In 2013, I started a blog for fun called Fitnancials. I had no idea what I was doing and made a ton of mistakes.
Blogging is really hard and honestly, I had no idea how much work it was going to take. I worked for free for a long time. Blogging isn’t for everyone and I thought about quitting a few times. I stuck it out for the long haul and didn’t give up, and now I’m a full-time blogger!
Below are 10 major mistakes I made and what I’ve done to correct each mistake.
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1. Neglecting Google organic traffic
Do you have all your eggs in one basket with traffic? Do you rely on Pinterest for getting readers onto your site?
Putting all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to traffic is a BAD idea. As we’ve already seen with Facebook’s algorithm change, Pinterest could possibly do the same. They’re already phasing in more promoted pins, so getting traffic is harder.
If you’re trying to grow a legit business, you need to come up with a solid strategy for traffic. And there’s no place better to start than Google.
When you get organic traffic from Google, you’re in for a treat. Unlike Pinterest, Google traffic is usually very targeted. The user is going onto your website to get an answer to their problem. You can solve the reader’s problem with affiliate links, your own products, and with genuine value.
I waited too long to start learning Google SEO, but that doesn’t mean you should. The best time to start is now – most bloggers aren’t implementing Google SEO at all – which means you get to benefit even more.
I enrolled and implemented the lessons in Stupid Simple SEO. I tried learning how to do SEO from articles and YouTube videos around the web, but it was too hard. I had so many questions. Was the article updated and accurate? I was ready to take action immediately. I even get to ask questions in the private Stupid Simple SEO group, which has helped me a ton.
With my increased Google organic traffic, I get increased ad revenue, email subscribers, higher affiliate marketing income, and more people into my sales funnels for my products.
The red arrow below shows when I enrolled in Stupid Simple SEO. My traffic is increasing rapidly.
2. Publishing low-quality content
In the early days (and even a year ago) I would publish just to publish an article without any purpose behind it.
There wasn’t much thought behind what I was creating for my blog.
Even worse, I didn’t do anything to monetize the posts.
I wouldn’t add affiliate links and my Pinterest images were hideous.
How I fixed it: I worked on my Pinterest images and simplified things by taking advantage of white space, bright photos, and readable font. Articles are always at least 1,000 to 2,000 words and packed with value and resources.
3. Not figuring out what my readers want
I always thought I knew what my readers wanted until I asked them and learned I was totally wrong.
Eventually, I conducted a survey and asked my readers to answer a few questions.
What I thought my readers wanted ended up being the exact opposite of what I was serving them.
To figure out what your readers want, you can ask them questions about what they want to see on your blog, what they are currently struggling with, and so on.
How I fixed it: I used Survey Monkey (free) to conduct my survey and sent an email to my subscribers and asked them to complete the survey.
4. Uploading full-size images
A terrible mistake I just learned a month ago was uploading full-size images on my blog.
I wouldn’t customize the size at all.
Uploading full-size images can seriously hurt the speed of your website.
There are tons of photo resizers online.
The following is a general rule to follow when it comes to uploading images:
Facebook – 1,200 x 628 pixels
Pinterest – 735 x 1102 px
How I fixed it: I used Short Pixel and the plugin resized all of my pictures (over 50,000 images) at once.
5. Setting up email late
I didn’t set up email on my blog until last year.
If you’re a blogger or thinking about blogging, it’s wise to have email set up from day 1.
You can capture emails by creating a freebie to get people to sign up on your blog.
Email marketing is incredibly valuable because Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media platforms can change at any time and take all of your traffic away.
With email, you get to create a relationship with your readers and have nothing blocking you from emailing them.
I use ConvertKit, which I love and have been using for years. ConvertKit has a free 14-day trial version. After 14 days, 1000 subscribers or less is $29 per month. It’s so user-friendly and easy to use, especially for anyone who is not used to the tech involved with blogging. You can get a ConvertKit 14-day free trial here.
How I fixed it: Create a freebie your readers can’t say no to.
6. Talking about everything
So often we want to help everyone, which can actually lead us to help no one.
For so long I wanted to cover every topic imaginable: travel, health, weight loss, money, personal development, and so on.
I’ve only recently started narrowing down my niche into finance & health, and only writing health posts when it’s related to finance. These topics are closely related, more than you’d think!
I recently deleted 600+ posts and redirected to a related article if possible.
The plugin I used is called redirection, it’s free and easy to use.
How I fixed it: Creating articles and sticking with my niche, health & finances.
7. Not using correct legal pages
Did you know there’s a legal side to blogging? Yeah, I know, another thing to think about.
This is why Amira, lawyer, and business coach, decided to create the Legal Bundle.
The Legal Bundle includes everything you need to comply with the law and protect your blog and online business.
Plus, she has a private FB group for people who buy the Legal Bundle, which is a great community to ask questions about these sorts of things.
Hiring a lawyer JUST for a consultation ranges from $250-$500 for 1 hour. And unfortunately, you can’t go copying other bloggers’ legal pages.
8. Writing inconsistently
I used to go weeks without publishing an article on my blog.
In fact, I’d go weeks with not “working” on my blog at all.
It’s important to note there are very successful bloggers who haven’t published an article in months and focus on creating and selling products instead.
They are making 7 figures doing this, so “writing inconsistently” as a mistake I made is relative.
How I fixed it: Publish at least 1x per week.
9. Not networking or collaborating
Early on I was afraid to network and collab with others.
If you’re a personal finance blogger, Fincon is THE conference to go to once a year.
Fincon19 is in Washington D.C. in 2019 and it’s always a great learning experience.
Plus you get to meet people you follow online and learn new strategies and tools to use for your business.
In fact, a relationship that stemmed from networking led me to land a major feature in Forbes (that you can see here). This was a big deal and really helped my blog grow.
How I fixed it: Reached out to bloggers, developed relationships, swapped guest posts, and went to Fincon!
10. Trying to push out A+ work or nothing at all
A good friend taught me that it’s better to push out B+ work than nothing at all.
Once that B+ work is out, you can customize and improve it, but if you wait until your work is perfect, you’ll lose a lot of time.
It took me over a year to publish a project on my blog.
This could have easily been created and published in less than a week, but I was waiting for it to be A+ worthy.
What to read next: How I Made $80,000 My Second Year Blogging Full-Time In College
Have you made any mistakes on your blog? Tell us in the comments!
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