Starting a blog is exciting, but there’s a lot more to it than just jotting down your thoughts and posting a few pictures. Today, I’m going to focus on a few of the mistakes I made along the way in hopes that you won’t make them too.
8 Mistakes That New Bloggers Make
You don’t have to publish constantly.
While it’s true that you shouldn’t walk away from your blog for a month, there’s no reason that you have to post every single day. Some of my favorite blogs send me a post one or two times a week and I’m fine with that. Especially, since I’m following SO many blogs. If you only write two good things in a week, that’s much better than a bunch of empty chatter on a daily basis.
Don’t put promos before content.
As a new blogger, I was often invited to join in promotions and giveaways. The idea was to build my numbers up on the blog and on social media. That sounded great to me as a newbie with only 100 likes on my Facebook fan page. But who wants audience members that aren’t even interested in what you’re writing about? Looking back, I regret being involved in too many promotions and giveaways. Many of those “followers” unsubscribed from my blog after the giveaway ended. Others stayed around, but they are simply dead weight. They don’t read my posts and they aren’t engaged on social media. Thus, I hold more value for the followers I’ve gained over the years that are genuinely interested in my blog’s content.
Don’t spend too much on your blog.
Many new bloggers spend way too much money on their site design, justifying it by saying they have to look professional to compete. But it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money when you don’t even have an income stream. What if you decide not to blog after a year? What if your content or focus changes? It’s best to start simple and find a free or affordable design that you can live with until you begin to monetize. Smart brick-and-mortar stores follow this rule too. They start small and save the bells and whistles for later when the business has proven itself.
Don’t make it all about you.
A blog is different from a personal journal. It should have value for the reader, so it can’t be all about you (or your kids, or your pets, etc). Sharing your child’s Star Wars party makes a great blog post, but keep in mind that you should give something to your audience in the process, or at least invite them into the conversation. Resist the temptation to boast, to rant or to gush.
Don’t forget to edit. Over and over again.
Don’t proofread just once or twice. Three times is a good start. As a blogger with 5+ years experience, I still make this mistake sometimes in my rush to publish and share a post I’m excited about. I will find errors and mistakes even in a third re-reading!
Don’t forget to share.
When I first started blogging, I would write a great post, hit “publish” and then sit back expecting the world to take notice. Ahhh, if only it were that easy! No matter how good your posts are, they need to be shared beyond your inner circle (family, friends and your email feed). This is where social media comes into play. Harness the power of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other networks. Take part in weekly “link ups” on bigger blogs when the themes fit your content.
Don’t neglect lesser-known social channels.
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the big ones, but there are others that can also help you get more exposure and build a following. Remember it’s best to sign up early, even if you have only a few followers, rather than creating an account years into blogging. I bucked shunned Instagram for my first 4 years and really regret that. Here I am trying to play catch-up and wishing I’d just signed up years ago. I’m having to work doubly hard now to build up my profile. Other networks that are useful, but often neglected, are You Tube, Tumblr and Bloglovin’.
Don’t forget your sharable image.
The first picture in your post should be “pin-worthy.” It’s the image that you can use in all your social media shares to grab attention. Super-imposing text or a title helps to tie it to the content. You can do this easily with PicMonkey, the free online photo editor. If you don’t have a high-quality image of your own, grab something from the free galleries at Pexels or Pixabay. That’s where my title image came from for this post.
Do you have anything to add to my list that might help a blogger that’s just starting out?