Who would have guessed that starting this blog would be the best choice I could have made.
I tried a lot of things on my entrepreneurship journey, and I have to admit, this has to be my best decision.
I started this blog a few years ago from scratch not knowing anything about how to make money online, let alone anything about blogging.
I made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of sleepless nights.
If you are looking to start your own blog, that is great, and I am happy for you. But you must understand, if you are looking to make that blog a success, there are a few things you need to avoid.
I made a lot of these mistakes myself and would like to keep you from doing the same.
1. Do not – pick a niche that you hate
This is not the cliché of doing something you love. That advice is dumb and just plain vague. aside from being vague, it is something you should keep in mind.
What I mean by that is you should not start blogging about travel, if you do not like it. Blogging takes time. If you choose to go after something you hate you will not last.
Have you ever tried writing an article about something you did not like?
It’s painful. The only thing you will want is to get it over with, and that will come out in your writing.
I don’t know about you, but I would not want to put myself through that type of stress.
2. Do not – start your blog on a free blogging site
Look, if you just want to start a blog for the hell of it, never plan to grow and make money from it, starting on a free platform is perfect for you. Because nothing screams “I am not serious” like a free domain. You get what you invest.
If you invest in yourself, you get rewarded. If you go around looking for free meals, you get scraps or nothing at all.
No matter how good the information, I do not, for the love of God read free blogs.
- They look sloppy/spammy
- It tells me you are not serious and out to waste yours and my time.
- It is not owned by you. It does not say yourdomain.com. It says yourdomain.blogspot.com
- Terrible for building a brand
- And just wasted time that you could have put into a real blog. You will have to switch regardless when you want to make real money.
Starting a blog is not difficult. You can follow this step by step guide to help you get started.
3. Do not – go with a bad host
So many people are quick to sign up with well known hosting companies without doing a little research.
I use SiteGround to host this site because of the quality I get in return. They are fast and affordable and something I care about is that they have great customer service. But no matter the host there will always be a drawback – The drawback is that there is a monthly visitor cap depending on which plan you choose for shared hosting.
Although not as fast as SiteGround, Bluehost is a great alternative for small bloggers looking to save money. You are able to get more traffic without needing to worry about a cap.
I’ve had great results hosting with Siteground and a lot of other bloggers agree. They have consistently come out on top year after year on several Facebook polls because they have a proven trust record with bloggers.
That is why I highly recommend Siteground
4. Do not – aim to please everyone
When you please all, you please none.
Do not try and write about everything. Focus on mastering one topic. When your blog develops you can expand, but chasing too many niches in the beginning will make it harder for growth.
Some of you are probably thinking, well James, what about you? your blog covers various topics.
It’s true that this blog covers various topics, but the aim of this blog is growth; not to mention we are able to hire virtual assistants for a very low monthly price. Everything else written on this blog is used as a sub-niche to growth.
So, even though I do spread things on this site i know who our target audience are, what they struggle with and how we can help them.
5. Do not – waste time on the non-important
I am guilty of this. There is no such thing as the perfect blog. Stop being a perfectionist and trying to fix every little detail on your blog.
Yes, a nice design is important because it’s the first impression when someone sees your blog, but do not spend forever trying to get it perfect.
Too many bloggers get stuck on the non-important like the perfect mission statement or the best blog name.
Do not worry about a mission statement. Instead, focus on putting out and promoting content. Your content will do the talking for your blog.
Having a perfect design and about page doesn’t mean anything if you are not getting traffic.
6. Do not – forget to invest in your business and in yourself
If you want growth with your business and with yourself, you will have to invest. that could either be money, or your time.
I spend 16+ hour days working on my blog. I also invested in some courses to improve my SEO and blogging skills
When you grow so does your business. Invest in books, the right host and products and you will see a difference.
7. Do not – forget to setup an email list
I did not think I would jump on the wagon about starting an email list, but it is vital to your success. A lot of bloggers make the mistake of not using or offering an option for their readers to subscribe to their email list.
The fact is that the social platforms you use and Google SEO, can and will change, and you have no control over that. Nor can you do anything about it. Email has been around for years and has remained the same.
Your email is something that you own and do have control over. These are readers that signed up because they want to hear from you.
They are your most engaged readers that you can pitch your products to if you were to launch an online course.
If you are a newbie start on MailChimp, it’s free for your first 2,000 subscribers. When you are ready to take things to the next level and get the added bonus of automation go with Convertkit.
8. Do not – ignore your branding
I do a lot of reading online, and the blogs that stand out to me are blogs that have a brand. It keeps your blog from looking like a newbie.
Have a logo. Keep it simple, don’t waste a ton of time on this. I recently re-branded and used 99designs for my new logo. Be sure that your blog reflects that logo by picking the right fonts and brand color to go with everything.
A lot of bloggers don’t know where to get free photos and some use Google (which I do not recommend for legal reasons) so I thought I’d point out a few free resources to get professional images for your blog. Pixabay, unplash, pexels, kaboompics all have a great variety to choose from.
For some niches, like health and fitness, you will need premium images – we use Shutterstock.
9. Do not – forget to optimize your blog
Even if you plan on getting all your traffic from social media, it’s still a good idea to optimize your blog’s content.
Add internal links when you publish a post. Internal links help your readers stay and find more of your content, not to mention it helps Google crawl and index your blog easier.
Add external links – from my experience, this is very important just as internal links are important. Google gives trust to sites that link out to other sites.
But note, only link out to authority websites. Linking to poor quality sites will damage yours. When in doubt only link to monsters like huff post, success, entrepreneur, etc.
Optimize images – before uploading an image to your blog, be sure that it is optimized. This will help with site speed and improve the bounce rate. I recommend shortpixel – using their one-time plan will save you money. There are no monthly or yearly payments; this site went from 25% image optimization with a free plugin to 60%.
10. Do not – publish blog posts every day
This is something many bloggers do because they hear content is king, or they feel if they have enough posts on their blog people will come and maybe their ranking will improve.
The truth is, none of that will happen, but what will happen is that you will exhaust yourself from trying to post every day.
Posting daily is hard work and requires a team. You do not need to post that often. I know bloggers who post once a month and are still making a killing. Why, they post quality, have a list and focus on promoting.
If you do want to post more often, I suggest creating a guest post page for other bloggers to write for your blog. If you have the money then you could use Onlinejobs.ph to hire a Filipino worker for an affordable price.
11. Do not – give up
No one is made of steel. there were times I just felt like quitting.
I had a lot of sleepless nights and heartaches. and at times things seemed to only go downhill no matter what I did or how hard I tried.
I knew little about blogging and made tons of mistakes, but the one thing I did do right was to stick with it no matter what. no matter how bad I felt, or how many times I quit, I came back harder and kept moving forward.
Set goals and a commitment to stick with it no matter what. In life, you have to fight for what you want, so make sure you continue the fight and believe in yourself.
12. Do not – put starting a blog off any longer
You’ve probably been debating and have neglected to take the step forward.
There is no time like right now.
If you are waiting for the perfect time, there will never be a perfect time, idea, or day to begin. The sooner you decide to take that step, the sooner you will become successful. Don’t wait.