[This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.]
Are you a beginner blogger? How many months have you been into your blogging journey?
I don’t know how to say it, but researching, writing, creating graphics, engaging with other bloggers, or doing blogging-related stuff are addicting for me.
Every day I feel like I can’t stay away from blogging, if not publish posts. I will research some keywords, plan content ideas, schedule my social media, join some affiliate programs, update old posts (and SEO-ing), or do blog maintenance.
You have read my blog posts which tell you about starting to learn about SEO and many more. There are a lot of steps to launching a blog, but knowing what to do in the first two months will help you keep your sanity.
As you start, you may be trying to read or research everything you can on your niche. You will find yourself being pulled into 10 or more different directions, just trying to figure it all out. That is why 80% of bloggers quit within their first six months or are on hiatus from blogging.
This happens because they have unrealistic expectations, some are not willing to learn, some are not consistent, some are lost their ‘why’, and don’t set up their goals.
Take into account, that to help you achieve your blogging career, you need to know what to do during your first two months of blogging. I did all of these before and after launching my blog. You will feel more in control and have a clear path and I know this list is going to help you walk through your blogging career.
PS. Grab your snacks and drink! This 3800 word is going to be long valuable content for you 🙂
First two months of blogging
There are a lot of things you need to do before starting a blog and making money. But, when you start, you don’t need to do it all at once. Here are things you should focus on during the first two months when you start blogging.
- Set Up Your Blog
- Install A Theme
- Learn technical aspects of blogging
- Find your community
- Start your email list
- Learn proper SEO
- Use social media to start getting traffic
- Produce quality content
- Never stop learning
- Enjoy and love what you do
Now, I’m going to make this easier by helping you know what you need to do in the first two months of blogging.
Week 1 – 2
Set goals for your blog
Everyone has their own goals. Life goals, job goals, relationship goals, and even blogging goals. You need to have goals to make you keep going, stand up, and give your best.
I’m putting this first because it’s super important and so many people forget to do it. If you want your blog to be a success, whatever that means to you, you need to lay out the intention for what your blog will look like.
Why are you starting a blog? Is it just for hobbies, sharing your story, helping others, for fun, or for money? Are you hoping to create a business from it, make money blogging, or maybe support an existing business that you have?
Set up your site
This part includes 3 aspects: what is your niche about, how often you publish your content, and how to set up your self-hosted blog.
What to write about?
Any niche or topic that you choose has to have two core elements: your interest/expertise in the topic and your target audience. You can blog for a long time IF you truly believe in what you write about. Similarly, you can blog consistently IF you have an audience to read your content.
Once you’re done deciding your niche, take a day to determine how often you’re willing to publish your content. Once a week? Twice? Three times?
I have decided my publishing schedule is two times a week: Tuesday and Friday.
You can’t predict what will happen and just go with the flow. Whether it is going to give you the best results or not, at least you give it a shot! Do your best rather than doing nothing. Stay productive and write every day.
How to go self-hosted?
I don’t recommend the free version of WordPress or Blogger. You really should start by getting your domain and hosting. It will be much easier to customize your blog and have your own blog. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can read more about how to start setting up your self-hosted site.
Once your blog is ready, you should focus on learning how to use it. That means you need to know some technical knowledge to set up your WordPress blog, install the right plugins, how write a post, and add legal pages.
You will also need to get a theme. You can start with a free theme or invest in a paid theme. The only thing you need to consider when choosing your theme is that it is mobile responsive, clean, simple, easy to navigate, and has a layout you like. Don’t get hung up on a fancy header or features. Start small and you can add more as time goes on.
Discover your brand
Oh, this is the part where I always want to explore more and more. Some bloggers don’t really have a brand or haven’t figured out their brand. By the time they discovered their brand, it could be months or a year into blogging and they had tons of pages and posts that had to be redone.
It took me a day to work and figure out what my brand looked like. A brand will show your uniqueness and personality, and it’s really important to be a professional blogger – even when you’re not!
How to create and find your brand?
Well, here’s the fun part. Go on to Pinterest, and create a secret branding board that only you can see. Then search around on Pinterest for color palettes, branding elements, textures, and patterns that really feel like … you.
Once you’re finished, go back and look for the overarching theme. Delete any pins that no longer fit with that theme. For example, if you like pink or blue, pin color palettes or patterns which contain that color. Once you are done, you should have a mood board of inspiration for your brand. Check out my guide on how to brand your blog and takes your blog to the next level.
Choose your social media and establish your social media presence
When starting a blog, you do not need to be on every social media platform to win with blogging. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of time on social media as it could distract you from getting your blog ready. In fact, for most bloggers, one or two platforms are perfectly sufficient.
As for me, I do recommend you create Twitter, Facebook page, and Pinterest. If you enjoy Youtube, you might also want to consider it (if you are going to create videos).
The worst thing you can do is sign up for a ton of social media accounts and then not be active with each of them, leaving them each a ghost town. The best strategy? Start with just one or two social media accounts and really get good at it. I spend a lot of time active on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Spend some time filling it out, posting, and building a community on your social media. Once you’ve got it down pat, then set up your next social account.
I would also recommend at least signing up for all of the major social media accounts if only to reserve your name so that no one else takes it in the meantime.
Create a content strategy to grow your blog
Content, content, and content. Try to produce a minimum of 1-2 articles every single week. If it’s possible, you can aim for 4-6 articles a month. Remember that quality trumps quantity. You have to make sure you follow the proper blog post structure to help you rank on Google.
In these early days, your time is limited. You may have another job, a bunch of kids to take care of, or whole other responsibilities. Basically, until you are earning a full-time income from your blog, you will need to hustle. And let’s be honest, I know that full-time bloggers still hustle!
You will also need to create freebies to offer to your audience. When starting an email list, you need to find an opt-in that works for your audience or for people who read your content. You need to offer them something that will give value and a reason to sign up for your newsletter.
Use Google Sheets or an editorial calendar to stay organized
I used to keep tracking my blog growth using a planner and now change it to Google Sheets. I also use the free WordPress plugin Editorial Calendar and it helps me so much. You can schedule posts well in advance and the plugin will post them automatically at the set date and time you decide.
The purpose of creating an editorial calendar is to maintain a consistent blogging schedule and give you a strategic plan on what topics you will create and when. I plan all of my content at least a month in advance.
The editorial calendar not only helps me see which posts are going out when but also gives me a better idea of any gaps in the content I might have.
Week 3 – 4
Building a community
Blogging is not just about writing or you putting out information, blogging is more about creating a community with your audiences and making sure they know you truly care about them. When first starting a blog, your community will be small and that’s really OK! Take your time to get to know the audiences you have and improve your connections with them.
Connecting with other bloggers is also a great way for building a tribe. It’s great for a blogger at any stage, especially for new bloggers. Your tribe members can give you advice, and suggestions for your work, and just be an overall support system.
Set up your email marketing system
When some bloggers get started, they often forget about creating an email list. If there’s one thing I hear over and over from bloggers, it’s that they wish they’d started building their email list sooner. Building an email list takes time, so the earlier the better.
Why build an email list?
Because as great as traffic can be from your social media platforms, algorithms always change. Even Pinterest, Google, and Twitter’s algorithm can change. That means someone could see what you share on Pinterest today and tomorrow it could disappear.
But, when you have an email list, you have a direct and personal connection to your audience. You can direct them to your site or to your products. You don’t have to worry about algorithm changes.
Don’t wait until you’ve been blogging for months or even for a year to start thinking about your email list. A solid email list of people who love your content/product/service and want to hear from you is the foundation of the business side of your blog. And don’t worry, setting up a newsletter isn’t hard! There are tons of automated email service providers out there.
Set up your business Pinterest account
Once you hit the 3rd-week mark, it’s time to learn and dip your toes into Pinterest. Pinterest acts as more of a search engine that uses a visual platform to bring up results. Basically, everyone should be on Pinterest.
Why? If you use the Pinterest strategy properly, it can be one of the simplest and quickest ways to start getting traffic to your blog other than SEO. But, you need to know and understand what it takes to get started on Pinterest and after you get in there, you need to develop a pinning strategy.
After launching your blog, aim to start pinning content consistently to your Pinterest boards. Aim to pin about 5 pins per day. What if you don’t have enough content? No problem. You can still pin content from other people in your niche but don’t overdo it. Pinterest prefers creators who pin fresh pins over repin others or saves pin.
Set up your Google Analytics
Google Analytics will play a big role in your blogging career. You want to do this from the get-go. Your analytics will show you how many visitors your site is getting per day/week/month, what content is being clicked on, how long your audiences are staying on your site, where your traffic is coming from, and much more!
Take time during your 3rd week of blogging to set up your Google Analytics and get familiar with the detailed data it provides. Having clear data from Google Analytics will make an enormous difference in your business. Take the time to set it up now, it’s super easy and free – one of the best resources that business owners can use.
Create a list of contents you plan to write
I plan my content at least a month in advance. Toward the end of each month, I grab my planner and Notion then start planning what I will write about the following month.
Since I post two times per week, that means I need to plan out eight blog content plus all of the keywords and schedule social media promotion to go with it.
Want to know my secret for creating blog content that is valuable to my audiences?
My tactic to find great topics is by searching for some blogging related-keywords on Ubersuggest. There are a lot of topics I can write about in blogging or lifestyle niche. I can use the keywords to create content that excites my readers.
First, I type in a keyword related to my niche in the search bar. Then I look through the keywords that come up for ideas. I also use Pinterest to find ideas. The pins you see at the top when you search for something are typically the ones that have received the most repins. Most popular pins get “repinned” often, and thus moved to the top of search results.
You are now in your 3rd week. Now is the time when you need to learn about SEO. Trust me, learning SEO before launching your blog is really worth it in the first two months of blogging.
SEO is how your content can get ranked on search engines (Google and Bing). If you have been using Yoast or Rank Math SEO, you need to learn more. Both of them are awesome, but they are also merely a guide. It will not guarantee you will get rank.
If you just learn it in your two months of blogging, it is great too. Even successful bloggers who have been blogging for years still find SEO a hard concept to grasp. But you should start trying to learn the basics. Learn about keywords, placing keywords into your content, and images, and how to create SEO-friendly content.
Use beautiful visual elements and photos on your blog
Humans are extremely visual creatures (can’t agree more). We make subconscious decisions based on the beauty and appeal of someone or something before we make a purely logical decision about it.
Same with blogging, your photos and visuals are one of the biggest things that will set you apart from your competitors.
Have you ever noticed how when you buy fruit, you always look for the most perfectly shaped ones? My mom always does it!
I know that an apple that is slightly not perfectly shaped is going to taste just as good as a perfectly round one. It’s not like the imperfect one going to taste like orange or watermelon, isn’t it?
We know it’s just as nutritious. But it’s in our nature to subconsciously believe that the most perfect and beautiful one is the best, and so we ended up choosing the perfect apple over the imperfect one.
It also goes for your blog and online business. You can have amazing content, but if your visuals are boring, some people may not stick around long enough to find out how great you are! It’s harsh, but it’s true.
Nowadays, to stand out, your photos need to be beautiful, unique, and on-brand. Lucky for you, some best sites give out free stock photos each month to make your blog stand out. Ivorymix has over 4500 styled stock photo images currently in the membership and each month they add 100’s more, so there are always photos you can use on your content!
Week 5 – 6
Monetize your blog
If you are blogging with the purpose of turning your blog into a profitable business, the next step is to figure out exactly how you will start monetizing your blog. Where will the money come from? What will you sell? Will it be a product or a service?
There are multiple ways to make money from your blog for your two months of blogging journey.
First, you need to get traffic so you can apply to an ad network such as Mediavine or Monumetric. I’m not sure about others, but I decided not to apply with AdSense as they will not pay you what you are worth. I choose to wait until my blog traffic meets Mediavine’s requirements.
Before reaching that stage, as beginner bloggers, you are doing the right thing with social media strategy and implementing SEO. Getting big traffic can still take time. So, don’t give up on this.
This is also the time when you need to join affiliate programs. Finding affiliate programs is not difficult, you can search on Google for which affiliate program fits your niche. Once you are approved as an affiliate, you will get affiliate links that you can add to your content. When someone clicks and makes a purchase, you make money. That is what is called affiliate marketing.
You can also get products in exchange for honest product reviews. You will get paid for your writing the review, not for praising the product because you receive it from the brand.
In other ways, you can work with a brand and promote their product on your blog. This is called sponsored post. And you can sell your own products as well. This involves a lot more effort but over time this can generate a decent amount of passive income based on how engaged your audience is.
A blog itself is not a business. It may be the vessel for your business, but it is not a business in and of itself. Your blog will bring traffic, but your business is what will bring you money. If you want to earn money online, you will need to be prepared to tackle both.
What are some realistic blogging goals?
Let’s be honest, I’ve seen or you’ve probably read posts about people making $500, $1,000, and more within 3-6 months of blogging. Or their stories that are getting 100,000 pageviews in a month to their site after 4-6 months.
I’m sorry. I have to say that is not probably going to be what you see. The truth is that stories are exceptions rather than rules.
How much can you expect to make?
Let’s say that you have been blogging for 6 months. How much can you expect to make within six months? I can’t answer this! No one can’t answer this as there are just too many variables at play. Some bloggers can make $100-$500 or more by that time.
So, how long will it take to hit $1,000 or more? Perhaps, it can take up to a year or more to reach that big goal. Trust me, I do want to make money blogging and that’s why I have done a lot of research before launching my blog. I have been visiting hundreds of blogs and most bloggers do not make a full-time income until they are in the 12-18 month mark.
If you are not making money in six months or more, you aren’t doing anything wrong. It just, everything takes time. Keep working on your blog because you enjoy and love it and know that you can eventually reach your goals.
How much traffic can I expect?
All bloggers need traffic. I do. I have reached 2,800+ page views in 44 days of blogging. I can say that’s a lot for a new blogger. I don’t expect to reach this number when starting.
But, how much can you expect within your first two months of blogging? I still can’t answer this. You may still struggle to reach 1,000 or 2,000 page views a month. But, if you figure out how to use Pinterest properly, market on social media, and also learn SEO, you could reach 5,000 sessions within six months and sign up to get approved by an ad network. I hope I can reach this! I know you too.
What are the signs I should quit blogging?
I don’t really want to tell you this, but I guess I should. It’s an issue most bloggers are facing.
If you find yourself struggling to write, you don’t want to invest money in learning or for your blog, or just don’t enjoy it, then by all means – quit. No one can make you do anything you don’t want to do.
But, before you quit, ask yourself again, take another look at it. See if you can make some simple changes.
For example, if you don’t enjoy writing, it could be because of the topic. Maybe you need to change your niche and write about a topic you enjoy. If you don’t have money to invest, you can take all of the free courses you can or read some bloggers’ free content.
If, after you’ve tried everything you can and you find you still don’t enjoy it, then you can stop. People should do anything they love, not those they don’t love.
For those who still don’t enjoy blogging, I want to say this: I challenge you to try to make blogging better in any way you can before you say give up! You don’t want to live with any regrets, do you?
Have any suggestions or feedback for me? Drop your comments below! I want to read about your two months of blogging journey as well!