Blogging is a great platform to share what you’re personally interested in with hundreds, even thousands of people on the internet. Whether you’re an aspiring writer, or an enthusiast, or an expert on a certain topic, you can start your own blog or website. You can choose to talk about travel, food, beauty, parenting, blogging, lifestyle, personal growth, or even express your own thoughts and experiences. Pictures and videos you’ve taken yourself can also take your blog posts to a whole other level.
As thrilling of an idea starting a blog can be, you may want to slow down a bit. If you jump to creating your own website and writing your blogs posts without knowing what to expect, you may have just made a few mistakes you’ll regret big time later on.
I started my blog as an impulse decision 2 years ago. Even if it was one of the best decisions of my life and fueled my passion for writing, I have to admit that I made a lot of mistakes. I made so many beginner mistakes that not only cost me so much money, slowed down my blog’s progress, but also required a lot of very rough re-work to be done.
That’s why I’ll be sharing with you guys the 10 Expensive Mistakes I Made When Starting a Blog that You Should DEFINITELY Avoid. With just a bit of research, planning, and pre-work for your blog, you can not only save money in the long run but also keep the momentum of your blog’s success. Let’s get started!
Avoid these 10 Expensive Mistakes I Made When I Started My Blog
1. Don’t rush picking the name of your blog!
Like a new born baby, your blog’s name should be carefully thought over. This is your blog’s identity where you will basically build everything on from your content, branding, to your social media handles. Your blog name should be unique, catchy, memorable and may or may not describe you or the topics you write about. Choose a name you’d be proud to come out of another person’s mouth, and something you’ll be happy to carry around for a long time.
Also make sure to check if the domain name (.com) is available for your chosen blog name. A brilliant name is useless if somebody is already using it.
2. Don’t be easily persuaded by Ads claiming “it’s so easy to create a website”!
Building a website isn’t actually as complicated as you might think. Through using website building platforms like WordPress, Wix, Blogger, Weebly etc., anyone can create a website from scratch with little to no knowledge of HTML coding. It is important to remember that each platform is best suited for a specific purpose so you have to take time to research and consider ALL of your options. Compare them to each other and prioritize which will best suit your needs in the long run. Make sure to also read reviews from long-time users. You may also read how-to’s on Google or watch tutorial videos on how to use these platforms to see if they’re user-friendly.
My biggest mistake was getting carried away by the same WIX ad I kept on seeing while watching videos on Youtube. I got so excited that I designed my webpages and wrote my first couple of blog posts all on WIX. Platforms like WIX have free-versions, but you’ll soon discover that they can be limiting. For you to use your domain name, and actually start showing up on search engines, you have to purchase one of their premium plans. As a new user, there was a discount offer I took advantage of and then, I went live with my first blog: Sewer Rant – Dump your worries here.
Review of WIX for Blogging: I DO NOT RECOMMEND!
Using WIX was so easy, but after a while, I started encountering some issues with the platform. Even when the premium plan had a lot of offerings like its own email campaign builders, editors for social media posts, and even online store capabilities, I wasn’t able to utilize any of those at all.
Wix loads your web page super slowly, especially when you have third-party elements. I get frequent complaints from my visitors saying the site’s too slow or they can’t comment. My blog posts also weren’t showing up on Google for quite some time. For a full year, my blog’s stats did not improve at all, even with consistent quality content and promotions every week. By the end of the year when I was planning to migrate to another platform, I was surprised that Wix billed me full price for the premium plan a month early, so I was stuck with another full year with them. How unlucky could I be!
I am not discouraging people to use Wix. I’m basically sharing my own personal experience with the platform. I would not recommend it at all for blogging, but it can do for other kinds of websites like online stores, company websites, or portfolios.
For blogs, I would recommend WordPress.org. It might seem intimidating at first, but you’ll get the hang of it after a while. It is self-hosted so you can do whatever you like with your blog with no limits whatsoever. I recommend you to start with WordPress.org already so you won’t have to face the hassle of migrating your website a bunch of times. If you encounter any difficulties with WordPress, WPBeginner is a good resource for any of your needs. (They recently helped migrate my website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. I’m super thankful for the great work they did. I mean, third time’s the charm. Am I right?)
3. Don’t use random colors and fonts on your blog’s design!
Your blog’s design should be cohesive. It is best to be clean and uniformed. Pick a color palette and a font pairing that best capture the essence of your blog or what you want it to feel. The colors you pick will also serve as your branding and style guide for your social media posts. You can take inspiration from Pinterest and other blogs on the internet.
Research for Font Pairings, and Mood Boards for color combos. Try and browse through the Themes you can use for your website. Play around with all of these elements while designing your website until everything comes together. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you can always tweak your design bit by bit, even after you hit “Publish”.
It took a bit of time for me to finally stick to a certain aesthetic for my blog. Right now, Christian Foremost’s design is bright, fun, and friendly. Since my branding is “Your Gay Best Friend”, I want my visitors to not only feel welcomed into my website but also excited for what they’re about to read. I would like to thank Pau from Yello Studio for helping me out with the colors. Who knew rainbow colors could actually work on a blog? She did great work revamping one of my websites a year ago: Sewer Rant. If you’re looking for a web designer or need a little bit of help designing your website, better get in touch with Yello Studio.
4. Don’t forget to include these 3 important web pages when creating your blog!
There are 3 important webpages that your blog should have so that it can be properly indexed by Google, and also qualified for the Google Adsense application.
- ABOUT page: contains information about the blog and the author
- CONTACT page: contains a form where the visitor can send you an email or a message
Make sure that you have all three webpages when you design your blog from the start. They’re super easy to do, and pretty vital for the identification of your blog as a reputable website. You wouldn’t want to be 6 months into blogging with hundreds of posts, and then get disqualified for ads application just because you don’t have these required pages!
5. Don’t upload raw photos on your blog!
You always. I repeat. Always have to compress and resize your images first before you upload them to your website. Heavy images will cause your webpage to load slowly which might cause the visitors to leave your site right away. Make sure that each image you’re uploading is less than 1MB. You may use these tools to compress and resize your images before uploading them: Image Compressor and Bulk Resize Photos.
It’s also a great idea to put watermarks on your images if other people download them from the internet and decide to use them. Also, make sure to name your image files appropriately and use alt-text to describe your image so that it can be read by search engines.
6. Don’t be too poetic or flowery with your blog post titles!
Poetic and cryptic titles may do great on creatives pieces, essays for school, or articles for magazines, but for search engines, this does not help your post at all. You must use keywords inside your titles, and structure them in a way that people will know right away what the article is about. Make sure that it also catches the readers’ attention for them to click on the article if ever it appears on their feed or timeline on social media. Use your keywords throughout your article as well. Also, make sure to use meta tags so that you’ll rank higher on Google. If you want more help with Search Engine Optimization, you may check out articles from Yoast: SEO for Everyone.
7. Don’t cram all of your ideas on one blog!
Be very direct and purposeful with your blog. Cut to the chase and don’t include information that is irrelevant or might distract your readers. Give them what you promised them right away. There is no required word count for the blog, just as long as you deliver the message across to the readers. Be mindful though that people now have shorter attention spans and they more likely to just scan your blog. Statistics say that people only stay for 10-20 seconds on a web page. Within that time, you have to capture their interest right away so that they’ll read the rest of your article.
For the additional ideas that you have, you can actually write separate blog posts where you can dig deeper into them. If you need more help writing blog posts, you may want to read my blog on 7 Valuable Tips on Creating Quality Blog Content.
8. Don’t disregard your blog’s statistics!
Learn how to read your blog’s data from the start so that you know how you’re doing. With your blog statistics, you’ll not only know how many views you gets, but where it’s coming from, and what type of people read your work. You can then strategize your content and promotions based on that data and even make long terms plans to grow your blog more. Tools like Google Analytics and even statistics built in your website-building platform are available for your disposal.
9. Don’t waste your content and promotion efforts on people outside of your niche!
There’s a lot of work involved in a blog already, so it is best to be efficient. You have to have a focus. Focus on your niche and what they need, and not so much on a bigger and wider audience. Know where your target readers are and what they like so that none of your efforts and time is wasted.
If you’re a DIY blogger, your readers will mostly be hobby enthusiasts, and they spend most of their time on Pinterest and Google. With this knowledge, and also the data you gathered from your own analytics, create content specifically for them and post your blogs where they will be looking. Once one of your posts catches their attention and they realize the value from it, they will follow you. For example, you can write a blog post about Trying Knitting for the First Time – Look at My Nasty Beginner Creations! for your Knitting blog. While writing your blog, make sure it is SEO-ready so people find it in Google. You can also create a Pin for your post and also share it in Interest Groups on Facebook! Be targeted and purposeful.
10. Don’t hesitate to ask others for help or feedback!
Blogging can be burdensome because you’d have to do all of the work yourself. You’ll get to do a variety of things outside of your comfort zone. Aside from writing, you’ll also have to do HTML, SEO, web and graphic design, social media marketing, advertising and promotions, business and so much more. You are your blog so you don’t have a choice, but to be everything it needs. It’s tough because one person can’t have all of the skills or be good at everything.
It is important to remember that you can ask for help. You may also ask for help from your friends or other people who aren’t necessarily bloggers. You may ask assistance from graphic designers, marketers, writers, or other professionals and tap into their expertise. An outside opinion can be of such great help!
Be a part of Community Groups on Facebook for bloggers or people who write about the same topics as you. Ask for the members’ help and advice on how to address certain issues you’re encountering with your blog or insights on how to improve your blog’s performance. It’s really nice to have people to talk to about blogging, exchange ideas, and share frustrations and goals with. We’re all trying to improve and achieve success and yes, we can definitely help each other out!
That is it. Those are some pieces of advice I wish I could have told my younger self before I started my blog. I wish I had researched more, or at least became aware of these 10 things from the start. If only I developed the habit of doing the right things early on, my blog could have performed better these past few years. Instead, I was impatient and tried to do it all myself so the only way I learned was literally making regrettable mistakes and facing the consequences. I closed down my first blog after 2 years without getting any of the money I invested in it back. I’d like to think that all of the work I put in didn’t go to waste, but I’m sure most of it went down the drain. I just hope that you guys don’t do the same thing okay!
Are you Ready to Start Your Blog?
Right now, I am much happier with my blog, and things seem to be working out okay. Of course, I am still facing issues up until this point and I still have more things to figure out. I’ll get there though. Part of the fun of blogging is there’s always a challenge and something new to learn and aim for! We’re always growing and as long as I continue writing, this blog will always be alive.
I guess my mistakes are worth it as long as you guys get to learn from them. Lol. See you guys on the next blog and I hope that we all make some smart decisions. Hahaha!
Grab this Checklist for 10 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid When Starting A Blog. Don’t forget to Pin this blog for future reference!
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