So, you want to start a blog! Congratulations, beginner blogger, (and good luck!) Don’t get me wrong, blogging is great – but being a complete beginner blogger can be seriously frustrating. I even have a post telling you to Blog Your Life – but I will be the first to tell you that starting a blog is NOT easy and takes TIME, PATIENCE and (sometimes) MONEY. On top of that, there are so many little mistakes that beginners make that tend to cause BIG headaches down the road.
Surprisingly enough, excitement is probably your biggest barrier right now. It can be a huge barrier to creating a successful, appealing blog; and bouncing back from a blog introduction flop can be really hard.
Don’t make these mistakes, because I did and they almost destroyed my blog.
JUMPING INTO THE FIRST PLATFORM YOU FIND
Never sleep with someone on the first date, ladies! This has been (to this day) my biggest blogging mistake ever, and it was costly to fix (both financially and in terms of losing some readers.) Do your research and find a platform that isn’t just great for right now, but it’s great for the direction you want your blog to go. If you’re looking for a basic blog and aren’t interested in having your pages on GOOGLE; WIX is probably alright for you. If you’re interested in eventually, potentially making money from your blog; WIX is NOT for you. (This was the mistake I made, I was far too near-sighted when it came to choosing my platform and I went with the worst possible one for what I wanted in the future.)
CHANGING YOUR NAME/DOMAIN FREQUENTLY
Again, not something you can just decide overnight. You need to figure out where you want your blog to be in 5 years, what kinds of things you’d like to write about and how you want your readers to perceive you. Your name is the first, most noticeable thing that can either draw your readers in or keep them scrolling. Make a list of 5 blog names and narrow it down from there, keeping your blog’s future plans in mind.
Most specifically with logos and/or website designs. It’s so hard to be original sometimes, because of the high volume of bloggers out there; but it’s something you have to be really careful of. I originally thought of a design for my blog logo (similar to the one I have now), and I just happened to stumble upon that exact same design on Google images. I tweaked and changed it to fit my brand and made it my own, and now my logo is something I’m known for.
BEING TOO SIMILAR TO OTHER BLOGS
Again, it can be really tough to stay original. Especially when you’re drawing your inspiration from other bloggers. Checking out other sites and reading other bloggers’ content is a good strategy, as long as it doesn’t sway you into posts that are too similar. No one wants to read a copy-cat blogger.
I’m just going to say it; I know you want followers, but that pop up SUBSCRIBE box on your homepage and your million requests to “like” your Facebook page just gets annoying and (mostly) everyone hates it. Instead of having a crazy obvious “please like my blog or I’ll annoy you until you do” box floating in the middle of the screen; pick a sidebar option and then make sure your readers know it’s there (a big arrow, promoting it on your social media pages, etc). You don’t have to be annoying to get subscribers.
GETTING SUCKED INTO THE “BUSINESS” OF THE BLOGGING WORLD
This is most likely going to be the biggest mistake you make, and I’ve got some bad news; it’s pretty much unavoidable. At some point, you will be clenching fistfuls of your own hair while trying to figure out Google Analytics or trying to figure out why only 6 people have visited your site in the last 2 days. Blogging is so much fun, but it’s human nature to want to push yourself to the limits – so naturally you will eventually be contemplating monetizing your blog. This is a great thing to do, but it’s also super easy to get lost in trying to make money. When that happens, your content suffers, your stats will drop and you will probably even think about giving up blogging all together.