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Here’s What I’ve Learnt in My First Year of Blogging, and What You Can Too

By Nicholas Muema | Entrepreneurship

Sep 30
MY FIRST YEAR

They say that you learn better by doing.

Well I differ slightly with that statement.

You learn A WHOLE LOT better by doing than by spectating.

You learn A WHOLE LOT better by doing than by spectating.

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Before I jumped into the blogging ship, I researched a lot. I read blog post after blog post from seasoned bloggers and they all kept saying the same thing:

Start your blog.

And I can see why those three words are full of wisdom.

Because you learn A WHOLE LOT better by doing.

So, what did I learn in my first year?

Well, read on to find out. And it’s not what you think.

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Research actually helps a bunch

Before I started Blogger’s Pursuit, I spent a whole year doing research.

Wait what, a year?

Yap. A year.

But what I learnt during that year paid off enormously.

I understood what differentiates the blogs that head for the stars from those that spring up, wither and die.

My research was pretty basic. And I used my smartphone the entire time.

I bookmarked hundreds of blog posts, read eBooks, subscribed to the best blogs in the world and watched blogging tutorials using that same smartphone.

And that smartphone currently costs below KES 10,000 (< $100)! Did I mention that it’s 5 years old?

Which brings me to the next point…

Use whatever you have to your advantage.

During that entire year of research, I was silently telling myself to wait for the perfect time to start my blog.

I wanted to start Blogger’s Pursuit with a better laptop, a faster smartphone and enough capital to spend on my blog.

Then I discovered that I was actually procrastinating…

Waiting for the perfect time.

Waiting for the perfect conditions.

Sadly for me, they were not coming any time soon. 😔

So I decided to use whatever I had to start Blogger’s Pursuit:

  • A four-year old laptop, which hangs like crazy, but made Blogger's Pursuit a reality.
  • The 5 year old smartphone that acts as my wireless hotspot and research hub.
  • Expensive internet bundles that I carefully use lest they run out.
  • The little money I had to set up my website, with zero coding or graphic design skills.
  • Are you still waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to start your blog?

    Take my advice, use whatever you have and use it to your advantage.

    Use whatever you have and use it to your advantage​​​​​

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    You need serious willpower to succeed.

    When I started my blog, I knew everything was against me.

    I had no web design skills, had little money to use as capital, and hardware that made my blogging life miserable.

    And yet, you’re reading this post. Which means I didn’t give up.

    You have willpower to thank for that. 😎

    Willpower. It’s a skill you need to learn if you are going to succeed at your blog.

    It’s born out of passion. If you’re not passionate about your blog, don’t expect willpower to come knocking at your door.

    You need to like what you’ll blog about:

    • Is it fashion?
    • Is it business tips?
    • Maybe financial advice?

    Willpower is something great to have on your side. It gives you the motivation to write. It gives you the energy to create a YouTube tutorial video on your blog.

    But willpower only comes from passion.

    Don’t ignore your passion.

    It’s a road filled with bumps called skills

    As a new blogger, expect to learn a lot of skills. Skills you’d never think of learning. And most of them are pretty awesome.

    Like web design. I created the homepage of this blog myself. Without having to go to a web design class. Or hiring a web designer.

    How did I pull that off?

    I bought a shortcut. And it comes in the form of a web plugin called Thrive Architect. Simply load it up, choose one of the homepage templates and tweak it to your heart’s desire.

    It didn’t take me more than a week to have it done.

    Just a single week!

    Before, I’d have gone to a web design class that would take a year to finish and cost 5X-10X more than that plugin.


    Moreover, this year, I’ve learnt how to:

    • Better my writing.
    • Market my blog better.
    • Build an audience for my blog, among others.

    When you’re starting out, you probably don’t have enough money. And that’s why the DIY spirit is a life-saver, and a money-saver too.

    You just need to be willing to UP your skills by doing things yourself. Trust me, it’s addictive once you get the hang of it.

    Selling your vision is super-important

    How you view your blog is crucial to its success.

    I learnt this when I needed some capital for my blog.

    I had to explain to my investor the purpose of my blog. In clear and concise language.

    Here’s what I remember saying:

    “I want to help upcoming bloggers start their own blogs, believe in them and earn a decent living. I want them to see how blogging can change their lives for good, and how they can pursue their passions through their blogs.”

    Selling your vision can at times feel far-fetched. Or even impossible. This is where passion comes in handy.

    Explain your passion to your investor(s), your readers, your friends and family by showing them how your passion and knowledge can improve their lives emotionally, spiritually and financially.

    Because through that explanation comes your vision. You might not know it, but what you’re doing is selling your vision.

    It’s how you made them feel, how you made them imagine what your blog will be like 3 years from now.

    By selling your vision, you’re honing the skill that can win anyone over. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have that skill in my briefcase. It’s just priceless.

    How to apply this to your business

    You might think that you don’t have what it takes to start your blog. I thought that about myself too. But then this podcast changed my line of thought. I’ll summarize it in the form of a question:

    Who are you hurting by not starting your blog?

    If you are a fashion expert and you’ve always delayed launching your blog, then you’re hurting other upcoming fashion enthusiasts who’d like to have access to your knowledge.

    Once again, who are you hurting by not starting your blog?

    Let me know in your comments.

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    About the Author

    Nick started Blogger's Pursuit to help upcoming bloggers and entrepreneurs discover their pursuit of blogging. Other times, you'll find him deeply engrossed in a book or finding new business strategies to experiment with.