7 Time-Wasting Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Blog
You did it! You’ve decided to start a blog.
Writing a blog is a great tool for sharing your knowledge or experience. You can teach a lot and learn a lot by writing consistently.
Plus you can easily share what you’ve written with others and begin to build an audience.
I started a personal blog in 2005, then started my first professional blog in 2007 and built in on WordPress.
Soon I was starting a blog to cover all sorts of topics, and I started helping others to create their own.
It’s by far one of the most effective channels for sharing content and building an audience, but there are plenty of time-sucking distractions that can take you away from what you should be doing:
Writing & sharing!
Here are 7 things NOT TO DO while starting your blog…
1. Don’t Spend All Your Time Figuring Out How to “Monetize Your Blog”
It’s easy to want to make money from all the effort you’re putting in. But thinking about it too much can be a huge distraction. At time of writing, Googling the phrase “how to make money blogging” pulls up nearly 76 MILLION search results.
That’s a lot of distractions!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t make money with a blog. But I think it’s the wrong question to ask at this point if you started just because. Be clear on what your purpose for blogging in the first place is. If it’s to establish your authority as an expert, let that be enough for now. Don’t give yourself a reason to avoid writing content.
2. Don’t Spend Your Time Perfecting the Design
People will read your blog if you have good content, regardless of how special your design looks.
I’ve seen dozens (if not hundreds) of blogs get super popular with a plain theme. Even an ugly theme! If your content is well written and useful, people will share it and you can get a lot of readers.
3. Don’t Obsessively Check Your Stats
Most blogging platforms will have some way to track the amount of hits you get to your site. If not you can always install something like Google Analytics. It’s valuable to be tracking your visitors, but it’s not healthy to compulsively see how many people are visiting.
I used to check multiple times every day to see how popular I was. Sounds so shallow when I say it that way, doesn’t it? But it is.
Don’t use low stats as an excuse not to keep writing. Focus on creating valuable content, then share it! Email, post on social media, and have friends promote you. But it takes time to build your following.
4. Don’t Feel Like You Have To Do It All Alone
A blog can feel like a huge task. But others have been there before (like me!) and are happy to help you out.
Whether you want a new feature on your site, are looking for new content ideas, or need help promoting yourself, there’s a giant community of bloggers on every topic you can think of.
Reach out! Get help when you need it. Especially if there are technical things that are beyond your skill level.
5. Don’t Try To Copy Someone Else’s Site or Style
The best way to blog is to be yourself. The internet doesn’t need another copycat, but there’s always room for the authentic you.
It’s easy to image that such-and-such blogger that you’re a fan of is successful because she writes like this, and her design is like that.
Trying to copy that is going to lead to frustration. Just be you! And if you’re not sure how to do that… just write. You’ll find it over time. I promise.
6. Don’t Miss Out on Collecting Email Subscribers
This is by far the most important thing you can do to build a loyal following. To keep people coming back (as well as making it easier to make money down the line — if that’s you’re goal) is to collect email addresses.
Even better, offer an extra bonus as incentive (like an ebook) that people can’t get on the blog.
I had multiple blogs for several YEARS and didn’t think to do this. Which is probably 95% of the reason some of those blogs (and my interest) fizzled out over time despite the fact that I had put so much work into it.
7. Don’t Wait To Get Started
If you haven’t started blogging yet and you want to… go for it!
You want to because you have something to say. Say it. Your thoughts are valuable. Especially if you’re following #5 and being authentically you.
There is not right moment to start publishing, but now is as good as any.
Best of luck!
What other blogging challenges can you think of? Let me know in the comments!
Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons