This post is dedicated to all you new bloggers out there. Good for you for dreaming, creating and now getting in that hustle! I, like you, am in the trenches of this, so I’m going to share 5 Blogging Mistakes I Made That You Don’t Have To.
In the name of support and encouragement for you fellow bloggers, sharing these 5 Blogging Mistakes I made that you don’t have to will hopefully save you some serious time and money!
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5 Blogging Mistakes I Made That You Don’t Have To
I’m no computer genius, and I’m not a marketing tycoon with more degrees than a thermometer.
I’m just like you.
I have some education and a decent work history. I’m a mom with passion with something to share and I’d like to also make some income while I do it, so I decided to start a blog.
I made a lot of mistakes getting it figured out.
Those mistakes cost me some heartache and also some really good work that is forever lost. I love writing, take it seriously and work hard on everything I do. To know that some of my hard work is gone forever still stings.
It was unnecessary and I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
So, to save your sanity, I’m going to share 5 blogging mistakes I made that you don’t have to while in the trenches of starting a blog.
1: I Didn’t Save My Content In The Beginning
I was so excited about writing posts on my blog that I used the post page to create my posts. I still do, actually. This was in the early days, before I went through a host that includes backups and the ability to restore lost work (more on that later). Because it was free blogging software, it glitched and I lost my work and couldn’t recover it.
I was heartbroken.
They were good articles (plural…yes, I lost more than one) and I spent time and effort to make them polished and beautiful.
While you may be thinking “duh”, It really is easy to place too much trust in your blogging software and forget about backing up your content.
My advice is to save your work in a word document form on your computer–even on an external drive.
You may be one of the wise ones from the beginning and use a host with data backups and recovery features, but there is no way to absolutely guarantee your work is totally safe from some sort of malfunction.
In the beginning stages of your blog, you’ll need to put out a lot of content–this is where I’m still at, too. I know you’re focused and typing furiously, but take time to back up your work in some form that is completely unrelated to your blog.
2: Meddled In Coding Without Help
Yeah… I’m curious by nature and a pretty quick learner. However, I don’t speak fluent HTML. I was still on a free blogging platform and started trying to create custom features that were too advanced for the platform (this is what I get for being cheap).
I broke my site. Bye-bye progress.
I was determined to have a high-quality site without paying the tiny monthly cost of a host. I was going to show them!
Spend a few bucks a month on a host? Forget that! I’d just get sneaky on the back end and make my blog beautiful!
It didn’t happen that way.
I messed up. Because, again, I was on a free blogging platform, I didn’t have as many resources to learn about what I was doing or someone I could contact to help me out.
The more I Googled my problem and tried to fix it, the worse it got. I was in deep coding waters and I was insanely over my head.
Which brings me to point 3.
3: I Was A Cheapskate and Paid For It.
Sure, I didn’t pay money, but I paid in time. I paid in energy and I paid in effort.
My return on investment was a broken blog and a heap of frustration.
If you’re going to get serious about blogging, you need a host. It’s not a bunch of fluff. People are saying it because it’s true.
When I read all the other articles out there, I’d check out when I saw the “host” part. But now, after my short time growing and blogging, I get the importance.
Forget the whole “monetize your blog” part of it for a second. If you’re writing about something you’re passionate about and you want people to stick around to read it, your content deserves to be presented in top form.
Not only that, but you deserve to have a safety net to protect your hard work and intellectual property.
Let Your Host Work For You
When it comes to coding and the murky swamp called the “back end,” you shouldn’t have to take time away from creating beautiful content to have to learn all the ins and outs right at first.
You should be able to download the proper plugin and let the experts do it for you.
Seriously, just use WordPress to create your blog and go through a web host. It’s not hype–It’s what I wish I had just done from the beginning.
With WordPress and whatever host you choose, you usually get a free domain name, a plugin for just about everything you can think of when it comes to blogging and creating, data backup and recovery systems for your hard work, beautiful, quality design capabilities, and compatibility with nearly every major marketing tool there is.
I didn’t do it at first. Then I had to switch everything over.
I had only been blogging for a couple weeks, so I had a lot less content, and it still took AN ENTIRE DAY to switch over, surpassing my frustration quota by miles. It was not a happy day or pleasant experience.
I’d rather spend the day changing horrid diapers than deal with that again–and I’m not kidding.
4: Ignored Pinterest
When I started blogging, I had 5 Pinterest followers (fellow bridesmaids and wedding planners) and 0 monthly Pinterest views.
How was I going to share my blog? I hadn’t thought that far ahead.
So, of course my blog got 1 page view per day… from my loyal mother.
That was cool, I guess, if I intended on using my blog as a diary.
But I wasn’t cool with using MamaFearless as a diary. I want to change the world of pregnant mamas, to help someone feel confident about giving birth.
After researching “How To Drive Traffic to your Blog” and reading like crazy, I was shocked when I discovered stats showing that Pinterest drove more traffic to blogs than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined.
Until that point, I’d used Pinterest as a search engine for cool recipes and motivational quotes. As it turns out, Pinterest is a lot more than that.
If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you already know this. But if you’re brand new, you may not.
To get more visitors to your blog, view Pinterest as a tool, not a cute app.
Devote some time to connecting with like-minded pinners, create and join boards, and pin like crazy! After investing a little bit of time into Pinterest (less than 1 hour) each day, my monthly Pinterest views has gone from 0 to almost 160K in a matter of weeks. 90 % of my blog traffic is from Pinterest.
The stats are right on.
Don’t underestimate that cute little red “P”. It packs a powerful punch! I wish I had done it sooner.
2020 Update: Pinterest is still my #1 traffic driver. I have found that consistent pinning, updating my pins and re-pinning has been the most effective way to use it. The group boards has not been an effective source of traffic or exposure for me thus far. I’ll keep you updated.
5: Neglected Old Posts
When it comes to Pinterest, creating pins for your posts is a must. As soon as I discovered this I got so excited and added the “creating pins” part to my blogging routine. Every new post I created had a pin–or 5– to go with it.
But I forgot about all the hard work I’d created before I had that epiphany.
As a result, a lot of my work sat there, undiscovered.
While you want people to read everything you’ve ever written once they find your blog, you also need links connect your posts to bridge the gap to your readers.
The older posts require a little more digging around by nature, so you need pins linked to them to keep them from disappearing into the blogging abyss.
It’s your hard work, after all. It doesn’t have to fade away. Creating new pins that link back to your oldies but goodies will keep them alive and well.
I don’t know why this simple little tip escaped me, but it did. Maybe because it’s so obvious? Nevertheless, it was one of the many mistakes I made in the trenches of building up my blog.
Here’s the 5 Blogging Mistakes I Made That You Don’t Have To In A Nutshell
So now that I’ve aired all my dirty laundry, here’s the list of do’s and don’t’s:
- Remember to back up your work somewhere other than your blogging software
- Stay out of the sea of code and let the experts handle it for you (use your WordPress plugins)
- Invest in a host already and save yourself some serious frustration
- Join forces with Pinterest
- Link your old posts and keep them alive