Not choosing a niche at first and then believing my niche wouldn’t be enough
Despite all the advice I could find early on when I started blogging, I decided to make my blog very generalized. I think ‘lifestyle’ was the closest niche it came to. At first, my stats soared because I could pump out a lot of posts on various topics. But I quickly realized that I didn’t have a strong audience that returned to my blog. I didn’t have a Twitter community to join. Eventually, I wised up and bought into the book blogger community, which was a good choice because it’s an active community and something that I’ve always been interested in. However, I still fought worries that my niche wasn’t enough. Sure enough, my stats dropped, but the positive side was that my engagement on social media and my blog improved.
Lesson Learned: Picking a niche you are passionate about helps keep you engaged in the long run and helps build a more-invested group of readers.
Waiting too long to brand my blog and stick with a logo
Before Whiskers and Ink was Whiskers and Ink, it was called Stumbly. While blogs and goals change over time, I wish I had been able to foresee the consequences of rebranding. It was a lot of design work, but I also had to update all of my social feeds, delete posts that had nothing to do with my new niche, change my domain name, and hope my old readers kept up with the change. The rebranding was the right choice in the end, but I think a blog that brands itself correctly from the beginning will have an easier time of it.
Lesson Learned: Think strategically about how you want to brand your blog before you get started. Come up with a logo, color scheme, catchy name, etc.
Investing in email marketing when I really didn’t give a damn
Sending emails to your followers has a place and time, but it’s really only worth it if you’re willing to give it a lot of time and effort. I was not gung-ho about it, but I still went through the motions because I felt pressure from the community to try it out. After limping along for a while, I finally wised up and dropped email marketing.
Lesson Learned: Only spend time doing marketing activities you actually want to keep up with and see results from. No use spending time on something that doesn’t work for you!
Committing to an unsustainable number of posts a week
When I first started, I got it in my head that one post a week wasn’t enough and I should do a post every other day! I did this for a few weeks before I got severely burned out. I didn’t want to blog, or plan, or anything. My content was Buzzfeedy crap and I began to lose my love of blogging. Nowadays, I aim for one post a week, with an occasional Tuesday Book or ARC Review. It’s been easier to keep up with and lets me plan quality posts for my readers.
Lesson Learned: Come up with a posting schedule that works for you, and don’t overcommit when you get started!
Every blogger has a different experience and maybe some of the things that didn’t work for me will work for you just fine! But I hope that my experiences might help lend some guidance so you can start off on the right foot. 🙂
What blogging lesson do you wish you had learned earlier? What do you think new bloggers should know when they get started??