11 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Blog

blogging

I don’t like bragging, but I have to say I’m a pretty good blogger. It’s not because I am smart or anything like that, it’s actually because I screwed up one too many times. After starting four blogs and making hundreds of mistakes over seven years, eventually you are bound to figure out what to do and what not to do.

I just wish someone told me all of this before I started my first blog. Here are 11 things you should know before starting your first blog:

You need to be social

When I started blogging, I hoped that I would get a ton of traffic through search engines because all of the other popular blogs got a lot of Google love. The reality is you won’t get too much traffic from Google because your blog is new…it takes years before your search engine traffic kicks in.

So, how do you get traffic in the short run? You do it through social media. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and StumbleUpon are just a few examples of social sites that can drive you a ton of traffic.

If you are willing to spend money, you can buy traffic from StumbleUpon ads or Facebook ads, but if you aren’t, you’ll have to focus on building your social media profiles. This means you’ll have to spend time participating in the community, befriending other people, sharing stories and even messaging other users.

As you go through this process, don’t put all of your time and energy into one social media site because sometimes even the popular sites die down. I made my first blog, Pronet Advertising, popular by consistently getting on the front page of Digg. Today, however, Digg isn’t popular. You have to diversify your social media traffic.

Once you build up your social media profiles, you can make almost any blog popular. For example, my business partner and I were able to get the Crazy Egg blog to over 100,000 visitors a month in less than one year. We did this by promoting the blog content on our social profiles.

Consistency is the key to growth

I never realized consistency was important until it affected my traffic…in a negative way. Sometimes, I used to write a blog each week, while other times I would write five blog posts a week. It wasn’t until June 2009 that I realized that not being consistent can hurt your traffic.

Back in May 2009, I used to blog five times a month, and my traffic stats were 45,237 visitors a month.

may traffic

When I slowed down on my blogging, my traffic tanked to 35,786 visitors a month.

june traffic

I had to blog consistently for three months to get back to my May traffic numbers. This just goes to show that you need to blog on a consistent basis, or else your traffic won’t grow on a regular basis.

For that reason, you better love what you are blogging about, or you won’t have the will power to blog on a consistent basis.

What goes online, stays online

When I first started blogging, I used to create mediocre content. My content did all right from a traffic standpoint because I was good at leveraging social media.

Over time, I got lazy and the quality of my content continually decreased. This prompted a handful of people to email me and tell me how I sucked. To make matters worse, a few bloggers even blogged about how my content sucked.

Your brand is everything, and I hope you don’t have to go through what I went through. Treat it like gold and do whatever you can to protect it. Make sure every piece of content you put out on the web is a masterpiece because if you screw up once, it will be on the web forever.

I was able to recover my brand over time, but I did lose a few consulting clients during that time period, which hurt my income.

It’s all in the list

I’ve said it time and time again, the best traffic source for your blog is through emails. I used to be a big believer that RSS traffic was the best form of traffic, but over time people stopped using their feed readers, which is why Google shut theirs down.

So, why should you collect emails? Take Quick Sprout, for example. Emails make up 13.91% of my overall traffic; they drive 41% of my comments; and email subscribers are 3.9 times more likely to share the content via the social web.

And it’s not just with Quick Sprout…we see similar stats from our email list on our KISSmetrics blog.

If you want to start collecting emails from your blog, follow the steps in this blog post.

Blogging isn’t free

I started blogging years ago because I thought it was an affordable way to drive more business to my startup. And although it’s effective, it isn’t too affordable. Sure it’s cheaper than most marketing strategies, but it still costs a lot of money to do it right.

Let me explain…

If you just want to create a personal blog, you can do so for free through WordPress.com. And if you want to host a blog on your own server with your own domain name, you can do so for under $50 a year.

But if you are trying to make money from your blog, you will have to spend money to make it. Here are a few things that you will end up spending money on:

  • Unique design – you don’t want to use a generic theme if you plan on monetizing your blog.
  • Custom development – there aren’t plugins for everything you need. It costs money to have a developer create unique email collection modules or make an ad that scrolls with the user.
  • A/B testing – if you want to maximize your revenue, you will have to A/B test your call to actions and monetization methods. If you don’t have the skill set to do this, you’ll have to spend money hiring consultants.
  • Social media marketing – sometimes to get more social love, you have to spend money. Every once in a while, I spend money paying consultants to help me boost my StumbleUpon or even Facebook traffic.

The above bullet points are just some examples of expenses you will incur. You can spread out your expenses over time and figure out how to do things on a budget, but don’t expect to create a great blog for free. If you don’t invest in your blog, it won’t grow as fast.

It took me years before I spent money on blogging, and I wish I did it sooner as Quick Sprout would have been much larger. Here are my expenses for Quick Sprout last month:

  • Hosting – $750 (I use Akamai as my CDN, which adds up fast)
  • Design – $7,700 (I am releasing an Advanced Guide to Content Marketing at the end of this month, similar to the Advanced Guide to SEO)
  • Writers – $3,000 (I had a writer help me edit and correct the Advanced Guide to Content Marketing…it’s over 40,000 words)
  • Coding – $3,500 (I needed to hire someone to code the Advanced Guide to Content Marketing)
  • Time management – $4,000 (I have an assistant because it saves me 2 to 3 hours a day. I can then put those 2 to 3 hours towards blogging and responding to comments.)
  • Emails – $731 (my SendGrid and Aweber bills add up)
  • Plugin development – $4500 (I’m creating a WordPress plugin that will help me collect more emails on Quick Sprout and get more social media traffic.)

I have a ton of small expenses as well, but the ones above are the major ones. They add up to $24,181, which just covers one month worth of expenses. It may seem like a lot of my expenses are one-time, but it’s very rare that I spend less than $20,000 a month on Quick Sprout.

I don’t mind the expenses, but I just wanted to let you know that you have to spend money to do things right. Without spending money, it’s rare that you can create a blog with a big audience.

It’s easy to get new traffic, but hard to retain it

If you look at the image below, you’ll notice that Quick Sprout received 441,676 visits and 340,176 unique visitors over the last 30 days.

current traffic

Out of all of those visitors, can you guess how many are returning visitors? 31%.

In the past, I had only 18% of my visitors as repeat visitors, but over time I’ve been able to increase the number. I wish I had focused on that earlier because my traffic would have been much higher if I had focused on it years ago.

Here’s how you can retain your visitors:

  • Survey them – learn what they want and provide it to them. I use Qualaroo and Survey Monkey to figure out what you wanted to read, and then I write it.
  • Build a community – if you can make your readers feel part of something, they’ll be more likely to come back. This is the main reason I focus so hard on improving the number of comments on Quick Sprout and why I try to respond to every email I get from you.
  • Collect emails – as I mentioned above, you should collect emails. It’s one of the best ways to increase your repeat visitor count.

Strike while the iron is hot

There’s always going to be a new method of content marketing that is hot…you just have to leverage it before everyone else. It doesn’t matter what your blog is on; you can always make boring topics fun to read…you just have to get creative.

When you find one of these hot ideas, keep leveraging them until they die down.

With KISSmetrics, we realized that infographics were going to be hot, so we decided to create one every single week. We ended up cranking out 47 infographics, which generated 2,512,596 visits from 41,142 backlinks, 41,359 tweets and 20,859 likes.

I tried creating infographics on Quick Sprout, but I was too late. By the time I got into it, they were already played out, they didn’t get as many social shares, nor did they drive as much traffic as they did for KISSmetrics.

Another example is The Oatmeal. The founder of that site, Matt, realized that quizzes and comics where popular, so he created a site that only contained quizzes and comics. Again, that strategy is played out so if you want to boost your traffic you’ll have to come up with a different one.

If you find a hot content idea, keep milking it until it lasts…because sooner or later it will get played out just like everything else does.

Content length affects traffic

I didn’t realize content length affects traffic until I started to write really detailed posts. It wasn’t because I was trying to game Google or any social site, but it was because I wanted to write content that helps you. And I couldn’t figure out how to do that without writing really detailed content.

The beautiful part about writing detailed content is that it ranks higher on Google. If you look at the results page on page one of Google, each site on average will have at least 2000 words of content. That just shows that Google really sees content as king.

Just make sure you don’t fill your posts with fluff to reach the 2,000 word content. Always write for users and never for search engines. It just happens that people prefer detailed content with actionable steps, and it’s hard to do that in a few hundred words.

Write your posts in a conversational manner

People prefer conversations over lectures. That’s why you never fall asleep when you have a conversation with your friends, but you would fall asleep in your high school lecture.

I never used to write in a conversational manner, but when I did, my time on site increased by 22.7%. And when I ran a Crazy Egg heatmap, I noticed that people used to scroll more than before.

quicksprout heatmap

You can make your content more conversational by:

  • Using the words “you” and “I”- these are two words that are common in conversations. By using them, you will be talking to your readers instead of at them.
  • Use line breaks – don’t make your paragraphs go on forever. Not only will that make your blog harder to read, but it will make your content feel more like a lecture than a conversation.
  • Italicize words – have you noticed that I italicize words and phrases throughout each of my blog posts? I especially do it when I am asking you a question or answer one. It helps keep you engaged because it makes certain parts seem more like a conversation.
  • Don’t be too formal – conversations are friendly and not formal. Don’t write your posts as if you are writing an essay.

Design is marketing

I always felt that design was important, but I never nit-picked every little thing. Why? Because I felt that my design was better than the average blog’s out there. This, however, created frustration among my readers with certain things such as lack of abilityto find the popular posts on Quick Sprout.

Eventually, I was able to please you once I fine-tuned my design.

As you already know, being average isn’t good enough. You need to be the best! And to be the best, you need an awesome design…not a mediocre one. You need one that drives traffic to your money pages, that boosts your conversion rate and, most importantly, that makes the content easy to read.

The size of your font, typography and even spacing are all little things that are part of your design. Those elements can have a big impact on whether your content is going to be read by someone.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have an attractive design because you can then submit it to the CSS galleries, which usually can drive 500 to 3,000 visitors to your website, assuming you submit your site to at least 10 galleries.

People matter

When I started my first blog, all I cared about is how many visitors I had and how I could convert those visitors into customers. I never really cared about my readers.

These days, I don’t focus on visitor count or even revenue; instead, I judge how well I am doing by the following parameters:

  1. The number of comments – usually when you leave a comment, you are asking a question. I then respond back as I love helping you and other people.
  2. The numbers of emails – just like comments, most of the emails I receive are from you asking for help. I enjoy responding to you and others as it brings a smile to my face.

These days, I do make money, and lot more than I used to when I first started blogging, but money is a side effect of solving problems and helping people. If I had to put a dollar value on my responses to comments and emails, I probably would be in red. But how could you put a price on helping people? :)

Sure, by helping people I’m gaining a ton of good karma points, which probably helps me, but I wouldn’t trade helping you for any sum of money.

With your blog, don’t just focus on traffic and revenue. Focus on helping people too as the rest will come once you help out enough people.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can avoid the mistakes I made when I first started blogging. I would hate for you to repeat my mistakes as they hindered my growth.

If you want to make your blog popular, focus on solving one problem at a time. It’s going to be too hard to implement all of the tactics above…but if you focus on them individually, eventually you’ll conquer them all.

So, what other blogging mistakes should you avoid?

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Comments

  1. I am a relatively new blogger, for a beginners such as myself you have shown me a lot of things that I should concentrate on.

    Thank you very much for writing such a detailed and wonderful post.

    Also what is your experience regarding getting traffic from reddit.com and google+?

  2. Consistency is really very important when it comes to blogging. I have also tested it personally and it seems I have to write article every 5 to 6 days or else I see sudden drop in my traffic.

    Other than that, I don’t think anybody would have thought that social media would play such an important role in 2013 SEO.

    Its really amazing post..thanks.

  3. This is a great blog post. I have molded my blog based on a lot of your tips and suggestions because you definitely know what you are doing.

    I like where the blogging world is heading and it seems like it is important to connect with visitors everywhere (social media, website comments, emails, etc.).

    Your traffic numbers are great btw!

  4. Consistently has been key. Neil is consistent and that keeps me coming for more. And he delivers great and lengthy posts. And of course the list. I clicked on this post from my email immediately i saw the title. Ohh and I bookmark almost every new post now.

    Thanks Neil.

  5. I would once again praise to god about this amazing post. As i am a really new blogger on the web. Learning from others mistakes is a really important factor for growth or else you would just end as everyone else did.

    Eventually i was lucky enough to be at QuickSprout and this amazing human being known as Mr. Neil Patel who showed me some of the most important ways to avoid mistakes that one can make.

    Thank you once again.

  6. Nice again.
    I know that in a previous post you said that 2 post / 1 week are just fine, but i think you should write at least 3.

    You write detailed and good information (and others can approve) about SEO, tips & trick, blogs, etc – that from most of us learn a lot

    About the Ad guide to seo: best bookmark!

    Wait for the next post :)

  7. Google Plus doesn’t drive much traffic. Why?

  8. Great Neil, how long does it take you to write one of these? Do you have a blog post writing day?

    Your content is so good that it is very hard to unsubscribe from your list!

  9. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Neil. I enjoyed your post, as usual and learnt a few things. By sharing your monthly expenses on running your online show, you definitely helped me expand my vision. This post added value to me and I thank you for doing that.

    Regards,
    Kumar

  10. Wow Neil! This post was awesome! Thank you so much for the detailed information. I started my blog only a few months ago, so these tips are really helpful. I’m one of your email subscribers, so it just proves your point of how key your list really is! Also, when I first started blogging I was writing long blog posts, but then I thought people preferred video and short posts. I’m going to go back to writing longer more valuable content. I read to the bottom of your post and loved every minute of it. Thank you again!

  11. Looking forward to the content marketing guide! That advanced SEO guide is crazy levels of detailed!

    I keep seeing this kind of advice though: “we got tons of visitors by sharing our stuff on social media”. But there’s got to be more to it, no?

    Everyone shares their stuff on social media and even if that stuff is good, it won’t get you far. There has to be something more there. Engaging the right people? Something like that.

    To me, it seems that just sharing your stuff is clearly not enough.

    • Shane, there definitely is something more. Look out for some new content from me soon :)

    • To anyone who hasn’t read “The Advanced Guide to SEO”, stop scrolling through these comments and download it now. The level of detail and actionable insights Mr. Patel provides is amazing and a testament to how great a Marketer he truly is.

      I’m thanking the big man upstairs that he’s writing “The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing” as I’m currently defining/documenting our company’s content marketing strategy and could use his help.

      And not to continue blathering on about his amazingness, but if you haven’t checked out CrazyEgg and their heat map tracking abilities, I would do that as well.

      Thanks Neil,

      Greg

  12. Hi Neil,
    I agree with you on this. This is the same mistake most people made and others are still making even up till this very moment. I also made some of them when i started.

    Having a good and unique design is really of utmost important because there is a saying that says that the eyes usually eats before the mouth, and that goes to say that your blog design is the first thing your visitors will see whenever they land on your homepage.

    Although it comes to some of the other tips you shared here pertaining to outsourcing some of those important tasks, the problem is that most new bloggers don’t actually have the money to pay for them and therefore, they have to be managing what they have first while rising from there.

    You always share interesting and informational articles Neil and that’s why i love visiting your blog over and over again.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Very helpful Neil thanks! That’s what people really helps, tiny details that make a huge difference in the long run.

  14. Another great post! You right about it – a little money here, a little money there – it soon adds up big!

  15. Merrell McGinness :

    Awesome post! I’m also curious how long it takes to write such a detailed post? I ghost write a few corporate blogs and it can take up to 4 hours to write one post! But I’m not an expert in the field so a lot of that is research. What your thoughts? Thanks!

  16. I thank you Neil for this post I have just started a blog and I have no clue what I am doing I figured I would learn but reading this post has opened my eyes so much more I will be back here again and again cheers

  17. Mr Neil, When i started my blog a one year ago, i was done all your above explained instructions. Its really help while taking my first flight. You have explained all this staff in a very professional way.
    Regards,

  18. Thank you for this interesting tips. I love to read tips from people who are really successful with what they do. It inspires me an I learn a lot witch helps me to grow my business faster.

  19. Same here Neil , Wish I know the facts before starting my blogs. On the start up making visitors return to wesite always been a tough job for me as I never focused on making a communication bridge between visitors and blog and everyone watched then left forever.

  20. What I love the most in your writing style is, the simplicity of your language.

    You’ve mastered to write great blog posts even on your day to day activities ;)

    But you always share some useful info, You are a great mentor for me.

  21. This is a great Post and I’m glad that you shared these ideas. No matter where you are at in your blogging journey you can learn something from your information here!

    Blog With Passion!
    ~Jonathan

  22. I personally don’t like long posts at all…

    It is very rare to stumble upon a post
    longer than 1 000 words that’s worth reading
    all the way through…

    This post itself could be stripped down a bit,
    yet I still liked it… ( I skipped quite a bit though)
    :)

  23. Great content! Really touched on some key points. Thank you!

    -Bryan Floro

  24. I analyze the traffic for my one week old site few hours ago. And I found out that I got 317 visits and 893 pageviews. For some, it would be a small amount of traffic. But what I learned from this is to promote every content you create on your social networks.

    2/3 of the traffic came from social networks. It’s really a must to be social nowadays!

    I love how you interact with your audience Neil.

    Thanks for this post! :)

  25. Come on, you like bragging. “I’m somebody important” or whatever your line is proves that…:)

    Getting traffic isn’t easy, it takes time and a lot of hours creating content.

    Solid article…

  26. Hi Neil,
    It seems you are investing a ton of money into this Advanced SEO Guide in comparison to most of your average info-graphics. I would be interested in understanding how much value in return it will provide? I would assume a ten times fold?

    As always, thanks for sharing.

    Pete

  27. Thank you Neil for sharing these tips, Quick sprout is a Gem in traffic and other internet marketing strategies.

    Really appreciate

    Thanks

  28. Loved ‘What goes online, Stays online’. Guess, Internet is the only place where you are truly immortal!

  29. Awesome post! Well agreed, consistency is the key to growth and it’s a good strategy to diversify social media traffic to improve results. Indeed, content length is important and moreover people prefer detailed and step by step content, however it’s not easy to do it in a few hundred words. Thanks Neil for sharing this valuable info and tweeted :)

  30. Neil,
    I am starting to get addicted to your material. I blog for years as a marketer hiding behind pen names. Just starting to swing out and do only high quality material that will be under my own name.

    Thanks for the guidance.

  31. Awesome! I love that and especially the part about how money is a side effect of helping others. This really truly is a powerful concept once you understand it and BELIEVE it. :)

  32. Just what I need! I just started my blog about 2 months ago and this article will be a huge help. Thanks Neil!

  33. I think taking advantage of guest blogging opportunities(both you blogging on others blogs and others blogging on yours) is a great way to get exposure to other blog audiences.

  34. Thanks Neil for sharing, Really appreciate.

    I wish I had known too, good thing I do now. thanks once again.

  35. Hi Neil,

    This is a great post. I particularly appreciate your mentioning how much you spend on QuickSprout. I’ve been talking to clients recently who want to do what you do at KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, and QuickSprout, but one of the things I’ve realized is they don’t understand the investment you and Hiten make on those blogs. It’s not free to build the audiences that you’ve built, something I think most people fail to pay attention to. So again, great post, and thanks for drawing attention to this to show more people what it takes to build and run a popular blog.

    Joseph

    • Joseph, thanks for the kind words and great assessment of how hard it is to blog. Thanks for reading and let me know if there is anything I can help you with..

  36. I remember in an earlier post, you mentioned that your blog cost you $13k per year.

    How has that cost suddenly bumped up to almost $13k per month?

    A twelve-fold increase seems highly exaggerated.

  37. Nice article. But you detailed the expenses, not the profits ;).

  38. It has been a long time since I wrote a long post on my blog.

    Thanks for giving me a good reason!

  39. Hey Neil, Great post yet again. Rolling out this kind of post surely do wonders for starter like us. Ya after this surely your karma points will increase more. Lesson learned. Hope I, as a blogger jump a long distance after this hare of yours.
    ..And Hey! I do keep coming back here . Right ??

  40. Hudson Hornick :

    What writer did you use? Or was it a service?

  41. Thanks for sharing this with us however could you tell me how much does a blog design costs?

    I look at yours and Tim Feriss blog both of them has a narrow width which is great to keep the focus of the reader.

    Cheers

  42. Brenda Layman :

    Neil, do you think a question at the end of each blog is a good way to get responses and start conversations, or is it more important to pick just the right topic?

  43. Great stuff Neil.

    As someone starting out, I take these nuggets of wisdom to heart.

    I agree that design is one of those things that gets overlooked. I spent a lot of money and time refining my site’s design, and I think it’s helped me get off to a good start.

    Can’t wait to see the Advanced Guide to Content Marketing. Sounds pretty cool :-).

  44. My two pennys worth. I just loved reading the blog and it was really intriguing. Though now a days, I don’t really read a lot of blogs because of time constraints but once I started reading this blog I just had to read the entire post. It’s very helpful and the points that you have made are really helpful. I am using a lot of them already. My question is;

    What is the value of certain keywords while blogging now? Though I am not a follower of keyword based content but I have heard people saying that it really helps.

  45. Great post yet again Neil. Love the content and I’ve really found some benefits in your quick sprout traffic system.

    I’d love to see you post about blogging and getting local traffic for a local audience (and I mean so someone in a city in Australia or the UK). I’d like to know if you would take a different approach and what you would do there.

  46. Thanks Neil for yet another great info post. Your content certainly is top notch and I always read your emails. A great contribution to the online world

  47. Great post Neil! Consistency really does seem to be one of the critical factors to success with blogging. Deciding on a schedule and sticking with it for the long-term. Examples:

    Seth Godin – One post per day
    Marie Forleo – One post/video per week
    Leo Babauta (Zen Habits) – Two to three posts per week
    Andrew Lock (Help My Business) – One podcast per week.

    I don’t think it’s so much to do with sheer volume but rather the style and frequency that you produce content.

    Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week is about the only blog with a random posting schedule that I return to often.

  48. Neil,

    Submitting a blog to CSS galleries is a great idea. Who SHOULDN’T use this approach to get additional traffic. Looking at some galleries, there is lots of great imagery. If a site is more product-focused but still designed well for the product, can this backfire?

  49. Awesome Neil you are an inspiration. I can’t wait for the advanced guide to content marketing and curious about your subscriber plugin too, looking forward to it.

  50. Thanks a lot for your great tips Neil. I don’t know how you do it though. Every time you land in my inbox with a ridiculously large number of gems of wisdom. You seem to know so much about everything. I’m really looking forward to your upcoming content on how to use social media to drive traffic.

  51. I spent a lot of time on design work, should not it wrong again …

  52. This is really helpful. I’m now convinced that I need to work on the consistency of my blog posts.

    Thank you!

  53. Hi Neil, thanks so much for sharing this with us. Not many get into the amount of work and effort that goes in behind-the-scenes, especially the expenditure bit. Thanks for being so open and generous and pointing us in the right direction!

  54. You know what I wish I knew before I started my blog… what blog script you use! I really like your blog setup. Is it a script created just for this site or is an openly available one?

  55. Hi Neil, great post; definetely a lot to keep in mind. My main challenge is to keep motivitated while I’m starting out. As you said it can take a few hours to research, write and edit posts (especially while also working full time). However I keep persisting, knowing that the quality content I am producing is building the foundation for generating traffic in the future.

  56. Thanks for such valuable tips.

    Please do write a post about SEO plugins, I see that you are not using any SEO plugin and the same appears to be true about other popular sites.

  57. Hi Neil,
    Great Post.

    We had signed up for Google PSS after reading one of your earlier post.
    Great Results, thanks for sharing.

    You use Akamai , any reason you do this over Google PSS ??

  58. Thanks, Neil, for the pointers.

  59. Hi Neil, amazing post and this came in just exactly the time I’m looking for in revamping my website/blog. I especially like how you gave a breakdown of the all the costs involved and I’m looking at a balance between getting a professionally done website/blog and not paying too much that it breaks my kitty at my point of business.

    Do you have any resources as to what are the considerations for a small business owner should take note of in engaging a web designer and developer to work on the site? What are the must-haves like say customized web design, lead generation process etc?

    Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Ben

  60. Hello Neil. Thank you so much for all the heart and wisdom that you always put into your posts. You really do have allot to offer the blogging community, and I always look forward to reading your new posts.

    Additionally, I know from personal experience that what you have said here about consistency affecting your traffic IS very true!

    Here recently, I skipped my regular, once-weekly post over the Easter holiday, and man! My traffic dropped by nearly 40% according to GA. What I lost out on were my returning visitor counts. My new visitors continued to grow, but I lost out on the returning ones.

    True statement: “Consistency, with your content – is king!”

    Keep up the great work man, and again, thanks for always being so helpful. You are indeed a Jedi master, my friend! :)

    Regards,
    Matt Vaden

  61. Hi Neil,
    you spend around $20,000 per month on your blog. Whats your success rate in seo projects you take from your clients? Do you commit to provide ranking for a particular keyword or just increase the overall traffic from google organic of client’s websites? And how many dollars can you make per month from your clients? I want to know whats the return on investment? If you can let me know this it would be great. But I suppose you won’t because no one would like to disclose their income.

  62. Thanks for the effort, Neil. In my experience working on various blogs, the most difficult challenge has always been getting people to comment on the stuff one writes. Apparently, readers need some sort of incentive to respond, some sort of provocation or controversial notion that spikes their interest. Most visitors to the site just scroll up and down, scanning the content for any pertinent information and then leave. So the importance of attention-grabbing images and insightful charts seem to be a must. Starting out, it seems and as your example shows, is never easy. So all respect to you for having become an authority based on your splendid content. I’ll keep in touch. :)

  63. Hey Neil,

    Sometimes I can hate you so much for producing plenty of helpful detailed content that I can’t catch up reading all of them. ha!
    Nevertheless, each of your posts adds a lot to my learning about website traffic and I couldn’t thank you more. Keep ‘em coming Neil!

    Regards

  64. wow, really this is this best post i have read all week. really transparent and great advice for anyone starting out with their own blog.

    You think by using WordPress everything is going to be free but you have shown here that it not the case and I agree.

  65. Thanks neil for providing these useful information but these are forgettable at that time and realize the people when they did the same mistakes.

  66. Superb post about Maintaining Blog in website. Invaluable information i got here. Thanks for your posts.

    Even i will follow your’s instruction in my Blog page.

    I also started doing Blog, After your impressed blogs.

  67. I think your conversational point really hits the nail square on the head.

    For most of us, the only “writing” we have ever done was either in school or for work – which is highly “academic,” “corporate,” and frankly, BORING!

    Most of my posts were very “academic” – but after reading (many of) your posts, I’m really trying to be more casual and informal – In fact, I just hit enter every 2-3 sentences for a new paragraph.

    It usually works! ;)

    One way I’ve found to be helpful is to imagine I am talking to someone, and just write as I think. I may have read this tip on your blog, or one of the copywriting blogs(copyblogger etc), but I’m not sure.

    Keep ‘em coming!

    Cheers!

  68. Man, this is some very useful information. By reading and learning from sites like these you’re going to help, inspire a lot of (new) bloggers :)

  69. Neil, thanks for the tips on starting a blog. After starting my blog last summer, I’ve had to learn a lot of these things by trial-and-error – being consistent, sharing socially, providing huge value to readers etc.

    Yes, and good blog costs money to run, but it can have a huge return on your investment when done right.

    Thanks again!

  70. Very good lesson there Neil, its true one needs to be reader centric. I learned it from you and try to reply to each and every comment.

    Quick question – how do you keep track of comments and responding to each? Through the comments tab on the backend?

  71. This is outstanding Neil thanks for clearing up a few big questions that I had.

    Just shows there is no shortcut there are no free lunches either.

    If you want a tester for your plugin count me in.

  72. Thank you as always for god tips and advises

  73. Hi Neil,

    This was an amazing post. I have just recently had some exposure to the online business sector, and let me tell you I’m a total noob. Wherever I look, I see established people. This post has really given me some insight atleast where to begin from. Hopefully, I can build up on it.

    Thanks again!

  74. Hi Neil,
    I used to treat you as other entrepreneurs out there, but since I joined your newsletter I read everything very carefully – you share some powerful stuff.
    thank you!

  75. This post made me consider blogging in a new light as a business and advertising. I had previously started a blog for personal use, and as a place to comment on products. The potential of blogs to drive traffic to different sites is really impressive. While I may not try to monetize it like you have, I believe I will begin putting more effort in my future blogging. Do you believe that niche blogs focused on more limited communities like hobby gaming or certain music genres, could ever develop into monetarily successful blog? Thanks again for your insightful and well written posts.

    http://www.searchinfluence.com/author/jromito/

  76. Thanks for never holding anything back! Always great content!

  77. When I made new blog is it bether way to do nothing with social bookmarking and web 2.0 backlink and to concetrate to make good content or parallel make a both? I never know when is the right timing to show the world through social and other ways your blog because you’re starting with one text and another, etc. Because every blog start is still poor with the contents.

  78. Great tips Neil as always from u. I read almost every blog on quicksprout. Since the Ads cost on social networks are too high its not currently affordable for me. Can you plz suggest some other tactics to grow social media presence.

    I m ready to spend amount I m currently received from my blog, but it is too low to cover these ads. Plz suggest wht to do in this situation. Thanks.

  79. Seriously, when I get your email about a new blogpost I ALWAYS OPEN IT. Because I know that your blogs are awesome. SO tnx for sharing!

    Could you pls explain a bit more about your ” ….unique email collection modules, or make an ad that scrolls with the user.”

    Cheers

    • CK, if you check out my blog posts there are links to help you get these strategies up and running up on your site as well. Let me know if you need help navigating to those posts.

  80. Great stuff on what you did and what you are doing now. Makes a lot of sense. Are infographics still hot?

  81. Hi Neil !
    Thank you for exploring your pragmatic ideas to successful blogging. You always focus on long and descriptive post. We know if thee is no investment, no gain. However, we have to invest money on blog or site at the right ways. Therefore, your post will be more helpful to improve the blogging.

  82. Hi Neil.. I feel very glad to read this post and I would like to learn more things from you so keep on posting cheers!!!

  83. Consistency is the key point which a new blogger always misses. It has happened with me before, but now I’m very much consistent. I follow a strict schedule for my day. I really loved all these points. Thanks for this vital information!

  84. With reference to “my SendGrid and Aweber bills add up”, it will be great if you can do a blog post on SendGrid vs Aweber as well as using SendGrid along with Aweber.

    There is little info out there in this regard, it will be great to know which service is better for what purpose & when should both be used together.

  85. Concentrating more on what you blog and engaging with other people creates a win-win environment. You get to help them and yourself as well by sharing your thoughts in ideas with regards to marketing strategies. I really like your articles Neil. Indeed, you are a good blogger. :)

  86. Most of the people starting with blogs don’t have much capital with them and thus the mistakes. I have a blog too and I am going through similar things but I have plans to take it to the next level, once money starts coming in.

  87. Do you find that longer content actually gets more engagement. It seems that many readers actually prefer shorter content which is very visual?

  88. And till this article, i was under this impression that you do all this research yourself and do publish. Now i can understand how much money blogging have. if any one want to bring his/her blog into next level he/she will have to invest some money in his/her blog.

  89. I never knew what blogging was all about. To be hones, I use to find blogs very boring. Let me be more honest than than. I’m to lazy to read. I am more of a writer than a read, but then again, how can you write, if you don’t read.

    I like what you say about helping people. I realize that the main focus should not be to make money, of course the idea of blogging is to attract visitors with the intention for them to become customers.

    There’s more value to helping someone else than all the money in the world, and that is what I’m all about, and that is why I’m glad that I came across this blog. I think reading will start to become a habit to me now.

    Thank you Neil. Your help is highly appreciated.

  90. nice post, thanx for sharing information with us….

  91. Fernando Martinez :

    Important! answering comments make people feel “special” so im waiting for you to say something :) . Im glad i find this webpage, this is my first time reading some of your ‘stuff’ and i just feel i speak to you personally. Thank you, really thank you.

  92. Thanx Neil
    Your posts are always helpful. i want google adsense approval for my site. I am trying for 2 years but still on the way.

    Thanx
    Deepika

  93. Its unbelievable to see that you are spending around $20k per month for blogs when plenty of free wordpress themes and plugins available.I know plenty of Indian bloggers running awesome blogs for less than $100 per month

  94. Hi Neil,

    As usually a great post an really helpful! Thank you for sharing!
    I agree with you and I am sure that is cheaper to keep a client than to gain a new one. So we all should focus on quality!

    Best,
    Chris

  95. Hi Neil,

    wow, never thought your monthly investment would be that huge. hmm, i wonder about the ROI :D

  96. Great tips, as always. Thank you, Neil.

    I have also found design and hosting to be super important.

    I recently moved to a Genesis theme on a Synthesis host… same setup the Copyblogger guys use and have been very surprised.

    Now, I am not sure how much weight Google places on clean design and speed… but, for the average person who can’t afford a dedicated box I highly recommend a Genesis theme and the basic Synthesis hosting… sorry if this came off as a commercial for them but it really has helped my blog.

  97. This technology rocks my bloggin’ world! Thanks for pointing it out to me…will be subscribing!

  98. Me three! This is going to be clutch for my site, didn’t even know it existed.

    A wordpress plugin like redirection can offer you some insight as to what folks are clicking or not (along with GA), but this is so much richer and offers tons more data.

    Thanks for introducing me to this great service!

    ~Barb

  99. Bro thanks for great post. In past whenever i learnt new things i thought of learning it before starting blogging. So we need to follow or accept it whenever it (as things mentioned above) comes.

  100. Your posts are priceless. I am really glad to be a follower of your blog. I feel Blessed. :)

  101. HI Neil ,
    Really learning post.I have learnt lot of from this post.I think posting blog on regular basis is really important and if some one posts after every one day then its best.
    Secondly replying comments are good to make your post natural.Its extra beneficial to share your posts on social sites.

    I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for great post.

  102. Hello Neil,

    great post!

    Consistency, Quality & Social Media and you can do anything online!

  103. Good God Almighty. $20k in a month in expenses?!?! I think you nearly gave me a heart attack. If those are your expenses, what you actually make might give ma stroke. :)

  104. Neil, these are all great points. I agree wholeheartedly that you have to spend money to make money… even when your business is blogging. While those of us with smaller blogs certainly have less overhead than you do, we still need to be putting a lot back into it.

    Love reading your blog!

  105. Easily one of your best article on blogging as I can’t remember the last time I read a lengthy post word-by-word.

  106. nice post,, really like it,

  107. Good Blog Neil, Great tips. In your opinion do you think infographics are still hot?? or are they losing their value since almost everybody is trying to do it now?

  108. Neil,

    Great post! There are so many comments, I didn’t have time to read them all, so I apologize in advance if someone already asked this…

    Where do you survey your readers? Through email? On your blog? Etc?

  109. How long did it take for you to get these Google Analytic results you have in this post? We’ve been up for about 3 months now, could you please check out our website and give us some feedback we’d really appreciate it. Thanks

  110. Great post. It was interesting to see your take on post length when it seems everyone is advising 300-500 words.

  111. Dear Neil Patel!
    Frankly Speaking i found your blog and blog posts very much helpful. I also like your writing style as well. I am quite sure that these tricks will help me a lot to maintain my newly build blog.
    Thanks

  112. Yes Neil ! Blogging is not free and we have to invest some money to be a professional like as you and drive more traffic from various sources. We can earn more return by investing some money at the right place for right purpose.
    In this competitive internet marketing its hard to visible on online and increase your online presense.

  113. Thank you for this post, Neil! What a great collection of action items on growing a blog community. Plenty to learn!

  114. This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a post, you’re stuff is just that good. I can’t get enough.

    Keep up the great work!

  115. If you want to start your first blog then you should learn these eleven things. These tips will be proved very useful for you blog promotion. After reading this article I consider myself as an expert blogger. Now I can start my new blog without any hesitation.

  116. another greate post…thanks

  117. This is really helpful when starting a blog or making your blog more effective, great content again.
    thanks

  118. Hey Neil,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this post with us. First two point are really important as social media sites really help to promote our blog and also attracts lots of new readers to our readers and drives more traffic. We have to update our blog regularly for becoming successful in blogging.

  119. Hey Neil,

    Tell me about heat map, how can I look my blog heat map? because as you mentioned in their heat map is essential so I also want to check my heat map. Can you guide me?

    Regards,
    Rameez Ramazan

  120. I am a new blogger/internet marketer/whatchawanttocallit…I really appreciated this post. Very helpful for someone like me who is struggling to get it all together and have it make sense!

  121. Sharing content on social media is like pushing the snow ball down the hill. If the content is good it can bring new members to our tribe, increase our email list size and also help in SEO.

    I have published a blog post called: Content Marketing 2.0 – How to Plan and Execute an Integrated Digital Marketing Campaign. Please read it when you have time and let me know if you agree to my concept.

  122. This is a great post Neil! I think making mistakes is part of the process though just like anything new one undertakes. Experience is what molds behavior.

  123. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for such a great article! You’ve touched on many things I was having doubt on. As a new blogger, I really need to learn from your mistakes.

  124. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for the generous way in which you have shared information here. Just reading this post and studying how it is constructed is a lesson in itself.

    I particularly like the fact that you have shared information on traffic and on your expenditure.

    You deserve success.

    Kind Regards,

    Stuart

  125. Do you think owning a website drives more traffic through search engines, than having it for free in wordpress or bloodspot?

  126. Hi Niel,

    Your post indeed was a great help. ;) I just started a little blog for myself and bumped into your pave while looking for Ideas what to write on my very first blog post.

  127. Hi Neil,
    This is a great article you have written here. I too wished I had known most of these tips when I started out blogging about 4 years ago. Anyway, all these years where used to learn, i’m glad at least I know the secrets now.
    Cool article anyway. thumbs up.

  128. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I wish I had found your article before I started blogging. I began my first blog 10 months ago, and at one point had it up to 200-300 visitors a day. I didn’t blog for 2 weeks and am still clawing my way back up, so I can attest to that. I definitely focused too much on Google keywords and wasted time that I could’ve spent writing a new blog post. I learned from posting on Hubpages that articles over 750-2000 words absolutely do see more traffic. I am on a lot of social media networks and post to them all, and most of my traffic comes from Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon. I think the first thing I will do is focus more on community building by commenting on blogs as you noted. It’s the best way to let people know you’re there!

  129. excellent post, very good content.
    regards

  130. I came here on Laura Reoder’s recommendation. You didn’t disappoint. Cheers.

  131. Great advice! I wish I knew these things when I started my first blog too. But research and trial and error are great tools for learning. So now I know and can make my strategy better :) thanks!

  132. Hey Neil !
    I am very grateful to you that you have shared your experience with us. This is a nice list. Not only you, in fact mostly newbies use to follow these mistakes. So, every newbie should read this post and should take this post as a guideline.
    Thanks.
    Dion

  133. Hi Neil,
    These are the mistakes that I am facing even today.
    I liked the way you have shared your experience and helping new bloggers including me… thnx

  134. Hi,

    yes me too agree the way you wrote and shared with us. It is really very helpful or all the bloggers. Now i m confident that i will be able to work well on my blogs and can improve the performance of my blogs.

  135. Neil is the guy! Whatever he writes is solid gold. I always find something useful, something extra from each of his posts.

  136. Good, informative post. The section about making posts conversational really hits home. Readers can get bored easily and would rather be engaged than talked at.

  137. Great post Neil! Really helpful. :)

  138. Thanks for this very useful content. Quicksprout Rockz!!

  139. In the last few days I have been observing some niche website bloggers/experts discussing their ranking performance. Specifically, one guy has seen his site get outranked by another site of lesser quality and it seems to primarily be due to the competitor being signed up with Google Plus.

    Others have chimed in that Google Plus is a mandatory requirement nowadays and that SEO rankings are seriously impacted by whether or not we have Google Plus.

    Do you have any thoughts on this?

  140. Very Useful tips. But nobody seems to be talking about youtube. You can promote your blog by opening a youtube channel about your blog

  141. Hey Neil !
    This is your valuable experience. It would be a guideline for all of us. I am happy that you care for your readers. Consistency is key to growth, I totally agree with you. Consistency and interaction with your visitors is very much important.
    Thanks.
    Dalton

  142. Thank you for sharing that insight. A comprehensive guide for those who are starting out. I think you nailed it with consistency and patience – two virtues we really need to have to be successful in the world of blogging.

  143. Man…. you’re just right on the Money. I appreciate your hard work.

  144. I think the best and most effective way to drive traffic to website are unique content writing and high PR backlink building.

  145. Great post Neil.But I just can’t figure out how to drive traffic from facebook or twitter to my blog .I just started it and found google+ communities to be the only relevent traffic maker.What would be your advice to improve them?

  146. Neil. I appreciate for your hard work. And yours posts are really helful for newbies. As a newbie, i am lost on my way! Please help me

  147. Hey Neil,
    I am just starting out on a new blog and hopefully the content of this post has been inspiring. Its really great to look and stand at the shoulders of those who has gone before us to learn.

    I cannot reinvent the wheel but I can keep learning from people like you. Thanks for your insights and mostly on the take that “people matter” in blogging!

  148. Hey Neil!! I’ve signed up on all the major social networking sites but have got no friends there because all of my friends use only one social networking site. Can you help me??

  149. Great tips. I didn’t even think about making posts conversational. I will definitely be working on that.

    Thanks!

  150. Quick question! If someone leaves a comment on my blog that counts as one. If I reply…does that increase my count to (2) two?? In other words..if I have 25 comments on my blog with no replies and then I comment on each one. Will it show 50 as total??? Loved the article…great material. Thanks…Alan

    • Alan, great question. You are correct, the comment count will be 50. Your comments always count towards the overall total (at least in WordPress). Glad you liked the article.

  151. Great tips! I have found that blogging just for the love of blogging brings just as much happiness to me as making income as a result of blogging…but that’s just me!

    • Dave, I agree. If you really love blogging it doesn’t matter whether you back a buck or nothing. It’s all about sharing your experiences with people who care to hear about them. Great point!

  152. This is insanely useful, Neil! Thank you so so much for all the work you put into this site.

  153. I would say that I don’t think anything is wrong with creating fresh content regularly, but I would think your email list would grow faster if you spent time promoting the content that you already have vs adding new content. If 1000 people find your blog post to be helpful, then there should be another million or so who would like to see that content too ;) What do you guys all think?

    • Yes you are correct. Both strategies can work well, you just have to figure out which one is best for you. For some people they are better at the marketing… for others they are better at the content creation.

      Do what is easiest for you or a bit or both.

  154. Hi Neil
    I want to Know which social sites are best to promote content except Facebook and twitter

  155. thanks for that, i do not write that often, now will try to do that once a week.

  156. Srinija Chakraborty :

    Awesome article. Enlightened about many things priorly having negligible knowledge of.

  157. I actually genuinely taking pleasure in just about every bit of this is the web site as well as wonderful discuss. I wish too many thanks. Good-job! Aga range cookers

  158. Hi Neil Patel. That is a great post! hope my website too gets as much traffic..

  159. Thanks for a wonderful post, Neil. I knew about your blog from your great talk at Hacker Dojo in the silicon valley a few days ago.

    So, I am wondering how you go about writing a blog post where in you need to borrow content – I mean when you have to get some (or all) of the knowledge from somewhere else. Thanks for your insights.

    • Prasad, glad we could connect. To answer your question: I read a lot of blogs. I am inspired by all of the great ideas out there and I use them to formulate my own ideas and blog posts. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing more from you :)

  160. really great post Neil. btw my blog is 2 months older and written 50+ useful articles still i dont see any traffic. The only one who visiting my site is me. Its frustrating me a lot.

  161. Excellent inclusion of tips and ideas that convert very well. These are all wonderful ways to drive the traffic and create attractive content to all visitors. I try to stick to a simplistic, but fun writing blog to visit. The trick is to keep up with content and keep on posting!

    • Garren, glad you found the post helpful. Keeping it simple will always convert best. It’s all about making your end user have a clear path to purchasing or signing up for services. Thanks for reading!

  162. Great suggestions! Collecting email addresses is a great way to reach out to your readers especially when you have a great opportunity you would like to share with them.

  163. Thank you so much, Neil. That’s all I can say as a receipt for the inspiration I and my blog have got from you and your blog, respectively! :)

  164. hi,
    Thanks for this very informative article, I hope I will learn from it.

    Regards,

    Ali

  165. Hi Neil, i thoroughly enjoyed your article..
    I am 3-4 days old blogger, I am little confused regarding the facebook ‘Promote page’ concept.. as it claims to give some traffic at a cost. is that possible even if I am not having that many friends in my facebook page.
    one more question is how to stop my own page view from tracking.
    thanks in advance

    • Sangeeta, you definitely should considering growing your facebook fans. The more fans you have the more inclined they will be to vouch for you and hear about your products. In regards to the page tracking: I am not quite sure. Why do you want to stop tracking page views?

  166. HI NEIL,
    Is it possible that u can help me with my job based blog or can u suggest someone how can evalaute my blog before i apply for adsense? my blog i around 1 month old

  167. my biggest mistake after more than 1 year getting into blogging world is I have no patient for writing great content, easily influenced by the “black hat” technique in order to get fast income ( i only care about how many visitor and how much money i make).but, I see myself has no progress on what I am doing.now, I am trying to be more patient, try write better content ( or pay somebody to write me good content). thanks god now at least I got stable visitor with average income $800-1200/month. however, I need to kick my ass harder to learn and improve my skill.

    Neil, thank you for great article and I definitely learned something from your blog.

    • Samir, you definitely have to get away from the black hat tactics. They don’t provide the same ROI anymore and they are frowned upon. Spending a little time and having a little patience will surely create a passion for blogging and creating quality content. Once you start getting traffic to your content you’ll feel motivated to keep churning stuff out.

  168. Hi I have recently started blogging. Thus, I have really found it to be very useful. Thanks a lot for this terrific effort. I am looking forward to getting more posts like this.

  169. Hey Neil, great article and the quality of your content no doubt has perfected through out your blogging experience. I’m fairly new to blogging and this is definitely the type of post I was looking for to handle some of questions. I’ve created a site dedicated for the growing legalization trend of cannabis and have established well-off social network accounts. I’ve successfully seen my traffic increase but I was having a bit of trouble attaining backlinks, what’s your recommendation for this?

    CannabisGrind.com has been live going on two months now and I’ve submitted sitemaps for google and other search engines. I’ll be sure to keep in mind the creation of unique plug-ins that can alter my sites user perspective.

    Looking forward to reading up on your future posts! Thanks for all that you do

    • Mario, if you check out some of my more recent posts you’ll see that I suggest a great content marketing strategy. Back linking, as it used to be employed, is getting harder and harder to do. Unless you already have a solid network it will definitely be tough to get into a community. I would suggest focusing on blog posting and the creation of great media like: infographics, videos & other visual content.

  170. Hi Neil,

    Found your post through Google. Thanks for sharing for these tips.
    I’ve been blogging for 19 months now, 5 days a week with what I think is fairly good content. I get around 30k views monthly with about 13k unique visitors. The repeat visitors are around 28%. My problem seems to be to get folks to comment. I did a survey on the blog and a majority of them felt like they didn’t feel the need to comment, which was a huge bummer. Also the readership has been growing steadily since day 1 but since last March (7 months ago) it has been hovering around the 30k mark. I somehow can’t seem to get to break that stagnant line. Any advice? I should note that other than promoting my posts on Facebook I haven’t done much marketing during this time. My traffic mainly comes from FB, Pinterest, Google, & Craftgawker. I know I need to up the design quotient. Recently bought a Genenis+ child theme frame work, which I can hopefully push out in 2 weeks.Hoping to hear back form you. Thanks again.
    Vidya

    • Vidya, I think this is a question that relates to the content you are distributing. In my opinion I think you should start changing the tone and content of your blog posts. I have also found that posing questions to your audience can do wonders. Let me know if you have any other questions or need help with anything!

  171. Hey I’ve started a new blog (I’m 15), and I’m still not sure of what topics to base my blog around :/ animals? funny stories? food? serious issues, like an agony aunt?

    I’m also hoping to get some more traffic, my friend did the issue of bullying and over 100 people visited his site!

    Thanks :)

    • Meg, It is awesome that you are getting started at such a young age. I think you should find a topic you are passionate about. Ultimately, you must make this choice. Please let me know what you pick :)

  172. I have only been writing for a short while but you are definitely correct that you have to love what you are writing about. My blog is on movies and that is a tough blog because there are so many movie sites. But I love the movies I write about and a lot of people email me and tell me that is what they like about my site. I only have a few articles up and I only write about those movies that interest me the most. This article inspired me to get busy and write a lot more. Thanks!
    William hudson -

    • William, glad I could shed some light on things. I think you should broaden your scope to what people are watching. You’ll find that you’ll learn a lot about your reading base and their interests. You will also get a lot more engagement to your blog.

  173. Neil,

    What a great article. Surprised I’m only finding it now. Oh well, great things were pointed out here, especially the cost involved.

    S

  174. Thanks so much for sharing this, Neil. I appreciate the points, and have learned something new here. Launching a blog has become clearer now to me. I’ve been thinking about these things too.

    About answering comments, definitely true. As a blog reader, I really don’t go back to sites that don’t make you feel welcome to say something and hear something back. Of course, I’d follow your kind example in case I finally launch my own. :-)

    As for the social media, what can you suggest to those people who want to launch a blog but are introverts?

    I really have a problem with communicating with others, most usually because I want my personal life separate from business. But in my experience, many people want to be friends with me too. I don’t entertain intentional “befriending” and at the same time I don’t wish to lose them as contacts.

    • Melisa, sounds like you are on the right track in regards to blogging and creating a great website. I definitely think you should reconsider sharing through social media. People tend to buy from sites that have a personal story that resonates with them. I would suggest having someone help you share your experiences. Perhaps outsourcing your social media is an option so you can learn how to engage better. My best suggestion, however, would be for you to jump right into it and overcome your fears :)

  175. Such wonderful points in the post! I’m a DIY blogger and am somewhat new. It does seem that tech sites seem to obtain quite a bit of traffic. I am consistently working on my blog. It has truly improved over the year and half that I have had it up. I do a lot of social interaction and noticed that Google has just begun sending more traffic my way. Not huge amounts, just below 100 visitors a day. Would love if you would take a look at my site and offer any other helpful advice for improvements. Thanks a ton. http://makeitorfixit.com

  176. Thanks so much, that was a great help, Neil. I will keep that in mind. And I will keep this page especially bookmarked too. :-)

  177. Hey Neil,
    This is Ankita from IIT Gandhinagar, I am a PhD Student here, looked your website for the very first time, fascinating and really helpful. As I am really new to blogs so curious to know whats the basic difference between hosting a blog with ones own server with self domain name as compared to wordpress. I mean why wordpress is not preferable?

    • Ankita, I personally prefer WordPress because the UI is easy and there is customer support. Often times when you host on your own domain there is no one to help you or back files up if things go wrong.

  178. Wow, what an amazing blog/site! I launched a magazine-style website for working/freelance/business mums six months ago and am learning how to drive traffic and build engagement. There’s so much brilliant, practical advice here, and it’s so generous of you to share it. I’m now going to spend the weekend digesting as much as I can to create a plan of action for the next few months.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom :)

    • Hannah, glad I can help. Thanks for providing such great feedback. I would love to see what you have going on with your website. Let me know how it all works out and keep me posted :)

  179. This happens with everyone in fact. We make mistakes and then hope it was overt to us before.

    Any way at least new people like me will learn 11 lessons for their new blog :)

  180. Really helpful, now I am following your instructions. Hope it will help me on coming days!

  181. Thank u for this Article so much useful content :)

  182. You are not doing bad even without knowing these 11 things before you started your first blog. But many people and small time bloggers like me will benefit by this article. thanks.

  183. I usually implement one sentence paragraphs for my blog posts because it tends to be easier to read. However, others think this is too short, and would rather see longer paragraphs. What do you think is best?

    Great article! I learned a lot!

  184. Hi,

    Great Tips I got from this blog post.

    Now I think I can make my blog popular in my niche, thanks

  185. Your blog givea me lots of inspiration. Many thanks

  186. Recently started blogging. Your post is a great help.
    Thanku

  187. These is a great article. I have been blogging about five months now. The tips you shared are great reminders. I am hoping to get better and better as I go. Great content is key. Do you have a article on your process of putting great content together?

  188. Thanks for the great post… Very helpful!

  189. I to am new to the blogging world. You posted this article on April 4. and you are still getting comments today. WOW! What does this mean to you? Is there a metric or parameter that gauges the effectiveness of content by the duration of an articles staying power?…or is it just a by-product of the particular data within the blog?

    • Chris, I would like to think and have a good hunch that it is the former. It’s all about the content that is provided, I think it really resonates within the community and provides some free helpful tips :)

  190. @Neil: It’s quite opposite in my case…. I usually get traffic from G+ but hardly get any visitors from Reddit.

  191. I have found using social signals is the way to go, especially video, by interlinking my videos to my social media accounts like g+ twiiter and FB has been working great do this in the about service and also use video to link to inner pages of your blog, really powerful stuff right there.

  192. Great read! I’m launching my new blog/magazine this week so wish me luck! :)

  193. Hi,
    Neil

    Reddit is good but I think Stumble Upon is the best, because I used both Reddit as we as Stumble Upon.

    I helps me to drive more and more traffic to my blog, more important it’s free.

  194. Hey Niel,

    I must say I have been on this website quite religiously for the past couple of weeks. I’ve got a design business that I am doing on the side and it has a blog. I was looking around for digital marketing tips since I am not seeing any gains on traffic after about 3 months.

    After coming across your website, I have found renewed hope that I can increase my traffic and therefore my reach :). Perseverance is king!

    Thank you very much!

  195. I like that you said that replacing your friends doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them, but that it just means they don’t want to go where you’re going. (And I suppose that if they all did want to come along with you, that’d just be weird.) I’ve really wondered how this works because I feel like I have an obligation to my friends. Whenever I think about moving on, I hear that nagging question: “Who does she think she is?” But now I realize that that question is pretty much the ace up the devil’s sleeve, designed to keep us all mediocre. http://indresult.com

  196. I’m currently struggling to improve my blog’s popularity but without success. I’ll try to apply some of your ideas on my blog. Thank you so much Neil!

  197. It is quite easy to lose your viewcount if you run into a creative block and don’t post for a while. That’s surely what happened to me.

    I came here to see if there were any tips that were good, and well, I think it was a good post.

  198. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your great tips. I start building my new blog. Fortunately, I find your post which helps me a lots. I agree consistency is the key to growth and I will work hard on building my new blog.

  199. good post bro,but how much should i pay for a good blog to a developer,i am very confused,some are ready to make in 100 dollars,some asking for 500-1000 dollars :/

  200. Aren’t controversies bad for a blog?

  201. You just followed every single one of those things you mentioned just by writing a single post! That was clever.

    That was a good read. I hope I can do the same for my website.

  202. Fantastic article!

    You nailed it with “consistency is the key to growth”

    Keep Bloggin,
    Best Empower Network Sponsor

  203. Great article. Thancks

  204. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  205. Hi Neil,
    I think not knowing all you have listed in this article before you started blogging really helped you a lot.

    No man is a stream of knowledge, we learn everyday.

  206. Great stuff, Neil. I definitely agree with content length – at the beginning of the year I was mostly writing 2k-3k word posts, but i’ve now escalated to spending 1-2 weeks on a 5k post, which is proving to get great results.

    Interesting to see the stats on consistency. I guess there’s a trade-off between evergreen content that will compound your traffic vs. ‘hot’ relevant / recent blogging, which will generate lots of short term spikes in traffic, but create a ‘treading water’ effect on your traffic.

  207. well, one hell of a article this is, and very much bookmark friendly and thanks for such amazing explanations about each and every point.

    I have a doubt Neil, should we start placing ads in early days, or we should wait for the traffic to come?

  208. I will return and review your article later on to explore the perfect landscapes you have mentioned. It is an informative article that I could really sink my teeth into.

  209. Niel, you’re scaring me! 24 grand a month is exhausting enough to think of and I think that’s going to discourage people to start and blog. :)

    But I must agree, blogging is business and to make money you have to throw in some. But it actually depend on your niche and the circumstances you are in at the moment.

    In my case, money is an asset I don’t have right now, and yes I intend to take the longer path.

    But I think it’s cool coz I intend to broadcast the idea of nothingness to richness in my blog. I’m cooking some ideas right now and I hope it materializes before it’s too late.

    Kudos in sharing your thoughts!

  210. I really enjoyed reading your article. It is different from many. For example: a lot of people recommend using a lot of key words in your content but you explain how important it is to write for your readers and not primarily for SEO.

    I was assured that my writing style is okay as I was afraid it might be not “formal enough”… I use a lot of sarcasm. :)

    I’d be so happy if you could visit my blog! http://rantbrat.com

    Cheers!

  211. Neil should I add a blog to my current SEO site, and is it save to use a certain amount of curated content on there ? even re posting some of the stuff from bloggers like yourself ? and if so would this help my rankings ?

  212. Nice 11 tips Neil, thanks :)

  213. Surely I will keep these 11 tips in mind whenever I start a new blog :)

  214. I appreciate a post like this, as I have just recently started a blog and am currently working on increasing my traffic. I also found that being consistent and updating regularly is essential.

  215. Great post Neil – thanks for sharing your insights and experiences with us!

  216. Thanks Neil, for sharing this post with us, I really enjoy reading it. i have bookmark your blog. I pray my blog should become like your own, one day, lolz.

  217. Understood. Very nice post Neil !

  218. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your post here, I found it very informative as a newbie.

    Would you be able to tell me if you had any recommendations of external sources that could help with setting up a site on WordPress?

    It sounds like it is easy enough to manage but what we are looking for is an out of box deal (so to speak), and then to maintain it ourselves. We are pretty new to this and looking to get it up under a week (reasonable for a first timer?).

    For some context, this is a blog that is being used to attract some traffic for a person who may have a potential book deal with a publishing company.

    Any info you can help provide would be great- thanks!

    Rosie

  219. This is a great post. I have spent very little, however, blogging and have found some success with it. Probably not as much as you have, but I do make enough to live on. Then again, my blogs mostly cover a niche area that does not require me to use social networking, which I tend to hate.

  220. I understand your view. I find it nice. I am able to bring visitors to my blog.Unfortunately, I am unable to make them comment on it. Will try to use this tips and check if they can make any impact on my visitors. Thanks

  221. I’ve just read this post and i’m glad that i was able to learn to do alot of things besides blooging and sharing it. I worked hard to look for a great design for my blog and i’ve finally found it. If you like feel free to visit my blog thx…

  222. Thanks a lot for this informative article Neil. I am going to start my first blog. I am looking for tips to start a blog. :-)

  223. Hey Neil, nice article, thanks for writing it!

    Made me wonder: if I’d decide to start professional blogging how soon would I end up spending that cash you are currently spending, and more to that, how many users/visits/[relevant metrics] does that amount correspond to?

    You notice I don’t quite know the relevant metrics that determine a blog’s size, however, at this point I’m trying to roughly figure out costs to blog size relationship.
    Cheers!

    • Don’t worry about spending money. You can do a lot for free… blogging just takes your time and a few bucks to pay for a domain name and hosting.

  224. Wow, I am new to this whole blogging thing and I am just trying to learn one thing at a time at the moment.

    I had been digging up a lot about blogging, this is by far the most informative one out there. No smoke and mirrors hiding any secret tactics that only the pros know.

    I started my blog last month, would you recommend me blogging more to have sizable content for readers to browse, or should I go about refining my social profile?

    I had been recording my findings and review them regularly, but even with all my neat notes, there is a lot of moving parts to blogging and my mind always jump from one thing to another.

    I will go back and do more work now. Thanks for the tips! I will look forward to your answer. :D

  225. Great Article. it’s Really Helpful and Enjoyable Post for Every Blogger. Thank you very much for Sharing with us.

  226. Wow Neil! Even after a year, you still answer posts! Very impressive. Anyhow, I enjoy your content. I have multiple websites with attached blogs and it’s always nice to hear what other experts have to say.

    Take care

    Ed

  227. it was a nice article and iam glad that I came across it :) I had a question if u don’t mind. I am intending to start a mobile review site as Iam quite fond of mobiles.

    as a part of website I want to add pictures of different mobiles but do we need the permission of mobile brands to use them?if yes then how can I contact them to get permission?

    hoping that u will reply ,Thanks in advance :)

  228. Thanks for valuable tips Neil! Honestly i have problem with my consistency, do you have any suggestions?

  229. Preethi Appiya :

    Oh thank you so much for the post Neil ! It lifted off the fear I was having (and still have) as I set to start up my very first blog.

  230. Finally found something that could teach me and boost up my confidence. Thanks a lot for this wonderful write up.
    “After starting four blogs and making hundreds of mistakes over seven years, eventually you are bound to figure out what to do and what not to do.” this statement of yours is a very big motivation in itself. :-)

  231. Hey! I’m newbie for blogger so didn’t know many tricks to increase traffic for blog…. But after reading your detailed article, I must say that it worth every second I spend to read it. Can you guide me a little more about how to get traffic from other websites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit ?

  232. Articles like this are the reason I come back for more.

  233. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always interesting to read articles from other writers and practice a little something from their sites.

  234. Awesome read. Neil I I stumbled upon your blog when I searched the sentence “How to make a blog popular” and yours was one of the ones that showed up first . I’d like you to please advice me on what to do to get my blog to be as popular as yours.
    Thanks

  235. Interesting read, especially the consistency part. Blogging 5 times a month for a year will make it 60 posts. Kinda tough if the topic isn’t a passion

  236. Thank you, I have recently been looking for info approximately this
    subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out so far.
    But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the
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  237. This is one of the best article I’ve ever seen in my life. Thanks alot for this. I am truly greatful. canadian immigration company

  238. One of the most inspirational article. I really enjoy to read it and i have learned something inspiring, thanks for sharing Neil

  239. Well, the article is superb and very informative. I read it because i am, in a few days, going to start a blog.
    I just had one confusion… Which one is better for a free blog? WordPress or blogger? (I am taking the side of wordpress but i need some expert advice). Thanks a lot!

  240. Aw, this was a very good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a
    very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t manage
    to get nearly anything done.

  241. Many thanks for this webpage, can blissfully state we now have a steam shower of our own and
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  243. I must read this before I start blogging Neil. I did a mistake. :(. At least I start following now onwords.

  244. Interesting read, especially the consistency part. Blogging 5 times a month for a year will make it 60 posts. Kinda tough if the topic isn’t a passion Botanique at Bartley

  245. Interesting read, especially the consistency part. Blogging 5 times a month for a year will make it 60 posts. Kinda tough if the topic isn’t a passion conversation chemistry book

  246. Neil, appreciated this post partly because it explained something that perplexed me. You have grown over time, but of course, but it was a thought that did not come to me automatically.

    I am a teacher who recently began developing a course in content marketing. I was browsing around on various topics and came across some really shoddy posts of yours, so I had you pegged as someone who works the system but doesn’t contribute. Over time, however, I keep running into excellent work from you. And then, as a designer, I found your Advanced Content Marketing Guide really disturbing and poorly written.

    But again, I am using your articles far too often to be able to think of you as anything but a leading, sharing, engaged and informed practitioner. So it’s useful to hear you share what a burden past mistakes can be – and useful to see how you have converted me, a professional skeptic regarding all things popular – to be a big fan.

    Thanks for all you do, and keep it up.

  247. Neil, appreciated this post partly because it explained something that perplexed me. You have grown over time, but of course, but it was a thought that did not come to me automatically. rebelmouse

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