Starting a blog can be great fun! It can also be hard (really hard) work. According to WPVirtuoso, every ½ second someone somewhere launches a brand new blog. This works out to almost 173,000 new blogs per day. With so many pre-existing blogs, why start a new one? Why do new people start new blogs each and every second of each and every day? Becoming Minimalist sums it up so well: "In almost too many ways to count, [blogging] has changed me and the way I live my life."
Blogging has already changed Joanie and Heather's lives. Here, learn the five most important things to remember when starting your own blog—right from the mouths of our fearless KCL co-founders themselves!
1. No shortcuts
When asked about the five most important things they wish they had known when starting their first blogs, Joanie and Heather unanimously agreed on number one:
There are no shortcuts!
In other words, anything that is truly worth doing is worth giving your best. How do you give your best? First, imagine the person(s) you most look up to and admire, or the customer(s) you most want to attract, are reading your blog. Write for them. Take your blog—and its blogger—seriously right from day one. Set up your blog as if you were a pro, and in no time at all you’ll be one. (Hint: read the two posts below to find out just how easy that is, and get started!)
Heather's post will teach you how to set up Google Analytics on your blog in less than 10 minutes.
Just from following the instructions in these two posts, in less than one hour you will have a serious-looking, professional blog that is generating useful data. Now you’re already ahead of 99.9% of brand-new bloggers. So it’s time to go to work!
2. Ingenuity and thinking “outside the box”
The second thing Joanie and Heather say they wish they had known when launching their first blog is:
Just how important ingenuity and thinking outside the box is when blogging.
With more than 42 million active blogs (i.e., blogs which have generated at least one post within the previous 12 months) in the U.S.A. alone, the importance of ingenious, interesting, innovative, creative content cannot be emphasized enough. You’re starting your blog because you have something to say, to share, to offer. What is it? If you can generate one high quality, truly original post per week, this will trump daily dull entries every time. So think "quality over quantity"—but aim for at least one post per week—and you will be headed in the right direction.
3. Stay focused
Of course, it’s super-easy to get so excited when you finally have a platform to share all your great ideas…that you let them all tumble out of you at once! But Heather and Joanie caution you not to do this:
Don't have too many ideas—stay focused on one, accomplish it, then move on to another.
By staying focused on introducing one idea, topic, service, or product at a time, you can better gauge where your audience's interests lie. What do they most need? Why are they choosing to read you in the limited free time they have to browse blog content? Watch your analytics from post to post. When you see a spike, dig down further. Follow that thread and see where it leads you.
4. Put money in its place
Joanie and Heather also truly believe in and practice this credo in their own personal and professional blogging:
It's not all about the money.
It truly isn't. Money is great—money is fantastic. Saving money is why we all visit KCL each day, right? But what does that saved money buy us? More free time with our families? More self-care? More options and choices in life? It’s not the money itself that matters most, but what that money permits you to be, do, or achieve that you believe you can access in no other way. It is the same for your readers, by the way. They may return because your blog helps them save money, or earn more money (or both). But underneath, they are returning because that earned or saved money helps them inch closer to what they want more of in life.
5. Love = profits
Finally (and Heather and Joanie are very, very clear about this last point) love and profits are inextricably linked:
Find out what you love and monetize it.
Did you know Heather and Joanie launched KCL because they simply love couponing? They didn't do it to earn money—at least not at first.
As Joanie shares:
When we first added a site counter, we were surprised at the number of page views we'd get.
To this same point, Heather states:
We thought, "We're already doing work so why not monetize it?" We signed up for an affiliate and started making money.
Through launching KCL out of love for couponing and saving money for their families, Joanie and Heather connected with others who also love these same goals and want to pursue them. By remembering these five core points from successful KCL blog-preneurs Joanie and Heather, you too can launch and grow a successful blog!