With all ventures, there comes a learning curve. And let me be the first to tell you that blogging is no different! From website functionality and content creation to promotion that increases page views in order to move toward monetization of your blog. These are all issues that bloggers have dealt with at some point in their journey.
So who better to help you overcome common blogging struggles that bloggers face than fellow bloggers that come from a place of experience to provide you advice and support. So let’s dive in with one of the first issues you will experience:
Website design done right the first time
Whether you are using a hosting service with a proprietary website builder or a self-hosted WordPress site, the first time you log in to your dashboard can be overwhelming. A word of advice … don’t poke around it trying to design your site without reading or watching tutorials. Believe me, if you start creating pages and posts without first understanding how to structure your site, you can make it really difficult for your visitors to navigate through it.
When starting out, and even later when you struggle with issues, I recommend wpbeginner.com for anyone using a self-hosted WordPress. For sites like Wix, Weebly, and other non-WordPress hosts, search for tutorials specific to their service and make sure to type in the current year so you get the most up-to-date tutorials available.
Even if you start off right, there are always going to be those issues you can’t seem to solve and fix. In such cases, you may need to elicit the services of an experienced programmer. Fiverr.com is an excellent community for finding the right professional to help you with issues like design, errors, and site optimization.
Content doesn’t create itself
The main reason we blog is to reach people in our niche, right? So creating content and getting it out there to your intended audience is not just a minor blogging task, it is a priority! Common blogging struggles that plague so many is being able to prioritize creating your content and promotion activities to get it noticed.
One of the best habits to have as a blogger, in order to reduce your blogging struggles, is to plan out your content ahead of time. This helps you create a schedule and organize your blogging tasks so you can meet your blog writing goals. Two awesome resources for creating a content calendar to follow are Trello and Coschedule. To find out how to optimize these tools for blogging, check out this post on How and Why You Need a Content Calendar for Your Blog.
Photo by Kat Stokes on Unsplash
Driving traffic to your site takes work
Once your posts are published, promotion is a key ingredient for drawing traffic to your site. Posting to social media and sharing platforms like Pinterest or Mix are essential for getting your post noticed and read by your audience and potential followers. Being able to schedule and automate when your content will post is an essential time-saver and will help increase productivity.
An easy way to do this is through plugins on your site (if your platforms allow them) that can be connected to your social media accounts so that your blog posts are shared as soon as they are published. A couple of plugin options are Jetpack and Social Warfare. If you want to create separate social media posts over time, for promoting products or evergreen content, SmarterQueue and Tailwind are some popular choices that require a subscription. Although, here are The 7 Best Free Social Media Management Tools in 2019.
In addition to promotion, search engine optimization (SEO) is an important aspect of a blog post and definitely a blogging struggle experienced by many. In a nutshell, SEO is a set of best practices that increases how search engines will rank your site. These include factors like your site’s load speed, metadata, keyword density, etc. Since SEO is a post in itself, I recommend reading Blog SEO: 14 Ways to Optimize Your Posts in order to learn more. One tool that many bloggers trust for helping optimize their SEO is the plugin Yoast. This tool will rate you on your keyword usage and allow you to edit the snippet that shows on search engines, just to name a few features.
Although plugins like Yoast will help with keywords, it only does so by helping optimize its use within your blog post. Unfortunately, it doesn’t know if that keyword is the best option for ranking in a search. That’s where keyword searches come in! There are several free tools you can use such as Moz or SEMrush (although you do need to create a free account for each). Since conducting a keyword search is a fairly detailed process, I recommend reading How To Do Keyword Research for Your Blog to learn how.
Images don’t always come easy
Beautiful images definitely add a final touch to your posts. But if you’re like me, taking or finding the right images is a big blogging struggle. I applaud & admire anyone who wants to use all their own images. If that’s you, but you struggle as I do, take a class at your local college or research ways to improve taking your own photos. To start you off, here is a post on 6 Tips for Taking Better Photos for Your Blog. In addition, there are lots of programs and apps that allow you to improve your images through editing such as GIMP for your computer and the Lightroom app for your phone.
Another alternative for better blog images is to use free stock photos. If you have WordPress, you can access the free photo library under your wordpress.com dashboard. Other popular sites for free images are unsplash.com and pexels.com. However, before downloading your image, make sure you read the fine print because some images and sites still require you to cite your source in the caption of your image on your post. You’ll want to make sure to follow such requirements so that you adhere to copyright law.
If you plan on providing images with text for social sharing on sites like Facebook and Pinterest, then you will want to use a program for adding elements to your graphics. Canva is a really easy site that allows you to create graphics on your PC or using an app on your phone. The free version has lots of great features or you can get a subscription that allows you access to a free photo library, easy resizing, and many other amazing features.
Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash
When is it time to monetize?
To answer the question: You can monetize right away!
You may have heard that you need to have a certain number of blog posts or your monthly views in a high range. This may be true for Google Adsense Ads or Media.net but there are other ways to monetize early that won’t be so much of a blogging struggle to get approved for. Joining affiliate networks like Amazon Associates and ShareASale allow you to add links and banners to your site so you can promote their products and get compensated when your readers buy through your link.
Sponsored posts are another great way to monetize. Similarly, you can join networks that allow you access to lots of brand campaigns, which you would apply for. One such network is Activate, which sends you invites to different campaigns with different criteria such as social media posting and/or blog posts that promote their brand. Plus here is information on the 7 Top Sponsored Post Networks to Join for Paid Blogging Opportunities.
What do you think?
With so much information to cover about blogging struggles, hopefully, many of your questions were answered and potential issues thwarted. We would love to hear what has helped you in your blogging journey and about resources you have used & recommend to others to reduce the blogging struggles they may eventually experience.
About the Author:
This post was made in partnership with Jennifer Widera of One Hoppy Momma. Jennifer is your average mom, with 6 kids, that loves to travel and help other families navigate the stages of parenting, marriage, & self-discovery in order to grow and live life to the fullest.