The Biggest Lesson @socialmouths Learned in his First 6 Months of Blogging

Some dudes just have that certain something, you know?

It’s hard to define, and it’s hard to capture. It’s impossible to bottle and sell. But whatever that something is, Francisco has it.

Francisco Rosales is the brains behind Socialmouths. One of the few online destination I frequent. His content is fresh, original, and distinctly lacking in echo chamber effect. Which is a great thing.

I’ve written about Francisco before in my Do You Bring The Thunder Every Time? post, so fans of my blog will already know that I have respect for Francisco. Needless to say, he does bring the thunder, every time.

So I asked Francisco, what is the biggest lesson he learned in his first 6 months of blogging. Here is his response.

Francisco Says

I’d say not just the first 6 months but, the first year of blogging is crucial for anybody, specially if you’re launching your first blog.

I believe I did a few things right traveling through the bumpy learning curve but there was also a couple of big lessons I had to learn because of critical mistakes I made. 

Business Mindset 

While I never had the naive dream of making money from blog advertising, I was lacking a clear business objective. 

I started SocialMouths not knowing how a blog could affect my business or what kind of commitment it would require to keep it afloat. My focus was on finding an audience and then take it from there but I quickly understood that blogs don’t make money, businesses do. 

The reality is that a blog needs to focus on conversion, whatever that means in your specific business.

While I was able to put the blog on the map fairly quickly, it had no offer, no call-to-action and no clear objective other than, hopefully people will enjoy the content. 

Lesson: You should know exactly why you’re blogging, you should align your digital efforts with your business goals and have a clear offer from day one. 

Email Marketing

The second critical mistake I made was not starting to build an email list from the beginning. I had set up email subscriptions through FeedBurner instead, which is not the same. 

Tweets and Shares are nice but the only digit you should focus on is the number of subscribers in your email list. There is nothing more valuable than that.

Your subscriber is giving you permission to send her information via the most private channel of communication there is online.

Lesson: Set up an account on your favorite email provider, learn everything about email marketing and place signup forms in strategic places to start building your list from day one.

As they say… The money is in the list.

Thnx Francisco

Align your blog with your business objectives and don’t buy the hype that email marketing is passe. People still have mailboxes, why would they not have inboxes?

  • What is the biggest lesson YOU learned in your first 6 months of blogging?

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • FranciscoRosales

    Thanks for the opportunity to share this stuff on your blog Dino… and for that nice intro =)

  • fuzzytangent

    Thanks for the tips, I hadn’t been focusing on the email list at all, can you see? http://www.digitalaccomplice.com/blog/

    As for what I’ve learned, I think I’m still trying to determine who my audience is and what they want to hear about so I’m not sure it’s a lesson yet, but it will be once I know it!

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      well, the blog looks great…little “corporate-y” for my taste but maybe thats the right audience? Small.mid sized businesses? Just tossing ideas out there :-)

      Love the handle btw. @fuzzytangent

    • http://www.optinboxdesign.com Martin1

      @fuzzytangent Hey Fuzzy I checked your blog too :D

  • CarolinaMillan

    @socialmouths so true. I learnt very similar lessons, and I’m still learning. Hope to hear from you soon ;)

    • socialmouths

      @carolinamillan you’ll definitely hear from me soon, making tons of progress…

      • CarolinaMillan

        @socialmouths woot! Awesome, looking forward to it already ;)

  • http://www.optinboxdesign.com Martin1

    Wow Francisco thanks very much for the info you shared. We are went through some period in the begining. I really miss those days because they were the roller-coaster days and there was so many things to learn. When you get too ‘refined’ the game become kinda boring because you barely put a foot wrong.

    • FranciscoRosales

      @Martin1 Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. I keep making mistakes man, I just don’t kill myself over them, it’s just part of life. I guess the cool thing about those lessons is not just learn from them but share them with others, hopefully you can make that learning curve a little smoother for someone out there.

      Thanks for your comment Martin.

  • HairBoutique

    @YsanneBueno Thank you for the RT. Very much appreciated.

    • YsanneBueno

      @HairBoutique You’re very welcome! :-)

  • TucsonRural3117

    @PamMktgNut @socialmouths @dino_dogan Pam Hugs

  • bluntideas

    @PamMktgNut @socialmouths @dino_dogan I started to write one… I just think I’m afraid of commitment + ?ing how “real” I can really be.

  • Ambolino

    Thanks for the tips! I just started my blog about 3 months ago, so I am in the beginning stages. Good to hear this stuff now than before I have a TON of content.

  • BruceSallan1

    I learned that I needed a BETTER platform for my blog! It’s taken me several years to finally pony up, but we’re re-lauching on WordPress next weekend. FINALLY, my SEO will work and so much more. I hired the WRONG web person and I paid the price. At least I learned much along the way…

    • FranciscoRosales

      @BruceSallan1 I think almost all of us have been in that position Bruce, working with the wrong designer or programmer (or desigmmer), you’re not alone.

      I have been working with a client lately that just paid somebody for a flash site and a Ning blog, I’m talking about a few months ago… gotta be careful out there.

      Thanks for your comment buddy

  • http://eyesonwisconsin.com James Thoenes

    That email list important even if you don’t have plans for it initially.

    In my case, I didn’t really plan to do anything with a site and more or less abandoned it for nearly a year. One day looking at my stats I discovered it was getting some very good traffic and was doing remarkably well. Imagine. 30000 visitors over the last year and I did not have an email subscription (and not much in the way of social buttons either).

    I know have email list subscriptions prominent and a business plan for the site.

  • http://www.incometriggers.net/ Atul

    Well nice content and very helpful for beginners. However I would like to add a point here.
    “start building email list from day one”, true!! for people who run the businesses and have enough money to pour in. I say this because these guys either buy PLR to e-books or outsource writing the e-book to some contractor. To get a Lead Magnet (say e book) for people like us take time say 2-3 months. I have a form on my website but no call to action.

    I have a mindset though.
     

  • http://freshome.com/ Mihai @ Freshome.com

    Love these kind of posts with lessons, short but full of useful tips.