Start a blog and make money

Want to start a blog and make money? Don’t Make The 7 Silly Mistakes I Made.

One of my 2017 goals was to start a blog and make money. I thought it would be easy.

I am sorry to announce that not only did I start three blogs and three e-commerce websites but in doing so I made a lot of mistakes that I now am in the process of fixing.

I did, however, manage to make some money, but it was short-lived.

When analyzing the mistakes I made within my blog I tried to identify reasons why blogs fail. Knowing what to avoid in content creation can help get you started right the first time.

However, you can also make mistakes in the learning process.

Mistake one – wasting a lot of time and money

I did a lot of research and chased shiny objects that looked good but didn’t pan out once I had forked out money for them.

I spent up to 70 hours some weeks watching webinars and videos and reading books and blogs.

I joined so many email lists, as fast as I was reading an email and deleting it a new one was arriving. Eventually, I just deleted them all and unsubscribed.

I spent time on sites that were supposed to help me get traffic to my website and finally realized that I got more traffic from writing and sharing on social media.

Lesson learned: stop with the information overload and concentrate on content and your own promotion.

Mistake Two – Trying to do too much.

Three blogs, three e-commerce websites, and an offline business. I know it sounds easy to say just start a blog and make money.

It does, however, take a fair amount of time and effort to put it all together. Working on everything and learning at the same time was ridiculous and I was failing miserably.

Stress overload.

Lesson learned: spend time on one website or blog and educate yourself properly

Mistake Three – Not following a proven course of action.

I would start something and then change track and try to learn everything from lots of different people.

I found I had information overload and got nowhere.

I had an educational program that I had joined with a step-by-step plan and I went off track and tried to gather lots of information from lots of people.

I eventually stopped chasing moonbeams and returned to my Wealthy Affiliate educational and hosting course and started following a plan of action.

Wealthy Affiliate is not perfect but it gives solid education basics for beginners and has site support. This means that when things go wrong with my website – they will get inside and fix it free of charge.

My Wealthy Affiliate Review gives full details on this website.

Whilst it is important that we don’t stop learning and gathering information from many sources, we need to do so with knowledge behind us. Imagine starting university without having any earlier schooling!

Once we have basic knowledge we can adapt and grow and it is easier to identify whether new information is helpful or useless.

Lesson learned: take time to learn properly and take the steps needed in the right order.

Mistake Four – Not planning to succeed.

Some people make it sound easy to start a blog and it is, however without a plan many people give up because they started off on the wrong foot, or came up against a site problem that they were unable to fix themselves.

I urge you not to start with a free blogging platform or low-cost hosting. Many people who do so have to start afresh and this is so disheartening.

I see many people who feel that they can’t afford to start a website properly and then drop out. All businesses need a plan and working capital. A blog is no different.

Statistics show that about 80% of people start an online business and give up. I believe it is because they thought that they could start cheaply without making any sacrifices, without proper education, site support, and a plan.

Lesson learned: Set goals, have a plan, get help, and take action.

Mistake Five – Not writing to help people.

You do need to work out what you want to write about and how it can help people. I made the mistake of using my blog as a means to make money, and this was not helping anyone.

Once you set up a blog and know what you want to talk about, you need to find out if there is an audience looking for help to solve problems.

If, like me, you simply want to write and don’t care if anyone listens, write away. If you need to feel heard, you may find better options.

Writing about a topic that you know means that you can help others because you know the answers to their questions, you know the solutions to their problems and you can offer advice, products, and solutions for your audience.

I had no idea of who I was writing for and how I could help them. I tried to write about what I was learning but had yet to learn some things I was writing about. To help you need knowledge.

Your blog (website) is simply a place to put all your information. There are many ways to drive traffic to that information but it is only valuable if people want that information.

Lesson learned: It is not all about me it is about helping others.

Mistake Six – Not understanding the niche.

A niche is not just another word for a topic or subject.

Wikipedia describes it as a focused, targetable portion of a market.

Your niche can be the people who need your help because of your knowledge of a topic.

I discovered along my journey that my niche topic is me, the lifestyle I lead, and my journey. It is unique as there is only one me.

You need to know and understand your topics.

You need to become an expert who knows the topic and can answer questions because of your knowledge. You may need to research, read relevant magazines and books, and write information that will help your audience.

You may then be able to offer solutions that will help.

There is no wrong niche – IF there is an audience looking for information on the topic.

Lesson learned: understand who you want to help and you will discover your niche.

Mistake Seven – Failing to understand website traffic.

Once you have a blog, how can your audience find you? There are five main ways to get traffic.

a) Search Engines. (what do people type or speak into search)

The main search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. You need to learn how to write good quality content that they like. This is referred to as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

You should always focus on presenting a quality website that helps your audience, and then optimize it so that it is liked by people, and promoted by the search engines.

There are many ways to advertise and market your website, but if you can get traffic from search engines it can life so much easier. However, as the internet becomes more crowded and competitive Search Engine Traffic is harder to achieve.

b) Social Media Marketing.

You need to learn how to set up social media profiles and share your website content with your followers.

I made the mistake of spamming with posts like – here is my latest blog.

Wow! How inspiring!

You need to learn to spend time on each post so that you can tell people how reading your post will help them.

Because I was doing too much, I didn’t have time to spend on social media just talking to people and interacting with them let alone compose posts that were thoughtful and helpful.

No help – no traffic.

c) Paid Advertising.

You can pay to send people to your website.

This can be through Google PayPerClick, which are small adverts on the search pages that have a link to your website.

It is possible to pay others to promote your website to their email list or social media followers.

Advertising is often hit and miss because you are not necessarily targeting an audience that can relate to you and your website.

d) Word Of Mouth – speaking to people offline.

There are lots of people that you meet every day that could need the help you give on your blog.

If you have knowledge and pass it on, let people know that your blog can help them when you are not physically present.

e) Offline Advertising and Promoting.

There is no reason you cannot put a classified in the paper to promote your blog or products.

You can make business cards and hand them out or post them on notice boards to help people who are looking for information.

Most people can access the internet through their phones and can read your blogs.

Think outside the square.

Lesson learned: Social media is about helping others, it is not a medium for blasting out your sales pitch and advertisements. You can help others in lots of ways. Promote your helpfulness.

f) Industry Forums and Groups.

If you pass on your knowledge to help others in forums, you are building your brand and others may seek you out on social media or online.

Giving your knowledge freely to those who are looking for help can often lead to traffic to your website.

Turning things around.

If you already have a blog and are ready to turn things around, avoid making these mistakes and start focusing on creating content to help your audience wherever they may hang out.

Create a library of helpful information, not a website full of sales pitches.

Do you want to start a blog and make money?

It is possible to make money but only after you help people, build their trust, and find solutions for them.

Making money should be a by-product and not the reason for creating a blog.

You can make money in many ways with a blog, however the most popular are :

  • onsite advertising
  • onsite sponsorship or paid promotion
  • affiliate links to products
  • your own products

Blogging is a journey. If you start correctly and with the right information, the journey is a lot more pleasurable.

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