I’ve had a few websites of my own before creating Wealthy Gorilla, and it’s safe to say that over the years I’ve learnt a lot from my blogging mistakes, of which I’ve made so many, and that I was never as serious as I am now.
The first proper blog I created was a few years ago, and it was the furthest I had ever gotten with a website, until now.
There were many reasons as to why it was destined for failure, and at the time I didn’t know any better, but I had to make them in order to learn from them.
Top 10 Blogging Mistakes I Made
The below is a list of 10 blogging mistakes I made when I created my first serious website, and how different I go about things now compared to back then.
1. A Long Domain Name
When I created my first ‘actual’ website, I made the big mistake of choosing a domain name that had a freakishly large number of characters within it.
I said my first ‘actual’ website, because I had created others before, but they were normally free Weebly sites, or lazy one page websites simply just looking for money.
I have since realized the error of my ways. But it’s important to realize that domain names with a smaller number of characters are far more likely to be remembered by everyone, and also will rank much easier, depending on the keywords that you use!
The first domain name I ever registered was around 25 characters long, excluding “.com”. It was a beast! To be honest I had trouble remembering it myself most of the time.
This isn’t always the case though, as one of the top bloggers I follow actually has a long domain name. He’s recently changed it to another name, but it’s still quite lengthy, and he’s been having great success. Check Ryan out at BloggingFromParadise.com.
2. Trying to be Something I Wasn’t
I was trying to be this big, business that you would assume had many employees. I don’t know what I was thinking. To begin with, trying to be a business that has many employees, without having any employees is quite ridiculous.
I jumped straight into trying to seem like a big shot, when what I should have been doing is focusing on building a personal relationship with readers, and slowly building upon it. It eventually became clear to me that what i was doing wasn’t going to work.
Not building a personal relationship with your readers is another of the top blogging mistakes that I made.
3. Attempting to Cover Too Many Categories
I think I covered this point on one of my very first posts on Wealthy Gorilla. I was trying to cover everything, and I mean literally everything! No way was it going to work!
The best thing to do when starting your own website is to focus on a specific niche. Not so specific that your target audience is incredibly small, but a decent size, and then you can always add on similar categories as you go along.
If you start writing in all the categories you want to be, right from the beginning, then you’ll spread yourself out too thin, leaving some categories looking bare. Plus you will also have less idea of things to surprise your readers with later down the line.
4. Taking a Poor Design and Trying to Make it Better
This was probably one of the most time-wasting, and terrible things I could have done. Instead of spending a little money to purchase a well designed WordPress theme, that had all the features, the widgets, menus and perfect layout.
What I decided to do was use a free one, that had a pretty basic design.
I thought it would be okay for what I needed, but just to get the color scheme the way I wanted it took me ages. Even then it still looked like garbage.
The worst part came when I started wanting to use complicated widgets and in page designs that just wouldn’t work for the theme; so I ended up paying someone a small amount of money to add these features in.
You get what you pay for I guess. They just made it look worse.
So the problem was that instead of investing in a well grounded, professional design right from the off, I took a poor design and tried to push certain aspects of it past its limits.
5. Spending Too Much Time on the Appearance
The appearance seemed to be the only real thing I spent time on. Not sure how I ever got anything written.
I would be changing the colors, the borders, backgrounds, and as I mentioned above; trying to make the them do things it wasn’t capable of. What a complete waste of time.
If you’re creating your first blog, just pick a theme, add your color to it and begin writing. Start promoting it after you’ve written a few posts and it’ll be much more beneficial. Don’t fiddle around with the appearance until it’s perfect.
This, like many other things, will come in time.
6. Not Promoting it Personally as Myself
To begin with, I was too afraid to put my name or face to anything I’d written, simply because I wasn’t sure what my friends and family would think, and that was a big mistake.
I’ve since learnt that you need to be promoting your website with you own name, to everyone you know. Not only does it increase your audience just through who you know, but also that friends are more likely to share your work.
It also gives the blog a more personal feel and readers actually know who’s behind the posts and who they’re communicating with. It provides a much better level of comfort and confidence.
7. Only Investing Small Amounts
Like I mentioned with the theme, i didn’t really invest much in the website. Looking at all my expenses I have now just to run this blog, it’s amazing as to how I managed to get away with spending so little the first time. So far I’ve been spending money on the below.
- Web Hosting (Monthly)
- CDN (Monthly)
- Aweber (Monthly)
- Domain Name (Yearly)
- Images for Articles
The list goes on…
Everything on the list is totally worth it and it’s a big eye opener as to why my first blog was such a disaster waiting to happen.
8. Not Reaching out to People
I never reach out to anyone… everybody seemed like they were just competition to me. What a poor decision that was.
It’s amazing to see how many new relationships I’ve made over just the past month alone, by reaching out to people.
So many successful people that were once in a similar position to me, and it’s great inspiration to just be able to talk to them and get to know more about where they started.
A few of the people I’ve reached out to have been kind enough to help me out, and I can safely say that every little bit really does help.
So reaching out to others is definitely a key of getting noticed, speaking to people that have similar interests to you and that can be of great inspiration.
All it takes is for you to spot someone in a similar niche to you, and just drop them an email. It takes less than 5 minutes. You’ll often find that many of them don’t reply, but normally you’ll get some great replies and build many new relationships.
If you don’t reach out to others, you are making one of the biggest blogging mistakes possible.
9. Only Advertising in the Most Common Places
Facebook, Facebook, and maybe I’ll try Facebook again. That was pretty much it. I didn’t advertise in many places, which is the sole reason the blog never really got found by anybody.
Most of the likes I had on Facebook weren’t even genuine. They were paid likes. Another stupid thing to add to the list.
With Wealthy Gorilla, I’m constantly trying to look for new places, relevant places that is, that I can share my blog with others. Obviously I don’t want to do everything at once and get carried away.
But week by week I’m popping up on another platform or blog that might be interested in what I have to offer.
10. Giving up Too Easily
They say that the average number of months before a blogger gives up is 3, which by the way is the number of months we’ve been up and running. I don’t plan on giving up.
I actually didn’t give up until around 9 months in, but that’s only because I spent at least 3 months just on the design.
And the only reason it took me three months was because I was spending hardly any time actually on the blog, which once again, was a dead giveaway it was going to fail.
Blogs can take a long while to get going, so it’s important to be patient, correct any mistakes you may be making along the way, and just be working as hard as you can. Results will come in time.
Thanks for checking out the article!
Just to recap, the blogging mistakes I made were:
- A long domain name
- Trying to be something I wasn’t
- Attempting to cover too many categories
- Taking a poor design and trying to make it better
- Spending too much time on the appearance
- Not promoting it personally as myself
- Only investing small amounts
- Not reaching out to people
- Only advertising in the most common places
- Giving up too easily
Which blogging mistakes have you made in the past? Leave a comment below.