*Some affiliate links are used and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my link.*
Today, I am opening up about my blogging journey. I didn’t start out blogging and wanting to make money. I genuinely love writing and creating content and it’s fun for me. I learned that you could make money from blogging by seeing all these different ads on social media from successful bloggers. So, I did my research on how I could make money blogging and I ran with it. That was the biggest mistake that I could have made. As I look back on my journey, I realized the things that I did wrong and I took a step back from blogging. I wanted to reevaluate why I started blogging and start over my way. I want to talk about the different mistakes that I made when I first started this journey.
1. Not Finding a Niche
I didn’t believe that I needed to find a niche at first but now I know my blog needs focus. I want my blog to be my personal story and journey. I think I went in several directions at first and now I want my blog to be a reflection of my life and to motivate others to live their best life. I will talk about my personal experiences, things I enjoy doing with the kids, subscription boxes and everything that I love. This blog will be ME!
2. Rushing the Process
I wish I took time to develop my brand and organize my blog from the beginning. I took my time to create the website but not the blog. I just started blogging without a real sense of direction or purpose. I was just blogging to be blogging. I wish I took time to get my ideas together and find out what I really wanted to blog about. I think I would have engaged more readers this way.
3. Not Doing Proper Research on Affiliate Marketing
My biggest mistake was affiliate marketing. It’s a tough business and I wish I did the proper research on how to make money from affiliate marketing. When I did the research, these bloggers were using their own affiliate links to make money and a lot of the information was biased. You honestly need a following so you have users actually click on your links. I should have waited it out and gained a decent following before trying to make money from affiliate marketing. I signed up for every affiliate marketing program that would accept me and that wasn’t smart at all. You have to be selective because it’s important to have a genuine interest to talk about a brand or product and get people to follow the links. I recently quit the Amazon affiliate program because trying to draw sales to that was overwhelming and was a huge task for my small following. My advice is to start with a couple of programs unless you have a large enough following to do more. I really enjoy the Share-A-Sale marketplace where I can check out several different programs and chose the programs that best fit me.
4. Not Growing an Organic Audience
Before starting to blog for money, I should have thought more about my site traffic and website visitors. I wish I would have taken the time to drive visitors to my site and get an organic audience before trying to blog for money. Visitors and readers make a blog. Having people who follow the blog and genuinely like reading the blog are huge factors in making money from blogging. I know now the importance of getting to know my audience and connecting with my readers. I will be utilizing email newsletters to connect with my readers and using social media to drive traffic to the blog. Get an audience and then focus on the money. It will make the journey a lot easier.
5. Trying to Do It The Way Other Popular Bloggers Did It
There are a million stories out on the web on how to make money blogging. And yes, some of those ways are legit but these people usually have a ton of followers and a social media presence. No one tells you how hard it is to get followers and to get those followers to engage with your work. Some bloggers even pay for advertising on social media sites and the web to really draw followers to their page and blog. There are a lot of things that these bloggers won’t tell you and you honestly learn on your own what it really takes to make money from blogging. You have to really get yourself out there, work really hard and be consistent to make money blogging. You have to utilize advertising, hashtags and all of those things to draw people to your page and blog. And one person’s path to success will not be your path to success no matter how hard you try.
Get a following. Make great content. Get yourself out there. Get approved for Google AdSense (this is a lot tougher than you may think). Sign up for a couple of affiliate marketing programs. Make money. This is really how it’s done and in no particular order.
6. Trying to Write Money-Making Content
One of the things that I did in the beginning was try and write money-making content instead of content that I enjoy. Always create content that you enjoy creating. You cannot connect to your audience making content that is not true to you. Your reader will be able to see right through it. You never know what blog will be a money-maker so might as well make content you enjoy. And this doesn’t mean ignore the trends completely because trends create fresh content when you’re all out of ideas. Try to be a trendsetter with your content. It’s okay to be creative and not do what everyone else is doing.
7. Giving up When It Didn’t Work The Way I Wanted It To
Do not give up! Stay persistent and consistent if you really want to make money blogging. Take a break and reevaluate if you must but do not quit! It may happen the way you want it to but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you. It might just take you a little longer to get there and that’s okay. This is your unique journey.
8. Trying to Blog for Money
Have fun with blogging! I hate that I always thought about if a certain blog would draw followers and make me money. I wish I spent more time having fun with my content instead of focusing so much on the numbers. This is my hobby and my escape in a sense so it’s supposed to be fun. I took all the fun out of blogging and moving forward I’m going to have a lot more fun with my blog. If it makes me money, great. If it doesn’t, I’ll continue blogging anyway.
9. Realizing That I Had Control
This is my blog! As I was trying to make money blogging, I was listening to everyone on how to make this work trying all these different methods. I feel like I wasn’t in control of my own blog and felt very overwhelmed. I am taking control of my blog and making it uniquely mine and only writing about things that truly interest me. I don’t want my blog to be seen as a big advertisement.
10. Thinking It Would Be Quick and Easy
I learned very quickly that blogging for money is not a quick and easy get rich scheme. I wasn’t looking for a get rich scheme anyway but now I know how much time it takes to really make money blogging. Be patient with yourself and your journey. You can make money blogging, I’ve made a little and I know that I can make more if I focus more on the content and not so much on the numbers.
I hope me explaining the mistakes that I made in the very beginning of my blogging journey helps someone out there. You can definitely make money blogging but do the proper research and take your time!