Hey and welcome to episode 19 of the Free and Fearless podcast. This one is dedicated to those who are about to start a blog and have probably been putting it off for a long time, or those who’ve set up their site already but aren’t sure what’s next in order to grow it.
I really want you to do things right with your first blog because it can turn into something so big, that the rest of your life will never be the same again.
To achieve financial freedom is to earn thousands of dollars with your blog and get to 5 figures a year (and – ultimately – 6 figures). That’s why I want to share some mistakes that can be avoided.
Watch out for these and you’re guaranteed to save yourself a ton of time and troubles.
Tune into the episode below:
- [02:06] How to choose the right niche
- [04:32] What starting with the wrong web host cost me
- [07:04] Tips on internal and external linking
- [08:12] Why stick to a publishing schedule
- [11:06] Why creating new content isn’t enough + what to do
- [12:14] My #1 rule for blog design
- [13:28] How to give readers a story they can relate to
- [15:26] Obsessing over blog stats vs what to actually do
- My Business Journey [episode 1]
- 6 Steps to Building a Content-Driven Business [episode 14]
- WPX Hosting
Blogging mistake #1: Not choosing a niche that is in demand.
Choosing your niche is one of the most important steps you will take and that happens before you actually set up your blog.
While it’s best if you find what you’re passionate about, that’s not the only element which plays a role. You want to have a successful blog that makes money and for that, you need a niche that’s profitable.
Regardless of how many other sites in the same industry you can find online, yours can still grow and become popular enough and be the foundation of your business. So please don’t choose a niche without doing a bit of research.
If you know my story, you know I began with Personal Development because it’s what I’m reading and writing about the most. I wasn’t making any money during these first years.
But the income became regular once I also covered Business and Finance. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing about productivity, spirituality, motivation, reaching goals in life and building good habits. No. I just combine all this and that’s why Let’s Reach Success is a multi-niche blog. Some can also call it a lifestyle blog.
That path will make it harder for you so it’s always best to pick a profitable niche from day 1 and start creating content around it. Because it’s your blog we’re talking about, you can always write about other things that interest you and share your story, but always find common grounds with the niche you’re in. There must be a connection.
In my case, it’s progress and constant learning and creating a life by design. All the topics I create content about are related to personal, spiritual and business growth. Reaching success means constantly seeing progress with all areas of life. So I just happen to talk about all these aspects separately now.
Read also: How to Enter a New Niche Market & Build a Successful Niche Business
Blogging mistake #2: Starting with a wordpress.com site.
That’s something I did as I had no idea what a self-hosted website meant at the time.
It took me a lot of time and overthinking in order to finally take the plunge, get a hosting provider and install WordPress so I can have a blog I have full control over.
If you aren’t sure what all that means and how to actually start a blog, I created this free step-by-step guide for you.
Blogging mistake #3: Going for a cheaper web host.
Choosing your hosting provider is also one of the first and most important steps of setting up a blog.
And let me tell you this: I did go with a cheap one first as it seemed to be the most popular option. All influencers and bloggers I followed were recommending it (although their blogs weren’t hosted on it anymore).
Turns out, their marketing department works hard but not as hard as their customer service. I’ve had too many unpleasant and long chats with the staff over the years when my site was down (the worst that can happen when you’re a blogger) and they had no explanation.
They were just in a rush to get to the next client’s question.
They have a good affiliate program and that’s why almost anyone you see online is recommending them as the best option for a web host. One of the reasons is that they also power millions of websites worldwide and that it’s affordable, but at what cost?
Eventually, I had to upgrade so the bandwtich and other features could be enough as Let’s Reach Success was growing. At some point I was paying close to $500/year while receiving the same awful customer service.
For a hosting company, the support team is one of the most important things you need to consider as anything technical that happens with your blog should be a question they answer right away.
Later, I did my research, asked around, and chose another company – WPX Hosting.
I now pay around $250 per year, they moved my site from the servers of my previous web host to theirs at no cost and without any downtime. The support is the friendliest and most reliable team I’ve ever worked with, and their professional services are created for WordPress bloggers who want optimized hosting.
No need to say anything else other than I wish I had done that earlier. My site now performs better and I sleep peacefully at night knowing it won’t be down.
There are other good companies like WPX Hosting, of course. But that’s the one I’m sticking with for sure, even when my site grows more.
If you’re just starting out though, you don’t need that yet. That’s why in all my guides and courses, I recommend SiteGround and I share steps on how to get started with them.
They are also one of the best companies in the industry, powering millions of websites, but more affordable and easier if you’re new and your blog won’t have too much traffic any time soon.
Blogging mistake #4: Not adding internal links.
Many bloggers don’t pay attention to internal links in the beginning and then realize what part in SEO and engaging the reader they play. Then they need to go and update old blog posts by linking internally.
Save yourself that trouble. You will add new internal links in old posts anyways, but at least make sure that any blog post you publish has a few of these the moment it’s posted.
If you don’t know what these are, internal links are links pointing from one page to another on the same website.
>> Free Masterclass: How to Scale Your Traffic with SEO to Make More Money Blogging
Blogging mistake #5: Being afraid to link externally.
The same goes for external linking, although the reasons for that are different. These are the links pointing to other domains.
Google won’t take your blog seriously if you only link to your own pages. Readers trust you more if you constantly link to quality resources on other sites that are relevant to the topic they are reading about.
Don’t be afraid to add a few external links (to top sites only) in every blog post.
>> Also check out: The 1:1 Business Mentorship for Bloggers
Blogging mistake #6: Not publishing content consistently.
Sticking to a publishing schedule is hard when you’re just starting out. But if you don’t have that, you might end up posting 30 blog posts in a short time, just to realize you can’t keep up. Or leave the blog behind for a month, then publish 2 articles in a week and disappear for a few again.
That confuses your readers and definitely doesn’t build trust.
Quality is over quantity, of course. But still, you need to show your audience and search engines that your blog has fresh and new content on a consistent basis.
Publish your first 10 blog posts and you will know enough about your abilities: how long it takes you to create a piece, optimize, format and edit it, write the content and put it into your WP dashboard.
You will know your writing style and that will help you set goals for when to write pieces, when to publish and share them, and when to plan new topics.
Blogging mistake #7: Giving up after not seeing any traffic for a few weeks.
Here’s the deal: that might be a few months too. You might not have much traffic in a year either. It happens.
There’s a lot that goes into blogging and because most people just want quick results, they tend to give up after a few weeks or months.
But search engines need time to rank your articles. You need time to get readers, have some presence on social media, build an email list, and so much more.
Once you have the audience, you can only grow from there. I know it can be discouraging when it feels like no one is reading your blog. But the difference between those who became full-time bloggers and those who didn’t is that the former kept going.
Traffic and income are inevitable if you keep trying different strategies, publishing content, providing value, and building a name for yourself in your niche.
Blogging mistake #8: Not testing different monetization methods.
There’s a lot of fear and doubt involved in selling or promoting anything, or even adding ads on your blog.
That’s why most people don’t do it in the first or even second year of blogging. But you’re missing out.
You can start placing affiliate links in your blog posts now. You can create a small digital product and add it to your menu so people who are interested in diving deeper into what you teach can have something to buy from you.
The possibilities are endless but it takes courage to put yourself out there and charge for the value you provide.
If 1 thing doesn’t bring you any income, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you didn’t do something right, it’s not a good fit for your niche, or audience or the kind of person you are.
So then, you can try different ways to monetize your platform.
Blogging mistake #9: Only publishing content without promoting it.
While some bloggers struggle with coming up with new topics to cover, others have many ideas and want to turn them all into articles.
So you might end up putting content out there daily, or a few times a week but not doing anything once the post is live.
If it’s optimized well, it can start ranking at some point and bring you traffic for years to come. But you’re missing out on many opportunities for traffic, engagement and list building if you don’t take the necessary steps to promote your content.
Some things you can do right away include sharing it on social media and with your email list, but also adding future shares and mentions of this piece to your calendar for the next weeks and even in 3 months.
Many people won’t hear about your new blog post right now, and those who join your audience soon might really benefit from it but won’t even know it exists. That’s why it’s important to keep sharing old content, assuming it’s evergreen.
If you’re afraid you’ll annoy people, just make sure you share a different quote from it or make a new interesting point every time you talk about the article.
Blogging mistake #10: Having too many design elements on a single page.
Whether it’s the homepage, your About page, or any other one, too many things on it can only distract the reader, make your site slower, and ruin the user experience.
Less is better when it comes to design. Don’t forget that your content is the most important aspect of your blog. It’s what helps people, engages them and can eventually turn them into email subscribers, course students, coaching clients, or anything else you offer.
So make it as easy for them as possible to navigate though your blog, sign up for your email list, find other related articles, share your content, and so on.
Blogging mistake #11: Not giving readers a chance to share your posts.
This is usually as simple as adding social share buttons to your blog and for a WordPress site, that happens thanks to installing a plugin.
To take it a step further, encourage readers to do it at the end of each article. Ask them to leave a comment. Tell them to share their biggest breakthrough, take a screenshot and tag you on Instagram Stories for example, which is what I do at the end of every podcast episode.
Blogging mistake #12: Not sharing your story on your blog.
I’ve stumbled upon good blogs with a lot of content, a clear niche and message, which were optimized and monetized well. But when I head to the About tab in the menu, I see no picture, no story and no name, just basic stuff. Or just 1 picture and a short paragraph.
I did that too in the beginning. I didn’t want to put myself out there.
I wasn’t even using my whole name, I had only 1 picture and it was low quality, and I was basically hiding.
But that doesn’t build trust. Behind every blog, there’s the person who created it and who is passionate about helping others with their content.
You are the main element of your brand and if you want to turn this into a real business, show your face, make yourself more accessible to people, and share your whole story on your About page, in articles and on social media.
That’s what your readers will relate to. They want to know why you’re the one to listen to when there are so many other similar blogs out there.
So tell them what inspired you to create the blog, what your background is, what your next goals are, who you’re helping and how, what you’re passionate about, and what you’re offering.
This brings clarity, builds trusts and can grow your personal brand.
Blogging mistake #13: Making your content all about you.
You’re in the transformation business, you’re helping people, solving problems with your content, whatever your niche is. So don’t fall in the trap of deciding what topic to cover next solely based on what you want.
It’s about what your audience needs, even if they don’t know they need it.
Listen to then, ask them, get feedback on your existing content, see which articles perform best.
Find out what other bloggers in your niche are doing and study their content, see what their audience loves the most and why.
Every article on your site should educate, or inspire, or solve a problem, or all of these.
Blogging mistake #14: Constantly monitoring your blog stats.
This is another thing that can distract you from your real tasks as a blogger.
This can become obsessive behavior – checking your numbers literally a few times per hour. That can be your stats in Google Analytics (which you should connect to your blog, by the way, if you want to have enough information about what’s going on with your site). It can be ad revenue, link clicks, new subscribers, sales, comments, social media followers, emails, or else.
Whatever it is, it can wait. Set some limits by checking these only once a day or even once a week.
You can do sort of a weekly review every weekend, see how your blog performed, track the main metrics and analyze them so you can make decisions based on that information and set goals for the new week.
But other than that, your day-to-day activities are related to content creation and distribution, traffic growth, blog optimization, monetization, email marketing and learning more through different programs, podcasts or else.
I’m sure that if I try to think of more possible mistakes, I can write a list of 100, but these were the ones that stood out from what I’ve seen online and from my own experience. Make sure you avoid them.
Let me know which ones you’ve made or which ones this episode will help you avoid now. Tag me @letsreachsuccess on Instagram and let me know.
The free checklist below can really help you see all that goes into growing a blog and turning it into a business, so make sure you grab it: