15 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started My First Blog

wish blogging

Over the last 3 years I created 2 blogs, my first (Pronet Advertising) is on marketing and my second (Quick Sprout) is on business. Although both of my blogs do well, I made my share of mistakes. I am not a big believer in regrets and I have learned a lot over the last 3 years, but if I started all over again, I would do things very differently.

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Don’t blog about news

Within your industry there are probably dozens of blogs that write about the news. So why do the same? I know blogging about the news can get you more traffic, but it doesn’t provide your readers with much value.

Pronet Advertising was accepted into Google news a few years ago, this meant that it could appear really high in the Google search results for almost any search term. Due to this, I would analyze Google trends and write on things that were hot. This was a great way to get tons of traffic, but my readers didn’t care to read blog posts that were news related.

Pick a niche

My first blog was about marketing, the problem with that niche was that there were too many blogs that already discussed marketing. Sooner or later I realized this and started blogging about social media marketing instead of general marketing. After I did this, my blog became so popular that it got into the Technorati 100.

Now I don’t have a niche with Quick Sprout, but if I had, it would be more popular. Make sure you pick a niche with your blog.

Pick a big niche

As I mentioned above, my first blog was about social media marketing. Quick Sprout also had a niche at one point and it was personal branding. Both of these niches were so small, that I got tired of blogging on them. With my first blog, I just stopped blogging on it. With Quick Sprout, I ended up changing the blog from being on personal branding to business.

You want to pick a niche, but it can’t be too small. If it is, you may run out of content ideas.

Be passionate

I wasn’t too passionate about social media marketing, which is why I stopped blogging on Pronet Advertising. If you aren’t passionate about what you are writing on, your readers will be able to tell. Just look at the content on Pronet Advertising, you can tell by reading it that I didn’t care about the blog.

Don’t burn yourself out

When I started blogging, I used to blog twice a day. I got burned out and felt that I was writing too much. Blogging shouldn’t seem like a chore, you should enjoy it. I now blog once a week on average and I love doing it. Don’t force yourself to blog to often or else you will get burned out.

Make money

There is nothing wrong with making money. If you are spending a lot of time blogging, you should be rewarded from it. With Pronet Advertising, I made money from ads and consulting deals that came through the blog. With Quick Sprout, I am not making any money from it, which is fine because I don’t care for the money I could make from ads.

If you are in a position where you don’t need money, that’s great. If you aren’t, you better figure out a way to make money off of your blog.

Don’t spend too much on a design

I spent around $5,000 getting Pronet Advertising designed. What I didn’t realize is that you don’t need to have a cool design to have a popular blog. If you look at some of the most popular blogs on the web, such as Boing Boing, there isn’t anything special when it comes to their design.

The main thing you should be concerned about when it comes to your blog’s design, is that it needs to be usable and simple.

Have a unique design

With Quick Sprout, I am using a generic blog design. It looks great, but too many people are using it. This is making my blog blend in with thousands of other blogs. Because of this, I have two options:

  1. Modify the theme and make it look different
  2. Change the design

Write detailed content

If you look at the blog posts that I wrote when I first started Quick Sprout, you will notice that they aren’t too detailed. Until the last month or two I continued to write sub standard blog posts and because of this Quick Sprout wasn’t growing. Once I started writing detailed blog posts, my traffic increased and you started to enjoy reading the blog.

Respond to every commentor

The biggest mistake I made was taking commentors for granted. If I responded to every commentor since the first day I started blogging, I would have built tons of relationships. After I started to respond to every comment, I got to know a ton of people on a personal level, such as you. πŸ˜‰

Build relationships with other bloggers

If you want your blog to be popular, you better get to know other bloggers. The easiest way to make your blog popular is to get other bloggers to blog about you and your blog. Sadly, I didn’t figure this out until a year into blogging.

After I figured this out I started building relationships with many of the top bloggers. When I launched Quick Sprout I told these bloggers and they naturally blogged on it. This lead the blog to have a 1000 RSS subscribers within the the first 24 hours of launch.

Pick the right blogging platform

My first blog was on Movable Type and this one is on WordPress. I had tons of problems with Movable Type such as comment spam and worst of all it wasn’t easy for me to make changes. Due to this I had to spend a lot of money on Movable Type developers. Once I switched to WordPress I was able to do everything myself. This saved me a lot of money and time.

Don’t write for Digg

Pronet Advertising did very well because it got on Digg a lot. Digg traffic caused the blog to grow like a wild fire, but it caused me to lose my core reader base. On the other hand Quick Sprout hasn’t got on Digg more than once and I have a very strong core user base. This is the main reason Quick Sprout has tons of reader interaction compared to other blogs.

Tell your story

Open up to your readers by telling them your life story. I didn’t do this during my first few years of blogging, but now I have a very detailed about page. I wish I did this from day one because it creates a stronger bond between you and I.

If you don’t have a detailed about page, you should consider writing one. Don’t be shy, make sure you open up to your readers.

It’s not about you

Who doesn’t want to write about their accomplishments? Bragging may sound cool, but people don’t like it when you brag. I did this a bit when I started Quick Sprout, but luckily Darren Rowse from Problogger set me straight and showed me why it isn’t wise to brag.

If you want to do well in the blogosphere, write with the intent of educating, not to brag.

P.S. If you don’t want to grow your blog all alone click here.


  1. The thing I like about this post is that you tell people things you wish you had known and then talk about how you make the same mistakes here.

    Neil, do you ever learn? Haha.

    • I do, but sometimes I make the same mistakes a few times before I learn.

      • Matt | Small Biz Bee :

        Neil, you know it’s way easier to learn from other people’s mistakes than it is your own, right? πŸ˜‰

        Keep it up here, every article you write anymore is in-depth and well thought out – I’d say you got the hang of things.


        • Sadly sometimes I don’t learn from other people’s mistakes when I should have. πŸ™

        • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

          It’s definitely easier to learn from someone elses mistakes, but we all get a little hard headed, and when we do learn from our own we usually don’t forget it…LOL

        • Lindsay Macvean :

          If you check out Richard Branson’s latest book, ‘Business stripped bare’; in each successful business strategy Branson found the guy who tried and failed to ask him what went wrong.

          The key that I will take from this is that successful blogs usually educate people about a niche subject.

          My personal blog has been an experiment for the last few months to see how to blog. Geographically I am in an area(ireland) that is very remote both physically and digitally. Perhaps a good thing in some ways because there is less competition.

          Thankyou for a great post

  2. Alex | Blogussion.com :

    I have just recently started commenting to everyone on my blog. That is also something I wish I had known to do when I first started. :p

    • It is really effective. Plus you will notice many of those commentors will come back and comment again.

      • Kenney The Working Man :

        That’s funny I really didn’t ever do that until recently. Actually you’ve inspired be to do that. And it’s been quite effective.

        It’s really the one of the main points of the medium of blogging. Interaction and communication and conversation (2 way)

  3. Neil, great post and insight. On one of my blogs I tried blogging about News and found it too hard to keep up. I like your advice about responding to every commenter as well. That’s something I’ve done as well and I think it helps make a connection between the blogger and reader and allows each to benefit. The blogger because of the connection to the readers and for the readers because they feel like their voice is heard.

    • Blogging on news is very difficult. It takes a lot of work and in many cases you have to do a few news related blog posts a day.

      • Kenney The Working Man :

        That’s so true. The only news I talk about now is either related to our business and site, or I try to tie trendy news to our business to bring in some burst of traffic.

        • If it is working for you and getting you sales, more power to you.

          • Kenney the Working man :

            Yeah it’s been an interesting test. I even created this little system I call PR PPC, and I write about hot news stories that I can relate to my business that are the top stories in Yahoo or Google news (buzz & trends) and drive cheap traffic with PPC marketing. Anyway, it’s still being tested…it’s fun.

    • Plus there is so much paralysis of news analysis that is already going on. Unless the analysis itself is made a niche and broadcasted it is truly a hard endeavor.

  4. ZK@WebTrafficROI.com :

    Two things which really impressed me are –

    1) Your reply to every comments (I know I will get reply from your end for this comments as well :), and that’s we feel that we are attached with this blog through you)

    2) Build relationships with other bloggers – yep every other successful blogger making compliments about you and showing your name, like shoemoney and others.

    At last we got something from your keyboard.

  5. ehm neil, you got wrong url boingboing.net there … it leads to adult content. lol

  6. A few thoughts…

    Blogging for news and general Internet trends can be profitable when done selectively. You can even work with both regular readers and one time search engine visitors effectively. It’s generally better to have a focus like you’re talking about in your niche selection that trying to be all over the place.

    Passionate? If you’re mainly targeting search engine visitors you don’t have to be but it may get boring to you and you’ll encounter a degree of burnout.

    Simple design? I agree that it’s generally a good idea, especially if you’re seeking search engine traffic. Some visual eye-candy does help you brand your site and retain regular readers though.

    Lastly, I agree, building relationships with other bloggers is important for a flagship blog, meaning any blog that’s not being used exclusively for marketing purposes.

    • Eye candy isn’t bad at all. I think you can do this with your logo and maybe color schemes.

    • Kenney the Working man :

      It really comes down to deciding what is the one main purpose or focus of your blogging and setting up the blog to be successful at that one purpose. When you stay focused like that it will help you to decide exactly how to run your blog, set it up, post to it, and the like.

      • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

        There’s a lot of truth in that. Like if you’re gonna have a blog that is for Adsense then the design the traffic sources and what not have to be set up to be success with Adsense.

        If you’re running a blog that is to bring in traffic and cultivate it from social networks then you have to have plugins, blogpost post, and the like to compliment that.

        If you site is to generate leads then it has to have mechanisms in place to do that.

        Great thought Ken.

      • Good point. For each blogger it is going to vary.

  7. I think I’ve been struggling with who my blog is written for lately. I’ve covered kind of a wide range of topics – I’ve put a lot of work into my posts, striving to make them resources, but at the end of the day I’m not attracting links based most centrally on the fact that I haven’t been great about actively building relationships with other bloggers.

    Having “something to say” isn’t enough – you’ve got to know who you’re writing for and how you can help them.

    Then, you’ve got to have a network of other publishers who appreciate your input – and will link to it.

    This post has me asking myself some important questions – so thank you for that. Now to arrive at some answers…

  8. I’m very interested in starting a humor blog. I created one on MySpace and had a couple dozen regular readers, but I was stumped as to how to grow the site.

    My goal is to make money doing it. I’m considering WordPress, but I’ve been told that having the /wordpress at the end of your url is a negative, and that I should shell out the money to host a .com site, and upload a wordpress blog.

    Any suggestions about how to get rolling would be great.

    • Bob,

      You can’t monetize a WordPress.com blog, they don’t allow it. You’ll need to have self-hosted WordPress to use advertising and to sell stuff. There’s nothing wrong with having a blog there though if you don’t intend on making money with it.

      It won’t cost you much to host your own though, about $10 for the domain and $10 or so a month for good hosting. You can find plenty of tutorials around on how to set it up and optimize it.

      The main problem I see for you is that a humor blog is a difficult to make money with, just ask Daniel Lyons. People come to be entertained, not buy stuff. Probably the best way to make money from a humor blog would be to use it as a springboard to sell a humor book or video.

      • Good catch. It is funny how WordPress themselves monetize the blogs, but you can’t.

        Maybe you can get away with affiliate links.

        • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

          I have always thought that was “odd”. When I first started using a blog hosted on their servers I launched a cluster of them at once and they shut me down…I was like dange WP….my bad.

          That’s ok you live and you learn.

      • Thanks for the reply, Frank!

        When you say “self-hosted,” you mean securing a .com name through someone such as GoDaddy?

        If I do that, I should be able to attach a blog to it, and slap some ads on there, correct?

        • That’s right Bob.

          I’ve found it better to buy the domain at GoDaddy or NameCheap and then use a good hosting service, like Host Gator, that includes cPanel and Fantastico. These are server side programs that will make your life a lot easier when it comes to setting up blogs and other sites.

        • Yes, as well as hosting the blog on your own server.

        • Kenney The Working Man :

          I use Godaddy or Namecheap for domains and Hostgator for hosting also.

          But I wouldn’t just slap some ads up there just yet. Get some traffic to the site and quality traffic. Then put your ads into the hot spots.

          You don’t want the site to be seen as a “for Adsense only” site. Get some links to the site and a few post on the site first and get a better quality score.

          Then slap some ads up. lol

        • I bought my domain through godaddy and have the ability to host unlimited domains through them for 150 GB of disk space and 15 G data transfer bandwidth for $6/month. Very good deal to start up.

          • Kenney the Working man :

            They do a great job of upselling. They are always asking me to change to their hosting and for a discount. I just like the Gator… lol

            • I think that is how they make most of their money. Upselling is the key.

              • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

                Yeah Amazon and Godaddy are great at upselling.

                I remember when I first came online and I started buying domain names there, for the first 10 or so domains I couldn’t figure out how in the heck I wanted to buy a $9 domain and it kept turning into a $15 domain by the time I was done.

                LOL…ROFL. I laugh about it now but then I was like, what the heck is going on. They just kept upselling and addons and cross sells…LOL

              • Yea, I always buy more crap from Amazon because they do a good job of showing related products.

          • It is a good deal, but their hosting isn’t as good as Media Temple.

    • Just pop up the blog and start. The key is to have something different than the other humor blogs. You need something cool and useful that really separates you from the crowd.

      • Thanks for the reply, Neil! And super-fast too.

        Can you give me an example of “cool and useful” that’s helped you in the past? Or somehow elaborate how “useful” pertains to a humor blog?

        • I don’t have a link off hand, but break.com does cool humor videos. Unlike some other video sites, they make their own videos.

    • It is easy. If you buy my affiliate link in hosting, I can guide you on wordpress installation with all nessesary and useful plugins with advertising options. I can even guide you where to find advertisers, of course it is not easy to find advertisers at the beginning. Maybe, selling affiliates would be good choice while building more pages, traffic and rankings.

    • Accident Injury Claim :

      Before I get into how you can begin blogging for money, I want to let you know that it is certainly possible for you to start a free blog at Blogger.com and begin doing so.

  9. Just thought you should know that there is a typo in your link to Boing Boing… sends you to an adult site boingboint.net

  10. Kenney The Working Man :

    I really like this post Neil. Every point is really true.

    I just hope that people actually take what you’ve said to heart and actually put it to good use.

    Combining a niche with a topic that you’re passionate about was so important for me.

    It makes blogging exciting and fun and easy. If you’re passionate about a subject naturally, you’re going to know quite a bit about the subject because you’ve read and stayed up to date on the topic because of interest.

  11. Thanx a lot for the tips Mr. Patel. I’ll try and implement them on my blog.

  12. Don’t burn yourself out
    When I started blogging, I used to blog twice a day. I got burned out and felt that I was writing too much. Blogging shouldn’t seem like a chore, you should enjoy it. I now blog once a week on average and I love doing it. Don’t force yourself to blog to often or else you will get burned out.

    Getting burned out is normal. I’m sure that every successful bloggers have experienced this in their blogging career. It’s okay to blog whenever you feel like blogging. That way, you’ll not get burned out and you’ll be happy. But the truth is, if you are serious with blogging and you plan to make it more of a career, then you need to consider doing it as a chore. This is a good way to condition yourself. When you’re used to it, it’ll be easier.

    • Bloggers do get burned out, but the less it happens the better. If you blog too often or don’t enjoy what you are blogging on, your chances of getting burned out are higher.

  13. Yeah I like the responding to every comment. That is what keeps me to be coming back here.

  14. I wonder if the replying to every comment generates engagement or the default checkbox to “Notify me of followup comments via email” is helping to pull users back in.

    Neil, have you ever done an A/B test where the checkbox was defaulted to off and checked the impact on engagement rates? I’d be very curious on this. Thanks.

  15. Lisa Angelettie :

    Thanks for this list Neil. I just recently started responding to every commenter which honestly should have been a “duh!” on my part. It’s just common courtesy.

    By the way, I know Thesis is growing in popularity but I really like your site. Sure a custom design might be nice – but in the end – its the content that does the heavy lifting.

    • It will take more than few hours a day just to reply the comments in a blog. But, it is worth every seconds we spend over there.

    • Custom Silicone Bracelets :

      I know that is what is so great about this blog compared to many others. Neil responds back to almost everyone if not everyone. It give a more personal feel to the blog, and if you have a question Neil does his best to try to answer it.
      Thanks Neil!

      • Thanks for noticing. I probably get 30 or so emails a day from Quick Sprout readers asking questions. And everyday I respond to all of them.

      • ZK@WebTrafficROI.com :

        Yeah I am also feeling in that manner whenever I visit this blog. His smiling is showing everything.

      • True. Now, I just feel like it is one of my personal blog here. I like to comment see what people say about my comment and the conversation goes on till the discussion net close.

    • The only bad thing about it is that if you have too many comments, it can take hours to reply to each one.

  16. Aircraft For Sale :

    dear neil patel thanks for this valuable information….
    i appreciate your information….
    you are my inspiration for start my own blog….

  17. Good Tips Neil. Very soon you will see these tips actually applied on my blog.

    • Cool! After you make the changes, keep on learning because you will still make mistakes. Just look at me… I still make mistakes with my blog.

  18. Good to know, will try not to make these mistakes.

  19. Very nice post. I too wish I had known this things before. I’m on my 2nd ‘serious’ blog now and I can almost smell a 3rd one around the corner πŸ™‚ Some of the stuff you wrote about, like picking a big niche and finding your passion, hit me right between the eyes. Thanks for passing on this knowledge pebble. I’m sure it will save a few innocent souls πŸ˜‰

    • No problem. Do you mind me asking why you want to start a third blog? Why not just stick with your 2nd one?

      • Mainly because my current blog is on a very small niche and although I totally love the topic and want to continue posting about it, there are other things pulling my attention, and I have something to say on those topics as well. I wouldn’t want to post about those things in my current blog, it wouldn’t make much sense.

        • Just make sure you aren’t starting another blog for no reason. There is nothing wrong with changing what your existing blog is on.

          If you decide to go with the third blog… best of luck! Just like you I started another blog as well (Quick Sprout from Pronet Advertising)

  20. Web Development India :

    Lovely tips.
    I like the most about your blogging is your way to respond each and every comment.

  21. Great suggestions, and I’ve done most of these. One thing that first confused me was your mention of a big niche, which I initially thought referred to the topic, but as I read, I understood it to be subject matter.

    You see, I’m in a pretty small niche, travel/photo blog, but all of my subject matter is focused around LA. Although my niche is small, my subject matter is endless. As long as I have time to get the photos, I don’t thin I’ll ever be at a loss for subject matter………:)

  22. So many tips here. I think, it can be elaborated to 15 posts in a blog. This is why I like your blog. One of the reason might be because of no ads too.

    • I’m glad you like the ad free blog as well. Many people tell me to place ads, but I just don’t want to.

      • It is ok if you run small ad section. Maybe, affiliates like bluehost (you recommended this to one of the commentator earlier for one click wordpress installation).

        Or, anything that you feel worth for all of us to have it. It is something like a win win situation. What do you think about this?

  23. Custom Silicone Bracelets :

    I wish I could use your “don’t burn yourself out advice” for my school work. However I think the teacher might get a little upset if I started using the strategy though.

  24. Ed Dale sent me a link to this article. I really like it and your blog seems great. I think I will add you to my google reader.

    thank you


    are you for scuba?

  25. In response to choosing a niche, seomoz has a blog topic flow chart that is really great. The first question is “Are you one of the best writers on the web?”, if your answer is no, it is suggested that you write about something other than politics, internet marketing, sports, or celebrity gossip.

    While it is important to pick a somewhat broad topic, be aware of how competitive your topic of choice is.

  26. Great post Neil, especially the part about writing for Digg. I know I’ve been guilty of that once in while haha.

  27. Geno Prussakov :

    Excellent tips, Neil. I’ve found something for myself too. Thanks!!

  28. thanks for the informative post. I started our company in 2006 but was not serious into blogging, I’d post here and there at that time I did not realize how effective of a tool it would be.

    Fast forward to April 2008, I made a goal to blog everyday on a topic that a consumer trying to find information about energy efficiency, wind power, and solar panels would find beneficial. Since the middle of April 2008, I have been blogging every day, 317 days straight! And I tell you not only have gained traffic and subscribers, but received tons of press opportunities and leads that have turned into revenue.

    I understand building relationships with other bloggers is important, we have a community, a social network on our website in which other bloggers in our space have been creating profiles, which allows me to build a relationships, so I understand the importance…but How else can I reach bloggers to build relationships?

    There are tons of bloggers out there, who should I target, people writing about stuff in our niche or should I target top 100 bloggers also?

    • You are a great example of getting press from your blog. I forgot which magazine you were in, but it was a pretty big business magazine.

      You should target people in your niche.

      • it was entrepreneur magazine, quoted about trends in clean energy sector.

        anyways how do I meet more bloggers in my niche? And what if other bloggers see me as “competition”, how do I convince them its better to work with each other?

  29. Make Money Online Tips :

    Design needs to be clean and simple. Nice post there Neil and very detailed.

  30. Alex MacGregor :

    Would second mt for hosting, they host my blog. I use enom for domain names simply for their “bulk” tools. Some nice tips though Neil, be yourself is mine.

  31. Custom Silicone Bracelets :

    That Pronent site isn’t doing that bad, it has a page rank of 6/10, so the information must be good or it might be because of the hot girl(Kate) on the front page.

  32. “The easiest way to make your blog popular is to get other bloggers to blog about you and your blog”.

    Are you able to elaborate on this and offer a few more tips apart from just telling someone directly you have a blog?

    • yes, I would like to know some strategies for this also, its not as easy as it sounds. how do you get other bloggers to collaborate? What is the value proposition you offer other bloggers so they are motivated to blog about you?

      • For each person it is going to be different. You have to figure out what you can provide bloggers in your field. For me it was SEO because I am an SEO.

        Sadly it doesn’t work for everyone. πŸ™

    • I used to do free search engine optimization for bloggers in exchange for a blog post about me.

    • You can use paid post. But, getting a paid post from famous bloggers is very costly. I don’t know whether it is worth it or not.

  33. hi Neil,
    i’m a new follower of your blog and appreciate your lessons learned that you are sharing with your readers. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind. Much appreciated and keep up the great work. πŸ™‚

    • Best choice Carmen! You can learn a lot of good things here. Most of the good blogs have too much advertisement and sometimes promote the products just to get some profit. Here, all you can find is details. No money involved so far. So, most of the content is genuine.

    • No problem. Best of luck with your blog.

      I hope to see you on Quick Sprout more often!


  34. Aman@BullsBattleBears :

    you always have great tips and inspiration to take away from your posts Neil. Its really nice to read of your rise rather than only hear of the “good life” so to speak.

  35. Your 15 steps for make much better blog and earn money is really great achievement but i also have some tips for maintain quality blogs.
    1. Get your feet wet.
    2. Worry more about being good than getting traffic.
    3. Start with success in mind.
    4. Write for your audience.
    5. Don’t write cheques your ass can’t cash.

  36. internet marketing strategies :

    I love helping people. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face knowing that I’ve made a positive impact on someone’s life. I feel I can reach a lot of people with positive information and a lot of knowledge to make a difference in people’s lives. I hope our community will become a tight knit group where individuals in similar situations help one another.

    • Helping people is good but try not to become a victim. I learn something very true in the new batman movie, it says “If you are good at something, never do it for free”.

    • Some times it can back fire and people expect you to help them with everything. To some extent it can be exhausting when you are helping people.

  37. I am enormously impressed by all these hints. So real, so useful. Thumbs up. You are popular, successful and you are a business man. When you respond to such a humble comment and nobody like me, that is really something. It makes humble people like me to love your blog and to keep reading you more. Of course you have got writing style.

  38. Aircraft For Sale :

    Dear Neil You Are Absolutely Right And Your Information The Best For Maintain Blog, Also I Have Tips For Maintain Blogs.

    Maintain A Blog
    This is, in no small measure, due to the fact that,though you can influence your blog, you lose some control once you start posting publicly. The success or failure of a blog depends on a combination of several different factors. These factors include your blogs topic as well as its layout. An equally important factor is the ability to promote your blog to reach a large, and interested, audience. There is not one simple or definite formula for creating or maintaining a successful blog. Because of the sheer dynamics involved
    and because you do not have absolute control over your blog, there are no success guarantees. However, by taking a few well thought out steps, you can make certain your blog has the best chance of making it in a world where one blog is created nearly every second of the day.

    Post fresh blog content regularly
    This is the most fundamental success factor for your blog. Fresh, valuable content posted regularly will keep blog visitors coming back for more. Even viewers who just happened to stumble upon your web site will keep revisiting your site if you offer fresh content regularly. Blogs that have no new posts are bound to become stagnant as there is no motivation for visitors to return. If you want your blog to succeed,
    post fresh content and post regularly. Want to make sure your visitors return? Have them sign-up so that every time you post, they will receive an email alerting them to your new content.

  39. You are absolutely right about how to get success with blogging…very simple and neatly explained…you simply rock with your writings. I mostly like the point to “Be passionate”….otherwise there is no use in blogging.

  40. Johnny Optimist :

    I liked the way you replied to your commentors, so I have been doing the same (only 3 comments so far, but can only get better).

    I have also been building the About Us pages on my sites over the last couple weeks, and think they are more robust now. I was surprised at the number of views they got.

    Good tips, I think I am practicing most of them. Although my site design was a free one, and a lot of others use it, I customized the colors for most of my sites to give them different looks.

  41. Thanks for those tips! I have thought about several of them, and really do aspire to do better on one in particular: respond to every commentator. My challenge is time. I don’t have a lot of it, and so don’t write posts very often. Instead, I tend to invest that time into writing a good post. After that, I’ll try to squeeze in some time replying. Now that you’ve pointed the importance of this out to me though, I’ll come up with a plan for how to do both. After all, its the conversation that I am really aiming to start by doing the post, but haven’t gotten around to how to participate in it, beyond that first foray. One step at a time, yes?

    • It is hard. For example I will probably spend 4 hours today replying to comments.

      I guess you have to figure out how to make the time for it.

  42. Terrific post. I just stumbled on your blog yesterday but I love it — tons of helpful advice for new bloggers πŸ™‚

  43. Neil, really appreciate this post! still on the flat side of the learning curve, but thanks to your help, feel I’ll be climbing the steep end soon.

    Also, your presentation at Startonomics was awesome, we are reviewing the notes and the video at the company and implementing many of the ideas shared!


    • Neil, i totally concur with John’s comment about your prezo at Startonomics. Yours was off the hook. The best actually and there were some awesome speakers with great insight. My comments to DMM were that your prezo should have been 1 hour rather than the standard 30 min.
      ch πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I thought my speech sucked, but I am glad you liked it. I just wish I had more time.

  44. Underarm Sweating :

    I never thought about responding to every commentor, when i think about it now it makes a lot of sence. I don’t know what was I thinking before.

    • A lot of people make this mistake. I think that is what separates this blog from all of the other ones.

      • Underarm Sweating :

        A little late but still. Yes Neil I agree with you, you are only bloger I know who responds on every post. Nice habit. And then I was asking myself how much of time you consume for this, on daily basis?

  45. Thanks for the tips neil. I will be starting my blog soon.Is it possible to use Word press with a login and search engine

    • I am not sure what you mean. WordPress gives you an Admin user name and login so you can post. Search engines will index your blog.

  46. online social networking :

    Neil,Well don great post,Blogging on news difficult biz it takes a lot of work..

    • Yep. It is a 24/7 job. You never know when news is going to break.

    • Accident Injury Claim :

      The disadvantage of the news blog is that you’re at the mercy of other people’s news feeds.If they don’t update their news, you don’t get any fresh news on your blog.

  47. Great help for a beginner like me. Thanks for sharing !

  48. Susie Blackmon :

    Just wanted to tell you how much I sincerely enjoyed this post.

  49. Neil,

    I share the sentiment the above comment conveys.
    I enjoyed reading your article. Though after a year of blogging I do share some of the things you write about.

    – S

  50. Staci J. Shelton :

    Thank you for an amazing post! My biggest take-away? Respond to every comment. I’ve never, ever taken any comments for granted, but it never occurred to me that they may feel neglected…That won’t happen, ever again!

  51. Really helpful thanks.

    By the way could I add a wishlist for your site. I wanted to look at some past articles to see whether your site is worth subscribing too and there was no categories to click and not “Most Popular Posts” on the sidebar. It’s probably worth adding this so people like me can get a better idea of your content.

  52. Maria @ Residual Income Web :

    These are excellent tips! I wish I had known all of this when I first started blogging, too. I’m putting alot of my lessons-learned into practice on my new blog.

  53. I have been also to blogging a year ago and almost I want to blog everything I know. I want to write and tell the readers what I know, and thats almost everyday. I have got troubles before setting up my blogs at first and I am glad I was able to manage to keep me going. Thanks to this additional tips here.It is wonderful.

  54. Fantastic post, I really enjoyed it. It just so happens I started to get my blog going last week. I had no idea how many terms and things there were to learn about blogging.

    May I ask what WordPress plugins you use? I have kind of fumbled around and added some that seemed right but I’d love to know what you’ve settled on.

    Keep up the great work! Adding you to my feeds.

  55. newport website design :

    Thing is you say I should have done (should do!) this. But if it were that important you’d be doing it – also things you’ve not tested are things you think you should do, but who is to know that your opinion wouldn’t change if you had (or do) do them.

  56. Madison Fisher :

    I recently started blogging. We are required to blog for one of my communication classes at Clemson University. I really enjoyed your tips on blogging. I really liked your advice on commenting back to the people who comment on your blog. I will start doing that from now on to build relationships with them. Thanks for the advice!

  57. Excellent post Neil. Thanks a ton for sharing. I am helping a Realtor who is also a great writer (whose work has been published for money) adopt this medium. This could not have been more timelier.

  58. Neil, great insight. We really appreciate your article for being so helpful.


  59. Martin Frânmark :

    Good stuff!

    And I enjoyed the About me page.

  60. I think it’s great that you are successful and you took the time to tell people what you would’ve done your first time around. congrats. Great blog I’ll definitely be following

  61. I love that you’ve taken the time to share those hard to learn lessons. You are the virtual blog mentor!

  62. Thanks Neil. Thanks for your all helpful tips. And congrats on being the top 100 blogs on technorati.
    Cheers mate.

  63. Hi Neil,

    I found your article to be really useful ‘coz I was hunting for tips on how to start a serious blog. I’ve always wanted to write about books but did not have the courage to try – your tips have given me some concrete ideas – thanx πŸ™‚

  64. Ronnie - Sacramento Web Design :

    Thank you for such a detailed post. I just started blogging a few months ago and I am really going to take your points to heart so I don’t make the same mistakes. Thank you again.

  65. Sanjeev Mishra :

    This is one of the best post I have ever gone thru. thanks a lot Neil for sharing this with us.

  66. Neil! Every point in your post makes a lot of sense!! I’ve done all the mistakes that you’ve listed, and ‘m still doing a lot of mistakes.. Looks like you learn, and I never learn πŸ˜›

    Anyways, one thing that I’ve learned is that ‘never spend too much time on design’. Now ‘ve switched to a very simple theme with white, blue and black colors, easy on the readers’ eyes. Now I can spend more time on writing good content.

  67. Ecommerce Martin :

    How can you find a specific niche? Do you have any tool for that Neil?
    I graduated computer science this year. There aren’t so many niches now. Gadgets? Lots of blogs on the topic. Blog about blogging? No chance to be noticed.
    I just don’t want to start another marketing or SEO blog. Do you have any ideas?

    • There is no tools for it, the niche is going to be based off of what you love.

      If you want to start a blog on SEO or online marketing, do it on a component of it. Such as link building or on page SEO.

    • Martin Fister :

      You’re thinking too broad here. There are tons of blogs on gadgets but there are tons of gadgets out there. Identify a gadget that you enjoy and focus specifically on that gadget. Or if it’s big enough, like the iPhone, focus on a specific feature of it.

  68. personal injury lawyers :

    Hi, I agree, design is not important. But niche is important. I start few blogs with many niche in one blog, and feel its not good. You blog must be related to one niche. Thanks for tips. I hope new blogger will learn from it.

  69. Mario Schulzke :


    great comprehensive post.

    A couple of thoughts.

    1. I don’t think you need to change your design. True, many people are using a similar layout (including me) but visitors like your blog for the content and your interaction…not the design. It won’t hurt to change your design, but you definitely don’t need to.

    2. Your point about being passionate couldn’t be more true. I’ll go a step further and say that you should have a blast. Life is too short and blogging should be fun. Don’t take yourself too serious and speak from your heart.

    Great posts, Neil.

    • Thanks for pointing out number 1.

    • Martin Fister :

      I actually read a site that said that you should downplay design as much as possible. He said that the uglier the site, the better as the user’s focus should be on your ads, not the site. It was a strange idea but it had some rationale. For instance, keep a minimal site layout so the only things google sees on the page are the SEO you target.

      What do you think of the ideas Neil?

    • Accident Injury Claim :

      But I don’t believe we should expect to feel passionate about our work all the time. Even if you are doing work that is a perfect match for you, it is unlikely that you’ll feel passionate about it on a daily basis.

      • That is true, but most of the time you will be passionate. Overall you will be a lot better off compared to no being passionate about something.

  70. Neil once again great post, I was just adding a link to this post and I noticed out of all the links I bookmarked, one didn’t have a icon and looked quite weird. You didn’t get a icon next to the link. Then I realized you don’t have a favicon or .ico file, I was expecting to see that greatly designed quicksprout icon.

  71. I guess my biggest challenge is my niche. There are many people writing about this subject but it doesn’t hurt the number of readers I have – but I know I need to probably narrow it down a bit.

    • Narrowing it down should do the trick. Just don’t narrow it down too much.

    • Martin Fister :

      If you’ve already established the site, one possibility is to just make subsections of the site that really dig into a narrower niche. As such, those portions might be targeted better by search engines for those key terms.

  72. Thank god, These 15 things, now I know when I am about to start my own blog :).

  73. You do have a niche, it’s the Neil Patel show!

  74. Some really good point there Neil! I would really agree about not posting a lot about the news unless you’re commenting on them or giving an opinion!
    Something else I want to say is: being passionate is good but it is not enough! You need devotion too!

  75. HOBO(nickname) :

    Two points I find missing for myself excluding worpress/movabletype
    I will certainly implement.
    Thanks Neil Thanks !
    Cheers !!!

  76. I loved this post!
    Thank you.

    I started blogging and then i got tired of it cuz i would do it like everyday, but now i will listen to you when you say once a week and blog about very interesting things, not news,etc.

    Thanks again!

  77. I totally agree with that. Especially the point “Don’t Brag”, I’ve seen too many people brag when they are trying to sell their ebooks, they claimed they earned tons of money every single day. I found it was not the truth after I finished reading their books. This is why I hate brag so much.

    Great post! Very useful! Thanks for share.

  78. I can’t say I’ve found my niche. It’s too freewheeling as it is now with my blog. πŸ™‚

    Thank God, I realize early the value of responding with every reader that cares to drop a comment on my blog. And that interaction made my quiet blog a lot livelier than it used to. It’s fantastic to hear any other voice other than your own on your blog. And the fun part is it’s not contrived conversations. Proof is I have become friends with a lot of them.

    Which leads to your next point about building relationships with your readers. Ah, I’m beginning to think we have a lively community now around my blog – however small. But I’m onto my 3rd month of blogging only so I have no cause for complaint. πŸ™‚

  79. Fantastic post! I’ve just started looking into blogging more “seriously” and this post will help me a lot!

    Thank you!

  80. Having begun my site in October 2008, I’ve been on a steep learning curve. Painful at times. While I’m loving every second of it, I would like to make money at it, eventually, especially given I’m spending 24/7 writing and promoting my heart out. Your tips are invaluable, and precisely answered some questions I’ve had about how to get this thing launched. Thank you! and it’s nice to meet you. — Tammie

  81. Ajith | Blog Money :

    Came in here via Daily Blog Tips. This is a very good post. My second blog is almost an year old now and one thing I wish I knew in the beginning was something about branding (not just in theme) – including avatars, using the same information while commenting, having common profile details in all your online profiles etc.

  82. Neil – you’re my hero! I’ve researched how to start a blog to death and this post just made me decide that it’s time to just “do it”. Thank you! You confirmed what I found about WordPress. I’ve purchased a template – now I’ll start!

  83. Hey Neil, great article, as usual. It’s great to hear your mistakes so I can try to prevent them from happening to me (although some already have). πŸ™‚

  84. Globetrotting Bride :

    Thanks for the inspiring list! It’s super helpful for me since I’m a blogging newbie.

  85. Glenn B. Miller :

    Great list for someone just starting out! I’m so glad I ran across it because I’d already begun to fall into some of the traps you mention.

  86. Neil you share it as your mistakes but its a precious piece of blogging advices for novice bloggers like me. Thanks for sharing!

  87. What I wonderful advice you have here Neil, I wish you the best from your blogs! now I understand how you gain those comments. Good work!

  88. I’m glad you bring up the about page, I always felt that was important.
    However, is it bragging to say that I am an award-winning sports reporter?? I say it right away on my about page to show people that I have at least some experience and credentials.

    • It isn’t bragging if you say that. But if you keep on going on with that or brag about your salary, then that wouldn’t be good.

      Your work should speak for itself.

  89. Hello Neil,

    Just a note of thanks for sharing so much useful marketing/blogging
    tips for others. I enjoyed reading your bio, too. An Amazing Story of “fall down and get up/keep moving!”
    I really enjoyed the Slumdog Millionaire movie and thought it was well developed and executed! The Music was awesome in that movie! Being that you have invested in many
    other programs, I was wondering if you considered that market!

    If you were to do a plan for marketing a movie, how would you do that?
    I know that the product have to be a great, but we all know it takes more than that to sell a product!
    I thought this would be a great idea for someone like you to explore
    or even use this movie as a project review for your marketing plan and
    have others place their comments.
    I think one of the first appeals of this movie is that it was presented in “english” to the U.S.A.(I don’t know if it was made in other languages) and also with a popularity of “hit” TV show (Do You Want To Be A Millionaire) that have a universal connection.

    I will be watching the Ocars tonight and I hope Slumdog Millionaire win for Best Everything! I also think the movie have social and political messages
    in them that reflects a cultural difference and experience. It most certainly places attention on children who are orphaned or homeless for whatever reason-and that is a good reason to put attention to that issue to get support for those children who suffer and stuggle for mere survival everyday!

    My Best!

    • I am not sure because I haven’t marketed too many movies. I would grass routes stuff.

      Also try to get bloggers to blog on the movie. On top of that advertise it through social networks such as MySpace.

  90. Neil, the advice you have given in this post is very helpful. I just started my first blog last month and am constantly thinking of ways to improve it. I am certainly going to use some of your advice. Thanks!

  91. Niel,
    Great experience. Thanks for sharing.
    I have one question here.
    You mentioned something about selecting a niche for blog and that should be big enough. But other side of this is, You need to face tremendous competition in such niches and very few blogs manage to survive.

    Lets have your opinion on a ‘Automotive’ industry niche:
    I am in process to design and market a blog based only on “Cars” mostly car pictures and somewhat information about cars. DO you thing this is a big enough niche to survive and has chances of getting good long time readers and big traffic?

    • It is a big enough niche, but I would go even smaller. How about pictures of rice rockets or just German cars

      • Kenney the Working man :

        He is up for some real competition blogging just about cars… you’re right to send him in the direction of a niche πŸ˜‰

        • Yep, car blogs are a dime a dozen. If you want to go the generic route I would buy a blog in the space and improve upon it.

          • Kenney the Working man :

            Now that’s a great idea. But I still would go the niche route…unless he is a super copywriter and has a real unique way of introducing car info. But getting traffic will be tough unless he focuses mainly on social traffic. Too many odds against him for having success in the near future.

            • The niche route is much cheaper. I like buying sites, but that is the lazy way.

              • Martin Fister :

                I have trouble imagining buying sites. While it’s nice to have something established in the field, I’m always wary of putting money down for something I could have done better for free on my own. I guess it’s just a matter of evaluating the cost versus time

              • Sometimes you just have to do it and experience things. I love it.

  92. Hi Neil

    Great post. I am relatively new to blogging. Had a couple of goes at it but no great success at this stage.

    I am interested that you only post once a week.

    Do you feel that when you start a blog once a week is enough, so that you get noticed?

    I do find that it is hard to generate quality content and post every day on my blog, and sometimes I find myself writing just for the sake of it.

    Is once a week enough at the start of a blog to get noticed?

    • My thoughts are that getting noticed has little to do with post frequency, however, it is very beneficial for return readership.

      • Posting more often does increase your odds of getting noticed, but it isn’t the main thing. The main way you get noticed is to write GREAT content.

    • If I blogged more, Quick Sprout would be a lot more popular. Once a week is good enough if your content is detailed. Ideally 3 to 5 times a week is much better.

    • Kenney the Working man :

      I use to blog 3-5 times a week, but 1-2 times is perfect. Then you can spend the rest of your time marketing your blog. (Getting links, or referred)

  93. Thank you for documenting your experience for new bloggers. I started promoting my personal blog over the new year. You make some great points. I violate your first point, don’t blog about news, almost all the time. I do so mainly because I’m a communication guy, but after reading your perspective I will reconsider future blog entries.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • There is nothing wrong with blogging on news, it is just hard to succeed doing so because there are tons of people who do so.

      • Martin Fister :

        Agreed. I think if you can provide an interesting perspective on it though, you can develop a readership. I just wouldn’t make this the sole focus of the blog and instead, keep it as something to compliment the main selling point of your blog

  94. Great post, it’s nice to hear from more experienced bloggers who are willing to share their journey with others. I am nearing my first year on blogging and I can relate to a lot of your ups and downs. On the news point I disagree with you, I think you can show a fresh perspective as long as you add value. As for the Niche I have chosen Internet marketing and work at home which as we all knows is a popular subject.

    I am still pushing out 6 or 7 posts a week; I could probably do double that because my niche is so diversified. At some point in the future I will probably change direction to a different niche, but at the moment I still have to go through all the growing pains that is Blogging.

    Thanks for the read

    • Hey Neil great site!, do you think starting a blog up will help increase traffic on an e-commerce site?

      • It will as long as it is on the same domain as your ecommerce site. Make sure you can write great content and you aren’t just starting it up to increase your traffic.

    • If you just show a fresh perspective you won’t be as popular as the older blogs in your niche. You need to do more than that if you want to be a successful blogger.

  95. Thanks for the tips. I’ve had a blog for a year, and just now I am getting the traffic. I also don’t have an about me page…I guess I should get on that.

    I also enjoy problogger. Just discovered your site. Should have fun reading your posts.

    Great job.

    • You should also check out copyblogger.com if you don’t already know about it.

    • Martin Fister :

      I think it definitely takes time to start getting that traffic. Google ranks new sites poorly so it takes time for your pages to be given credibility on google and to start getting the search results warranted for your site’s quality.

  96. Timely, timely, timely! I am getting my sea legs blogging on blogger.com before porting everything over to my business site on a WordPress platform. Just getting into the rhythm of writing (and I’m a writer!) is important. I always aim to have one key takeaway for my audience that will elucidate them, rather than aggrandize me.

  97. Michael Eisenberg :

    Thanks again for great info. Looking for ways to improve ny blog.

  98. Wish I’d had this advice when I started my first blog, it would have helped with the confusion and frustration.

    Now my only frustration is I happen to like Blogger and need to monetize it:) Learning all the time.

    Thank you

  99. Kenney the Working man :

    I can’t find the comment, but there is a comment in here about updating WordPress blogs… and how Fantastico has a cool feature.

    Well this morning while in my WP admin I saw a “most popular” plugin that was called WordPress Automatic Upgrade. Anyway I just thought I’d come back and post it here to solve that problemo…


    Hope this helps.

    • Yea, I have to figure out the comments on this blog. I love the amount of comments posts are getting, but it is making the site slow…

      Sorry about that! Hopefully I will have a solution soon, other than pagination.

      • Martin Fister :

        Yea, one thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes, comments lower down on the list just don’t appear for me. I don’t know if it’s because there are so many that it times out before all of them load or what. It might be best to make it so only 100 comments per page or something.

        • Weird, I will check it out.

          I don’t like the idea of putting comments on different pages, I just have to solve the problem.

  100. I’m trying to learn as much as I can. Your insight is greatly appreciated by us all. Keep them coming, we are like sponges. LOL

  101. Best Deals Online :

    I feel that it is extremely important to pick a big niche just so that you can feel comfortable branching off a little on the odd time and have more to write about – so long as the basic topic is the same (i.e. video cameras)

  102. Insightful!

    What would you say about free blogging services vs self hosted ones like you blog? There are definitely a lot of blogger/blogspot blogs out there that have made it big.

  103. I’m glad I am reading this just a couple months into my blog, thanks. I find the hardest part of starting a blog is deciding what your niche is going to be…

    “Pick a big niche”

    I guess it will evolve. I’m not the sort of person to plan it out ahead of time. I’m not even sure what I want to achieve other than meeting and learning from other people, and self-expression. Would love to have my blog direct more traffic to my web site (I am an artist) and thus get more sales but I don’t know how realistic that is. I do know that I am enjoying the freedom of expression and that seems to be my main goal right now.

    • It will, just give it some time. After a few more months, you will have learned a lot more about blogging.

  104. Thanks for the tips. I’m a new blogger and a bit all over the place at the moment, but definitely plan to tailor things. I would argue, however, that personal branding is a pretty big topic in and of itself!

  105. Very interesting, Neil, great, that you try to learn!
    But investing 5000 bucks for a blog design is very questionable, next time ask me if you need help πŸ˜‰



  106. Do you think when we starting of blogging is designing more important or is it ok to use general common design is it make or impact on readers ???

  107. miss know it all :

    Hey, I like your advice and it is straight to the point. I’m actually just starting to blog. My website only has two blogs so far. Also, I’m a college student wanting to make extra money but my niche might be too broad. I know that no matter what, I’m going to continue to blog because I love it already. Feel free to check me out. I would love to know your opinion. Thanks for GREAT info!!!

  108. Sheryl Tuttle :

    Hello – I ran across your website as a result of a twitter search and it looks like you have some good information. Thank you. I am curious how you would compare WordPress to blogger? Also, do you have any information you can share on pricing of blog service to businesses (set up, administration, weekly blog posts, etc)? I am going to continue to read your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  109. Wow! Thank you for the helpful information. I especially like the part about “It’s not about you.” Really it is about creating a community, right? I just started my blog and have enjoyed staying in touch with your writing.

    Good luck with you.

  110. R&B Love Songs :

    What a great set of tips. You’ve clearly got a lot of experience and it shows through with your references to how you messed up yourself. I think burning out is one of the biggest challenges as you find yourself diving into the deep end too fast and becoming overwhelmed by the workload of keeping that high standard.

    • You will to, it just takes time. If you have been blogging as long as I have, you probably will know more about it than me.

  111. Deepak @ BusinessAttitude.com :

    I agree with your point that the blog has to be in a particular niche. But the domain name should not describe a niche because if you need to change your niche later, then you are in trouble.

    QuickSprout.com is a generic name and hence not a problem πŸ™‚

  112. If you are using WordPress as the core part of your affiliate marketing site you need to know that WordPress by default not only pings when you post a new item but it also pings when you update or edit a post. So if you proofread your posts and find errors or have to change out links etc WordPress pings every time you save the post. This has still not been fixed as of WordPress 2.

    • I didn’t know that. I guess I am pinging 15 or 20 times per posts because I make tons of changes.

  113. Professional Lab 2009 :

    Burn Out! That was my problem.. Another problem if I blog daily I got so many reader… when I stop for few days or for a week, my all readers go away!
    This is really stressful to blog everyday. But, I guess I have no other way except hiring blogger.

  114. Underarm Sweating :

    Well about design, I think you should not save money on this to much, but either way not spending it on too.

    • Design is important, but not that important when it comes to a blog. There are a lot of good templates out there already.

      • R&B Love Songs :

        I’m with you on this one Neil. I don’t know why you would spend money on a design, especially early on. Just googling free options gives you TONS of possible great results.

        • That’s so true. There are so many great free themes that one need not know anything about Web 2.0/php/css to even have to worry about paying. And if one does have some knowledge… even if it is limited, most themes are so easy to modify if one gives it a shot. I think sometimes people just want to throw money at things because they want everything to be easy. Funny thing is.. blogs (and businesses) started up in this manner are usually the first to fail.

          • And you can take those free themes and modify them. That is an easy way to make your design unique.

        • You should first see if your blog is working out for you before you spend money on a design.

  115. Professional Lab 2009 :

    That I did.. too much time spend on design πŸ™ but you know, sometimes it helps to increase revenue/traffic. πŸ™‚

    • It can help increase traffic and revenue, but you just need to get out there and blog instead of worrying about all of the small details.

  116. I have been thinking about starting up my own blog for a while now, so thanks for sharing what you have learned so far. I think my biggest obstacle is deciding on a niche.

  117. Suchmaschinen Eintrag :

    True thing… Never brag about your blog.
    Is that alrigt to use are html link in the comment box?


  118. Skylaternen :

    What do you recon is the best way to make money out of a blog. does adsense work for you?

    Could you please write an article about that for me?

    himmelslichter.com Skylaternen

    • I don’t know. For me it is consulting revenue. For each person it is going to be different.

      • R&B Love Songs :

        Agreed. I think it really depends on your blog niche. In your case, consulting would work since your posts are largely about the business side of blogging. For a more general topic, it’s hard to see that viable revenue source.

  119. Terry Kreiter :

    I should start by stating that I got to this site through looking for Facebook formats and examples, and discovered that you had postings that would be helpful.
    I’m an artist with no experience blogging or posting on “Facebook” or other sites, but I can’t get over the idea that I could have great fun blogging by using very little text and allowing organic growth with drawings, pictures, photo setups, and any other creative means of visual communication. I would want to allow many artist to keep it growing, with no preconceived results or a final destination, which would be great art. Would you have any thoughts about this idea, and do you know of any examples that would help me with this pursuit? At times I think about a posting that would be a two dimensional “Theater of the Absurd” or with drawings and still images that would hint of a stream of consciousness romp, and maybe some small video clips to make it change directions. One of my stumbling blocks is that I’m not sure how to keep it from being nothing more than a bulletin board, with random and uncommitted postings. How hopeless; I’m after total freedom, with no rules and no perceived object, and yet concerned with maintaining some control, maybe I’m describing good art. I hope that you would respond to this strange query.
    Thank you,

    • R&B Love Songs :

      I think you’re too caught up on what the semantics of the blog world are. If you want to try that, go for it. You might not have a lot of strong performance early on but if you make good drawings that people will enjoy, they’ll visit it.

    • You are thinking too much about it. I would go with the approach of just starting to blog and see what your audience likes or dislikes. If you see it going in the direction of a bulletin board and don’t like it, adjust the structure of the blog.

      It is all about testing and tweaking things until you are happy with them.

    • Martin Fister :

      Is it really a blog you need or a site? From your descriptions of it, it sounds like you’d like to make your own service along the lines of flick.r except with a focus more on art work than photos. I think you’ve got a great idea, just go with it!

  120. Chris | HealthyGaming :

    Awesome post Neil, thanks!
    I’ll have to put a few of those in practice.

  121. I like how you are capable of looking back on past mistakes and let others know what roads not to walk or in some cases run down.

    Kudos on the self reflection!

  122. I must say I enjoyed this post. I found it to be informative and experiential…thanks

  123. firedupblog :

    Hi Neil, great post exactly what I needed to learn to improve my blog. Thank you and keep posting very excited to read more.

  124. Nicholas | pixobyte.com :

    Cool dude, Inspiration starts somewhere, and you are an inspiration for me. Thanks πŸ™‚

  125. Mike Richardson :

    Having been a blogger for 3 years, I couldn’t agree more with the recommendations you’ve made. The hardest part for me was establishing my blog’s “niche”. It is difficult to choose something specific that will inspire you to develop creative interesting content. I have found having a unique design will also help boost your traffic quite a lot as well.

    Mike R.
    DUI lawyer

  126. As others have said, I like the suggestion of responding to readers’ comments, and I’m very impressed at how often Neil does this.

  127. I found the comment interesting about “bragging” as I have a tendency to downplay my own accomplishments. Although I have confidence in my abilities and strengths, I know that there will always be people who can do things “better” than I can, so “bragging” feels kind of fake!

  128. Thank you for the advice. I just started my first blog and I found your post very useful.

  129. Thanks for the advice. I keep hearing about having a “niche”. I guess my idea of my blog is to inspire others and offer my writing experiences. This probably isn’t narrow enough, but my blog is where I can write and be passionate. I do a a teaching blog that is a niche, but I want to use my blog to write my thoughts and things that inspire me. Can inspiration be a niche?

  130. Jim Westergren :

    Great article Neil, thanks for sharing.

  131. Great post Neil! I’m still lost on what niche to consider but thinking to create a “how to” site and at the same time monetize from it. πŸ˜€

  132. Hi there Neil,

    This is the first time I’ve come across this blog and to be honest with you-you have so much information here. I can’t believe I missed so much of information. Luckily, I atleast got to see it now. Anyway, I’ve subscribed to your blog and will be a frequent visitor now.

    Cheers and good job,
    Eddie Gear

  133. Thanks Nail for tips! I would like to start blogging and your article is a real good material for beginning.

  134. Great tips again. The big niche is a great tip because I had a blog that even though it was PR5, an authority in that niche, etc I found out that at the top of my game I only was getting 10k page views monthly and that doesn’t amount to much money wise for the hours and hours of work.

    • What kind of blog did you have? PR5 is pretty good. It’s tough though because its better to have a niche, but one has to draw the line between too much of a niche, and not having a niche at all, which strangely is not easy to do.

    • Martin Fister :

      Wow. How did you manage a PR5 with only 10k page views a month? I feel like you must have had something going wrong here as your authority should have enabled you to get a massive tail of google visitors.

      What was your niche?

    • Don’t worry about the PR, just worry about the quality of the link.

  135. Thanks for the tips. It’s always easier listening and learning from someone acknowledging their mistakes and ommissions than someone who tries to put the front on that they’ve always had the answers all along.

  136. I agree on not blogging the news as well if you have a traditional blog. I see so many people try to do this and unless you are going to make 4-6 posts a day you shouldn’t try to compete as you will just be half doing it as the other major competitors will have the full staff to do it but you won’t be able to and you will see your visitors not coming back. I think blogs are best if you can give opinion.

  137. Money Academy :

    there is no doubt that we all want our blogs become more popular and we must blog about something we like so my visitors like what i blog about but i disagree with the point about blogging about news because not all of us offer the same information like each other ” if Obama become US president we will lunch this news but each blog will show it with different view and point ” and also the readers will search for another view when we talk about news and the best writer will get the readers good feedback , if you talk about big niche you should look into different view because big niche will take much work from you to reach the top but with this work you can reach the top very easy in small niche but i like the way you think about this point .

  138. Blogging about news is the biggest mistake ever. If you blog about news in your niche it’s kinda acceptable. But if you’re blogging about general news you’ll surely not be the first one to report them and you won’t have the best analisis – there will be a lot of people doing it better than you.

    • Martin Fister :

      Don’t cut it too short. If you can put your own unique style onto your articles, you might be able to get a pretty good following via digg. However, you should expand your niche beyond the general news.

      • Exactly.. if you’re going to blog about news, make sure to clamp it down to a specific niche that you enjoy. I don’t think its possible to even blog about general news… you’ll be going crazy with nothing to show for it!

      • It is hard to build a following through Digg. Trust me, I tried it. πŸ˜‰

        • Martin Fister :

          Hah I hear you on this. Try as I might, I’ll get to maybe 10 diggs? Whereas I look at similar stories on the front page with hundreds. Sigh, woe is me.

    • It is a great way to fail, unless you have a great perspective on it.

  139. Being a first time blogger myself I have to appreciate your honesty here. Thanks for some great info!

  140. hello nail can you please delete me from the notification list for this article i clicked the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’ option, but i dont want to receive any further emails. thank you.
    my email is info@creative-business-consulting.com and info@cbc-international.de

    • Martin Fister :

      Haha, I’ve considered doing that as well. You gotta be careful with Neil’s articles, he’s popular in comments :).

  141. Redjeki Dot Net :

    I’m agree with you about

    If you are in a position where you don’t need money, that’s great. If you aren’t, you better figure out a way to make money off of your blog.

    I think the new blog must useful for many poeple first.. If it is useful for many people traffic automatic increase.. It means we can put anything, especially advertising in our blog..

  142. Doctor Twitter :

    I wish I had’ve known it would be so much work! a blog is nothing to shrug your shoulder at especially if you’re trying to make it into a full time income.

  143. Shane Hudson :

    This is a very useful list and I shall always keep these points in my head.

  144. I think most bloggers would agree with this list, except one point might be argued a lot. While you shouldn’t burn yourself out, many people say you should still blog very frequently for your visitors. I personally prefer blogging when I feel its right to blog so I don’t make it feel like a chore.

    • You and me both Funny Stuff. I definitely have to blog when I feel it’s the right time to do so, or else I started to dread writing and my posts become forced. All in all that equals poor content. However, like you said, it definitely is good to blog somewhat frequently. For me, I have to blog at least once daily.

    • Yea, never burn yourself out. That is what makes blogging suck. If you want to have fun, you can’t burn yourself out.

  145. Thanks for the inspiring post. Has me thinking about the niche I am in and whether I should change it to make it broader.

    Question: Within the time scale that you have how are you receiving the comments that you receive to respond to them i.e. digest to email, etc and how do you deal with the spam?

    My intention is to get bloggers to allow charities to write guests posts and use some elements of viral marketing to try to get their message across, you mention about connecting with Bloggers. How can someone like me get it connect with bloggers? Does it make a difference how well you are ‘known’ within the circle. We can not rule at the fact that you have the reputation and someone like me does not!


    • Just go to their contact page and email them. It is a numbers game, the more bloggers you contact, the more bloggers you will get to know.

  146. Interview Questions :

    Hey Neil, this is a great article, I am thinking about starting my first serious blog (I had a few stabs at it every now and then), and these tips are priceless! Thanks so much

  147. Accident Injury Claim :

    I stumbled into the world of blogging unchaperoned and decided that the best option for me was the Google Blogspot. This is a great option for those of you who think your may want to dabble with blogging. I recommend to would be bloggers to use that type for an initial period at least so they can see if they will become regular bloggers. It is very easy to navigate so if you are a technophobe this is definitely a great option for you to begin with.

  148. Great Article you have here. I agree when one is starting off with blogging there are may pitfalls to be wary of. I have learnt one key lesson here – I need to re look at my profile page to make sure my story is told.

  149. Kurt Daradics :

    I’d be curious to learn what Darren Rowse from Problogger shared with you about why it isn’t wise to brag, and curious to learn how to/when to share accomplishments in a way that’s not braggy…

    • He said you shouldn’t brag about how much money you are making or the offers you had. Talk from experience and never show off with your income.

  150. Susan Petracco :

    When responding to commenters, I can clearly see you do that by commenting back. (And commenters get notifications if they sign up for them, which is nice.) How often do you comment back privately?

  151. Sportsbook Review :

    The concept of creating a blog in a niche without a lot of competition is a useful one. Its the same concept you would use in starting a business.

  152. My problem was always focused on a design. Well ofcourse because I am a full time designer and a part time blogger. But slowly but surely I am getting over my addiction.

  153. Accident Injury Claim :

    I don’t care what blogging platform you use. If the content of your blog is garbage, your blog isn’t going to do the job. It doesn’t matter if it’s WordPress or Blogger or something else. Content is ultimately what will turn your blog into a winner.

  154. Neil,
    I think now you have a great experience of blogging but I want to asked to give some advice to newbie bloggers which is linked to in the guidelines. Rather than belabor the point of being careful what you say, I wanted to focus on real advice for people who want to start a blog.

    Thank you.

  155. One of the most remarkable aspects of this post is your honesty e.g. admission of bragging. A good list of ideas I don’t think I have seen anywhere else.

  156. Hi Neil πŸ™‚

    The most thing that is appealing me is your answers to all comments…

    Its true that no one will read the all comments but all will notice one thing that you reply to all those who respond…

    Good Work…. Keep the stuff going…

  157. Triad Trading Formula :

    Yeah I agree with every single point you’ve listed here.

    I’d like to add just one quick tip:
    Understand your quality of writing will improve in time.

    I’ve met a lot of people that simply didn’t understand that writing is a skill just like everything else.

    If you work on your writing and try to bring a lot of value to your readers your style will improve really fast.

    Usually it takes a few months to really understand what kind of information is the most valuable for your readers and because of that you shouldn’t be discouraged if your blog doesn’t perform well right from the start.


    • Internet Marketing :

      Writing is just like you pump your ideas from inside your brain out into a paper or a computer screen. To make these ideas flow smoothly, there should be enough stock of ideas inside your brain. Lack of ideas inside will make the writing activity stuck. Reading information either from books, newspaper, magazines or internet will give more supply of fresh ideas into the brain.

    • Good point. I wasn’t a great writer when I started and I still am not a great writer, but I am improving.

  158. Minnesota limo :

    I just finished reading the blog post – it’s very good. Thanks for sharing I would agree with the tips posted.


  159. Alpesh Patel :

    Great post Neil.These are very essential points. As a blogger I realized few points you mentioned, the tough way. And and knew some more the easy way (by reading this post).

    Mine is a niche blog and am actually going back to some popular posts and making them better.

    like Aartis post just had some links pointing to videos now it will have more value almost everything for a visitor looking for it.

  160. Jermaine Pleas :

    Yeah, I notice that when I started my blog. I didn’t have a idea what I would choose for a design so I keep it plain and simple for now on. I have come to believe giving interesting informative info is better than looks anyways. Just like this one here. These 15 things are really informative.

    • And try not to spend too much time on your design. It could be cheaper to just use a simple, free theme.

  161. TheNextBigCloud :

    I’m actually glad for each mistake I made. That makes sure I don’t repeat them (-:

    • Sometimes you will end up repeating them without noticing it. Just make sure you truly aren’t repeating your mistakes.

  162. Lean Cuisine Coupons :

    Yes I really got addicted to your blog because all your posts are very detailed and you respond to the almost every comment.

  163. Alpesh Patel :

    Yes Neil,

    It’s important that one becomes aware of the mistakes. Otherwise same mistakes are repeated pretty regularly. I have seen many bloggers in habit of repeating same mistake, for the simple reason that they are not aware of the mistakes they are making.

    And you have done a good job for many bloggers by pointing out to many common mistakes that the bloggers go through.

  164. “The easiest way to make your blog popular is to get other bloggers to blog about you and your blog.”

    That’s totally right. I just came here today thanks to a post from Jonathan Volk. πŸ˜‰

    Great blog. Great work. Keep it up, Neil.

  165. By the way, and sorry for the double post, let me know if you need help with a simple change of this theme design, like you mentioned. I am not an expert, but also… It’s free of charge. πŸ˜›

    Again, great work.

  166. Sanjeev Saikia :

    Hey Neil,
    You write so well that I can’t stop reading, but I guess for today I will stop on this post.. A great post indeed, liked the bit about the personal story and about building relationships with other bloggers, but how do you ACTUALLY do that. I mean for instance, I like your blog and want to get to know you on a personal level, but I can’t just become your close friend can I? Sanjeev

  167. “showed me why it isn’t wise to brag” but your punch line is still I am kind of a big deal…! but that is true…so anyways…nice article.

    • Yea, I probably need to change that. I used that tag line because it was the name of my book, which I never finished. πŸ™

  168. Eno Akpabio :

    This is very informative, thank you.
    I am a blogger virgin and just started my own blog in June. I figured I could get my own page, instead of posting notes on facebook-since I love to write.

  169. Neil, I understand what you’re saying but don’t you find it utterly exhausting to respond to each and every comment? Can’t you just pick salient comments to respond to and leave the rest. Not everybody expects or even wants a response, in my opinion.

    • It is, but what I do is try and delete most of the comments that don’t provide much value.

      That helps a lot.

  170. Derek Johnson :

    I love your “About Me” section, it felt almost like I was reading a good story. I need to work on my “About Me” section for sure, thanks for the weekend project!

  171. Sam With Traffic Is King :

    Wow..a lot of comments here. I like this post. It’s a good read of things not to do. I struggled with a theme for my blog for about a year until I could find the right topic i was interested in and that readers would be too. Having a niche for your blog helps tremendously. You don’t feel like your swinging in the wind.

  172. Glenn Torres - Mortgage Refinancing :

    Thanks for the tips. I’m still learning about how to blog and lately I have been realizing that putting in that personal touch, making the writing seem more human, is what drives people to read whatever it is I put out there.


    ps. yes, the comments section is insane!

    • Writing from your personal touch is key. People want to hear information coming out of your mouth, no someone else’s. Unless they do, then they will that other persons blog.

  173. Well, i must thank you for this useful info, i think i made some big mistakes at the begining, but now ill try to sort it out.

    Thanks again

  174. Ishank badhani :

    Fully agree with you Neil.There are thousands of blogs available on Internet.People start blog with a wish of making Dollars on Internet.But,Most of them are not succeeded because of
    – Lack of Time and Punctuality
    – Lack of Money
    – lack of passion and getting fame and money in this field is a sluggish process
    -Not a proper plan and niche
    -wastage of Time and money on designing themes and templates.As you have mentioned,with the example of BoingBoing.
    -Choosing Best Blogging Platform.As far as blogging platform is concerned,I prefer to use WordPress.It is easy to use and Good customization.

    The most important thing that i feel is to identify your qualities and be passionate.Then a simple and unique idea can do wonders and all the problems listed above would be resolved.Just giving an example of a blogger.

    “Antonio Lupetti”,owner of Woork.He runs his Blog Woork,on free domain and hosting provided by blogger .com.But,this man is enjoying a great fame among thousands of bloggers.

    • Passion plays a huge role. Always choose a topic because you love something, not because you want to love something.

  175. I see I’ve made the same mistakes for a couple of times (picking a wrong niche, burning out etc.). The good news is that now I know how to do things correctly next time. Especially the idea of responding to every comment seems really valuable.

    • Right, responding to everyone shows you 1. care 2. care 3. you’re interested in your readers (care)


  176. Making money is a point I think a lot of bloggers should open their eyes to. Many seem to think it’s ‘selling out’ their users but they don’t seem to understand that by providing highly targeted products and services they may be of benefit to users.

    • Right, but it’s also important to write about what you’re passionate about if your intent is to create a highly trafficked blog.

  177. The biggest thing I wish I would have known is, not to create too many blogs and work at too many things the same time, in the beginning I was trying to do too much at once, and it’s like anything else… if you do too much at once everything else losses value.

    Till then,


  178. Thank you for these wonderful tips! This will definitely help me out with my blog. The tough part is writing a GREAT blog. I did read your post on that topic on how to write good blog postings, I just now have to incorporate all the things you’ve said and try to get my creative mindset to spark =)

    • There is a mouthful, I know, but just take it one step at a time and you’ll surely make it.

    • Hey Liz,

      I seem to be following you. The how to write a good blog post was how I discovered this blog, and then this was the next one I came across that interested me. One thing, I see is that Neil does actually respond to all of these posts. There are literally hundreds of comments on many of his posts and he actually responds to them. That is certainly something I have not seen on any other blog.

      One thing I noticed, I couldn’t find an archive of older posts to make it easy to find them.

      Neil if you read this, maybe you could comment on that. What is the reason behind that? Do you prefer people focus on the new content and not take too much time to go to the older posts?

      • I’m working on setting up a way for people to go back and read old content. Should be up soon πŸ™‚

        • Good, I literally spent 15 minutes clicking every link on your site thinking that there had to be an archive somewhere. Then I was thinking, well maybe it is a super secret strategy I haven’t seen before:-)

  179. Nice tips for every beginner blogger, now I understand why my first 2 blogs didn’t succeed, I was writing for digg, I didn’t pick the right niche, I was writing in 3 total different niches, I didn’t answer any comments and my first 2 blogs were big FAIL!
    I think you should change “Pick the right blogging platform” to “Pick WordPress for blogging platform”, I think this is the best blogging platform, it is spam protected, with a lot of plugins, can be easily modificated, has a lot of support, nice themes and it is just perfect for every blogger.
    Best regards,

  180. Nicholas Z. Cardot :

    These are all great comments. I like the one about replying to all the comments. Sometimes that really hard to do…like when you have 500+ comments…but those relationships that you can build are absolutely invaluable.

    These are all excellent tips. Thanks for this post.

    • It is a bit difficult, but if you can do something like that, you’re really showing your readers that you REALLY give a dam about them and their opinions.

  181. Sınavlar :

    I think everybody wants to makey money from his blogs but How can my friend.You should write an article about that πŸ™‚

  182. Only just found this article but I found it really useful. One question though, how do you connect with other bloggers? It is easy once you are known in the industry but when starting out it is hard to get a response from ‘known bloggers’ even by messaging on twitter. So many are now up their own ass or will only reply if they think they can make a few bucks, so many have forgot we all have to start somewhere…


    • Write powerful and unique content and you’ll be shoe-in. Too many people write the same content over and over again. Be different and unique.

  183. How to WordPress :

    I really like the fact that you make it a habit of trying to respond to every commenter. It’s a great way to show your readers that you’re actually reading. I see too many blogs where people post questions and never get a response.

    • Thanks, it really lets people know that I don’t just blog to blog, I blog to connect with readers from all over the world.

  184. I really like how you respond to all your comments. That is a very rare quality. I will definitely start doing this with mine.

    • Thanks Matt, since people like yourself take the time to write me a comment, I feel that its a must and respectful that I do the same.

  185. yes neil i agree with u that we should pick a narrow topic for our blog instead of choosing a wider topic to compete with other sites.
    And about design u say that u have spent $5,000 for Pronet Advertising design but don’t u think it’s too much, i saw Pronet Advertising theme it is good but not very stylish, i think u can easily build theme like this.

    • It’s a very old design that was done before blogging ever went mainstream. Yes there are ways to do stuff like that for a fraction of the cost.

  186. Most important is to be good writer.If you are good people will read your articles.If you suck noone cares.

  187. Firme de communication :

    I like the part: it’s not about you. I really feel like we have to communication to people.

    thank you for the reminder Neil
    -Firme de communication

    • It’s always about the person in front of you. If all you do is focus on yourself, you can’t expect for the person in front of you to be in rapport with you.

  188. Philippine Stock Exchange :

    i wish i knew these stuff when i first started my blog… but hey… let’s just charge it to experience and hope the newbies will find this post earlier. heee

    • Hey it’s never too late. Advice like this is known but still not used as much as it should be. Most newbie will read it, and get too lazy to do it in it’s entirety

  189. Things i would have liked to known

    -Twitter is not that great just set up an rss feed on it and your good to go
    -Good writing

  190. Good tips neil. This blog im runing might just be on the line it has alot new content coming up but right now not much to talk about so i have to be creative.

    • Well, that’s what it comes down to… how creative can you be? The harder it is, the better results you’ll have in that niche.

  191. Hi,

    This is a very nice conversation, You can post your Wishes and dreams in the wish blog and let others benefit from your experience.



  192. I’ve been considering firing up a new blog for a little while now so this little list will come in handy. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the different pathways you can go down that getting advice from someone who’s been there is always useful.


    • Yeah, it is and that exactly what the downfall and demise is for most bloggers. Times get a bit challenging and then go off and start something different.

  193. #16 organising your content into an easily digestible list makes it easier to attract traffic from twitter πŸ™‚

    lots of very good points though, I think I’ve made/learned from all the points you made!

    • That’s great! You definitely want your content to be easy and simple to allow the best way for your readers to visit your site.

  194. Sasha H. Muradali :

    This is such a great article! There are some things I do and some stuff I should implement from your advice.

    Thank you so much for writing this! I found it very down to earth and helpful πŸ™‚

    • Well I’m happy to see that you found it to be effective for you. Go ahead and implement it and let me know how it goes.

  195. Hey, Neil. Thanks for this advices. I have just started this blog and I am awaiting to see results from this. Your suggestions are proving to be trust worthy. Thanks again.

    • Good for you! I know how exciting it is to begin a project! Your anticipation will build… just keep remembering to push yourself past your limits. It’s a long journey, but it’s worth it.

  196. yes blogers shouldnt post too often, maybe only in the begining so people get to know the blog but later ones a week is perfect

  197. This is a very good article. I totally agree with everything you say. Blogging is a great way to get exposure.

  198. I have a blog in the DJ industry. I’ve been just putting articles on it, however I really think I need to personalize it a bit more and tell something about myself (like your “life-story” suggestion).

    I do think I need a bit more of a personal touch. I enjoy that reading other peoples blogs or ezines, but have not done it on my own!

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  199. Online marketing Calgary :

    Neil, thanks a lot for the list. Quick question, I’m trying to stay chronologically consistent with my posts (i.e. a post a week), however, every now and then, I’m either speeding up (3 posts a week) or slowing down (twice a month). Can this hurt my rankings? Thanks a bunch in advance! Alex.

  200. yes, I would like to know some strategies for this also, its not as easy as it sounds. how do you get other bloggers to collaborate? What is the value proposition you offer other bloggers so they are motivated to blog about you?

    • Maybe you can blog about them if they blog about you?

      It’s tough… usually if you write really good content, people will be willing to write about you.

  201. chambres d'hotes :


    This is a great article and a great website. I liked it very much. It will help me to optimise my websites in europe. I have website in travel and that meens a lot of seo work !!

    Thanks a lot and greetings,

    Dave and Carol
    Seo and Travel Website in Europe, France

  202. Digitürk :

    Neil, great post and insight. On one of my blogs I tried blogging about News and found it too hard to keep up. I like your advice about responding to every commenter as well

  203. Nick Rodriquez | Domain Name Blog :

    The major thing I wish was that I had known about the importance of niche marketing and picking a topic that has has a purchasing intent from website visitors. I think that almost all topics have blogs now and it is very difficult to start up one blog and compete with the already established ones.

    • It’s difficult, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are always new things that you can create that’ll get you exposure.

  204. Cebu Events Blogger :

    Hi Neil. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now. This post really enlightens me a lot. Thank you so much. Will be drafting my detailed about page…(:

  205. I agree, after blogging for quite some time now I still feel that connecting with your reader is very important and that can only be achieve if you are going to open your life to them before they can trust you.. nice post man!

  206. Ondrej Dyrka :

    The passion thing is a difficult one, because we often need to combine passion with demand – I could have passion in ancient Persian literature, but that’s definitely not a niche where I could make any money.

  207. I made quite a few mistakes on my first blog, but thankfully I learned from them and was able to recently sell it for a pretty good price.

  208. Great content Neil.
    Not really a Digg fan but know many who are.

  209. Well said, number of post counts, but what counts more is length of the post and details it contains, as both search engines and readers like it.

  210. its all about writing unique relevant content,

  211. Its all about writing unique and relevant information.

  212. I suggest to use Ò€œComment Email ResponderÒ€ plugin in wordpress to let the commentator knows that he got a reply for his comment.

  213. Hi Neal, I think I built 6 sites and typed my fingers raw (they all failed) before I finally got some traction online. I think pain is a good lesson but only if each time you feel it you look in a difeerent direction for a solution.

    I know people that keep repeating the same actions expecting different resutl (the definition of insanity). Hopefully after taking your advice here, they won’t have to suffer Like I did for 10 long crappy years.



    • Micah, awesome to hear that you finally made it to the top :). I definitely think one should learn from their mistakes. It’s easier said than done though because we all get caught up in our habits. Thanks for reading!

  214. Hey Neil, Right on about content! Most people write for search engines and not for people. While search engines may like how you set up your article objectively, google will not be buying your ebook! Very important issue you have addressed here.

    Great <<>> Boom!

    Thanks, Danny πŸ™‚

    • Danny, thanks for reading and thanks for the great feedback. We, as marketers, really should be creating content for people. You have to figure out who your ideal buyer is before you get into anything else.

  215. Thanks for this awesome write up. Google doesn’t buy ebooks, people do!

  216. Neil, I have done a lot of social media. Does google and the other engines rank say fb and g+ the same? I mean it would be wise to see the favoritism. Since you tube and g+ are run by the big g, it would behoove anyone here to get on those media channels for sure!

    I see videos showing up in generic results all the time.

    • Leanna, your hunch is absolutely correct. G+ & Youtube will always have favoritism associated with them because they are associated with the big G. So it would be wise to invest some time there πŸ™‚

  217. Thanks for these hilarious experience sharing article my sir. You are really great author.

  218. I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


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  220. There were so many things I wish I knew before starting my first blog. The main thing was that I shouldn’t switch from Squarespace to WordPress without checking that all the links were maintained. Losing all of your backlinks is a painful process! But we’re slowly rebuilding and learning a lot in the process. Huge shout out to Neil and his team for the quality content to helps us grow!

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