In 2013, I started a hobby blog called Fitnancials.
I had no idea what I was doing (and partially still don't) and made mistake after mistake.
Along the way, I've slowly figured out blogging and all the little ins and outs to running a business and blog.
Below are 10 major mistakes I made on Fitnancials, and what I've done to fix each mistake.
1. Being generic
A huge mistake I made (and see many others make as well) is writing generic topics on their blog a l l t h e t i m e.
I'm talking about “money-saving tips” or “blank ways to make money” posts.
Though these posts have given me thousands of page views, they get boring! And I see them all the time.
If you're wondering why you aren't getting much traffic to your blog, find new, creative topics to talk about that haven't been written about before.
Help your reader as much as possible.
How I fixed it: Come up with creative, unique, helpful topics and be as help as possible, including a ton of resources.
2. Publishing low-quality content
In the early days (and even a year ago) I would publish just to publish.
There wasn't much thought behind what I was creating for my blog.
I would pump out 500-word posts without much thought at all.
Even worse, I didn't do anything to monetize the posts.
I wouldn't add affiliate links and my Pinterest images were h i d e o u s.
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.
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.
I was blown away by the answers.
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 picture 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 currently use Convertkit. It's expensive but worth it compared to the other email marketing services out there.
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 helping 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, but I tell myself personal development is health-related, so I'm still talking about that (ha!).
How I fixed it: Creating articles and sticking with my niche, health & finances.
7. Talking about myself
Early on in my blogging career, I talked about myself nonstop.
I honestly thought my readers wanted to hear about my life story, ha!
My articles would talk about my relationships, work, family, etc., and it didn't even pertain to anything at all. I'd get totally sidetracked throughout posts.
When I feel is fitting, I share an anecdote that fits into the article I am writing.
How I fixed it: Focus on the reader and serving my audience. Share a personal story when it makes sense to.
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.
* 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.
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
My good friend Natalie 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. O n e year. This could have easily been created and published in less than a week, but I was waiting for it to be A+ worthy. Such a mistake.
How I fixed it: I learned this in Natalie's course, Blog With A Full-Time Job. If you've been wanting to start a profitable blog, this is the course to take.
Current blog mistake: Neglecting Google SEO
So many of us rely on Pinterest and Pinterest alone, which is a big mistake.
Although I have seen millions of page views from Pinterest, it would be dumb to think I can rely on Pinterest forever.
Just like we've seen Facebook completely pull the plug from Facebook pages (some lost up to 90% traffic!), Pinterest could possibly do the same in the future.
You should never place all of your eggs in one basket. Work on a few different traffic sources.
Check out this comprehensive Google SEO guide.
In a nutshell:
1. Being generic.
2. Publishing low-quality content.
3. Not figuring out what your readers want.
4. Uploading full-size images.
5. Not setting up email.
6. Talking about anything and everything.
7. Talking about yourself all the time.
8. Writing inconsistently.
9. Not networking or collaborating.
10. Trying to be perfect all the time.
Bonus: Not focusing on SEO
Have you made any mistakes on your blog? Tell us in the comments!
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