5 Big Blogging Mistakes I Made and How to Avoid Them! A must-read for any beginning blogger!
As I get closer to my three year blogaversary (this week!) I can’t help but look back and be so thankful for the random night that I started a blog on a complete whim. We were sitting on our couch and I grabbed my computer and just starting googling! The first year of blogging was fun, but I made so many mistakes. I started on the wrong platform, took terrible pictures, and really had no idea what I was doing. I spent so much time on the WRONG things. If you want to start a blog, I have some simple steps and advice for you on how to avoid the mistakes I made and to get your blogging career off on the right foot!
Starting Your Blog
Pick the Correct Name Once you have decided to start a blog and know what you want to write about, you need to come up with a name. Pick something easy for people to remember and that you won’t get sick of! When I first decided to blog, I thought I would going to only blog about home and DIY, thus the name Old House to New Home. I still love the name but wish I had picked something that included food as well, since that is now my primary focus
Sign up for the Correct Platform Here is where I made my biggest mistake. I started my blog on Blogger, which is Google’s free blogging platform. I had no idea if the blog would be a success or not so I did not want to invest any money in it. Well, after only a few months into blogging, I knew I had made a mistake. Self-hosted WordPress is the way to go. On WordPress, you own all your own content. You can customize your blog so much more and your blog will look more professional. WordPress has two versions, free and self-hosted. You want to go with self-hosted! You cannot monetize on their free version. You need to purchase a domain and hosting and this is inexpensive and easy to do! Bluehost is a great place to start and has really inexpensive hosting programs. I have been using them since I switched to WordPress.
Improve your Photography I know that we all have to start somewhere, but my beginning pictures were honestly so bad that I can’t even share those recipes anymore. So many good recipes are getting lost in the archives and they will stay there forever until I update their photos! Just for fun let’s look an early picture!
I picked the ugliest one I could find!
These are Healthy Mexican Pizzas
OMG! That’s so bad right? This seriously cracks me up. It is so bad I can’t believe I published it!
Here’s a more recent photo that I love!
I am going to try and continue this blogging series on some “how to” blogging info and plan to write a post on simple steps to improve your blog photography, for non professionals! But in the meantime, read as many Pinterest articles as you can on photography and keep practicing until you have photos that you are proud of!
Don’t Go it Alone One of the biggest mistakes I did was that I didn’t reach out to other bloggers for support and interaction. In my second year of blogging, I joined a ton of blogging Facebook groups. Some I am still in, some not, but the ones I stuck with, I love! I have made some great friends, have people who can answer my questions, and share ideas. Blogging is a community and if you don’t jump in, you will quickly get left behind.
Have Realistic Expectations When I first started, I thought I would publish delicious recipes and the Internet would flock to my pages instantly! Nope. No one in the world will read your blog unless you spend time sharing your posts. When I first started, I spent more hours on link parties than I did on writing the posts. I learned quickly that the link parties aren’t great for traffic, but that Pinterest is. Pinterest is truly king and you have to write and photograph your posts so that they do well there. Pin-worthy images are the absolute best (free) advertisement for your blog. It is great to set goals, but be reasonable when you begin and are mapping our your expectations. Don’t expect thousands of page views at first without some hard work. Likewise, don’t expect thousands of dollars without that hard work either! You are going to spend more time on social media than you ever expected if you want to grow your blog. It is discouraging at times, but don’t give up!
I hope by sharing the blogging mistakes I made, it can help you avoid them! Good luck!