It’s been an absolute whirlwind since I started my blog. I’ve made quite a few beginner bloggers’ mistakes along the way so I wanted to share my experience with those interested in blogging/beginner bloggers. Hopefully, you guys will not make the same mistakes as me.
1. Promote Your Blog
Do you feel like you’ve been writing good content consistently but no one is seeing it? It’s because they don’t know you exist! That was a tough lesson for me. Blogs are different from YouTube because YouTube has an algorithm to recommend videos you’re interested in but there’s nothing really like that for websites.
What do you need to do?
You need to promote your blog! Now, don’t go blindly posting your website everywhere. It’s not helpful if those aren’t the places your audience hangs out. What websites are they browsing? Is it Buzzfeed? Reddit? Pick 2 platforms and be active in the community. Ask and answer questions. Interact with users. Being too ambitious and choosing too many platforms will tire you out. We have to be strategic with our time and decisions.
Promoting takes time. It’s not something that happens instantly (unless a post goes viral but the chances of that are kinda low). Go out there, promote your blog, and introduce yourself! Your blog is your brand so be proud of it. You’ve worked hard. You’ll probably feel shameless at times but be careful not to overdo it or else you can get banned. I know Reddit has strict guidelines if you keep spamming everyone with your website link. That’s DEFINITELY not what you want.
When do you start promoting?
Start promoting when you have about 5 – 10 posts up. This will give your audience an idea of who you are and what you write about. If you’re promoting your blog at 0 posts, what is the audience supposed to look at?
Make sure you’re consistent with posting or else you can get all this traffic but lose them when your audience realizes you’re not updating your blog. Don’t make the same mistake as me and wait. I dragged my feet because I felt that my blog wasn’t good enough to show to the public. Waiting for your blog to be 100% perfect isn’t realistic! That’s what I would tell my past self. There are always going to be minor areas I’m not satisfied with but I’m slowly changing them along the way.
2. Not Writing Every Day
It takes me a full week to write one post. I make several drafts and do multiple rounds of edits before posting. I’m not a last-minute type of person because I prefer to split a task into smaller parts so it seems doable. Those who leave everything for the last minute, how do you do it? And why? Does it get you a thrill? I mean, if I really wanted to, I could. I could push myself and write on Wednesday nights to post just in time for Thursday but my content quality wouldn’t be as good. There have been past work projects that I had to do urgently but if I had the choice, I prefer taking my time.
I spend about an hour everyday writing either from scratch or half-written posts. I always have drafts on my computer for the moments I don’t feel as creative. That’s when my half-written posts come in. They are a good prompt for writing. I kept a promise to myself that I will post consistently in 2021 and I plan to follow through. If I can say, I’m doing really well so far!
It’s easy to fall off the wagon. Trust me. If you go back and look at my blog posts, you’ll see that there was a time where I didn’t post anything for 2 months. Powering up and keeping it going is hard. You take one day off and you think, ‘ah, this is nice,’ except then you want to take even more days off.
Remind yourself to keep writing. Find what works for you whether that’s writing it down on your calendar or setting an alarm every day to write. If you REALLY don’t feel like writing, I recommend doing at least one blog-related thing a day. Some examples could be :
- Brainstorming 5 blog post ideas for the future
- Spending 30 mins/day promoting your blog
- Editing previous posts
- Taking pictures for future blog posts
3. Take more pictures
Pictures are essential to your blog. Humans are visual creatures! I rely on Unsplash for a lot of my photos but I want to try using my own photos more. Everyone has access to Unsplash and can use their photos. Would you want to see the same pictures over and over again? No. Taking your own photos would ensure that it’s unique and stands out from the crowd.
When it comes to taking pictures, you want to take several angles of the same thing because you want to choose the best picture in the end. I can get quite rushed when taking pictures so I don’t look at each photo carefully until afterwards. There have been times where I look back and think, ‘why didn’t I take better pictures or take a picture in this angle?’ By then, it’s too late and I can’t do anything but sit in regret. You want more options because when it comes to choosing a picture later, it’s always better to have more to choose from than none.
4. Improve on SEO
If you don’t know what SEO (search engine optimization) is, it’s basically how people can find your website on search engines. It’s super important. You want people to find your blog!
I have been way better at SEO since I started but I still have a long way to go. You’ll see a ton of blogs emphasizing how important SEO is. I knew this but felt stuck for the longest time because for beginner bloggers, SEO seemed so difficult. There was a lot of technical jargon that I haven’t heard of before. I was confused and overwhelmed so I procrastinated for a few months and was lowkey stressed about my situation. I knew that I had to prioritized working on SEO but didn’t. What finally helped was taking a course on the subject.
If you don’t know anything about SEO, I would recommend investing in an SEO course. Having someone explain to you how to implement the best SEO practices step by step is better than you figuring everything out by yourself.
It’s best to start learning SEO right from the beginning. By doing so, you will naturally train yourself to ensure that you’re using good SEO practices for the future. It might seem intimidating in the beginning but taking it step-by-step won’t seem as hard especially if someone is guiding you.
I chose the SEO Jumpstart course and so far, so good! I’m liking the style and how descriptive the course creator is in each module. There are even bonus sections that the author included. I like that she also was a beginner blogger who struggled with SEO. It makes me relate to her so much more.
It takes about 3-6 months before SEO really comes into effect (I am thinking to write a course review on SEO Jumpstart then). There are a lot of factors to take into account. The process is time-consuming and it’s something you’ll have to continue to work at. By not starting SEO earlier, I had to go back and revisit all my posts to optimize SEO. That was a pain in the butt. This was probably my biggest mistake as a beginner blogger.
5. SSL Certificate
Do you know what the SSL Certificate is? If you don’t, don’t worry! It’s basically the beginning part of the website where it’s either HTTPS:// or HTTP://. You might not think this part is important but it is because you want your website to start with HTTPS://. This means that your website is secure. If your website starts with HTTP://, it means that you guessed it, your connection isn’t secure. Your website is then more vulnerable to hackers so it’s important to protect it. I thought that my website started with HTTPS:// but it wasn’t until a Reddit user reminded me to change my SSL certificate. I doubt the person will ever see this but thank you!
Where do you go from there? What do I do?
All these websites said I needed to pay some $$$ to switch from HTTPS:// to HTTP://. I wasn’t about to drop money so easily so I was looking to see if there are any free alternatives. Fortunately, I used Bluehost for my domain and it actually provides a free SSL certificate. I would have had to fork out some extra money if it wasn’t Bluehost so that’s great! This was a relatively quick fix compared to the other mistakes so check to make sure your website is secure.
6. Not Networking Right Away
I’ve joined some Facebook groups because I wanted to find like-minded beginner bloggers like myself to form a community. This way, we can help each other. If there is a problem I’m having, maybe they can give me good advice. Or if I’m feeling down and need encouragement, this would also be the group I turn to. Having a support system is important, however, it’s been hard to find beginner bloggers like myself. All the ones I can find have thousands and even millions of followers. I would like to meet beginner bloggers so we can go through this journey together. I talk to my friends about my blog but they don’t TRULY understand because they don’t have one.
Facebook groups are good communities to build relationships with bloggers. It’s not the only place but it’s the one I can think of immediately and have access to already. I was a silent reader for the longest time but my goal is now to participate and network more.
Network with other bloggers! People say that blogging can be a lonely journey but it doesn’t have to be. Building relationships with other bloggers will likely help increase your traffic as well and who doesn’t want that?
If you guys know any new beginner bloggers, let me know in the comments down below. I would love to chat with them!
To you bloggers out there: Have you made the same mistakes that I have? What are some tips you would give to new bloggers?