Everyone makes mistakes in their blogging/online journey and when you’re a newbie you sorta, kinda get a pass cause…you’re a newbie. But even though you sorta, kinda get a pass you should also reach a level where you’re not making those mistakes (cause you’re learning from places like this).
Looking back over the years I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and some of them were done from an I don’t know what I’m doing standpoint. Others? Well, let’s just say I knew better.
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1. Not building my newsletter list
When I first ventured online as a small business owner I didn’t understand or appreciate the importance of a newsletter list. Like many newbies, I focused on things like followers. Followers are important, but that wasn’t the only thing I should have been focusing on.
Think about it, we’re “renting space” from places like Instagram and Twitter – if they shut down today, there go our connections. With a newsletter list, you have those contacts. You have access to that information and can reach out to your followers no matter what crazy algorithm Instagram throws our way tomorrow.
In the past, I avoided starting a newsletter list because it’s a process and I am the queen of Impatientlandia. I’ve learned over the years to stick with the process. Some weeks you’ll have an explosion of subscribers, other weeks it will be a trickle but if you don’t start you won’t have anything at all.
should bloggers create newsletters?
Yeah! Go ahead and start one whether you’re a blogger or small biz owner. It’s a bang on way to connect even more with your readers, and if you ever get to a point where you want to grow your blog into a biz – your list is king!
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2. not creating hype
Impatient me would just pop my blog, website or product online without creating excitement first. Um…issa no boo. Building anticipation for your site or product helps you in a few ways:
- You have a built-in audience or fan base when you launch
- People are talking about you
- People are helping you share the news about your product, site or service.
- You can start to build up that newsletter list!
I’ve made this mistake a few times in the past and its one many people make so don’t beat yourself up if you’re doing it. It’s not the end of the world if you haven’t built up hype yet, but if you can build anticipation you sould do it.
Before you launch, start creating conversations from your social platforms, promote your services, tell people you’re launching soon. With Coco Creativ I answered newbie blogger questions and ensured I was seen on Twitter.
For my lifestyle blog, I shared quotes from upcoming blog posts on my social media as a way to get people excited about what was coming.
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3. launching because i could
This is a major no-no and looking back, I can’t believe I was so cocky. Just because you can launch your site or blog doesn’t mean you should. If there are still tweaks that can be tweaked, widgets to widget, etc, do not launch your site.
This is mega important if you’re launching a business or a blog that doubles as a business.
Granted, there will always be something you missed or something you will want to change after you’ve launched. From the start, you will want to put your best foot forward with your future clients and customers. If you finish your site ahead of your timeline, invite friends and family to review it.
Hey, have you grabbed a copy of this FREE Resource Guide? It’s filled with tools and resources that will help you make less mistakes on your blogging journey. It’s super helpful and super FREE!
4. inconsistent branding
This mistake was a mixture of me not taking blogging seriously and pure laziness on my part. As a graphic designer and artist, I know how important branding is. The first time I launched a blog I didn’t think it was a big deal so there wasn’t any branding at all. The second time I launched I didn’t apply it throughout. Laziness.
When I talk to a lot of other designers who blog or have an online business they admit they struggle with this process too and I think it’s because we know “we can do it later” . That’s also what I mean by “launching just because”.
what do I think about branding for the small guy?
Having consistent branding in place makes you look professional. It leaves a strong impression on your visitor’s mind. Strong, visible banding also opens you up to opportunities as a blogger and more sales as a business owner.
BRANDING TIP: Small things can make a big branding impact: carry your colors throughout, make sure your logo is present in the appropriate places, adjust the elements of your theme.
5. not having a strategy in place
The first few times I blogged, I approached it as a way to have fun but a few years later I wanted to take it more seriously. I tried to approach blogging the same way I did before; I did not create a strategy and became overwhelmed.
If you’re blogging as a hobby that’s cool but the second you think you want to take it further you should sit and decide what that means. Taking your blog to the next step means different things to different people.
In my opinion, if you’re going online as a business owner, you need a business strategy – no question. I mean, you can question it but I will straight up question you.
Strategies can be simple or elaborate; when I originally started learning about social media planning and Digital Marketing it used to sound scary to me. You don’t have to be in Digital Marketing to have a strategy; focus on the basics including things like:
- How many times/days you will post to your blog or social media
- Using retweet accounts to get your posts in front of a bigger audience
- When you will start promoting your products or services for a sale, etc.
- Planning your content in advance
Some bloggers don’t like to commit to things like schedules or planning – that’s cool. Your journey should be focused on what works for you. However, I encourage bloggers who envision their blog being in “that place” to start small. Do you see any growth at all?
That’s strategy baby.
bonus mistake, being jealous
Everyone gets jealous, myself included, but I don’t live in jealousy. At the very start of my blogging journey, I spent a lot of time being jealous instead of enjoying the process. Eventually, I learned to let go of those feelings and focus on my own blog but I wasted time living in that jealousy.
This tainted blogging for me and I gave up instead of pushing forward.
This was even before Instagram so imagine, if I was envious then how must others feel now when they fall into that trap?
I have a much healthier relationship with social media and influencers now partly because I experienced those emotions but also because I used to work with influencers. Knowing how the process works, has helped me learn to be happy with my journey.
Whenever I see a blogger or business owner doing something I choose to be inspired rather than bitter. Being jealous is a natural human emotion but I refuse to live in it.
There you have it – five mistakes I’ve made over the years. There are many more I could talk about like not buying my domain name right away or purchasing the wrong template but I like these five. They’re a little different from what people usually warn you about.
Reflecting on your journey is super important because the next time you move forward you can learn from your mistakes. Trust me, I learned a lot for this time with Coco Creativ. You also have the opportunity to learn about yourself professionally and personally.