Early Mistakes I Made Starting a Blog
Are you ready to start your own blog? Learn from me how to save time and money $ with your new blog. Blogging is fun. Creating your own blog can be beneficial in many ways. If you are considering starting your own blog I say go for it, but before you do, learn from my mistakes!
Sometimes my impulsivity gets the best of me, especially when it comes to starting something. Without doing any research I started a website. Close to 60 days in, I have already learned quite a few things about blogging. So if you are new to the web design or blogging world, you will want to read !
“If you are going to walk through a minefield, be the last one.”
Start by answering this question:
Is blogging going to be a hobby or a potential business venture?
Yes, believe it or not, there is money to be made if you have a successful blog. For me, I was so excited to blog I didn’t even know you could monetize a blog. I read absolutely nothing about starting a blog, I just started a website this summer. Sharing with others was my main goal. Starting randomly without a plan would end up coming back to haunt me because I wasted time and money (I did learn during this time though). The first thing I recommend is have a goal, voice and plan in mind. You should also do your research – but clearly you are if you are reading this.
My first 4 mistakes:
I had no clue what I wanted to do – did I want to start a blog or did I want to start a site? I went with the latter and tried to do way too much too fast. Have a goal for your blog – where you want to be in a month, a year, and so on. Try to focus on one thing at a time (SEO, Social Media, Design, etc). Producing high quality content is better than quantity & is vital to gaining readers.
Quality over Quantity!
Find your own voice and what YOU are passionate about. My advice to you: have a clear cut focus. For example – if you blog about personal finance, investing, travel, or how to be a new mom be consistent. You know yourself best and the stories you have to share. I thought I could hit every single type of audience and blog all over the place. Wrong! Streamline your blog to start! Know what your audience wants and do not try to do too much too soon. Consider asking friends and family what you should focus on! It is about your audience!
(Voice Voice Voice – do not think you can post about 16 different things and grow your blog. Sometimes we need to find our voice by just starting down the path of blogging).
Here is an example of how “all over the place I was”:
Post 2: Time Management
3. Have a Plan.
In line with having goals, have a plan. I recommend having 5-10 posts ready to go when you launch your site. Have categories ready and practice clicking around your site, to make sure it is user friendly. I had no plan when I launched my blog and for two weeks I had no clue I needed to edit the mobile view. So if you went to my site from your cell (like almost everyone does) you probably laughed at the formatting. Research Blogs, Research Blogs, Research blogs. If you are serious read this then the recommended links I have at the bottom.
Consider the following about your blog:
Links to other pages within your site?
Subscriber fields working?
Social media accounts connected?
Automated emails working for posts?
Do your titles catch reader attention?
Are you long winded (I can be)?
4. The Right Domain Name.
You might want to really spend some time on this one. I rushed into a domain name. It is not that the domain was bad, Money Life and The Whole Ball of Wax… but who seriously is going to type all of that. Or search it. You get my point. I had to buy a second domain name and redirect it, which was a pain in the butt. So save time by avoiding having to reformat and adjust social media accounts and come up with a really good domain name/site name for your blog. Josh Is The Best Blogger Ever.com is still available if you want it 🙂
My next few BIG blogging mistakes.
Not knowing about the blogging world AT ALL bit me in the butt. Hosting, Domain Name, Platforms… what was all this talk? If you are really serious about starting a blog I recommend you start with bluehost. (I was able to get a rate for any reader of $3.95 per month. Just use this link). I could have saved tons of time had I done this from the get go. I started a Wix site because I had no plan and did zero research. I had about 16 ideas that I wanted to touch on so I just launched a site and started writing… big mistake. Wix is great if you are new to web design (like myself) and the drag and drop templates make life easy. They also incorporate the domain name and hosting all in one. However, there are limitations as to what you can do, which is why I recommend using bluehost.
(Currently I am reformatting my entire site and 20 posts through bluehost and WordPress and I could have saved alottttttt of time had I just started there. Not to mention the $ I spent with Wix. I seriously wasted so much time)
When you use my link to signup with bluehost it includes a domain name and the Wordpess.org features!
I recommend wordpress.org (again it comes with your bluehost at just $3.95 a month). The options are endless and with blogging communities everywhere you can get your questions answered pretty quickly. There is a learning curve but it is quick to get over the hump and get things rolling. A mistake I made after converting from Wix, was using bluehost AND wordpress.com. I signed up for both, completely unnecessary. Bluehost is affiliated with wordpress.org so that is all you need!
Signing up with my link to Bluehost gets you: A domain name, a host, and WordPress.org.
Read up on how to build your BLOG!
When I started my blog my readers had no where to make comments on posts, or the ability to share posts on social media for over 40 days! Additionally, my sign up forms were very limited for my subscribers. I fixed this by reaching out to other bloggers, joining blogging groups on facebook, and a huge nugget: Twitter & Pinterest. I follow successful bloggers and blog coaches on twitter. Pinterest has tons of tips. Every time I have a question about a WordPress plugin I google it or go to Pinterest!
Last Few Pitfalls to Avoid.
I recommend a twitter and Pinterest to start. Get really good at one, then the other. Social media will help drive traffic and connect you with other bloggers who have had success (See above about why that is important). Once you master one, go to the other. Facebook is great, but it is also the most difficult to fully grasp. For Facebook – just post your blog posts on your personal page. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to operate a blog, 3 social media accounts, and personal social media accounts. Remember – social media is a business. Facebook’s goal is to allow businesses to advertise to potential customers aka social media users. Pinterest is vital early on to a blog because of the potential traffic.
Have a Schedule
Are you posting 2 or 3 times a week? What days are you posting? What times are you posting? Have you answered these questions, because if not you might want to. I started with 3x a week and that was good for two weeks, but honestly it became overwhelming. I now post Tuesday and Thursday mornings around 8:00 AM. I would like to eventually go M-W-F, but for now this is the format I use. I noticed traffic dies on the weekend so I do not post on the weekends. You can automate your posts :).
Read more about blogging over at M$M: 10 Blogging Mistakes
Have fun! The #1 thing I can say is have fun. Know how much time you are willing to put into your blog each week and have fun doing it! I love writing about our story in hopes to inspire others. I have already had friends and random people reach out asking about a post.
Be patient! Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t lose faith. If you are serious and in for the long haul then blogging is a great opportunity for you. Personally, I do not recommend thinking you will monetize your blog and reach a million people in a month. Have patience and be persistent.
Take action. Go to bluehost and make sure you use my link to get your host and domain ! Pick a theme and start designing your site! Type some posts in the meantime on a word document!
Additionally, if you email me with a question or if you used my link to get your Bluehost / WordPress site started, I will throw you a bonus – a group to join for bloggers on facebook, a twitter handle that revolutionized my blog, a tip to making $ your first week, and how to go about getting your first affiliates!!!!
Q:Are you considering starting a blog ?