Blogging mistakes. Ugh!
Many people, including myself, come into the blogging space ready to conquer the world. The recipe for a successful blog seems fairly easy. Write well and create a visually appealing blog then you’ll have everyone throwing money at you just to read your work. Ah, the idea that great penmanship and a bubbly character are enough to make hundreds of people follow your blog… Quite the misconception if you ask me! If you ask every seasoned blogger, they are sure to have at least one blogging mistake under their belt, so just know that it isn’t the end of the world. I’m fixing mine, and will hopefully help you do the same.
But before we talk about that, here are some of the bigger blogging mistakes that I made.
Choosing the wrong niche
When you first start a blog, the very first thing you need to do is to pick your niche. Being a new mom and a newish wife, I thought that I wanted to write to the average working, millennial mom. This niche in itself is definitely a great space to tap into. However, I learned very quickly in the game that I had a passion for living that life, not so much writing about it. It may not sound like the worst thing, but in my books, it is quite a travesty. Picking the right niche might actually be the thing that makes or breaks your blog. I’ll tell you why;
Hop onto Google and type any word that comes to mind. Even if you type green mushrooms or purple pigs, you will get thousands of results to sift through. Now if you are anything like me, when you pick the wrong niche, you won’t have much will to keep writing about relative topics. If you plan on growing your blog and becoming the go-to for certain topics, it’s crucial to enjoy what you write. This way you will deliver quality content in a very enjoyable format. I did not enjoy writing about pregnancy and children… so you can only imagine how confused my blog looked.
The king of blogging mistakes: Not being consistent
Leading off from the previous mistake, I came into this new world just hoping to get content out as often as possible. Now ‘as often as possible’ can mean very different things to different people. For me it basically meant whenever I wasn’t changing diapers or working my full-time job. The thing about blogging is that if people are going to read your content consistently, they also require a level of consistency from the writer too. I did not realize just how important that was. Instead, I posted at any random time on any day of the week that I was free.
With time, I did become more consistent, posting three times a week at similar times. However, my content was still targeted to many different audiences, so the consistency was still lacking.
Scheduling posts with the wrong date
I laugh every time I think of this mistake. If you are a blogger too, you know very well that WordPress has a great scheduling tool that allows you to line up all of your posts well in advance. When I decided to try Blogmas out, the very first thing I did was pre-schedule my posts. This way I wouldn’t have to stress out every day. The annoying thing about the scheduler is that it automatically reverts to the date that the post was last edited if you simply leave it in drafts. It’s something I overlooked, and ended up posting three of my Blogmas posts, backdated to November instead of December!
Thanks to the lovely support team, I learned that once something is posted, it is saved in the system archives and cannot be corrected. So my pro tip; if you ever do something like that, make sure you create a new post with a new slug. I initially just changed the date and republished to the correct date, which resulted in the post not showing up in the WordPress reader. That’s suicide for your views!
Not using social media properly
I don’t want to write about this… I really don’t! But if I don’t, it won’t be an honest post. The thing is, I have always been bad with social media in my personal life, but I made an effort with it for my blog. If you know anything about how social media works for content creators, you know that there are algorithms that need to be deciphered. There are also important SEO skills that you need to master to make it effective.
Well, dear friends, I have not mastered either. In my third month, I made an attempt to learn how to use Pinterest and really put in the work. The biggest problem was that I did not figure it out before the algorithm changed. Once the change happened, I just continued to do what little I knew! Talk about adding to the list of blogging mistakes!
If you also have a blog and plan on using social media to promote your content, I wouldn’t recommend just winging it. You need to make sure that each minute you spend on your social media posts is adding value. Do your research, take a few courses, watch some videos. Just don’t do what I am still doing.
Setting unrealistic goals
“When my blog hits the 6 month mark, I will have about 5,000 followers.”
Did you smirk at that comment? Funny thing is that I actually believed it was true! Setting high bars is never a bad thing because it forces you to aim high, but the problem with expecting my blog to grow that fast is that it took a toll on my confidence. I found myself joining groups on Facebook and begging people to follow my blog. When they didn’t, it perpetuated the cycle and caused me to resent blogging.
Blogging as a hobby is meant to be fun, especially since it’s not the thing that will pay your bills. When you put unrealistic goals, it does tend to take away from the fun and adds more stress to your life. If you are still in the initial phases of your blog, I would suggest that you just use the time to learn the ropes without any expectations. Celebrate every milestone, interact with your fellow bloggers without expecting anything in return and enjoy the ride!