Have you been blogging for some time now? Are there things that you wish others had told you earlier? Do you feel like you have a lot to "give back" to new bloggers, but you just don't know how? Well, this challenge may be for you. In a way, it's for the beginner bloggers. The purpose is to take expertise of bloggers who have been around the block a few times and provide quick information about everything you need to know to be a successful blogger.
While I could provide my experience (and will), the odds are that it would not be sufficient for explaining everything that a new blogger would want or need to know. That is why I am issuing this challenge: the Beginner Blogger Challenge. It all started here at Passive Income to Retire.
What is the Beginner Blogger Challenge?
The Beginner Blogger Challenge is an invitation for those who have been blogging for some time now and want to participate. The invitation is for you to respond to some basic questions about your first months blogging – essentially telling your readers about your time as a beginner blogger. I'm hoping this will give practical advice to new bloggers, while also exposing some misconceptions about being a blogger.
How Do You Join the Challenge?
It's quite simple to join the fun. All you have to do to join the challenge is publish a post on your blog before March 27, 2012 (1 month after this post was first published) and follow the regulations listed below:
- Link back to this post so that other bloggers reading your post can find the regulations and join in on the fun!
- In addition to sharing generally about your first few months as a blogger, answer these 4 questions (to the best of your ability – any order is fine):
- How long have you been blogging?
- Why did you start blogging?
- How long did it take you to earn $100 (if you have already earned $100)
- What is (at least) one thing you wish someone had told you before you started blogging?
Lastly, make sure that the post is your own. Make it personal and tell us your honest opinion. Also, be sure to comment on this post with a link once your post is live (so that I know it exists and can include you in the summary post).
Why Would You Want to Participate?
Other than the genuine desire to help others, there are many other benefits for joining in on the challenge:
- It's Fun – Let's face it, who doesn't like an interesting challenge. You get to see how your experience compares to all of the other challengers.
- Featured in a Summary Post: I will be taking the question about the one thing you wish someone had told you before you started blogging and post it with a link back to your site on March 31, 2012. Who doesn't like to be recognized, right?
- Easy Post Topic: Let's face it – we all run out of topics every once in a while. This is a chance to have something easy and fun to write about. Stop trying to brainstorm what you will write about and join in on the challenge.
- Your Voice Matters: Have you ever felt like people should or shouldn't blog? Do you have an opinion one way or the other? If so, why not use this as an opportunity to tell them what they should or should not do. They may just listen. After all, you have the experience to back up your opinion.
Beginner Blogger Challenge (Me – example)
I started blogging over 7 months ago. I can't believe the time has flown so fast. I started out on a free wordpress site, because I was afraid of forking out the $110 for a domain and web hosting. I finally convinced myself that it was worth the risk and I haven't regretted it since.
I started blogging like many other that I know – to provide a resource for young adults who don't know anything about their finances. Many of my friends don't know anything about how to save for retirement, let alone the dangers of consumer debt. I wanted a way to give them the facts without shoving it down their throats. I didn't know why my voice mattered when I started. I honestly felt inadequate because I didn't have, "I got out of this much debt" story, but I soon found my voice. I discovered that I can enjoy sharing my thoughts as a blogger. I started to hear from some of my close friends how they keep up with my blog and they are happy to learn new things.
In addition to making an impact on my friends, I started making money with my blog. From the time that I purchased my own domain, it took me about 2 and a half months to make $100 from blogging, or about the amount that it cost me for the first year for the domain and the web hosting. From what I have heard, this is quite fast and rare. From there, it has only grown (along with my time investment). It has become some form of an addiction, as I enjoy developing and building up a site from nothing. There isn't a thing that I don't like about blogging and this is part of the reason why I am considering quitting my day job to do it full time for a while.
While there is so much that I would prefer to share (that I wish I had known when I started), one thing that is on my mind as of lately is the importance of switching the permalink structure in WordPress at the beginning. By getting rid of the standard date in the url structure, you not only keep the reader from being able to see how out of date something is, but you also allow yourself the opportunity to re-publish material. So, if you want to re-publish something that is 1 year old because you have lots of new readers, you can do that easily without losing all of the links to your site. I have made this a standard for all the new sites that I have created, but I am afraid that I am stuck with my first one because I don't want to lose all of the links going to my site.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.