Who doesn’t love the idea of earning a little extra cash ASAP? You can start a new career or supplement your day job by upskilling with short courses. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to return to school for a lengthy degree program to shift gears. The list below of quick certifications that pay well can minimize your time spent studying and help you earn more.
Are you ready to start earning more thanks to a quick certification?
Here’s what you need to know about the fastest and most desirable certificate programs out there.
Do you have a good eye for details and keep things moving along smoothly? If so, project management can be a lucrative career choice. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary is just a little over $98,000. You would be responsible for ensuring that an entire project moves forward easily from the idea phase to completion.
Finding a certificate program for project management is easy: look no further than Google.
Google’s certificate programs are available on Coursera and are designed to be completed quickly. With just 10 hours of studying a week, you can finish your certification in 6 months. The best part is that these certifications are affordable: $39 per month with a Coursera subscription.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can enroll in the UMass Amherst postgraduate certificate to flex your project management skills for $203 per month for six months.
Computer Support Specialist
When career outlook is the most important thing to you, you can’t go wrong by choosing to work with computers. They are only getting more powerful and capable as time goes on. Several quick certifications pay well when it comes to working with computers. You could become a web developer, a cloud architect, or even work with big data.
To this end, we will focus a little more on computer support specialists.
Those who get a quick certification in this area will earn a reasonable rate: $49,770 annually, according to the US News and World Report.
Much like a project management certification, Google also comes to the rescue here. They have a Google IT certificate that you can study for and complete in just under 6 months. You’ll be on your way to a new job in no time.
This CCNA course from Cisco is also a great option with a certification that’s valid for three years post-exam.
If you want to move beyond offering IT support while still working with computers, data analytics is another of the top quick certifications that pay well. The average salary for a data analyst typically runs from $73,688 to $92,111. You get paid handsomely to sit in front of a computer and interpret the data you see.
This is another core skill that you can learn from home utilizing Coursera. A membership to this site is well worth the money, given how many programs you can obtain certification in quickly. Consider enrolling in the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.
There are other options as well, including:
Digital marketing is an increasingly sought-after skill that you can obtain with a quick certification program. The average salary comes in at a little over $61,000. You also have a little flexibility in what you can do with a digital marketing certification. You could run Facebook or other social media ads or focus on Google Adwords. The possibilities are practically endless, and every day could look a little different for you.
To this end, there are several quick certifications that pay well:
The average user experience (UX) designer makes a handsome salary: $116,953 per year. If you have the technical skills to work in UX design, you’ll have it made. Your job is to ensure the end user has a smooth experience navigating a website, program, or app. It’s all about the person who will be using the product or service.
Fortunately, this is another of the quick certifications that pay well. Here are a few certifications that you might consider for UX:
Do you have a way with words? You can try your hand at copywriting with a quick certification that makes the most of your innate skill. The average salary is $56,592 and you won’t need a bachelor’s degree to take advantage of these earnings. Advertise your services through a personal website or platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find clients.
There are tons of copywriting certificate programs out there, so consider some of these:
For more information on how to be a copywriter from home, be sure to see our full guide here.
While it’s no secret that you could go to school for years to obtain a graphic design degree, this has become less and less necessary. You can try quick certifications that pay well to learn the basics of how to edit images, design logos, and more.
The median pay for a graphic designer is right around $50,000.
The best option for your career outlook is to get certified in leading programs, like those offered by the Adobe suite. Adobe has its own list of certification programs that you can sign up for, including:
For those who prefer to work out in the real world instead of from home, a personal trainer certificate program might be just what you need. You can get fit and help others to boost their health all at the same time. Earn an average of $65,000 per year.
Plus, you have the flexibility to decide whether you want to run your own business or work for someone else.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offers a completely online certificate program, with most people completing it in less than a year for $699 (or a monthly payment of $64). Other online certification programs include:
Are you great with people and want to work in a busy office setting? Consider getting into the medical field by becoming a medical assistant. A robust certification program will teach you how to read charts, interact with patients, code records, and even study anatomy.
The average salary for a medical assistant is roughly $38,000.
While it takes longer to complete this certification program than some other programs, you can still complete it in about a year. Many technical colleges will offer the courses you need before you sit for the exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
You can also try online programs like the College of Healthcare Professionals.
If you aren’t sensitive to blood, phlebotomy can be a great option. They make roughly the same as medical assistants, but they have one primary job role: pulling blood for lab work and handling IV transfusions.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a quick certification that you can work on from the comfort of your own home. You’ll need hands-on, real-world experience to practice your skills and learn how to find that vein. To this end, you should look at technical colleges in your area for a certification program that walks you through every step of the way.
Keep in mind that you can easily find these courses online – but they may not be legitimate! You will have to complete some portions of any course in-person. Be skeptical of programs that offer to certify you with no in-person requirements.
A skilled pharmacy technician will earn just under $40,000 per year. You’ll want to look for a program that has been accredited by a national licensing body, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Once you take an accredited course, you can sit for your exams.
Another option is to gain hands-on experience working in the field. And after 500 hours under your belt, you can sit for the same exam. Keep in mind that you may want to supplement your fieldwork with classes to ensure that you know everything you need to know to pass the exam with flying colors.
Be sure to look at the requirements to become a pharmacy tech in your state. Each state has different rules about how you get certified.
No matter what, this is a great way to earn a living with minimal study time and still have a great career outlook.
Final Word: What Will You Choose to Make More Money?
Are you ready to make a career change or start a new side hustle? These certification programs will help you to find the right career move. You have plenty of options for work-from-home jobs and those that require your presence in the office.
Whether you are creative or more numbers-oriented, there is a quick certification that you can start today to earn more and have a fulfilling career that provides for you financially.
Which certificate programs will you start?
What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist?
You’ve decided you want a career as a content strategist, and we’re here to help you reach your goal. A content strategist is a key player in determining the success of a brand’s content strategy, and it can be an exciting career path.
We discuss below the duties of a content strategist along with tips for becoming the most successful one you can be.
What Does a Content Strategist Do?
A content strategist brainstorms, plans, and executes the content strategy for a brand. This can be done either in a solo environment or with a content strategy team.
The material that’s crafted by content strategists for various social media platforms and other digital marketing efforts is designed with the objectives of the business in mind.
Understanding what content strategists do means we first need to understand content marketing.
Content marketing is a useful type of marketing that involves creating content designed to build interest in a brand’s products or services without explicitly promoting them.
Content strategists are content marketing experts.
For example, a content marketing strategy for a social media coach could involve a series of blog posts about why it’s so important to post on social media.
Now you can understand how a content marketing strategist engages in content marketing in the day-to-day execution of their job.
Content Strategist Job Description
Here is a sample content strategist job description:
The content strategist will develop a content strategy that meets key business objectives. They will reach the brand’s target audience through various marketing channels using their supreme content delivery skills.
The content strategist will use the organization’s content management system to oversee marketing campaigns across a variety of specific social media channels. In addition to content planning and content creation, content strategists will report on how their work met content strategy deliverables.
A typical content strategist salary ranges from $40,000-$80,000 based on location, experience, and the type of company you’re working for.
Here are a few examples of roles for the job title “content strategist” that illustrate a varying salary range based on location throughout the United States:
As you gain more experience and rise in seniority, you could become a senior content strategist or even advance into marketing leadership. It’s up to you where you want to take your career.
The Roles and Responsibilities of a Content Strategist
To add to the content strategist job description, we list the roles and responsibilities of a content strategist below.
The content strategist role varies on a day-to-day basis, but the overall tasks that need to be completed remain consistent. Content strategists will:
- Facilitate content planning sessions across a variety of editorial calendars and marketing channels.
- Perform a content audit of all existing content, evaluate its effectiveness, and update as necessary.
- Conduct extensive keyword research to guide the direction of the brand’s content creation.
- Pitch existing and prospective clients on their content creation ideas.
- Build target audience profiles to create content for.
- Understand the many ways future content can generate leads and be monetized.
- Stay informed on social media trends and changes in consumer behavior.
- Create content across various digital platforms and social media accounts.
- Oversee a marketing team and delegate tasks for ongoing and upcoming projects.
- Collaborate with other team members, like copywriters, UX/UI designers, editors, and more when creating online content.
- Analyze its successful content strategy and report back on its performance. A working knowledge of SEO reporting tools is crucial.
Who Does a Content Strategist Report To?
The content strategist will typically report to a manager in the marketing department. This could include a marketing manager, the vice president of marketing, or the marketing director.
However, keep in mind that every company is structured differently.
For example, a large corporation will be structured differently than a small start-up.
The content strategist role at a start-up might report directly to the CEO. Furthermore, a content strategist at a large corporation might report to the marketing manager.
Depending on how large the marketing team is, the content strategist might report to a more specialized person, like the digital content manager.
Understanding the marketing team structure of the company you want to apply for will help you understand where you fit in the organization.
Types of Companies Content Strategists Work For
Because every type of company can benefit from having a content strategy team, there are a variety of companies a content strategist could work for.
A few types of companies a content strategist could work for include:
Major recognizable brands need content strategists to maintain their position in the market as thought leaders.
Marketing agencies provide a wide range of services, and content marketing is just one of those services. A content marketer will help marketing agencies create engaging content as part of overall content strategies for clients.
Content strategists are an important part of the business for small start-ups because they help attract new and existing customers.
Having content monetization skills can be especially important for start-ups as they run lean in the early days.
Content agencies are similar to marketing agencies. However, they provide a more niche service that’s specific to content marketing.
These types of agencies will need to hire teams of content strategists to serve their clients’ content marketing needs.
There is another option that’s entirely different from the employers we’ve discussed on this list. That alternative is freelancing.
A career as a freelancer means that you will be self-employed and responsible for obtaining your own clients, delivering the project, and billing the client.
While there is potentially more money to be made as a freelancer, it does also come with more risk.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Content Strategist?
Becoming a successful content strategist requires a variety of soft skills and technical expertise. We break down the necessary skills in each category below.
Here are a list of the soft skills you’ll need in your career as a content strategist:
You will need to tell compelling stories to a variety of audiences as a content strategist. Whether it’s pitching ideas to clients or educating your audience, you will need to learn to relay information in an engaging way.
Ultimately, you’re creating content for your target audience to consume. This means that it needs to be engaging, exciting, and creative. Having creativity will help you put together the best content.
As a content strategist, you are communicating every day. Whether it’s to your boss, other teams within the company, or your target audience, having top-notch communication skills will be very important.
An aspiring content strategist needs to be very organized. They will be managing multiple campaigns simultaneously, so they need expert organizational skills to keep everything running smoothly.
Beyond the very important soft skills you’ll need, there are a variety of technical skills that you’ll also need in your career as a content strategist.
Here are a few of them:
Strong technical writing skills are one of the most important hard skills you’ll need. Being able to write high-quality long-form content will be a key component of your job.
Search Engine Optimization:
SEO is another one of the most important technical skills you will need to have in your career. You’ll need to understand how to perform keyword research with SEO research software, along with how to seamlessly incorporate these keywords into the text as part of the content creation process.
Social Media Platforms:
Having an understanding of the posting style of each of the different social media platforms will be helpful to your success as a content strategist.
Your long-form content will be shared with your audience in the form of social media campaigns. If you’re able to lend your knowledge when creating these campaigns, you will be able to provide more value for your team.
Part of the content strategist’s job is understanding how the content you’re creating can be monetized and earn your employer money.
Whether it’s incorporating banner ads or partnering with affiliates, you will need to be an expert in monetization methods for the content strategies you implement.
Tips for Becoming a Content Strategist
You know the skills you need to develop and what the job description entails. Now it’s time to discuss tips for optimizing your career in content marketing. Read our top 5 tips for becoming a content strategist below.
Prioritize Your Education
You will need to have the knowledge if you want to earn a job as a content strategist. This means that prioritizing your education should be at the top of your list.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a bachelor’s degree, some employers might require you to have one. For example, if you want to work at a large corporation or a major brand where you work your way up to a leadership position, they might require a bachelor’s degree for those types of roles.
Examples of bachelor’s degrees that you could obtain include marketing, journalism, public relations, or communications.
Gain Professional Experience
After you’ve obtained the education, you want to add professional experience to your resume.
Professional experience can occur in many forms, including internships and paid positions. Learn from the other content strategists you’re working with as you contribute to content marketing campaigns.
Whether you’re working directly as a content strategist or something adjacent to this position, give it your best effort to learn as much as you can while also impressing your employer.
References from internships and entry-level jobs will be helpful to you in the future!
In addition to developing your skills, you’ll also want to start networking.
Networking with other professionals in the industry will be helpful for you when searching for jobs. Sometimes, jobs aren’t even posted on online job boards, and instead, companies ask for referrals from their existing employees.
Similarly, when employers are looking at a large stack of resumes, seeing a name they recognize makes the hiring process easier for them.
Also, remember that you’re networking with people of all experience levels, not just people who are more advanced than you in your career. The person that you’re taking a course with could one day be promoted to the marketing manager you’re applying to work for.
All this to say, conduct yourself professionally and courteously when networking.
Show Your Expertise Through Personal Projects
Even if you haven’t obtained that internship or first job yet, you can showcase your expertise through your personal projects.
Starting your own blog site, YouTube channel or newsletter will help you develop skills and gain hands-on experience.
Working on your own projects requires you to develop a content strategy, create content, and grow your audience.
How long does it take to make money from a blog? You will be able to answer this question for future employers based on firsthand knowledge.
You can then tell future employers about your expertise and the success of your marketing campaigns.
Always Continue Learning
Even though education was already a priority for you on your path toward being a content strategist, learning will always be important for furthering your career.
Whether it’s taking online courses, reading books, or listening to podcasts, find the learning method that feels right for you.
Courses are a great way to further your education as a content marketer. Here are two great courses to get you started:
The Affiliate Lab
The Affiliate Lab is an expert source on creating content optimized for SEO. This course contains more than 100 hours of training on how to conduct keyword research, select your niche, rank in search results, and more.
If you’re looking to improve the SEO rankings of your content, this course is for you. Niche Pursuits readers receive an exclusive discount of $200 off The Affiliate Lab course here.
If you want to learn how to drive real results, Project 24 is the course for you. This will help teach you how to create the best possible content for a blog site or YouTube channel.
Its 27 online courses will teach you how to create and monetize content that’s been optimized for SEO.
The end goal of this course is to teach you how to generate passive income from your content marketing efforts. Check out our Income School Review to learn more about Project 24 and its founders.
No matter which course you choose based on your goals, what’s important is that you’re expanding your knowledge base to create results-driven content.
Your Career as a Content Strategist
Whether you work for a fast-paced marketing agency or an exciting brand, your career in digital content creation is sure to be an exciting one. We wish you the best of luck in your career as a content strategist!
HustleGPT: An Intriguing Blend of Humor and Concern in AI Capitalism
This article serves as a condensed overview of the original piece titled “HustleGPT is a hilarious and scary AI experiment in capitalism.”
OpenAI’s release of GPT-4, an advanced generative AI model, sparked an innovative experiment that blends humor and concern in the realm of AI capitalism. Brand designer and writer Jackson Greathouse Fall initiated a project, transforming GPT-4 into “HustleGPT” with a mission to automate hustle culture. This intriguing venture has captivated the internet, with its potential to redefine get-rich-quick schemes and shed light on the role of AI in the pursuit of wealth.
The Birth of HustleGPT:
With a mere $100 and a straightforward prompt, the experiment unfolded. The objective was clear: turn the initial amount into as much money as possible in the shortest time, all while adhering to legal boundaries. The human counterpart, Jackson Greathouse Fall, acted as a liaison between the AI and the physical world, providing updates on the cash total without engaging in manual labor.
The Business Plan Unveiled:
HustleGPT’s proposed business plan involved setting up an affiliate marketing site for eco-friendly products. A cheap domain, greengadgetguru.com, was swiftly acquired, and with the assistance of GPT-4, a logo and a detailed site layout were generated. The project took a tangible form as Hall invested $29 in hosting, bringing the Green Gadget Guru website to life.
Strategic Moves and Investments:
With $62.84 remaining, Hall sought guidance from HustleGPT on the next steps. The AI suggested allocating funds for Facebook and Instagram ads to enhance visibility. The project gained momentum as Twitter hype attracted an undisclosed investor, injecting $100 into Green Gadget Guru on the first day.
Scaling Up the Operation:
As the experiment progressed, GPT-4 displayed its capabilities beyond initial expectations. It recommended hiring freelance content creators and developing a Software as a Service (SaaS) product. The project expanded rapidly, with GPT-4 advising on capitalizing on Twitter followers, launching a GitHub repository for others to replicate the challenge, and attracting more investments.
The Viral Success:
HustleGPT’s viral success is a testament to the fascination surrounding AI capabilities. However, beyond the entertainment factor, the project is demonstrating the potential to build a legitimate business. With $7,812.84 in investment, a growing team, and content in the pipeline, the experiment has garnered attention. The question remains: can Hall and HustleGPT transcend the common startup pitfall of hype without profits?
AI’s Role in Capitalist Ambitions:
HustleGPT’s journey reflects the ongoing debate about AI’s role in capitalist endeavors. While the experiment leverages GPT-4’s virality to achieve financial goals quickly, it raises concerns about the ethical implications of automating hustle culture. The project showcases how AI can navigate the business landscape, from generating content and attracting investors to scaling up operations.
In the evolving landscape of AI and capitalism, HustleGPT stands as a unique and thought-provoking experiment. It encapsulates the potential and challenges of integrating advanced AI models into entrepreneurial endeavors. Whether it succeeds or encounters the common pitfalls of startups, the project serves as a fascinating case study, offering insights into the intersection of AI, hustle culture, and the pursuit of wealth in the digital age.
10 Early Blogging Mistakes You Should Avoid From Day One
There were so many early blogging mistakes that I made when I started my blog a few years ago, and that’s the reason why I decided to talk about it in this post.
While some people believe that it’s time to pivot from blogging, I genuinely think that blogging still has some potential compared to other digital platforms like social media or vlogs. For a start, as an audience I would rather read a blog to get some information than use TikTok or Youtube for an answer. And I know I’m not the only one who does that.
If you are considering blogging to be your next venture and in need of advice on how to do it right, you may want to avoid some of these blogging mistakes that I made at the early stage of my blog!
10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Blog
From not knowing the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org to spending too much time promoting my blog instead of working on my content for SEO purpose, I honestly made a lot of mistakes when I started my blog.
However, I took them as some lessons learned so that I can genuinely share what I’ve learned with everyone who’s trying to get on the same path in the blogging industry.
So, here’s the blogging 101 you need to know before publishing your blog on the World Wide Web!
#1 Choosing the first blogging platform available without knowing the pros and cons of using it for your blog
It may sound so simple, but trust me… Choosing the right blogging platform is a make-or-break decision for your blogging journey. It’s 2020s, and there’s a handful of blogging platforms that you can choose from in the market, so finding the best blogging platform to start your blog can be a little tricky.
When I started The BeauTraveler in 2017, I chose the wrong blogging platform because I had no idea the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I know almost every blogger recommends WordPress as a blogging platform, but I didn’t know there were two types of WordPress that I should’ve known!
The first mistake that I made was building my blog on WordPress.com. I upgraded it to the Personal Plan so that I could use my domain, without knowing that it wasn’t the self-hosted WordPress that everyone recommends for blogging.
I learned the difference the hard way when I bought a premium theme on Envato Elements, only to find out that I couldn’t use the theme as it could only be used on self-hosted WordPress on WordPress.org.
It took me months to accept the fact that this mistake cost me time and money, as I had already spent a one-year Personal Plan on WordPress.com. I wanted to migrate it right away, but I was hesitant as it had only been around 4 months since I upgraded and bought my domain on WordPress.com.
I remember I upgraded my WordPress.com account in February, and it was only in September that I decided to swallow my defeat and migrate my website to self-hosted WordPress on Dewaweb for many reasons.
I got a lot of recommendations about web hosting providers like Bluehost or Hostinger, but it was too expensive for my budget at the time so I had to search for a local Indonesian alternative that I knew would be more affordable. That’s how I ended up with Dewaweb, and I’ve never really looked back ever since.
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which blogging platform is the best for you. Apart from budget, you also need to factor in the customization, as well as your technical skills, if you want to build your own website from scratch.
While I have to admit that the website templates on Web.com and Squarespace make it easier to design your own website from scratch, I know those platforms aren’t suitable for me in terms of pricing.
So far, I have to follow what most bloggers say about self-hosted WordPress.org being the best platform for blogging. I think if you have time to follow the learning curves (that can be quite steep at times!), WordPress definitely has everything you need to build and grow your blog from scratch!
Quick tip: If you want to start a blog with minimum expense, alternatively you can also use a free blogging platform like Blogspot to get you started.
However, I would also recommend getting a custom domain right away so you can start building your domain authority from the very start, as well as growing your blog as a brand. You can consider getting a cheap domain through platforms like Namecheap or Domain.com and connecting it to your Blogspot account.
#2 Use the default permalink structure without considering any other viable options
The permalink structure is often overlooked, but you’ll definitely thank me later to find out how important it is to set up the right permalink from the start.
If you’re not sure what permalink is, it is basically the format for the URL for your content. For instance, if you take a look at the URL of my blog post here, you can see that I use thebeautraveler.com/post-name as my permalink structure.
Well, that wasn’t the case when I started my blog in 2017. I didn’t even know that the permalink structure would matter so much, so I just used the default format with the publishing date in the format.
It took me maybe a year or two after I started blogging when I found out that the permalink format, especially the one that included the publishing date or year in the URL, could make your post seem outdated on search engines even if you created evergreen content!
Most people go on search engines to find the most updated information about something, and the year of the published date on your permalink could make it seem like your post is no longer relevant.
That being said, the best blogging practice to choose the right permalink for your blog is to get rid of publishing time from the URL. That’s why I eventually switched from thebeautraveler.com/YYYY/MM/DD/post-name to thebeautraveler.com/post-name format.
If you just got started with your blog, then it’s the right time to change the best permalink format for your content now!
If you change your permalink later when you already have a lot of posts published and ranked on search engines, you will have to deal with the redirection process which will require some technical aspects to make it right. But if you do it right from the beginning, you can save yourself from the stress if you’re not a very tech-savvy blogger!
Not sure if you have the right permalink set up on your website? If you use WordPress as I do, you can go to your WordPress dashboard and check the “Settings” option in the menu, where you can see “Permalinks” in the sub-sections. Once you click it, it will show the permalink format you are using for the website right now.
#3 Add a clickbait-style title to “attract” more traffic to your blog
You see, I’m an Indonesian millennial who got so used to being fed with clickbait-style news by digital media here. My biggest blogging mistake is to use the same strategy as those media!
When I started blogging a few years ago, I thought the longer the title, the better… Boy, was I wrong!
Not only is a long title not good for SEO, but using a clickbait-style title for your blog is no longer relevant these days. Most people who search for information on Google or other search engines are leaning toward posts with more straightforward titles these days.
The way I see it, a clickbait-style title still works in social media like Instagram Reels or TikTok, but it’s definitely an obsolete strategy if you aim for a blog post to rank on search engines!
#4 Upload high-quality pics for supporting images on your blog post
So you take great pictures to be included as supporting images on your blog posts, and you want to present the best quality of your pictures. Your first thought would be to upload the HD version of the images to ensure the quality of those pictures.
Ekkk, wrong. If anything, uploading the high-definition images will only slow down your site. It’s not good for SEO, and it will also take lots of bandwidth on your website since a high-quality picture usually has a larger size as well!
So, instead of using HD pictures for your supporting images, always upload the compressed image with a smaller size so it won’t take up too much space on your website.
Not only will it optimize your website content in general, but it will also give a better user experience as your audience won’t have to wait too long to get your images loaded when reading your blog posts.
I have to admit that I still have a lot of large-sized images in my early blog posts when I started this blog, but I’ve learned my lessons.
Nowadays, before uploading pictures for my blog posts, I always make sure that the photos that I use for supporting images won’t be larger than 1000px. Plus, I only use JPG format for the images instead of using the larger format like PNG.
In addition, I also use the TinyPNG plugin on WordPress. While it’s free for up to 500 photos per month, I occasionally exceed the limit per month as I tried to optimize a lot of existing images on my website as well. I signed up for their Pro plan, and on average I paid around $5 USD per month for these extra optimizations.
If you don’t want to use the plugin, you can also compress your images manually online on TinyPNG.com.
#5 Try to master all social media channels in the hope of getting a larger audience
I started my blog when the influencer industry was at its peak in the midst of the 2010s, so naturally, I spent a lot of time on social media to see if I could make it in the industry. Which I didn’t. LOL.
When it comes to social media, I suppose it’s more like each to their own thing because I know a lot of people who actually make it in the industry, which brings thousands of traffic to their blogs.
I don’t think social media affects my traffic so much, and even if it does… It certainly doesn’t work better than SEO for me.
At some point, I decided that social media wasn’t really working for me so I focused more on creating content on my blog than posting things on Facebook or Instagram.
The only social media channels that are worth my time when it comes to gaining traction for my blog are either Pinterest or Flipboard, and I’m not even sure whether these platforms can be considered social media.
#6 Treat your blog as a hobby instead of a business
Treating my blog as a hobby at the beginning was one of the biggest blogging mistakes that I made when I first started. I didn’t know anything about SEO, and I definitely wrote a lot of things that were kinda cringe if I had to read it today.
Even if your blog is new, I’d recommend treating your blog as a business right away. In this case, you should think through your branding strategy, and you can implement it through your writing voice. It will be hard to achieve if you treat your blog as a hobby like I did.
Because of these mistakes, right now I have to do a lot of extra work to update all my blog posts in the first few years of blogging to ensure that the content matches my current branding voice and format.
When you treat your blog as a business from the beginning, it can be avoided since you already have your branding guidelines to follow instead of just writing whatever you feel like writing at that time.
While you may not have earned any income from your blog when you first started, it’s also great to start streamlining your blog as a business so you can choose the best payment platform when you accept some sponsorships or paid collaborations.
#7 Neglect the chance of networking to grow with other bloggers
As someone who tends to be more comfortable doing things on my own, I never thought networking was necessary when I started my blog. However, you have no idea how beneficial networking with other bloggers is to climb the ladder in the industry!
Facebook groups for bloggers are my go-to for networking and making connections with other bloggers. From collaborating through round-up posts to guest posting, so far I haven’t found any platform that works better than Facebook groups to network with people from the blogging industry.
In addition to collaborations, you can also get the opportunity for knowledge-sharing about the industry. Even if you’re a novice to blogging!
When I started my blog, I gained most of my understanding of SEO from a lot of Facebook groups for bloggers that I’ve joined. I also network with other WordPress users in Indonesia to understand the prospect of running an English blog despite it not being my first language.
With respect, all the insights I got from the community aren’t always right. But it’s when I gained the understanding that blogging is actually a personal journey. It’s the kind of thing you do where you shouldn’t compare your journey to the others.
Blogging is something that you should try and test yourself to see if the result works for you. No matter how many blogging coaches say A works better, sometimes you just need to see how B works out and see if the result can be better than A for your platform.
My advice is it’s okay to seek advice from others, but don’t eat the whole up since maybe you need a slightly different strategy to succeed. Be open to suggestions, but stay curious. Plus, it won’t hurt to pour your creativity here and there to see how it works out!
#8 Ignore the best practice for blog formatting strategy on your blog posts
This sounds so simple, but it was also overlooked when I was a beginner. Do not neglect subheadings when formatting your blog posts!
My logic when I was new to blogging was that since I could easily make the font bold, I could always use the bold font to enhance the hierarchy of my blog post.
But guess what? Apparently, formatting also matters for SEO too and the hierarchy of a blog post only counts when you use the correct subheadings in the article.
So, yeah… While you’re probably smarter than I was when I first started, this is a little reminder in case you have the same logic that I did so that you don’t have to repeat my bad blog examples!
#9 Procrastinate the chance of earning money through affiliate marketing
A few years ago, when I wrote about my income sources from blogging, I mentioned that affiliate marketing didn’t work for me. Boy, was I wrong!
Affiliate marketing could work, but there are a lot of factors that you should consider when choosing affiliate programs to ensure that they will bring value to both your content and income.
When I started The BeauTraveler a long time ago, I applied for Amazon affiliates and of course, I didn’t make it because (1) most of my audiences at the time were close friends who are mostly based in Southeast Asia where Amazon isn’t really popular, and (2) I simply didn’t have enough audience to actually convert anything there.
It was only this year when I realized that affiliate marketing could actually work for me. But even that, I still refuse to apply to standalone affiliate marketing programs.
Why? Because at around 7,000 sessions and 10,000 pageviews per months, my audience is still considered low to convert to reach the payout threshold for most direct affiliate programs. And that’s why I chose to work with affiliate networks like TravelPayouts or Impact instead.
There are pros and cons of joining affiliate networks compared to doing it directly. But if you’re a new blogger trying to build content and affiliates, joining affiliate networks may work better since you can join various programs under one bucket. That way, it’s easier to reach the payout threshold than doing it directly with numerous brands for the sake of higher commission.
Another alternative is Skimlinks. Although they cut around 25% of your earnings, Skimlinks is probably the easiest platform to join if you want to get into affiliate marketing. They literally have thousands of merchant partners around the world, and you can convert all the links into an affiliate link without having to apply for each brand.
The only affiliate program that I’ve joined directly is SafetyWing, and it works tremendously well for me since they have regular bonuses and contests to earn around $100 USD per campaign without any pressure to convert your affiliate to eligible sales.
#10 Spend too much money on fancy blogging tools
I know a blogging coach who emphasized that in order for your blog to succeed, you should invest in some paid tools.
While I know she meant well and I admit that over time, you definitely will need to invest in something in order for you to grow, you don’t need to spend too much money on fancy blogging tools from the beginning!
Instead, I’d recommend free tools from Google to get you started. Master Google Analytics and Google Search Console to learn how to analyze graphics for your blog, and you can also use the keyword planner tool on Google Ads to see the search volume of your content plan.
If you have the budget to get started with blogging professionally, you can consider spending it on a keyword research tool to help you build optimized content for your blog.
For a low-budget tool, you can sign up for Keywords Everywhere or Keyword Cupid to get started. For a mid-range option, Keysearch is pretty popular among the travel bloggers’ community. If you have an extra budget, you can also check KeywordTool.io which enables you to search keywords for SEO across channels from Google, Bing, to Pinterest and even TikTok!
Alternatively, you can also invest in the cheaper version of Ahrefs/Semrush with Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest’s lifetime access price is on par with the monthly subscription of the other tools, although I have to admit that I feel like the data on Ubersuggest is kinda wonky. I use Ubersuggest personally, so I think they really need a lot of improvement when it comes to data and user experience.
FAQs about Starting a New Blog
Now that you know some common mistakes in blogging for new bloggers, I will also add some of the most frequently asked questions about starting a new blog so you can gain more insights to decide whether blogging is for you.
So, here we go!
What makes a blog fail?
To tell you the truth, blogging is not for everyone because it requires consistency. It isn’t an easy way to make money, and it could take months or years to the point you can make a living out of it.
I think blogging works for me because writing is something that I will still do for free. When I started my blog, I practically only spent my money on the domain and hosting provider with Dewaweb, which was only around $30 USD per year at the time.
As I started my blog not too long before I quit my full-time job, I practically had enough time to write more content in my free time. It took me around 7-8 months until I started generating regular income from my blog, which makes it profitable even in the first year.
Nonetheless, my situation makes it easy for me to stay consistent about working on my blog, creating fresh content, and optimizing it when necessary. It can’t be the case if you have a lot going on, which can hinder your consistency in working on your blog.
It’s one thing to have writer’s block, but it’s another thing when you have other responsibilities to deal with.
I think if you decide to start a blog and don’t want your blog to fail, you need to at least dedicate your time to creating content at least once every two weeks. Otherwise, your blog will slowly become a liability instead of an asset, which may result in failure.
What is the ideal blog length?
I know I tend to write a little bit longer than it should, but a good blog post is the one that actually solves the audience’s problem.
While technically nothing is set in stone when it comes to an ideal blog length, 1500-2000 words are a sweet spot to ensure that you give adequate information within your post while it’s also not too long now that most audiences have a shorter attention span.
Is blogging still relevant?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I still prefer searching for information through blogs since I just can’t stand video content these days. I believe I’m not the only one, so blogging is still relevant for the audience just like me, who prefer reading to watching videos.
The only issue is with search engines that might change algorithms from time to time, which can make blogging triple harder than it was years ago.
If you decide to start a blog now, it’s important not to overlook all the basic things that may matter in the blogging industry. Something as simple as knowing the best platform for your blog to the knowledge of how to optimize your blog post for search engines like Google or Bing.
When you know all the basics and you can be consistent in the process, your blog can gain traction without spending too much money on fancy tools at the early stage of your blogging journey.
So, are you ready to start your blog anytime soon? Or are you a blogger who wants to share some blogging mistakes that you made at the early stage of your blogging journey? Share in the comment below, and cheerio! 😉
Marya The BeauTraveler
I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017, and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.
This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
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