5 Primary Tasks During the First 100 Days of a Blogging Business

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Photo of a table top, showing part of a laptop keyboard, a pair of glasses, and stationary. Blog Post: The first 100 days of a blogging business. By The Side Blogger.
When we talk about growing a blog and income, we often leave out one crucial part — the start — because the start of a content marketing business is never easy, never sexy.

It’s fun to write about how I made $4k in 4 days running a flash sale, or how I make $1k+ every month on the side selling digital products, or how I gained $2k+ email list subscribers in just a year. These stories make us, the bloggers, look cool, and hopefully give the brand new writers, bloggers, and content creators something to look forward to.

Sort of like a pep-talk, or an inspirational speech.

But so many things go wrong in the beginning, during those very unsexy days of laboring away without any results (that you can see right away,) that it’d be a disservice to not speak of it, however boring it all may seem.

So, here’s my attempt at making sense of some very tedious but necessary tasks every blogger needs to spend time on during those very early days.

But before that…

A note about pursuing and quitting…

The first few days of blogging, or any business for that matter, can be overwhelming, I know. I’ve been too, remember? The trick is to know, and I mean, really know, and accept that the first few months will be a lot of work for little to no reward. Blogging isn’t something that brings you riches on day one. But if you stick with it and focus on learning, growing, and giving, you’ll start to make a difference. Enough to motivate you to keep going.

Either that, or you’ll come to the realization that perhaps you don’t actually enjoy blogging. And that’s fine too. I remember when I started a print photography magazine in my senior year in college. I was so full of hope for that magazine! But after releasing five issues and 1.5 years later, I realized that I wasn’t having fun. So I quit.

I tell you that story for two reasons:

  1. You’ll need to put in sufficient effort to even know whether you like or dislike a thing. If you quit at that first pang of discomfort, then you haven’t really given it a chance.
  2. After giving it the best you can, after you’ve gone past your discomfort and come out the other side, you’ll find that you either love that thing enough to keep going, or that no matter what, you gain no satisfaction from the tasks and the grind. And if that’s the case, you might as well quit.

I’ve started and quit plenty of things with zero regrets. At least now, I can proudly say that yes, I did try my best to run a print magazine, and I did a decent job at a super niche market (film photography!) but I realized that I wasn’t having fun. And so I quit. I shall never wonder about any “what ifs” because I’ve already done it!

If you put in the work and realize that blogging isn’t for you, there’s no shame in quitting. We’re not all meant to do everything. I sucked at running a print magazine, but I do love running my online business. To each their own, I guess.

That said, if you’ve decided to give blogging a serious chance, keep reading: I have some tips for the first 100 days of your brand-new blogging business.

[If you want an in-depth guide to starting your blog, sign up for my 10-day free email course using the form below.]

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In this post:

5 Tasks to Focus on the first 100 Days of a Brand New Blogging Business

Each blogger comes at it from a different angle. As for me, I love writing, so I focused on creating content. It paid off and I was able to make this blog into a 5k+ per month business single-handedly within the first two years of launching.

During the first year, from June 2018 – July 2019, I struggled to make anything more than a couple of hundred bucks per month. Then, in August 2019 I made my very first grand within a single month, and by this time the following year, I had already surpassed $5k.

Another blogger, quite prominent and much more successful (financially,) approached blogging very differently. They focused on guest blogging to improve their domain ranking (DR) and eventually domain authority (DA), to get a ton of organic traffic to their blog. To do that, they were hiring freelance writers to create a ton of guest post content in a short amount of time.

Personally, that method would never have worked for me because when I started my blog, I was pretty broke. I didn’t have the means to hire writers. Also, even to this day, I do all of my writing myself because honestly, I started a blog because I love writing. While this other blogger approached blogging purely as a business.

To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with either approach; it just depends on your personal priorities and goals.

Anyway, that aside, I’m going to give you my version of what I think you should prioritize as a blogger during your first 100 days. My tips assume that, like me, you also love writing and want to go at this whole blogging thing by yourself.

Ready?

1. Figure out your blogging niche

I have an entire blog post on finding a blogging niche, do feel free to give it a read.

In short, your niche should be something that you want to write about, that you can write about a lot, and preferably a topic that you know how to monetize.

It is helpful to ask yourself exactly how you plan on monetizing your niche before you start your blog. That doesn’t mean your methods won’t change or evolve down the road, but having a goal from the start will give you direction.

For example, when I started this blog, I knew I wanted to make money with affiliate marketing. After I launched my blog with the first couple of blog posts, I reached out to potential affiliate partners. I started with just one affiliate, and now I have perhaps well over 30 partners even though only a handful of them bring in the real money.

Also, even though my goal was affiliate marketing in the beginning, right now most of my income comes from Canva templates and online courses. But still, I bring in anywhere between 1-2k per month from various affiliate partners.

2. Set up your blog

Your blog doesn’t have to look perfect on day one, but having a good foundation will make life easier down the road. And for that, I recommend setting up your blog with self-hosted WordPress.

This is my setup:

Elementor has a bit of a learning curve, so if you’re DIY-ing the whole thing, you can also create a beautiful blog with the premium Astra Pro theme. Then, down the road, if you want to, you can always upgrade to Elementor. Astra and Elementor go together seamlessly.

If you want to learn about setting up your blog using SiteGround, check out my SiteGround review + a tutorial for setting up for WordPress blog on SiteGround:

A Review of The Best WordPress Hosting for Bloggers in 2022: SiteGround

To be sure, your blog’s design doesn’t need to be on-point at this time. You don’t need a fancy logo or the perfect color scheme. You can (and I’m sure you will) change those down the road. Heck, I’m in my 5th year of blogging (at the time of writing this) and I still tweak things all the time! Just yesterday I went and made a bunch of changes to my homepage!

3. Aim for 14 blog posts in 14 weeks

There are 14 weeks in 100 days, so aim to write and publish 14 search-engine-optimized blog posts.

Some people will have a different opinion on this. Some bloggers may say that writing fewer posts and spending that effort on promoting your posts should be more beneficial. That may be true if you’re doing a lot of outreach (by yourself or by hiring PR pros,) hiring freelance writers to write guest posts for you, etc.

As I’ve said before, different bloggers approach blogging differently. For me, creating a lot of high-quality content was more important than doing outreach work. I suck at outreach and I’m private to a fault. I don’t want to be a guest on your podcast or do YouTube interviews. That’s simply not me. I’d rather write a lot and let Google and other search engines do their magic. And if you’re like me, then do what I’m suggesting: write a lot. Aim to write 14 blog posts in the first 14 weeks or 100 days.

Spend time learning how to write a search-engine-optimized (SEO) blog post. You won’t see results overnight, but if you continue to write high-quality, value-packed, and SEO posts over and over, you’ll see results faster than you may think. It took me just over a couple of months to rank one of my earlier blog posts on Google’s first page!

One of the things that will take up a lot of your time in the beginning, is learning how to write a blog post in a way that appeals to both your human readers as well as search engines.

Believe me, if you think writing is the easy part, it’s not. I’d argue that it’s the hardest part of blogging, at least for me. It is also the most satisfying.

In fact, writing an SEO post is so important that I have an entire 6-week-long workshop where I teach how to write SEO posts.

Join blog writing workshop and get my Customized feedback on your writing + Much more

In this 6-week workshop over Zoom, you'll learn how to research, write, and optimize blog posts for search engines (SEO) that not only make readers love you, but also convert to subscribers and buyers.

In short: Learn SEO. It’s not rocket science; anyone can master SEO. The challenge isn’t learning SEO, but continuing to implement it in your writing every single time you publish something.

I highly recommend creating a template for search-engine-optimized posts that you can follow every time you publish a post. (Or, if you sign up for my workshop, I’ll give you that template!)

4. Use Pinterest to bring traffic before SEO kicks in

SEO is, by far, the best way to get traffic to your blog. But it’s going to take time, a few months perhaps, give or take some, depending on how competitive a niche you’re in.

But don’t wait until search engines start to rank your content on page one.

Regardless of what your niche is, chances are that you have at least one or more ways to start getting some traffic to your blog. Facebook and Twitter used to be viable ways, but not so much these days.

Now, if you want to get traffic to your blog fast, I recommend Pinterest. That’s what I used when I started my blog. Before SEO took over, Pinterest was my primary source of referral traffic. But even now, Pinterest is the second highest referral traffic source for the blog, trailing right behind organic traffic, at around 40%.

How to be A Pinterest Boss in Less Than 30 Minutes and Drive Massive Traffic to Your Blog

Pinterest requires strategy, and that’s where a lot of your efforts will go. It’s not hard work, but it’s a lot of work. If you read the Pinterest guide I linked to above, you’ll see that I recommend automating a fair bit of your Pinterest activities using the TailWind app. But I also manually Pin a few blog posts every single day. Manual pinning takes time, but thankfully, once you have set up a system for yourself, it won’t take more than a few minutes of your day.

Make a habit of pinning daily (or at least 5 days a week) during those first 100 days. That’s not to say that you’ll stop pinning after that, but that’s how long I’m giving you to make daily manual pinning a habit.

I’ve been blogging for over four years now, and I still manually pin my blog posts on the platform 4–5 days a week. So, really, you have no excuse if you’re a brand-new blogger.

5. Build your audience; build an email list

Let me say this once and for all: the point of blogging as a business comes down to building an audience whom you have access to. That’s where your email list comes in, and it is by far the most significant asset you can own as a blog owner.

If I didn’t have an email list, I wouldn’t be a six-figure blogger today. I sell my courses, digital products, workshops, all through my email list. Heck, I wouldn’t have a business if not for my email list subscribers!

You can learn about the best practices for building an email in the links below, but let me point out a few things for you:

  • The best way to get more subscribers is by offering freebies in exchange for opt-ins. Learn more about freebies here.
  • Don’t just make one freebie, make many. You never know what people may like, so try to make at least 3–5 different types of freebies in the first 100 days of blogging. I like to create freebies that complement certain blog posts (also known as content upgrades.) That way, if you like a certain blog post and wish to learn more about the topic, they’re more likely to sign up for your email list.

Like all things, your list-building efforts don’t end at 100 days, but these first 100 days are for you to get into the habit of doing things. Refer to this blog post for more on building an email list as a blogger:

How to Build an Email List for Your Blog: An Ultimate Guide

In short: Your first 100 days of blogging TL;DR

The first 100 days are about these five things:

  1. Figure out a niche that you can write a lot about and have something to offer, and preferably you have an idea as to how to monetize this niche.
  2. Get your domain and set up your blog with self-hosted WordPress.
  3. Get into the habit of writing search-engine-optimized blog posts.
  4. Pin your blog posts manually at least 5 days a week, and also automate them with TailWind.
  5. Consciously make an effort to grow your email list by making freebies regularly, creating forms, funnels, automated sequences, etc.

Remember, during this time you likely won’t see definitive results. You won’t go from 0 to 1k+ daily visitors, and you’ll likely only have a few subscribers at best.

But even so, having a good start with a strong foundation and beneficial habits will set you up for success. And when you continue to work hard, in six months to a year, you should start seeing real traction and results.

Yes, six months to a year. Blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme as I keep saying over and over. It requires consistent hard work, especially so in the beginning. So, prepare yourself, and…

Good luck!

Also, as always, share your comments and thoughts below 🙂

If you want an in-depth guide to starting a blogging business, I highly recommend you sign up for my FREE 10-day email course on how to start a blog. Click here to sign up or use the form below.

Want to make $1000/Month from your blog?
How to Start a Blog - FREE Course

If you sign up today, here’s what you’ll get:

– 10-day FREE email course on how to start a blog, from choosing a niche to a clear strategy for making $1,000 per month.

– Access to my library of freebies to help you be a successful blogger. Starting with launch checklists, to free WordPress templates, to free media kit and workbook templates with Canva, and much, much more!

You’ll be automatically subscribed to my email list. Trust me, it’ll be worth it!

A list of tasks to focus on during the first 100 days of a blogging business.

6 thoughts on “5 Primary Tasks During the First 100 Days of a Blogging Business”
  1. I wish I read this sooner. I launched my blog earlier this year and got unmotivated really quick. Now I’m back and trying to post weekly again!

  2. I just launched my website last week — your timing on this blog post couldn’t have been better!

    I took a blogging course where they advised us to create a single lead magnet. They also said it should be something very simple “because you don’t know what your audience wants yet.”

    But, actually, I agree with you. As long as you have a very well-defined niche, you *know* what kind of lead magnet will get your audience to sign up. I created a bigger lead magnet, according to the 10x Content methodology, and some simpler lead magnets to sprinkle in my content where appropriate.

    Cheers, Maliha!

    1. As I was saying, all bloggers have their own takes on how to run a successful blog. Personally, the very reason I recommend creating many different types of freebies from the start is to figure out what your audience truly wants from you. How would you know if you don’t test the waters???

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. I’ve been trying really hard to write 3 posts a week. Since July I’ve written over 50 posts. That practice really has helped me get faster at writing, I format them all the same which helps me pump them out!

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