April 23, 2014

5 Blogging Tips I Wish I Knew Back Then

Posted on 05. Nov, 2010 by in Blogging, Blogging for Beginners, Blogging Tips, Highlights

When I started blogging, wordpress was primitive, plugins were buggy, and there was no such thing as a 6 figure blogger. There really was no one classified as a “blogging guru” leaving me to learn from good old fashioned trial and error. Expensive, time-consuming, trial and error.

Here are just a few lessons I learned the hard way, and tips I wish I had known back when I started blogging…

1. Put readers needs and interests first. Most new bloggers take at least a year to truly understand how this works, even if they think they know. Constantly focusing on what your readers want will not only build your readership quickly, but also help all your blogging strategies fall into place more easily. For example, this results in well targeted advertisers and affiliate partnerships more likely to interest your readers.

2. Read other blogs, talk with other bloggers. You will learn far more about blogging through interaction than through reading, and at a much quicker pace. This is also great exposure for joint ventures, back scratching guest posts, and my favorite- blogging buddies that help keep you updated on recent news and changes in the blogosphere, even before you read them on Mashable.

3. Always test before implementing major changes. I once changed ad layouts across my entire site after reading a blogging tip that was “guaranteed to increase my earnings.” Big mistake. This cost me about $8,000 in a few short weeks, plus the time it took to reverse the changes and make friends with Google SERPS again. ALWAYS test first and implement changes slowly.

4. Avoid free blog hosting sites. These are great for casual bloggers with no MMO blogging intentions, but for the serious blogger who plans to take over the world in their blogging future… a shared hosting option is your best option, and ALWAYS have your own domain. The flexibility this offers will pay for the $5 monthly hosting fee many times over and save you the headache of having to move your freebielog later. Not convinced? Last year, a blogger came to me asking for advice. It seems they’d set up their blogger.com blog over a year before and had around a $3,000 monthly AdSense income from the site. Imagine his dismay when Google came along and shut his blog down. He had no domain of his own to turn the traffic, and no backup of alllllll that content he’d worked so diligently to build up. Which brings me to my next tip…

5. BACK UP YOUR BLOG. Oh yes, this is one every single blogger I’ve ever known has learned the hard way… so simple, you’d think we’d have figured it out right? Back up your content x 4. Back it up through wordpress and have it emailed to you using wp-backup plugin or any number of others. Test the files delivered periodically. Back up your databases from the server. Back up your theme. Back up your reader lists. This only takes a few minutes, and trust me when I say, there will be times when you need all of these!

There you go- my top 5 blogging tips I wish I knew back then… a few simple tactics that will potentially save you thousands of dollars and hours with minimal effort.

ps. hi from Australia.

64 Responses to “5 Blogging Tips I Wish I Knew Back Then”

  1. Yvette Ulloa 5 November 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    This is great Brilliant Jeni! Thank you so much for helping us this is amazing! I’ve had the chance to meet you and you are not only brilliant but an amazing individual that I respect and admire a lot!

  2. brilliantjeni 7 November 2010 at 7:44 am #

    I’d say that same about you Yvette! Looking forward to reading your next blog post!

  3. Forest 7 November 2010 at 9:25 am #

    BAckup is very important as I have fallen foul to that before :(…. Also even if you have tested a change a backup before you make the live means switching back is a lot easier.

    Nice to see you posting again :).

    • brilliantjeni 7 November 2010 at 4:17 pm #

      Ya, I learned that lesson too…. A few times!

      Ty- I’ve been traveling so much, I’ve been slacking on RBT. Learning a lot in my travels though, & looking forward to sharing.

  4. Anna 8 November 2010 at 12:37 am #

    That is a good point, number 5. I learned the hard way on Blogger as well, and one of my blogs is pretty much stuck there for now. Which is fine as it earns some money regularly. But I have just assigned my assistant to back it up once a month, and added it to our Google Calendar. As it was not being done automatically.

    For my WordPress blogs, I use a Database Backup plugin to backup and email me the files weekly …

    • brilliantjeni 8 November 2010 at 8:42 am #

      Great that you’re so on top of things and kudos for monetizing a Blogger.com blog. That alone can be challenging. Mind sharing with everyone how you are backing that particular blog up?

  5. Tom @ Design Chester 8 November 2010 at 8:35 am #

    I was wondering if there was an easier way to backup WP. We were looking at making a duplicate Amazon backup server but a plugin may be a lot easier. You have just saved £20 a month. Thanks.

    • brilliantjeni 8 November 2010 at 8:47 am #

      A blogger’s motto can almost be, “there’s a plugin for that!” these days…

      I use wp-backup – easy plugin that emails a backup of your posts at specified time increments. Like Anna wrote above, I have this emailed once a week. It goes to a free email account on gmail so it doesn’t clutter my email box but is there when I need it. I also prefer to have backups from various time periods- for example, if I want a backup from a month ago before I made drastic changes, etc, it’s there waiting for me in my gmail time capsul.

      Buy yourself something cool with that L20 ;)

  6. brilliantjeni 8 November 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Such great advice! Along with knowing your readers, definitely need to know your niche & industry & use that to meet your readers needs. Ty for this one- brilliant!


    thanks this is a great post, this is also needed
    Take a quick tour: you need to take a tour to other blogs of the same niche (field) and see what they are writing about and see some of their basic blog features, remember that you are not the only one blogging or the first to blog people are already there before you and you need to do what they are doing and even better. You need to remove every doubt of failing because you will see great blogs and you will be amazed at what they are doing , Rome was not built in a day!

  7. Fabrizio Van Marciano 18 November 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Just stumbled on your blog very interesting post, thanks for publishing some great points. The last topic I know too well too. My backup system failed to back a few weeks ago and I left it until it was too late.
    Fabrizio Van Marciano´s last blog post ..Crash Course in Small Business Marketing! Part 1

    • brilliantjeni 2 December 2010 at 2:59 am #

      ouch! hard lesson to learn isn’t it? I’ve known bloggers who hadn’t backed up in over 6 months who lost all that content. One lucked out though- their host had a backup for them.

      I should mention to that some people may have a back up and not know it. If wordpress gets corrupted, the database is still available on the server, content in tact.

  8. Alex@ecardlr 22 November 2010 at 6:41 am #

    I too agree with you, I think it is really important for bloggers to consider readers interest first than to go on writing anything out of the blue. Some great tips that you have mentioned.

    • brilliantjeni 2 December 2010 at 3:01 am #

      Thank you Alex.

      You know, I find it hard even now, to balance between providing interesting content with seo tactics. Particularly with my keyword strategy… (google: brilliantjeni and big bang theory)

  9. Ishan 22 November 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I learned backup the hard way. However, I take backups regularly now. Putting reader interest first is obviously something people should not forget about.
    Ishan´s last blog post ..Blogging Addiction- How To Identify And Get Rid Of It

  10. Karo@blogging for beginners 23 November 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Hello Jeni,

    I am glad you shared your mistakes for others to learn from. And the one on backup is something I am sure alot of people take for granted including myself.

    If all bloggers will share their personal mistakes like you have done, it will save beginners alot of time. I saw the need for this which is why I created a page on my website where probloggers share their stories behind “Had I known” in their blogging journey. I know it will be a great resource for beginners. Your topic relates so well with it and I usually don’t do this but I’ll add a link here http://www.blogging-the-beginners-complete-guide.com/problogger.html so people can share their stories with others.

    Thanks Jeni, you’re a woman of quality. You don’t post regularly but when you do, you make sure you deliver.
    Karo@blogging for beginners´s last blog post ..Guest posting – Best way to get One way links from Authority Sites

    • brilliantjeni 2 December 2010 at 2:56 am #

      Thank you so much or the compliment Karo. Since we’ve spoken outside of this site, this means a lot coming from someone who knows me.

      I’m taking a bit of a different route with the site- I’ll be adding more static tutorials and providing mentoring along the way. In the meantime, I’ve added you to RBT chat on skype. I think you’ll find that beneficial.

      If anyone else would like to join, shoot me an email- brilliantjeni @ gmail

  11. hector 26 November 2010 at 2:43 am #

    Better plan first what will be the content of your blog post that readers will be interested to read it and visit again your site for they find it very useful to them. Thanks for the valuable informations you posted.

  12. jhon@mincir 26 November 2010 at 11:11 am #

    It is very necessary to purchase your own domain to start SEO campaign and always keep you back up update.
    jhon@mincir´s last blog post ..Maigrir sans effort

  13. tickets to pakistan 2 December 2010 at 11:41 am #

    thatnkyou very much for this insight, i have read the post and i find it very useful, in the future i will make good use of backups. looking forward to read your posts in the future.

  14. Carly 3 December 2010 at 5:44 am #

    After nearly killing my blog yesterday, you’d think I’d be intelligent enough to take a backup today? No such luck… I’ll add it to the list…

    One blogging tip I wish I knew back then: comments & hits aren’t the measure of success – I used to be sad if something I wrote didn’t get comments/much traffic. Now I check the average time on page/bounce rate for my blogs as a measure instead. If the average time on page is just 5 seconds, you know that nobody is reading and that you need to make your post more engaging.
    Carly´s last blog post ..How to write a ‘lead’ for your blog like newspapers do

    • brilliantjeni 6 December 2010 at 8:51 am #

      Very good point Carly!!!!! Brilliant even.

      What do you prefer to use to check your reader’s avg time on your site?

  15. Ray | MarketingNotebook.com 4 December 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Always back up. Can’t argue with that. Great advice. Ray
    Ray | MarketingNotebook.com´s last blog post ..Traffic report from start up to November 2010

  16. Alex@SEO India 6 December 2010 at 2:26 am #

    Those are some brilliant tips Jeni, I too have done a lot of mistakes in my blog when I first started…looking back right now, I do repent on not doing things then..the right way but well everything is a lesson in life..Isn’t it

  17. teknolojihaberleri 18 December 2010 at 10:10 am #

    thaks a lot for this article
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  18. Nawaz@replica handbags 18 December 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    To be a good blogger you should be an active member of blogger community and also install comment luv plug-in. By doing so you will also be the member of comment luv community.

  19. Komodo Dragon 25 December 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Those are some really great pointers. It’s really important to be in touch with your readers and give them what they want. They will return your attention and be loyal to you. Also, backing up data is an ever-important rule for everyone. We often tend to forget it but it’s a fact of the blogging life.

  20. Kim 2 January 2011 at 12:41 am #

    I think, reading other blogs and interacting with other is indeed a great way to improve community and build one community around your blog. Thanks for Nice and definitive tips. :)
    Kim´s last blog post ..The HGHAdvanced Review

  21. Srivathsan @ Mobigizmos 14 January 2011 at 5:53 am #

    awesome info.thanks a lot.
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  22. jhon@mincir 25 January 2011 at 9:51 am #

    The best blogging tip is to be a member of blogging community and also be active member of comment Luv Community.
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  23. kavita @ Bollywood Lyrics 28 March 2011 at 11:47 am #

    awesome post………..
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  24. Tess@Tips to Make Money Online 30 April 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Great information, especially the tips about backing up your blog and writing to the needs and interests of your readers. When you help others, it will all come back around to you. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Tess@Tips to Make Money Online 30 April 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Great information, especially the tips about backing up your blog and writing to the needs and interests of your readers. When you help others, it will all come back around to you. Thanks for sharing!
    Tess@Tips to Make Money Online´s last blog post ..5 Things You Must Know to Make Money Online

  26. Lynda 25 May 2011 at 8:06 pm #


    These are some great tips. I have learnt most of what I know from my blogging “buddies”. I wasted a lot of time searching several sites that didn’t give me the info I really needed. Once I made some blogging friends they helped me out a lot :) Backing up my blog is not something I would have thought of (as silly as that sounds) but you have me thinking about it now. Thanks :)
    Lynda´s last blog post ..Coupon Promotion for Bistro MD

  27. Justin | AdSense Flippers 6 June 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Ugh…#4 sounds pretty miserable. I know quite a few affiliate marketers/bloggers in the Philippines who can’t afford to start off with their own domain/hosting, but once they’ve made a little bit of money, we highly suggest forking over the cash. It’s so much better to own your real estate online rather than renting!
    Justin | AdSense Flippers´s last blog post ..Income Report – May 2011

  28. waterpearls 30 June 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Jeni,
    It is a very nice and informative post.Thanks for sharing the 5 blogging tips and these tips are helpful for many bloggers, especially neophytes.
    waterpearls´s last blog post ..DriveScrubber Review & Coupons

  29. Jason Mitchev 6 July 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Yes! Back everything up all of the time! Fatastic tip and great wisdom! A guy I know does the computers in a school setting. He will repeatedly tell the teachers to backup their work and they don’t. When Murphy (of Murphy’s Law) hits, the teachers are out of their lessons and he may not always be able to restore all files completely.
    Jason Mitchev´s last blog post ..Virginia Beach Dentist Choices Guide

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    I see your point, and I simply love the opinion. It goes without saying I will tell all my friends about it, quite creative. Thanks.

  32. Pete Goumas 20 September 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Jeni,
    Great blogging tips.This post is really helpful for those who are new in this field.Thanks for sharing!
    Pete Goumas´s last blog post ..Sports Injuries: Their Prevention and Treatment

  33. Kaxil @ Song Lyrics 23 September 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    The site owners should check the users point of view… which is very important
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  34. Evelyn Duat 3 November 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    I’m quite new to the blogging industry and I felt lucky to know these five amazing tips that you posted here. It give me a lot of idea to work on and I love the way you explain it to your reader.
    Evelyn Duat´s last blog post ..Winning Lottery

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  41. ery @ interior design news 15 December 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Hai.. it’s very good tips for beginner blogger or even professional blogger. It’s very important tips especially “backup blogs”. My friend lost her blog because the blogs were hacked, she forgot to backup her blog.
    Thanks for sharing

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