I’ve only been blogging since January 2018, but I took a month off to re-evaluate what I was actually doing and why I was doing it. It had initially started off as a fun project to share my baking and some business advice at the request of friends and followers, and it really made me happy. But I made some mistakes, and I’m sure i’m still making more, and it’s important to learn from them and grow. For anyone considering starting a blog, here are 4 mistakes I made when I first started blogging.
1. Scheduled Too Ambitiously
Some bloggers put out content like, four times a week. Hell, some bloggers are posting every day! I felt a strong compulsion to keep up with what I thought “blogging” should look like and less about what I actually wanted my blog to be. Sometimes, I don’t even know what Taste & Taste is. It’s baking, it’s business, it’s snippets of my personal life –– it’s things that I’m passionate about that make me happy. But exerting myself to the point of having to force creativity makes the content forced and disingenuous. That’s not to say that what I’ve put out there hasn’t been authentic, but some of it was from a place of feeling like I needed to put content out there. Now, I’m scheduling my blog as creativity comes and goes… something I should have been doing all along.
2. Assumed Audience Conversion was Easy
Having a healthy following on other platforms does NOT make for easy conversion. It’s way more helpful than starting with no audience, but it certainly is a lot more difficult to convert than I’d thought when I first started out. I realize that the bloggers I see successfully converting across their networks have perfected that craft over the course of months or years. They have found ways to make their audience follow them wherever they go. It takes time, effort and persistence. That being said, creating another platform for yourself also opens up the opportunity to generate a new audience to send right back to the other platforms you may have a pre-established audience on. Figuring out the art of conversion for your specific audience takes time. Podcasts and blogs can be helpful in that others are sharing their experiences and what worked for them, but who is to say the same will work for your audience?
3. Didn’t bother with SEO
I’m still struggling with this one for Taste & Taste, if we’re being honest, but it’s getting a little easier. For those who aren’t familiar, Search Engine Optimization is wildly important –– whether you’re starting a blog or up-keeping a website. I find it difficult to try to optimize while at the same time keeping the content genuine, but I do know that it’s possible. Writing for other blogs, I have no problem with it, but there’s something so delicate about trying to create SEO-friendly blog posts while trying to keep it genuine and personal.
4. Too shy with self promotion
Did you know the half-life of a tweet is less than 30 minutes? When I first started putting my blog out there, I’d tweet about it once a week and let it be forgotten in the mix. I did the same on Facebook, too, although those posts have a little bit longer to grab some attention (although, not much longer). On your personal networks, it might feel like a bit much to be self-promoting all the time, but don’t let that stop you from putting your work out there frequently. After all, this is something you’ve worked hard on and it’s easy to forget that while worried about being an annoyance. Show your networks your amazing work!