New bloggers make mistakes, I just made a few really bad ones.
For the past two years, I’ve been looking for a “work from home” job to help support my family and relieve some stress from my amazing husband who works 60-70 hours a week. I tried call center stuff and even became a licensed health insurance agent but it was brutal and my boss literally threw me into work before doing any training at all. Let’s just say, I quit shortly after.
Fast forward to 2019 – we have three kids, a mortgage and bills on bills. Soon, I ran across ‘blogging’ and didn’t think much of it until I saw a website listing the most successful bloggers out there. I had seen these websites before, even browsed and used them before but I didn’t think they were ‘bloggers’. I simply thought it was a website run by a team.
But little did I know, these sites all started with one (sometimes two) people and worked it from the ground up. Now I had this thought in my head, “I know I won’t make that much money but it’s very possible to make a few hundred dollars per month.” And this is right around the time when the new blogger mistakes started.
This post may contain affiliate links that help support my family and monthly expenses. This does not alter the price of anything.
Mistake #1 – Jumping The Gun
I did some research on starting a blog…nope, nope not accurate. I literally looked up a few articles and dove straight into purchasing a domain from Namecheap. Namecheap is absolutely the cheapest and easiest way to buy a domain name. You can purchase a .com from just $8 for an entire year so it really is a great deal but I definitely didn’t know what I was doing (my bad).
I then went ahead and bought a year of hosting through Siteground. It takes some getting used to with the cPanel but connecting it to WordPress was super easy. Again, I had no idea what I was doing, just following the instructions on Siteground’s site.
I didn’t know there were blogs out there explaining how to start a blog! It would have been super helpful to have that direction and guidance and to help me avoid some new blogger mistakes.
#2 – I didn’t have a niche!!
What’s a niche? I had no idea and no CLUE what I was going to blog about so I set my blog up as more of a website offering my proofreading services. Then I added a few posts about proofreading to generate some traffic. Guess what guys? Proofreading isn’t a hot topic!
I was applying to jobs daily on UpWork and didn’t get any, so this was the main reason I started my website. I got bored, FAST. Writing about proofreading? It was horrible. So I wasted the first month of my ‘blogging journey’ writing about proofreading, not knowing how to blog, and doing hours of research about blogging that I should have done before buying a domain and hosting!
After relentless research and taking a ton of free courses, I had the main aspects of blogging down. Now, it was time to choose a niche (something profitable of course), learn to make attractive Pinterest graphics, and totally redo my site.
I chose the ‘How To Blog’ niche because everything I learned, I wanted to share it with you all and I didn’t have any other interests at the time.
#3 – Wrong Niche…
I’m going to be very blunt – I chose the wrong damn niche. A new blogger like myself doesn’t have the background and experience to write tons and tons of posts on how to blog. So after about 8-9 blogging posts, I ran out of topics that I could cover.
At this point, I’m like, “What in the world am I doing?? I’m wasting so much time on this blogging stuff, I haven’t made a dime, and I have zero confidence that this is going to go anywhere.”
This was about 3 months into blogging and again, I felt the need to start over! But I didn’t. Instead, I changed my niche again (for the last time I promise). Now my blog is a motherhood lifestyle niche so this way I can cover an array of topics and also write about my favorite time of the year -Fall. I already have a Fall post up about affordable DIY Fall ideas. The motherhood niche is also profitable.
#4 – Trying to monetize too soon.
Here I go again by jumping the gun. I didn’t understand that I would need a good amount of traffic (at least a few thousand views per month) before monetization would be possible. Yes, I can add affiliate links to posts but without substantial traffic and domain authority, no one was going to buy from a newbie who keeps changing her site.
I even started a shop on my blog and tried to sell printables. Nothing sold so after a few weeks I put them into a free resource vault for other new bloggers. The printables are awesome but again, I barely had any traffic so selling them was pretty much impossible. Bummer, another fail on my part but now they are available for you to use!
I had such a strong focus on making money and helping my husband pay some bills because we were pretty tight on bills due to some stuff at my husband’s job. My focus now is blog traffic and just using the existing affiliates I have who I truly highly recommend.
#5 – Being Inconsistent
From changing my niche twice, redoing my site, and having no direction at all – I was pretty inconsistent. Did I mention I also changed my domain name?! Yes, I did that too.
Along with bouncing around my blog, I had three young babies (all under 6) who needed a lot of attention over summer break, my house needed even more attention do to the kids being home all day, and I was struggling with health issues.
With all of the changes, I could not commit to publishing two posts a week like I wanted. Instead, it was about once a week or every other week. I knew this was hurting my SEO and traffic but I had to figure my blog out and get in the right mental state to commit to this thing!
I think I figured out this blogging stuff out now.
After many, many changes, lots of damaged confidence and finally getting back on track, I can move forward with my blog and avoid any more future mistakes.
New Blogger Mistakes to Avoid:
- Starting a blog with no research or know-how
- Trying to make money too soon
- Not having a specific niche
- Being inconsistent
- Changing your blog too much
I now know my blog’s niche and purpose, the steps I need to take in order to have a successful and traffic generating blog, and how to make this all possible. I hope this post can help you avoid the same awful and time-consuming mistakes that I’ve made.