When I started my blog almost 10 years ago, I started it as a way to make money. I discovered in my google search how to make money online, blogging. I saw examples of those who were making money from their blogs and knew I could do it. Yet, the mindset that I had about my blog was the biggest detriment to some of the financial goals that I had in mind.
I let a great amount of fear, doubt, and uncertainty cloud my plan of launching a profitable blog. It’s taking me years to shift my mindset about it and create a solid executable.
I’m a big advocate of learning from the mistakes of others. Save yourself time, angst, and money, and learn from my mistakes. You’ll be able to reach your blogging goals much faster.
Not Installing Trackers Sooner
Before I became a WordPress stan, I started my blog on the Blogger platform. Of course, if I had more clarity about my blogging plan, I would’ve started with WordPress. Again, vague goals produce vague results. Once I installed my Google Analytics tracker and Facebook Pixel, I had a more clear picture of who my readers were and what they liked. Without having those trackers installed, I would not have that data to make better blog and business decisions. If you’re thinking about starting a blog and don’t know which route you want to take, install your Google Analytics tag and Facebook pixel tag anyways. Your Facebook pixel is vital if you plan on running ads on Facebook or Instagram. By collecting information early on, you’ll be able to make better decisions on how you spend your ad spend. Don’t waste your time and hard-earned dollars on creating ads or targeting people that won’t convert.
Identify Content Pillars
There’s so much information and content published online and it’s easy for your message to get lost in the noise. When I started, I wish I would’ve identified my content pillars sooner. I didn’t know what content pillars were until I continued doing my research on how to be a more effective blogger. I struggled on finding a way to merge project management and operations with my lifestyle content for my target audience. I had to create an umbrella message that would encompass my blog topics and content while focusing on my brand value. Once I was able to identify that, it was easier for me to identify what my content pillars would be. Think about what message you want to convey to your readers and audience. Do you want to educate them, inspire them, or want them to take action on something? Figure out what the goal of your content will be, then convey that in your message.
Process vs Checklist
Once I identified my content pillars, I felt great and started burning the midnight oil to create and publish content. Instead of having a process, I had more of a checklist. I would create the post, images, optimize, and even then my content wasn’t converting the way I wanted it to. I took a step back and started leveraging my operations skills into my content creation process and everything started to make sense. I was able to create a publishing process where I was able to identify what I wanted to write about and create the images needed to promote it. (Still working on that part) When you’re creating content, think in the mind frame of a process instead of a checklist. Work in different phases and piece the puzzle together to publish a piece of content that your audience can resonate with and will convert.
Not Documenting the Process
As a business owner, it’s important to document the process of the tasks you achieve within your business. My biggest takeaway, even as a blogger, is if I wanted to outsource some of my tasks, I would be using precious time training the person on how to do said task. By documenting my processes, it is easy to read, and easy to replicate. So, I can remove myself from the tasks, I don’t want to do. SOPs is the name of the game.
I took money out of my pocket by not having a monetization plan for my blog. I wasted time going through the regular amount of rigmarole of trying to figure out how to make money from the blog. There were so many options from affiliate marketing to ads, and much more. Take some time and ask yourself how you want to make money from your blog. Now I’ve gotten clear on my audience in my message in my content creation process and know what I like and what I don’t like, I now have a clear concrete plan on how to monetize my blog.
No Promotion Plan
You know that famous cliché where they say if you build it they will come? I am a primary example of I built it, and they came. Once you hit publish, promote your content. You can do that on your email list, your social media channels, podcast, and many other places. Make sure you have a promotion and distribution plan in place. I missed plenty of opportunities by not promoting my blog posts. Imagine doing all that work, only to hear crickets because you were scared to promote it. You have to be your biggest advocate. Currently, Pinterest is my biggest traffic driver, and I worked hard to make that a reality. To get consistent traffic, you have to tell the audience about new content. If they don’t know you’ve published it or you’ve only said something about it one time, they’re not going to know that it’s there. So implementing a promotion plan when you publish your blog post is a great way to continue to get that traffic to your posts.
With mistakes come lessons, and with lessons come growth. With all my research and study, I am not in a space where I can perfect my craft and want you to do the same. Take it for me; learn from my mistakes, save yourself money and time, and keep these lessons in mind as you continue to build.