10 Blogging Lessons I Learned in 2010

10 Blogging Lessons I Learned in 2010

Are you thinking about how you will make 2011 a better blogging year?  This is a good time to re-evaluate those things you did that worked and did not work for you in 2010.  Whatever you find, don’t worry about what you should have or could have done, focus on what you will do in the coming new year.

There is no magic formula for taking your blog to the next level.  You have to get out there and make it happen.  Don’t be afraid of the unknown, because fear can paralyze you to the point of not making anything happen.

I started blogging in November 2008 on the blogger platform and discovered that I loved blogging.  In March 2010, I started this blog and I must say, I have enjoyed the journey thus far, but I have so much more to learn.

Blogging Lessons Learned

  1. Post more than 3 times a week.  I use to post 5 times a week, but 5 times a week, became 3 times a week.  If I want to increase my traffic and improve my Alex Ranking, I must post more than 3 times a week and focus on producing quality content.
  2. Comment on other blogs.  I’m not consistent with commenting on other blogs.  I will set aside time each day for commenting.  The only way I can do this is to put it on my schedule of blog duties and just do it.
  3. Submit articles to directories.  I know where I can submit articles and I even have accounts set-up to submit articles, but I was very slack in this area.
  4. Get paid for my articles.  I was accepted to write for pay on a few sites, but I didn’t write one single word. The reason I didn’t write anything, is because I was afraid.
  5. Don’t waste money on themes/frameworks.  I broke down and purchased a popular theme/framework and later regretted that decision.  I got tired of searching for coding tutorials on how to improve my design and so I gave up and moved on.
  6. Don’t do too many guest posts in the beginning Guest posting is fine if that’s what you want to do, but I choose not to guest post, unless it is within my niche, something I really want to do or a favor for a friend.  I wasted a lot of time when I could have been working on my own projects.
  7. Learn to listen to the little voice.  I said yes a few times, but the little voice (intuition) was telling me “no, don’t do it.”  I should have listened to the little voice, but I learned my lesson.
  8. Set a schedule and stick with it.  In the beginning, I had a blogging schedule, but somewhere along the way I got sidetracked and couldn’t stick with my plan.  I’m a firm believer that if we fail to plan we plan to fail.
  9. Continue learning the art of blogging.  I pay monthly for continued education and I am sad to say that I didn’t take full advantage of the awesome benefits. Lucky for me I haven’t been a member for too long, so I’m getting my butt in gear.
  10. Write everyday.  In order to be the best at something, you must practice everyday.  I don’t write everyday, but yet I want to be a great writer.  There is a saying that “practice makes perfect.”  Writing doesn’t come easy for me; it is something I must practice daily.

Conclusion

There is more I can share with you, but these are the main lessons that I have learned this year about blogging.  I have already made my schedule and I am planning my strategy for 2011.

In order to achieve your goals you must have a plan and follow through with your plan.  Failing to plan will affect your overall success.  Plan today and make 2011 the best year ever!

Discussion:  What blogging lessons did you learn in 2010?

Image Credit:  Maria Reyes-McDavis

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

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  1. Great Reads: Around the net | December 17, 2010
  1. I do follow some of your lessons, such as write more than three posts per week, blog commenting and guest posting. But some I do not follow.

  2. Sarinkumar says:

    Hi Evelyn, this is 2012 but still your lessons from 2010 seems to be relevant for me since I’m a newbie blogger. And I’m very much inspired with your saying “if we fail to plan we plan to fail” .Thank you.

  3. Andri says:

    Evelyn, I am trying to produce at least 10 article in within a month. It helps promoting my blog as traffic is increasing.

  4. Maketta says:

    I agree with only doing guest blogging for blogs in your niche. I have two blogs one about natural health and another about online marketing. I have had someone approach me asking to do a guest post about computer software on my natural health blog. Of course I had to turn them down.

  5. Good post!

    My year in blogging will be in March.
    I posted fashion posts for 6 days straight one month, and by the fifth day, I was out of ideas as to what to write. I need more time for my ideas to percolate so twice a week is fine for me right now. Besides, I promote products which need more view time. Although I have been experimenting with posting random thoughts, as an idea will strike.

    I make a a schedule to comment on 3 blog posts a day. If I do more then fine, but three is the minimum. Sometimes, I take a break from commenting. Like right now, I have just come off a break of commenting after a brief hiatus.

    I also joined a paid writing site, but that was b4 blogging and didn’t write a single word either. Yes, I was a afraid. I’m not afraid now, it’s just that I have to learn the entire system and pass a test before I post bids. I find that cumbersome.

    When I listen to the little voice and write on the ideas for posts, then the ideas keep flowing.

    • Hi,
      Welcome to my blog!

      Thank you!

      You have to do what works for you.

      It is good to have a commenting schedule too. I’ve found that when I do more commenting on other blogs, those bloggers oftentimes stop by my site and comment as well or they will share my posts on Twitter/Facebook. I’ve found it to be a great way to build community and support for my blog, in in return, I am supporting my fellow bloggers site too.

      I’m no longer afraid either. In fact, I posted my first article yesterday, and I think it was pretty good.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  6. ElleX says:

    As always, great advice, Evelyn!

  7. TJ McDowell says:

    I’m interested to know how your guest blogging that you did initially worked out for you. It seems like guest blogging is really popular among bloggers who write about blogging. I’m guessing you guest posted on one or more of those types of blogs. Did you see traffic or improved search engine ranking after guest posting? I’m just curious about why you don’t do it any more.

    • Hi TJ,

      Welcome to my blog!

      It worked out okay..I got a few visits, saw a rise in traffic, but I also got a high bounce rate from those visits. Guess, this blog really was not of interest to them. These days, my bounce rate has gotten better.

      Yes, I guest posted on 2 blogs that were about blogging, and now I have 2 guest posts on 2 blogs that are in my niche. You can see a list of my articles here.

      It is popular among those who blog, because it helps drive traffic to their site, network, and possibly convert those visitors into followers/readers. But it was not the case for me. Most of the people who read this blog/follow me, I connected with them in other ways.

      I now focus on writing quality content that readers enjoy, while optimizing for the search engines (I’m still learning SEO). I have found that if your content is good, then it will be found and shared by others.

      Currently I get most of my traffic from google/organic, stumbleupon, twitter, facebook, and hive health media in that order.

      I do guest post on blogs, but not as much as I use too. I now focus on guest posting on blogs related to my niche more so than those outside my niche. I have found that helps get targeted traffic. Meaning that you will possibly attract those readers/followers who are really interested in the topics that you write about. But it doesn’t hurt to go outside your niche sometimes, because you never know who will find take interest in your blog.

      Hope I’ve answered your questions?

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  8. Annamarie Cavey says:

    Hello! I am visiting your site again to see more of your update post. And found here another interesting post to be read. All the Best!

  9. This year, I learned that blogging wasn’t as easy as I thought. Next year, I’m going to make a huge effort to make my blog successful.

    These are some great tips you have in this article. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Hi Sarah,

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by!

      Yeah, blogging ain’t easy! It definitely takes hard work, especially if you want to be successful.

      Thank you for chiming in and connecting!

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  10. Kiesha says:

    Hi Evelyn!
    I’m loving the new look and feel of the blog. Blogging has taught me a great deal as well and I’ve learned some hard lessons – I still keep falling off of my schedule of planned duties, but I keep coming back to it, promising myself to be more productive. Sometimes, I feel like I’m on a blogging treadmill – I’m sweating, but getting nowhere 😀 But in spite of it all, there’s something beautiful that I’ve learned about blogging – it’s having the opportunity; blogging is the platform that makes it possible to meet wonderful people like you that I wouldn’t otherwise get to know. It also creates the possibility of touching, inspiring, encouraging and influencing others that keeps me going day after day after day… 😀

    • Hi Kiesha!

      Thanks! 😉

      You are a lot farther along than you think. Sometimes we can be our own worst critic…I guess that’s a good thing, because it helps us stay on point.

      Some of the things you mention keep me going too.

      We’re going to learn those hard lessons, but those lessons come to make us stronger bloggers.

      I had been thinking about you and you showed up. I’m glad you stopped by and chimed in on this topic.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

      • Kiesha says:

        Thanks for thinking of me! You’re one of the few bloggers that I hold dear to my heart, so that means a lot to me 😀

        I pray you and your family will have a wonderfully blessed Merry Christmas and an abundantly prosperous New Year!!

      • Hi Kiesha,

        Awww…I don’t know what to say! Thank you! 🙂

        Wishing you a Happy Holiday season!

        Take care,

        Evelyn

  11. Jimi Jones says:

    Great list, Evelyn.

    You’ve identified many of the things that are key to growing a blog.

    I remember when you started out and I am so happy to see your progress, congrats. You had a wonderful year of growth and I know you will continue to be successful.

    Wishing you all the best for 2011 and beyond. 🙂

  12. Goutham says:

    Nice tips. 🙂 Every newbie need to follow these steps to shine in blogging.

    Thanks for the share. 🙂

  13. Ileane says:

    Hey Evelyn! Congratulations on another successful year and positive growth. I mean, that’s what is so fun about blogging – all the wonderful lessons we learn that we can share and give back to our friends.

    Have you ever thought about outsourcing some of your article writing. If you need a good freelancer let me know and I can give you a recommendation.

    Here’s to your bright future.

    • Hey Ms. Ileane,

      Thank you very much!

      I haven’t thought about outsourcing, but it is something to consider. I sure will! 😉

      Have a great day and thank you for your encouragement and motivation!

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  14. Steve says:

    Evelyn,

    Your lessons are all great ones. Posting frequency, writing -something- every day are wonderful ways to increase your skill and facility in writing.

    The only point I am not sure on is guest posting. I think it CAN be a great way to drive extra traffic.

    But I am on the other side of that. I almost never guest post because I am always falling behind on the tasks I set for MYSELF on my site and I do think they should come first.

    Guest posting though is one thing I really WANT to start doing at least once a week in the New Year. We will see, though, it is tough.

    Anyway, your list of lessons learned is awesome and something that everyone can take to heart.

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Guest posting is a good way to get extra traffic, but we should never neglect our site, for the sake of guest posts/traffic. I do agree with you!

      Hopefully you will be able to post one guest post a week in the New Year. If you can’t then, I wouldn’t worry about it because you have a good stream of traffic coming to your site anyway.

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Evelyn

  15. Attorneymom says:

    Hey Soror, I love what you did to the website. 😉

  16. John McNally says:

    Very good pointers to follow Evelyn, thanks for your insight. I agree with your “fail to plan, and you plan to fail” credo. I also like to have measurable targets so that I can check whether I’m still following the long-term strategy.

    My posting target was every 2 days, but this meant that I was posting on different days each week which I found confusing. I’m now going to post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with an extra post on either Saturday or Sunday. That’s posting 4 times a week.

    I’ve just set myself a tough commenting target of 100 per week (I like round numbers). 😉

    Your post has now made me think of setting an articles target. (I’ve only submitted two). 🙄 OK, I’ve thought about it…..1 per week. GULP! I’m going to have to work more in 2011. 😆

    John

    • Hi John,
      Welcome to this blog!

      That sounds like a great plan. You’ve just helped me make my posting schedule decision I am so glad you stopped by and chimed in!

      I think 1 article submit is a good place to start. Then you can increase it later if you like.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Evelyn

  17. Tia says:

    Hey Evelyn,

    Similar lessons learned! The one additional thing I’ve learned though is that you would only need to post everyday up to a certain point in the traffic flow. It also depends on your niche. Some niches have a harder time getting passive traffic.

    One trick that I do with one of my client’s blogs is to post very short (around 200 word) articles on news-related topics to a separate news feed. This brings in a ton of passive traffic from search engines.

    I totally agree with the blogging strategy. As you know I already have 2011 completely laid out. It will make a huge difference.

    Cheers,
    Tia

    • Hi Tia,

      I believe I fall into one of those niches. I have noticed that my traffic has gotten better since I decreased blogging frequency. I’m still playing around with what I’ll do for next year.

      That’s a good idea about a news-related posts. I’ve been thinking about doing this. Thanks for the confirmation! I believe it will do well.

      Yes, I know and you have inspired me to get myself in gear. You are my inspiration, Ms. Lady! 😉

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  18. chioma says:

    Hi Evelyn,
    You inspire me a lot. Yes you do.
    Great lessons for me!

  19. Evelyn: Great lessons you shared here and they are all helpful lessons we can all learn from. I really thought your advice to set a schedule and stick to it was also a really good suggestion. I think not only does it help your reader and allow them to know when to drop by again, it also allows us to develop discipline. Discipline is key when it comes to blogging. Great post.

    • Hi Sibyl,

      Thanks for stopping by! I saw your video in one of your posts. Very good! 🙂

      Discipline is truly the key and will take us far in the world of blogging.

      Enjoy your day!

      Evelyn

  20. Dia says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    I just looked at your alexa ranking and I must say WOW. Really an excellent job you have done my friend. You are ranked 27,293 in the US, this is way better than some very popular blogs, so I must ask, how did you do that?

    I personally have been blogging for 7 months and I learned a lot. My goals for next years for my blog is as follows:

    1. Improve my ranking and get more than 3000 unique vistors to my site daily.
    2. Create 3 more products.
    3. Do more guest posts.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Dia,

      I never look at how I’m ranked in the US, I always focus on the main number. And currently that number is 112K. I’ll take the US number. 🙂 I could not begin to tell you how this happened. One of the main things I try to do is post fresh content consistently. I have guest posted on a few sites, but those sites really didn’t send me targeted traffic in my niche. I’m not too versed in SEO, but I’m learning. I don’t really focus on SEO too much, I just write what I believe will help others while making sure I include keywords in my meta tags. One thing that I think has really helped is having a few good articles on StumbleUpon. I have gotten a lot of visitors that way too.

      Your Alexa Ranking isn’t bad to have been blogging for 7 months. You have a great ranking in your country too. Your plan sounds like a winner! I say continue producing quality content and continue educating yourself on how you can do things better. Continue, press forward and follow through with your goals in the coming new year.

      Best wishes,

      Evelyn

  21. Evan says:

    Thanks for this! I’m going to take you up on #2) and Comment on another Blog.

    I often wonder what it takes to get a blog to next level, and this is was very helpful and inspiring. Thanks!

    • Hi Evan,
      Welcome!

      Commenting really helps, especially when you comment on blogs that are Do-Follow. It helps you build back links. When you comment, make sure your adds to the conversation.

      Thanks for chiming in and for stopping by!

      Evelyn

  22. Jarret says:

    Hey Evelyn, it looks like you’ve learned a lot about blogging this past year.

    One problem with guest blog posting that I’ve experienced is that many blogs only allow one or two links, sometimes they only allow links in the author bio. In truth, the real value of guest blog posting from an SEO perspective is to generate deep links to an actual article, not just the one’s domain itself.

    I haven’t gotten around to writing the article that’s on my mind, but the best thing bloggers can do is create at least 10 anchor posts that generate steady traffic.

    The trick here is to use the Google Adwords Tool and to find a search phrase that generates enough traffic to be worthwhile, but that’s not too competitive that it’s impossible to rank well for. Usually this means one that has around 5,000 monthly searches, or more if you’re really ambitious.

    Next, ensure that you write a comprehensive and quality post that a) has an exact match title tag b) uses the search phrases enough times in the article itself–especially wrapped in H2 or H3 tags.

    After that, it’s a matter of building a mix of semantically related keyword rich links to that article itself and hopefully getting some natural links to.

    On another note, some bloggers go against the grain of regular posting schedules and still do well. Martin at Lean Gains writes an article maybe once a week at most, but his site and content is so well-regarded that it probably gets more traffic than Hive Health Media and Health Habits combined.

    • Hi Jarret,
      Thanks for chiming in!

      Your comment is very helpful and has helped me understand SEO a little better. I have never quite understood how it works, but you explained it very well.

      As far as guest posting is concerned, I didn’t know about the number links I should should allow a person to include in their post. I do have an author’s box which allows the guest a few links, but sometimes a link is included within the post to their site. I think I will revisit that and make some adjustments.

      Thanks for sharing the info about Martin’s site. I’m still on the fence about how often I will post…we’ll see.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

      • Uttoran Sen says:

        hi Jarret,
        about the guest posting, i have made a few guest posts lately but did not build any deep links, not that i did not tried but most bloggers does not allow that. I myself do not allow more than one link in case it is abused, but surely when it comes to non self-serving links, i certainly do allow.

        here is my thought, lets say you link to someone from a post or a guest post, thus building a deep link for that blogger, should he not retaliate and build a deep link for you in return? link building can go very smoothly for bloggers if they so wish.

  23. Evelyn,

    These are some good lessons with great “bottom line value”. I’d like to add just two things. It’s a common misconception that to be a good writer, one must write everyday. As a professional who has been in the biz for many years, I can tell you that’s not necessarily the case. What counts more is continuous “commitment” to hone one’s craft and discipline .
    Also, it’s good to examine and evaluate the “whys” of what we’re doing as bloggers, so we make sure that our actions meet our goals, but also allow us to have balance and “sanity” in our personal lives as well as our blogging lives. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for chiming in!

      I’m glad you shared that I don’t need to write every day, because that’s what I thought. I’m not very confident in my writing, because…well, I’m just not. That’s why I feel that I need to write every day. I appreciate you sharing this bit of information. I will work more on honing my craft and discipline.

      You are so right about knowing the “whys” of what we’re doing and to have balance and “sanity” in our personal lives. This is definitely something I need to do!

      Thank you for your helpful recommendations! 😉

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  24. Uttoran Sen says:

    those are some seriously good plans for the next year, am planing to do a lot more guest posting and commenting in the next year. submitting articles to directories is not all that helpful, ezine articles is good but the rest is not all that important.

    do you write articles as a freelancer? i did not knew that, send me an email if you want to write for me. also, how about a race to Alexa 100k ranks, you are very close though and i am too far… but we can still race,

    • Hi Uttoran,
      Sounds like you have a great plan for next year. I submitted to E-zine a while back, but I was not consistent. Thanks for the heads up!

      This year, I was approached to do some freelancing, but I didn’t follow through. I was also accepted to write for a few other sites that pay you for articles written, but again I didn’t follow through with that. Lazy and fearful me! 2011 will be different!

      To answer your question, yes I do write articles as a freelancer. Thanks for the invitation, I’ll be in touch.

      *pistol fires, the race begins and their off* Ready, set, let’s go! 🙂

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Evelyn

  25. Zengirl says:

    Evelyn,

    Wow, I guess I need some work to do as I fail at some of things you learned. I think my lack of time with kids and school has been main culprit for not writing 2-3 times a week, commenting or guest posting. I have lot to learn, this is a very good way to look at the end of year! Thank you for an inspiration.

    • Hi Preeti,

      I think you’re doing well. Your readers know that you home school and do other things. Don’t worry about it, just continue doing what works best for you.

      Blogging is a never ending learning process for everyone. 😉

      Take care and thanks for chiming in!

      Evelyn

  26. Sandra Lee says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    These are really interesting lessons that you are sharing. I really get a positive sense that you want to grow your blog and I wish you all the greatest success. I really resonate with #7 – listening to that inner voice. Wow, that can sometimes save so much trouble!

    So many of the suggestions are so key to blogging, but I’ve found I can’t do everything. My plan is to simplify in 2011!

  27. Patricia says:

    Hi Evelyn

    It’s interesting to read other bloggers progress. I began blogging with 3 published posts a week but now only do 1 (plus I have started Guest Posting).

    Cos of my small niche, feel it would be information overload although am thinking of doing a roundup in the new year, to recognise great posts I have both enjoyed and learnt from.

    Some bloggers do post daily but that is not an option for me. May the next year be all you hope for Evelyn. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to your continued progress with it in the coming year.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for chiming in!

      That’s good that you have started guest posting. I enjoyed your guest post on Rick’s site!

      I’m still on the fence about posting 5 times vs. 3 times a week. We’ll see! Sometimes, less is more.

      Thank you for constant support and you are another blogger and commenter who keeps me going.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Evelyn

  28. Dandy says:

    Hi Evelyn,
    Thanks for the advice. I’ve jotted a couple things down. I hadn’t thought much about a blogging stradegy for 2011, but I feel inspired now to create one. Thanks!

    Dandy

  29. Ali says:

    Congrats on your growth. I feel like I know a little about you over the course of this year. I will you continued growth and look forward to being motivated by you. You are perfect just the way you are and your contributions are felt!

    • Hi Ali,

      Thank you so much!

      You were with me from the beginning, always commenting and being a positive light. Your comments and support kept me going.

      I appreciate the work that you do! It makes me feel good knowing that I have connected a few people with you and that you are helping them too.

      Have a great week!

      Peace peace,

      Evelyn

  30. Carolyn says:

    Evelyn, great advice, thank you! I will cherish it and also do better in 2011. You are amazing!

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