When I started my blog back in January of 2016, I never knew that I would be so into it. It was a way for me to document my daily life and keep memories, and no one ever read it. I didn’t share it to friends or family (though I don’t share this blog to anyone else haha) and it was my secret hideout. Along the way, I improved the ‘quality’ of my blog, started writing longer and genuine posts and started gaining an audience. All of these mistakes here are something I learned during my year-long journey and hopefully, it will help you to avoid them.
this post contains affiliate links to bluehost and amazon.
trying to create the ‘perfect blog’
I am personally very guilty of this. I tried to create a perfect blog and tried to do everything at once. Even if you ‘perfect’ your blog one day, it’s going to have problems the next day – speaking from experience. I’d say, work on the functions of your blog – navigation, sidebar, footer, SEO, and other things – before you start decorating your blog. Decorating can be done over a long period of time, but your blog functions will always have problems even if you fix it. Adding on, the functions of your blog and your posts appearing clearly to your readers will be more important if your blog has a good theme or not.
posting every single day
I remember when I first started my blog, I started posting every single day. This, my friend, gets very tiring and lowers the quality of your posts. It’s not that it may annoy people (though I’ve seen people get annoyed), but it’s the fact that you’re wasting potential quality posts by spending less time and research on it. I’d say, give yourself at least two or three days in between posts. This way, you can do other things such as promoting and drafting your next post in the process.
not creating an editorial calendar
This leads to my next point – create an editorial calendar. I’ve stated this multiple times before, but an editorial calendar will save your life. I’m not even joking – an editorial calendar helped me organize my life and separate my blog to-dos from my life to-dos.
I also offer consultations sessions for planning your content. Take a look here!
This is another thing I’ve been saying frequently – utilize SEO. There are so many free and paid plugins you can use, and a main is Yoast. Simply search Yoast in your plugins and you’ll find it right away. If you don’t like Yoast, go to plugins and search SEO and download whatever works for you.
This goes two ways – receiving spam comments or creating spam comments. I’ve used Askimet (another free plugin) and protected myself from over 2,000 spam comments. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of bloggers leave comments on my blog and others’ blog as well, saying, “Love this post! Check out my blog too! (links blog)”. Not only is this rude to the creator of the blog, it gives potential audience the image that you are this “annoying blogger who comments heartlessly on other bloggers’ posts”.
Despite this, I’ve seen a beautiful girl named Charmaine, commenting genuinely, not only on my blog, but others’ as well. If you’re a blogger and you follow many other bloggers, you’ll recognize her from the comment section as well!
having poor quality images
As a travel blogger (at least what I call myself right now), photography always has been my priority. However, getting away from the fact that I photograph my travels, I also photograph my office supplies, camera, and dry flowers to use as blog photos. My photos are very different from most blogging photos – they’re not white, they’re not perfectly laid out, and they’re not filled with cute pink and gold stationaries. However, they do help my readers from taking a break from all this reading they have to do.
By poor quality, I mean blurry, underexposed, a screenshot of someone else’s photograph online, or maybe even worse, a stock image that still has the company logo in the middle of the picture. There are plenty of resources out there that offers free images you can use – here’s one in Pinterest I found for you.
not deciding on a specific topic
I was guilty of this when I first started – I wrote on a variety of topics and ended up confusing myself as well. I get it if you write about a few topics constantly; I write about travel, blogging, lifestyle, and school. However, you should try to avoid changing your topic each post or even during your post. Yes, I’ve seen bloggers who start with one topic and end with another, in one post.
I offer consultation sessions on discovering your niche. You an check it out here if you want!
using a free host
If you read a blog post about blogging tips, this one is something you can’t miss. I personally use Bluehost’s prime plan which I bought when it was on sale for around $100 for three years. Quite a deal, isn’t it? Hosting can get pretty expensive, but I’ll share how to get inexpensive hosting on Bluehost.
This is the normal prices you’d see when you go to Bluehost. They all give you one free domain when you sign up.
If you choose the basic plan,one year with every single add-on marked off will come you $71.40. Not the most inexpensive out there.
However, when you wait in that section (picture above) long enough, a small pop-up shows where you can get a great deal for so much less. I believe the same process works for the Plus and Prime plans as well.
In this deal, you can get three years of hosting for $95.40, along with free domain privacy and site backup pro, options that we unchecked before.
Unfortunately, Bluehost has removed their “cancel anytime and receive what you left behind” service, where if you cancel anytime, you can receive the rest of the money that you didn’t spend according to the time. However, I think three years for $95.40, which is literally $31.80 per year, is a pretty big deal for starting bloggers. If you dislike Bluehost after three years, you would have saved up so much more money than using the regular fee for three years.