5 Realistic Benchmarks for Your First Year of Blogging

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first year of blogging

Every now and then I get an email from a blogger that goes something like this…

“Hey Ramsay. Been following your stuff for a while but after a year of blogging I’m still not achieving [insert expectation] and think I’m going to throw in the towel. What do you think?”

It’s a problem that many of us experience from time to time.

So, how long should you wait and what can you realistically expect to achieve in your first year of blogging?

Let’s talk about it.

We all have different goals for our blogs

The first thing that we should address is the idea that every one of us will have slightly different goals for our blog.

Some people want to make money.

Others just want to practice writing.

And then there’s people who have a product or business that they’re trying to grow/promote and have heard that blogging is a good way to do it.

So what does all this mean?

Well, with different goals comes different expectations and measurements of success – what is a good achievement for me might not be good enough for you.

With that in mind I’m going to try and keep this article a bit more general and focus on things that I’ve experienced with my own blogging. That way you can line it up with your own situation and see how it fits.

What can you achieve in your first year of blogging?

Okay, here are a few points that I thought might be good to share with bloggers who are maybe struggling or unsure about what level of progress they should be making by now.

1. A financial loss (but it’s okay!)

This is a pretty depressing way to start a list but it’s really important to acknowledge because it sets your expectations and prevents you from getting disheartened.

If you’re treating your blog like a business then it’s vital to understand that most small businesses make a loss in their first year.

It’s really not until the second or even third year that you start to break even or make a profit.

Ideally during this time you would get your blog set up properly and really establish a solid base that will see you do well into the future.

With all that being said, if you goal is to be making money with your blog then you need to start to see some trickles of income within the first year. We want to know that the blog can become profitable over time. Making a loss in the first year does not mean that it makes no money – it just means that you’re spending cash on investment, advertising, set up and the traffic isn’t quite where you need it.

So don’t worry if you make a loss, but do start to ask questions if it doesn’t make any sales at all.

2. Solid traffic levels that are not dependent on new posts

When you write a new post you usually get a little boost in traffic because you share it with your mailing list and then they share it with other people.

But if you want to check and see whether you’re making progress as a blogger you need to see whether your blog still gets traffic if you leave it alone. We don’t want to be totally dependent on the traffic that comes on publishing days.

What this means is that you need a decent mix of traffic from Google, social media, referring sites and other sources. We want to see a steady growth chart that indicates we are making gains that will last for a long time.

traffic growth

The above screenshot is from my analytics account and shows the growth in traffic over the last year or so. It’s had lots of ups and downs (those publishing days I’m talking about) but overall it is trending up and that is the main thing we want to see.

Again, every niche is different so don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting 1,000,000 visitors a month. The main thing is that you are seeing results in terms of subscribers, sales, etc.

3. Around 500-1000 email subscribers

The more time I spend working online the more I come to appreciate the people who subscribe to my blog (I love you guys!).

Firstly, email subscribers are a massive psychological boost because you have a solid number that shows you that you are making some progress – at least a few people like your stuff!

Secondly, when you get more email subscribers you also start to get more visitors because those subscribers share, promote and evangelise your brand.

The actual number itself isn’t that important because each niche is different. What is more important is the idea that you build up a base of people who care about your content.

That being said, if you haven’t started to get around the 500-subscriber mark you need to ask some questions about what is going on. A year is a long time to be blogging and there is no point doing the same thing into the second year if the first year didn’t bring many results.

Some change might be needed.

4. Guest posts on at least three different authority blogs

If you want to cut through the billions of blogs that are out there, you need to develop some pretty meaningful relationships with bloggers in your niche that have authority.

Guest posts are about relationships, and relationships build careers.
Tweet this quote

Actually, any task you want to achieve in life (business, family, enlightenment, etc.) all depends on the relationships that you build.

It’s vital.

Landing a guest post can be a very hard task nowadays – especially if you are new to the scene and relatively unknown. But it’s extremely important to work on getting these because the backlinks, traffic and friendships that you build from doing these posts is priceless.

For example, I’ve done a few guest posts on Copyblogger and as a result I feel like I can email people like Jerod Morris and Sonia Simone for advice or small favors if I ever get stuck. I only feel comfortable doing this because I’ve worked hard to do something for their brand.

Here’s a blogging strategy that includes guest posting if you are a bit unsure about how to achieve this and want to learn more.

In the early days I really noticed that on this blog in particular it took around three or four big guest posts for things to start taking off. For me it was ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Smart Passive Income that gave me a wonderful launch pad into this new career path.

I’ll be forever grateful.

5. A solid base of long-form content on a variety of platforms

When bloggers first start a new blog they really only picture writing blog posts on that one website that the own.

But blogging is actually very different to that.

If you look at someone like Pat Flynn you’ll see him on a lot of different formats. In fact, he has a consistent mantra of be everywhere.

I really believe in long form content (and so do a lot of other bloggers) but that does not mean just written content.

At the end of your first year of blogging you’d ideally want to be able to point to a blog with long valuable articles, guest posts doing the same, videos on YouTube that build trust, a podcast that provides people with an audio format and then a selection of social networking accounts that expand on all of that.


One of the best examples of this is SourceFed which is a YouTube news channel with 1,500,000 subscribers that expanded out into social media, a blog and a lot of real life speaking, etc. in the matter of two quick years.

Not all of us can be as expansive as this, but if you look at how visible they are around the net you get a real sense of what we can start to do.

So what if I haven’t achieved these in my first year?

The first thing to note is that you shouldn’t worry.

Almost every blog will grow and develop at a different pace and, as mentioned, every blog’s growth is meant to be different because we all have our own goals and ambitions.

But it’s very important to keep assessing our progress because blogging really does take a lot of effort.

So when should you give up?

That is a really hard question that I cannot even begin to answer. As an entreprenuer, there is no difinitive way to ascertain when you should make the call to keep fighting or throw it all away. There are countless stories of young businesses that pushed on and flourished, and an equal amount that didn’t.

As long as you have a backup plan and enough money to look after your family, I’m always an advocate for optimism because I know how long it can take to really get a blog to the point where it’s earning big or even just stable money.

What was your first year of blogging like?

Have you been blogging for a year? I’d really love to know what achievements you reached and whether you are happy with your progress. These kinds of problems always give me a lot of ideas for future posts and I’d love to be able to write about issues you’re struggling with.

Please leave a comment and let me know.

Photo: Mikael.


Hi, I'm Ramsay. If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out:

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87 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Heleen Schrijvershof

    Hi Ramsay, thank you for writing this post. It reinforms that it takes a lot of work, but is also very uplifting because it shows it can be done.

    I have a question around the mailing list and subscribers. I’m a photographer and help bloggers and online entrepreneurs by learning them how to make their photo’s better (in the Netherlands)
    My long term plan is to sell photoshoots right next to ebooks and online video courses etc.
    Right now I have an opt-in in which people get three personal tips for their website. I make a Youtube video which makes great content for my blog and builds excellent personal relationships.
    But I can imagine the barrier to opt-in quite high. And it is obviously very time consuming for me, which is fine, but makes it more of a ‘ high end solution’ and I would love to also have a ‘mass’ solution for my email list.

    Would you recommend also doing a freebie type opt-in or would that be too overwhelming?
    And if so, do you have any recommendations for how to do this simultaniously?
    For your reference: I have 38 subscribers in 2 months with a traffic number of around 50 people per day.

    Thank you so much in advance, love reading your blog every time!

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for the lovely feedback.

      I really think you need to switch to something that is automatic – and maybe have the personalised tips as a paid extra add on that people can purchase.

      Have a look at sites like Digital Photography School and The Modern Tog as I know their mailing lists are on fire!

      1. Heleen Schrijvershof

        Thank you very much for you – very quick- reply. Love it. I thought so, but it’s scary because the traffic and comments make it seem like a succes. But I understand it cannot be maintained.
        I really thought you would think the simultainous opt-ins option would be ‘ approved’ by you 🙂 but this makes sense.
        I know about the two sources but haven’t really looked into them as much. Will do.
        Thanks again!

        1. Ramsay

          My personal approach is to make all of that as automatic as possible. I really only try to spend time on business development stuff.

          1. Heleen Schrijvershof

            Yes, that seems really reasonable. Sometimes the most logic answer is the best.
            I have to learn to do that in every decisions since I’m switching from an only services business to digital products. I’m so used to having to work every minute of the day 🙂

          2. Heleen Schrijvershof

            Fast forward: I followed your advice and made a pdf of all the things I saw in the personal advice sessions as an incentive. Love it. Thanks for helping!

  • Jeff Claassen

    Another great post Ramsay!

    I still haven’t completed my first year or really started for that matter 🙂

    I’ve been working super hard the past few months to quit my day job to freelance full-time. Now that I’ve accomplished that I have more time for my blog.

    I have big hopes for the first year, but I’ll definitely keep this post in mind so I don’t aim too high and wind up disappointed.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Ramsay

      How’s the freelance going? Enjoying?

      1. Jeff Claassen

        Yes I am.

        It was a side hustle since August 2014, and I’m very excited to be on my own.

        I’ve made some really good connections and am working for some pretty serious bloggers.

        Maybe that’s why my expectations are high… because I see what is possible, but maybe not probable.

        1. Ramsay

          Sounds like you’re in a good situation to also launch your own stuff in a big way using those connections/jobs. Good luck!

  • Chris Catris

    I have to say I feel a bit relieved after reading this article. My first years was a loss of about $1,500. Most of these expenses were in the form of upgrading my site to A Genesis Theme that had a custom landing page built. Since I have recently launched my new site, I have noticed a significant increase in email subscribers and affiliate link clicks. I hope by year 2 (April 2016) that I will have close to 1,000 email subscribers and generate a consistent amount of traffic from Google and Pinterest (work in progress). I’m afraid to pay for traffic if I’m not getting anything other that email subscribers, you know?

    1. Ramsay

      Yeah I understand that last part – I think that’s why it’s good to have an end-result in mind for your paid product/affiliate.

  • Leighann

    Hey Ramsay, thanks for the tips. I’ve been blogging almost 7 years and haven’t seen much money or growth (I’ve made a few thousand on advertising and have a steady audience of 500-800 per day). I think because I never looked at my blog as a business… it really was a way to keep connected with people and tell them about our family’s journey (our son has a severe heart defect – his heart is outside his chest!) This year, I’m focusing on the business aspect and I’m finding it incredibly encouraging and overwhelming at the same time!! This article gives me a good start on expectations. Thanks, again.

    1. Ramsay

      Sorry to hear about your son. I hope the condition is manageable. Sounds frightening.

      Best of luck with the new angle. Wish you lots of success.

  • Chris

    To new bloggers, don’t assume you are doing everything right. I’ve heard from people who said they were doing everything they thought was right but when I checked out their site, it looked very amateurish.

    If you are within that first year, ask for constructive feedback. There are pros who do site reviews for a price – and it’s worth paying.

    It is an upfront investment to start a web site…er…business. However, it’s those investments that create a legit business. In time, that investment will be a fraction of your income. My expenses are less that five percent of my income. However, if I didn’t invest in those expenses, I’d have very little income.

    So, stop looking for free services and free templates and free whatevers. Imagine you are building a brick and mortar business down the road and invest accordingly.

    1. Ramsay

      Very well said.

    2. Jennifer

      Hi Chris, thanks for your input. I recently used a Fiverr recommendation to view my site and give feedback. She did a very thorough job which caused me to make some much-needed changes. Is there anyone in particular that you recommend?

  • Kirsten Oliphant

    My first year? I have no idea because I was writing essentially for my parents and long distance friends. It was 2007 and blogging was a little different then. (If only I had known then what I know now!!!) I love that you say how much depends on your goals. It’s not one size fits all and that gives us the freedom to not compare, but also you give some benchmarks, which are helpful. This month marks the time I have posted the least EVER but had the MOST hits. Which is nuts. But I’m finally getting that healthy traffic that is residual. As always, great post!

    1. Ramsay

      Always good to see the traffic going up and staying up, isn’t it?

  • Mohinder Verma

    Hi Ramsay, very true saying and every blogger must keep patience while blogging because it is not an easy task to complete and we all have to be alert from all the sides of blogging. slowly and steadily we can make a room even in a crowded place of blogging.

    Thanks for sharing this motivational post which is helping us every time we read it.

    Mohinder Paul Verma
    BloggingFunda – A Community of Bloggers

    1. Ramsay

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting.

  • Mindaugas

    In my opinion when it comes to personal blogs, many times it is a psychological matter. Unless you are already a very experienced marketer, it takes a lot of time and patience to figure out what works best for your blog, what traffic sources are generating visitors and what content is most effective. But usually people expect quick results. They do not understand that blogging is just another business that requires a lot of work and time until you reach the income you want. So, after few months of trying people just get dissapointed and start spending less and less time developing their blogs until it naturally dies. This kind of activity requires a lot of discipline and mental strength. You need to overcome yourself first and only then you will start seeing results.

    As for business blogs, they usually have money and men-power to develop it. If you do not see any positive results in a year then your team probably made some bad choices developing it.

    This is just my few cents to this topic.


    1. Ramsay

      The psychological element is huge. It’s often a balance between what you think will work and what you like working on.

  • Scott Kindred


    Nice touch on crediting the bench photo when no credit was required; classy.

    Unsplash is a great image resource.

    1. Ramsay

      Yeah I really love it. Incredible photos.

  • Dawn

    I am close to launching my new blog, so great timing! I appreciate reading an expert opinion about reasonable goal-setting and expectations.

    I decided to hire an excellent branding company to do my branding and website right off the bat. It was a large initial investment but I wanted to build something beautiful right from the start and I’m very excited and anxious to get it going. My goal was to break even the first year but maybe even that is not realistic. We shall see!

    I’ll keep reading your awesome blog. Thanks again for the excellent advice!

    1. Ramsay

      I think that is a really smart move, Dawn.

  • Andrew

    Hey Ramsay,

    Great post here. Interestingly enough, I didn’t experience any of these in the first year … except for the subscribers and the guest post. But it is really solid advice.

    I’m now approaching my second year blogging and I’m thinking of ways to grow my blog even more. The guest post thing is interesting because it is harder nowadays to guest post … especially on sites you want to guest post on. But, it takes work to get them … and when you do, it pays off.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how did you get in contact with CopyBlogger? Just a cold email or do you have to have someone vouch for you?

    Anyhow, great post. And anyone who is in their first year of blogging should pay heed to what was said here.

    – Andrew

    1. Ramsay

      I can’t actually remember! I think I pitched a post idea directly to Brian on Twitter after talking about them on ProBlogger.

  • Cameron

    I’ve been blogging since October, 9 months now, and should make over three hundred by the end of June in a competitive niche. I can average around 2k views a day through hustle but just happened to leave the blog alone yesterday and had only 307 views. The only positive I can take from this is that I’m averaging about 50 google searches a day.

    I haven’t spent any money on anything outside of hosting fees. I can’t afford to right now, money is tight in my household. My goal is to make a nice secondary income from the blog. I think I’m doing good for a newb not even a year in. But I have a lot of room to grow. I’m trying.

    1. Ramsay

      You always seem to be absorbing. And I won’t forget about the site audit! 😉

  • Elise Xavier

    Your blog posts always make such good conversation starters.

    I usually read the comments first before I start writing my own but I have to get a few things said that I don’t want to forget (so if I’m repeating anyone – sorry!)

    1. This is a really great list. I especially agree with the first 2 points.

    2. For those who’ve gone through their first year and don’t have close to 500 email subscribers – don’t sweat it. It’s okay to be concentrating on social media over email if that’s what’s getting you views – just do whatever you feel is best for your brand and forget the rest. You usually have good intuitions, especially if things are already working quite well – no need to be measuring yourself against someone else’s ruler.

    3. If you’re not a fan of guest posting, it’s not the end of the world. That’s not the only way to generate traffic, even as a “newbie” blogger. And it takes a lot of time to do that you may not feel you have. Rather get traffic and back links some other way? It’s cool. Just do your thing and if it works, give yourself a pat on the back. You don’t have to do everything every other blogger suggests is working for him/her.

    4. To properly assess whether your blog is viable after its first year do the following:
    -Think of everything you’ve gotten out of that first year (page views, comments, income, however you want to assess your blog).
    -If it’s not where it’s supposed to be, imagine how many years of doing the same thing it would take you to get to the point it needs to be (i.e. if you’re making $500 a month by the end of the first year and you need to be making at least $1500 a month, imagine each year making an extra $500 a month over the last year – so it should take you another 2 years to get where you need to be).
    -Can you hold out until things are where they should be? If yes, do so. If not. You might need to quit. Except…
    -Is there a way you can fast-track to that point in time? Did you publish once a week this year while you could imagine yourself publishing 2-3 times a week the whole of the next year? That would probably halve or third the time it takes you to get where you need to be. So it becomes likely that you can get to the $1500 mark (for example) after only 1 year, or even 8 months if you give things a good solid go).
    -Based on the new projection with your fast-track, can you *now* hold out until things are where they should be? If the answer is yes, don’t give up! Power through and you’re likely to make it! If the answer is no (maybe because you’re only making a few pennies a day even after a year and with good attempts at monetizing), unfortunately, you should either completely restructure what you’ve already done or you should call it quits.

    5. Don’t be everywhere just for the sake of being everywhere. Not everyone can be like Pat Flynn. I’m half of the team that runs a fairly popular survival blog ( http://morethanjustsurviving.com ) and we do a heck of a lot of gear reviews – written with lots of original photography. We’ve been asked countless times if we’ll be doing a YouTube channel with reviews as well – my answer is always no. Why? We can’t do both written and video reviews without the quality of one medium dropping – so we’re not expanding into YouTube. Only be everywhere if you can take on the next project without risking the quality of your previous projects that have been working for you thus far. If you can’t do it all, just do it well in one place. Your followers will appreciate the fact that you didn’t destroy something they loved because you overstretched yourself.

    My 2c.

    1. Ramsay

      Holy. Crap.

      What a comment! Thank you so much. Such incredible advice!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for this post. It was very helpful. this past June 1st marked my 1-year anniversary. Almost everything you said happened this year. I took a loss, but still earned. I hit just over 1,000 email subscribers, and I was published on a 3 bigger blogs (4 guest posts, and 1 podcast interview). What I did not see was the sustained traffic when I am not posting as much. I still receive traffic from social media and other blogs and forums, but it is ALOT lower when I haven’t posted. Hmmm… need to brainstorm on that one. As far as the multiple platforms, I am mostly on my blog and I have a small youtube library. I am trying to discern what would fit my niche for expanding this.

    1. Cameron

      Hey Jennifer, that is awesome! What is your blog about if I may ask?

      1. Jennifer

        Thank you! My blog is about Christian Classical Homeschooling.

        1. Ramsay

          Sounds like it is well on it’s way!

    2. Deborah Harper

      Had a quick look at your blog. Do you realise you have misspelt schooling you have schooing. Sorry it just slapped me in the face. Like your comment though. Cheers

  • Jasmine

    I am so close to launching my first blog, and I have a question about getting email subscribers, I know this is extremely important and most people say start collecting email right away, however I’m wondering if it would be better to let the blog develop some content over the course of a month or two first?

    1. Cameron

      No harm in trying right away I’d say. You may snag a few but also learn how to earn subscribers and see what works and what doesn’t. The experience of trying might be more helpful than actual subscribers early on.

    2. Ramsay

      I’m with Cameron. Don’t wait.

    3. Gertrude

      Hi Jasmine,

      I say start collecting e-mails before you are “ready”.

      Yes you can go the route of I want my content to build up a little bit and then start building my e-mail list but you could lose out on a potential set of people who will stick with you and become your loyal fans and promoters.

      At least that is what I have found with my blog : the people who have actually stuck around from when my blog got ZERO traffic until now are the most loyal, most likely to open my e-mails and most likely to engage and see you as an “expert” because they have seen you come from nothing.

      So at the very least, get the free SumoMe plugin in and start collecting some emails. It will be a trickle at first but you will grow from there.

  • Kamlesh Drolia

    I am into blogging for more than 4 years now. I struggled a bit in my first two years, but now generating a descent income online. Though, i am into various online activities but that’s all pure white hat.
    I have never tried to cheat google or rankings.
    Atleast i can say that with experience you are bound to generate income here. But you have to constantly work hard for it.

    1. Ramsay

      It does take a lot of work. Keep going!

  • Jennifer

    I am nearing the one year mark but have only blogged seriously for a few months. I finally created a landing page with a free offer and my email subscribers went from around 30 to 110 in a few weeks.
    Still not the numbers you are talking about, but getting new subscribers every day makes me super happy.
    My biggest question is how to treat my subscribers like royalty by offering more than just my blog. I want them to know how much I appreciate them.
    Thank you so much,

    1. Ramsay

      I think the best way to figure that out is to follow some big blogs by email and see what they do. They’ll show you how to provide that type of value.

  • Thiha

    Hello Ramsay,

    This will be my first comment on your website. First, You have written a very powerful post. Man! My frist year was a loss around £3000.

    Some of the money went to Empower Network ( Dodgy Product ). I was New and learnt my lessons hard way until I have found legitimate website to teach me things I need to know about IM.

    Yes, I am still working hard now into my second year. But not getting results yet. There is no Quit in me. But I need a Mentor. Anyway, this is it man.

    I have to say ‘ Thank you very much ‘ to You because everytime I visit your website, I gain lots of knowledge. See you around Ramsay. Cheers Mate !

    Kindest Regards,

    1. Ramsay

      What was the problem with EN?

      1. Thiha

        I was an ” All In ” member to get all the lessons which they claim so powerful. There are a few levels of Empower Network membership.

        Unfortunately, there wasn’t literally nothing of value in the $25 a month membership. I was paying for a basic WordPress blog that’ll be completely attached to Empower Network and wasn’t worth a penny, plus eight lessons which they refer to as the “core commitments” which I could breeze through within an hour. To put it bluntly, the content was virtually nonexistent and it was not surprising that there are people who claim Empower Network is a scam after buying into this membership – a free WordPress blog attached to another company’s domain and eight lessons of a few minutes each? Does the basic Empower Network membership at $25/month sound like it’s worth it to Me? NO.

        The next level is the Inner Circle which costs $100/month and basically all I was paying for is the chance to hear David Sharpe, David Wood, and many of their top members like Tony Rush, Vick Strizheus, Tracy Walker, etc… brag about how much money they’ve made. These were recorded weekly phone calls that I have to commit to dialing into every week in the “8 Core Commitments” from the basic membership. They said that they were essential to my success, but really they were just a massive waste of time.

        I even dig deep into my pocket and spend $500 on the Costa Rica Intensive were bound to be awfully disappointed. All I was paying for is outdated internet marketing information.

        These are just the beginning of my problems with EN. I can go all day about EN. Anyhow your time and my time is more precious. Isn’t?

        Have a great day mate. See you around.

        Kindest Reagrds,
        Thiha Min

        1. Ramsay

          I’m sorry to hear that. I had heard some good things but that is interesting.

  • Leila Sheikh

    Just started blogging with encouragement and support from Ramsay.
    Asante/Thank You from Tanzania
    Leila Sheikh
    Dar es Salaam

    1. Ramsay

      Thank you!

  • Hamza Akram

    Some solid points you’ve got here. I really needed a post like this to get started with my new blog. I am grateful to you for eternity 😀

    1. Ramsay

      I am grateful to YOU

  • Matheus Beck

    Hey, Ramsey!

    I’m an experienced brazilian blogger and have started successful blogs in several different niches, totally from zero.

    Really, what you said in this post makes sense for those who are starting.

    Congratulations and continue producing quality content like this!

    If you want to talk a little bit, just send me an email. 😉


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks mate. Congratulations on the success.

  • Deborah Harper

    Actually I’m blown away by how good all your posts are! I have bloggers envy. Want to be as good as you one day. I’m not doing that wonderfully, YET, don’t care really just don’t think I’ve got enough really good content up yet that’s all. But I’ll keep at it cos I love it. Simple really. Cheers for another fantastic post.

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much. That means a lot. Loving it is really helpful.

  • Zubz Kadir

    Interesting post, thanks Ramsay.

    I’m about 6 months into blogging. Catering to a targeted niche i.e. Mompreneurs but I haven’t seen as much traffic to this site (as compared to a previous niche site I worked on). Real world response has been a lot more positive.

    The difference would probably be that this one has more competitive keywords, and I think I need to build a community around it rather than rely on Google. (Pinterest has been great so far)

    Any tips for blogging in a competitive field but to a specific niche?

    1. Cathrin

      Hi Zubz,
      we have a network of mompreneurs in Germany. The facebook group is very successful and gained more than 2.000 members so far. Maybe that is an idea?
      Best of luck

      1. Zubz Kadir

        Thanks for sharing Cathrin! Would you be able to share your marketing strategy? Was it via facebook only? Thanks again!

        1. Ramsay

          Keep going. Pick a really important and perhaps controversial topic and write an incredibly long and heartfelt post on it and learn how to promote it. That is important.

  • Leann

    Hi Ramsay

    I’m not usually one for commenting, but as a new blogger I’ve really enjoyed your posts, especially the confidence building tips. I’ll be tinkering with quite a few approaches quite intensely over the next few months. Had years of practice with websites and content development, but what you offer is far more engaging. All I can say is kept up and thanks. Hope you’ll do a guest post for me one day.
    Cheers Leann

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying it.

  • Louisa Pieterse

    Hi Ramsay,
    I do enjoy reading your posts to get a good perspective on the blogging world. I only started blogging a few weeks ago, and the learning process is fascinating.
    You do make me think about what I and others are doing.
    My thoughts today are that, unless you are an experienced writer or journalist, your first blogs are probably just ‘finding your voice’. As when you write a novel, your first attempt may be OK, but not publishable in the traditional publishing world, your first blogs are probably not the best of any of writing style, content or focus on purpose.
    Possibly, there is an element of the number of hours or words before content is accepted or acceptable, (as in Malcom Gladwell’s much discussed 10 000 hour theory,) as well marketing strategies.
    So, if blogging was looked upon more as an apprenticeship to mastery, then the relatively slow progress would not be so disheartening.
    See how you inspire thought!
    So thanks, and keep it up.
    And I love the photo of you on the couch on the lawn.
    BW Louisa

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Louisa. That couch photo has been really important for this blog. Think it helped to set it out from the crowd a bit.

  • Bharathkumaran

    Hi Ramsay,
    This is Bharath Kumaran from India very much interested in blogging world.So much of hardness and struggled things happened in my life but finally start my first blog.I have inspired lot from you.Your articles are sound nice and well structured.Am a newbie blogger so bring some advice regard time management.Because every time working in blog it took more time to complete anything so guide me and all new bloggers.

    1. Ramsay

      Namaste ji!

      It takes a lot of time and a lot of practice. Keep going. Just make sure you help people and find a way to be different from the rest.


  • Wes

    Great article. Makes total sense and really resonates. I have a related question regarding goal sequencing during the first year.

    I’m working on three related projects:

    1) publishing a book (through an established publisher, not just a short ebook just for promotional purposes)

    2) writing a blog

    3) building a consulting business

    The first two will be designed to drive awareness to support the consulting business. My question is which comes first. Do I start the blog and work on it for awhile so that the book benefits from the blog following and larger email list when it launches? Or do I publish the book first, then try to build up the blog?

    My sense is that the blog should generally come first as its audience can be built gradually, while the success and ranking of a book is often determined in large part by how much attention it gets at launch (and the fact that having an established blog platform will make the book more attractive to potential publishers).

    Does that make sense?

    1. Ramsay

      That’s a really good question. I’ve never published a book but have seen people like Chris Ducker and Jeff Goins do it both ways. Chris had an existing blog and mailing list and used that and the connections he formed through blogging to promote his new book. It was a huge best seller.

  • just Stephanie

    Once again totally worth the read. I have yet to find one post of yours that wasn’t dead-on with applicable info and frankly totally aces. I’m a happy follower and really appreciate what you’ve got going on here. I enjoy not just reading your words but analyzing how you work your craft with words to get every bit of value out of each word, each sentence and so on. I need lots of practice tightening things up…. as you can see. 🙂

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Are you enjoying your first year of blogging?

      1. just Stephanie

        Thank you for asking. I will be enjoying my first year of blogging (long story). I am certainly enjoying the learning process.

  • Cathy Mayhue

    Hi Ramsay,

    Excellent post as usual! I have been trying to break into the paid guest blogging but haven’t succeeded so far, as competition is very tough because here you earn a decent amount of money and good reputation in a short time.

    1. Ramsay

      What do you mean by paid guest blogging?

  • Branden

    “Realistic”. I like that. These seem like reasonable targets for anyone just getting into blogging. Thanks.

    If I may….I would expand on #4 and say that, in addition to your guest posts, you could strive to answer say…50 questions on Quora plus have written blog posts on LinkedIn, Medium.com and Quora. These sites are popular, authoritative platforms where you can share your expertise / thought leadership without needing the permission of a editor.

    1. Ramsay

      That’s a really good idea. There are lots of websites and forums like that that I forget about.

  • Kirsten Toyne

    Great post. Very useful. I am only 6 months in and still on a steep learning curve.

    1. Ramsay

      Glad it helped.

  • Nate

    Hey Ramsay,

    Great post. I’ll be using these goals for my new blog.

    Now, I have a question. Do you know how to put social share buttons in the header like on the Mashable blog?
    It starts out with the normal header with the menu, logo, and search icon. Then when you scroll down, it shows a FB Share button and the Tweet button.

    Do you know what plugin does this?

    1. Ramsay

      Looks like a custom code job. Need to contact a WordPress developer.

  • Ryan

    I have a youtube channel and a blog and will be stating a podcast. I decided on the 1st of July to write a 300-500 blog post everyday. Your blog post here helps with giving me realistic expectations. Right now, I just want to get better at writing.

  • Gertrude

    Great post Ramsay.

    I started my blog in July of 2014 but did not seriously get “into” it until December of last year and even then it wasn’t until February of this year that I started to see any meaningful traffic.

    Talk about hard work. I have learned a lot. Failed a bit. Wanted to quit. Oh the emotions !

    I am not at the 1000 subscriber mark yet but I also think I have not guest posted as much as I would like to. I totally agree that niche matters here. I’m in one that already saturated with great blogs like yours.

    My goal for the next 6 months is to :

    1) Get published on 4 major blogs
    2) Reach out to influencers and build relationships with them (this is helping me A LOT by the way !)
    3)Build my subscriber base to 1000

    Thanks for the post Ramsay !

  • Lincoln Menezes

    if I said what discloses to your blog people sell in Brazil , you would be sad ? rss .

    I came to your blog by searching for content in English about SEO and what I found in their posts are information of extreme quality.

    My blog has more than two years , but only from May to now I decided to dedicate myself to it. What I want is to use mostly organic traffic to an audience . So my interest in SEO.

    Thank you for your help.

    P.S. My English is very bad to write. I had to use the translator . sorry;).