When I first started blogging back in 2018 I didn’t have a clue what the big mistakes to avoid were when creating a blog or website. In fact I didn’t even know there WERE any huge mistakes you could make! I didn’t know how to tell a successful blog from an unsuccessful one, which meant I had no idea what the crucial things were that I needed to do to ensure I created a successful blog myself. It took me many months, even a couple of years of trial and error to figure things out.
All the information that was available online wasn’t very useful as it didn’t seem to explain things in enough detail or it didn’t simply stress the importance of avoiding these mistakes. So I just always put things on the back-burner and at the bottom of my ‘To Do’ List which definitely held me back.
Since then though I have learnt a lot and implemented many changes which have all contributed in me being successfully able to make money on my blog and turn this into my full-time career. And now I want to help others by making sure they don’t make these mistakes too, as many of the points below are so common amongst people new to blogging!
So if you are thinking of creating a blog or are just starting off – or even you have been blogging for a while and are looking for ways to improve your earnings, site speed and Google rankings then read on! Here are the biggest blogging mistakes that you should definitely avoid in order to have a successful blog from the beginning.
BIGGEST BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID
#1 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Using a Free Hosting Platform (DON’T do this please!!)
Before you even start your blog you have to choose a hosting platform on which to host your blog on. You might feel overwhelmed by all the options and also confused as to why some hosting platforms are free and some require a fee (known as ‘self-hosted’ platforms).
The difference between the free hosting platforms and self-hosted platforms is:
- If you use a free hosting platform you CANNOT monetise your website. Monetisation is only possible on a self-hosted platform.
- If you use a free hosting platform you don’t actually own your content!! And after you spend all that time creating it, you definitely want to own it! On a self-hosted platform all your content is yours.
- If you use a free hosting platform your content can get deleted at any time – seriously! This does not happen with a self-hosted platform.
So as you can see, if you are serious about investing your time in blogging and want to use it as a side-hustle to earn some extra money through advertising or affiliate links (more on them later!) or even sell your own products eventually and start your own business, then you absolutely must go self-hosted. There is no way around it. It’s as simple as that.
If you want to make money blogging, you need to be on a self-hosted platform.
Using a free blogging platform is a really big mistake a lot of people new to blogging make. Many make this mistake because they don’t really understand the difference between the two or they don’t realise the potential that they really have to make decent money blogging. They may also be completely unsure what kind of product they could even eventually sell, so they start out with the cheapest option. Many people who start off blogging can also be apprehensive to invest money into their blog, especially if it will be a while before they can start to make any money on their website.
If you start out blogging using a free hosting platform the day will come where your website views are high enough that you can start making money through your website but you will be unable to as you are on a free hosting platform. You’ll then have to spend time transferring all your work across to a different hosting platform (or lose out on potential earnings!). And trust me you don’t want this to happen.
Start your blog off properly from the start. Hosting platforms offer very reasonable rates and they are very easy to use. The two best ones are Bluehost and Siteground. I used Bluehost for my first two years of blogging and have absolutely no complaints about them. It is a really popular hosting platform, as well as being probably the cheapest hosting platform out there, with their plan starting for less than $4 a month!
A few months ago I switched across to Siteground from Bluehost and I can really recommend them too! They are a bit more expensive than Bluehost but their customer service is brilliant and they offer lots of support. They are one of the best hosting providers for site speed too which is something really important to consider.
The only time I would ever recommend a free hosting provider (such as Blogspot or Blogger) is if you are sure blogging will always only just be a hobby for you and you don’t plan to monetise at all in the future.
#2 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Treating Your Blog Like A Business
This is a really important one that you definitely need to avoid. Like many travel bloggers I naively started my blog purely as a hobby. I would write about places I had visited with the aim to inspire people and subsequently make their travel plans easier – that was it. I had absolutely no idea you could actually make money from blogging. In fact it took more than a year of me blogging part-time before I even realised there was a potential to make money with my blog, not to mind make a full-time income!
It’s cute to start blogging in that way. It shows you enjoy writing, you genuinely want to help people and you aren’t in it for the money. But it’s not smart. The smart ones are the ones who start their blog from the beginning with the aim of making money from their side-hustle. From the beginning they are one step ahead. They implement money-making strategies straight away and consistently focus on ways to generate traffic and create in-demand content.
I used to just think that the more articles I write, the more hours I spend working on my blog the better. But it’s not always necessarily the case. In fact I got so burnt out from spending all day working on my website without making a dime that I realised things needed to change. You need to have a system. You need to think strategic. It’s about working smarter, not harder! Like any business, you need to size up your competition and find a way to get an edge over them. You need to give people answers to what they are looking for. You need to write about what your audience wants and needs to read, not what you want to write about!
MAKE MONEY A PRIORITY
If you want to create a successful blog then making money should be one of the reasons for doing so. And don’t feel bad about thinking this. After all, you are going to put so much time and effort into it! I have put thousands of hours into writing over 250 articles on this site and have definitely worked harder on my blog than I ever worked on my BSc Degree or in any other job! You deserve to be rewarded for all this time and effort you’re putting in. So make money a focus. We all know the saying ‘Time Equals Money’. Regular folk don’t go out to work 8 hours a day for free, so why should you?
There are so many blogs these days about literally any subject in the world – and many bloggers earn a 6 figure salary each year! So blogging is definitely a money-making business. These bloggers didn’t become successful just by writing engaging articles all day. They got there by treating their blog like a business.
You NEED to treat your blog like a business if you want it to succeed. The reason many blogs fail is because they don’t do this. When you start to treat your blog like a business it will completely shift your mindset and you will see results quicker.
APPLY A BUSINESS MINDSET
Blogging is just like any job or any other business. In fact it is harder as you are alone and seem to be doing several jobs simultaneously! You’re a writer, photographer, manager, editor, promoter, website designer, researcher, negotiator and a whole lot more. You don’t have anyone but yourself to hold you accountable. You don’t have a boss telling you what to do or to pat you on the back when you’ve done well. Or you don’t have colleagues to motivate you and bounce ideas off you when you’re doubting your abilities and suffering from writer’s block or Imposter Syndrome. You have to do everything by yourself and it can be mighty hard to keep it all up. Blogging is definitely not a piece of cake, despite what your friends think. But if you apply a business mindset, it will pay off eventually.
Listen to motivational podcasts to get yourself into the mindset. Set yourself short and long-term goals. Set up a schedule of what you want to achieve each day, week, month and year. Invest in good quality tools that will help you succeed. Keep up to date with the constantly changing market: if you don’t keep up with the game you’ll get left behind. Always remember that your blog is a business as it will help you stay focused. Always remember your why. And above all – believe in yourself.
#3 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Knowing Your Niche Or Who Your Target Audience Is
Like many others, when I started travel blogging I wanted my articles to appeal to everyone. Female solo travellers, couples, families, backpackers, luxury travellers, retired folk – you name it. Surely the more people you appeal to, the better right – as it will mean more people will read your articles? I’m afraid not. I discovered that actually if you try and make your blog appeal to everyone it’ll end up appealing to no-one.
Don’t make your blog too generic. You need to niche down and focus on one main topic. Travel is not a niche: it is too broad. Female solo travel is a niche. Budget backpacker travel is a niche. So is luxury couples travel, travelling in campervans, or Middle East travel for example. You need to make your blog specific. Work out where your expertise are and who you want your ideal reader to be. You can even totally base your ideal reader on yourself – in fact it is easier if you do! Then write content specifically for your ideal reader. It is absolutely crucial to know who your ideal audience is.
Write about what your ideal reader wants to hear. Work out their problems, their pain points and find a way to solve them. Give them a solution so they come away with a clear idea of what to do next. Is there even a way that you can sell something to them later on down the line to help them solve the problem (a digital product or e-book for example)?
If you niche down and speak specifically to your ideal reader your words become more personal and more meaningful. Your content will resonate with them and engage with them a lot more and they’ll keep coming back because they love your content and feel like they can relate to you. This in turn will create a strong community around your blog. Did you ever come across a blog and feel like the reader was talking directly with you and totally understood your situation? It’s really powerful when that happens, and you want to try and achieve that, but you’ll only achieve that if you niche down.
Of course nicheing down doesn’t mean you can’t talk about other topics on your blog. Just make the majority about your niche.
TRY TO FIND A NICHE WHERE THERE ISN’T MUCH COMPETITION
After I discovered I needed to niche down, my niche became ‘Female Solo Travel in The Middle East’. This was because I was living in The Middle East at the time and travelling solo through a lot of Middle Eastern countries when I had time off work, so I had pretty much become very experienced in the subject.
I established myself in that niche, wrote lots of related articles and quickly became someone many females looked to for advice and guidance when they were planning a Middle East solo trip, as actually there were very few bloggers in that same specific niche as me who had as much experience as I did. This actually worked to my advantage as it became quite easy for my Middle East articles to rank well in search engines as Google started to see me as an authority in this niche.
There was minimal competition from other bloggers – it wasn’t a topic many people were writing about, and so there was less competition which definitely made it easier to get my work seen and ranked on Google. That’s the importance of nicheing down. Don’t become a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. Be THAT one person that people go to when they have a specific problem that they know you can help with.
Niche down. Establish yourself as an authority in a subject. And even better if not many people are writing about this subject as it will mean less competition for you.
FIND A NICHE THAT WANTS TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY
Once I became an authority in this niche I then trialled out switching the direction (or you could say – creating a second niche) of my blog. There is nothing to stop you branching off into a different niche as time goes on if needs be – you don’t have to tie yourself down to one niche forever. If you find another niche that can work for you too then there is nothing to stop you.
I used to work as a Flight Attendant you see. But I noticed there weren’t many Flight Attendant resources available online. There were a few Cabin Crew blogs out there but there was definitely lots of room in the market. So I wrote a couple of articles to see how they would perform. I was apprehensive to make the switch though as I worried my work would no longer be relevant to so many other potential readers. After all, Flight Attendants make up quite a small percentage of the globe. I thought though, if it doesn’t work out – all my work and my old niche is still there for me to go back to.
But my Flight Attendant articles then started to do really well and so I ended up writing a few more flying articles. People from all over the world were actually interested with what I had to say about flying. That’s when my website traffic really started to grow. Three of these Cabin Crew articles now rank number 1 on Google and bring in more than half of my total traffic for my whole website alone! And they definitely carried my website through during 2020 when the travel world came to a standstill due to that C word. Other travel bloggers were crippled by the drop in viewers to their websites, but my views managed to stay consistent as I had this secondary niche. So never underestimate the power of pivoting, finding a new gap in the market and creating a secondary niche.
NICHEING DOWN = MORE WEBSITE VIEWS & MORE MONEY
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll find that when you niche down your articles will start to rank higher on Google, especially if there is not much competition in your niche. And one of the keys to a successful blog is being able to rank well on Google. Ranking well on Google equals more website views.
And getting more website views is especially important for later on down the line if you do decide to sell products. More potential buyers will see your products, plus you’ll have loyal members of your audience (your ‘ideal clients’) ready and waiting to buy those products from you. It’s the product they need – and they know, like and trust you so it will make it a lot easier to get them to make that purchase down the line.
Note that some niches are more profitable than others so bear this in mind before you start your blog.
#4 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Focusing on Keyword Research and SEO
I had been blogging part time for about a year when I finally learnt SEO and the importance of it. Many bloggers however don’t discover it until much later. And many others of course, are on it from the get-go.
Search Image Optimisation (SEO) is how well you will rank on Google. But bloggers don’t just get to the top of Google by chance. They get to the top by doing their keyword research and optimising their posts for Google.
When I started blogging I used to write an article on whatever I felt like, and named it whatever sounded good. Google could see my article was about Paris so surely it would rank when someone typed in Paris right? Hell no. Trying to rank for short-tail keywords like this is almost impossible when you start off blogging. There is so much competition. So I learnt to focus on long-tail keywords such as ’24 Hours in Paris’ or ‘Best Photo Spots in Paris’. Much less generic and therefore less competition, making it easier to rank.
But it is important not to just pick any long-tail keywords that you feel like. You need to actually pick keywords people are searching for! There is no point writing articles if nobody is searching for what you are writing. But how do you know what people are searching for? You need to do keyword research – this is one of those quick blog tasks that really pays off!!
I find Keysearch is the best website to use for accurate keyword research. You can see how many people are searching for the keyword and if you have a chance of getting onto the first page of Google if you decide to use those specific keywords. It shows you who is currently ranking for those keywords, as well as how many backlinks they have to that article and how high their Domain Authority is. It also gives you other options for keyword variations if that keyword is too high to rank for.
You can also see how many keywords you rank for overall, what position they are on Google, what backlinks you have, and you can also track your competitor’s rankings which is really useful.
SEO may seem like a boring topic at first but it is the backbone to successful blogging and the sooner you learn it the better. You need to focus on SEO in order to build your organic traffic and improve your chances of getting backlinks which will then raise your DA.
#5 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Focusing On Growing Your Email List
I think most bloggers are guilty of this one at the beginning. Most of us put off growing an email list for so long because we don’t know what to email people about. We all know how annoying those people are that constantly bombard your inbox. And we definitely don’t want to become one of those. So we just put the idea to the back of the pile.
But try to make it a priority to collect people’s email addresses. It might be a slow process but at least it will increase slowly over time. You don’t even have to do anything with them at first if you don’t want to, but at least they are there for when the time comes that you do need them.
HOW TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST
There are ways you can help yourself grow your email list. For example you can include a widget on your homepage for people to sign up to your email list. Or you can have a pop-up come up on your website when someones tries to exit your site. Give people an incentive – for example a free guide, checklist or a free preset when they sign up perhaps. Something that will be of value to them. Give people a reason for signing up to your email list!
The benefit of having your own email list is that it is a direct way to reach your audience and promote your articles or products to them. In fact it is one of the best ways to promote your product. Getting something into your inbox is a lot more personal than someone posting on their Instagram story for example. Plus when you do start to sell products you’ll find that your emails will generate far more sales than social media will as the conversion rate is generally a lot higher with email marketing.
ConvertKit is a great email marketing system to create your newsletter opt-ins with and it is the one that most bloggers use. It is great value, easy to use and has really nice email layouts.
#6 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Resizing Or Compressing Your Images
This is something that so many people don’t emphasise enough but it is SO IMPORTANT. Images form a vital part to your blog, especially if you are a travel blogger like myself. But having lots of images on your site will drastically slow it down. In fact images actually have the biggest negative impact on page load speeds! And slower page loading times means your viewers are more likely to click away as your page is taking too long to load, plus Google won’t like the long loading time so won’t rank your articles as well, however good your article is. So we really want to avoid this.
But of course you still want to include all your beautiful photos so how can you get around this?
You need to optimise your images! You need to resize AND compress your images so the file size is much smaller. You don’t however want to compress them so much that the image quality is noticeably reduced. You still want to keep the high quality of your images as much as possible. After all, no reader wants to see blurry images!
OPTIMISE YOUR IMAGES
You need to make sure you optimise your images BEFORE you upload them onto your blog. Don’t upload your images to your blog and then resize them afterwards as it will still take a long time for your images to load and they’ll end up taking up more space than needed! When you look at the dimensions of regular photos you’ll often find it is something like 2000px x 3000px. This is far too big for a website. NEVER upload images this size.
You need to resize your images and then compress them: it is a 2 stage process.
The image needs to be resized to the largest size it will appear on your website. Never make it bigger as it just adds unnecessary weight to your page. 1000px width should be the absolute maximum – many websites work around the 600px mark.
To resize my images I use the Simple Image Resizer web site. You simply select an image from your computer to upload and then decide if you want to resize it to make the file size 50% smaller, or resize it using the specific dimensions your theme uses (this is the recommended option). Press resize and then download the resized image. You’ll notice the file size will be noticeably smaller but the image quality is still very good.
You’ll then need to compress your image. Sites you can use to compress your images include GIMP, TinyJPG or you can use Photoshop. You can also make sure if you use Lightroom to edit your photos that you export your photos at a reduced quality. I export them at around 70% and this greatly reduces the file size too. Then I will go ahead and resize and compress that image.
Ideally you want all the images on your blog to be less than 100kb in size.
I had written over 100 articles before I discovered I needed to be optimising my images. So imagine the absolute ball-ache it was to go through all those articles, resize and compress the images and then reload them again. Don’t make the same mistake. Optimise your images from the beginning. A tiny sacrifice on image quality in order to have a fast page load speed is absolutely worth it. When I was going through my images I couldn’t believe how big the file size was that I had loaded. After I had resized them I often managed to get them 10 times smaller in size, with a very minimal reduction in image quality.
#7 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Using Other People’s Content
This is a big no. There is one certain travel blogging website famous amongst all us travel bloggers because he literally rip off EVERYONE’S content and still manages to rank higher than the original website on Google! He literally copies and pastes word for word chunks of people’s work which is so infuriating. Don’t be like this guy. Be authentic. Create original content. This doesn’t only apply for writing, it also applies to photos and images – more so even.
NEVER use images or Pinterest pins without people’s permission. And NEVER use an image you have just found off Google. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble for this and even can get sued and have to pay thousands of dollars in lawsuits. Seriously. It is a copyright infringement. Do not do it. I get it – you need to add a picture to your blog post and you aren’t able to visit the place or you just aren’t good at photography or don’t have time to create photo content. So in this case you can use stock images.
If you need to use images asides from your own there are plenty free high quality stock images available on the internet. There are also lots of sites where you can buy stock images at a very reasonable price. Pixabay, Unsplash, Haute Stock and Styled Stock Society are great sites for free stock images. Canva also has some great images too – I find their flatlay pictures great as personally I suck at taking these. The image below was taken from Unsplash – so simple yet professional!
The only disadvantage to using stock images is that other people may use them on their website too – but apart from that they are great if you are unable to create the specific pictures yourself.
#8 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Being Too Much Of A Perfectionist
I get it. Putting your work out there to the WORLD can be daunting. You want to make your work perfect. You want to look professional and don’t want any job to look half-arsed. But by focusing on the tiny details, it means it takes twice as long to get tasks done and it seriously hinders your blogging progress. You often put things off for so long because you want to get it perfect. You need to learn to give up perfection.
The best thing is just to start. Get your work out there. It took me a while to realise that. Nothing is going to be always perfect but it’s just best to start somewhere. People aren’t going to see your mistakes like you see them.
#9 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Implementing Affiliate Links Straight Away
Another one I and many other bloggers were guilty of at the start. Many bloggers don’t implement affiliate links straight away as they don’t really understand them, they don’t know how to get on affiliate programs, and they simply don’t understand all this HTML and deep links they need to put into their website to create them.
I put off joining any affiliate programs for so long for all the above reasons. And also because I just didn’t have enough confidence to think I could have an impact to influence people to buy a certain product. I probably lost out on a ton of money. Don’t do the same. Implementing affiliate links is quite simple.
WHAT ARE AFFILIATE LINKS?
First off: affiliate links are basically where you make a small commission for referring someone or influencing someone to purchase a product. Think of it like the guy who sells the Hop On Hop Off bus tickets. He makes a small commission for each sale. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but he gets a small percentage of what you paid. It works the same for travel agents and estate agents for example. So you are basically the salesman – the middle man promoting the product. Some bloggers make an absolute killing on affiliate products. Some make a full time income just on their affiliate links! So it is absolutely worth getting them into your website where necessary.
HOW TO JOIN AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
To join an affiliate program the easiest way is just to type it into Google. For example if you want to join the Bluehost affiliate program just type in “Bluehost affiliate program” into Google and you’ll be taken to the affiliate page. You can then just sign up. If your website seems like a good fit for the brand they will accept you onto their affiliate program. Note some companies will reject you from their affiliate programs as they need a certain amount of page views per month to accept someone onto the program. If that happens don’t worry – just apply again in a few months time!
Companies either run their own affiliate programs themselves where you go directly through them, or they can run them through a third-party affiliate network such as Awin, CJ or Rakuten. On all the platforms you’ll have a dashboard where you can see all your referrals and all the money you will get paid.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT AFFILIATE LINKS INTO YOUR SITE
To implement affiliate links into your site you’ll need to access you individual tracking code/URL that is given solely to you when you sign up for the affiliate program. Put the link into your site, then when people click on that link and make a purchase the company knows that you referred them and so they will compensate you accordingly.
Just like you insert links to regular websites into your blog posts, you just implement the affiliate link. You can also sometimes put them in the ‘Text’ part of your editor so they can produce in-text banners, which makes it easier for someone to take notice of it and click on it. Don’t overload your articles with affiliate links though. It can be a real turn-off for the reader and take away your authenticity. You also need to put a disclaimer on your page stating you are using affiliate links, and for any purchases the readers make you will earn a small commission at no extra cost to them. Make sure you do this as it is a legal requirement.
#10 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Spending Too Much Time On Instagram
Lots of travel bloggers when they start off focus all their energies into Instagram. They believe only if they have a big following on Instagram will they be seen as a successful travel blogger.They also believe that Instagram will be a great source of traffic for them to their website. After all, Instagram is a visual platform so people can see your amazing pictures and will then be instantly drawn to your blog right? So they spend hours, days, weeks, months focusing on growing their Instagram following – many even paying a lot of money for followers, and for Instagram to promote their posts.
But then when they go to promote their blog posts on their stories they will be severely disappointment when they only get a few clicks to their website. You see even if your photos are amazing and you have hundreds of thousands of followers it is extremely hard to get people off Instagram and onto your website – unless (in my experience) your article is about a controversial topic or related to making money. If it’s just a general travel itinerary most people aren’t going to be interested or swipe up to read it. They would rather stay on Instagram and mindlessly scroll down their feed or click across on stories. They aren’t really interested in your 3 day Toronto itinerary. Especially if they have no plans to visit Canada. However beautiful your pictures are.
Many travel bloggers spend HOURS every single day on Instagram in a bid to try and grow their audience. I know a large amount of Instagrammers who would spend up to 8 hours a day on the platform just to try and gain more followers! What if Instagram disappeared tomorrow hey? Is your time more effectively spent elsewhere? 8 hours a day: that’s pretty much half your waking day. Think of all the things you could achieve in that time, all the blog posts you could get done that week. Unless you are getting paid for your Instagram content, getting a lot of free sponsored products or growing massively and working with good brands, your time is better spent elsewhere. Organic growth on Instagram these days is virtually non-existent. Even huge accounts are paying to promote themselves to a wider audience.
Of course it is great to have an engaged Instagram following but don’t get too hung up on numbers. One important thing you need to know if you want to start a blog – especially a travel blog is that YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE A BIG INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING TO BE A SUCCESSFUL BLOGGER. In fact the most successful bloggers I know spend minimal time on Instagram as they realise it is not necessary for their success as a blogger. I can guarantee you Instagram will not bring you as much website traffic as you think.
I look back now at all the time I effectively just wasted on Instagram engaging with other people in the hope they would engage back and therefore make my posts visible to a larger audience. I wouldn’t go so far and say it was a COMPLETE waste of time. But well, in hindsight my time could definitely have been spent better elsewhere. Either creating new blog posts or promoting my content in a different way. Instead of promoting your blog posts on Instagram, focus your energies onto my next point: Pinterest.
#11 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Using Pinterest
Do NOT overlook this point! Pinterest is a fantastic way for you to get a heap of traffic instantly to your website – whatever your niche! Many bloggers neglect Pinterest though as they don’t understand how using it can help them grow their blog traffic. They just see it as another type of social media. But it isn’t. It’s a visual search engine. It’s basically the picture version of Google. And it works on the same idea of ranking using keywords. So if you learn to include lots of relevant long-tail keywords into your pin descriptions your pins will go to the top of the search meaning it will get more views and therefore more people will click onto your website!
People go on Pinterest for the same reason as they go on Google: because they want to find something. They won’t scroll down the Pinterest feed all day like people do on Instagram, they’ll type something specific that they want to see, get inspiration from or learn about, then they will click on the pin that most catches their attention and then they’ll be taken to that website. So apart from having rich pin descriptions you need to make your pins stand out so people will notice them straight away!
It is even possible that one of your pins can go viral and you can get several thousand viewers a day going onto your website just from Pinterest – imagine that! If you manage to crack the Pinterest code it can be a total game changer for your blog. I wrote a really detailed article explaining all about this: click here to find out how to go viral on Pinterest!
With Google SEO it can sometimes take articles 6 months before they start ranking. With Pinterest however your pins start to rank straight away which is amazing! So definitely start using Pinterest as soon as possible because it will take a while before you see any results with Google. Plus if you sell products, pinning these onto Pinterest can be a great way to get your work seen by more people and hopefully make you some sales! Don’t put off starting on Pinterest – it can really help you move your business forward and gain a lot of exposure. The longer you wait to start pinning onto Pinterest, the more potential readers your could miss out on viewing your website.
#12 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Focusing On Site Speed
Remember the days we used to patiently wait about 30 seconds watching the computer screen and waiting for a website to load? Gone are those days. People want things instantly now. Nowadays if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load it can discourage people and they will click away from your website before they have even seen it as it took too long to load!
Google also prioritises websites that have a quicker loading time, so your site speed can affect your Google rankings! Therefore it is important to work on getting your page loading time down and your site speed up. Look at gtmetrix.com if you want to find out your site speed!
Ways to increase your website speed:
- minimise the use of page builders
- make sure any images are around 100kb
- don’t change themes too often (it creates too many unnecessary thumbnails)
- think about hiring a web developer to check your site and see if they can find ways to improve the site speed.
#13 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Posting Consistently
Consistency is something that I struggled with a lot when I started blogging. I still struggle with it a little now if I am honest. I am not a creature of habit. Sometimes I will go travelling for weeks on end and then other times I will pump out a blog post every day for 10 days straight. And that’s not good for my blog.
Consistency is the key to success. In anything – if you are consistent you will grow. It’s the exact same for blogging.
Posting consistently significantly increases your Google rankings. Consistently posting doesn’t mean you have to publish a new blog post every other day. But it does mean finding a schedule that works for you and sticking to it. You can publish just one blog post a week if that’s all you can manage. But make sure you stick to it. Don’t go publishing 4 blog posts one week and then not posting any for the next month.
Plus if you are consistent it will make your readers keep coming back for more. If they know you always publish blog posts on a Thursday for example, they are going to be eager to see your fresh content each week. But if your posting schedule is all over the place how will they know when to go on your website?
Make a blog posting schedule and stick to it. This is especially important if you are going travelling for a few weeks at a time. Obviously you probably aren’t going to have the time to write blog posts when you are travelling, so you should have a few posts that are written beforehand that are ready to be published, so that you can simply just publish them on your holiday so that your posting routine stays the same. I know it’s tempting to press the publish button as soon as you’ve written your post as you just want people to see it and for Google to start ranking it. But if you’ve written your blogpost ahead of schedule keep it in your drafts until your next posting time.
#14 – BLOGGING MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Not Earning Any Passive Income
Passive income is money that basically doesn’t come from your employer. Money that requires little effort to earn and maintain. Active income is your salary your boss at your 9-5 pays you. Blog income is passive income. With your blog you’ll spend time at the beginning creating and growing your website, then when it is successful money will come in passively. For example people can buy your products at any time of the day, ad networks are working on your site 24/7. Basically you are making money as you sleep! You need to implement ways of passive income into your blog in order to make money.
Ways we spoke about above were including affiliate links and selling digital products. But having advertising companies on your website is also passive income. In fact it is one of the best forms of passive income on your blog as it stays relatively stable each month, whereas your sales and affiliate links can vary greatly from month to month depending on demand and season. When I say advertising companies on your website I basically mean those adverts that are embedded into the website when you are reading an article. This company is paying you for letting them effectively rent this space on your website, just like a company would pay for a TV commercial.
So you want to join an ad network as soon as possible. But it will take several months or even a year or two for you to get to this level. Once you get your page views up and above 10,000 per month you can apply to ad networks such as Ezoic and Monumetric. 20,000+ views per month means you can qualify for SheMedia (the ad network I am with and highly recommend) and when you get to 50,000+ page views per month you can qualify for Mediavine. Depending on where your traffic is coming from globally, how much traffic you get, your bounce rate and other factors determines how much you can make each month. Increase your traffic and money from ad networks can be a great little earner! As soon as you qualify for any of these, apply and hopefully you will get accepted!
And there are my biggest blogging mistakes for travel bloggers to avoid. This list is by no means exhaustive but I hope it gave you a comprehensive insight into the things to avoid and the things you need to prioritise when starting your blog. I wish you all the success with your blog and don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any help or further clarification!
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