Friday made year number five for The Butler Journal. I can’t believe that the site has been around that long. The last five years have been full of ups and downs. I quit a job without having another lined up, drove cross country, struggled, and got a couple of stamps on my passport. I also started this blog. It’s crazy how I went from not knowing anything about blogging to having a successful blog that is providing value and helping me get out of debt.
Even though I’ve been blogging for five years, I didn’t start taking it seriously until 2015. That’s when I got focused and started learning from other bloggers such as Pat Flynn.
In the beginning, I made a lot of blogging mistakes. I learned from successful bloggers and got better. In today’s post, I want to go over ten blogging mistakes to avoid.
Not Being Self-Hosted
Starting your blog on a free provider is fine in the beginning. If you want to take your blog to the next level, it should be self-hosted. If your site is self-hosted, you can control everything including the design or theme that you want. You can monetize it better and also have your own personalized domain. For example, if I didn’t go the self-hosted route, my site’s address would look like MyMoneyChronicles.wordpress.com. To keep it real, that would suck. Those were only a few of the reasons to be self-hosted. I use Bluehost to host my blog. There are a lot of options out there, but Bluehost works the best for me.
If you are interested in learning more about Bluehost, check out my step by step guide on how to start a blog.
If you seriously want to take your blog to the level, you have to consider writing longer posts. Those two or three hundred word posts won’t cut it. Trust me, I know from experience. When I first started blogging, I struggled to get my posts to three hundred words. Those articles weren’t getting any traction. I started paying attention to what other bloggers were doing and saw that many of them wrote between 700 – 1200 word articles. Most of my posts these days are at least 700 words. Many of them are over 1000. I know that my audience is enjoying those posts more than my old ones. They are staying on the site longer than they used to. The analytics shows it. I wish I would have paid attention to this one sooner.
No Share Buttons
Next on the list of blogging mistakes is a big one. A lot of bloggers forget to add share buttons to their site in the beginning. Share buttons are a must for your blog. They make your posts easier to share on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. There several share plugins available in WordPress. I use Social Warfare. It allows you to see how many times your articles have been shared on the different social media platforms.
In my opinion, you have to have a niche for your blog. Everyone might not agree, but I think that as a blogger you need to have two or three things that you should focus on and talk about on your site. If you blogged about 20 different topics, it might be harder to get your readers to stay and subscribe. My main niches are side hustles, personal finance, and travel information.
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Trying to Post Every day
I’ve seen new bloggers try to post something every day. That rarely lasts especially if you run your blog by yourself. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do that effectively. I’d post a couple of articles per week if I were you. That way you can take the time to make sure that the content is valuable and not just thrown together.
If you build it, they will come. While that may be true for some things, that’s BS when it comes to blogging. People won’t just show up to your blog. You have to promote it. There are several ways to promote it such as with social media or via word of mouth. This is one of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid. Don’t be afraid to promote your sh*t.
No Email List
A lot of bloggers don’t start an email list in the beginning. I “started” my list six months after my blog was live. I put quotation marks around started because I didn’t actively promote and my lead magnet was freaking terrible. When I finally got a few subscribers, I let them sit dormant for two years. Don’t be like me. Start your list ASAP. Create a lead magnet that can help people in some way. When they sign up for your newsletter, they will get that lead magnet sent to them. Below are a few ideas for lead magnets.
Ebook – If you are an expert at something, you can create a small ebook for your subscribers.
Free Course – A lot of bloggers offer free courses. There are hundreds of topics to choose from.
Webinar – Do you like making videos? You can record a webinar. I recently did a webinar on five things to sell on eBay. I added it as a new lead magnet a couple of weeks ago.
Printable – Does your audience like charts or checklists? You could create some printables for them to download.
When I first started blogging, I made the mistake of trying to look perfect. I tried to be 100% by the book (whatever the hell that means) and not myself. I quickly found out that wasn’t going to work for me. My blog started growing when I showed some personality and kept it real. I used a little slang and even cursed a little bit. You don’t have to curse, but make sure that you always be true to yourself. Don’t try to appear perfect. Nobody is perfect, and your audience will know the difference between the real and the fake. This is one of my favorites on this blogging mistakes to avoid list.
If you’re going to run a blog, be consistent. You should have a posting schedule. It would be hard to build a good following if you post once or twice each month. I usually publish new posts on Tuesday’s & Friday’s. Every once in awhile I’ll post something on a Wednesday, but usually two posts a week are enough for me. Some bloggers post more while others only post once a month. I guess it depends on your schedule and the amount of content that you have.
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Getting Mad That Friends & Family Not Supporting
When I first started blogging, many of my friends and family didn’t support me. Back then, that used to piss me the hell off. I’m the type of person that shows love and support to my family and friends whenever I can. After talking with a blogger at a conference a couple of years ago, she told me that family and friends won’t always support. It will happen. They aren’t your target market in a lot of cases. When I looked at it like that, I realized that she was correct.
I stopped getting mad when certain people didn’t support and just continued blogging. A crazy thing happened. People that I didn’t know started reading and supporting the blog. They did that because they were my real target audience. My posts resonated with them. Over the years more of my family and friends have started supporting me more. If you are a new blogger, don’t let having minimal support bother. Keep writing dope shit and continue to promote your articles. If you do that you will reach the right people.
If you are a blogger, I’m sure that you’ve made some mistakes. Now that you know the blogging mistakes to avoid, you should do better now. You should be able to learn from them and move on.
I still can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for five years. I can’t wait until I reach ten years.
Are there any other blogging mistakes to avoid?