What I Wish I Had Known When I Started Blogging
I was inspired to write this post after I started going through my old posts to see what I needed to do to improve them. With over 10,000 posts, it’s going to take me awhile. I was shocked at how many mistakes I made back then. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself so much time! I’m currently on October 2010 and it’s excruciatingly slow.
So I’m sure you are wondering what I’m doing to these posts and why. I’m working on fixing all my blogging mistakes! Oh the things I wish I had known when I first started. Let me begin…
© blog image via Shutterstock
1. I wish I had known about SEO. With the help of the plugin, WordPress SEO (Yoast), I’m now giving all my indexed posts keywords, SEO titles, and meta descriptions. I try and get the SEO Check button to turn green if I can. I’ve already noticed an increase in search engine traffic since doing a little work on these older posts.
2. I wish I wouldn’t have published so many low content posts. I’m now noindexing all the shorter posts (under 250 words) that really offer no value. These include old coupons, giveaways, hops, and some reviews. The reviews that I write are always on the longer side, but I let my previous writers get away with sending me some pretty short reviews that really were not valuable to the reader. I have noindexed those and made guidelines for my current writers to follow when writing their reviews. I’m definitely much more picky about the content I put out there.
3. I wish I would have started working on my photography sooner! I look back to my photos a few years ago and they were horrid. I’m talking embarrassingly bad. I started using a Canon Rebel DSLR and taking online courses in photography. I’m a work in progress, but I’m improving my photography skills slowly. I’ll keep working on that.
4. I wish I would have known about nofollow/dofollow links. That’s another task on my list when I go through the old posts. I’m nofollowing anything with a material connection like affiliate links, paid posts and reviews.
5. I wish I would have been more organized. I now have a Content Calendar (thanks to Content Brew) that I use to plan my posts. I live on Google Drive! Seriously I’ve got like a million spreadsheets, but they help me keep on track. I have a spreadsheet for keeping track of my blogging income, my writer’s reviews, and my taxes.
6. I wish I would have started building my email list sooner. I have my regular daily newsletter with the posts from that day, but I also have a separate weekly newsletter I send out. It brings in a nice boost of traffic!
7. I wish I would have bought all the domains with my site’s name. I ended up buying most of them through Godaddy, EXCEPT the .com. It’s already taken.
8. I wish I would have known about Google Adwords. I now use the Keyword Tool to research the popularity of keywords. If you are looking for ideas for posts, it’s an excellent resource.
I asked my fellow bloggers in a blogging Facebook group to tell me their biggest blogging mistake. I can relate to so many of them and was sitting there nodding my head and saying, “Yep” as I was reading through their responses. Can you relate?
Not buying the .com domain right away (only bought .ca) ~ Mommy Moment
Being afraid to say no, in my first year.~ Coupon Kristin
Not having systems in place or a blogging schedule for the first year I was blogging. Now that I have those in place I am working less but seeing faster growth, making more $ and enjoying blogging so much more! Systems, schedules & consistency = success! ~ CEO of Me
I was using Google Webmaster Tools and told it to remove the following URL: www.mommylivingthelifeofriley.com/pro since it wasn’t valid. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that when I left the / off the end, I basically told Google to deindex ALL URLs that start with www.mommylivingthelifeofriley.com/pro which included my ENTIRE product review category. 75% of my blog was deindexed by Google for about a month until I finally figured out what I’d done and corrected it. OUCH! ~ Mommy Living the Life of Riley
Not having a niche and doing as I please which resulted in little content, low value content, too many reviews and too many worthless giveaways. ~ Life as Leels
One of my biggest mistakes was making categories for every single topic that I posted about instead of using tags properly. Wish I had known more then! ~ Just Married with Coupons
Running around like a chicken with my head cut off instead of using a blogging schedule and system. Trying to do to much at one time and not sticking to what I really enjoy Being afraid to say no; Being afraid to list a price; Being afraid to ask a question.~ Tammilee Tips
My blog name. I’m not a deal blogger. And never saying no. ~This Mama Loves Her Bargains
Not knowing about dofollow/nofollow, now I’m going back through and trying to change everything and it takes forever when I’m trying to stay on schedule with my current tasks. ~Eco Baby Mama Drama
Undervaluing my time and my blog. Just because we’re bloggers doesn’t mean who we are and what we don’t isn’t valuable. ~The WiC Project
I should have choice a shorter blog title/name. If I knew my blog was going take off like it did I would have come up with a better name for it. ~Fabulous Finds by Tiffany
Not creating a system for organizing emails and posts was my biggest mistake. I’m trying to start one now. ~ Table for Five
Not watermarking all of my photos from the beginning. I know it doesn’t prevent theft, but it dissuades it. ~The Maven of Social Media
Doing too much for too little benefit. I promoted giveaways for free, took review items that I didn’t want and ended up writing long promotional posts for little to no compensation. ~Being Tazim
Focusing way too much on my numbers, and taking on too many reviews and giveaways in hopes of increasing my following. ~Southern Girl Ramblings
Not starting from day one on self-hosted WP is something I wish I could go back and change and also having a host that I can depend on, not just one that was low cost. You get what you pay for. ~Just 2 Sisters
One of my biggest mistakes was not re-sizing and naming photos. When I first started blogging my site would take forever to load because all of my pictures were huge. It is definitely worth the time to edit them before you post them. ~Domestic Executive Online
Taking so long to learn about SEO and waiting too long to switch to WP. ~ Tales of a Ranting Ginger
My biggest mistake in the first year was not saying no. I have often been left with too much on my plate and not enough time. I am learning to relax and let the not so amazing opportunities pass me by for my sanity. As hard as it is to say no, I have prioritized better and have more time for blog posts about me. ~A Thrifty Diva Surviving Mommyhood
Moving away from WordPress because I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Blogger was easier for me at that time, but I should have hung in there. I would never tell someone to go with Blogger now! ~Virtually Yours
The first year or two (or three) it was definitely not knowing the value of my time and effort, saying yes to pushy PR and being afraid to ask for what I wanted. Oh and picking a name where the .com was already taken (completely unrelated to momblogging and refuses to sell to me). ~In the Know Mom
Not backing up my blog, whether on Blogger or WP self-hosted!! Even worse is backing up and not knowing how to use it! ~Melissa Say What
Not making and sticking to a regular schedule. Regular and consistent posting is so important no matter how old your blog, but even more do in the beginning stages. ~As Mom Sees It
1 – I would never have taken the 18 month break that I did, 2- Made sure my name and domain were the same so I didnt have to “rebrand” to fix it 3- stayed out of “exclusive” groups and done my own thing 4- stuck with the bloggers who I “met” first and learned from them instead of trying to do things all on my own. ~ Midget Momma
I started off on Blogger with the blogspot address, then I bought my own domain. Then I migrated to WordPress, and for reasons that now make no sense to me, I let go of the blogspot address instead of just keeping it private. Someone promptly picked it up. They have the same name as my blog just with a blogspot address. Total rookie move on my part. Now if I buy a domain, I also get the blogspot and wordpress version and try to get it on as many social platforms as possible. ~Unknown Mami
I waited much too long to establish social media accounts for my blog. Social media is such an integral part of blogging, and I missed out on a lot of interaction with my readers early on. ~About A Mom
I have lots of mistakes since I only started in August of 2012 and didn’t really have a plan. I enjoy writing and wanted to take my kids to shows etc. There is SO MUCH more!! I’m meeting great people, trying new things/products. I think it would have been helpful to learn Twitter earlier on, same with Pinterest. I just started that about 3-4 weeks ago. Now I try to write three content posts about things that make me happy, life events or things that bother me at least three times a week. I finally learned about SEO and WP by taking a book out of the library. That was helpful as I learned to SCHEDULE posts, and FACEBOOK posts too!! Big help! I could go on and on–but live and learn and go with the flow. ~My Best of Both Worlds
Not really sitting down and defining my niche first. I write about a variety of things, and now I’m trying to narrow it down and stick to my core topics. I have to learn to accept the fact that I just can’t write about every single topic. ~The Bizy Mommy
Not buying my own domain and taking so long before doing a conference. ~Whirlwind of Surprises
Many of my posts when I first started were very content light, some of them only a couple sentences and less than 100 words. I’ve learned to focus more on content rich evergreen topics over the years. I’ve also learned quite a bit about photography and how to edit photos to make them look better. Some of my early photos are horrible! ~The Kid’s Fun Review
Focusing on making money before good content. In the beginning I posted numerous posts that were 100 words or less. I got paid for them but that eventually dried up and I was left with a lot of crappy content that I now need to fix. ~The Shopping Duck
Mine would have to be waiting three years before switching to WP and learning SEO. I still have a lot to learn but even from the little bit I have learned has had some major pay offs. Also, waiting 3 years to join networking groups like Simply Sassy Media. I have learned so much in the last few months and have increased my UMV, gained a rank in PR and lowered my Alexa score. Learning from each other is incredibly beneficial. ~The Bewitchin’ Kitchen
Losing my voice among the reviews and giveaways. I’m now reclaiming it but I lost good readers when it got diluted. ~Tales from the Nursery
I would have to say my biggest mistake was choosing a domain many don’t spell correctly (I am often referred to as Money Saving Michelle instead of Money Savvy Michelle). I also wish I had chosen a domain name that was more general instead of giving the first impression that I’m just a deal blog. ~Money Savvy Michelle
Forgetting who I was and why I started writing. Readers like the real you better…and you’ll like your blog a whole lot more when it’s not forced. ~Sassy Mama in LA
My biggest blogging mistake was caring to much what Google thought. I had a few blogs take a bit hit a few years back and since then I’ve learned not to let Google, or any search site, dictate what I should and shouldn’t do on my blog. ~Simply Saving
Promoting products before joining affiliate programs. ~Sweet Deals 4 Moms
What was your biggest blogging mistake?
This post was previously published on February 12, 2013 on my blogging blog. I’m closing that blog down and moving the content over here. Keep an eye on my Blogging tips category! Want to start a blog? Read my post about how to start a lifestyle blog.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.