8 Mistakes I Made When I Started My Blog (So You Don't Make Them Too)

8 mistakes i made when starting my blog
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I've been doing a lot of research over the last few weeks about why my blog isn't growing the way I want it to and what I need to do in order for that to change. I've realised I made a fair few mistakes in my very early blogging days and I'm now looking at correcting them so that my one year anniversary of starting my blog actually hits some of my goals.

Unfortunately, because of these mistakes I made early on, I'm now spending valuable time going over old things and working on reversing these. Not exactly what you want to be doing instead of throwing myself into creating amazing content for you lovely people!

I've started implementing a few of the changes already but some of them are easier to fix than others and some them require a whole new work flow strategy in order to optimise my posts the way the should have been done at the very beginning.

Hopefully, by sharing these mistakes with you, it will either stop you from making the same ones or help you spot some you'd been making without realising.

1. Not thinking about my brand

I chose my blog name because that's what I am. I am a Mom of Two. I don't necessarily regret choosing this name but I regret not thinking about how I could market this further down the line.

My first logo was something I did in PicsArt, taking a picture that I liked off google images and then adding wording to it. It wasn't all that fancy and certainly wasn't a "brand logo". My current logo is much better but it's something I did myself in Canva so doesn't have the same level of professionalism as if I'd had a graphic designer do it for me.

This is definitely something I am working towards changing once I have sorted out some of the other mistakes I made! I would love to have a proper logo designed by a graphic designer. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

2. Not learning SEO


I have only just started learning Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and I'm currently 6 months in to my blogging journey. I know, I know. It's shocking. The world of SEO is a massive, scary place and can be really intimidating when you don't know what you're looking for. Thankfully, I have a good place to start.

I've just purchased a book by Kim Six - Demystifying SEO: A Bloggers Guide To Search Engine Traffic. This is a book specific to the blogger (BlogSpot) platform, which is what I use for my blog. I'm only a couple of chapters in and I've already learnt so much and realised there is so much I'm not tapping into.

This should be high on your list of things to learn, preferably before you launch your blog so that you can make sure you're not missing out on any potential traffic.

There are also numerous free resources online, the most obvious one to mention here would be Moz. If you've never heard of Moz, I suggest you go over to the website right now and get stuck in to the many articles of SEO that they have on offer.

3. Not creating specific pins for Pinterest


When I first started publishing posts, I just pinned the image that I used straight on to Pinterest without doing anything to change it. Even if it was just a picture of my kids at the park. These kind of pictures don't really do well on Pinterest.

There was only one post that I created a picture specifically for use on Pinterest and that was a Guest Post on PTSD. It was badly done and I'd be surprised if anyone ever pinned it.

When doing the research that led to the creation of this post, I realised that I needed to be creating multiple pin images for every post. Each one with different colourings and fonts in order to target the largest audience possible.

I now create 3-5 pins per blog post and make sure they are bright and eye catching to help drive traffic to my blog.

4. Not utilising Instagram stories


This is something I am still not doing fully but will be working to fix it as soon as I've sorted out everything else! It can be daunting at first but start with pictures and then slowly move up to videos. If you have to start with videos from your POV and then slowly work to having the camera facing you then that's fine!

Other than this, Instagram is one of the areas where I'm making the fewest mistakes when it comes to building up my following. I find it the easiest social media platform and the least complicated.

However, one of the mistakes I was doing was not putting much thought into the images I was uploading. Some where dark, some were bright, some were really good shots and others were less than desirable. I not only didn't consider the images as single images in someones feed, I didn't consider how they ended up looking on my profile as a whole.

If someone had come across one of my better images through the hashtag search feature and took a look at my profile before deciding whether or not to follow me, they would almost definitely have been put off by the spattering of dark, unclear images and gone straight back to the search page to find someone else.

5. Not changing up hashtags


Up until the start of January, I was pretty much sticking with the same list of hashtags. They got changed depending on the picture of course but in general, they were all geared towards the same kind of thing.

I found an app called Social Hashtags and you can search for a term and it will bring up all hashtags related to that term or any hashtag that has that term in it. I tested it out and immediately noticed I was reaching a wider audience and that I was also getting more followers than I normally would.

Make sure you still keep the tags relevant to the picture. You don't want to be using #summersday on a photo of your kids building a snowman!

6. Focussing too much on google adsense


This probably annoys me the most as I was repeatedly told this in various facebook groups I was in! And stupidly, the reason why I didn't listen is also the reason why I should have listened.

It was coming from people who were successful bloggers.

If you're sitting there scratching you head at that, let me explain. The thing I learnt about google adsense is that it's the lowest paying ad network but also the easiest one to join. The successful bloggers who were telling me to ignore adsense were already signed up with much bigger and better ad networks that have much higher requirements to join. Requirements that seem a million years away when you first join. As a new blogger, it's frustrating being told not to focus on the only network that you can join so of course I joined it....and wondered why I wasn't earning anything.

And then comes the crushing realisation that the people telling you to not focus on it were right. You need an insane amount of traffic to generate an income from adsense. I've actually got rid of most of the ads on my site as I didn't like how they made it look. I kept the odd one so that I knew where I wanted to put the ads of the higher networks when I hit the minimum requirements.

7. Not having a theme or a niche


Similar to mistake number 1, I just thought "oh I'll blog about me and my life". I didn't think about the fact that this is trying to target practically the entire world which is impossible. My posts were random and weren't really about anything in particular. Certainly not about anything that someone would search for on Google!

So when you start your blog, try and have a theme to post about. You don't have to limit yourself to just one, you can have two or three but your blog needs to be at least semi cohesive and not blogging about horses, motorsports, renovations and make up. Well, I mean you could blog about those but you'll struggle marketing it towards those different types of audiences. Imagine the confusion if someone who loved motorsports found your blog, for the suggested post to be your go to smokey eye look! (Yes, I know I'm stereotyping)

8. Not pre writing and scheduling posts


I think I pre wrote 2 posts and had 6 more half done at the time where I "launched" my blog. I launched with nothing (and don't regret it) but I thought I would easily be able to keep up with one or two posts per week. The reality was, and is, that life gets in the way very easily and suddenly I was missing my own deadlines and stressing myself out trying to force content.

If I'd pre wrote and scheduled a months worth of posts first, I could sit down and write whenever I had the time or inspiration and since I would have been far less stressed, the content would have come much more naturally.

If you can, I highly suggest writing as many as 3 months worth of posts upfront. This gives you valuable leeway when doing other things like researching, creating freebies, targeting a new social media platforms and more.


If your brand new to blogging and haven't yet launched your website yet, hopefully I've stopped you from making these mistakes and you won't be redoing the last 6 months of work like I now am.

Do you have any other tips that new bloggers should know about? Leave them in the comments below!

2 comments

  1. A fantastic read, I've made a couple of these mistakes too and now I'm trying to rectify them - the biggest one for me is not being self hosted currently so that's what I'm working on.

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    1. It's so frustrating isn't it when you realise what you should have been doing from the beginning!

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