The 10 biggest mistakes I made in my first year of blogging

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Blogging has been seriously educating and mind blowing. Do you want to know what i have learn so far? This blog was recently launched in October 2016 and over the last 8 months, I have lost count of a number of mistakes I made! So if you are new to blogging, or thinking of setting up your own blog here are a few things to look out for so you don’t make the same mistakes as me!
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1. Platform

The platform you chose forms the basic key to early success. If you're in love with WordPress and wants to give it a trial, that will be find. However, whatever you do if you want to make money from your blog don’t use wordpress.com as you will be unable to add any advertisements etc on there. Instead, choose wordpress.org. So many bloggers make this mistake and then need to fix it later which can be tricky.

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2. Hosting

Make sure you choose to self-host. I would recommend Bluehost having tried a few out they come up on top for me. Do not do what I did and go with Ipage as there are seriously slow! If you aren’t sure how it’s going to pan out then just choose 12 months but make sure you have your own domain name and email address. It will make you look more professional and save you having to change it later on if things take off.

3. Branding

I can’t stress how important this is. You need to have some guidelines including things like font, colour pallet and the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone is to be consistent. When I first started I was a bit all over the place. My images and text were different on each post and the hours I spend going through and re-doing all of my graphics makes me what to cry now. Get it right from the start and you can save yourself hours of work later on.
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 4. Focus
This refers to both the focus of your blog but also your own focus. Be clear about why you are writing a blog, who is it for? Who is going to read it? Who are you writing it for? And why do you even want to write it in the first place? If you don’t know this you really need to spend some time thinking about it before you launch. I learnt this the hard way! I started my blog as a bit of a travel diary telling the story of my travels. It lacked any focus and I got hardly and views. Once I figured out what my focus was I then had the task of rewriting 20 posts! This was a pretty huge task and I still haven’t finished it. Save yourself this be being focused from the start!

5. Content

The only way your blog is going to start getting readers and followers is if you have great content. You can do all the promotion you want but it’s fruitless if the content isn’t great. Before you launch make sure you have a minimum of 10 great posts full of excellent content that people want to read. My articles on  How to Build Online Trust By Creating Trustworthy Content,  

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6. SEO and Readability

The hours of research and online courses I’ve done on SEO and readability are hours I will never get back and I still know hardly anything about it! Save yourself the time and confusion and get the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. It’s amazing and you will soon get the hang of it. It gives each post a traffic light colour. Just make sure all of your posts are green or at least amber and you will be fine.
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7. Build Relationships

I quickly made friends with some other bloggers in my niche. Bloggers are mostly friendly and supporting people, we like to help each other out. Be nice, comment on posts you like, follow people on Facebook and give their photos and post a like and a comment every now and again. They will notice and hopefully, they will do the same.

8. Content Calendar

This is so important. One of the biggest downfalls is not being consistent with posting your content. So decide on how many posts you want to do a month or week and stick to it. Create a content calendar to keep yourself on track and stick to it! I use Asana which I love, the best bit is it’s free! It’s made a huge different to my writing and I’m not much more disciplined thanks to this.

9. Promotion

This part is going to take up some serious time so be prepared for that. Before you even think about promotion make sure you have great content to promote. Join some blogging groups and start sharing. Make sure you are also spending time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs and you will see your readers increase.

10. Not Doing a Course Sooner

Sure you can set up a blog on your own without paying out for a course. But if you want to avoid making mistakes in all the above areas and make sure you are being as productive with your time as possible. Then I would seriously consider investing in an online course. I made a bit of a mess of my blog at the beginning I was doing too much reading and lots of free online courses and ended up in a bit of a confused mess.

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Final Thoughts

So to finish on one piece of advice: Don’t set up a blog if you are just in it for the money. It’s not going to make you rich, or even earn you much money at all in the early days. If it’s money you are after there are much simpler ways of making it! That said you can make money off your blog but to be able to do that your blog needs to be good, and you need to make sure it’s set up so you can easily embed adverts and affiliate links once you’re ready. This is why investing your time and some money early on is the key.
I’m now one year in, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve finally started earning a small income. It takes time and a lot of effort but I love doing it and being part of the blogging community.
I hope this post has been helpful if you are new to blogging! Please do feel free to leave me a comment, drop me an email or connect on social media if you need any advice or support. If you are an experienced blogger and have any other advice for newbies please feel free to leave a comment below to with a link to anything you have written!

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