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Exactly 411 days ago, I started work here at MINDSCAPE. I was incredibly excited to begin work as a writer and knew I had the experience and talent to make a difference – or thought I knew.

While I was an experienced writer, I didn’t understand the colossal difference between writing content for a digital marketing strategy and writing news articles, reviews, and other non-marketing content.

I spent my first two months intensively learning the ins and outs of SEO and keyword research under the tutelage of a strategist. I learned the specific MINDSCAPE blogging process under the senior content writer. And I picked up a few tips from the resident designers and developers.

I was overflowing with knowledge and ready to take on the world. But alas, there are some things that training can’t teach you; there some things that you learn on the job.

Luckily for you, I have documented some of those things, so you don’t have to spend a year blogging to figure them out. Below are five key things that I have taken away from my past year of blogging. Hopefully, they’ll save you from having to learn a hard lesson or two.


1. Not every post is going to be a winner.

Despite what content marketing heavy-hitters will tell you, not every post is going to be a winner. You can target all the right keywords, optimize your post in all the right ways, and do copious amounts of promotion, and still not see the results you were hoping for.  
This is because a lot of the ranking blog posts out there have been up for multiple years, collecting back links and gaining authority. Your post of two days doesn’t have much of a chance of out ranking them – at least not right away. 
Put in the work needed to get eyes on your blog post, and give it a little time. Thirty views in the first month could turn into 600 views in the sixth month.


2. Writing isn’t even half the battle. 

There is a lot more to blogging than just writing. You can create the most well-written piece of content on the planet and not receive any traffic to your post. Why? Because in order to read your post people need to be able to find it. 
Buyer persona mapping, keyword research,  and search search engine optimization, all play a huge role in the success of a blog post. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are many things you need to do with your blog post after you write it if you want it to reach your audience. 


3. Blogging is one part of a holistic strategy. 

It can be incredibly hard to assess the value of blogging. How do you know if a blog post is performing well? 
Is it views? You could have a post that gets 10,000 views a month but doesn’t convert visitors to leads. 
Is it conversions? If your blog post is only getting two views a month, a 50% conversion rate isn’t doing you any good. 
Is it a combination of the two?  Your blog post could be bringing in a lot of traffic, and converting that traffic, but if your leads aren’t converting into customers, your post could be targeting the wrong audience. 
So do you measure a blog post by the number of leads that converted from it, who then converted into customers? It is a good start, but no. The truth is that a blog post is a part of your overall website experience and overall strategy. It is rare that a visitor will visit your blog post, click your CTA, convert on your content offer, and then immediately become a customer. 
Instead of trying to make a direct correlation between your blog posts and specific customers, look at blogging as a piece in your overall strategy and assess it from a high level. 
Since we started blogging have visits gone up? Leads? Sales? If the answer is yes, it’s safe to say that your overall strategy has been successful and blogging could be a contributing element. 


4. Different posts have different purposes. 

Just as blogging is one piece in the holistic process that is digital marketing, one blog is just one piece in the holistic process that is blogging. 
Different blogs have different purposes. A blog post targeting a buyer in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (like an FAQ) is not meant to bring in a lot of traffic or even convert visitors into leads. It is meant to convert individuals who are already familiar with your brand into customers 
A blog post targeting buyers in the awareness stage, however, is generally meant to bring in a lot of visitors and hopefully make them aware of your company or brand. 
Don’t sweat it if your post doesn’t do it all; it isn’t always supposed to. 


5. Ranking isn’t everything. 

If your blog post is the number one Google search result for a keyword that has a high search volume, you are going to get a good amount of views. But I think we all know from the clickbait Buzzfeed articles that show up in our social news feeds every day, that Google isn’t the only way a user can reach your post. 
Don’t be afraid to use that comedic title every now and again. It may just pay off. 


If you’re just starting out as a professional blogger and would like to learn more about what it takes to get started in the world of content creation, check out our “Intro to Blogging” Lunch and Learn on Thursday, August 17th!