Every successful blog goes through a process, and all the choices you make can bring you success and authority -or not-. There are many things that can and will go wrong, and you should have a plan before you go on this path.
Blogging is not as easy as it sounds, and just because many people do it wrong, it doesn't mean you have to do the same. Choosing the wrong platform, wrong providers, having poor and inconsistent content will turn your idea into a ghost blog, with no traffic or chance of monetizing.
But, let's take a look at what you need to look out for when you first start your blog.
1. Choosing The Wrong Platform
Right now, there are a lot of blogging platforms available. Some advertised as premium, some keeping the standard image. They all have different features, styles, and in many cases, their own branding on your blog.
My personal realization is that for any new blog, WordPress is the best option. It's highly customizable and you won't have to deal with all the branding involved. You can use multiple plugins and editors, you can easily optimize for the search engines and you can edit the code yourself (or hire someone to do it).
The nice part is that you don't necessarily need a WordPress plan. They can be quite expensive (for a good reason to be honest. You can't compare the WP support to anything else).
When I first created my domain, I bought it from Namecheap and I installed the WP editor from my account. Easy as that and I was able to start building my website.
2. Choosing a Complicated Theme
You will be able to choose from millions of themes for your blog, but not all of them are customizable. You don't want to be basic, as you need to create an identity.
You need to look for responsive design because you need your pages optimized for smartphones and tablets, you want to be able to change your widgets and create a custom page layout. It's hard to build an image if you can't build your website.
In the same category, we can also talk about the blog builder. I personally loved the WP block editor, with dividers and separators, photo alignment and buttons to other links or pages, but there are many others to choose from.
3. Wrong Domain And Blog Name
If you are not using your own name for your blog, you will need to come up with something. It has to be easy to remember and available. It has to be related to your niche(we'll talk about it in the next point) and engaging.
Most people choose the same blog name and domain (including me), but it's not a rule. There are many combinations you can choose from, but it needs to make sense and of course, look amazing!!!
4. Refusing To Niche Down
This is a never-ending dilemma. No one can possibly know everything about a whole topic and that's why we have specialists in every field.
As long as you don't have a whole team of people to write about every niche you want to approach, you'd better stick to one or two things. This is a mistake a did myself, as I thought I could write everything, but I can't. I soon realized what I'm good at and continued from there.
And here I am now, specialized in SEO Blogging. You need to choose a few aspects of your preferred field and see what you love writing about. Write from passion, experience, and knowledge. And keep in mind that people will know when you have no idea what you're talking about.
And most importantly, don't borrow content. It's not fun, it's definitely not unique and you're just sharing someone else's opinions instead of your own, removing any authenticity or authority.
5. Choosing Wrong Topics
Who are you and what do you want to talk about? This is what you need to ask yourself. And consider your readers in the process. They are on your blog, because they want to hear your opinion on a certain something.
If you're just writing to write, then you'll be disappointed. In the process of choosing your topics, you need to run a keyword search and see what has the potential to rank. Check the volumes and competition and choose accordingly.
Write for the people and provide them with useful and interesting content!
6. Completely Overlook SEO
This is something you need to know from the beginning and create a strategy. You will need to choose the right keywords, find ways to create backlinks, optimize your posts and pages and generate organic traffic.
This is something most people don't know when they start blogging and they are wondering why no one is finding their posts. Well, this is why. If there's no SEO involved, then you won't have a chance to rank.
Also, share everything on social media. If you feel like your content is worth reading, then just share it. Create a page or post from your personal account.
7. Choosing The Wrong Host
At first, this may not look important, but maintaining a blog requires more than just writing. There are a million things that may happen and you need to know how to address them.
Last week, when I was migrating my domain, something went terribly wrong. I couldn't access my hosting and domain settings, I could do anything, and the domain was stuck somewhere. And here is where I did something very right. I chose NameCheap to host my domain, and I was glad I did. They fixed everything in a matter of minutes and I could just resume my activity.
But this is something that doesn't always happen. Some providers lack support or interest when it comes to their customers and you can simply get stuck.
8. Ignoring Your Readers
When you start getting visitors, you will also start receiving comments. Whether you are moderating them or not, you still need to answer and engage your visitors. Answer their questions, acknowledge their suggestions and let them know you're there.
Well, this is about it. Every mistake can be fixed, but it's always better to prevent, no matter what. Keep blogging up and message me at any time, through Instagram, Facebook, or leave a comment here and I'll get back to you!