When I first started blogging professionally about five and a half years ago, I made a few mistakes. Making mistakes is inevitable despite how much training or education you might have had. I would say that it is better to make blogging mistakes than to simply be perfect at blogging. It is better because you can learn from the mistakes. After all, the best experiences come about when there has been a significant amount of progress and growth. Therefore, I am thankful for the blogging mistakes that I made. In this post, I want to share with you the mistakes that I made — and how to fix them.
4 Blogging Mistakes that I Made
Blogging Mistake #1: Creating content with No Niche
As a relatively new blogger in the blogosphere in 2016, I created this blog simply because I wanted to. But I had no goal, no niche, and no plan in mind. You know how easy it is to create a blog, especially on WordPress.com. In fact, even WordPress advertises that it takes no more than 5 minutes. You just plug your blog name, description, and domain, and voila — you have a blog. That is fine when all is said and done, but you still have to write the very first post, and that first post is the first determinator of what direction your blog will ultimately go. And, there is a whole host of things you have to do concurrently writing your blog post, not to mention the things you do after it is published.
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So, you see, creating a blog really isn’t so simple as WordPress advertises. To create a really good blog with a growing subscriber base and community, you have to first decide on the niche that you will write in. By having a niche, you are essentially giving your blog a focus. I suggest choosing a niche that you are passionate about, as well as looking at the demand for the niche. By writing about a passionate topic you will be able to express that very same excitement and love for the topic into your readers. And by having a niche that is in huge demand, you will ensure that you will have readers who are interested in learning from you about the focused topic.
Blogging Mistake #2: Having High Expectations
As with any other endeavor, when I first started blogging I had high expectations. My mind was clouded with thoughts of having an immediate 50,000 views a day, being inundated with comments, advice, and requests for collaborations, and seeing many of my blog posts go viral. I had high expectations because I am generally a very optimistic person and have high hopes, even when some of them may bordering on the unrealistic.
While I am not saying that it isn’t good to have high expectations. You should have a goal as a newbie blogger. But there are many pitfalls associated with having high expectations, including feelings of failure and depression, which can result in a lack of motivation and a quick end to the blog. That is why many bloggers ultimately stop blogging — because they give up by the seemingly lack of any real progress.
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Instead of having high expectations, it is important that you set small goals that are realistic and attainable. Instead of expecting thousands of views in the first month alone, shoot for a small number from 10 to 50. And instead of creating content everyday, write content on a schedule that you can manage. And finally, instead of creating a hodgepodge of unrelated content, create blog posts that are focused and measured using a keyword deliberately scattered throughout the article. By doing this (and more), you will help keep the focus and not be bogged down by high expectations.
Blogging Mistake #3: Using Social Media Ineffectively
Any author, blogger, or digital marketer knows about the importance of social media in today’s world. Social media is a great form of entertainment that one can peruse for laughter and fun. But it can also be used as a great medium to promote and help further your personal or blog brand. After all, it is not enough to just blog.
If you want any kind of readership, it is essential that you use social media. Ideally, you should use all forms of social media to get the maximum benefits. And there is a right and wrong way to use social media. When first cultivating a presence for your blog on social media, then you should first make a plan, create some pre-made content, have a niche, and most importantly, determine how you can create value for your audience. Without value, you most likely won’t have any conversions. To illustrate, you want your audience to find, to like, and then to smash that blog link button. You do this by telling them how you can keep helping them.
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How you can keep helping your readers is dependent on what your niche is. If your niche is keto friendly recipes, then you can give value to your readers by giving recipes that are keto friendly, as well as tips on how to maintain that lifestyle. Or, if your niche is being multiracial, then you can help your readers by giving advice on how to deal with the pros and cons of straddling two or more racial worlds, as well as writing reviews on books and movies made by mixed race individuals. No matter what niche you choose to focus on, remember that there is some kind of value that you can give your readers.
Blogging Mistake #4: Comparing My Blog Against the World
As demonstrated above, social media is a valuable tool for bloggers, writers, and marketers alike. But there are some pitfalls associated with this form of medium. One of the biggest disadvantage to social media is the art of comparing. When you are scrolling through a Facebook or Instagram feed, it is easy to compare your life with someone else’s who might be living another kind of life that somehow seems better than yours.
The same can be said about blogging. You can look at someone else’s blog, which looks very aesthetically pleasing and very well written. What’s more, that blog has thousands of followers. It can be easy to compare your blog to that hypothetical one and even equate that your blog is not good enough. That kind of attitude can easily lead you down to feeling like you need to call it quits.
But what you need to remember is that you don’t know the full story of someone’s blog, or how many views they have, or how long they have been blogging. It can be easy to fall into that trap. Instead, just focus on your blog. Every blog grows at a different rate. And every blog has an equal chance of success. Just focus on creating the best content you can, exerting your passion for the material, and engaging in collaborations with other bloggers. By doing these three things, you can assure that you will slowly but surely grow your blog. It might take a long time, but remember that the slow but steady turtle won the race against the speedy but overconfident rabbit.
I Made Blogging Mistakes and That’s OK
In the end, I made these four blogging mistakes when I first started blogging more than five years ago. But it’s OK. It is OK because making these blogging mistakes has allowed me to learn, to grow, and to set up the stepping stones to eventually become a great blogger.