Have you made some mistakes along the way on your blogging journey? A lot of these mistakes I’ve made myself. We can all improve I’d imagine so why not share the knowledge?
These are not listed in any particular order and I left out some mistakes purposefully. So feel free to add your own mistakes and lessons learned in the comments below!
1. Not Starting
Putting off starting a blog all together is really a huge mistake for many people. May of us are perfectionists and want the perfect setup. We want plenty of content already written, a great name, awesome networking connections, and a proficient understanding of basic programming. If this is you stop what you’re doing and start your blog this week! It will never be perfect! Try starting a free blog through WordPress.com or Blogger.com today!
2. Giving up
Blogs typically take time to take off. Traffic, engagement, and monetization take time. Anything worth doing typically doesn’t just happen over night. A lot of people give up after the 2-3 month mark. This could be due to becoming disillusioned with the work load, getting sick, holiday season, etc. A lot people tend to give up after 1 year of blogging. Blogging is hard and takes a lot of work. Sometimes bloggers can be disillusioned with the results. Evolve what you do along the way but don’t give up!
Choosing the wrong domain can be a huge mistake. Not blogging on your own domain can also be a big mistake. Hosted domains are okay during the early days. Ideally, for a profitable blog you want to be on your own domain and platform if at all possible. Remember to aim for a short, memorable domain. Take it from someone naming their blog Eagle Soaring Higher. Also remember not to use hyphens and to choose .com sites. Using domains that are specific to a country can limit your audience reach or be harder to remember. The good thing is that you can recover from mistakes. The objective though is to reduce these mistakes over time. As a bonus also remember that shorter names are easier to remember on social media accounts too.
4. Not Differentiating
If you are simply echoing what others are talking about you are probably not differentiating yourself. Examples of differentiating would be sharing your opinion, sharing your life experiences, injecting a little personality into your story, or being true to your voice. Are you the journalist, the detective, the friend, the expert, the companion, the teacher, the artist or something else?
I know some people don’t struggle with this. I’ve been tempted to do this and have in fact succumbed to this myself. I know we all get busy and we may skip publishing a post or two at some time. If you didn’t publish last week don’t feel you must apologize for it on this week’s post. This can actually distract people from the post you are actually writing and wanting your audience to read. There’s no need to highlighting your blog’s problems. Invest your time in building up your blog’s value instead.
6. Irregular Posting
You don’t have to publish every day. But keep in mind posting regularly is both good for you as a blogger and your readers to expect when they can expect new content. This will be less overwhelming than 7 days straight of posts with nothing for two weeks. I’m exaggerating but you get the idea. I typically post twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. Whatever you choose whether it’s posting once a week or 5 times a week try to keep it consistent. Consistent posting will also help you accumulate a good number of posts in your archives. Posting at least twice a week means in a year I will have posted upwards of one hundred and four articles. I would also start out with fewer posts than you think you can handle. If you think you can handle four posts a week start off with maybe start with two or three then build up to your maximum. Best not to bite off more than you can chew. This is coming from experience from someone who blogged 31 days straight in The No Spend Challenge series.
7. Quick Traffic
There’s nothing wrong with writing a blog post that is written with the hopes that it will share and go viral. If that’s the only type of blog post that you write you might frustrate or annoy your readership. A good example of this are catchy click bait blog post titles, controversial pictures, and really cool infographics. This may get people to click on your site, but it’s not building engagement when a reader stays less than a minute on your blog post. A good idea is to create varying content that falls into several categories that include sharable content, engaging content, strong calls to action, but really focus the majority of your time on teaching with the purpose of inspiring change in your audience. I’m trying to focus more on that this year.
8. Horrible Blog Post Titles
If you are anything like me coming up with blog post titles is a chore. The worst thing I found I could do is spend hours on a really fantastic blog post only to slap some random title as an afterthought before scheduling or publishing it. This could make the difference between people reading a blog post and just glancing over it. Ideally come up with five to ten blog post tittles. Then choose the best one. Maybe even ask someone to help you come up with ideas for your blog posts or bounce ideas off of.
9. Too Much Clutter
If I’m honest I really struggle with this with my blog. I love adding widgets or plugins that I really feel would be value added to my readers. Periodically I need to clean out my sidebar and top menu. I even try to get feedback once every couple months from other bloggers and some of my readers. This is also a great way to find broken links as well.
10. Undefined Niche
Most successful blogs have a well-defined niche, topic, or a specific demographic. Sure there are examples of great blogs that don’t have a niche but there is usually something defines them. It could be the style of the blog or something unique the blog does. I imagine some people will push back on this particular one. I would recommend narrowing your niche to one or two topics. Eagle Soaring Higher is primarily about personal finance and frugal living. I post about those topics on Friday’s. A secondary topic is blogging tips which kind of evolved as I started the site. If your blog is about everything it may be hard to build an audience or monetize.
11. Unengaged Niche
If you are not interested or engaged in your niche topic you will have a hard time succeeding. You really must weigh profit over passion when choosing what to write about. A website about a product you don’t believe in may make some money but you will likely loose interest over time. Readers can also typically tell if a post is spammy or truly heartfelt by the author. Set goals for your blog. Write about what interests you and what you love! It will come across on your blog posts!
Now it’s your turn!
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What mistakes have you made and what have you learned on your blogging journey?