Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 06:50 pm
So many people say that blogging is easy. What they don’t tell you is that everyone’s journey to success will be different. Unfortunately, we all have our own learning curve and mistakes to overcome. I reveal some of my big blogging mistakes that I could’ve avoided if only I had known.
In this article, I am going to share with you some things I’ve learned during my blogging experience as well as reveal some embarrassing mistakes I’ve made. In fact, it took me well over 4 years to realize my own mistakes (I’m a slow learner) and I don’t want you to make the same ones that I’ve made.
I am going to share some of my most embarrassing mistakes with you. Why?
I understand everyone has their own journey and hardships to reach their own success. However… If you know about my mistakes, hopefully, your journey to success will be easier.
How to Make Money Blogging Learn From My Failures
This isn’t my first blog, in fact it’s not even my second or 3rd blog. Yup, this is my 4th blog.
I am NOT telling you that it is not possible to make money with your blog. In fact, one of my past blogs I was making well over $1500 per month like clockwork. It was awesome and the blog grew quicker than I could imagine.
However, after the Google Panda update, the blog tanked. I didn’t have the energy nor the desire to try to revitalize it.
So here I am at 44 years old starting another blog in hopes of growing it into a full-time sustainable income. This time I have a different plan so stick with me and lets grow our blog together.
The Mistakes I Made In The Beginning
Before you can succeed with your blog, you first have to learn about the mistakes I’ve made. Believe me, I’ve made several of them and I don’t want you to make them.
It’s actually a little embarrassing for me to put this out there for you to read. But hey I am NOT perfect and when I started my first blogs, I had no clue what I was doing. I don’t have an entrepreneurial background, I come from the typical employee mentality.
In fact, my whole family has a blue collar mentality. We were always taught that the only way to earn money is to go to work for someone else and let them pay you a paycheck.
While that was fine and dandy for a while. However, I eventually, got to the point where I hated working for someone else. I knew that I didn’t want to live my life letting someone else call the shots.
So I turned to the Internet and read success story after success story. Each and every story got me fired up and ready to take action.
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So I did, I jumped in with both feet thinking it was going to be extremely easy. Fast forward several years later. I’ve learned a lot and have built up a successful WordPress freelance business.
However, my freelance business is no longer what I want to do. So here I am with this blog building a brand and working hard to build a profitable blog.
Hopefully, you’ll join me on my journey as I share my experience, WordPress knowledge and other useful information you can use.
So let the embarrassment begin…
Mistake 1: Chasing A Niche Because It’s Easy Money
You might be doing that right now. Maybe you just threw up a blog about a certain topic because you heard that it’s an extremely profitable niche. We all tend to do it when we’re first starting out. We all try to blog about things that have the potential to make us money.
After all who wants to start a blog in something that has no potential to make money?
About 4 years ago, I had a blog about “junk cars for cash.” It was a very profitable niche. The blog had about 100 posts and was making me over $1500 per month like clockwork.
The money was nice, but the niche sucked. I never knew what to write, so I would go days and weeks without writing anything.
The blog was ranking very good for the keyword “junk cars for cash” and that’s why it was making decent money. I use this keyword tool to help me find long tail keywords for my blog posts.
If I had actually taken the time to choose a niche I was interested in, maybe the blog would still be alive today. However, I gave up on that blog and let the domain expire.
Do This Instead: Never chase a niche because it’s profitable. You have to love what you’re writing about otherwise it will be a very hard road to success.
Remember, you’re going to need a lot of content to grow your blog and build your tribe. So you have to love what you write about.
Mistake 2: Start With One Blog And Grow It
When I first started online, I got started with mini niche sites. (they used to be very big before the Panda update) At one point I had over 10 sites at one time. None of them were successful and I got bored with that method really quick.
I was spending more money on hosting and domains than it was actually worth it. I no longer focus on mini niche sites. Instead, I am working hard on growing this blog into an authority site that helps non-tech bloggers start, grow and monetize a blog.
If you’re just starting a blog, you’re about to realize that it’s a very hard job. You are going to have to learn how to write awesome content, promote your content, create videos, market your blog, network with others and learn about social media.
When I got started I had no clue about any of that. I had never marketed anything in my life. I had no technical knowledge, it took me over 8 hours to install WordPress.
You’re chances of failure will increase if you’re trying to work on more than one blog at a time. Plus if you can’t get one blog profitable, how can you expect to work on two or more?
Do This Instead: Find a niche that you are passionate about and has the potential to be profitable. You don’t have to know everything about it, as long as you don’t mind doing research and provide valuable content that your readers will love.
Just remember, you’re going to be working in this niche for a very long time. So be sure to choose something that you love.
Mistake 3: Get On Social Media
It took me forever to get involved with social media. My last blogs, I avoided social media like the plague.
I focused 100% on SEO. It was easy to overlook social media, since my junk cars for cash site was ranking very well.
For this blog, I actually set up my social media accounts. I still have to remind myself to be more active on social media.
Even if you don’t know anything about social media, don’t avoid it. I don’t think this is a problem for the younger bloggers. However, it can be a little challenging for those of us who didn’t grow up using social media.
Do This Instead: Use Knowem to find out if your social profile username is available and grab it. Register everything that you can get your hands on.
Related: See How I Create My Pinterest Images For Social Warfare
It doesn’t mean that you have to utilize all of the social networks. In fact, I don’t recommend it. You want to choose 2-3 social networks and master those before moving onto others.
Mistake 4: Don’t Give Up
Instead of continuing to blog and learning from my mistakes in the past. I chose to give up.
Instead of learning everything I could to create a profitable blog, I started my freelance WordPress business. I love working with WordPress and it pays my bills.
I am still freelancing and that’s what pays my bills. However, I am no longer completely happy with working as a freelancer. That’s actually why I started this blog. My goal is to turn it into a profitable business so I can walk away from freelancing.
Right now I am offering some WordPress services on this blog. I am not a huge fan of offering services forever. In fact, I don’t know how long I’ll offer a my limited WordPress Services. (in case you’re interested).
My goal has always been to work from home and setup a successful blog. So 5 months ago, I decided to start this blog.
My main goal is to share my basic WordPress tutorials, blogging tips and advice on how to build a money making business on WordPress. My tutorials are geared towards woman bloggers because I realize that most women tend to believe they are NOT technically savvy.
The point is don’t give up when you encounter roadblocks. You’re going to hit them, everyone does.
Do This Instead: write down your goals and know what you want to achieve with your blog. Keep working towards it, no matter what. If you’re looking for an easy button, then you’re going to be disappointed.
Mistake 5: Network With Other Bloggers
My biggest mistake is that I didn’t even try to reach out to other bloggers. Instead, I just hid behind my computer all by myself.
Blogging is HARD work and it’s going to take a lot longer if you try to do it all by yourself. Start taking the time to network with other bloggers.
We’ve been conditioned to think of bloggers in our niche as competition. But the truth is that you can start learning how to develop great relationships with bloggers in your niche.
Don’t be a huge introvert and try to hide behind your computer. Get out there and join some Facebook groups and start networking with others. I still struggle with this.
Do This Instead: Set a timer use Toggl or your iPhone to make sure that you’re actually networking in Facebook groups. Join 2-5 groups that are in the same niche as you are.
Take the time to go in there and answer people’s questions and get involved. Reach out to other bloggers and let them know that you want to network.
Don’t expect anything in return, remember, the goal is to build relationships so you’re not all alone. This will help you stay on course and keep you accountable for working towards your goals. Plus later that new blogging friendship could turn into something extremely beneficial for your blog or brand.
Mistake 6: Narrow Your Niche
You hear it all the time, narrow your niche. I had no clue what that means. My last blog, I wrote about making money, Internet marketing, flipping websites, product reviews, outsourcing and pretty much anything that I wanted to.
I was clueless about what my blog is. When this blog started, I struggled with that as well.
You may be thinking, I have a lot of passions. I did too and that makes it very hard for us “Jill of all trades” to narrow our focus.
Do This Instead: Start your blog today and write. Even if you’re not sure what your passionate about just write. You’re NOT going to get a flood of traffic as soon as you hit publish. Create a blogging schedule and keep writing amazing content.
As you continue writing, you will eventually find your passion and your voice. You can always narrow your blog’s topic as it starts to grow. Of course the sooner you figure out your topic, the better it will be.
Mistake 7: Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome
I had all my last blogs for less than a year because I was always jumping from one method to another. Whenever a new product came out that promised to help me reach my goals, I signed up.
I never really had any of my blogs for more than a year. None of my blogs had over 100 posts except 2 of them.
Put your tunnel vision goggles on and focus on your goals. Don’t stray and jump on every course you see.
I am not saying not to invest in learning. Just don’t make the same mistakes I made and buy everything that promises you overnight riches.
I’ve learned that there is NO magic button to success. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to reach your goals.
Do This Instead: Roll up your sleeves and be willing to work. Make it a goal to write everyday. Stay focused inside of your networking groups and surround yourself with positive people.
Keep working towards your goals everyday.
Mistake 8: Stay Persistent With Your Writing
As I mentioned above, I never grew any of my blogs. I always jumped ship after 7-8 months because I was bored. So I was never a true blogger. I grew bored because I was trying to start a blog in a niche I had no desire to be in.
I was never consistent with the my blogging schedule. I would go months without publishing new content on my blogs.
What I’ve learned is that it takes a lot of content to grow a blog. Create a blogging schedule that works for you and stick with it. With this blog, I publish 2 posts every week.
Do This Instead: Brainstorm content ideas you can use to post on your blog. I use Google Drive to create a content calendar for my blog. This allows me to know what I will be writing about.
I also use Trello and Asana to help me keep my business organized. Find a system that works for you to stay organized and keep track of your content marketing strategy.
Related: WordPress Editorial Calendar Saved My Disney World Trip
Mistake 9: Be Helpful
I know that you probably set up your blog because you want to make money. Most of us want to create a side income or a build up a savings account for when we retire. YOU started your blog because….. (you fill in the blank)
Your main goal with your blog should be to help people by providing valuable content that can help others. If you’re only goal is to make money by shoving affiliate links down people’s throats, you will struggle.
Do This Instead: Write helpful articles that people can use and put to action. As you can see from this blog post, I am NOT proud of sharing my big blogging mistakes.
However, if it helps even one person avoid the same mistakes I made, I’m all for it.
Mistake 10: You’re Writing for Your Readers
If you’re trying to build a business, then you need to write content for your readers. People don’t care about you…(sorry, but they don’t know you.)
People visit blogs because they are looking for information or trying to solve a problem. If your blog helps them, you can be sure that they will share it and may even come back later or sign up for your email list.
Do This Instead: Write content that your audience will love. Provide useful content that keeps them coming back to your blog.
Share your mistakes and experience with people. I know I get tired of always hearing about people’s success stories. Instead, share your journey to success. People will get more value from hearing about the lessons you’ve learned while blogging your way to success.
Mistake 11: Launch Your New Blog Today
It took me forever to launch my first blog post. I was worried about the colors on my blog. I thought I should have more than one blog post before I launch.
You name it, I waited so long before finally hitting that publish button.
Do This Instead: If you have already written your first blog post, hit publish. Go ahead even if you only have one blog post. Your blog isn’t going to get swamped with tons of visitors as soon as you go live.
It’s going to take a lot of work to start building your tribe and traffic. The longer you wait to publish your first post, the longer your journey to success.
Related: How to Start Your Blog On SiteGround Step-by-Step
Final Take Away
My hope is that sharing my big blogging mistakes will help you stay on track till you reach your goals. I believe that as long as you pick the right niche and you love it, you will succeed. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert in it, as long as you’re willing to keep educating yourself.
Ask anyone who has had success and they will tell you that they were willing to just keep showing up everyday. They stuck to their blogging schedule even when they weren’t seeing the results they wanted.
So let’s finally make this happen. I am going to keep my head down turn on my tunnel vision and keep working towards providing you awesome content.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- How to Write Your First Blog Post
- What You Need To Know About Making Money With Your Blog
- 6 Crucial Blog Configuration for WordPress
Now I have a question for you…how long have you been blogging? Are you really a beginner blogger or did you take a sabbatical like I did so you could get your head straight? Let me know, I’d love to hear your story.
If you found this article helpful and you think it could help others, please take the time to share it. I would greatly appreciate your time and support.
Keith Everett says
Those are some great tips Susan. Blogging is something most people can learn to do and if you can make money too, that’s the icing on the cake. Thanks for sharing.
Susan Velez says
I agree with you blogging is easy and fun. Just be prepared to work hard.
Yes it’s great when you make money from your hard work.
Have a great day 🙂
Joy Healey says
Just by reading this one post I feel we can be kindred spirits!
I too have made every one of those mistakes.
Well… six blogs, when I knew nothing about blogging, so every time I learned how to do something better, I had to go and implement it in SIX blogs! LOL
AND I made the mistake of assuming that my cheap hosting company (at the time) was backing up these six heaps of rubbish. Thankfully (although it didn’t seem good at the time), they all got hacked, no backups, and they were lost to oblivion and I started again from scratch. Phew!
As Henry Ford said, “Failure is just the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Joy – Blogging After Dark
Susan Velez says
I understand I guess that’s how we learn by our mistakes. So glad you didn’t give up either.
Oh man no backup, yeah that definitely sucks. So glad you’re at it again and I know this time we’ll make it as we’ve learned from our past failures.
Have a great one 🙂
Bren Pace says
Love your tips, Susan.
Unfortunately, I think we’ve all been there. Google attacked one of my previous blogs and like you, I didn’t have the energy to entertain them. I scrapped it and started over. Sometimes, it’s for the best.
Thanks for sharing!
Susan Velez says
Sorry to hear that Google attacked your blogs as well. Yeah, to this day I count it as a blessing for being able to start over.
I am now blogging about something that I love and know. Unlike my past blogs, I was only in those niches because that’s what I thought I should blog about.
Sounds like you found your calling as well.
Have a great day 🙂
Chery Schmidt says
Hello Susan! I believe I have at one point in my blogging carreer hit on all of your blooging mistakes except for #4! I guess I am just to stubborn for that one HEHE
Great Share My Friend!
Susan Velez says
Welcome to my blog. I think we all make our own mistakes at one point in our lives. Unfortunately, it’s just a part of the learning curve that comes with blogging.
Glad to hear that you’re not willing to quit. This time around, I’m not either 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, have a great day.
Mandy Allen says
I too had many blogs at one time but really stuck at it with my main blog which has blossomed as a result. I was lucky enough to get with a mentor early on and he encouraged us to create a community and support each other, and it’s what I’ve done ever since, that really helps you to stay motivated.
Enjoy the journey!
Susan Velez says
I think it’s great that you got a mentor. I agree, building a community that supports each other is important.
That was something I never did in the past and this time around with this blog, I am choosing to take that route.
Glad to see that things are working out for you.
Have a great day 🙂
Gaurav Kumar says
This is my first visit at your blog and I must say that you are doing really impressive work.
Sharing about the mistakes not only help other bloggers to learn from these mistakes but also help them to focus on what to do that they should not make any such mistake in future also.
Every blogger should focus on his passion and only then he can make money blogging.
Keep sharing more, keep growing more!
Susan Velez says
Welcome to my blog, glad you like it. I think it’s important to share our mistakes with others. Hopefully, our mistakes can help others from making the same ones.
Of course we all have to go through our own learning curves.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Have a great day 🙂
We are humans and we do mistakes. But the better person is the one who learns from his mistakes, instead of just giving up. I have committed many similar mistakes that you did. Such as:
Choosing A Broad Niche
I started a technology blog and started writing about almost everything. Which just kept my audience and the google confused. One day I will write about Youtube and the other day I will tell people about Freelancing. You must keep your niche as narrow as possible. So you can easily tell what your audience wants to read.
Mostly people come into blogging just for the sake of blogging. They think it is like pulling money from the tree. Which is surely not the case. You have to do one heck a lot of effort to make your blog successful. Money does not come easy from it.
A Giveaway Tip from Me
I read it somewhere and I firmly believe on it. That growing a blog is just like growing your muscles. Both demand time, dedication and patience from you. So be positive, keep trying, keep learning and eventually you will start seeing the results 🙂
Thanks a lot for sharing your mistakes with us. I am sure many people will benefit from it and won’t repeat the same mistakes that you did 🙂
Susan Velez says
I totally agree with you about learning from your mistakes and not making the same ones over and over. I made it a point this time around to choose something that I actually know something about.
Growing a blog definitely takes a lot of hard work. Like you said, it’s kind of like growing muscles, it doesn’t happen overnight.
However, with hard work and dedication, it will happen.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.
Have a great day 🙂