A full-time blogger shares the mistakes to avoid when starting a new blog and why the advice from gurus may not always be right for you.
January 08, 2018
If you're new to the blogging world, trying to get a hold of everything may seem like a daunting task.
And it's completely understandable.
After all, blogging has come a long way, and there are so many moving parts to running a successful blog.
So, if you're starting a new blog, it's important to know what to do, and it's equally important to know what NOT to do.
With millions of blogs online trying to teach ways to create a successful blog and earn money online, you may feel bombarded with information and torn in different directions.
I have been there, and I know how confusing it can get.
So, let me tell you about a few things that you should not worry about when starting a new blog.
Now I am not saying that these things are not important. But you don't need to worry about these right now. Once you have a decent audience and good traffic on the blog, then you can focus on these as well.
This one plagues a lot of new bloggers (and I was no different when I started).
Even before publishing the first post, a lot of new bloggers immerse themselves in getting the design right.
A good design is useless if you don't have any readers.
Start with a design that is good enough, and you can keep tweaking it as you progress in your blogging journey.
If you're using WordPress, you can get a decent theme for free (or at a reasonable price) that ticks all the boxes needed for a decent blog.
Also, don't compare your blog's design to that of the blogs you follow or your competitors. In all likely hood, the blogs you follow started with a basic design and then evolved as they got readers and started generating income.
Blogging world is full of expensive tools and plugins.
A lot of these are top-notch and deliver on the promise.
But the question you need to ask yourself is - 'Do I absolutely need this tool to get the work done?'
In most cases, you are likely to find a free alternative that works just fine.
For example, if you're looking for an email automation tool, instead of paying a hefty monthly fee to Infusionsoft, Drip, or Convertkit, you can start with a free trial at MailChimp ( which is free for up to 2000 subscribers).
Once you're making some money with your blog, you can consider investing in these tools.
A lot of online marketing gurus would talk about the metrics that they track regularly.
While it may make sense for them, you are not going to achieve any meaningful result at the beginning of your blogging journey.
For example, if you have only 5 blog posts and 100 page views a month, tracking bounce rates is a waste of time.
Instead, you should invest your time in creating high-quality content.
'Perfection is the enemy of good'
If you work to make your blog post perfect, you may never get around and publish it.
There is no rule that prohibits you to come back and edit it later. If you think your blog post is good enough, hit the publish button.
Of course, make sure it makes sense, the structure is right, and there are no spelling errors, but don't aim for that perfect blog post - as it may never happen.
It's a good idea to diversify and try to get traffic from different sources. For example, you can focus on SEO and at the same time use social media to get instant traffic.
The problem with all these channels is that these work differently. And if you're starting out as a one-man show, you're likely to get overwhelmed with all the different formats, rules, and functionalities.
A good starting point is to research where your audience hangs out and how they search for information that you plan to provide on your blog.
For example, if you're a food blogger, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube may be better than Twitter and Reddit.
Once you have an idea of the useful channels, you can start with these and ignore the rest for the time being.
If you're not sure how to identify the channels, do a little research on your competition. See where they are getting their traffic from, and just focus on those channels.
When you're starting out, you're looking to build an audience.
If you try and cover different unrelated topics, your content will not appeal to anyone. It's important that you try and establish yourself as an authority in one specific area.
Once you have a sizeable audience, you can diversify into related areas.
For example, if you're a food blogger who writes about recipes, and suddenly you start writing about making money online, you will lose your existing audience who are looking for recipes.
However, if you have a good audience and you then start writing about juicers and mixers, you may get traction with your existing audience as well.
Bottom line - first give your audience exactly what they want, and later experiment with related topics.
Another reason why it's important to stick to one topic is 'topical relevancy'.
If your blog is all about low carb recipes, Google would prefer your site over other authority sites in search results when someone is looking for low carb recipes.
This happens because you have built topical relevancy about low carb recipes on your blog.
If there is one certainty - it is that your blog visitor is eventually going to leave. No matter how great your search results are, once someone lands on your blog, he/she will leave in some time.
If you don't capture the email id, you have absolutely no way to get in touch with these people.
Emails are a great way to build relationships with people. It is also a highly profitable channel as you can promote your products or affiliate products to your email list. These are the people who knowingly gave you their email address and actively open and read your emails.
If you're not building your email list, you're missing out.
I recommend you build your email list from the very first day.
If on a tight budget, you can start with Mailchimp (free for up to 2000 subscribers) or Drip (free for up to 100 subscribers).
The above mistakes are the common ones that I see new bloggers make. These are also the mistakes that I made when I was starting out as a blogger.
So while it's good to learn from online marketers, be cautious on what they recommend, as it may not necessarily be the right advice for you.