Blogging is seriously tough work. There is a such a steep learning curve and it’s uncharted territory for about 97% of bloggers. That being said, you are bound to make some mistakes along the way. I know I did.
Today, I’m going to share with you 5 mistakes I made when I first started blogging. Hopefully, reading up on these mistakes will remind you not to follow in my footsteps! If you can learn from these points, you’ll already be several steps ahead of where I started out.
MISTAKE #1: I DIDN’T START WITH WORDPRESS.ORG
I could go on and on and on about this mistake right here. But instead of getting too much into it, I’ll just link to my blog post here where I talk about 3 blogging platforms I’ve tried and why WordPress.org is the best decision for any blogger from the get-go.
In short, I started on Wix.com, which was super easy to use and I could customize the look of my site with a lot of freedom other blogging platforms didn’t provide. However, it did not share across social media well and it was impossible to gain an email list.
Then I moved to WordPress.com. The customization of my site was very limited and while it was easier for me to gain subscribers, I couldn’t fall in love with the look and feel of my site, so I ultimately failed to get into it.
Finally, I switched over to the paid and self-hosted WordPress.org! This is where I knew I’d find the most success! I had my own domain name, my own web hosting through SiteGround, and my own site theme. I was in love with the look and feel of my site, and I could see this working out for me in the long run.
MORAL OF THE MISTAKE: Start out with the WordPress.org blogging platform as soon as possible.
RELATED POST: CHOOSING A WEB HOST – WHY SITEGROUND IS THE BEST
MISTAKE #2: I GOT STUCK IN THE RESEARCH PHASE
Wow, believe me when I tell you that blogging is a process. You have to learn so much, it’s not even funny. I’ve done over 4 years of research by now and I feel like I have grasped about 15% of everything there is to know about blogging.
Seriously, the information is endless.
It gets overwhelming very fast, and with the infinite amount of instructional blog posts and information at your disposal, it becomes very easy to fall down that rabbit hole and never make your way back out until 2 years later.
Yeah. I did 2 whole years of research before starting a blog with WordPress.org and SiteGround.
MORAL OF THE MISTAKE: Jump right in and learn as you go. Researching without doing just wastes more time you could be growing your blog and making money. Best strategy is to learn by doing and get better with time.
MISTAKE #3: MY NICHE STARTED OUT TOO NARROW
I originally learned about blogging and fell in love with it reading posts from PaperFury. CG Drews blogs about books and writing and that’s about it. My ultimate hobby has always been reading and writing so I thought that if I started a book blog, it would be perfect for me.
Little did I know, I was very wrong.
Soon after getting into blogging, I realized that blogging itself had become something I loved, something I wanted to talk about on my blog. And not only that, but I also wanted to talk about lifestyle, wellness, and other things.
But I would not allow myself to change my blog up in order to include more categories and a broader niche. In doing that, I didn’t allow myself to write content I was passionate about. I forced myself to stay pinned to blogging about reading and writing and burnt myself out.
Eventually, I lost my love for blogging and that turned into a 1.5 year hiatus from it. I figured that if limiting the content I could talk about caused such a long break from blogging, then broadening my niche definitely couldn’t hurt worse.
MORAL OF THE MISTAKE: Start your blog writing about every category you are interested in so that you have experience in every topic. Eventually, you’ll find a select few you keep coming back to when writing blog posts. Utilize those few categories and shape your blog around them! Now you have a blog you KNOW you’re passionate about.
MISTAKE #4: I COULDN’T MANAGE MY TIME AT ALL
This is something I still tend to struggle with to this day. I’m the type of person where I give 110% to the thing that I really want to do, which leaves -10% of my time for all my other responsibilities.
I was either 110% dedicated to my blog or 110% dedicated to anything else. I couldn’t find the sweet spot of time to allocate to each of my responsibilities. Therefore, university took precedent for years over blogging and blogging took the back seat (cue 1.5 year hiatus).
MORAL OF THE MISTAKE: Make a blogging schedule and learn how to better manage your time. Get your other responsibilities taken care of, but also make blogging a priority. Sometimes this will mean no TV time, but if you want to build your blog into something, you need to put the time and effort into it.
MISTAKE #5: TRYING TOO HARD TO “SOUND QUALIFIED”
I have wasted so much time and effort on using the biggest words and writing the most complex sentences just to sound like I was older or more experienced than I was. I felt like people wouldn’t think me qualified or smart enough to blog about the things I was blogging about.
That kind of thinking is just ridiculous. Seriously, get that garbage out of your head.
Now, I try not to care about sounding the smartest or oldest. I know I am smart and successful, and I know I have lots of valuable content to share with others. There’s no need for that validation anymore and because of that, I no longer have to talk in a way that’s not me. I don’t use big and flowery words, I like to keep things short and concise.
And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, that’s a very good thing. In sticking to your natural way of speaking, you show your audience that you’re authentic. You can provide tips and information that is easy to digest and understand, and you can build an easy and admirable connection with your readers. To me, that’s infinitely more valuable than sounding like I’m a genius who has my life all put together.
MORAL OF THE MISTAKE: Show your audience who you are. Don’t try to talk smarter or fancier than you would to a friend. Talk to your readers as if they are your friends, and through seeing your personality, you will make friends and a dedicated readership that will trust your advice and recommendations, and look forward to you and your content.
DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I DID
Now that I’ve shared my top 5 mistakes I made as a beginner blogger, hopefully when you start your future blog, you can avoid following in my footsteps!
Have you made any mistakes in your blogging journey so far? Or if you haven’t started a blog yet, do you think you might have made any of these mistakes if you hadn’t read this post? Let’s talk down in the comments!
Great post! I relate to the research phase and trying to sound qualified. Getting out of that mindset is hard!