I’m not here to boast, my 6months of blogging has taught me a massive amount, most of which was learned by my own mistakes. These are the top 11 worst mistakes all of which I am glad happened, or I might have ended up repeating them here. I repeat them so they can be learned from. A wise man once said:
“Clever people learn from their own mistakes, brilliant people learn from other peoples”.
I suppose that makes me clever, but I am giving you the chance to be brilliant!
1. Heavily monetising too early. This point is highly debateable, but allow me to state where I stand. It all depends on the type of advertising used. I recently wrote why affiliate links are the best form of blog advertising, where I make my case for affiliate links.
People say that heavily monetising with big AdSense boxes deters new visitors from sticking around and I would have to agree. However, a well-used affiliate link, part way or at the end of the post does nothing of the sort. The reader must have already read part of the post to even want to click it, where they may realise it’s an affiliate link. If they have already read your content and it has compelled them to click the affiliate link, you are hardly going to permanently lose that reader because of your site appearing tacky; they clearly trust you!
Mini-Conclusion… for point no. 1
Monetising too early was not the mistake I made, it was using the wrong type of monetisation. A site must already have a substantial loyal readership and a stream of regular visitors before it can stand big AdSense boxes being slapped up. In my opinion affiliate links slipped into posts is the way to start.
2. Not writing Pillar content first. The idea to not write anything of substance till readers are already there simply doesn’t stand up. Starting off with pillar content gives you something to promote. If you do all the promoting with bad/average posts then the visitors you do get will be turned off and less will become regular readers or RSS subscribers. Pillar Content is an investment. Those pillar posts continue to hold the blog up for many months or even years to come.
3. Not Guest blogging till the end. I always knew I ‘should’ get round to doing some guest blogging, but I never did until the sale of my old site. I dread to think what it could have gone for if I guest blogged earlier.
4. Not consistently branding myself. In comments on other blogs I went as ‘matt608’ and then switched to ‘Matt Jones”, which is bad enough, but on the actual site my name in my own comments was still ‘matt608’. This created confusion and was bad branding.
5. Not using a feed reader. It may shock you to know that in the whole 6 months of blogging I never touched a feed reader. Apart from all the more obvious benefits of using a RSS feed reader like efficiency and time management, the main loss was that it limited me in my knowledge about Feeds and so I could not write posts about promoting feeds, because it was an area I was ignorant in. I strongly advice using an RSS feed reader and subscribing to my feed.
6. Basing the site content too much around keywords. One of the keywords I was going for was “internet scams”. On many occasions I used that phrase instead of the single word that was more concise and made just as much sense – “scams”. This hindered the flow of the writing. I have changed from writing for Google and a little for the readers, to the other way round, of writing for the readers and if it happens to fit, use a keyword.
7. Not standing out enough. This links in with point 6 about keywords. There are so many blogs out there now battling for keyword positions and their main problem is attaining quality backlinks which raise their rankings. This is why it’s more important to write for the readers instead of Google because readers may have a blog and therefore have the potential to link to your content, which is a vital part of SEO
8. Not having pre-sell pages. I had a ‘recommended affiliate programs list’ and fair reviews of those programs, but those reviews were only linked to in long lists on the side bar. The smart thing to do would have been to have a separate page, lined up with the ‘about and home’ pages so new readers could find the reviews of those programs more easily.
9. Not reading a wide enough variety of blogs. I religiously read a cluster of about 10 blogs, but this is no way near enough to keep up on all the goings on. This is another reason to use a feed reader.
10. Only half-heartedly sticking to a posting routine. I would go through phases, perhaps of 1 month of posting every day, then a month of only posting every other day. These phases are quite long and so the situation could have been a lot worse, but posting consistently is essential.
11. Not dabbling in video blogging. You can look forward to some videos on this blog in the next month or so.
A lot of these mistakes occurred due to the creation of bad habits. My Break from blogging allowed me to break these unproductive habits. If I were allowed to have a “mistake 12” it would be not taking that 3 day break a little sooner. I hope you have used this honesty charade to either make you feel high and mighty, or to help you learn.
What blogging mistakes have you made? Has anyone made the same mistakes as I have?
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