The Blogging Journey: 5 Lessons From The Pros

Laptop on glass table open to blogging journey metrics WordPress page

The blogging world can seem deceptively simple on the surface – just put your thoughts out into the online ether and watch the readers and revenue roll in, right? However, as anyone with blogging experience will tell you, the journey is a long one, filled with hard work, and unexpected lessons along the way. So for the new bloggers out there preparing for this adventure, I’ve gathered insights from five seasoned bloggers and content creators who are generously sharing the key pieces of advice they wish they had known before starting their blogging journey.  From learning to write for online readers to the importance of building an email list early on, here are the top five pieces of advice they wish they’d known from the start.

  • Learn to Write for Online Readers
  • Understand the Technical Side
  • Recognize the Power of Consistency
  • Patience and Quality in Blogging
  • Build an Email List Early

Learn to Write for Online Readers

Kevin Rodrigues -Featured

I started blogging in 2016, and my first blog was about fitness. It was a blog called GainYourBody.com, where I would share fitness articles.

One thing I wish I’d known is how to write online. I now know that it’s a lot different from writing as taught in school. There is a way of making the writing simple for online readers who have short attention spans and like to scan.

I also learned later that it’s important to weave stories and personal experiences into the writing to make the blog relatable to the reader. The idea would be to engage the reader emotionally rather than just provide information.

Kevin Rodrigues, Content Creator, kevinrod.com

Your writing voice

Yep, I second this. There’s a big difference between academic writing and engaging with an online audience. Gone are the days of long paragraphs and digressions into subtopics. You can probably tell from my tendency to ramble that it’s taken me a while to learn this one too.

Anyway. I’ve settled into what I like to think of as my distinct ‘style’: all self-deprecating humour and the conversational tone of a friend oversharing at lunch.

You know you love the oversharing.

The thing is writing in a natural way is actually very freeing and surprisingly therapeutic.  You want your readers to connect with you, to see your personality and humour shine through. That’s what creates your ‘writing voice’. So Kevin’s advice is spot on.

Although, now I find myself with the opposite problem. In the last year, I started a degree in Classical studies and creative writing and one of the first things my tutor wanted to know was why I was writing these short sentences and tiny paragraphs. You can’t please everyone.

Understand the Technical Side

AL-Tran-Featured

One crucial aspect I wish I had known before I started blogging is the technical side, especially understanding how to design and maintain a well-functioning website. Dealing with elements like plugins, which can potentially slow down your site, and understanding coding can be a daunting challenge, often causing headaches for many, including myself. The intricacies of the technical side turned out to be the most difficult part of my blogging journey. While this knowledge might not have deterred me from blogging, it’s something I would have seriously considered and weighed before taking the plunge.

AL Tran, realtor, blogger, author, DS Inspire

All the technical things

Sips coffee while nodding solemnly Yes indeed, AL, you speak the truth. If only someone had properly warned me about the full-on technical stress that inevitably accompanies website maintenance as a blogger. There have been real tears, my friends. That said, Like AL It probably wouldn’t have stopped me either.

Choosing the right domain name and hosting platform, dealing with site speed issues, SEO, coding customizations, plugins and responsive website design (with images that fit on the page) – was overwhelming in those first few months of blogging. The technical requirements completely through me.

But not just at the beginning.

Only last year, I had an especially fun time when I ‘rebranded’, and changed the theme. It took a very long time to sort it all out. Then I managed to break the site again soon after.

There are still parts that don’t work as they should.

I too was blindsided by just how critical the technical aspects would play in running a successful blog long-term. Sure, you can often outsource these things, but the extra cost may not be feasible for newer bloggers.

Looking back, I wish I’d learned more about web development early on and skilled up on troubleshooting common site issues. Because trust me, there is nothing more demoralizing than pouring everything into a great post only for your site to implode into inoperable garble because you’ve changed something but you don’t know what.

Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…

So take AL’s advice – invest early in learning the technical side of managing your blog and website setup. Even if that just means watching YouTube videos, or finding a patient, willing mentor. Get ahead of those technical challenges. You’ll save yourself immense future frustration. Peace of mind (and an operable site) is priceless.

Recognize the Power of Consistency

Casey Jones - Featured

When I started blogging, I wish I had understood the power of consistency. It’s not just about frequent posts—it’s about the reliability with which you engage your audience. A steady pace sets expectations and builds trust. That’s the foundation of a loyal readership. In the digital space, consistency is your heartbeat; it’s what keeps your blog alive and thriving.

Casey Jones, Founder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

Show up for your audience

For anyone who has ever fallen into the start/stop cycle of blogging (me), this really rings true. As Casey beautifully points out, it’s not just about the number of posts you’re able to write, it’s about reliably showing up for the community you’re building.

When I started my own blogging journey, I had the best intentions. I planned on writing content at least twice a week (and I still obsess about that), using all the social media platforms and making connections with fellow bloggers. But when it came to it, my perfectionist tendencies got in the way and I ended up blogging sporadically with no real content schedule or engagement strategy.  

If you’ve read my first blog post on procrastination, then you’ll know it took me about 9 months to write. I know. I’m cringing over here.

But then again I guess it makes me an expert on the subject.

The point I’m meandering towards is that at the beginning of my blogging journey, my process involved a lot of agonising over what I didn’t know. I spent so much time that first year, learning about blogging that I wasn’t actually doing it. I’d go weeks between posting and never send email newsletters.

But now that I’m back with a decent posting schedule, it’s time to take Casey’s advice and make reliably showing up for my audience the first priority.

Again.

Consistency in all areas is so key for signalling to both readers and search engines that yours is an active, authoritative, and trustworthy blog they should keep coming back to. It’s a tough lesson that I’m still learning. 

Patience and Quality in Blogging

Arum Karunianti - Featured

Looking back on my journey as a professional blogger, one thing I wish I had known when I started is the importance of consistency and patience. Building a successful blog takes time and dedication, and it’s easy to become discouraged when results don’t come as quickly as expected. I’ve learned that establishing a regular posting schedule and consistently producing high-quality content is key to growing an audience and building credibility in the blogging community. Additionally, patience is crucial as it takes time to see the fruits of your labor. By staying committed to my blogging goals and trusting in the process, I’ve been able to overcome challenges and steadily progress towards achieving my aspirations.

Arum Karunianti, Project specialist, Voissee

Quality before quantity

These wise words from Arum align well with Casey’s above. In the whirlwind haze of those first few months of blogging, it can be all too easy to get caught up in chasing instant validation through metrics like page views and follower counts.

I say this as a person who still obsessively checks Google Analytics.

It’s easy to start chasing the numbers instead of writing blog posts you actually want to write. The difference between these two things? one will be significantly better quality -no prizes for guessing which one. The only thing is, it may take a little longer for your audience to find you. This is where the patience bit comes in. 

But as Arum says, the path to true blogging success lies in consistently showing up over the long haul with dedication and high-quality work. It takes patience and commitment for lasting authority, readership, and reputation to emerge. Rome wasn’t blogged in a day, as the saying doesn’t go. 

So if you’re just starting your blogging journey, heed Arum’s advice and play the long game from the start. Have patience, keep going, and over time, you’ll attract an audience of equally diligent and loyal readers so you can one day give up the day job.

Build an Email List Early

John Frigo - Featured

I wish I had understood the importance of building an email list from day one. It’s not just about driving traffic to my blog; it’s about creating a community of engaged followers. This list has become the backbone of my affiliate marketing strategy, allowing me to directly communicate with and promote to my most loyal readers, significantly boosting conversion rates.

John Frigo, eCommerce Manager, Best Price Nutrition

Connect with your readers

So. Confession time, I’m a teensy bit behind in the whole email department. I know this is something I’d got to do and yet the idea of directly sliding into someone’s inbox just causes a full-body shudder.

I think it might be a British thing. We don’t want to bother anyone.

But John is absolutely right. it’s not spammy or aggressive, it’s normal and completely necessary despite being out of my comfort zone. We’ve all witnessed the joys of Google’s E-A-T-T updates. I’ve been doing fine but I know people who have hugely suffered from the algorithm changes.

And they will keep coming. Social media is no different.

You own your email list, it can be a safe harbour in a Google storm. But as John points out, cultivating an engaged email list isn’t just an effective conversion tool. It’s also about nurturing and communicating directly with your most dedicated community of readers.

As my blog is already growing, I’m going to take John’s advice and start using an email list to connect with my readers. It’s a way to foster meaningful relationships beyond the temporary dopamine hits of social media comments and likes. As any blogger will tell you, an actively engaged following is what truly separates failed blogs from successful ones in the long run.

Finally


As these insights have shown, the blogging journey is paved with all sorts of hard-learned lessons and unexpected hurdles. Whether you’re just starting out, have been at it for a while or you’re somewhere in between like me, advice like this is gold and can help you dodge some of the early pitfalls.

From finally understanding how to write in a way that connects with online readers and embracing your authentic voice, to dealing with the demoralising but inevitable technical woes (and the tears that follow) – their advice provides one heck of a valuable head start.

To get cliche for a minute, the blogging journey is a marathon, not a sprint. But as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other with genuine passion and tenacity, eventual success is eminently achievable.

Trust me, If I can do it, you can too. And if you ever feel creeping imposter syndrome, just revisit this post as a reminder that every blogger once began as a newcomer and we never stop learning. Join me, and we’ll do it together.

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