Blogging is an amazing journey. I love my job. And I want everyone who loves to write or has something to share to start a blog. But I do have regrets. There are some blogging mistakes I made that I want to help you avoid. These mistakes can keep you from success. Don’t worry if you’re making these mistakes. They’re very common And I have tips below on how to fix them!
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1. Waiting to start your blog
If you’re anything like me, you’ve done a ton of research. You’ve read income reports. You’ve thought about starting a blog. But haven’t taken the plunge. Don’t be like me! Start your blog today and learn as you go. I have a fabulous post “How to Start a Successful Blog: The Ultimate Guide.” It goes into EVERYTHING that you need to set up when you start blogging.
I had fabulous ideas, but was scared to take the plunge. I also have a blogging group: Blogging By Design that provides help and support. As well as walks you through everything about blogging (from setting up to building traffic to monetizing and more). Don’t make this mistake. Start your blog today!
2. Trying to focus on every single media platform at once
This is a very common blogging mistake that people make. They try to be on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Mix, Reddit, Yummly, and more. Instead, focus on just one or two platforms. Right now I focus on Pinterest and Facebook, with the bulk of time being on Pinterest.
Pinterest is going to be your biggest traffic driver at first (at least until your SEO game catches up). If you’re ready to take your Pinterest game to a whole new level, check out Pinning Perfect. <<<click there to check out course. This is the only pinning course I recommend.
3. Wasting time on chasing traffic via ineffective methods
Don’t waste your time on share threads or link parties. While they may bring the occasional click or share, they’re temporary traffic and aren’t going to contribute to your bottom line. Instead, focus on creating more great content. And on your social media platforms of choice. And learning SEO. These are all long-term wins.
4. Thinking that if you write, they will come
This might sound contrary since I just told you of methods to NOT use to get traffic. But you do need to market. Just writing and waiting for people to find your blog isn’t going to work. As I mentioned, you need to put serious effort into at least one social media platform (I recommend Pinterest). You also need to learn SEO. I highly recommend this course: Sticky Blogging SEO. Click on this link>>>Sticky Blogging SEO Workshop <<< to take a free workshop.
5. Taking endless courses
Taking courses is going to be vital to long-term growth. But don’t get sucked into the endless loop of thinking this new course is going to be a life-changer. Or- even worse- buying course after course and never finishing any of them. I buy the Genius Bloggers Toolkit every year and have taken (or read) over a hundred courses and books. Out of them all, there are only a few I recommend:
That’s it. Those courses cover absolutely everything you need to know to build a successful blog.
6. Being afraid to invest in your blog
While I don’t recommend taking every course that you come across, many bloggers have the opposite problem. They refuse to invest in anything at all. At a minimum, you need self-hosting and a premium theme that is mobile responsive. I also highly recommend the courses I mentioned above. If you are low on money, at least start with “The Must Have Guide to Blogging” listed above. It’s cheap and will give you good starting ground.
7. Posting everyday
Another blogging mistake that beginners make is thinking they need to post everyday. Unless you’re in a super-competitive niche like news, there is no need to post everyday. Your post quality is going to go down and you’re going to get burnt out. In the beginning, I posted three times a week. Now I post on average 1-2 times per week, depending on how busy I am with product creation. You want detailed, long articles that are high quality. Push for quality over quantity.
8. Writing for Yourself, Not the REader
My first blog was sarcastic commentary on current events. It was all about what I thought. The key word being “I.” My current blog (The Housewife Modern, which you’re reading this post on) is all about the reader. With every single article, you should be focused on what your reader is getting out of it. You’re writing for them, not you. Your first question should be “what is the reader getting out of this?”
9. Not using WordPress
I started with Weebly because it was a drag-and-drop builder. Then I had to go to the work of transferring everything to WordPress when I got a self-hosted website. A self-hosted website is vital for long-term success. If you haven’t started a blog yet, I have a fabulous post “How to Start a Successful Blog: The Ultimate Guide.” It goes into EVERYTHING that you need to set up before you start blogging. Don’t get sucked into the free option of Blogspot or WordPress.com. With those sites, you’re limited on what you can do, it’s hard (if not impossible) to monetize, and the site quality isn’t good.
10. Comparing your beginning to a big blogger’s middle
There is a great quote that a big blogger shared with me. “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” This means that when I was first building up page views and only getting a few hundred (or few thousand) page views a month, I needed to stop comparing myself to people getting hundreds of thousands. Of course my income didn’t match theirs. And of course I wasn’t matching their page views- I had been doing this a few months. They had been doing it for YEARS! Stop comparing yourself with others. Instead, focus on the progress you’ve made. And on your goals for the next few months. And keep working.
11. Not starting an e-mail list
I blogged for over a year without starting an e-mail list. Now that I have over 15,000 subscribers (plus another 700-1,000 EVERY SINGLE MONTH), I want to kick myself. Your e-mail list is gold. It drives traffic to your site. You can market to them affiliate products and make money. In one e-mail, I sold a single product to the list and made $149.10. On that single e-mail. Most importantly, when you start designing your own products, you have an audience that is already loyal to you. And willing to buy.
I have a post for you: “Why I Invested In ConvertKit…Even When I Wasn’t Making Money“. I highly suggest ConvertKit . But if you’re not ready to take the plunge, you can get MailerLite for free up to 1,000 subscribers.
12. Not networking with other bloggers
Don’t treat other bloggers as competition. Instead, make some friends and network. I have a blogging group: Blogging By Design that provides help and support. I also learn a lot from the Elite Blog Academy group, but you have to invest in the course to get access to the Facebook group.
There are tons of blogging groups on Facebook. Don’t join them all. Just join a few and look through them. Are they focused on helping each other? Or are they dedicated to selling you products and useless share threads? If the former, stay in the group. If the latter, leave it.
If you meet a few great bloggers, consider starting a mastermind group. I’m in a mastermind group with 6 other bloggers. We started together over two years ago and are doing fabulously. Two of us are over 100,000 page views per month, and one is over 200,000. The rest of us are also doing good, if not QUITE so fabulously.
13. Not focusing on image quality
An absolute gigantic blogging mistake that gets made is not focusing on image quality. I was guilty of this. There were a few things that went into this. First of all, I was scared to learn photography, so I kept procrastinating. I thought it was this big and complicated thing. But it’s not. There are a few basics you need to master and then you’re good. If you’re learning food photography, there was ONE single book that took my photos to an entirely new level. Yep, seriously. From Plate to Pixel <<<click there to check out book. I didn’t take any expensive courses on photography. I read one book and then practiced, practiced, practiced.
The second thing that went into this was I didn’t know where to find good images that were free to use. This is important for ALL bloggers. Your pin images need to be fabulous! Luckily for you, I have a fabulous article “Where to Find Free Images: 75+ Best Places for Free Photos“. It also has information on licensing that you need to know.
The final thing that contributed to my poor quality images was using an iPad to take pictures. I finally invested in a good camera (I got a Nikon D7000 on advice from my brother-in-law.
14. Waiting to join an ad network
Join Google Adsense as soon as you start getting some traffic. When you hit 25,000 page views, join MediaVine. This month, I’ve gotten around 45,000 page views and made over $600 from MediaVine. Even before I joined MediaVine, and was with Google Adsense, I was making around $200 a month on 20,000 page views. In the beginning, you’ll only be making cents. But it will add up.
Whew! Can you believe I kept trying after all those blogging mistakes? But I’m glad I did. I’m still learning today and still love what I’m doing. I especially love that my income is going up month after month.
Comment below letting me know what mistakes you’re guilty of. Or mistakes that you made in the past that you’ve fixed. If it’s a great one, I’ll edit this post to include it (including a link to your website, if you want).
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in: “Blog Post Checklist: What Every Blog Post Should Have” and “100+ Tools & Resources for Bloggers“.