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Blogging is an excellent way to make money from home, but getting started isn’t easy. There are so many little things that can make or break your blog. If you aren’t aware of them and actively working to avoid them, these 6 mistakes to avoid when blogging will hurt your success.
I got to learn that the hard way.
Sadly, every one of them is a mistake I made on my first blog.
Some of them had consequences that manifested immediately. They put my blog at a standstill until I fixed them.
Others took over two years before they came back to bite me, and they bit hard!
My hope is that by reading this, you’ll be able to avoid the mistakes I made. I don’t want you to be two-plus years in before you realize how much these mistakes are hurting your blog.
It takes enough time already to build a successful blog without committing these 6 common blogging mistakes.
Luckily, they’re all easy to avoid if you’re just aware of them.
Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging
Blogging Mistake #1 – Picking a Website Theme that Looks Horrible On Mobile Devices
My first website used a free WordPress theme.
The theme looked great on my desktop and that was where I did all my work. I didn’t even think to check how it looked on my phone.
Instead, I shifted my focus to continuing my training and creating new content for my website.
Months later I set up Google Analytics on my website and started monitoring it closely. I realized I had a big problem.
Over 80% of my users were coming from mobile devices and almost every single one of them bounced as soon as they hit my website!
Wondering what in the world I was doing wrong, I pulled up my website on my phone and my heart sank.
My website that looked beautiful on my desktop was horrible on mobile devices. The pages weren’t optimized to be readable. My menu items were broken. It was virtually unusable.
No wonder everybody was bouncing!
You don’t have to pay for a website theme in order to get one that works well on mobile devices. Just make sure to test it here and try it out on multiple mobile devices yourself to make sure it’s a great experience for your users!
Blogging Mistake #2 – Not Recognizing the Potential of Pinterest
Pinterest is an incredible way to grow your blog and to do it quickly. Without it or another social media platform, you’re left to depend on Google and other search engines for traffic.
That’s not a bad thing, but getting traffic from Google takes a long time if your website is new. It’s also dependent on how well you keyword your posts.
If you’re in a niche that has a lot of competition, it’ll be really difficult, if not impossible to get good traffic unless you’re using a good keyword tool.
On the other hand, the great thing about Pinterest is you don’t need a website that’s been around for awhile to get good traffic.
You don’t need a ton of followers either. If you know how to use Pinterest, you can get more views and traffic to your website with just a couple hundred followers than somebody who has 20k+ followers but isn’t using Pinterest right.
When I first started blogging, I never really took advantage of that.
Every time I was on Pinterest, I felt like I was shooting in the dark hoping what I was doing would work. Not surprisingly, most of the things I did actually hurt my blog instead.
I finally realized, if you want to do well on Pinterest, you need training! Otherwise, it’s really difficult to find out about all the different nuances and ways to take advantage of what Pinterest can do for you.
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche is the course I took that does just that.
It was created by Alex & Lauren at Create and Go who are literally killing it on Pinterest.
They have two blogs they’ve grown through Pinterest and, combined, those two blogs are making more than a $100,000 a month using the techniques they teach in their courses.
Before I went through Pinterest Traffic Avalanche, I was lost when it came to Pinterest. I tried this and that hoping to build my website but nothing seemed to work.
After going through the course, Pinterest finally clicked for me. I started applying the things they taught and finally, things started picking up!
My pins started getting more clicks. My traffic grows every single month. When it comes to Pinterest, I now know what to do and why I’m doing it!
Blogging Mistake #3 – No Email Marketing Plan
When it comes to blogging, I’d say one of the hardest parts is email marketing.
Yes, you can ignore it, but proper email marketing can make the difference between whether you have a $10k a month blog or a $100k a month blog.
It’s that important!
Every single six-figure blogger I’ve studied has credited their phenomenal success to email marketing.
Traffic from Google, Pinterest, Instagram, and anywhere else you’re traffic is coming from, is dependent on algorithms that can and do change regularly. I’ve learned the hard way that, if you depend on them, one big algorithm change can tank your traffic and your website sales.
On the other hand, you own your email list. You can use it to build a relationship with your readers. It gives you a unique way to help people who’ve subscribed to your blog and to fill the need they came to your website looking for.
Knowing this, I tried and tried on my first blog to properly use email marketing to grow my blog. I’ve tried almost every email marketing tool out there and they were all so confusing!
After two years, and more than five different email marketing tools, I still struggled tremendously with it.
It wasn’t until I switched to ConvertKit when things finally started to click. ConvertKit is the only email marketing tool that was designed by a blogger for bloggers!
Nathan Barry, the creator of ConvertKit built it as an email marketing tool because he realized none of the other tools out there really fit the unique needs bloggers have.
He and his team at ConvertKit also recently released their Creator Pass that gives you access to specialized training courses that show you exactly how you can use ConvertKit to grow your blog.
If you just haven’t been able to get the hang of email marketing, they’ll walk you through the steps necessary. You’ll be able to attend weekly live workshops designed to help you excel and grow your blog quickly. The Creator Pass also comes with 12 months of ConvertKit even though everything included with it costs less than a regular 12-month subscription.
If you’re still struggling with email marketing, ConvertKit’s Creator Pass is what you need.
Blogging Mistake #4 – Spreading Yourself Too Thin
Building a blog is a lot of fun! As you get started, you’ll probably get dozens of niche ideas for things you can blog about. You might even have up to half a dozen that you’re really passionate about.
If you’re anything like I was, the thought of cutting one of them out will seem unthinkable. Instead, you’ll either make the mistake of putting all of it on one blog or you’ll make a different website for each niche.
Handling multiple websites on your own, when you’re new to blogging, can’t be that hard, can it? Can’t you just go and do the same thing for each one?
No actually…you can’t.
Each one requires its own strategies, social media accounts, and unique content that takes a lot of time to get out.
Though I started out with three blogs, I ended up finding that only one of them actually felt right for me. I gravitated towards that one blog and it grew to be the only one I was excited to work on. It’s also the only one that ever made any money.
It took me over a year to give up on the idea of multiple blogs and focus my attention on just one. In my mind, the others had too much potential to give up on!
I learned the hard way that potential means nothing without the heart and dedication behind it.
So much time could have been saved and spent on the one blog that I really loved. I could have grown it much faster.
The best thing to do when you’re starting a website is to pick one niche to focus on and give it all you’ve got.
Once you’ve grown that niche into a successful blog generating passive income, then you can consider starting another.
Blogging Mistake #5 – Using Images from Google
In the beginning, every time I wrote a post, I pulled images from Google for my Pinterest pins.
It sounds silly, but I really didn’t know there was anything wrong with it.
However, I did learn in the first couple months that taking pictures from Google is not ok!
Those pictures belong to somebody else and, unless you’ve paid for the right to use them, it’s stealing to put them on your blog.
One of my biggest regrets when it comes to my first blog is that, even after I understood this, I kept doing it. It was so hard to find good pictures that were free to use and so easy to go to Google to find whatever I was looking for.
So I kept doing it.
For two years, nothing really happened and nobody said anything.
However, after I hit the two-year mark, it was like somebody had flipped a switch. Every couple weeks, I got emails from the owners of some of the pictures I’d used saying I had no right to use them. The emails continued, saying, if the pictures weren’t removed, they would take legal action against me.
They had every right to do so too! I can’t even describe the shame and embarrassment I felt when I truly understood what I’d done. It wasn’t worth it and you will never grow a successful blog with stolen pictures.
It might seem easier in the beginning, but, as your blog grows, it will come back to you. The consequences could be a lot worse than a couple emails demanding the pictures be taken down. This one mistake could literally destroy your blog and you!
Blogging Mistake #6 – Not Diversifying Your Income
I was lucky enough to find a great, high paying affiliate program for my niche right from the beginning.
After only 1 month, I made my first sale through it. Within a few months, that one program was making me a couple hundred dollars every month.
Even when I stopped working consistently on my blog, the income from that one program continued to grow.
It did so well, I didn’t bother finding other high paying affiliate programs to join. Yes, I was part of some smaller ones like Amazon Associates, but I was making enough from the one affiliate program, I didn’t feel the need to look for others.
Fast forward two years and the program changed. The commission went from 33% to 25% to 20%. Then, six months later, the worst possible thing happened.
The website tied to it was going through some major changes and the affiliate program went down! My income from that one program that had been fairly reliable dropped to $30 that month!
I did have a couple hundred from other small programs, but I lost 90% of my income when that program went down.
One thing to recognize as an affiliate for any program is, you have no control. The creators have the right to stop the affiliate program at any time for any reason. It actually happens all the time!
If you don’t diversify your income, you run the risk of losing all that you’ve worked for and starting back at zero.
What do you think of these common mistakes bloggers make? Have you committed any of them? Do you have other’s you’d add or questions for me?
Let me know by leaving a comment below, I do answer all of them!
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