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What Mistakes Did You Make When You Started Blogging? What Would You Do Differently?

This morning, a new blogger asked me to name 3 mistakes I made when I started blogging so he could avoid the same pitfalls.

I thought this might make a good discussion starter and something that might help new bloggers. So… take a few moments to answer these two questions.

  1. What are the mistakes you made when you started blogging?
  2. What would you have do differently?

Here are my 3 mistakes and what I would do differently:

  • Not getting my own domain - I should have bitten the bullet and secured a domain for my first blog the day I started.

  • Choosing profitable topics rather than topics I was interested in – at one point I had 30 blogs, most of which I thought would be profitable. I couldn’t sustain them. I should have stuck to blogging about things I was interested in and passionate about.
  • Expecting that good original content was enough to attract readers – I should have spent more time OFF my blog, interacting with people where they gathered, rather than having a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality.

So now it’s over to you. If you started your blog today, what would you do differently?

I’m looking forward to hearing your responses!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. James says:

    1. for me was making unrealistic expectations of my sites growth.
    2. Not understanding social media enough
    3. Not having patience

    since my first blog that died pretty fast to no other fault but my own, I have learned a lot more but I’m still not sure if my direction is correct.

  2. Elisa says:

    My mistakes:

    1. Not buying my own domains from the beginning (because of ignorance).

    2. Keeping too many blogs (waste of energy).

    3. Taking blogging as a hobby only (self-centered, not thinking about what other people wanted to read).

    4. Resisting monetizing my blogs and feeling negative about those who did (I was very naive about $ in 2007).

    5. Not creating high-quality content.

    6. Not using social networking to promote my blogs and form community.

    7. Not answering as many e-mails as I could when people reached for me.

    8. Thinking that I knew everything about blogging when I really knew very little.

    9. Doing everything by myself (now, I hire a professional when I need help).

    10. Not doing a Google search under the title: “how to blog” (when I finally did, this blog came up, that was the beginning of my growth as a blogger).

    Thanks, Darren!

  3. Hi,

    I can remember not even having an opt in form on my blog for months on end.

    Even though I was driving traffic to it once I had built up a list of targeted subscribers and I was sending them to my blog that was at the time all about using video marketing to help build a targeted following of leads & potential customers.

    Also I can remember I had a habit of believing that I had to write at least 5 articles a day just to keep my readers and subscribers interested.

    To be honest things are constantly changing all the time anyway so we are never at a stage where we can stop learning and even you, me and any other veteran blogger needs to focus on what can help our readers/subscribers to go from where they are now to where they want to take their businesses in the future.

    Great topic of discussion Darren

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards
    Gavin

  4. Tanea says:

    I agree with Gjivan, above. My biggest mistake was treating my blog as just a hobby, rather than a business.

    I had a blog years ago that I loved running and had started to make pretty good money. I let drama and pressure (LONG story) drive me away, since it was just a hobby to me. I regret not being more business-minded and not looking toward the future. I could still be running the blog, making tons of money, and the drama wouldn’t even matter.

  5. Elena says:

    Covering too many topics at once and believing in Google.

  6. Jarvis says:

    Choosing the wrong subject to blog about.
    I chose a subject that, whilst I am interested, I quickly ran out of ideas to blog about.

  7. Oh wow, where do I begin…kidding aside I listened to the hype that SEO wasn’t much to mess with, nothing to worry about. FAIL, day I began using SEO I double in traffic and been growing since. Thanks for everything Darren.

  8. Alice says:

    I tried to cover too many subjects in one blog.

  9. I’ve fallen victim to starting the website that I wasn’t really interested in topic wise. I could only sustain it for so long before I ran out of ideas and steam and just gave up. Definitely gotta choose a topic that you like and are passionate about.

  10. Craig says:

    1. I didn’t go self hosted
    2. I delayed starting because I wasn’t sure that I knew enough
    3. Lacking the confidence in what I was doing – the worst that can happen is that no one reads it!

    I think getting over these issues were the best thing I ever did for my blog.

  11. 1. Not posting often enough. Now I aim for 4 times a week.
    2. And this is the big one I am still wrestling with – not thinking about my potential customers when choosing topics. My how-to articles got a lot of traffic, but generated very few leads. Someone searching for “how to convert a Facebook profile to a page” MIGHT decide they need to hire me, but it’s more likely that they’re just going to do it themselves and add to the 400 comments I need to answer. For me, it’s been better to address topics that cover questions someone might be asking when they’re about to hire an agency like mine.

  12. I am relatively new to blogging so maybe I am still making some amateur mistakes?…My site is not to make money, but if I was to start again…

    1: Post more regularly
    2: Join Facebook Groups
    3: Stop trying to half heartily run 10 websites and get 3 ranked highly first
    4: Build links (still in the grey area about this!)…
    5: Seek more link excahnges
    6: Do more guest posts

  13. Picking some idea and sticking with it with measureables and deadlines.

  14. I’m relatively new to blogging so I’m still learning from my mistakes. Starting a blog is a process. What I still don’t get is:

    1. Link building (how do I get people to link to me?!)
    2. SEO – I’m getting better at it but competition is so ridiculous that sometimes it seems like it’s a waste of time

    What I underestimated was:
    1. The slow rate of growth. I have unrealistic expectations.

  15. @Matt — When I started, all I did aside from adding my blog to sites like Technorati, was:

    1.) Comment on other blogs in the genre I was blogging on. Useful comments though, none of this spam crap.

    2.) Write blog posts in response to others blog posts, linking back to them.

    It took a while but eventually I found people naturally linking back to posts I was writing. I didn’t have to ask for people to link to me, it just happened. I also found myself on blogrolls, being invited to in-game groups, and developing relationships such that I could actually meet some of these people if I was ever in their area.

    Just be yourself, write honestly, and be patient.