…and how you can avoid them!
Have you ever heard the advice to Google “top 10 things I wish I’d known before I started ____?” before you begin a new venture? Before starting my blog, I did that and more. I still made mistakes. Big mistakes! Here are the top five mistakes I wish I would have seen before beginning my blog. I hope they will help new and aspiring bloggers!
- Using Outdated Information.
Starting out I knew there was a huge amount of blog information I didn’t know. I thought my best defense against research-fatigue was to limit the info I allowed myself to be exposed to. I bought a book on blogging, read it cover to cover, and determined that I would only implement it before researching further.
Well, my book was from 2012. Pinterest was still by invitation only! Five years has made a world of difference in the blogging world. Even 5 weeks can make a significant difference! I underestimated the internet’s rapidity of change. Almost nothing in my book ended up being relevant after I really got going!
2. Being Afraid of Technology
Again, as a newbie, I knew how limited my knowledge of tech was. The world of email listserves, self-hosted websites, graphic design, etc. scared me and I tried to blog without learning about them. Well, mistake number two! All those things are non-negotiable. It’s better just to bite the bullet and embrace the learning curve!
3. Misunderstanding Audience
In my naïveté, I assumed people would read my blog to be entertained and because they appreciated my writing. That may be partially true. However, I’ve come to realize that people are generally online for one reason: to solve a problem. I was writing to express myself, but not solve any one else’s problems. If I wanted the blog to go anywhere, this had to reverse.
4. Overestimating the Role of Personal Stories
I love to write narratives and anecdotes. But, contrary to what I thought before, they are not a viable blog end-product. The stories in themselves are not really what the blogging community is all about, especially not the monetized blogging community. Stories are valuable and personal aspects of something larger.
5. Confusing Passion and Experience
The things we are most experienced with aren’t necessarily the things we’re most passionate about. I’m very experienced with laundry, but it’s not my passion. In the world of parenthood and childhood one of the things I am most passionate about is books. I need to find a way to incorporate that passion into my blogging instead of feeling pigeonholed by what a mom blog “should” or “should not” have.
If you ever want to start a blog I hope that this list of mistakes might help. If you’ve already been blogging for a while, what are some of the mistakes you’ve made? How have you remedied them? I know I still have SO much learning to do!
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