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Today I wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart. Blogging. I love blogging. I’ve been blogging for about 10 years now. I started out on Blogger just for fun, and now I do it because I love it and because I’m able to bring in some extra income to our family!
In all my years of blogging I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’m sharing them with you today so that you can avoid them as a new blogger (or change what you have been doing so you don’t make these same mistakes!)
If I had done a lot of these things sooner, I could have started making money as a blogger sooner. I’m in a great place with my blog right now, and I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned along the way, I still wish I’d done some of these years ago!
Mistakes that I Made as a new blogger
Not having an email list
I’m just shaking my head about this right now. This is the first year that I’ve ever had an email list! It’s small but mighty and I am learning all about email marketing so that I can 1) grow my list and 2) share what I learn with you!
Why do I need an email list?
Maybe you’re asking yourself this question, I asked this for years!! You need an email list for several reasons but I’ll name a few right now. You need an email list because you don’t actually own your content or social media profiles; that means if was randomly shut down, would your followers still be able to find you?
With an email list you’ll always have a way to reach your subscribers! They’re in your circle and you’ve got an easy way to contact them.
Another reason to have a list is so that you can sell or share a product, course, or service that you’re providing! It’s one of the easiest ways to make a sale (affiliate or your own).
Not having an email list was a huge mistake I made as a blogger, thankfully I’ve been able to change that.
Only focusing on Instagram
I love Instagram. I always have, and even with the crappy algorithm half the time, I still love it.
It’s still my favorite platform, but for the longest time it was the only platform I used to drive traffic to my blog. And while I get a decent amount of readers from Instagram, I wasn’t using any other tools in my toolbox.
With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest there are so many ways you can be sharing and promoting your blog.
I do think you should start by focusing on 1-2 platforms and really getting them down and growing before you try to do them all. Pick the social media platforms where your readers are hanging out and then show up consistently.
Right now I am now learning all I can about Pinterest and continuing to grow my Instagram account (are we friends yet?!)
Waiting to sign up for blog networks.
If you’re new to the blogging world you might be thinking “but Taylor, what the heck is a blog network?”
For the longest time I had no idea what a blog network was. A blog network a place where you sign up through the network to work with brands and create sponsored content.
I always thought I was too small or didn’t know how to work with brands so I was afraid to try and sign up, but it doesn’t hurt to sign up and try! Different companies have different requirements, but when you sign up for a blog network you’re able to see those requirements and apply to jobs that you know you and your audience will love.
A few networks that I’m a part of:
There are so many more too! Start looking around and don’t be afraid to sign up. Blog Networks were where I landed my first sponsored content. It gave me great footing before I started reaching out to brands myself, which leads me to the next point.
Not reaching out to brands directly.
This is one that still makes me a little nervous, but I’m going to be taking #BossPitch soon to learn how I can go about doing this better.
There are so many brands that I want to work with, but I still feel nervous about reaching out to them. I haven’t figured out what to say to them and how to pitch, hence me going to take that course!
When I first got serious about blogging and making it my job, I thought that brands would just come to me. While that does happen on occasion, as the blogger you should be reaching out to brands! I’ll be looking up some resources for you guys so that you can learn how to do this, once I do I’ll update this post.
Not monetizing my blog right away.
For almost 8 years I didn’t monetize my blog at all. Say What?! I was missing out on a great opportunity to make a living as a blogger.
A few ways you can make money directly through your blog are:
Selling your own product (physical or digital)
Making money as a blogger isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it is possible. It takes work and time but it is worth it in the end.
Waiting to switch to Squarespace
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about why I switched to Squarespace as a blogger + why I’m loving it!
I’ve been wanting to use Squarespace for years but I kept seeing that in order to be a good blogger and make money I had to have a self-hosted site on Wordpress (you don’t!) I’m glad I finally made the switch to what I wanted and now it’s never been easier to create exactly the blog I’ve always wanted.
Believing that I needed to Niche down.
If you haven’t noticed, I talk about a lot of things here. Motherhood, mental health, blogging, books, and faith. While all of this technically falls under “Lifestyle blogger” I felt that because I wasn’t only a book blogger or a mental health blogger, I was never going to have anyone read my blog.
I don’t think you have to have a specific niche to be successful as a blogger. I brand myself as a faith + lifestyle blogger and all of my blog posts fall into one of the categories I just listed. People read my blog everyday and I am making more money than when I was only talking about one thing.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the things that you love, make it personal but relatable and informative for your readers.
Not sharing my blog posts after I wrote them
When I started blogging I sort of had the mentality of “if I build it they will come” so I wrote and hit publish and then… crickets.
You have to share your blog! Duh, Taylor (totally facepalming myself right now)
People aren’t going to come if they don’t know that you exist! Every time I publish a post I share it across social media + some of the blog groups that I’m a part of on Facebook!
Write great content, share, and share some more.
I didn’t connect with other bloggers
Working from home can be lonely at times. I didn’t have blogger friends for such a long time. It wasn’t until I joined blogging groups on Facebook that I really started to find blogging friends.
You want to have a community of bloggers who know what you’re going through and will support you as a blogger.
These are some of the mistakes that I made as a new (and seasoned) blogger. What are some of the mistakes you’ve made as a blogger?