Are you thinking of starting a blog? Did you just get started? Running a blog is fun and I like the challenge of doing it. If you’ve been following my blogging journey for a while, you know I’ve revamped/ rebranded my blog more than once. Why? Well I wanted to make sure the blog and the content I was writing matched the vision that I had for the blog, which you can read about in my first blog post since rebranding, Introducing The Sitting Beauty Diaries. I also needed to fix mistakes I made when I first started blogging, it just seemed easier to start over. Whether you are thinking of starting a blog or just getting started, learn from me, and avoid these 5 mistakes I made when I first started blogging.
5 Mistakes I Made When I First Started Blogging
Do Your Research
When I first decided to start a blog, I didn’t do nearly enough research. I knew why I wanted to start a blog, and I researched how to do it, you know hosting, which platform and all that, but little did I know there was so much more to it than that. I was writing blog posts, but I was missing a lot of key components, some of which you’ll find out about if you keep reading. I could say to myself I should’ve, I could’ve, I would’ve, but all I can do is move forward and make sure that I research as much as possible when I’m trying something new whether it relates to blogging or not. This is a lesson I will not forget.
Do your research, find out if there is space in the niche for your blog and how your blog can fill a gap in that niche. After that, learn as much as you can about the blogging world and all the resources available. There are blogs about blogging that you can check out to help you learn as much as possible before you get started.
Take Advantage Of Facebook Groups, Pinterest & Free Webinars
I had a Facebook Page for my blog, but that was it. I didn’t know there were Facebook Groups for bloggers (let’s face it, there’s a Facebook group for just about everything), I barely used the goldmine that is Pinterest and I didn’t attend webinars even though they were free. These were all big mistakes.
When I first joined a Facebook Group for new bloggers, I had no idea what to expect. What I found was help getting started, answers to questions like what plugins I needed for my blog, help designing my website with others offering their opinions on brand colors when I asked, and opportunities to learn from and network with other bloggers. I even got the opportunity to guest post on another blog, something that would not have happened, at least not at that time had I not been a member of that group.
If you are a blogger or thinking about starting a blog and you are not using Pinterest, you should be. Pinterest is not a social media platform, it’s a search engine. This search engine has everything from recipes to color scheme ideas, to make tutorials to blogging tips. There is so much information there on all these topics and pretty much any topic that you can think of checking out Pinterest is a must when researching how to get your blog started.
Last but not least, free webinars. I can’t tell you why I avoided these for so long, I mean they’re FREE, but I did. I don’t know what it was that finally convinced me to change my mind, I can’t remember at this point, but when I attended my first webinar on blogging I was happy I did. I learned valuable tips that I could put into action and take another step into turning my blog into the kind of website I hoped it would be. These webinars will usually try to sell you something, be it a course, an ebook, something, but you don’t have to buy it. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I’ve invested in courses I found out about free webinars and I’m glad I did as well as times that I attended the webinar, put those tips into practice and that was that. Don’t feel like you have to invest in a course after a webinar, do you research and see if it’s something you really want.
Maintaining Email List
When I first started an email list it was months into my blogging journey. I found out in my blogging research that an email list is important to the success of your blog. Why? Well it’s simple really, because it’s yours. If something happens to one of the social media platforms where you promote your blog, you still have your email list, you can still communicate with people who love your content.
When I first got started, I’d read over and over again how important starting that email list was so I did it, maintaining it and keeping in touch with the subscribers was a different story. I just had no idea what to write. I knew I had to do something so I found more articles from other bloggers on writing emails for your list, took courses, and read what I could so I would be able to write content for my emails. An email list gives you another connection to those who read your blog, you can promote blog posts, share tips, and so much more. One of the best places to find out more about creating an email list is with Meera Kothrand, her content is helping me produce the best content I can for my list. If you haven’t started your list or don’t know what to send them, be sure to check out her blog, she also has some great articles about blogging.
Posting Consistently On The Blog & Social Media
In blogging content may be king, but so is consistency. I used to just post on my blog when I had a really good idea, whether it waa the following week or month or two didn’t matter. I had no set schedule for posting on my blog and that was a problem. These days I put set time aside to work on my blog so I’m posting once a week. Creating a plan makes the process easier and gives the opportunity to stay ahead of schedule making it fun for me to instead of waiting for inspiration to strike.
If you are not posting on social media, how are people going to know about your blog? During your research, you should get an idea of where your blog audience hangs out. Create a presence on that platform and promote your blog posts every so often, be careful though, you don’t want all your posts on the platform to be about promoting your blog so make sure you post other content that shows off your personality and/ or the personality behind your blog a bit too.
Having Quality Photos In My Blog Posts
Photos. I made more than 5 mistakes when I first started blogging, but I included this one because I really didn’t give the photos on my blog enough thought. Photos on your blog help to illustrate your points, show products if you are doing a review or break up the text to make it more aesthetically pleasing instead of paragraph after paragraph of text.
If you don’t want to or don’t feel like you have the right tools to get good quality photos for your blog, don’t worry about it, there are dozens of free stock photo websites you can use and a few other low-cost options, for example. stock bundles or libraries by other bloggers.
I revamped my blog this year and really focused on what I wanted to be, now I can sit here and say “if only if only”, the fact is that you are not going to know what to research for every aspect of blogging right away which is why there’s a learning curve to it. Although I made mistakes when I first started blogging, blog posts like this helped me learn from other bloggers mistakes, so I hope that if you are thinking of starting a blog or just getting started that this post helps you avoid some pitfalls and gets you started on the right track for your blogging journey.