Before you even launch your blog and hit publish on your first post, there are numerous mistakes you can make that will set you up for failure.
At the encouragement of several friends and the results of a Twitter poll, I nearly started a food blog last year. I purchased a domain, designed the site, and got to work creating content before launching. Even though I worked at it for a couple months, the blog ultimately failed. I didn’t renew the domain this year and I deleted my empty site.
The main mistakes that kill a blog: lack of content and lack of commitment. They might sound like easy fixes at first, but they contribute to a host of problems that can make it almost impossible to move forward.
Not Committing Time to Creating Content
Blogging is very time-consuming. You pick a topic, do your research, draft a post, edit the post, format it with headings and design elements, pick engaging images to use with it, add links, and publish. All that doesn’t include taking the time to craft custom messages for sharing your post on social media that are more effective than automatically sharing.
For me, a blog post can take anywhere from three hours to a couple of days from start to finish.
If you don’t want your blog to fail, you have to be willing to commit the time. That means scheduling blocks of your day to work on it around your other responsibilities.
Not Enough ORIGINAL Content
There are loads of places to get content for your blog. Writing prompts posted by other bloggers, sponsored content, reviews, blog idea generators… But readers won’t come back to your blog if they’re not interested in you.
In the case of my food blog, I only had a handful of original recipes ready. Some were still in the testing and tweaking stage. And I needed great photos of each one. My mistake was not having at least a dozen recipes ready to go.
Not Considering Design and Navigation First
Before you can get to the fun part of blogging (actually writing and publishing your content), you have to design your site. It should be aesthetically pleasing, well-branded, and provide a good user experience.
Rushing past this step is a critical mistake. If you fail to take the time to get the look and structure of your site set up first, it can present serious challenges when you’re trying to find the right place for each piece of content.
You might be tempted to put this part off until later. While it’s a good idea to periodically evaluate whether your design and structure need some retooling, you’ll double your work if you don’t put the time into this step first. The old saying “if you don’t have time to do it right, you have time to do it over” rings true here.
Not Thinking It Through Before You Start
A good blog is well thought-out on multiple fronts. Picking your niche, defining your audience, establishing your voice, building a schedule… Even if your blog is only a hobby, not taking the time to come up with a plan will lead to frustration. It’s hard to feel fulfilled by blogging if you don’t have any goals in mind.
What mistakes have you made with your blog, or seen others do with theirs?
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