12 Things I Learned About Blogging In 2012

12 things I learned about blogging in 2012

Ah so this will be the last post for 2012 – the “end of the year” post.

Now that we’ve survived the “end of the world” I want to share some things I learned with blogging in 2012. I’m sure these tips will help aspiring bloggers to survive blogging in 2013 :)

Let me get straight to the point.

Prefer watching a video? Here you go!

Prefer reading? Read on…

1. Don’t be shy to learn everyday

No matter how popular you are, no matter how much knowledge you have on a topic, there’s always something great to learn on any topic.

Don’t be shy and don’t let your ego stand as a hindrance to your learning. If a newbie blogger offers you a suggestion, don’t neglect it just because the blogger is new in the field.

He/She might have a point. Even if there is no point or if his advice is irrelevant, thank him/her for the time he took to give you the suggestion.

I’ve learnt many nice tips, been introduced to nice tools from newbie bloggers who are connected with me via social media or on my list.

Even though I have more experience than them, I never hesitate to try out the tool/idea they suggest. You never know what you can learn!

2. Networking is fun and rewarding

I don’t have an exact number on the people I’ve connected with in 2012. But I can say that I’ve got some golden connections. Some are my peers, some act as my mentors, so share the fun times and its really refreshing.

There are fun connections, business connections and client connections – all these are worthy connections.

It is good to get connected with as many people as you can, along the way. You never know which connection can open up a great opportunity for you.

Some can be great buddies to help keep your motivation up!

3. Help as much as you can (this will build your business)

Along the way, I’ve helped many bloggers. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn.

Whenever I get a newbie blogger email me a question, I take my time to do my research and help them as much as I can. You know what? Every time I do this, I earn a friend or even a fan.

In my opinion this counts a lot.

I am not saying that you should spend hours everyday in responding to every email in detail. In fact it could disturb your productivity a lot and sidetrack you from your goals.

But take a little time to be nice to people and help them out.

PS: My list subscribers get the chance to tell me what they’re struggling with and get help from me. You can join my list here.

4. It is fun to make money while sleeping

Oh yes. That’s the power of blogging and having an online business. I say this because in 2012 most of my payments came through while I was either sleeping or shopping.

And most of it were passive income.

I don’t say that if you start a blog today you will be making money tomorrow (and that too while sleeping). It takes truck load of hard work to get there. But once you get there, you realize its true power.

Make sure you grab my report on the topic: Can I Really Make Money Blogging?

5. Diversify your blogging income

Sure you can make money blogging. Everyone may have different ways to make money. Some use their blog to get clients for their business – this could be web designing, consulting, SEO services, freelancing services or others. These are not passive income, which means you have to do the work in order to get paid.

Some use direct or indirect advertising as a mode to generate passive income. Here you don’t need to do much work; you set up things once and forget so that your blog continues to make money.

For some, affiliate marketing will be a great source of income. I could write pages about using affiliate marketing to make money – but in short, it is one of the easiest ways to make money blogging.

There are various ways. But don’t stick to one. Include all possible income streams in your “system” so that even if one fails you won’t become poor.

Let’s say Google comes up with a strange update and the term “SEO services” becomes meaningless. If you’re only earning through link building services, you have to find a job!

6. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Be it SEO, income sources, link building strategies, traffic sources, start ups whatever – do not put your trust on one thing and hope that it will work forever.

Things change fast these days. What worked yesterday might not work today and what is most popular today might be washed off from the face of the planet tomorrow.

Don’t put all your effort, investment etc. on one particular thing. For instance, don’t rely on search engine traffic – you might end up getting none one day.

Don’t rely on one client, one affiliate product or even one blog!

7. Don’t forget to follow up

Follow up

There’s always a golden opportunity in a mail box lol; OK at least it was so in my inbox.

Throughout 2012, I had a habit of digging through my old emails to see conversations with old clients, once in a month or so.

I emailed 80% of them doing a simple follow up – asking if my service (say blog audit, or Thesis customization) was useful to them. I asked them if they have anything they need help with.

I emailed old advertisers letting them know that their ads stopped running and if they wish to advertise again.

90% of those emails turned out to be new opportunities and 60% of them make me recurring income.

8. Affiliate marketing is grrreat

This is something I found in 2012. I knew affiliate marketing works and is good. But I found its greatness this year. As I said earlier, it is one of the easiest ways to make money online.

You don’t need to spend time and energy in creating a product in the first place – I think this is where most aspiring bloggers tend to hold back. You don’t have to go through hectic product launches, marketing, and other stuff. You don’t have to deal with painful customer support.

But you can still make money with a product you don’t own. And in some cases you can earn much more than the product owner (think about 75% or 100% commissions).

9. Do not over spend (on your business)

Think over and over before you enter your credit card details to make a new purchase.

I am one of those bloggers who keep on insisting newbies that they need to invest in their business and stop building a business on free platforms.

Yes, if you treat your business like a business, you need to make investments – say for hosting, email autoresponder, outsourcing etc.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to buy every software, plugin and e-book out there. If you could run a business successfully with what you have, you perhaps don’t need that extra software.

10. Do invest in your business

OK that might sound a little controversial, but what I mean is different. Do not go for free or pirated copies of software. They won’t serve the purpose and also will damage your reputation.

Do not think about saving $100 for a month of sleepless nights in tweaking your blog’s design. If you can get a decent theme for $100 or get it custom designed, go for it by all means.

Spend your time on the most important stuff that will actually build your business rather than pondering over stuff that someone (or something) else can do for you.

I use a lot of internet marketing tools to make sure that I don’t waste my time on unwanted details. Here is a list of the tools I use (or have used and are still good!).

11. Collaborate with your competitors

In my opinion there is no such thing called “competition” with blogging. But ironically I call my fellow bloggers so here because that’s the term we are used to. Most SEO software and sites call our fellow bloggers as competitors (heard of these terms: SEO competition, competition spying etc.?).

Sure, they’re sharing similar stuff like you; they’re selling similar products; they’re interested in the kind of audience that interest you! But they are not you.

There’s only one you and that’s enough!

Rather than looking at your fellow bloggers as competitors, look at them as your pals. Oh I must say that this is one of the most valuable stuff I learned.

The more relationships I established with my so-called “competitors” the healthier my blogging journey got.

12. It is not all about money

Yes, this is highly important. In my opinion, blogging is not all about money. Sure money is the factor that keeps things running (with business and your life, coz you have bills to pay and mouths to feed).

But when it comes to a point where it is either money or relationships, don’t make it about money. Don’t break a relationship with a client just because he/she did not agree with your bargain.

Always make it a win win and keep things smooth.

Money is indeed important but don’t make it all about money.

Here’s a handy presentation of these lessons :)

And those are the lessons I learned this year :) Feel free to share your views and the lessons you learned this year.

Have a wonderful and a prosperous 2013!

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  1. Khaja moinKhaja moin says

    Must appreciate your Jane, these 12 lessons are nothing but tips to a beginner is about to start a blog.
    Spending money on business on one side is the very first step and not over spending on it is what every need to remember.
    Greats tips.


  2. KoundeenyaKoundeenya says

    Loved the last line, It’s not all about money. So true! A blogger’s status is not just judged by his income, there are a lot more.

    It’s always nice reading your blog, Jane.

    Cheers and Have a great year ahead.


  3. Lola StoneyLola Stoney says

    Hi Jane,
    This is a very comprehensive post and every single point brings home the message.
    The explosive changes in Google that affected how bloggers and website owners do SEO in 2012 is a big pointer to every blogger and small online business owner – it tells us not put our eggs in one basket, change with time and strategies, collaborate and stay current.
    Thanks very much for summary!

  4. igbalaye Olayemiigbalaye Olayemi says

    Jane, this is a great post and the point are straight forward and easy to get. am on your side that everything is not about money , although is good to be making money with your blog but don’t put all your focus on the money alone and forget to give your readers quality contents for them to read. thanks for sharing

  5. sarika deshmukhsarika deshmukh says

    Hello Dear

    i loved your article and i am totally appreciate with your post these 12 lesson are very important for every blogger Don’t be shy to learn everyday this is great lesson in fact your lesson are great really thanks for the sharing me

  6. AjayAjay says

    Love what you’ve learned! I’ve learned a similar. :) Undoubtedly not sensible to check yourself to others. I truly assume a number of the bloggers who I’ve had to prevent reading try way to be funny or cool. one amongst the explanations i like your blog is as a result of you’ll tell your real. Plus, i need to eat all the food you make!

  7. SapnaSapna says

    HI Jane

    These are really the 12 gems which you have disclosed today in your post. I strongly believe that it is not about money everytime, we need to build long lasting relationships. Its the relations that matters.

    Thanks for sharing this great piece of information.


  8. RaviRavi says

    Thanks ..Your article gave me a revise and new confidence to start my blog..Thank you very much For great tips Jane

  9. Ti Roberts says

    Wonderful post, Jane. I’ve had a fantastic 2012 as well and I’ve learned some of the same things you have. I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that networking and building relationships with influencers is the best thing I can do to build you my blog’s traffic and audience. Plus, it’s fun! I’ve had a blast this year blogging and I’m looking forward to even more experiences and lessons in 2013. Thanks for sharing this post with us. I appreciate it!


    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hey Ti, thanks so much for stopping by. In fact you’ve fueled me enough to start more of networking. I read your blog post on how you started using Bizsugar to drive traffic. So thank you :)

  10. AshleyAshley says

    Lots of great information. I think that we all would love to be earning money while we sleep. Takes a lot of hard work, good luck with 2013.

  11. Kent ChenKent Chen says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sheeba, it is very helpful to people like me. Definitely something to learn from it and reflect on myself.

  12. Rachel BloomerRachel Bloomer says

    very helpful and informative post. thanks for sharing mate and I like your idea making money while sleeping

  13. Saurabh says

    This article just basically helped me to let go of my fear of blogging. I started a blog back in September with the intent on sharing my link on my facebook page. I’ve been worrying about being judged, but I realize that someone needs what I’m sharing, the lessons I’ve learned from mistakes and just through life. I hope to be able to say what I’ve learned from blogging four years from now too. Thank you!

  14. HectorHector says

    Your post inspired me to continue with my blog, Jane. Over the course of 2012, I tried several things that often miss than hit. I was really discouraged when blog networks where taken down as part of Google’s Panda update. I even hired SEO companies to help me rise again. Knowing that you did some of the things I did and you succeeded affirms that I’m on the right track. Thanks!

  15. sonam jatoliyasonam jatoliya says

    Hello Friend

    i read your article i realize your article is very interesting for every one and think Don’t be shy to learn everyday this is great way for increase your knowledge, thanks for the sharing me

  16. swapnilswapnil says

    Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money online, yes I like some of your points that many lack while they want to earn money and are engaged in doing online marketing, these are :
    Don’t be shy to learn
    Always be ready to help
    Give Feedback
    Build contacts and earn rewards etc
    These are more important for me.

  17. Joy says

    Those are positive and wonderful things that you have learned about blogging this year. Here’s a toast to your success and valuable learnings. I’ll be sure to post my own learnings and acquired values about blogging for 2012 no sooner.

  18. Chadrack says

    Hi Jane,

    I totally agree with you on not putting all your eggs in one basket. This is one thing I’ve been thinking about and will be my target for this year 2013. I truly look forward to doing more of affiliate marketing through niche blogs while also doing a little bit more of my writing service.

    Thanks for sharing and happy new year to you.

  19. Gel MaineGel Maine says

    Hi there Jane..

    Great post and great information you have there..
    i also learned a lot last 2012.. And it gives me courage to write more and more blog. I can relate to your blog. You know when it comes to writing i assured that i did learn something. The best thing i learned was same as your number 2. I really think that networking is really fun. Its when you meet other blogger and talk to them, share your ideas with them and at the same time build relationships that will last with them. You know they can be your mentor. They can also help you develop your writing skills. And it also give you a lot of motivation to write even more.

    I’m really looking forward for a blast and exiting blog challenge this 2013.. I knew you are too.. 😀

    Thank you for for post. I did learned a lot.. I do hope that you can write even more! Knowledge is power!!


  20. Jules says

    These are great tips for everyone newbies or experienced blogger. We should try to look some new ideas in stepping forward to another step of success. We should get “out of our box and explore the world”. Being open minded is the best way to become successful.

    I learned good lessons in reading this post.

    Thanks for sharing Jane!

  21. Jules says

    These are great tips for everyone newbies or experienced blogger. We should try to look some new ideas in blogging is another another step for success.We should get “out of our box and explore the world”. Making Blogs with good contents is the best way to become successful in marketing your stuffs.

    I learned good lessons in reading this post.

    Thanks for sharing Jane!

  22. arul says

    Hi jane,

    Collabarating with competitors in india may backfire as most of the people in any business does not share anything about them and their business for the sake of survival.

  23. VeronicaVeronica says

    One thing is for sure. We should never hesitate to try something new and post something smashing every day. If not everyday, at least every week. That’s the key to more blog and website traffic, and more income revenues for you too.

  24. EmiliaEmilia says

    Well congratulations to your success for the past year! I sure hope you’ll have more reasons to empower, inspire, and encourage your readers to also beat their success rate for 2012 by learning more and more new things from blogging.

  25. AmitAmit says

    Thank you for sharing best practices. I like the point “Its not all about money”. Personally I know many people who does blogging out of interest. Success comes automatically when the directions and efforts are right. Keep Writing.

  26. Sue NealSue Neal says

    Great advice, Jane,

    I’m reassured to hear you find affiliate marketing really works because I plan to make a start on that this year. Your tips about investing, but not over-spending, are very wise too – it can be hard to get that right! I know I’ve bought far too much stuff in the past, I have lots of tools on my hard drive that I rarely use and don’t really need – but I think I’m getting better, with experience, at knowing what’s worth paying for and when to keep my credit card locked away!

    Thanks very much for these tips – really appreciated.


  27. CalraCalra says

    Agree! We should not be ashamed of not knowing things and wanting to. We should rather be curious and humble every single day to know better about our crafted niche. Thanks for sharing this to us! :)

  28. Hisham SupianHisham Supian says

    Really good advise … i agree with all of your opinion.. hope i will be succesfull blogger like you also.. TQVM

  29. SamuelSamuel says

    Diversyfing your strategy is one of the smartest thing to do online..

    Don’t only rely on Google for your traffic and don’t only totally rely on Social Media for your traffic.

  30. Licurici AlexandruLicurici Alexandru says

    Nice tips mate, you should also include something regarding keyword research.
    I prefer to do kw research first and then to write something on that subject, of course, after i document myself on that topic.

  31. Paul AkpomukaiPaul Akpomukai says

    This is very comprehensive as well as valuable information, thank you for sharing this Jane. I am prety sure more people who are new to the blogging world, will be able to benefit greatly from this article.

  32. Neil ButterfieldNeil Butterfield says

    Some great advice here Jane. I particularly resonate with not putting your eggs in one basket. It is so important for people to develop multiple streams of income during these uncertain times.

  33. TaranTaran says

    I really like this post.You have written such a great post, I got lot to learn from this post.Thanks for great post.

  34. johnjohn says

    Every time i learned something new and special from your given article’s.i am glad to become a part of your blog.
    Thanks for sharing very useful information!

  35. ChuksChuks says

    Very valid points that can help get somebody started for 2013, I’ve learned a few things here, I think some people don’t do well because they don’t invest (time, energy and money in it) or that they try to do so many things and fail, I don’t see how anybody willfail following these steps you’ve listed

  36. LeeLee says

    The most important one on your list for me is don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You do this and lose your revenue stream from that one source and you are down the toilet.

    Such good advice thanks lee

  37. SonaliSonali says

    This is really nice article Jane, I appreciate all valuable point of this article. I totally agree with No.3 point (Help as much as you can (this will build your business) this is absolutely right. I always try to help another people & due to this some time it happens that another help for me.

  38. Sai Charan says

    The title made me to read and comment in this posts
    12 and 12 — Awesome title
    You covered good an valid points throughout the article and yes affiliate marketing is making huge profits for many of the bloggers, its all about how we are going to make it work to sell our products :)

  39. Nirmala says

    Nice and informative post to the newbie blogger Jane!

    Yes, now i learned the essential things in blogging to thrive in it. Will try to implement your useful points and thanks for sharing it.

  40. MattMatt says

    Hey Jane !
    You have learned a list of good things. I appreciate it. I totally agree with you that collaborate with your competitors. Actually this shows the fact that a single man in this world can not run anything. The world is running by mutual corporation.
    And you know what? i have learned the same thing in 2012 that collaborate and respect your competitors as well.

  41. WadeWade says

    Cool post Jane. 2012 was a learning curve for me and the greatest lesson I learned was about building relationships. It takes time to build long and meaningful relationships with people online. Thanks for the awesome post :-)

  42. Suresh Khanal says

    Hi Jane,

    I like your idea of creating image of posts and share it on social network. This is really effective and I’m going to replicate it to my posts as well. A HUGE credit goes to you for this awesome idea :)

  43. RupaliRupali says

    Very True… All 12 are essential part of every bloggers life. blogging can make you in market and also gives you money.

  44. Jan ChristianJan Christian says

    Wow! this 12 blogging tips is surely be a great help for a newbie like me. I really want to be successful on blogging and this article will definitely a great help.

  45. Shirish DhungelShirish Dhungel says

    I do believe you.
    Blogging is not always for money. It is also for sharing and gaining knowledge.
    Very much appreciated from the post. Thanks!

  46. HarmanHarman says

    Nicely explained Jane.
    SEO has seen a drastic change in 2013 and the new algo changes had made it even more difficult to understand.

  47. Pavan LiparePavan Lipare says

    Hi Jane
    Your 12 lessons are very helpful for me. For making money online it is important to become popular. In my view Social networking is easier way to get popular. Through this we can become popular faster than any other way, one advantage is that we’ll meet more valuable people there.

  48. Chris says

    Hello Jane, great set of tips here. The 1 that stands out the most for me is the Do invest!! I have been holding off in putting money into my site for the fear of not getting any returns on my investment. May its time to invest and see if it helps.

  49. DishaDisha says

    Diversify is most important thing for blogging. I just have seen only few people those just create Diversify in their blog such like you Jane. Well actually Diversify uniqueness in Blog. Which makes a blog more attractive.

  50. Amelie MarkAmelie Mark says

    I should add that remaining interested in the whole blogging business is very crucial, especially when things seem to be going wrong and returns seem to be low. It is during those tough times of trying to find your way to the top that one must never give up

  51. buntybunty says

    thank you jane for share your knowledge with this article. Affiliate marketing is best way to increase your online income but that’s only for that website which are also in top on search engine.

  52. hirenhiren says

    thank u jane now i am using google adsense for my website but reading your article now i am also interested Affiliate marketing.

  53. Mark JordanMark Jordan says

    Thank you for helping me understand why people post some of the things they do. I agree that building trust is very important to the success of the blog.

  54. Doctor Kirk CorcoranDoctor Kirk Corcoran says

    Good job, Jane!

    Despite the fact I’m a doctor, I also use SEO for my blog and this post really highlights the essence of blogging! SEO is not an easy task when Google changes everything quite often… every blogger shoult take notes, should adapt and saty updated (with Google updates like Penguin, Panda etc.).

    Thanks a lot for this post!

  55. Jane BrownJane Brown says


    Thanks for giving 12 tips about blogging.Blogging is the best way to get traffic.I agree with your point that blogging is not only for earning money.

    Jane Brown

  56. Len says

    Excellent points, especially learning not to be shy to learn. Many so called experts fail because they do not want to learn new trends. I really enjoyed this article a great deal. Thank you.

  57. ApuApu says

    Point no 1.

    Don’t be shy to learn everyday

    i think it’s the most important part of this post.

    Thanks for sharing Jane ! 😀


    Thanks Jane Sheeba for sharing such a precious article. It help me a lot to know about the blogging. Your arvice is very precious. Once again thanks for sharing this article.

  59. Mirza wasimMirza wasim says

    thanks sheeba to share very nice post and a great artical ..car on //…………i like it very much …after a long time ,.this post is very useful

  60. Mohit RajwaniMohit Rajwani says

    Hey !!
    Great work,list is awsm and i like it,I am reading your all posts. In this post i am fully agree with you.Great informaton about blogging

  61. Bobby Colt DownsBobby Colt Downs says

    I really like these 12 lessons in Blogging since they are 100% true.
    Blogging should always be fun while still making a point. There are times when I write that I often feel my content is just there, too mechanical or just appealing to one person: me. These tips will really help any inexperienced blogger like me get the hang out of blogging.
    I really like the last one where you drive in the point that this is not all about the money. Building strong relationships here and sharing your ideas to a wider audience is always a better option. Of course, getting traffic is another thing we shouldn’t overlook.
    Love this post, really.
    Here is to reading more of your works in the future!

  62. Arun KallarackalArun Kallarackal says

    While I’m reading this, 2013 is nearing the end! But still, the things you described and the experiences you shared are valuable. I’m working on the best thing you learnt- making fellow bloggers my pals :)

    Thanks for these timeless wisdom!

  63. joe arrigo says

    When all is said and done, loving to write is the foundation of a successful blog, as it what will drive consistency and sustainability, without which the prospect of success is dim.

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