I have been blogging over eight and a half years (wow) and there is still plenty that I don’t know. That’s what is so fun about this job, I learn something new every day because things change so quickly. If you want to be successful, you have to learn to adapt, which admittedly isn’t my strong suit…hence why this has been so good for me. Anyway, I’m rambling. I recently came out with an online guide for bloggers wanting to make money working with brands. I wanted to help bloggers that were looking to make money with their blog and social media accounts that didn’t really know where to start. But then I started thinking…let’s back up to before you even get to that point, right? I feel like I skipped a step. I have a free email course for people wanting to start a blog, then I have my how to make money eguide I mentioned above…but nothing really for “in between”, so I thought I would craft a post with 5 huge mistakes I made when I was in my first 6 months or so of blogging in hopes that you can avoid some of them, and be on a faster path to success.
1.) Blogging too often just for the sake of posting: When I first got into blogging, I was writing posts SEVEN days a week. Lawd. I mean, I know I didn’t have a child then so I had more time on my hands (can you believe I used to get BORED on the weekends?!? That clearly hasn’t happened in over 3.5 years)…but WOW that’s a lot of writing. The problem was, I felt like I “had” to blog every day because that’s what everyone else was doing, and so I would crank out a post even if I didn’t really have anything to say. This led to some really boring and useless posts that make me want to hide my head in shame. Now, I only blog typically two or three times a week, and my posts are much more informational and “deep”. Writing a post and editing photos is a big undertaking. Don’t get burned out by thinking you have to put up new content all. the. time. Because you don’t. It’s better to have QUALITY stuff that people will resonate with and want to come back for more of again and again.
2.) Not asking for help/not networking: Sometimes I will admit I can let my pride get the better of me, and this can lead to me trying to do things on my own. Blogging is NOT one of those things that you want to try to do on your own. Your peers are a wealth of information, and most bloggers are happy to share tips, help cross promote for you, and encourage you. If you put yourself on an island, you will remain on an island. People talk, PR agencies talk about bloggers to each other and to other bloggers. If you are viewed as someone who doesn’t play well with others, it could hurt you in the long run. There are some great Facebook groups out there you can plug into for some help and advice.
3.) Tried to be someone I wasn’t: I think at one time or another we have all fallen into this trap. We see someone else having success, and we want success too, so we do as they do. Granted there is nothing wrong with getting ideas from other bloggers, but there is a difference in getting an idea and making it your own, and trying to be someone you aren’t. Remember that your readers are reading your blog because they like you and what you have to say, not because you are just like someone else. Own your unique perspective and find your own voice. People will notice and you will find your tribe!
4.) Not being self hosted: It took me a minute after I started blogging to jump on the self hosted bandwagon. One because frankly I had no idea what it meant other than it sounding technical and complicated, and two, it meant spending money on my blog, and I had not even made any money, so it was scary to take that leap! Just remember, if you wait until you “have more money” to do things in life that have the potential to MAKE you money, then you will never make the leap. Being self hosted does have a cost, but it’s not high when you consider all the things you most likely spend money on in a week. You can get started for just $3.95 a month, and it will enable you to host ads on your site that will make you income. I don’t have to ever touch my ads and the money just gets deposited into my account every month, and it way more than pays for my self hosting.
5.) Not promoting my posts enough: When I first began blogging, I thought you wrote a post, shared it to Facebook and Twitter once, and that was that. It’s sad to think how many of my posts would have done so much better had I promoted them more. (I have gone back and reworked and re promoted some things, but still, it’s sad.) There are so many more ways to promote your posts, and you should definitely promote them more than one time! You did all that hard work, so get as many eyes on it as possible!
If you have any questions about the links above such as my free email course or my new eguide, let me know.