When I first started blogging, I did what many people do- I purchased a domain name, set up a WordPress site, and off I went headfirst into the blogosphere.
Here are some of the mistakes I made so you don’t have to.
1. Have Too Many Unrelated Topics
When you write the ‘About’ page for your blog, and you cannot easily define what your site is about, you may have a problem. Too many unrelated topics will not attract people back to your blog after the first visit. We go to sites to find information, to be inspired, or educate ourselves. If we find a topic of interest, we often want to explore similar information. When I first started blogging I had too many unrelated topics. I had no reason for people to stay on my site, so they didn’t. No one signed up and no one came back. I should have called my blog, ‘Tumbleweeds rolling in an empty field.’
2. Know Your Audience
This is one question I always struggled with because anytime I am asked, I will say, ‘Everyone.’ But that is the biggest barrier for your site- not knowing who your audience is. If you know who you are writing for, it directs the focus of your blog. It makes it easier for you to decide what you will write about and the topics you will cover. It doesn’t matter if you are writing for yourself, friends, or a wider audience. Knowing who you are writing for sets the tone for your posts, and keeps the information consistent. It also helps to keep you on track.
3. Ignore How You Feel
If you write something that makes you feel ill at ease, trust your instincts and don’t post it. I wrote a whole series of personal blog posts when I first started, and I felt uncomfortable about sharing my blog because of it. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it, choose something else to write about. You want to get excited about sharing your blog, not curled up in a ball late at night fretting about what you have published.
4. Expect People To Notice You
If you think people will come flocking to your site once you’ve pressed publish on your first post, you may be disappointed. If the point of your blog is to drive traffic to your site, you need to do some serious work to get noticed. Learning SEO, networking with other bloggers, sharing your content, and writing guest posts are good ways to get started.
5. Don’t Plan A Thing
If you’re not a planner the best thing you can do for yourself as a blogger is to become one. It will make your life easier. You only need something simple to stay on top of things. A schedule outlining when you will post, ideas for future articles, and some drafts up your sleeve, will help you stay on track and keep you motivated.
6. Don’t Worry About SEO
If you are trying to reach a wider audience with your blog, you should be using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) settings. It’s not as complex as you might think. A basic understanding of how it works is all you need to get started, and it will go a long way for your site ranking and traffic. There is a lot of free information out there and plugins you can use. Do some research and learn as much as you can.