When you take up something new, you will make mistakes. Fact. It’s not a bad thing as making mistakes is how you learn. However, some mistakes can cost you time and money that you would rather have kept!
In this post I will share some New Blogger Mistakes that I made (or seriously thought about making!) when I got started to spare you the pain of doing the same thing!
Opting for free website hosting
When I first started my blog I chose free web hosting which I soon found wasn’t going to work for me. The trouble with free hosting is that you are using a sub-domain. It’s not yours – it belongs to the web host which means that they have control over it. What would that look like to you?
- Ads could pop up on your website that your don’t want (and the web host would get any revenue)
- There is no support if something goes wrong with your site
- Speeds are generally slower which affects your site’s ability to rank on Google
- If the purpose of your blog is for affiliate marketing, many affiliate programs will only accept you if you own the domain
Luckily, the hosting I signed up for offered the option to upgrade to paid hosting but kept my site intact. Be sure to check out How To Compare Web Hosting Services before signing up for anything if you haven’t got started yet.
Not defining your audience
If you are writing posts without knowing who it is for, you are unlikely to a) find the right people and b) help the people who do find you.
Bear in mind that the reason for your blog is to help people by sharing helpful advice, how are you going to help anyone if you don’t know specifically who they are? You need to create a persona and know their every pain point, goal and desire, otherwise you will end up creating vague content for no one in particular!
For a deeper dive into creating a persona for your blog, read How To Define An Audience For Affiliate Marketing. It doesn’t matter if affiliate marketing isn’t your thing – the process is the same for any purpose. It will help you to speak to the right people in the right voice with the right message.
Going keyword crazy
It’s very easy to get excited about keyword research, especially when you think you have found a belter! Do not be tempted to put it in your post more than two or three times as Google really doesn’t like it. Also, do make sure that it reads well and never put a keyword where it just doesn’t work grammatically.
It’s much better to sprinkle occasional alternative keywords and you may end up ranking for more than you thought! The best way to find options for this is to search for your keyword in Google then scroll to the bottom of the page where it shows ‘related searches’.
Last but not least, from time to time just write for the joy of it. Give yourself a keyword break and write something you simply want to share (which is what I have done with this post!). Google highly rates content over everything else and you are adding value to your website.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which
we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There
is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso
Lack of planning
Everyone has different ways of doing this but here is a suggestion from my friend Hilde Regine:
Consuming too much content
If you are like me, you will spend way too much time reading other blogs and watching YouTube videos. It starts innocently enough, seeing what blogs rank the highest for your proposed keyword, then before you know it you have read that post and clicked through to another one and another until there’s no time left for your own work!
Until recently, I could spend half the day on this sort of activity. I didn’t half learn a lot but I just wasn’t getting things done! The best way to overcome this is to restrict your research time to, say, one hour. Make important notes about what you find and get on with your own work.
Another top idea is to just pick 2 or 3 top blogs that you follow and don’t be drawn to everyone’s content. You will end up confused and overwhelmed otherwise.
Not promoting your blog
Not putting your readers needs first
It is so easy to fall into this. You are excited about a topic and go off at high speed about things that you love to talk about. That is all well and good if, and only if, it is helping your readers. Always take a moment at the planning stage to consider if the topic is going to help your readers and during creation of your post. If at any time you can’t honestly say it is helping, stop and look at how you can change it.
Not creating an email list
I am guilty as charged. It took me some months to get round to this. I just didn’t feel that, with the limited traffic I was getting (to a very new blog) that it was worth it.
Even although there are free options out there. We work so hard to get traffic and the chances of the people who find us once finding us again is virtually zero – so why not give them the option of staying in touch?
Have a look at how I (eventually) got started in this Email Marketing Beginners Guide.
Trying to figure it out by yourself
This was a mistake I made when trying to build my first website. I got horribly stuck and to cut a long story short, I ended up giving up on that business. The trouble is, when you are starting out you don’t always know what help is available.
There are some great courses out there and I highly recommend signing up for one, ideally with a community whether it be on a website or Facebook for example. Unless you are technically gifted, you will get stuck and it makes all the difference in the world when there is always someone there to get you back on track.
Check out the training that helped me here. I went for the free option at first but the value of the paid version was just too tempting and I have never regretted it.
You can go it alone, but getting advice from people who have already achieved what you want to achieve makes life much easier and makes your chances of success way higher.
Learning something new is exciting and can also be a bit scary. Quite apart from the mistakes highlighted above, expect to find more of your own! In any case, embrace them as part of the learning process. It’s all part of your journey.
Have you made mistakes in your blogging journey? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.