In July this year, I completed 6 years of publishing content on BookJelly – a website I created on WordPress. I find it hard to believe that it’s been more than half a decade since I ventured into the vast ocean of blogging. What a rollercoaster it’s been.
Today, I want to share with you some lessons that I learned during my blogging journey. You may already be aware of some of these lessons if you are an active blogger yourself, but if you are just starting, these could shorten your learning curve.
So without further ado, let’s deep-dive into my 7 game-changing tips to improve your blogging game:
1. Content is the King, but…
Yes, content is still the undisputed king, but it’s the consistency that wears the crown.
Before I brought my wares to WordPress, I was a dormant blogger. I used to publish on 3rd party sites. I took the URL years before I started blogging but never did anything with it.
In July 2017, I published my first post – a book review – and I felt like a proud parent. Even the author of the book acknowledged it. But after the initial flurry of excitement, I realized something: one piece of content, no matter how amazing, isn’t enough.
Blogging is not a one-hit-wonder game. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like you wouldn’t expect to stay fit with one great workout a year, you can’t expect your blog to thrive without regular content. Set your blogging routine and then stick to it.
So, yes, while quality is king, consistency sure is its trusty queen.
2. A Beautiful House Isn’t Enough Without a Path Leading to It
I remember when I was setting up my site, I used to try a new theme almost every other week. I finally settled on the one that you currently see. I was so happy with it; it looked gorgeous to me.
But after all the hours I’d put into designing it, I realized something: if no one knows about it, what’s the point? It’s like you have built a digital château de Versailles without paving any roads leading to it.
That’s why building distribution channels – be it newsletters, collaborations, partnerships, or social media – is like building roads to your lovely digital palace. I built a path to my website via Pinterest and SEO. While traffic from Pinterest was immediate, SEO took a lot of perseverance (more on SEO later).
No point in having a blog if no one’s visiting!
3. No One Cares if Your Domain Isn’t “Perfect”
Picture this: You’re at a party, and you meet someone interesting, but you forget their name. It doesn’t matter because the conversation was so damn engaging. That can be your blog, too.
I know some people who spent not days, not months, but years looking for an ‘epic’ domain name. And, once they have their favorite domain name, they forget lessons no 1 and 2.
Please remember your blog need not have the coolest domain name because that won’t matter. It is all about memorable conversations, great stories, and engaging content. Focus on this part.
4. Master of One > Jack of All Trades
BookJelly is all about business and nonfiction books. I post book reviews and of late, I have started to post more non-book-review content which again circles back to books only. After years of building trust and authenticity in writing book reviews, a slight pivot to an adjacent domain won’t trouble my readers.
Compare this with a hypothetical scenario where I start blogging about luxury homes or reviewing the latest smartphones. It will be a disaster. It is like a fish trying to climb a tree. Because that’s not what brought me to dance. Also, I will spread myself too thin and risk turning bookjelly into book… well, mush.
Finding and understanding your niche means you get to be the go-to expert in that area, rather than the guy who kind of knows a bit about everything.
The lesson here is to: stick to what you know, love, and can authentically speak about. Nobody likes a pretender.
5. SEO: The Silent Growth Engine
I’ll be honest with you; I used to think SEO was some nerdy, techie thing meant only for bloggers with a history in coding skills. For a long time, I ignored SEO.
Before SEO, I used to write posts with barely any headings, zero images, and only a few paragraphs. The only image I used to have was the Header image.
Then, one day, a friend showed me how a simple tweak could drastically improve my site’s visibility. That’s when the penny dropped. SEO isn’t just about pleasing search engines; it’s about making sure your content gets the audience it deserves.
I highly recommend reading this Yoast article about incorporating various SEO techniques. You may not believe it, but I read this article at least once every six months.
If blogging was a videogame, SEO would be that secret weapon that gets you extra lives.
6. It’s Not About Quantity, It’s About Quality… Of Engagement!
Here’s a confession: I was once obsessed with subscriber counts. “The more followers, the merrier,” I thought, should be the end goal. Yet, like someone drowning in a sea of unread emails (we’ve all been there), there was a deeper truth lurking below.
Imagine this: You’re at a party. Two rooms are available to you. In one room, there are 100 people who barely acknowledge your existence, and in the other, 10 individuals deeply engage in meaningful conversations with you.
Which experience feels more fulfilling?
If you picked the latter, you’ve just sided with quality over quantity. And if you picked the former… well, perhaps you just enjoy the ambiance of packed rooms.
Humor aside, the truth is simple yet profound. It’s far more impactful to have 100 actively engaged followers than 10,000 passive ones. It’s like comparing a fan club to a crowd where half are only there for the free snacks.
Remember, numbers can be deceptive; real connections aren’t.
7. Social Media is a Double-edged Sword. Handle with Care
When it comes to blogging, Social media, is both a blessing and a curse. It can amplify your voice, but it also magnifies your mistakes. So unless you post genuine and authentic content, please don’t use social media as your blog’s support system.
The truth will catch on to you sooner than later. Let me share an example of an Australian, Wellness blogger Annabelle Gibson. She built a huge online community, claiming she had healed herself from terminal brain cancer through diet and alternative therapies.
Soon cracks appear to begin in her story. Investigative journalists and the public began to question her cancer claims. Ultimately, Gibson admitted in an interview that she never had cancer. The backlash against Gibson was swift and severe. Her book was pulled from shelves, her app was removed from the App Store, and she faced legal action.
While platforms like Twitter and Instagram can amplify your reach, one misstep can spiral out of control. So, post wisely, fact-check, and remember: on the internet, everything is permanent.
As I sit back and reflect on these past six years, it dawns on me how intertwined my life has become with BookJelly. It’s not just a blog; it’s a chronicle of my growth, my mistakes, my triumphs, and my learnings. Six years might sound like a long time, but in the vast expanse of the blogging universe, it’s just a mere blip.
I almost threw in the towel at the three-year mark. I used to feel overwhelmed and started questioning if anyone was even reading my posts. But then, 2020 arrived with its challenges and it was during the solitude of lockdowns, BookJelly for me, became more than a pastime. It was an anchor, a comforting routine amidst the chaos.
I learned that sometimes, the universe has its way of telling us to hang on a little longer, to push a little harder. I’m grateful I listened.
If you found these tips valuable, please comment in the box below on how you plan to use them. Also, don’t forget to share your own game-changing advice. Let’s grow together.
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