Beginners are not shy from making mistakes. I mean, how can you be a beginner and make no mistakes? But sometimes some mistakes can be so big that can cost you your whole ash blog.
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And what if you make a combination of major mistakes that not only cost you your blog but your time, money, and SANITY?
Yup, It’s me. I did those mistakes as a beginner blogger just learning the ropes. I now laugh and cringe when I see them but before it felt like I could never go past them.
Now, I don’t feel that all of my efforts went to waste. I learned a lot from my mistakes and that helped me launch my second blog in just a week or two. From researching about a niche to all the way to launching and monetizing my blog.
And I wouldn’t be able to do it if I never went through all of that.
So I guess all is well that ends well.
In this post, I wanted to share my mistakes with you so you would catch yourself in case you are doing something wrong. And I also wanted to assure you that you are not alone in this.
Blogging can get lonely and times and you have to be your only supporter. Sitting at home and juggling everything feels as if you are the only one going through this but trust me it’s just a learning phase.
- Trying to be a perfectionist
- Fearful of coming in the front
- Not investing in the right tools
- Trying to be what I am not
- Treating my BUSINESS as a HOBBY
- Not getting social
- Thinking too much about the niche
- Thinking too much about themes
- Installing too many plugins
- Ignoring site speed
- Writing about stuff no one cares about
- Spreading myself too thin
- Not caring about monetization
- Focusing too much on bells & whistles
1. Trying to be a perfectionist
This comes first. I tried so much to be a perfectionist that I forgot that I am a human and prone to making mistakes. And mistakes are so important to learn and grow. I never allowed myself to make mistakes and as a result, made A TON of them.
I mean, what do you expect?
I was a beginner blogger that just didn’t know how to chill. When you are anxious, you are going to make MORE mistakes. And that is just what I did.
Looking back, I would relax and enjoy this journey more. After all, it’s a journey and not a quick ride. You will face a lot of challenges and there is just so much to learn.
I wanted my blog and my posts to look the best. I wanted my face to look the best. I wanted everything to look perfect to the T.
I JUST COULDN’T CHILL. LIKE DAMN GIRL RELAX!
2. Fearful of coming in the front
I was introverted AND shy. AND feared criticism. AND feared social interaction. AND feared putting myself out there for people to judge and make remarks.
But business requires you to be assertive.
I just wasn’t mentally or physically ready to put myself or my work out there.
I felt my posts sucked, my designing sucked, my blog sucked, and putting myself out there meant I went on a suicide mission.
“Believe in yourself” that’s what all pro bloggers say.
But I am a bit bitter about it. They never emphasized how IMPORTANT that was.
It’s like saying “yeah, salt adds a nice flavor to food.” BRO, FOOD TASTES CRAP WITHOUT IT! JUST NO!
So yeah, you get my point. It’s easy to glide over important details just like that.
I understood that I don’t need to be extra mentally strong to come in front of people, I just needed to accept myself and my work.
No matter how bad it is, you gotta start somewhere.
3. Not investing in the right tools
One of the main reasons I started this blog.
I want people to know just how important this is. There is a lot of free information out there that is no doubt very informational. But to gain it, you have to blow in a lot of your time and effort. And if you are stingy or too broken then it’s a bit tough to get quality information in less time.
For example, SEO is very crucial for your online business. BUT if you try free resources, you can never compete with people who use the right SEO tools and are willing to give their best to their business.
You will look for keywords in Google search, and FAQs, try some free tools which help but it’s nowhere near what a PAID tool can provide you.
And for beginners it’s alright. (ONLY IF YOU ARE BROKE)
But if you have enough to spare, then buying a paid SEO tool is a no-brainer. (Unless SEO is not in your marketing strategy)
It’s not about having a lot of money or buying a lot of tools; it’s about having the right tools that will HELP you scale your business EASILY. And shave off a lot of effort on your part.
This is why I cringe when I see aspiring bloggers looking for free hosting for a serious blogging business. Buying good hosting is not expensive AT ALL. (like $3 per month)
And if you are not confident about your skills, then it’s a lot better to write on free reputable platforms like Medium. You can earn with a couple of affiliate links if you market your posts well.
I wasted years just learning the basics of something and finding free quality information among the trashy ones. I had to jump through many hoops to get where most people just get by paying a bunch of bucks.
So, yeah lesson learned.
If you find a course or a tool and you KNOW it will save your time and provide benefit, INVEST IN IT.
4. Trying to be what I am not
I was unconfident. And was dealing with imposter syndrome. I felt nobody would listen to what I had to say. So I tried to be what I am not. In hopes that I will look more competent.
I have rarely seen people talk about imposter syndrome outside of psychology or mental health groups.
Like bro, it’s so common among entrepreneurs and employees that it needs more mention and awareness. Had I known what I was dealing with, I would not be so hard on myself.
I would charge head on knowing that these feelings are temporary and they will fade away over time.
I tried every trick in the book so nobody would realize that I am in fact a normal girl that wants to share some information. Take it or leave it.
Nope! I exhausted myself in trying to look perfect and very competent. I was not comfortable in my own skin. And I am glad blogging allowed me to explore myself more and understand where I am going wrong.
5. Treating my BUSINESS as a HOBBY
I treated my business as a hobby and expected GREAT results. Seriously girl??
Posting whenever I feel like it, not being consistent, not marketing or putting myself out there, lazily searching for keywords, looking for shortcuts, not investing in the right tools and courses, and then complaining about why it’s not working.
Hell yeah, it won’t work!
I was putting effort where it was not required and was cutting corners where my sincere effort was required.
You can’t expect great results for mediocre efforts. In short, I was being unreasonable.
And the horror story is that I see many people like my previous self, doing the same thing. Looking for free hosting, thinking TOO much about blog design or themes, looking for quick easy money, thinking blogging is a get-rich-quick scheme.
For the love of all that is good, set your goals straight and be realistic in your expectations BEFORE you start your blogging journey.
6. Not getting social
In this day and age, getting social is very important for your business. Online or not.
You gotta join Facebook groups, socialize with people in your industry, comment on your favorite blogs and provide feedback. You have to set your online footprint. Let the world know you EXIST.
And I wanted to do none of that. Ha!
I hated getting social. Whenever I watch videos on Youtube, I at most leave a like or maybe subscribe if I like it WAY too much.
And there are many people like me. And it’s okay.
But to run your online business, you need to put yourself out there and get social. It’s required and demanded of you.
Getting social means you get more exposure, people know you exist, you get guidance, motivation, and constructive criticism, and it helps your business get more eyeballs. In short, it’s a necessity.
Yes, you don’t have to comment on that youtube video, but you gotta sum up the courage to comment on your favorite blogger’s blog even if you feel overwhelmed at the mere thought.
7. Thinking too much about the niche
Thinking WAY too much about what I should blog about. Every niche I picked, there were around a gazillion blogs. I went into overthinking mode.
“Maybe this, maybe that… maybe I should copy him… how about.. but I can’t!”
It was tough. In the end, I only picked what I was experienced in and good at.
Overthinking about picking a particular niche, niching down from the start, or thinking about what niche is the most popular just wastes your time.
No matter what niche you pick there are a bazillion blogs about it. So pick one that suits your tastes and get going. And you will not be able to niche down in the start as you don’t even know if there is demand for it.
A lot of bloggers fail because they tried to solve a problem that just didn’t exist or it’s negligible.
Niching down is good if you CLEARLY understand what readers want from you but you won’t get this from the start. Just pick two or three niches and get going.
8. Thinking too much about themes
I wasted 3 months just selecting a theme and designing it. I tried multiple themes and none could satisfy me. Even though it was more than enough for a beginner blogger like me. I had my focus everywhere except for what was important.
Blog design is important but it’s not as important as your blog posts. And I was obsessed with finding the best themes for myself.
In the end, I picked an extremely minimalistic theme just so I could get going. I was exhausted.
Don’t think too much about the theme. Better to buy a theme from the start or use Astra and generate press for the best results.
If you wanna know the best themes for WordPress , I made a detailed post about it.
9. Installing too many plugins
When I was first introduced to my dashboard I installed every plugin recommended to me by pro bloggers. That was almost 20+ plugins all at once.
I was too overwhelmed and did not have the slightest idea how it was affecting my site speed. I downloaded plugins I didn’t even need. I installed many page builders even though I needed just one.
Many plugins were just too bloated that wrecked my site speed and I didn’t have the slightest clue.
After designing my website, I checked my site speed, and lo and behold, I scored 20 on mobile!
It was only later I realized I had installed too many plugins which were slowing down my speed. Social sharing plugins were the most bloated. Others included many other unnecessary plugins that my site could do without.
Heck, I did not know such a thing as a site speed even existed! This brings me to my tenth point.
10. Ignoring site speed
I ignored site speed like I was getting paid for it.
First I didn’t know it existed and so I made all the decisions that made sure I don’t score well on page speed insights.
I never compressed images, I used an extremely bloated theme, I never focused on installing quality plugins, and I didn’t give jacks ash about optimizing my site for mobile.
Also, I later realized that using Google fonts instead of system fonts was another reason why I had scored so low.
I wouldn’t say this mistake costed me my blog, but it was one of the main reasons why I lost motivation for my first blog. I thought I couldn’t bring my speed score to 80 or 90s without a paid plugin. (And I was broke)
BUT IT’S NOT TRUE.
Using a lightweight theme like Astra or generate press, going a bit easy on designing and compressing images well, will make sure you score well on page speed insights. It’s really that simple.
11. Writing about stuff no one cares about
Search intent? What is that?!
I used to write about stuff nobody cared about anymore. Yes, it was kinda relevant BUT I was not following proper SEO tactics, and also, I was writing about stuff that the biggies in my niche already covered.
And it was more than enough to fulfill the need in the market. I was pitting myself against the giants in my niche and I was nowhere near that level.
They write in a very formal and to-the-point tone and deliver what is asked without a hint of personality.
The market need was fulfilled and now I was not at all aware that I could be my person and deliver information that people are searching for without sounding cold and professional.
I forgot that my personal touch on things could be my advantage. I certainly did not want to outsource my articles or run a formal website. I just wanted to blog. But I took all the wrong steps.
I sometimes focused too much on SEO and other times I never did. Both articles were just as useless.
12. Spreading myself too thin
I did this so much and as a result, I burned out.
I was a newbie to WordPress, I didn’t have the slightest idea of how to design a website.
WordPress has a steep learning curve.
I DID NOT KNOW THIS.
From writing posts, learning SEO and keyword research, to searching for the best themes and plugins, designing my blog, increasing site speed, making my social media handles on all major platforms, marketing, making pins, and learning about Pinterest marketing all at once, I was going NUTS!
I got burned out like crazy. This is one of the main reasons my first blog failed. I tried to juggle so many balls at once and I finally dropped them all AT ONCE.
Take things slowly, one at a time. Yes, you will be tempted to do many things at once but it’s really no use.
And I mean it.
13. Not caring about monetization
Having a monetization strategy is very important before even buying your domain.
You should know how you are going to make money off of your blog since you are going to run a blogging BUSINESS.
But I did not know that.
I just wrote posts without thinking about how I am ever going to monetize them. I did not even know if the programs I like to use have an affiliate program or if they are even available in my country.
And they weren’t available. Most of them weren’t.
Not to mention, I picked a niche just because it was popular and I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about it. Slowly, my motivation to blog started dying. I was doing whatever it takes for my blog to NOT start without even knowing.
This is why I stress about having a mentor or buying a course that you know will benefit you. It saves you TONS of time and effort.
ALSO READ: How to Monetize Your Blog From Day One
14. Focusing too much on bells & whistles
I redesigned my blog so often that I got tired of it.
I placed my site on maintenance mode so much that I lost count. I was just not confident about how it looked. I felt personally attacked that MY site looked so bad. (which in reality didn’t)
Because I couldn’t find a good social sharing plugin, I delayed launching my site for weeks.
I found myself unnecessarily obsessing over unimportant details.
Things that NOBODY CARED about.
It was all in my head. But since I was so adamant about it, I was unable to look past it.
Content is what matters. (And that was the least of my concerns.)
Combined with writing high-quality reader-friendly blog posts.
Instead, I focused on straight-out STUPID things that don’t matter one tiny bit.
So if you are focusing on such things, just don’t.
Don’t take your blog design personally and you are good to go. Focus on the things that matter the most.
And that is CONTENT.
Content that people are asking for. Content that helps people in your niche.
People read quality content on crap blog designs. Even I do it. (Yet, I was so harsh on myself)
I am sharing all of my embarrassing mistakes with you because I realized while not everyone is certainly not as stupid as I was, there are a few things we all struggle with in the beginning.
And when we can’t find anyone except ourselves in this mess, we tend to beat ourselves over and over again.
In this journey, you will find yourself your biggest enemy. No one can give you the amount of criticism and judgments you give yourself.
So in all honesty, just relax and keep going.
One thing at a time.
And before you know it, you will be crushing it!
Hope you learned a thing or two from my mistakes!
Share this post and also tell me in the comments what mistakes you could relate to!