Blogging has changed so much in the past few years. For many bloggers (myself included) it's grown from a hobby to a full time job. It's been a wonderful experience but there were definitely some growing pains along the way. Today I'm going to share with you 5 mistakes I made when I first started blogging. Whether you just started a blog or are trying to grow yours into a full time job, hopefully you can learn from the error of my ways!
1) Long lapses in between blog posts
Consistent posting is key to growing your readership. Most of the very successful blogs post 3-4 times per week (some even post multiple times per day). I would post once a week and then wonder why my traffic number were stagnant! I would also take extended breaks from blogging because I didn't plan around life events properly (ie, moving, having a baby) Which bring me to my next mistake:
2) Not planning ahead
In my early years of blogging, I didn't have an editorial calendar. I would make something when inspiration struck and then post it. I didn't plan ahead. I never knew what my next post was going to be or when I was going to post it! By treating my blog as a hobby rather than a business I slowed its' growth and chances for monetization.
3) Not utilizing Pinterest properly
I wrote about this in depth before, but it's so important I'll tell you again: Pinterest Group Boards are an amazing (and free!) way to drive massive traffic to your blog!!! The right group board can lead to your pin being re-pinned tens of thousands of times! This opens your blog up to a whole new group of readers. I was able to drastically increase my blog traffic by joining several group boards. Want an example? A pin I posted just a few days ago has already been re-pinned almost 6,000 times!
4) Relying on one source of blog income
The first year of blogging, I used Google Adsense as a source of income...and nothing else. Yikes ? I never even looked into other ad networks or sponsorships. My Google Adsense payments would cover supplies for my DIY projects plus a few monthly expenses, and that's it. It certainly wasn't enough to live on and I never would have been able to make blogging a full time job off that small amount of money. Fast forward to now- I use Media.net and Adbuff along with Adsense. I also use Amazon for affiliate marketing and I use numerous Sponsor Networks. Last month I published my first book (another one is in the works and will be released shortly!) and I'm currently working expanding my video content and creating e-courses. When it comes to monetizing your blog, don't put all your eggs in one basket!
5) Not offering and email list
A few years ago there wasn't much talk of blogs have a mailing lists and newsletters. Now every blog (no matter how big or small) seems to have one. There have been numerous articles written about the importance of an email list and how it's essential for marketing. I was late to the email list game. Even after I started hearing all the hype I still held off. Finally after having numerous readers email me asking to be added to my then-non-existent list I created a newsletter and a sign up. My email list is a fraction of the size it could have been if I paid attention to this feature from the get-go. Live and learn!
I know it's easy to look back on your past mistakes and lament "could've, would've, should've". I don't kick myself for any of the mistakes I made in my days of blogging...even though some of them are pretty bad! Bottom line- I learned from each one of these mistakes, and benefited from the knowledge!
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