no-referrer backlinks is also considered as direct in Google Analytics.
So use social media wisely and it will help you grow your traffic!
5. “Sticking to a schedule” is a tough nut to crack
“Stick to a schedule”, they say. But it’s difficult!
It’s like, you have these grand plans to be super productive and get everything done, but then life happens and suddenly you’re scrambling to catch up.
I feel like I’m always struggling to keep up with my schedule. I try to be organized and plan things out in advance, but sometimes things just don’t go according to plan.
Maybe I get distracted by something shiny (hello, social media!), or maybe I’m just feeling super lazy and don’t want to do anything.
But at the same time, you should know that sticking to a schedule is important. It’s the only way to make sure that you’re getting things done and making progress towards your goals.
What can you do about it?
You can break things down into smaller, more manageable tasks, or set reminders for yourself throughout the day. Or maybe give yourself permission to take breaks and recharge when you need to.
Also, make fuller use of automation tools to automate tasks like social media posting. I use Buffer for scheduling a week’s worth of Tweets in advance.
6. Spending too much time doing not-so-important things
Are you a perfectionist like me? Tell me in the comments if you are.
I spent a better part of my earlier days trying to perfect the look of my website (I’m still not satisfied; can you believe it?)
From choosing the perfect font to the perfect font size (different for bullet points and paragraphs), I spent a lot of precious time doing not-so-important things.
As a beginner blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in all the little details and lose sight of the big picture.
My advice? Don’t overthink it. Just get out there and start writing.
Your website might not look perfect (mine certainly doesn’t!), but that’s okay. What’s important is that you’re putting yourself out there and creating content that people will find valuable.
And with time, everything falls into place.
7. Desperation to make money
Unless you are blogging for fun, the desperation to make money from your blog is something every blogger faces.
And guess what? It is BAD!
I remember when I launched my blog, I said to myself, “See for 3 months, if it doesn’t earn you money, leave it”.
And I was lucky to never quit.
It can take a year or two to earn a penny over what you have invested. So if you are hungry for cash, then you will probably quit way too early.
The desperation for money hinders your growth, hinders your learning process, and demotivates you to continue.
What you can do about it?
I started blogging with the single motive of earning money, and when I wasn’t seeing any, I found comfort in other things that blogging offers – making new friends, networking, and learning a lot along the way, among other things.
Focus on setting realistic expectations based on your current situation and goals. This means taking into account factors such as your niche, your level of experience, and the time and resources you have available.
Don’t shoot for a full-time income or thousands of blog readers overnight, because that just doesn’t happen!
8. Making new friends
As I said, a blogger can’t be a lone wolf. He needs to be a part of a bigger tribe.
I can’t emphasize more on making friends with fellow bloggers in your niche.
I have some fabulous friends on Twitter who have had a big role in generating traffic for my website.
I share their blog posts, and they return the favor and share mine. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have reached over 100 Twitter followers.
I highly recommend using Twitter for promoting your content. Twitteratis are awesome and always ready to help each other.
Some fab people to follow on Twitter:
- Ryan Biddulph from BloggingFromParadise – An island-hopping travel blogger and a great source of inspiration for me
- Mudassir Ahmed of BloggingExplained – An experienced blogger who is also the founder of Digimiles
- Shawn Gossman of ShawnGossman.com – founder of Outdoor Growth, an outdoor recreation brand and business marketing service
- Anthony Gaenzle of AnthonyGaenzle.com – Also the founder of Gaenzle Marketing. (the humblest person I found on Twitter)
- Lisa Sicard of InspireToThrive – one of the best bloggers in the ‘blogging and make money online’ space
9. One sleepless night
I gotta share this crazy story with you.
So, one night, I was trying to improve my website’s performance and stumbled upon this thing called Cloudflare.
Apparently, it’s supposed to make everything faster and easier, so I ditched all my performance WordPress plugins and connected my site with Cloudflare.
For that, I had to add some new DNS records pointing towards Cloudflare and so that’s what I did.
But then, disaster struck.
I tried to load up my site to see the changes and BAM – “The page you are looking for couldn’t be reached”!
What the heck?
I was like, ‘No worries, it’ll probably fix itself.’ But after two hours of waiting, I started to freak out. I had 15 posts on there and no backup! I thought I was screwed.
I spent two hours trying to fix it by watching a bunch of YouTube videos and Googling for solutions, but no luck. I didn’t even have a backup of my site, and I had 15 posts at the time! So, I was freaking out and feeling hopeless when I finally dozed off at 4 AM.
I woke up at 6 AM and was still lamenting about it. Then it suddenly dawned on me that I could contact my hosting provider (isn’t that the first thing I should have done?)
So, I hit up Hostinger customer support and within no more than 2 minutes, got connected with this super nice rep named Abigail. She did some digging and found out that I had accidentally entered a DNS record twice.
What? That was it? I deleted one record and there you go, Infoverses.online was back on its feet!
I was so relieved and grateful to Abigail for saving my ass.
I highly recommend using Hostinger to power your blog. It has everything that a beginner needs plus superb 24*7 customer support.
Use my link below to get an extra 20% off on a 12-month plan.
10. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint
Finally, my greatest lesson is – Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!
What do I mean by that?
Well, for starters, building a successful blog takes time. You’re not going to see massive amounts of traffic or a flood of subscribers overnight. It takes time to build your audience, establish your brand, and create content that really resonates with people.
And even once you’ve built up a solid following, there’s always more work to be done. You can’t just sit back and relax; you have to keep pushing yourself to create even better content, engage with your audience, and stay on top of the latest trends and best practices in your niche.
But here’s the thing: all of that hard work is totally worth it. When you finally start seeing the results of all your effort – whether it’s in the form of increased traffic, more engagement, or even just positive feedback from your readers – it’s an incredible feeling!
So don’t get discouraged if you’re not seeing the results you want right away. Keep putting in the work, stay focused on your goals, and remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
You’ll get there, one step at a time!
Ready to start your blog?
Are you ready to take the leap to learn to start a blog and make money from it starting today?
Start here >> HowTo Start A Blog In 2023 And Make Money From It
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From writing late at night to getting up early and writing again.
From applying to affiliate programs to managing my affiliate links.
From designing the perfect-looking blog to choosing the perfect font size.
Solving problems only to find out there was a new one…
And from headaches to backaches, it was one hell of an experience to get settled with my blog initially.
But all of it is worth it!
If you found this post relatable or helpful for your blogging journey, I want you to share it with your friends, aspiring bloggers, and struggling bloggers and spread this message as much as possible.
Also, when you share it, it makes my countless hours more meaningful!
Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments or reach out to me at [email protected].
I promise I’ll respond soon!
Ali is a passionate and experienced blogger with a mission to teach others how to start their own blog, monetize it, and become successful in the process. He shares the lessons he’s learned on his own journey through personal anecdotes and factual examples.