Blogging for Beginners – Tips that Grew My Blog to $9,000 per month
The Blogging For Beginners
The list of hard tips and soft skills you need to succeed as a beginning bloggers in your first year
Do you need tips for beginning bloggers to make your blogs super successful? Below are all the tips so you can copy the same steps and attain the same success. The advice in this post allowed me to grow from $0 to $9,000 per month in a year. If you want a 12-month step by step plan, you’re welcome to download it here!
#1 What Problem Are You Solving
First thing, when you’re starting a blog make sure you know your “what”. What problem are you solving? Who are you catering to? How are you helping them?
For me on Start A Mom Blog, I’m catering to moms. I know there are other people on my list as well. But my main goal is to help mommies. I’m a mommy. I know the struggles that we go through. I know how distracted we can get. I’m here to help moms start blogs. I know the technical difficulties that moms have. I know my customer. Make sure that you know who your audience is and what you’re providing for them. Always remember what problem are you solving.
It’s good to niche down and focus on an audience and really help them. That’s what is going to set you apart as a blogger. You don’t want your blog to cover a hundred different topics, pick a few that work well together. Google and Pinterest are there to be the big search engines, don’t try to copy them.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Here is an example, Christy from TheHarperHouse.com blogs about modern rustic farmhouse home decor. That is pretty nichy! And she makes over $5,000 per month from her blog.
Carolina from MamaInstincts blogs about nontoxic baby products and makes over $1,000 just from the Amazon Affiliate program.
When you go to the bookstore to purchase a book, do you buy the encyclopedia every time, or do you look for a book that covers a specific problem and gives you a solution? Think about your blog in the same way.
#2 Who Are You Helping?
Number two, know your avatar. Know your audience. I kind of went into that a little bit already.
How to find your audience:
Go to subreddits on Reddit and type in your main category. If you blog about minimalism you can type that in and see what people are talking about. What issues are they having? What questions are they asking? This is how you find out what your audience is struggling with.
You could also go to Quora, that’s another place to answer and ask questions in your niche.
Or you can go to Facebook Groups. In Facebook Groups, there are a ton of mommy groups, blogging groups, groups for minimalism or bullet journaling or any type of niche.
Search in the Facebook search bar and go to those groups and see what people are asking. If you see the same question coming up over and over, that would make an amazing blog post. If that blog post takes off then eventually you can create a product that expands on that topic.
Know your audience. And go find what they’re asking for.
#3 Don’t try to be Perfect as a Beginning Blogger
Number three, don’t try to be perfect. Take for example the video I created with this post, it’s a one-time thing. There is no editing. This is me. This is real. I’m going to mess up but I don’t have the time and the capacity to make things perfect. I can get 80% there and my mommies understand that.
Sometimes, I have spelling errors. Things aren’t polished. But we’re real and they know I’m helping them and they’re helping me. The video is an example of trying to not be perfect because we don’t have time for that. We need to help each other and not try to be a perfectionist. I always strive to do my best, but sometimes things happen that aren’t in line with my plans. And those ‘mistakes’ can work in your favor too. Your audience will see you as a real person and they’ll be able to relate to you more.
For example, my beginning blog posts on my blog were not the greatest. I know a lot of bloggers struggle with this. They wonder, “What should I write about?” “Should I even write?” “Should I blog?”
What should your first post be?
But if you’re just beginning to blog, remember that those first couple of posts are warming you up. They’re preparing you so that you get better. You’re going to get better with practice and exercise. You’re going to get faster and more eloquent in your writing. With any activity that you do, blogging included, if you keep doing it, you’ll improve.
Even though my first blog post are not read by many people anymore they helped me become a better blogger. You’ll accomplish more if you just start.
In your first year of blogging, do this!
And this is something I absolutely love about blogging, the ability to keep experimenting. That’s the whole fun thing about being a blogger. You can try something out. If it doesn’t work you can just take the post or video down. For example, you can try it and if it falls flat, delete the post. It’s a good learning experience.
I know of many bloggers that go back and delete old posts that just don’t work for their niche anymore. Those posts helped them grow and learn. So don’t be afraid to test and experiment on your blog too.
Keep experimenting and trying different things. Maybe your audience is on Reddit. Maybe they’re on Pinterest. Maybe they’re on Facebook. Keep trying different things and you’re going to grow.
#4 Stay Consistent
Number four, stay consistent. This was really helpful for me during my first year of blogging on startamomblog.com
In my first year, I publish a post every week. I know there are some bloggers who do multiple posts a day and I cannot do that, not with two children, a house to clean and dinner to cook.
On the weeks that I was on vacation, had a sick child or were sick myself, I would ask a friend to guest post on my blog for me. Or I would do a quick video and send that out to my email list.
I consistently kept in touch with my readers every week; either through a new post, video or tips to my subscribers.
Stay consistent even if you have to look at different ways of keeping that engagement going.
#5 Grow Your Email List even as a New Blogger
Number five, grow your email list from day one. It’s going to be slow in the beginning. You’re going to try different freebies to get people to give their email address to you. A freebie could be a PDF that helps solve your reader’s main problems quickly in your niche. For example a checklist of ten things you need to do to become a minimalist or how to start your bullet journal in three easy steps. These types of freebies are used as incentives so people give their email address to you.
Once you build your list you’ll be able to know what your readers want and what they’re struggling with, because you’ll be able to ask them directly.
Here is my highest converting freebie, a 12-month step by step free planner, you’re welcome to download it here!
Even if you only have twenty people subscribed to your list and half of them are your family, email them. Get that engagement going, get into the consistency of emailing them at least once a week because you don’t want your list to go cold.
I was scared to email my list
In my first year blogging on startamomblog, I was honestly scared to email my list. It took me a month before I finally had the courage to do it. By that time, I had seven hundred people on it. I was just collecting all these emails and I was never going to talk to them. I was scared of people unsubscribing. But even if they unsubscribe, that’s okay. Not everybody can be your friend. That’s life. But if you keep the engagement going, you’re going to create great relationships and friendships with the people on your email list. Even if there are just twenty people on it, grow it and stay consistent at emailing them.
#6 Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Number six, pick just a couple of affiliates if you’re deciding to make money through your blog with affiliate marketing. Pick a maximum of five in the beginning and promote those heavily. Know the product. Don’t just promote something that has a good affiliate program and a great pay-out, but you know nothing about it or you don’t use it. That’s not authentic. That’s not going to help your reader and they’ll be able to see through it.
Obviously, Amazon would be considered one affiliate in my opinion, and not each item a separate affiliate. If you do promote products from Amazon, make sure you know first hand that they are high quality and helpful to your audience.
Make sure you pick affiliates that will help your reader and that you know about, have used or liked. I am honest with my readers regarding the affiliates I recommend. If things go wrong, I let them know. I reveal both the good and the bad about the affiliates that I use, and that builds a strong level of trust from my readers which I value highly.
An affiliate that I use is ConvertKit. Even though ConvertKit is a little pricey for my audience and a little bit advanced, that is the email marketing service that I use and love.
For example, Carolina from MamaInstincts promotes non-toxic baby play mats. She has many posts on the topic. She does a thorough review of all the non-toxic baby play mats. It’s a resource of a post. People go to it to decide which baby play mats to buy. Because she did the research and knows her products, that post really converts well for her.
If I all of a sudden started talking about non-toxic baby play mats, my audience would be utterly confused. Even though my audience may be larger than Carolina’s, my conversions would be almost zero. My readers are coming to my blog to learn how to grow their online business, not to purchase baby products. So make sure your affiliates are in line with your niche.
So in conclusion, know your affiliates really well and understand how they will benefit your reader. Then only promote the affiliates you truly love and don’t spread yourself too thin.
#7 Create Something
Number seven, create a product. Once you have a couple blog posts and you’re starting to build your email list. You can talk to your subscribers and ask them what will make their life better. From that feedback, you’ll know what product to create.
Maybe start with a little ebook that you can charge twenty dollars for. Something that helps them solve their main problem step by step. If that ebook does really well, turn it into a course. That’s what I did the last year. Creating an ebook and course for moms worked really well for me. If you want to follow the same method and process, I highly encourage it, I’ve outlined it in the 12-month step by step free planner.
#8 Be a Friend
Number eight, build friendships with other bloggers. When you go into the niche Facebook groups you’ve joined, reach out to a couple of other bloggers that are in the same niche. Don’t see them as competition. See them as co-workers. As bloggers we need to help and build each other up.
Because blogging is a long-term thing, it takes a lot of energy and a lot of time. It’s lonely. You need those online friends to help and encourage you. Especially when you get stuck and demotivated. Having some friends in the blogging world who know what you’re going through really helps you stay focused and motivated.
How to make blogging friends
Go into Facebook groups that are in your niche and create a post along the lines of, “Hey friends I’m a newish blogger. I blog about this and this. Does anybody else blog about it? I’d love to form a small mastermind group so we can encourage and help each other grow.” You will be amazed at the number of responses you get!
Make a small Facebook group of five to ten other bloggers and help each other. You can discuss things and build friendships. Share posts and repin pins. You can guest post on each other’s blogs and share links. It’s a great way to grow as a beginning blogger in your first year.
#9 Really Be Yourself
Number nine, be real. The internet is full of wonderful, beautiful and gorgeous people. But sometimes it feels like they are all photoshopped. It seems so fake.
Be real for your audience. Be yourself. We go online to make connections with other people. We want to see people being real. That speaks volumes to us.
My home is not perfect. I am constantly cleaning up, reorganizing and donating to get rid of the clutter. Things aren’t perfect and they don’t all match. That’s okay. I want to show you that I’m a friend and that I’m a normal person. I’m a tired mom of two wonderful little girls, who sometimes drive me crazy. I get snappy and have moments I am not proud of.
I try to be the best version of myself online, but I am still real. And I know my audience appreciates it.
Show your personality. If you see a couple of my videos, you can see my personality and I’m a little quirky. The more real you are, the more your readers can relate to you and build a relationship.
I’m very personal in the emails I send to my subscribers. I frequently ask them for advice and input on motherhood things, like how to get my baby to sleep through the night. My readers aren’t just subscribers to my blog, they are my friends. I help them with their blogs, and they help me in countless other ways!
When I started blogging I heard this quote;
Even though there are tons of mommies that have mommy blogs, you connect with that person, that blogger behind the words and behind the content. You form a relationship with them. That’s what makes you follow them. Not so much with the content they put out. Yes, it could be amazing. But it’s about the blogger behind the blog. You see their personality shine through and you’re like “Ah I like that person, I want to be friends with them.” That’s how you get a lot of followers.
Below are a few of my pictures from my Instagram account. I know I should tailor my account to be more professional and in line with my brand, but at this time, I like to use it as a personal connection with my readers. I showcase my life, not my blog, on my Instagram. You’re welcome to follow along and see how normal and boring I really am.
#10 Stay Positive – The Hardest Task for Beginning Bloggers
Lastly, one of the most important things to remember in your first year of blogging is to stay positive. It’s so easy to get demotivated and depressed. When you see bloggers who are making money faster than you are, or who have crazy traffic numbers, you can easily become envious and feel like you’re not good enough.
But try not to fall into the comparison trap. It’s a downward spiral. There were numerous days in my first year of blogging where I just sat on the couch and cried. Seriously, it was that bad. My hubby would have to console me and let me know that with consistently hard work it’ll pay off.
I was sad when others stole my ideas, or grew faster than I did, or when I got an angry email from a reader. I’m a pretty emotional person and those little things really got to me.
Negative thoughts, jealousy, and depression can zap your productivity!
Now I constantly surround myself with positive blogging friends, I avoid the temptation of visiting the blogs that make me feel depressed and I stay off social media unless I’m working. Facebook or Instagram can quickly become a showcase of everyone’s perfect lives. Constantly looking at that can make anyone feel inadequate.
So when I feel myself drifting into a negative mindset, I close the browser window or put down my phone, and quickly focus on all the amazing and positive things in my life!
Step by Step Plan for Your First Year of Blogging
I hope this blogging tips list of actionable tips and soft skills help you succeed in your first year. I also created the 12-month step by step free planner how I grew my blog from $0 to over $9,000 per month. You’re welcome to download it and follow it too! Remember, the secret is not in the plan itself, it’s in the implementation of the plan!
100% Free Blogging Course!
Get the exact plan I followed to grow my blog from $0 to over $9,000 per month in my first year.
I really like what you said about being authentic and being a friend to your readers. That is something I should work on more. Like you said, so often you feel a connection to a person and follow them for that, not necessarily for the content. Thank you for the excellent advice and inspiration!!
Great tips Suzi. I’m in the first few months and you’ve definitely addressed some of those pain points! 😛 I’ve been thinking about reaching out for more personal connections with other parenting bloggers- and now after reading this I’m definitely going to do that!
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Love this post, you layout all the exact steps
Thanks for these tips! I am an emotional person too, and social media, comparison games, low traffic can really zap productivity!
Number 9 makes me cry!
You are wonderful Suzi, I got inspired by you so much.
Thank you for being here for us.
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing ideas. This is my first time responding to anyone in a forum like this. I’m considering.. no.. I’m going to learn how to blog. I feel like I have a lot to offer and can help people out… I just turned 50 and I’m ready for a positive change. I look forward to incorporating your suggestions.
This is an incredibly educational blog entry. Cherished it.
Other than an inside and out asset, I likewise loved the picture where you have sorted all the sources – it fills in as a prepared reckoner.
Wow, People follow People, not blogs. Got me there. What a thorough article you have written here. Thank you so much for writing it in a very simple language so that we all can easily understand.
By the way, I have a question for you – In the very start when you just published your blog on the internet, What was your state of mind at that time? Did negative thoughts held you back or you were always positive?
I am waiting for your reply.
I have blog and I have had it for 2 years. Since 2017. No one goes to it. I have worked my butt off…and the one thing I just don’t understand is how you get people to your blog. My kids keep me extremely busy so I can’t constantly post on instagram, and the thing is even if I did no one looks at my posts. I can’t afford fancy software to even make images yet. I was hoping if i keep writing and writing eventually I could buy a few things for my blog. But that has never happened. I have looked at endless and endless how to’s until my head spins…. I have put those how to’s into work in my blog, but still nothing. You say you cried…but I’m about to give up after 2 years. I just recently switched hosts but yeah…. Maybe my writing is just lame. I don’t know.
Awesome info! For those who are not a blogger will think that it’s simple to blog. But for those who are dive in, it’s really quite a lot to learn.
Really amazing post!
Being a new blogger, it’s really hard to GENERATE traffic, earn money and build trust.
When I started, I used to compare my blog with top bloggers and got disappointed. This is also a reason why newbie bloggers get demotivated.
Such an inspiring post and was something I needed to hear. This coming April will be my one year anniversary. I agree that staying positive and being consistent is key to help any blog grow.
One of my mistakes was not staying consistent and its something I’m working on now. I just downloaded your free blog plan course and I’m looking forward to see growth in the future. I have bookmarked this page to refer back to as you mention a lot of key points for becoming a blogger.
Thank you so much for sharing!
Awesome post! Very informative and helpful! Love it!
Hi Suzi – You have a great website and community. I’ve shared your blog with a few friends already and they too have signed up.
Tip #4 is very important, i’m slowly learning that lesson.
Such a great post! I love reading and following you. You are on my list of mom bloggers I compare myself too, haha, but I do really admire you and you have given me so many great tips to help me grow my blog ? Keep up the awesome work!
Hi Suzi – I’m just discovering you and wanted to drop a line to say I appreciate the detail in your posts and how “actionable” they are. There’s so much fluff out there and it’s refreshing to find something with honest-to-God info! I look forward to reading more and getting to know you. 🙂
Thank you so much Karin!! I really appreciate it. I know your time is valuable and I don’t want to give you fluff 🙂
Thanks for sharing this awesome post especially number 10, (positive! ) you are an inspirational to all of us (starting out as bloggers or is getting ready to start as bloggers). I’m still writing down list of things Brainstorming or list of ideas). Anyways, many many thanks for the information and tips
Have a good day!
Thank you so much Joanne!! I appreciate your comment – have an amazing week!
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I lose my mind looking at all the stuff you accomplish. Props to you for working so hard. I’m just over here maintaining :S Hopefully soon I can kick it into gear and bring in some awesome money like you have so quickly!
Thank you Payton! There’s a lot of tears and down days behind all of this hard work – but most worthwhile things are challenging. Thank you for the sweet comment!
This article inspired me to get out the Post-Its and starting writing down goals of what needs to get done to take my blog to the next level! Thanks so much!
Sarah, fantastic! Post-It notes help me plan my blog visually, it’s like real life Trello 🙂 xx
Wow! As a new blogger, this really hit me where I needed it! You are very inspirational! I absolutely LOVE the positive vibes you put out there for all of us! THANK YOU!
Daelyn, so happy you liked the post! We all need encouragement, I know that’s what got me through my first year of blogging on startamomblog! Thank you for the sweet comment!
Wow Suzi. This post is awesome. I love your tips. What an excellent read. Bookmarking for later.
Thank you Jenn! So happy you stopped by and that you like the post 🙂 Always happy to see you visit 🙂
I could not resist commenting. Very well written!
I have to say I love you girl! You are such an inspiration to us newbie bloggers and moms who have blogs! This post is totally on point and perfectly showcases why I have a blogger crush on you. I run a little blogger promo group on FB and most of my members are in there first year so I had to share this with them. I really hope they check it out and subscribe to your wonderful, uplifting emails like I did. Keep it up girlfriend!
Aww, thank you Marie! That means a lot to me! I’m flattered to have a girl crush, I’ll be sure to put on something nice when we meet one day 🙂 Thanks for sharing my post in your group! What a sweet thing to do!! xxx
I concur with all comments above! I’m always so excited to have a reply from Suzi in my inbox! To be really honest, because my inbox is OVERFLOWING with blog subscriptions, I’ve filtered most of them out just bc I can’t keep up. Because of your personal touch,l and your faithful only once per week emails
(thank you!! ?), I always take time to read and am so glad I do! You’ve hit the nail on the head, girl! It’s no wonder you’re so successful!
Wow! You just made me blush so hard Julie! Thank you!! It’s hard work answering every email, but it’s so worth it when I get such sweet comments and replies from you!
And the once a week emails I feel is a good pace. It doesn’t overwhelm my readers and it also is less work on me. Because every time I send out a broadcast I get about 50 emails+ that I reply to, so that takes up most of Tuesday and Wednesday 🙂
Thank you again! So happy to read your comment!
Suzi, this is really helpful although I really have a hard time niching down. When I started blogging I did not tell my relatives, very few family and friends still know about my blog. I am not ashamed, I somehow do not want to be held ‘accountable’ whilst coping with the new venture! I started it with a long term view in mind. The perfection thing…I have been thinking of approaching my blog differently for a while and your honesty made me realise that it is the way to go! Does it even make sense?
Yes! 🙂 Dankie! I am so happy to have you here! I also didn’t tell my friends and family for the longest time about my blog, because I wanted to build up my consistency and strength before proclaiming it to ‘my world.’ Now that my blog is on a roll, I’m back to keeping a bit quiet about it around friends and family – unless they ask.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post! I started my blog in August through your Blog By Numbers course but haven’t done much with it. I have been spending so much time in my head until the last month or so where I’ve really been working hard at figuring out my niche. Some days are so encouraging and enlightening, and then others I’m down in the dumps because I see such a mountain of work in front of me. I know I can help other moms out there if I can get organized and eat this elephant one bite at a time. Your post was so timely and encouraging! xoxo!
Thank you so much Terrin! Yes! Blogging is a huge elephant in front of you. You’re teaching yourself how to run an online business, you’re a writer, a marketer, a social media strategist, a planning department, a proofreader, a R&D department – it’s crazy all the hats you wear when you’re a ‘blogger’. So take it one bite at a time, you can do it, but don’t get frustrated if you can’t master it overnight 🙂
So…. I was totally taking notes while watching the video. And then realized it was also a blog post so I didn’t need to take notes! HA! Thank you for creating this website and this post. SUPER helpful for me trying to find my way in creating a personal finance blog. People are so fake about money and I just want to be real… the struggle is REAL people! Anyway, thank you!
Hehe yes! I love that comment Amy! The struggle really is real. It’s not easy to make money – it takes hard work, consistency and sometimes afternoons crying on the couch. Thanks for the sweet comment!!
Thankyou so much for this post! I am just starting out on this blogging adventure and really have no idea what I’m doing, but I decided to give it a shot. My husband and I just found out that we’re expecting our first baby in August, so I’m hopeful blogging can make it possible for me to stay at home with the new little one.
Your last point about staying positive is a big one for me. I’m definitely a perfectionist, so it’s easy to get lost comparing myself to others instead of just working on my own thing and making it the best it can be. I’ve been so afraid of the blog not being good enough that I’ve hardly been able to start. Your post made me feel so much better about just getting out there and doing it…imperfect as it is 🙂 Gotta start somewhere!
Congratulations on your first baby! And I’m so happy the post inspired you, thank you for the sweet comment!!
I always love your posts and videos Suzi, you’re so real! It’s great to see you can be successful without being totally perfect. I’ll be taking on board your tip about not comparing myself to other bloggers, I find income reports really interesting and helpful to read but it can make you think ‘why am i not earning as much as them’. Thanks for such helpful tips. 🙂
I still feel the same too when I read income reports. Sometimes they inspire me, other times they leave me feeling empty and depressed. It depends a lot on how much sleep I got the night before 🙂 So thank you for relating! And just remember, nobody is perfect online, even if they present themselves that way. We all have very real struggles. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!!
I’m so glad you decided to venture into the blogging world! I appreciate that you are so real and relatable ?. I’m working through your course and hope to reach others in a meaningful way, the same you have. Congrats on your success!
Thank you so much Jennifer! I’m so happy you’re in the course! 🙂 xxx
Such a great post! I love reading and following you. You are on my list of mom bloggers I compare myself too, haha, but I do really admire you and you have given me so many great tips to help me grow my blog 🙂 Keep up the awesome work!
Thank you Hannah! I’m happy I’m on your list of mom bloggers 🙂 Sometimes I feel pretty uncool in my yoga pants and messy hair running behind my baby and toddler. It’s nice to know I’m on somebody’s cool list! xx
Out of all of these wonderful tips, #10 is super important!
As a mom, so many things don’t go as planned no matter how much I plan them.
I’ve learned from you and other mommy bloggers that staying positive is one of the biggest gifts I can give myself.
Thanks for all your tips, advice and making me feel like I have you as a friend in my head, though, we have never met…yet! (smile)
Thank you Ianthe! Hopefully we’ll meet one day! 🙂 I’m so happy you liked the post.
Thank you so much for being real! This couldn’t have been timed anymore perfectly than it was. So that the rest of my message makes sense, lol, First let me say I’m a mom of 4, taking 17 credit hours of psych classes, working part time and also starting this new adventure. Okay, now the rest will make sense 😉 – just last night I had a deep conversation with myself. I have literally been creating content in my mind for over five years and keeping notes of it all. Yes, five. Now that I have my website up and running (www.jameemaree.com) I have been trying to find a day where I could get dressed, do my hair, clean a spot in the house and record some videos. But last night I decided NO WAY! My blog posts always say “you are not alone” somewhere bc that’s what o want my readers to know and feel. So if I go get pretty, appear to have a clean house etc then how am I helping them?! As I laid in bed this morning still pondering on all of this, I realized that the comments and blogs I am always drawn to are the “real gals” so why would I be any different?!? Next thing I did literally was opened this email and watched the video blog post. How awesome!!! So THANK YOU for confirming what I was feeling in my heart and for being real yourself!!!
Fantastic Jamie! I am so happy you’re on board too! The internet is full of perfectly polished blogs. While I strive to be as professional as possible, it’s the real stuff that people connect to and the longer I do this, the more I realize it. Especially as moms, we need to connect to a real person and feel normal 🙂 Thank you for the sweet comment!! Good luck on all those credit hours!!
What an inspirational post. You’ve done amazing for your first year. I know staying positive is important, and I get highly distracted with others’ blogs too!
I know I’ve personally emailed you or messaged you on Facebook asking silly technical questions, but you’ve always answered me and helped me out! Thanks.
I love coming to your blog, learning more about affiliate marketing and your images and graphics are ah-mah-zing!
Congrats Suzi 🙂
Aww thank you Elna! I really appreciate it! 🙂 It’s great to have fellow mommy blogging friends who struggle with the same issues. You really need to consider creating a Pinterest product, your pins are always all over my feed 🙂