Starting a blog can be very overwhelming. There’s tons of stuff to learn and figure out from day one. But a few things are important to know what not to do when starting a blog.
It’s important to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can when you start a blog for the first time. This is so you don’t cause any damage to your success for your blog down the road.
What Not To Do When You Start A Blog
Not Picking a Blogging Niche
Make sure you know what you want to blog about.
Picking a blogging niche will lead you down the rest of the path of starting your blog.
Knowing your blogging niche will help you with things like picking out your blog name and domain name.
Don’t Use a Free Blog Platform
If you aren’t trying to make a business or monetize your blog in any way then a free blogging platform might be just right.
But if you have any big plans down the road for your blog making money or turning it into a business, then you don’t want to have to try to make the hurdle from a free platform to a paid platform.
You’ll hear this from just about every blogger. And this is one of the biggest blogging mistakes new bloggers make when they start their blog.
So if you want make a business out of your blog always go with your own hosting and domain name. Do not rely on a free blogging platform.
You want to make sure you actually own your blog entirely.
Also free platforms can limit your ability to do things to your blog. Things like how you make it look, or even if or how you can monetize your blog.
In addition to that, when you have your blog on a free platform, you have to take into consideration things like if that platform went out of business. Or what if they just shut your blog down? You have no guarantee that you will be able to get your data back and get your blog back up and running.
So always get your own hosting. Make sure you own what you are building.
I use SiteGround now and absolutely love their hosting for WordPress blogs.
I have a step by step guide that can get you up and running with SiteGround super fast.
Don’t Spend Too Much Right At The Start
Your main investment in your blog at the start should be your hosting. This is the main thing you do not want to skimp on. If you get a cheap host for your blog you are going to have nothing but headaches.
After you carve your domain name and hosting out of your blog budget you should look to see what else you want to fit in your budget for getting your blog started.
Should you buy courses?
Of course! But don’t break the bank.
There is so much to learn when it comes to starting a blog, monetizing your blog, learning how to market, learning SEO, learning how to do everything under the sun really.
There are so many courses and eBooks out there it can be easy to get carried away with wanting to know all the things.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can only read one book or take one course at a time. Then you after that MUST take time to use what you learn.
So pace yourself when it comes to investing into your learning. Take the time to use what you’ve learned and then proceed onto another step.
Eventually you’ll come across good deals like sales from bloggers or when the Genius Bloggers Toolkit is up. Go ahead and grab those if you want because in the end when you save a ton of money it’s a good thing.
Don’t Ignore SEO
SEO takes a loooooong time to kick in.
But just because it does take a long time doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
Start learning about SEO, around month 8 you will be happy you did.
I have a post series on SEO that can give you an initial look at the basics of SEO for blogging.
Don’t Ignore Pinterest
While SEO might take a long time before you start seeing the results, Pinterest doesn’t.
With Pinterest you can increase traffic coming to your blog much faster than SEO.
While traffic from Pinterest doesn’t result in a stampede on day one to your site. With some work you can start seeing results within a few weeks.
The important thing, when using Pinterest for traffic, is to make sure you are setting up your account the right way.
I have some posts on Pinterest for bloggers that can get you started.
If you want to take your Pinterest game to the next level though I highly recommend using Tailwind as a scheduler and using Tailwind Tribes.
In addition to Tailwind you can also get a great eBook that covers everything under the sun when it comes to Pinterest for blog traffic and that is Pinterest Ninja. This eBook has helped me when first starting out with Pinterest. You also get all updates every time Megan updates the book. And you can join the special Facebook group for Pinterest Ninja students.
Not Starting Your Email List
An email list is very important to have as a blogger. And it’s something you want to get started on right from the launch of your blog.
Having an email list gives you a direct line of communication to people who like what you have to say. After all they wouldn’t have signed up if they didn’t like what you were talking about and what you were offering.
You don’t have to invest much money in starting up your email list either.
MailerLite is an awesome email service that you can start using for free from day 1. They will let you have up to 1,000 subscribers per month or up to 12,000 emails sent per month before you have to start paying for a subscription. This way with MailerLite you can keep your costs down at the beginning.
If you need some inspiration on how to get subscribers to your email list check out my post on opt-in freebies:
Not Monetizing Your Blog From The Start
I know many times someone will say not to monetize until you’re more established, and have more traffic.
Many times the reasoning behind this is that without sales affiliate programs or networks won’t let you keep your account.
While this can be true for some affiliate programs, there are still plenty of affiliate programs that are useful for new bloggers. And they won’t require you reach a certain threshold for sales in a certain period of time.
Or another reason people say to wait is that you don’t have to worry about learning how to sell without being salesy.
But you will find that many of the services and tools you use will also have affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs like these are great for you to start using when you are just starting out as a blogger. Since you already use the products you can know what you like about them and recommend them easily. This makes recommending them to your audience feel natural, and that’s much easier than trying to get sales on something you know nothing about.
I have some posts about affiliate programs for new bloggers you can check out if you want some new blogger friendly programs to join:
Another way you can monetize you blog is to add Google Adsense. There is a bit of prep that you need to do for Adsense. But you don’t have to be blogging for 6+ months or have a bajillion people coming to your site to start using Adsense.
I have a post on what you can do to help your site get approved for Adsense you can check out:
Pin What Not to Do When Starting A Blog For Later:
Recap On What Not to Do When Stating A Blog
- Not Picking Your Blog Niche
- Don’t Use Free Blogging Platforms
- Don’t Spend To Much
- Don’t Ignore SEO
- Don’t Ignore Pinterest
- Not Starting Your Email List
- Not Monetizing Your Blog
Ready to Start Your Blog?
Now that you what not to do when starting a blog, you can get work on getting your blog started.
If you just want to jump right into it, I highly recommend using SiteGround as your web host. They have great customer service and super easy to use interface for setting up your blog and managing it.
If you would like a step by step guide to starting your blog, check out my Step by Step Guide on Getting Your Blog Started With SiteGround. This guide will get you up and running in no time with your new blog on SiteGround.