Starting a blog is a fun way to make money and share with others. There are mistakes you want to avoid when starting out to make blogging easier! To help you avoid these mistakes GreenGeeks is sponsoring this post.
I started blogging when it was just a thing you did to share with your friends and family. It was still a pretty new idea and the thought that I could turn it into a career hadn’t crossed my mind.
Over time I started reading more blogs and getting more readers on mine. And I learned that I could make money with my blog. It started out slow but now I blog full-time and my income is growing quickly each year.
Blogging is a lot of work if you want to make a good income from it but it’s also very rewarding. I love being able to share my passions with people and I have met so many amazing people because of blogging. The fact that it can be my job is simply amazing.
If you are wanting to start your own blog there are some things you want to avoid to help make you successful. I made some of these mistakes starting out.
6 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Blog
1. Using a cheap and unreliable web host.
There are some very low-cost web hosting services out there. The thing about these services is you get what you pay for. They tend to have poor customer service and more downtime.
Downtime can cost your blog a lot of money over time. When your site is down it can’t make money for you and it can even turn readers off of your site and hurt your SEO.
I have used GreenGeeks for my web hosting for years now. My downtime has been very low and the customer service has been very good.
Another benefit to GreenGeeks is the fact that its eco-friendly web hosting. Web hosting uses a lot of energy and usually that energy comes from dirty fuel sources.
GreenGeeks buys clean energy credits for your site so you are supporting clean energy with your website. It’s a great added bonus that you can feel good about.
Right now you can get started with GreenGeeks for only $2.95 a month. This is a great deal and a good starting point for your blog.
2. Choosing to build a site on a free platform.
Once you have your web hosting sorted out you need to build your site. The gold standard for profitable blogs is WordPress.org, not to be confused with WordPress.com which is a free blogging platform and has many limitations.
WordPress.org is an open source content management system. It’s what I’m using right now to write this blog post. It makes it easy for people without coding skills to build websites and run them.
I switched to WordPress.org when I decided I wanted to start trying to make money from my blog and it was the best choice I could have made.
When I started my new blog The Stress-Free Christmas I started on WordPress.org from day one and it was so much easier than trying to switch.
While there are free themes you can use for the design of your blog I don’t recommend using them. The problem with them is they could stop being updated and have issues that are very hard to fix. And if you customize them those customizations could disappear when you update the theme.
I used free themes when I was starting out and once I updated a theme, which is important to do for security, and all the customizing I had done was gone and my site looked very weird. It meant hours of work and stress.
Instead, use a paid theme that has what is called a child theme. A child theme is where you make your design changes. Those changes stay there even when you update the parent theme so you don’t risk changing the whole look of your site when making updates.
A great place to get good paid themes that include child themes is StudioPress. I have purchased several themes from them including the one used on this site. They are easy to install and are very high-quality themes you can trust.
3. Using photos found on Google or Pinterest.
A common mistake I see is people using photos they don’t really have permission to use. When someone puts their photo on the internet it is copyrighted and using it can get you in trouble.
You need to make sure you have permission to use every photo you put on your site. There are some free stock image sites out there but some of the photos that end up on those sites aren’t really copyright free.
Another problem with using those photos is they are often overused and that can cause you to rank lower on Google and Pinterest.
The best thing to do is to take your own photos. I do this as much as possible but sometimes I need a photo I can’t get or I just want something quick and different.
You will see in this post and others on my site some stock images. These are usually purchased from Bigstock. It’s my favorite stock image site. You can get a free 7-day trial and get 35 images. That is a great start and a really good deal.
Below are some samples of photos I’ve purchased from Bigstock.
4. Not Setting Up an Email List.
Social media is a great place to share your blog posts but with the ever changing algarythms you never know if those posts are going to be seen.
You can also suddenly have a social media account shut down, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve heard of people being unable to post on Facebook all of a sudden and no word on why. Pinterest has been shutting down accounts for spam either due to their rule changes or by accident.
With an email list, you own that list. As long as you follow spam laws and GDPR you won’t lose that list.
Email subscribers also tend to be your most loyal readers and are more likely to click on your links to your posts, products you are selling, and affiliate links.
Starting a list of the beginning will help you grow much faster. I recommend ConvertKit. I made the switch last year and it has helped me grow my list much faster and it’s a really great service
You can get a free trial to test it out and see if you like it. If you already have a list somewhere else contact ConvertKit they are very helpful when it comes to moving your list.
5. Not learning and using good SEO practices.
I knew nothing about SEO when I started my blog. I just wrote whatever I wanted and didn’t think about ranking on Google search. That means I’m going back through my old content and updating it so it makes Google happy and I can get in more search results.
Google is a more stable source of traffic than social media and Pinterest so it’s important to focus a lot on it. It can seem overwhelming and confusing but once you know what you are doing it becomes second nature.
I recommend checking out Hashtag Jeff’s SEO course. It has so much valuable information and is geared to bloggers.
6. Not using a Pinterest scheduling tool.
Pinterest is a top traffic source for many bloggers. It is currently my top traffic source and brings me a lot of traffic every month.
A lot of new bloggers don’t really have a strategy or plan for Pinterest and that can leave a lot of traffic on the table. You can read more about my strategy by clicking here.
One of the biggest things I can recommend is using Tailwind. It’s a scheduling tool for Pinterest and it makes Pinterest a lot easier.
Instead of having to manually pin things and try and just remember when you pinned each pin you can use Tailwind to track and schedule your pins.
Using Tailwind has really helped me grow my site and is one tool I wouldn’t be without. Click here to get a free month of Tailwind to see if it helps you gain traffic and time.
Avoiding these six blogging mistakes can help you grow your blog faster and avoid a lot of headaches later. If you have questions or want to connect with other bloggers be sure to join the Growing Our Blogs Together Facebook group.