Things You Have to Know before Starting Your Blog: SEO, Keyword Research, Backlinks


What's something you wish you would've known BEFORE starting your blog?

I'm very new to all of this and I'm looking to start a restaurant review/food blog for my town. I already have an Instagram and Facebook page and looking to branch our to a full out blog. But I'm trying to do some research before taking that step.

Anyone out there with food blogs or any kind of blog with advice for a newbie? Are you happy you did it? What would've made starting easier?
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There is alot to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), backlinks, keyword researching, Pinterest groups, etc.

AdSense doesn't pay shit.

I thought I would use instagram, twitter and tiktok to drive traffic but the turn out very low, or at least that is what I heard.

It should almost be treated as a full time job because there is more to it than just writing a blog.

Although I like what I am writing about its very time consuming because the process goes like trending topic, keyword research, topic research, writing, proofreading, creating pins, automating pins, contact owners for Pinterest and backlinking, and email marketing content.

Currently doing 1/week but apparently if your less than 6 months you should push out more content…so ya x2/week with a full time job lol.

Edit: I don't mean to discourage you but if you have a full time job I would research everything before diving in it.

Also sorry for the formating, on mobile.

I appreciate your response! I'm loving blogging so far, butI haven't started marketing just yet. Just the writing and editing alone is so time consuming!

Can you elaborate a little more on the "contact owners for Pinterest and backlinking"?

Both of them are not mandatory but are recommended if you want to take off.

I use Pinterest to drive traffic, to get more reach on your pins you can use group boards (a collaborative board where others can pin on it as well). Since I am fairly new to this, it takes time to research group boards, contact them and get rejected/no-response then find new boards.

Backlinks are links to another site. It could link to sources or a collaborative links with another website. I was talking about collaborative links, finding niche specific pages and contacting them for collaborations. A page with a lot of backlinks tended to rank higher on all major search engines.

I really havnt focused much on backlinks yet, instead I am more focused on Pinterest group boards as of right now. More traffic would mean I could qualify for better Ads Media companies instead of Adsense.

Hope that helps!

A lot of discouraging stories here. But there's another side. Yes, blogging is challenging and running a blog by yourself takes a wide variety of skills, serious dedication, and a lot of time. If you have all of those things, it can happen.

If you are just trying to write something about a local restaurant or ten, that's going to be a blog that's no more effective than writing in a journal and dropping it on the street.

There's a lot of quality content and you are competing with it, regardless of how you reach your audience. Social media, influencers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) all depend on good content. So think of yourself as the best publication for your area. What would you want to see? What would you think if you picked up this "journal" or blog off the middle of the street, sticking to the road next to a pamphlet from the corner pizza shop?

That's step one. Content.

You also need authority and presence. Show how you are an expert and why people should listen to you. Get it through other websites linking to them (backlinks). Understand SEO basics and think like your audience.

What is my idea target audience going to search for? Keyword and volume basics. What are the existing results of those searcbasicshes? Competition and optimization.

At first, you want to find pages with very little competition. It'll also mean low search volume. Then you gradually increase over time.

Eventually you build authority and can start to monetize. That's a story for another day.
As a beginner… finding out that once you register a domain, you're going to get spammed to all hell from every single state and many different countries if you attach your phone number to it.

I don't even answer my phone any more unless it's a local number.

And, how complex WordPress truly is. I bit off more than I can chew with it to start, but I'm learning every day!

Oh god this!!! I had no idea! And yup. As soon as that list updated it. Did. Not. STOP! In the end I caved and bought the add on from my host to hide my info. It's gotten better the last few days. (Started Jan 3)

I just started blocking every number and email. It's been reduced significantly, but I get a call at least twice a week. Every notification angers me.

It's a lot of work. Instagram won't really help you, in fact, it can hurt as it will take away time from your primary task of creating content for your blog. Look at the leaders like thestayathomechef, budgetbytes, pinchofyum, etc and see how they do things.

Blogging is a ton of work. Your goal should be Adthrive or Mediavine. I do not recommend even enabling Adsense. It will just slow down your site and annoy new visitors.

I have been food blogging for a little less than 2 years and it's way harder than I thought. Make sure you love the niche you pick because you won't receive a lot of visitors in the beginning and it can be hard to keep going unless you're really passionate about the subject matter.
• I wish I understood themes better when I started. I use Soledad, and I like it a lot for a "traditional" blog, but now that I'm trying to move towards a static homepage and more customization on my category pages I'm finding it frustrating. I'm looking at starting a second blog and I'm starting to play with Elementor, but I'm not sure I understand it well enough that actually paying for the full version will be worth the investment.
• I also wish I'd paid for three years of hosting up front. I paid for two, to lock in that rate, but at the end of the two years I needed to upgrade my plan because I was outgrowing the monthly visitor allowance (and I wanted to add that second site to my hosting package). I will say that I LOVED being hosted by Siteground for the first two years, and I wish I'd locked in three, and I wish I could afford to renew with them because their chat support is THE BEST I've ever encountered. I migrated my blog to its new host today – I think it worked but it was a shitty, time-consuming experience.
• I consistently recommend the Make Traffic Happen resources, and I paid for their full series of eBooks on Black Friday. I haven't read them all yet, but if you're going into blogging with little knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a desire to get a lot of traffic, it's a great starting point. I've started working through their process of "reviving" old content and have seen about a 50% increase in traffic to the posts I've updated. They also have a Facebook group. Another popular Facebook group is DNW – Making Money from Blogging.


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