Last updated on March 19th, 2019 at 08:24 pm
Regrets. We all have them and when it comes to blogging there are some things I definitely wish I had done earlier on my journey.
It took me 1.5 years to join social media after starting my blog and it took me about a year to join an ad network after I already had enough traffic to make some money from it.
I could’ve been making passive income for a year and I didn’t even try.
Well, those are not the only areas I procrastinate in when it comes to my blog.
Hoping to inspire you to stop wasting time and take care of your blog, here are 9 things I wish I did earlier – those are also the big mistakes most bloggers make.
9 Mistakes Most Bloggers Make (Things I regret not doing earlier)
1. Waiting to know everything
Okay, so one other thing I waited for: actually starting my blog. This took me 3 FREAKIN’ YEARS. Like 3 years to do something that nobody I knew had to know about, nobody could judge me for and I didn’t need to invest more than $100.
I was putting it off, and putting it off and always did something else, because it was “more secure”.
But during those 3 years, blogs I followed got huge. And I had stayed the same. Even though I did change my job for another one I didn’t like.
I didn’t learn any new skill, even though I was reading thousands of income reports and how people organized their blogs and made money online.
It’s obvious, but…reading and doing something are two completely different things. You learn differently, you cannot discover new things only based on the experiences of others.
So if you’re always putting it off just start your blog and you’ll figure it out from there. If you’re unsure about how to do it, I have written a very detailed blogging guide about how to start a blog, grow your traffic and make money, you can find it all here. It’s free.
2. Creating helpful content
Above all – I wish I created content that was helpful from the start.
I actually only started feeling good and not like I’m oversharing once I started thinking about others and not myself when writing my blog posts.
Once I took the focus off of me me me and put that focus on the people I can help, everything changed.
My traffic grew quicker and people actually read my content.
As a rule of thumb now I always ask myself: “Would I share this if I was a stranger reading it?”.
If the answer is not a firm yes, it’s definitely a no.
3. Joining the RIGHT platform
As I said, it took me 1.5 years to get on social media. So, no doubt – I wish I had done this earlier. Joining social media has allowed me to get more exposure and kept me from being somewhere on the ass of the internet.
When I first joined social media I thought that I needed to focus on Instagram most. Instagram gave me a very quick, un-delayed gratification. Likes and follows within seconds, not even minutes. Even though I knew nobody there. (Personally I don’t use social media a lot).
The thing is…
Those likes and follows on Instagram?
They come and go.
People follow, then unfollow you within what feels like seconds after you follow back. Yes, this is the shittiest thing ever, but I guess that’s just the way it is these days. Number of followers on Instagram are more important than actual people.
And all that fuss on Instagram for how much traffic, again? That’s right – 0! Nobody, and I mean nobody EVER came to my blog from Instagram.
I’m not saying being on Instagram is a waste of time, but for me, it wasn’t the right thing to be doing at the beginning.
Then I decided to actually try out what other bloggers recommended – using Pinterest.
And there within a month, my traffic which was 860 from using Yummly for a few weeks grew to 19.000 page views.
And that felt so awesome.
Then, Pinterest helped me also grow my traffic from Google and it helped me go from page 6 when I google Beauty Bites to #1 result on Google.
After joining Pinterest I never looked back. As I create new content and use Pinterest on a regular basis my traffic keeps growing. Last year, my second year on social media, I went from 30.000 to over 100.000 page views within 2-3 months.
What really helped me here was using Tailwind to schedule my pins ahead so I don’t have to stay online and be pinning all the time. It also allows me to track pins that perform well and pins that don’t, which is almost impossible and pretty overwhelming when you’re pinning manually and using spreadsheets. I highly, highly suggest using Tailwind if you want to grow your traffic with Pinterest – you can start your free trial here.
From the start, the goal of my blog was to do whatever I can by spending the least money I can (yes, I’m kinda stingy.).
So naturally, I bought the cheapest hosting I could find and used a free WordPress theme, that didn’t showcase my content in a good way and wasn’t SEO friendly. In fact, I didn’t even have a real start page – it would just be my logo and post excerpts under it.
Now, this is ok, if you’re just starting out and testing the waters, but I wanted people to stick around for more and I wanted to grow quicker.
Plus I wanted some freedom in the customization of my website and I wanted my website to load fast. Also let’s not forget SEO, guys. Free themes aren’t SEO optimized, or whatever they call it. All I know is, once I bought the Genesis framework and the child theme, all of a sudden I started getting traffic from Google. Which never happened before. You can search for beautiful SEO friendly themes here.
Long story short after overthinking for about 8 months, I started spending money like crazy (it was $200, but in my mind, I was like spending money like a billionaire).
I bought better hosting that was surprisingly cheap and paid for a WordPress theme which was more engaging and SEO optimized. As mentioned, all that cost me around $200 and it is still the best investment I made for this blog because it allowed me to grow so much. Who knows where I would be if I didn’t make that leap? I don’t even want to think about it.
Bottom line: Invest in a strong foundation for your blog. If you are unhappy with your hosting or haven’t decided which hosting company to choose, definitely go with Siteground. You can even get 60% off and a free site transfer if you already have a blog. Your site’s uptime will be 100%, it’s cheap and the support is there for you 24/7.
5. Engaging with my audience more
One thing I regret not doing from at least day one since starting getting traffic is capturing email addresses and actually emailing my subscribers.
Now, this is, still (!!!), something I’m very behind and something I need to finally work on.
I started collecting email addresses, but I’m still trying to figure out a way to actually stay consistent with emailing my subscribers.
Each week I promise myself I’ll figure it out next week, but in the end, I put it off again. So that’s another regret there.
6. Joining an ad network
I waited to start promoting my content on social media, but I waited even longer to make ANY money from my blog.
Not much after I started promoting my content on Pinterest I got to 30.000 page views. The minimum you need to join Mediavine, the ad network I work with currently.
I waited around a year to join.
When you do some math…Even if I made a $100 per month (passively!) from that alone, I would still get an extra $1200 that year!
This is definitely something I regret not doing sooner.
7. Joining Affiliate Programs other than Amazon
I’m working on this right now and I need to test more to report here.
The Amazon Affiliate Program is great if you’re in a niche that can make money from it. But in my case, I feel like it is not really worth it.
I get some clicks and income from that program here and there, but it’s in the 10’s. Not even in the 100’s. The fact is that Amazon doesn’t pay you much for your referrals.
They do however give you money on all purchases your readers make within 24 hours of clicking on your link. So it might work for some, but it doesn’t work that well for me. And I feel like I’m not very consistent with it.
My goal for the future is to find more, higher paying affiliate programs. Those need to fit my niche and offer good products I like. I already joined affiliate networks like ShareASale and Awin and look for merchants there.
Another great thing about those affiliate programs is that you can offer your readers a better deal on a product you love. I love promotions and discount codes, so this is something I’m really excited about.
8. Creating my own products
Now, this is actually the reason I wanted to start a blog in the first place. I wanted to create a book with healthy recipes and help people eat healthier in less time and I wanted to promote it on my blog.
Kinda like, have a taste and then get the full meal here thing.
But did I do it?
I got so caught up in creating my blog content that I completely pushed off creating any of my ebookS (with time I got more and more ideas and let some behind).
This is definitely something I want to work on this year. I know it’s something that can make me good extra money without investing a lot. And what’s more, it will be such a relief to finally get these books off my mind and share them with the world.
Another great thing about this is: you have the freedom to create something you’re really truly passionate about! Something you believe in and something that can help someone else too.
9. Connecting with other bloggers
Last but not least – connecting with others who do the same thing, because it’s more fun this way.
In real life, I’ve outgrown this, but somehow connecting online with other people who have the same hobby or “job” like me is tough.
I feel like a weirdo reaching out to people who I have never seen in real life. Even though I’m really from the bottom of my heart happy when others reach out to me. I need that connection.
I realize I’m overthinking this and it’s definitely one of my biggest New Years resolutions – be more social online and offline.
I know working with others can benefit your blog and business in many ways beyond getting traffic from leaving random comments on posts you think will be viral.
Mostly though, I miss having “coworkers”.
Working from home has its good and bad sites, you know? One of them – not being in touch with people other than your family and friends. Not being able to talk to others who actually understand your struggles.
So getting the courage to reach out and connect with others on social media or by commenting is definitely something I’m working on now.
Alright, guys, I hope you found this post helpful if you’re just starting out, I realize it was all me me me, but I hope it was a me me me talk that can actually help you and inspire you to do all the things I listed above SOONER!
Very informative. You had things I never thought about and it did not feel like your post was all about signing up for your course on how to make money online.
I get the feeling that people are making really good money blogging, but they make their money by selling me a course to learn how to make money by developing my own course to sell to people so they can sell their course to people. Feels sort of scammy. You actually had some cool information. Thanks Karen
Hi Karen, glad it was helpful! I’m also happy to confirm that this is not the only way to make money blogging, so don’t be discouraged and stay consistent.
I loved your content. I’ve tried starting a blog a few different times but I actually bit the bullet yesterday and started investing money in my blog. Thanks for sharing what has helped you!
Hey, Love this post, it’s exactly how I feel, have been thinking of starting a blog for probably more than 3 years now 🙈 but now’s the time! Definitely gonna add your tips and tricks to my list 👍🏼
You know these ads are really slowing the page down, and it’s a bit frustrating to read the post when all of a sudden there’s a car video right on yout text and more ads keep randomly appearing, making it hard not to accidentally click them open. That’s why I gave up. I’m just saying this as feedback 🙂 You do you
Great tips, I am new to blogging And it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the struggle.