Are you a wannabe blogger or just let your blog fall to the wayside? I’m so glad you’re here! Check out this post on my best blogging secrets I’ve learned from building this space over the last year or so.
Well hello Internet friends! I have a bit of a different post for you today! If you’re new around here, I typically share all about epic adventures and saving money on travel. But after sharing a shorter version of this post on my blogging secrets over on Instagram, I knew I had to dedicate a full blog post to this topic. So many people commented on the post saying “Oh, I need to start a blog” or “What are you favorite SEO resources”? And while I do not consider myself a blogging expert by any means, I’m always happy to share what little bit I have learned over the last year or so.
Keep on reading for the top 5 best blogging “secrets” I’ve learned since I began travel blogging. Maybe they aren’t so secret, but it certainly wasn’t common knowledge to me until I was diving head first into content creation. I hope this post inspires you to start a blog or just change your blogging practice a little bit.
SECRET ONE: Blogging isn’t dead
There are definitely days when I think to myself “Will people even read this?!” and I’m always surprised that the answer is YES! Blogging is absolutely not dead and is very much alive. Think about it: when you Google a topic like “best hotel in ____” or “___ recipe,” 8 times out of 10 one of the first 3 results is a link to a blog! (oh, this is a made up statistic by the way.)
While there are sites out there like TripAdvisor and Food Network, I think people naturally gravitate to blogs. It’s always better (in my opinion!) to read from a real person that you can get to know through reading their blog posts. I always find more in depth information, hidden gems, and unique items when I navigate to a blog versus a major commercial site.
Pinterest is also a HUGE source of blog traffic. I know Pinterest was all the rage back in 2010, but I still use it frequently and so do millions of other users! It’s not a social media site, contrary to popular belief, but is a search engine. When I’m planning a trip, I’ll often use Pinterest over Google because I know I’ll get more personally curated results through blog posts this way.
Through search engines and social media, hundreds of millions of users are finding blog posts every single day. If you’ve been worried about starting a blog because you’re worried they’re irrelevant, have no fear. You can find success even in 2022 with a new blog.
SECRET TWO: People want to hear what YOU have to say
There are probably several million travel blogs out there. And several million food blogs, fitness blogs, and mommy blogs. But no two blogs are exactly alike! Everyone has a unique voice and a unique perspective. Even though I’ve written about some really popular places like Sedona, Arizona and Asheville, NC, these posts still get organic traffic because of MY unique experience in these places. My itinerary won’t look the same as yours and vice versa. Also, if you are writing the same thing as someone else, you won’t be very successful.
One of my favorite things about reading different travel blogs is that I can read 10 articles on one location and learn something new in each post. I typically use anywhere for 5-6 posts on a single area or topic when planning my trips which creates my own unique itinerary! I’d be willing to bet my readers also read other blogs about my topics as well. There’s enough to go around for everyone.
The secret here is to write creative, unique posts that people will enjoy reading. Jessica of A Passion and A Passport says you need to be extremely useful or extremely entertaining (I try to be both!) and I really agree with this statement. People won’t stick around for dry content that looks just like everything else… they’ll just navigate over to the next blog!
But don’t let that deter you. While it may take awhile to develop your own voice, I promise it’s in there and people WILL love it! Keep working at it and the readers (and fans!) will come.
SECRET THREE: Blogging is a HUGE learning curve
Sure, you can just log into WordPress and begin typing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! If you have a desire to write, that will certainly take your blog a loooong way.
BUT if there’s any secret I can tell you, there is a TON to learn to grow a successful blog. SEO, keyword research, SERPs, lead magnets… what!? I’ve spent countless hours teaching myself the ins and outs of optimizing a blog for growth. This past February, I finally invested in my blog and in myself and started taking courses from bloggers that have learned techniques that work.
So while you can definitely watch free YouTube videos and do a bunch of Google searches to grow your blog… make it easy on yourself. Learn from me. It took me over a year to finally decide to invest in a course to help my blog and I’m SO GLAD I DID. Just do it from the start. There are tons of courses out there that will walk you through starting a blog and then growing it.
Aside from purchasing a course, you must be willing to put in the work. I do spend a good portion of my time writing posts but I also spend a considerable amount of time researching WHAT to write, how to write it, creating pins, optimizing my blog posts, and more backend items. This is not an easy hobby (it’s a hobby for now while I work on growing it!).
As a newer blogger, I spend close to 10-15 hours on it per week. My guess is that the bigger you grow, the more time you will commit to it as well! You can’t just start it and leave it. There’s constant learning, writing, promoting, rinse, and repeat!
But if you enjoy what you’re writing about and willing to learn new things to make the blog the best it can be, it’s so worth it!
SECRET FOUR: ITS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY
At least not right away. I’m about 18 months in and I’ve made a few dollars here and there but this little blog definitely isn’t paying the bills just yet. And I can guarantee that this is probably one of the truest blogging secrets. That’s not to say you CAN’T make money within the first few years. If you are starting a blog to make money, adjust your expectations and then take a blogging course from the beginning. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
However, if you’re starting a blog just to make money I think you’ll find it’s not very rewarding and will cause burn out. It takes a lot of time and effort as I mentioned previously. If you don’t have a passion for what you’re writing, it’s not going to be worth it.
SECRET FIVE: FORGET WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Oh, if I could tell my younger self one thing, I think this would be it. I’d heard it so many times growing up but just didn’t FEEL it, ya know?! I wanted to start a blog in college but didn’t because of what other people might think. I almost didn’t share this blog because I was worried what other people might think. Ugh. So much wasted time!
Once I decided to start this blog and share it publicly, everything changed. I am having SO MUCH fun with this blog and it’s very rewarding to me! I can’t believe I almost let my fears stop me from creating this space. Newsflash: other people’s opinions don’t bring me happiness or pay my bills. And that’s not just a blogging secrets… you can apply that to any part of your life 🙂
On another note, your vibe attracts your tribe. If you are so busy worrying about the opinions of others, you will end up with a blog that isn’t true to you. And an audience that you just can’t quite connect with. Write what you love and be YOURSELF. The audience that loves your content and you for who you are will be much better for that, I promise!
These may not be deep dark secrets but they are things I wish someone would have told me YEARS ago when I first considered starting a blog. Blogging is a learning process and I don’t think that piece of it will ever truly end! If I had to sum up this post with just one sentence it would be this: if you are passionate and willing to learn, you can be a blogger.
If you’re a blogger, tell me some valuable lessons you’ve learned?! Not a blogger? I’d still love to know… did any of the best blogging secrets help you with any other parts of your life? I’d love to hear!