October marks my 4th full month of blogging. Since I’ve started, I have had a lot of ups – and a LOT of downs. There were lots of moments where I would sit and wonder if this is really worth it. Wondering if I will ever be a successful blogger who can make this an actual business. Wondering if anyone would care if I just stopped writing.
I have preserved through the dark times, and I am still going to keep writing and keep going. It’s only been FOUR MONTHS – no business is successful after just 4 months. I’ve also made some mistakes as a new blogger. These mistakes were ultimately learning experiences – and looking back on it, I would have definitely done some things differently.
I don’t want you to experience these same mistakes – so here are four mistakes I made as a new blogger, and how I would have approached these situations differently!
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Not Treating My Blog as a Business
When I first started, I read ALL the articles I could find on Pinterest that involved saving money while blogging. I was all about starting my blog without putting much money at ALL in to it. I knew that I was going to have to pay to start a domain name, but as far as I was concerned, that was the only investment I was looking to do. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have much to invest. Starting off with just a domain name can work well for some people!
Well, that ended up not working well for me. Eventually, it dawned on me that if I want to make this blog a successful side business, I’m going to have to treat it as such – that means investing some money in to it.
I didn’t just go spending money willy nilly on fun plug ins and I thought out every purchase before I finally clicked “add to cart”. I DID invest in some important items like:
- A professional WordPress theme using the Genesis framework
- ConvertKit and Tailwind to create an email list and keep my Pinterest active
- Elite Blogging Academy and Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – two amazing programs that have taught me SO MUCH in the past few weeks I’ve been enrolled
Those last two were extremely important. I have never blogged before, and there are tons of great, helpful, FREE resources out there – but it wasn’t enough for me. Enrolling in these two courses has helped my blog so much and I’ve barely cracked the surface!
So, as of right now – I’m in the red when it comes to my earnings. But as I said – I realized that if I want to do this right, I have to treat it like a business and I need to invest. All businesses have to start somewhere, and once I realized this, I felt a lot more confident in my blog.
Being Impatient and Rushing Things
Patience is NOT one of my virtues. I have accepted that this is how I am and how I always will be. When it came to my blog, however, being impatient didn’t help things at all. I started promoting my blog and my posts immediately – yes, I had ONE post and I spread it everywhere. I had no subscriber list set up, so who knows how many subscribers I missed out on. My site didn’t have a nice layout, I just had a SITE and I wanted to get it rolling as quickly as possible.
Looking back on it, I wish I had waited until I had a few more posts before I got serious about promoting it. I also wish I had set up an email list IMMEDIATELY so I could have gotten those few subscribers that I missed out on by nothing have one set up. All in all, I was eager to get started on my dream blog, even if that meant I wasn’t totally set up before I launched. In reality, it cost me time – I had to go back and edit things, fix blog posts, and double up on the advertising of the older posts that no one saw because there was no traffic TO see them.
Going back to my first point – treat your blog like a business – you wouldn’t open unless you were sure you had everything set up and ready to go, right? Right! So don’t start promoting your blog until it’s set up the way you like it. Make sure you know you’ve tied all loose ends. Sure, you’ll be editing it occasionally – like when you update your theme or widgets. For the most part, however, you’ll be much more successful if you lay down the foundation before launching.
Underestimating Social Media
Over and over again, I read about how Pinterest was THE social media site to focus on for your blog. Pinterest HAS brought me over 90% of my traffic – but I did not focus on any other social media platforms. I tried Facebook, but didn’t really get in to it, and I didn’t get in to Twitter either.
Well, I should have been doing that ALL ALONG. While it’s true that you shouldn’t try and stretch yourself too thin with too many networks, you should have more than one social media platform that you focus on. I decided to work with Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
The reason I say I underestimated social media is simple. While I MADE profiles for all the platforms, I never actually put a lot of effort in to it. There are a ton of blogging groups on Facebook that help with promotion. There are a TON of bloggers on Instagram in my niche that could be guest posters or help get me readers. Pinterest is NOT the only way to get readers.
Not Telling Friends and Family About My Blog
I know, this part is probably going to make you freak out – but you HAVE to tell your friends and family about your blog! These can be some of your most loyal readers! I know my parents read every post I make, and try to get their friends to read and like my Facebook page as well!
I know it’s very intimidating to put yourself out there and expose your writing to the world. But recently, I finally realized that I didn’t CARE what people think. How do I know that the person I sat next to in Freshman English isn’t interested in what I have to say? If I invite them to like my Facebook page, the worst they can do is not like it and not read it.
No one is going to care about your blog if they’re not interested. However, if they ARE interested, you just gained a new reader!
Everyone is going to make mistakes on their blogging journey. That’s just how life is! I have also made a lot of successes! For example, I’ve made the minimum sales via Amazon to keep my affiliate account open with them! YAY! I also got my first affiliate sale for Tailwind last month! My catalog of posts is now almost 6 pages long. I’m continuing to gain followers and pins on Pinterest that will only increase my page views as time goes on.
Don’t let the mistakes get you down, keep going and celebrate the successes. I can do this, YOU can do this, and we can all be successful bloggers together!
Any questions? Helpful advice? Drop a comment below!