Monday, 23 April 2012

Lessons I have learnt in my first few months blogging

I have been blogging for almost 5 months now, and there is a lot of information I have picked up during this period. I have read hundreds of articles on blogging. They range from social media, SEO, monetising creating back-links to content creation.

INFORMATION OVER LOAD - Finding someone to listen to

What I have noticed is that there is so much information on blogging out there, most of the time everyone says the same thing, there are no fresh ideas but other times there are bloggers out there who go out of their ways to show that they know what they are talking about and actually prove that their back-linking strategies work and that you can still have a successful blog in this day and age. There are successful 6 & 7 figure bloggers out there who share what others make you pay for free. It is hard to sift through all the garbage on the internet and find these guys but once you do, you never really need to listen to anyone else. There are guys out there that are supposed to teach you how to make money online and have a successful blog when they have no idea what they are talking about, when they themselves do not make any money and hardly have any real traffic and no authority what so ever.
image by graur codrin

I have learnt that you need to blog about something you know and are passionate about so that you share quality content with your readers, I was lucky enough to be a fitness junkie when I started my first fitness blog so it was not difficult for me to choose a niche that I wanted to appeal to, it was not difficult to post legit proven content because I was living it. I did not need to make up stuff and have to do research all the time because I had knowledge and experience with my topic. When I created this blog Genie Rising I wanted to post about other random things that interest me that were not just fitness, I did not have a niche in mind and I still don’t and that is fine with me to be general.

PLANNING AHEAD - Growth strategy

I have learnt that is it good to plan ahead, set goals for the growth of your blog so that you know what you are doing now and why you are doing it. When I started blogging I used to post every other day, which would result in 3 posts per week and about 12 posts a month. I felt like that was the right move but then I read to improve in search engine rankings and Alexa rankings I had to posts as often as possible, because in the blogging world it is believed that content is king. I then increased the number of posts per week to 5 and it did bring me results, exponential growth in fact my fitness blog moved from a page rank of 0 to 3.

Content creation was always my main kind of strategy for growing my blog with blog commenting here and there. I realised that I was listening to the wrong kind of advice from guys who were not in the same niche as me, posting once or twice everyday was their advice for the fastest growth and that really works but it is really difficult considering the fact that I am a one man team. When I looked at top fitness blogs they did not post that much on their blogs and yet they were getting lots of traffic from search engines and other places as well.

Quality vs Quantity

The key in the fitness world was quality more than quantity because unlike other niches, the content was more evergreen than stuff sites about blogging had to post because the internet is ever changing but working out and keeping fit does not change much. I realised that I was on the right track when I was posting just 12 posts a month. I have since decided that for my main blog I will post as much as possible but only if the article is great quality and I have decided to make my posts long since that helps with rankings. So now I put a lot more detail in my posts, I now make my posts a minimum of 400 words unless it is a video post or an update on something but preferably I will post articles of over 600 words, I have already implemented this on my fitness blog and the past few post have been averaging over 800 words.

I like to mix in list posts, motivational post and highly informational posts with the occasional post that is sort of like a case-study or experiment to show that the workouts I’m doing work. I have found the combination to be successful in bringing in different sorts of traffic.


I noticed that my fitness blog took a little hit in the recent update because I really was not doing enough back-linking and I managed to bounce back. I started creating a lot of strong back-links and link wheels through satellite site. I was submitting unique articles to ezine articles, Squidoo, Hubpages, made satellite sites on blogger, Tumblr and it was proving effective. A couple people used my ezine articles and I got linked to by others, everything was going great till one day on the 12 of april I lost 75% of my traffic and I could not find my blog anywhere on search engines. I was ranking on the first page for many keywords I was targeting and I had a lot of my posts on the second and third page of Google before the 12th, but it was all gone in 1 day.

I was worried and I’m still worried about what was happening, I did not know what was happening. I Google to see if anyone has ever had the same happen to them and what they did to combat this problem, I found out about the Google dance, apparently if you suddenly start a back-linking campaign which is what I was doing your site does the Google dance because Google does not know where to put your site, it may take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks for your site to go back to normal and people say that they often see an improvement in their ranking after the dance is over.

I had just gotten adsense and was starting to make some money when this happened to me, I did not have too many ads above the fold so I did not think that I was affected by the update relating to too many ads above the fold.

The past couple of weeks have been very depressing for me; I even lost inspiration to write posts for a couple days. I enjoy blogging and find it to be addictive and I am statistics obsessed which is why I have been depressed lately because I was making such good progress. I have decided that I am going to push on and that now is not the time to give up, I have to learn from my mistakes and continue to use all of the knowledge I pick up and eventually my blog will have multiple steams of traffic not only Google traffic.

I have that I will create back-links every month but this time my link building will be more spread out, I will continue to only use white-hat tactics so that I do not get in trouble. I hope to continue blogging and hope that my hard work pays off in the end. Every blogger experiences little speed bumps on the road and maybe it’s these little hurdles that make the difference between the successful bloggers who are killing it online and those that give up before their hard work pays off.


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