There comes a time in every new blogger’s life when they realize all the horrible mistakes they made after starting their blog. Unfortunately for me, I realized my mistakes about 6 months into blogging. By the time I realized what I had messed up on, I was kicking myself for not realizing it sooner.
There are a lot of things I know now that I wish I had known back when I started. It’s better late than never, and once I realized what mistakes I was making, I quickly changed my approach.
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The first mistake I made was not investing in myself. For a long time I was trying to write content and falling short. I went weeks without even looking at my blog and neglected it for quite some time. I guess I wasn’t really ready to commit because I was afraid of failing.
I didn’t invest in my own time when I should have, and I didn’t invest in myself when I should have. When I say “invest” I don’t really mean spending money to make myself better. What I mean is that I should have been committed and I should have forced myself to keep going and actually put the effort into making my blog work for me.
Instead I neglected it, I started another blog because I thought I knew what I was talking about and I really didn’t. I was putting too much effort into the wrong things and I started to fail because of it. There were a few months where my blog didn’t even see over 700 pageviews the entire month.
Once I realized that I needed to start investing in myself, I immediately saw results. At the beginning of September I told myself that I was going to focus on my blog. I put a lot of work in, for the most part but I didn’t give it 100%. Even so, the month of September has been incredible for me.
My stats for August were embarrassing. I had 644 pageviews the whole month, but as of the end of September I have nearly 9,000 pageviews. Not only did my pageviews jump up by over 8,000 my Pinterest went from 11,000 monthly views to almost 100,000 in the span of two weeks.
This brings me to my second mistake. The second mistake I made was not investing in Tailwind. I’ve read so many different posts from bloggers about Tailwind and how it’s the holy grail of Pinterest traffic. I was very skeptical at first, so I avoided it because I didn’t believe what other bloggers were saying.
What I didn’t realize was that Tailwind offers a free version to bloggers, so I decided to try it out. I didn’t really see any difference with the free version, so I stopped using it for awhile, but then I realized that I had a $15 credit for a free month of Tailwind.
I figured, what the hell, I might as well use the free month and see if it even helps. If it didn’t help at all, I would just cancel it and go back to pinning as usual. But after I started using Tailwind premium, and I mean really using it, I was truly shocked by my results.
One thing I would like to point out is that I did NOT purchase any online courses, I did not buy any ebooks or sign up to free webinars or email courses for Pinterest. I put the hard work in myself and was determined to learn it on my own and I succeeded in just a few days.
The image above shows my stats from 9/13-9/27. That’s only 14 days and you can see how much my views jumped over the span of two weeks. At the beginning of the month I was getting an average of 11,000 views and as of the 27th my views reached 85,500!
I don’t know if I could have achieved these results if it weren’t for using Tailwind. I highly recommend them and you can get a free month of Tailwind with the $15 credit if you sign up through my link here.
Honestly, I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner because I really wish I had done it months ago. I launched my blog in March and it’s almost October and I’m finally seeing good progress. You would be a fool not to sign up, even if you just sign up for the free version. You can always upgrade later on.
P.S. if you want to gain some more exposure with your pins, come join my group board on Pinterest!
This is the biggest mistake that I made starting out. I thought that in order to be a good blogger and be successful, I needed to join a bunch of different Facebook groups. I heard that joining Facebook groups increased your traffic and helped you gain exposure.
So I joined a lot of groups and was dedicating so much time and effort to them. In fact, I was putting more time and effort into Facebook groups instead of my own blog. I was still promoting my blog posts and my blog, but I didn’t see any real traffic and didn’t find success.
The things about Facebook groups is that everyone is there for the same reason. Everyone wants their blog to be read and they want likes and comments on their Instagram. The problem is that we all want the same thing, but nobody wants to spend their time reading someone else’s blog. We’re all busy posting our links and sharing our content and the majority of people don’t care about the rest of it.
I’m sorry to say, but in groups like those, nobody really cares about you because they’re trying to make their own way. Eventually I realized this and I decided that enough was enough. I left all but a very select few groups, and the groups I’m part of aren’t even blogging groups.
The blogging groups I was part of only took away the time that I should have been dedicating to my blog. As a blogger, those groups didn’t help me, they hindered my success. If you’re the owner of a group, it’s much easier to be successful because you’re developing relationships with other bloggers and you can easily promote your own content. Your group members will trust you, so they’re going to read what you have to say, but for the rest of us, it doesn’t help at all.
Facebook groups are a waste of time unless you’re in the ones that are strictly for advice and don’t allow self promotion. Pinterest groups are much different because you’re actually just posting your pins to a group board and that’s it.
In fact, I also saw a huge jump in my traffic and success when I left those Facebook groups. I felt like I didn’t need them anymore because if I wanted to be successful and confident in my blog, I would have to do it on my own and learn over time. So that’s what I did.
I thought “screw this” I don’t need this to be a badass blogger. I can do this on my own and I WILL. And you know what? I did.
I just wish that I hadn’t invested so much time into those groups because I was really wasting all that time.
Rushing into a blog name was another huge mistake. I recently re-branded my blog and I’m on the third, and hopefully final name. I wanted a blog so badly that I didn’t stop to think about the name and how it would effect me later on. Re-branding is not easy and I’m still working on switching everything over. I wish I had really taken the time to think about what I wanted and not choose a name out of haste.
My fifth mistake has everything to do with my brand itself. I wasn’t aligned with my goals, my color scheme or anything really. There wasn’t a clear theme and once I realized that I needed to stick to a theme and realign my goals, everything became much more clear.
I also wish that I had invested in good quality stock photos and stuck with a theme, because in the past I was just using any and all stock photos that I could find. I’m still trying to go through and replace the photos on my blog because the older posts aren’t aligned with my current brand.
I wanted everything to be bright, airy with hints of pink, beige, brown, white and even gray. I wanted my blog to be chic and elegant, and it wasn’t. There are lots of great stock photo websites out there, and if you’re looking for a membership stock site, Styled Stock Society is a must. I chose not to opt into a membership site because I wanted to be unique, so I started learning how to do my own photos!
Taking the time to learn how to take good photos is something I wish I had done ages ago. Now I’m struggling trying to replace the stock photos on my site for ones I’ve done myself and it’s a long process! I wish I had either invested in a membership site at the beginning or just did it on my own in the first place.
Another one of my big mistakes was not investing in a good theme. I spent way too much time trying to organize free themes and make them look better. It was a waste of time, and nothing ever ended up turning out the way I wanted it to. I eventually decided that I needed to invest in a good theme to take the next step as a blogger, so I did at the beginning of September.
I scrolled through Etsy for hours looking for the perfect theme. I wanted to find something that really fit me and my style, but wasn’t too outrageously priced. I finally found the perfect theme (for under $100) and I jumped on the opportunity because I knew it could only benefit me.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes during my first 6 months as a blogger, some of them worse than others. I might appear to be a “big blogger” to some just starting out, but the reality of it is that sometimes I still don’t know what I’m doing and I still make mistakes. It takes time to get into the hang of things and to really find your voice and your style to make your blog uniquely you.
I just hope you can learn from some of my mistakes so you don’t have to wait 6 months to accomplish your goals!
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