If you’re a new blogger or thinking of starting a blog, then you need to read this to avoid all these costly mistakes that I made during my first year blogging. This could potentially save you a lot of time and money.
I wish I knew them when I first started blogging. I was just blogging blindly.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
I started my blog with hopes and dreams of one day becoming my own boss. Don’t we all? But the reality soon slapped me in the face of how hard blogging can be. I got frustrated and didn’t even log in for probably 8 months. I even forgot my own password.
Blogging is hard work and it requires patience and consistency. In my first year of blogging, I wrote less than 10 articles. How do you expect anyone to find you with little content? I don’t know about you, but when I go to someone’s blog and I see the last article published 3 years ago, I leave right away. I don’t even bother to check it out.
2. No Promotion
I spent 100% on my blog and 0% networking/promoting it. Somehow I thought readers would magically appear. Some bloggers would tell you to spend 20% of your time writing and 80% promoting it, some bloggers say 60% and 40%. I think the percentage depends on where you are currently on your blogging journey.
I currently do the 33% – 33% – 33% -1% split.
Prior to starting this blog, I did not have Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest or anything else for that matter. I was trying to dip my foot into all of them and got nowhere. You just need to focus on one and master it. I recommend Pinterest because that’s how a lot of bloggers drive their traffic. Once you’ve mastered Pinterest, then you can move on to other things. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
I spend 33% of my time learning about Pinterest. I spent 4 hours one day just to make board covers and write descriptions of each board. I learned this from the course I recently purchased Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
The second 33% of my time is used to pin pins, try to join group boards or learn how to use Tailwind. Tailwind is a pin scheduler that does all the heavy lifting for you. Sign up using my link to schedule 100 pins for free. In addition, you get to join 5 tribes for free.
The third 33% I spend writing posts and working on pins.
The last 1% is used to apply for affiliate marketing, read up whatever catches my eyes such as SEO or blogging law.
That is where I currently am with my blog, but once I’ve mastered Pinterest, then it won’t take me HOURS anymore. Most seasoned bloggers mention that they spend 10-15 minutes a day on Pinterest.
3. No Networking
I did not network with other bloggers by commenting or by exchanging guest posts. That is a great way to expose yourself to their readers.
As I mentioned in #2 that prior to starting this blog, I had no social media presence. I didn’t know about Facebook and Pinterest community for bloggers that you can join.
You can learn from other bloggers when you network and reach out to them. They were in your shoes at one point.
4. No Mailing List
I finally just added a mailing list to my blog and in the process of working on some free stuff to entice readers to join my mailing list.
Your mailing list is yours. Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter could be gone tomorrow and you’d lose all of your followers. Remember MySpace? Yeah…same here. Whatever happened to it?
You can use your mailing list to email and engage your readers. It should be on your top to-do list.
5. Overdose Yourself On Other People’s Content
Reading other people’s posts for inspiration and motivation is good, but oftentimes, you get overwhelmed, frustrated and depressed.
I spent too much time reading other people’s content and not enough time working on my own blog. Everybody has their own style of writing and if you read too many different people’s posts, you might get confused and be all over the place.
Spending too much time on people’s blogs can give you a blog overdose and you might just quit blogging altogether due to frustration. Focus on you. Focus on your blog.
6. Bad Content
I did not spend enough time writing posts and the ones I did manage to write were just bad. I wrote too much about myself. I spent a month to write this article “How will 2018 be different”, only to realize now that nobody CARES about my personal life.
People don’t know who I am. They don’t care how 2018 will be different for me even though it was a very long and good article. I wrote about stocks, index funds and how much I made from investing last year, but the title was just bad.
Instead of writing “How will 2018 be different”, I can break it down and write 3 articles:
- How I managed to make $14,000 in stocks without spending a penny on trading fees
- How I managed to make $7k from index funds without doing any work
- How I managed to make $2000 from HSA
Which ones are you more likely to click on? Not only that, I would be able to produce 3 articles instead of just 1.
You need to spend time writing GOOD content. Your post has to help someone whether to give them tips or to motivate them. Don’t pump out a blog post a day if it’s bad, but don’t also spend 2 months to write just 1 blog post.
Starting out, you want to write 2-3 blog posts a week. I know some ambitious bloggers that write 1-2 posts a day.
7. No Traffic / Pinterest Traffic
Pinterest is a great tool for bloggers to drive traffic to their blogs. I was a Pinterest virgin. I just created a profile and left it there for a whole year even though I had heard that it is a great source of traffic.
When I came back to blogging this time around, I knew I had to take a different approach if I wanted to make money. I purchased the Pinterest Traffic Avalanche and within a week, I went from 0 to 200 followers. There is still so much to learn and do, but at least now I am stepping in the right direction.
8. Spend Money to Make Money
I am surprised that many seasoned bloggers still buy courses to help them. I didn’t want to spend money because I hadn’t made any. But here is the thing, you have to spend money to make money. I took out a loan of $130,000+ for my education before I was able to make a penny. Why should this be any different?
The next problem is which course to buy. There are so many courses out there, it’s hard to know which one is worth the money or which one you should spend your money on first.
Traffic is the most important thing. Traffic = Money. Without traffic, it doesn’t matter how pretty your site looks or how good your content is.
I knew that without traffic, nothing else matters. How to drive traffic? I was a jack of all trades and a master of none. I was all over the place with Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. I was mentally exhausted that I just gave up.
Just focus on one thing and master it. I decided to focus on Pinterest because it is a search engine. I had read so much about Pinterest Traffic Avalanche and did a lot of research before I purchased it. So far, I am doing just 10% and it’s already improving.
9. Not Monetize My Blog
When I first started my blog, I was too busy focusing on all the wrong things. I spent WEEKS just deciding on the font styles, colors and the layout of my page. I wanted my blog to look “perfect”. That’s what I spent the majority of my time on and I was never happy with it.
When I came back this time around to re-start my blog again, I placed ads on my page right away and was able to make some pennies within 2 days with Media.Net. Why is this important? Because now I have experienced first hand that it does work. You know it is real and it will keep you motivated.
Just keep writing. Just keep working hard. You will get there one day. You have to believe it and make it a part of your life. The thing that has helped me a lot this past month of blogging is having a schedule. Every hour of my day is filled with something.
My friends often joke and tell me that I have ADD because I cannot focus on just one thing. But surprisingly, I have managed to focus so well by having a tight schedule. There is still not enough time in a day for all the things I need to do/learn.
Just remember this: it’s a slow process, but quitting won’t make it go any faster.
Happy blogging and let me know if this article has helped you.
Recommendations For You
- Free Blogging Resources – Free resources to help you start and grow your blog. I will continue to add more tips and tools.
- Free Guide to Starting Your Own Blog for Non-Techies – Step-by-step instruction on how to start a blog from start to finish.
- eBates – Get cash back just for shopping online at the stores you love. Get $10 back when you spend your first $25.