If you’re a new blogger you may not have seen the dark side of blogging yet. But it’s there. It usually involves someone trying to get your money by promising to give you something to help you on your blogging journey. Right now, you don’t need them. Save your cash. Everything you need is already out there.
They’ll entice you with their own success. The amount of money they make. The amount of traffic their blog gets. The amount of followers they have. You’ll even believe them as you think the facts speak for themselves. They look successful. Hell, they might even show you an income report that proves they are making money. I’m telling you now. Most of them are trying to scam you.
Blogging for Beginners
Here’s the thing. As a new blogger you don’t need to pay for anything. Everything you need is out there. And best of all it’s free!
I’m writing this as someone who has been blogging for 6 months. I’m writing this as someone who fell for one of these scams. I’m also writing this as someone who has found that the really good bloggers, the people that can provide you with the information you need to help improve your blog, will actually just give you all that infomation.
Yes, they will give it to you in the hope you will keep coming back to them. That somewhere down the line you might purchase one of their products. They’re building trust. They’re hoping that by providing you with valuable information you will come back for more. That’s fair enough.
The reality is, there might be some paid courses that will help you in the future, but for the first year of your blogging everything you need to know can be found for free.
I get it. You might have started off blogging as a hobby. Then you found you really enjoyed doing it. Then you figured if you are putting so much time and effort into it that it would be nice to get something back. Even if that something is just to get more people to read what you have written.
The first and most important thing to know is that blogging, especially blogging for money, is not a get rich quick scheme. You will not get lots of readers or money overnight. It requires a lot of your time and effort. There are a lot of things you will need to learn and continue to learn if you want to make it successful.
The natural impulse is to reach out to the people you think are professionals. The successful bloggers. You figure you could benefit for their expertise. You figure that to improve your blog will take some financial input. We have this notion that you get what you pay for. So we think that if we pay for that advice it will be better than what is freely available. That isn’t necessarily true.
At the end of the day we would all love feedback on our blog. We would love to see if we are doing the right thing. Are we at least on the right track. We figure that someone who appears to be a success could really help us with that. I know when I was 2 months in, I thought that. So I paid for a feedback report and a one-to-one phone call from a very popular blogger.
The brief 4 page report that I got back featured this:
Also, you can add some punch to your headlines by adding some strong adjectives: ● Absolute Advanced Adventurous Amazing Arrogant Ass-Kissing Authentic Awesome ● Backstabbing Beautiful Best Best-Selling Blissful Bold Brave Brazen Brilliant Brutally Honest ● Cheap Clever Colossal Common Confident Confidential Controversial Courageous Critical ● Daring Dazzling Defiant Delightful Dependable Devoted Disgusting ● Effortless Endorsed Energetic Enduring Enterprising Epic Essential Excellent Exceptional Exclusive Exposed Eye-Opening ● Faithful Fantastic Fascinating Fearless Feisty First-Class Friendly Forbidden Forgotten Free Fun ● Generous Genuine Giving Gorgeous Great Greatest Guaranteed Gutsy ● Hard-Working Healthy Heartbreaking Heartwarming Honest Horrific Horrifying Hot Humorous ● Idiotic Immediate Important Incredible Ingenious Insane Insanely Easy Insightful Inspiring Interesting Intuitive Inventive Irresistible ● Jaw-Dropping Jubilant ● Kickass Killer ● Laid-Back Legitimate Life-Changing Lifetime Light-Hearted Little-Known Lively Lonely Lousy Lovely Luxurious ● Magical Massive Memorable Mighty Mind-Blowing Miraculous Money-Back Money-Grubbing Most Must-Have ● Natural New ● Obnoxious Official Optimistic ● Painstaking Perilous Perfect Persistent Persuasive Popular Powerful Powerfully Practical Precious Profitable Protected Proud Provocative Proven ● Quick Quick-Witted Quotable ● Random Refreshing Reliable Resourceful Ruthless
● Scandalous Sensational Shocking Simple Spectacular Spontaneous Staggering Strange Stress-Free Strong Stunning Successful Surprising ● Talented Thoughtful Thrilling Tireless Troublesome Trustworthy Truthful ● Ultimate Unbelievable Uplifting Useful ● Valuable Victorious Vigilant ● Weird Whopping Winning Witty Wonderful Wonderous
A complete page of adjectives!!! This was from a blogger who uses WordPress and has well over 100,000 followers. When I worked out the value of that report by regarding it as half the price of what I paid for the overall service (the phone call being the other half) that page effectively cost me £7.50!
Thing is, the free content that blogger provides on their blog looks great. There is some really useful information for beginners there. But since then I have found out that it leaves out a lot of valuable information that I have discovered elsewhere by even more successful bloggers. I have even begun to doubt their expertise because of it. Either that, or their honesty.
Here’s another insight for you. Do you know that some of the bloggers who make the most money are those that are teaching you how to start a blog and make money! And this comes from a successful blogger who makes money from teaching you how to start a blog to make money! For some reason I keep thinking of a chicken and an egg.
How to find great free blogging advice
The problem with the free advice is that there is so much of it out there. Anyone who has had a certain degree of success with their blog with ultimately begin to blog about how you too can reach the level they are at.
There’s lots of blogging for beginners, blogging for money, the secrets to having a successful blog, how to increase your traffic, type of information. So much that as a newbie you just don’t know where to start. A lot of it is repeating the exact same information. Usually it is told in a slightly different way. Some of it is worthless, some pure gold. So how do you know which advice to follow?
Well, this is the part where I save you some trouble. In the course of my 6 months blogging I have signed up to dozens of free courses. Listened to a lot of blogging audiobooks and podcasts. Joined various blogging groups. Frankly, I’ve been obsessed with finding out how to blog to the best of my ability.
So here I am going to give you a short list of those that I have found most valuable. The best of all is that they are completely free. Enjoy.
The Blogging Millionaire. I listen to this as a podcast on Stitcher called ‘The Blogging Millionaire: More Traffic + More Money’. The episodes are also featured on posts on the author’s blog which gets over 1,000,000 views per month. Here you will find all sorts of really useful information about blogging and marketing.
A range of blogging and marketing topics are covered ranging from how to publish a great post, how often to post, the best word count, blog engagement, things you need to do for each post. It’s a great all-round resource.
Assistant Melissa. So Melissa has more focus on the business behind the blog. She provides some great free resources (check out her freebies) and actually gave me a little feedback on my blog after I sent her an email thanking her for the free information she provides. She isn’t the biggest blogger on here but currently has 119.3k monthly unique viewers on Pinterest.
Speaking of Pinterest. If you aren’t on it. You should be. Almost every successful blogger talks about using Pinterest, including The Blogging Millionaire. Pinterest is basically a visual search engine. Most of the free blogging courses I did were found on Pinterest. The only drawback, as I mentioned earlier, is finding which courses are worth your while.
Reddit. Reddit is a collection of social media forums that covers lots of various interests about almost anything you can think of. It considers itself as the front page of the internet. Most topics have a subreddit. Like r/Blogging which is a community for bloggers. It currently has 35.4k members.
There are some rules to follow regarding posting but generally you will find that when you ask a question you will get the answer, or a few answers, about your topic. You might even find your question already solved there previously. Through Reddit I have had some great feedback and advice on my blog. There are other blogging subreddits but this is the one I found to be most helpful.
Facebook Groups. There are lots of Facebook groups out there. I’m a member of quite a few. But the one I have found to be most helpful has been Blogging Newbs. This is the Facebook group created by momsmakecents. She has some great blogging tips and advice on her own site also.
Just request to join the group and once you are accepted it seems that there will always be a few people on to help you with your problem. I recently got my first guest posting gig through this group.
SEO. If you haven’t heard of SEO yet. You will. It’s one of the key elements to writing good posts. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s what you need to do in order for your posts to appear online when someone searches your general topic. A key proponent of this is using the right keywords.
Honestly, it’s damn hard to figure out. I’m still trying to get to grips with it myself. But again it is the thing that is recommended by all the successful bloggers. The best resource I have found for this has been on YouTube and podcasts. It’s a guy called Miles Beckler and he’s on a quest to be recognised as the main guy to provide free information on SEO. You can check out his free video SEO course here.
Pictures. Ok, so I’m just putting this on here in case you aren’t aware that people don’t like to read walls of text. Something I used to do for months, and something, unfunny enough, that wasn’t mentioned in that report I paid for. It’s more appealing for people to have your writing broken up by images.
Ok folks, there you have it. I hope the information provided will save you from paying your hard earned cash for things you don’t yet need. And just remember as well as being a dark side to blogging, there’s also a light side as well 🙂
Here’s to your blogging journey. I hope you enjoy it. Best wishes and much love to you all!