This day in 2014 was a big one for me. It was my 24th birthday, and the day I published my first blog post. For some time I had been thinking of starting a blog. I had become obsessed with reading them and since I love writing and really felt like I needed a creative outlet, it seemed like the perfect choice! So I spent the weekend planning, designing, coming up with a blog name, etc. until my first post went live on Sunday (that post is no longer available on my blog, and was probably highly embarrassing – just one of the many blogging mistakes I have made.)
Things are very different today. First of all, my blog name has changed. But that’s not all that’s changed. Over the years, my blog and my knowledge of blogging have changed immensely. It has grown from a hobby that got a couple of hours of my focus each week to a source of income that gets almost as many hours as my full-time job each week. My posts have gone from photo collages with no more than 200 words to long and actionable content closer to 1,000 words that have the potential to go viral on Pinterest. In 2014 I knew nothing about blogging, and today I know enough to make a decent income from this site.
It’s safe to say I’ve made a lot of blogging mistakes over the years, and I’ve made them in just about every facet of blogging. However, I’ve learned a lot from those mistakes! Today, in honor of my blogging anniversary, I’m sharing some of the blogging mistakes I’ve made.
My Blogging Mistakes
-I Didn’t Plan Ahead: I’ve talked many times before on this blog about the importance of having a content calendar for your blog. It makes the world of difference between a photo-heavy, content-light post that was clearly thrown together at the last minute, versus an evergreen post that is jam-packed with information and will be shared again and again on social media because of its value.
Not only did failing to plan ahead hurt my blog’s traffic and income, it also hurt me! I constantly felt like I was burnt out and out of ideas, and I constantly felt like I was behind. Now I plan my content calendar, including emails to my list, far in advance, and try to have everything written at least four weeks in advance.
-I Didn’t Establish Priorities: So, I love to watch TV, whether it be reruns of my favorite show or a new show on Netflix. And a lot of the time, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. But sometimes I remind myself that to me, my blog is more important. And every episode of Gilmore Girls I watch is roughly 42 fewer minutes I have to work on my blog. I still do this a lot, though I’m getting better at it.
Establishing priorities in advance is a great way to avoid wasting time on things that aren’t important to you, then regretting it later. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Establishing priorities can help us to divide that time up properly. And I can tell you I still kick myself when I think of the amount of time I’ve spent on things that aren’t remotely a priority for me!
-I Didn’t Automate When Possible: Looking back, it actually seems a bit absurd to think there was a time I ran this blog without any kind of automation. Everything I did and everything I posted was done by hand in real time. How on earth did I have time for all of that??
Now I have automation for all of my social media, plus email. It saves me literally hours each and every week, and allows me to focus my attention on more important things for the long-term growth of my blog, things I didn’t have the chance to focus on before!
If you’re in need of some automation for your blog, here are all the tools I use to automate my blog promotion!
-I Didn’t Manage My To-Do List Properly: I’ve been a to-do list junkie basically forever. I was always the kid in school who diligently carried her planner everywhere, and that certainly hasn’t changed! But the more things I had on my plate to plan around, the more I realized the to-do list system I was using wasn’t the most effective. I talked more expansively about it in this blog post about why your to-do list isn’t working, but I was failing because I wasn’t putting specific dates to the tasks on my list and I wasn’t breaking down my large goals into small, manageable tasks.
Making these mistakes over the years of blogging has caused me to become stressed and overwhelmed at times, and has prevented me from growing my traffic and income as quickly as I could have. Learning to properly balance blogging with your full-time job, classes, family, etc. is an essential step in blogging success.
So What’s the Answer?
Balancing a blog and a full-time job isn’t easy. It can be stressful and overwhelming. It can cause burnout, and maybe even a desire to quit. But I can help! You do not have to make all the same mistakes I did, and I don’t want you to! Because of that, I wrote an eBook! I wanted to provide you with an easy way to learn everything I’ve learned in the last two years about side-hustling and finding balance in your life while growing your blog’s traffic and income. Therefore I launched Streamline Your Side-Hustle, a comprehensive eBook that will teach you to work more productively, manage your time to balance your everyday life with your side-hustle, and to continue to grow your blog in the process. You can learn more about the eBook or purchase it here!
What blogging mistakes have you made?
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