If you’re just starting out on your blog journey, I hope the new blogger mistakes I made will be ones you don’t have to make! There are so many things to think about when you are just starting a blog. It’s a huge and exciting world of online marketing, learning social media, SEO, finding your perfect audience, etc.
I started my blog with the intent to monetize it and not purely as a hobby blog. If you want to make money off of your blog and grow traffic quickly, these are new blogger mistakes you can’t afford to make.
Mistake #1: I used the wrong website builder
I launched my blog on Squarespace instead of WordPress. Squarespace is pretty and it’s easy to learn. I still like the old look of my blog much better, but none of that matters if no one is reading it. When you’re starting out it’s incredibly important to be able to learn SEO (search engine optimization). One of the best ways to figure that out is to start using the Yoast plugin for WordPress. Squarespace doesn’t have plugins, so there aren’t ways to automatically check your SEO.
I use Siteground for my hosting now. I can’t recommend them enough! After reading several reviews of other web hosting providers and speaking with some blogging mentors, I settled on Siteground and I’ve been incredibly happy.
Mistake #2: I didn’t post enough
When I launched, I had about 30 pieces of content ready. I promoted the heck out of those posts, using all I know about Pinterest, but then I stopped creating new content. The first few months after launch I was getting 5,000 to 8,000 pageviews per month. Then I took a little break from creating new content and my traffic plummeted to 2,000 to 3,000 pageviews a month. In order to make any real money off of advertising, bloggers need to qualify for Mediavine, which requires 25,000 sessions per month (about 30,000 pageviews). I thought I could just keep promoting old content and making new pins, and that is just not the case – you have to both promote your work + create new content when you’re starting out.
Mistake #3: I posted about the wrong things
When I launched I thought I’d write about a bunch of things that interested me and that surely other people would find those posts interesting as well. Maybe you’ll get lucky with this approach, but what I’ve found to be true is an audience wants answers to problems. They want specific help with things and they want information quickly and cogently (think: listicles!)
Mistake #4: I didn’t understand affiliate marketing
When I started blogging, I thought I could just slam a few affiliate links in a post, or even worse – just have Pinterest pins that went straight to an Amazon affiliate-linked product. While I know that’s worked for some people, it really doesn’t work for new bloggers. You need to establish credibility to get people to buy things. If you are using affiliate links you need to write a blog post about those things and share why you like them and are recommending them.
Mistake #5: I didn’t have a solid plan
Lots of bloggers will tell you when they were starting out they were all over the place – you are trying to build all your social media platforms, a newsletter list, and post a bunch of times. Especially if you are trying to monetize, you need to create a strategy and stick with it. Lots of new bloggers have found that the quickest way to grow traffic is to grow their Pinterest quickly. Other bloggers will create massive pieces of content that answer lots of questions and will try to rank for difficult keywords. Others will create a massive amount of content, hoping for a few virals. I’ve seen bloggers be successful with all of these – but you have to choose a path and really go for it.
What new blogger mistakes have you made?
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about blogging or advice to share.