There are a few mistakes that many bloggers make when they are starting off that oftentimes dooms them to failure before they even begin.
Here’s a look at the common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Asking yourself a few questions beforehand, should save you a ton of time and effort later on should you decide to monetize your site and scale up.
1. Not defining a purpose for their blog
Why are you doing this?. Are you doing it for fun, or someone told you should or are you hoping to make money online? There is no right or wrong answer here. What matters is that you know your purpose for starting a blog. Take the time to think this though before starting.
Think long term…
If you’re setting up a blog for fun, that’s great. However, you should always leave the option of monetization open. Many bloggers often start a blog out of fun.
Then, once the blog starts getting popular they realize that they are leaving money on the table. That’s when many decide to monetize.
Who wouldn’t want to earn a few extra dollars. What if your blog is capable of earning a 4 to 5 figure monthly sum?
Wouldn’t that be awesome? HELL YES!
The best thing to do is look long term and set things up properly from the start. If you don’t, you could be facing some limitations in the future when things are going well and you decide to scale up.
2. Going for a free domain name
Every blog or web site should have its own domain name. You could setup a blog on a free domain such as Blogger.com or some other free site… but there is a huge price to pay for going the free way.
That price is freedom.
You do not control your blog, only the content.
Take the step to buy your own domain name. Don’t setup your blog on a free domain. Even if you’re blogging for fun, get your own domain name.
Depending on the extension (.com,.net,.online,etc…) pricing runs from $10 to $30 a year. It’s definitely affordable to set your domain name up at this time.
3. Going for free hosting
This is another fundamental error.
Always, always go with paid hosting.
I know, it may seem counter-intuitive to go with a paid domain and paid hosting if you’re blogging for fun. But most hosting services are highly affordable and most cost less than 10 dollars a month. If you go with a free host, you might end up with ads on your blog that you don’t want or you might find your blog deleted one fine day for no reason at all. Or the free host might have went out of business. All your effort and content would have gone up in virtual smoke overnight. The thing is if you’re blogging for fun, you may not have a lot of control over your own blog. Just like your domain, pay for your own hosting.
With paid hosting, there is a lot of room for flexibility and your blog should load faster and not have any downtime. Reputable hosting companies are in it for the money. They will usually make sure their service is updated and running 24/7. This gives your visitors a better experience.
4. Not leaning how it all works
Since you’re paying for a domain name and hosting service, learn how it all works together. Just the basics is really all you need. You don’t have to get really technical in learning it all. Seriously, it’s not that hard to do.
I recommend WordPress on your site to create a blog with. Personally, I use a paid theme also. You can use one of the many free themes to get started with. This helps you learn how to set up and update your blog. Then when you have a few blog posts up or you are ready to monetize, a paid theme will give you many more options and your blog won’t look like everyone else’s out there who uses the same free theme.
Initially, it may seem easier to use a blogging service, that is, paying someone or some company to set up and maintain your blog for you. OK I get it, you don’t feel like you are Techy enough to pull it off. Think about this then, if you’re trying to make a change and you are paying someone else to make the change, you need to remember that you probably aren’t their only customer. Changes then take time to get completed. Learning how and making the changes yourself leaves you in complete control.
I know of one such horror story. A company’s web site had critical files deleted that rendered the site unreachable. The service maintaining the web site had made the ultimate mistake and deleted the files. They themselves didn’t know it had happened. Customers of the web sites owners began calling and informing them that the site was down, even they were clueless that it had happened until then.
The really sad part was that the site maintenance company hadn’t backed up the site in over 4 months! Not acceptable for a paid service, but it happens. Long story short, it took three days to get the site back up to it’s former self and thousands of dollars lost due to someone else’s incompetence. Learn to maintain your blog yourself. It could save you a lot of heartache and headaches later.
5. Choosing the wrong niche
If you’re starting a blog for fun and you’re not concerned with the monetary aspect of blogging, it really doesn’t matter what niche you choose. You’re just doing your own thing without a care in the world. That’s fine.
You need to decide for yourself whether to blog for fun or profit. Look at your niche and decide if it is popular enough to monetize. If it has a huge audience, there just might be some earning potential there. If your niche is narrow and not as popular, your audience is most likely limited, resulting in limited earning potential.
6. Not updating your blog regularly
Visitors who like your blog will want to see new content often. They will return every now and then to check if you have anything new. Keep adding new content to keep them hooked. If you make one new post every 3 months, your blog will appear stale and abandoned. It’s just about impossible build a loyal following with such infrequent posts. Remember, the money may be in the list, but your content is the king of the list. Treat it accordingly.
7. Not actively driving traffic
Time and time again, I hear people tell me they can’t make money online. When I start asking questions as to why, it usually comes down to no traffic. You could have the most beautiful, well written site out there, but if no body sees it, it won’t matter. You must actively drive traffic using methods such as forum posting, blog commenting, article marketing, social marketing and even video marketing. The more you “market” your site, the more visitors will find it and follow it.
As always, it’s a numbers game.
Of course there are other mistakes that bloggers make too. However, these mistakes are the most common ones that I have found and should be avoided at all costs.
If you are truly interested in blogging, the thing to do is just get started. We all make mistakes, that’s how we learn. But for now…
Just get started!
Let us know in the comments what kind of mistakes you’ve made and how you overcame them.