What’s that old saying? Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I have found that to be the case in so many different areas of my life. It’s true in my social life as well as my blogging career. Today, I thought that I would take time to share a few of the mistakes that I made when I started my blog in 2008. Hopefully, this can help new bloggers avoid some of the pitfalls of blogging.
Obsessed With Stats
1. God only knows how much time I have wasted watching the number of page views that I was getting. I would check my stats every few minutes to see how many visitors were checking out my posts. This is time that I should have spent producing new content. More content = more page views.
2. I installed every single badge that I was ever sent. Do you know how many websites make their own badges just to send them to naive bloggers like me? I would guess millions! Most badges mean nothing and all they do is increase the backlinks and authority of the site that sends them to you. Unless it’s a site you really respect, save yourself the trouble and dump the badge.
3. I was so anxious for ad income that I low balled myself initially and took ads for just a few bucks a month. I never put up ads that sold products which I didn’t agree with but I did sell myself way too short. I took the first offer and did not negotiate. You have to set a minimum amount that you are willing to accept and work from there.
4. I wrote more content for other sites on a weekly basis than my own site. It’s good to write for other sites but I went overboard. In trying to build my name, I would write 20 to 30 articles a week for other sites and maybe 5 or 6 articles for my own site. I have reversed those numbers today.
5. I kept my articles neutral by keeping my opinion to myself. New bloggers like I was often worry about offending readers by giving their opinion. Basically, you water down what you write so that it pleases everyone. I learned that it’s my blog so I can always give my opinion on a topic!
6. I loaded my site with ads. During the first few months of blogging, my site had a bunch of ads all over the place. There were inline ads, banner ads, popup ads. I took all of the annoying ads down after looking at my site objectively as a visitor would see it. I hate popup ads especially ones that get under pop up blockers. It cost me a couple bucks a month in revenue but it was well worth it in the long run.
7. I would occasionally blog about topics that I had no interest in. I would look for the hot topic of the day and write about that. This would bring in some extra traffic but it was no fun at all. I quickly stopped doing this.
Jack Of All Trades
8. I learned to write about what I know. Finance is my area of expertise so I stick to that. In the beginning, I tried to write about everything under the sun. In trying to be a jack of all trades, you become the master of none. Today, 90% of my articles are finance related.
9. I kept switching themes. I went through dozens of wordpress themes trying to find ones I liked. Everyday I would find a new theme that I liked better than the previous one. I learned that themes should be static. You can change it every year or so but switching it every other week is too often. You want your readers to instantly recognize your site by its consistent theme.
10. I expected people to find my blog t he minute that I I wrote my first post I braced myself for this huge surge of traffic. Well, it never came! No one knows your blog exists unless you tell them. You have to spend time promoting your content so that others know that you are out there.
11. I would forget to respond to comments and emails. The best way to lose a reader is by ignoring their comments. I make sure to take time and respond to the majority of emails and comments. It shows your readers that you care.
12. I started too many blogs at the same time. I tried writing for 6 blogs at the same time. Needless to say, it was quite time consuming. I have narrowed it down to just regularly writing for 3 of my sites.
I have made a lot more mistakes than that blogging but those are the biggest ones. I hope that this helps and that you can learn from my mistakes!
What are some mistakes that you have made blogging?