10 Great Bloggers Tell What Mistakes They Made As Beginners
October 12, 2007
Now let’s take a look at what our ten pros have to say…
Cash Quests from CashQuests.com says:
“The biggest mistake that I made was starting on Blogger – I’m sure you agree. The only other mistake that I made was not having a tight focus on the type of content that I would write from the beginning. The focus can change over time – but it should always be focused and within your specified boundaries.”
John Cow from JohnCow.com says:
“One of the biggest mistakes I made was posting too eagerly. 4-5 posts a day was a normal routine for the first month, until I realized people wouldn’t be able to keep up with the articles I was publishing. It’s one thing to have fun with your blog and post loads of stuff, but if it drives people away because it’s all going to quick for them and they don’t have the time to spare, they’d rather spend the time they have on different blogs, with just one article. Otherwise it’d end up being one way conversations. Recognizing the flaw is the first step, trying to hold back is the second :) Pretty hard to stick to a routine posting time if your an impulsive blogger. I learned that even-though I might be impulsive, my readers are probably not.”
Kevin Muldoon from BloggingTips.com says:
“One of the biggest problems I had when I first started blogging was grammar. My grammar was always good back in school but when I was writing blog posts I was being lazy. I used i instead of I and would sometimes leave out punctuation marks as well. A few people also mentioned that I was writing as if I was talking to a best friend.
Over time I began to improve my writing and in particular, I made a point of proof reading posts once or twice before I published them.
On a few occasions near the start of my blogging venture I also posted some lower quality posts because I was rushed for time. Of course, my concern was that I didn’t want my posting frequency to drop too much near the start of the blogs life however I have since learned that it’s better to spend your time writing a little of your next post instead of rushing out a poor one.”
Steven Snell from VandelayDesign.com says:
“I would say my biggest mistake was not taking my blog seriously at first. When I launched the blog I had 5 or 10 posts and only added something new every once in a while. I wasn’t really getting any traffic until literally one day one of my posts got noticed by a few social media sites and I had a few thousand visitors. From that day on (the beginning of July) I’ve been adding new content and trying to grow the blog. I missed out on about 3 months at the start of things, so I could be further ahead than I am now. I would advise new bloggers not to underestimate the potential of their blog.
Adnan from Blogtrepreneur.com says:
“The biggest mistake I made (besides not starting blogging sooner) was to start life online on a Google owned Blogger domain. I spent around 6 months on a .blogspot.com domain name because I wasn’t ready to take the plunge to my own hosted solution. With domains as cheap as $8.88 and hosting as little as $5/month, it’s never been cheaper to go with your own solution (preferably with WordPress.org too). There are so many advantages of the latter, including an increased control over your site, bucket loads of room for customisation and the ability to use plugins like Akismet – which has saved me so much time in SPAM moderation.
I would definitely recommend WordPress and a reliable host to anyone who wants to start blogging seriously, as it will really save you some hassle when it comes to inevitably switching domains.”
Becky Sanders from Preblogging.com says:
“When I started blogging back in 2004, I used blogspot. It was a big mistake, you need branding and the freedom from using your own domain(s). I would recommend someone to go with the wordpress hosted option, or if you are more adventurous get hosting and a domain name and install wordpress. If you use BlogSpot (or one of those branded services) you are not in total control of your visitors IMHO.
I see all those great bloggers who use those free options, and I think they they are somewhat limited in their capacity to grow.”
Sandra from FreeCashQuest.com says:
“The biggest mistake I made when I started my blog was when I decided to use a domain that I had laying around. I used the domain www.elizabeth-rose.info that I had registered not long before for some other purpose. The domain name had nothing to do with the topic of my blog or with my name. A lot of times people called me elizabeth or lizy despite the info on my about page. I think it is very important that when you start a blog that you have a domain name that is related to the topic of your blog or that you can use for branding.
Not long after I started the blog it was PR3 and I found it hard to switch to another domain because I would lose my PR. It kept on nagging in the back of my mind though and I finally made the decision to switch to a new domain; www.freecashquest.com. Because of my mistake I am stuck with a PR0 blog until the next update. I had to start from zero when it comes to building back links, etc. If I could do it all over again I would have put more thought into picking the right domain name straight from the start.”
Michael Martin from ProBlogDesign.com says:
“Pro Blog Design is still a new blog really (2 months old), but the mistake that I know I’m making is not making enough use of social media. I write posts, I get involved with my readers on and off the blog, I promote the articles etc. I even use Digg, SU and del.icio.us as a user, but I’ve never really tried to promote my own blog on them. I’ve had a great amount of traffic from SU, but not thanks to me. I wonder how much more traffic I could be getting from them if I had a better strategy in place…”
Snoskred from Snoskred.org says:
“The biggest mistake I ever made as a blogger was not buying my own domain right at the start. If I had done that, I would have a lot more backlinks to my domain than I do now.
The second biggest mistake was going for the longest sidebar in the history of blogging. It’s cost me a lot in page load times, has probably lost me readers, and I now need to sort out what is essential, and what is fluff. ;)
The little mistakes I made constantly at first were not working on improving my writing and not managing my time effectively.”
Pelf from Chenpn.com says:
“Mistakes.. I wouldn’t say that I’ve never made them, but if I had a chance to do this all over again, I would still do it this way :) But I have an advice to bloggers who are passionate about blogging though — Get your own domain from the beginning. Let me explain:
1. I started with a Blogger blog, which lasted for 3 months. Then I migrated to WordPress.com because I love the “category” feature which Blogger lacked. I blogged on WordPress.com for 5 months before moving to my current http://chenpn.com self-hosted WordPress blog. If I started with my own domain, I wouldn’t have had to move blogs for so many times!
2. Contrary to popular belief, getting a domain and a webhost package isn’t expensive to begin with. I thought it would cost me a bomb every year,
and because I was still a student, I was reluctant. But that was when I came across a local (Malaysian) website that offers webhosting packages for as low as RM 30 per year (and that’s about USD 8 per year), which I truly believe is affordable (before this, I’ve heard from my blogger friends who
pay more than RM 200 or USD 57 for webhosting per year, and that freaked me out).
But of course, other tips would be something along these lines:
1. Don’t worry about SEO and all those jargons. They’re nothing if you don’t make the first step of WRITING CONTENT.
2. Start blogging. Start writing and start publishing. If you spent a lot of time reading about tips and tricks on how to be a good blogger, and how to attract visitors, and how to make your visitors come back for more BUT you don’t start creating content, all those tips and tricks won’t bring in any visitors at all.
3. Don’t plaster your blog with ads OVERNIGHT. It’s OK to do it gradually and see how your readers respond to it, but giving them a surprise with ads in between your content will only make them hit the UNSUBSCRIBE button.
4. Respond to your comments. Commentators are human beings too. They like to be acknowledged of their existence and of their comments. They want to hear how they have contributed to the discussion on your blog. They want to feel appreciated.
Learn to backup and upgrade your self-hosted blog as soon as you’ve started blogging, and NOT when you needed the information.
This is also from my personal experience. I had no problems with my Blogger and WordPress.com blogs because I didn’t know anything about backing up and upgrading. But when I switched to self-hosted WordPress, I had a culture shock. Overnight, I had to know how to backup my blog because nobody’s going to back it up for me. I had to learn how to upgrade my blog because nobody’s going to take care of that for me.
In fact, the first time I backed up my blog, I accidentally erased my existing database!!”
There is also another response from an eleventh blogger that came a bit late, so I’m just going to add it in and not change the post’s name. Here is the advice from the eleventh responder:
Courtney Tuttle from CourtneyTuttle.com says:
“My biggest mistake is that I thought that my SEO knowledge would be enough
to create a successful site. It turns out, SEO isn’t enough!”
It turns out that most people report their biggest mistakes as something of the sort of not having their own domain, using a free blogging service like Blogspot, etc. This was also my own biggest mistake, so if you’re going to start your own blog buy your own domain and hosting and install WordPress. There’s no other way to go about it!
I hope you enjoyed the survey and found it useful. A huge thank you to everyone who participated and shared their answers with me and the Super Blogging readers; I really appreciate it! To those of you who wanted to but didn’t have time to respond in time, I apologize. If you would like to be included in my text blog survey, email me. Thank you!