I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years for my company and almost a year independently. I can honestly tell you I am constantly learning. While my followers and site traffic have continued to grow due to shamelessly promoting my work on any platform I can, there are some mistakes I’ve made that would have made a huge different in the first few months of my blogging journey.
Here are blogging mistakes I made you should avoid.
I let my hatred of Facebook socially stop me from falling in love with Facebook professionally
There are over 500 million people on Facebook and because I felt like I had reached some higher level of self-worth (or whatever nonsense I was thinking, you can read about it in my article My Month Without Facebook…that turned into my months without Facebook) that I didn’t need to use it to help me reach the 500 million people on Facebook. It took me 2 months of relying on Twitter and sites like Stumble Upon and Medium to grow my blog before I realized how many readers I was losing by avoiding Facebook. Currently to make a Facebook page for you do have to have a personal Facebook account but that doesn’t mean you have to return to being a Facebook junkie. You can maintain a successful Facebook marketing campaign for your site without subjecting yourself the mundane personal aspects of the site. Since I started actively marketing my blog on Facebook I have seen a 53% increase in my readership
Not using external links correctly
Connecting your site to other more successful sites is a great way to grow your blog, if you do it correctly. I would input links into my blogs about events or other relevant pieces of information but not selecting one little box was raising my bounce ratio. I wasn’t setting links to open in a new window… so anytime I wanted to share something with a reader I was basically kicking them off my site :/.
If someone was reading a post and liked it enough to check out the link they would click on it and leave my site. Make sure external links open in a separate window so that readers are more likely to return to your site after viewing links.
I didn’t always treat it like a real job
When you start blogging you are so excited to share your writing with the world on your own platform. You make a blog schedule and then life happens, your boyfriend is being an ass, your friends want to go to happy hour, Game of Thrones returned, whatever it is, it’s easy to get distracted and let your posts, marketing or newsletter get behind. It’s so important to make a schedule you can and will stick to. Blogging can have a lot of benefits and if you aren’t maintaining your blog you are missing out on opportunities to make income, receive free swag and share your story with the world. If you aren’t using a free blogger service and have paid for a domain or hosting company, you are essentially ripping yourself off by not maintaining your blog. You’ve made the decision to invest in yourself so you owe it to yourself to do your best to return on that investment.
Consider it the same as your day job, you go to it and perform your responsibilities so you can get paid. When you host a blog you are the owner of your own business. You are the boss and you have to hold yourself accountable.
I was shy!
My friends are my biggest supporters but I was very slow about letting people in life know that I had started blogging and freelancing. It took me months to share my blog with my friends, I was worried people would make fun of me or troll me. I marketed myself like crazy and talked to any bloggers that would listen to me on Twitter but I didn’t let the people I knew be there for me. Once I shared my page with my friends, my readership and comments exploded. I’d run into people and they would tell me how much they loved my blog or ask me how they could get started. Even my gynecologist asked me for my card!
Quantity over quality
I was so eager to grow my blog I thought the best way to get and keep people interested was to post constantly. When you are churning out new posts every day you risk bringing down the quality of your posts, as well as burning yourself out. One of the best pieces of blogging advice I’ve heard was not to over post. When you first start out you probably don’t have a huge following. If you have a website with 50 decent posts it doesn’t matter if no one is reading them. Focus on creating great content and marketing that to build an audience. If you create strong, relatable and informative posts you will engage the people who do stumble across your content and they will be more likely to share your content and return for more.
I Spammed Myself
You have to read to write. You have to keep reading to spark emotions and ideas but you have to balance. I wanted to support everyone. I subscribed to a lot of blogs I came across… this was hell on my inbox. It’s great to support other bloggers but try to use a different email address than your primary blogger email address for subscriptions this way emails about submissions and other business conversations aren’t muddled down by newsletters and subscriptions.
What are some mistakes you made when you started blogging? Are you guilty of any of these?