Let’s be honest, being a new blogger is rough. There are a million and one things you’ve gotta learn how to do, and sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything wrong. But hey, that’s the beauty of starting a blog– sure, you’re gonna make some mistakes, but that’s how you develop and grow your blog!
I’ve had my fair share of mistakes with blogging, but thankfully I’ve learned from them and so can you. These are my biggest mistakes I’ve made as a blogger (so far), and exactly how it helped shape (and continues to shape) my blog! Hopefully you can relate to these, and also make sure you don’t make these same mistakes so you can get ahead of the game!
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1. BEING TOO SCARED TO INVEST IN MYSELF
If there’s one mistake I regret the most throughout my blogging career, it’s not investing in myself sooner. With my first blog, I waited so long before I put any money into it, and I truly think that hurt my growth. But when I started this blog, I grew my following a lot quicker and I don’t think that’s by luck.
I’m very open about how much it cost me to start this blog, and I’m not going to trick you into thinking that a money-making blog is totally free to run. None of us want to spend money on something we’re not sure will work, but in order to really grow your blog, you need resources that are going to make an impact on your blog. There are tools that pretty much all bloggers swear by, and are actually worth buying (or at least trying out!)
If you’re like me and not a millionaire, I’d suggest starting small. If you can only invest in one thing with your blog, hands-down I’d go with web hosting. Specifically, Siteground. This means that you’ll own your content and you have so many more capabilities than with free hosting. For a detailed guide on everything you need to know about starting a self-hosted blog on Siteground, go here.
2. NOT CONNECTING WITH OTHER BLOGGERS
This is something I never really did with my first blog, mostly because the thought of talking to other bloggers was really intimidating. The blogging community just seemed so tight-knit and I was just a teeny tiny blogger.
If this is how you feel, try to remember that even the biggest blogger out there started exactly where you did. We’re all human, and you’d be surprised how incredibly nice people are in the blogging community, and how willing they are to help you out!
There are a few ways to connect with bloggers, but the easiest (and my most preferred method) is to comment on blog posts! Not only does this help them out by showing they’ve got an engaged audience, it’s also a good way to get your blog out there and maybe even get some traffic!
You want to provide thoughtful comments, to show that you’re really engaged and can get a conversation rolling. So, don’t just comment ‘nice post!’ and expect to connect. I’ve been trying to comment more on blog posts, and my goal is to comment on at least one blog post a day.
Once you get more comfortable with other bloggers, you can also start emailing them, interacting on social media, etc. Bloggers are the only other people who know what you’re going through and struggling with, and they’re a great resource to bounce off ideas, thoughts, and general advice!
3. I WAITED TO START AN EMAIL LIST
When you’re starting a blog, an email list is probably the last thing on your mind. It sure as heck wasn’t on the top of my to-do list. But every post I’ve read from bloggers talking about things they wish they’d gone back and done sooner mentions starting an email list, because it’s crucial to informing your readers of updates and deals directly.
For most people, Pinterest is the #1 source of incoming traffic to their blog, but let’s say one day Pinterest just shut down completely. There’d be no way for you to reach your followers or new readers because your #1 source of traffic is no longer there.
But when you’ve got an email list, you can directly talk to your readers, and remind them that, hey, your blog exists. Because, let’s be honest, if we aren’t prompted or reminded to do something, we can easily forget. So, if they aren’t seeing your content on Pinterest, they’ll still see links to your blog in their inbox!
If you haven’t started an email list yet, I definitely suggest looking into Convertkit. It was created with bloggers in mind so it’s really changed the game for me and my list.
4. I PUBLISHED BAD POSTS
I’ll be totally honest, when I think about the first few posts I created with my first blog, I literally want to cringe. These were the kinds of things you hope never see the light of day, and I eventually deleted them.
When I started this blog, I knew I needed to up my writing game and really focus on creating content that counted. Creating foundational content is probably the most important thing you can do to keep people coming to your blog.
New bloggers (and even some long-term bloggers) sometimes get this idea that the more posts they dish out, the more people they’ll attract. But just remember that quality is more important than quantity in this sense.
If you’re not proud of the content you’re publishing, then for the love of all that is holy don’t publish it.
If you need a little help figuring out what you need to do before you publish your post, you can download this free blog post checklist!
5. I DIDN'T SCHEDULE MY POSTS
I'm a momma to the most wonderful little boy in the world, I've got a full-time job, and I go to school. Basically, that means I've got very little time to worry about writing and editing posts every week. Luckily, I did a little research and learned about an editorial calendar, and it has saved me so much time and headache with my blog.
Basically, you're stock-piling posts and scheduling them so when you're super busy one week you don't have to worry about creating content because it's already done for you! And your editorial calendar helps you keep up with it all. This is great for SEO but it also helps build trust with your readers because they know exactly what to expect from you week to week with your posting schedule.
Once you've scheduled your post on your blog, you can also schedule your posts to go live on social media. This saves me even more time, and that's why I always use Tailwind to schedule my pins to Pinterest.
We can all learn from our mistakes, and I think owning up to our mishaps is a great way to really learn from them. Hopefully reading about my mistakes makes things easier on you as you start your blogging journey. Maybe you've already made some of these mistakes and can relate to my struggles!
MAKE SURE YOU PIN THIS TO PINTEREST!
What's your biggest blogging mistake and how'd it help you grow?
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