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I have been blogging for more than 2.5 years now. My passion for writing and my writers block got me into the idea of starting a travel blog. I loved travel, studied Tourism Management and wanted to write so starting a travel blog was a perfect idea. Fast forward to now when I take my blog seriously and hope to create a passive income, there are a few blogging mistakes I made in the beginning that cost me money, time and overall just so much stress that could have been avoid.
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Blogging is currently my full time job, even though I’m looking for a normal 9-5 for three days in the week, and it made me think about the decisions I made in the past. These blogging mistakes are not a big deal if you’re purely blogging for fun and if it’s your hobby without the goal of making an income out of it. If you do want to create an extra income and possible a passive income, these mistakes can be very annoying so learn from me and not make them when you start your blog!
5 Blogging mistakes I made in the beginning
I have 5 blogging mistakes to share with you all and to avoid yourself from making too. Trust me on this!
I started on WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org
This website was the first thing that came to my mind when I started Rosy Melissa. I wanted something quite easy and I worked with WordPress in the past for different study and work related projects. WordPress.com felt easy because I just needed to create an account, claim a domain and I was ready to go with a free theme template.
However, if you want to monetize your blog – WordPress.com is not the way to go. You want to go self-hosted with WordPress.org and have your blog hosted on Siteground for example. I love Siteground, I’ve never had any issues and their customer service is great. They have answered all my questions and I feel very comfortable hosting my website there.
You want to start on WordPress.org because essentially, you’re not owning your blog if it is on WordPress.com. You don’t have full control over it and it is really hard to almost impossible to monetize your blog. You want to be the true owner of your website and the only way to do so is by starting on WordPress.org.
I needed to migrate my website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org which was a whole different process that someone did for me luckily. I wasted 6 months being on WordPress.com without the possibility of adding ads and affiliates to my website. Definitely, definitely just skip the WordPress.com route and go to WordPress.org immediately! It’s a little more work but so worth it in the end.
Read more. Curious to know why started blogging? Read my storytime about why I started travel blogging!
I switched themes like there was no tomorrow
So when I was self-hosted, a whole new world called premium WordPress themes introduced itself. Etsy is full with thousands of different WordPress themes. I love Blossom Themes, they have different feminine themes for every kind of blogger. They are responsive, mobile friendly and SEO friendly which make them the perfect website developers to start your blog on! I love the Travel Pro WordPress Theme. It’s so customizable, fun and easy to navigate. I’m considering switching to this theme for the long term.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted my blog to look like. It ended up with me buying a theme, using it for a few weeks or months until I found out it was not what I was looking for. It might not have had the features I wanted or the feel/look I was looking for.
This costed me lots of money unfortunately. And lots of time because buying a theme, installing it and customizing the theme easily takes up an entire day.
So what I would suggest is looking at different travel blogs and write down the features you love. Write down what you don’t love and the features you want on your blog. Make a list and look for themes while having your list next to you. Not every theme is going to match it perfectly, if you do want a perfect theme – I suggest saving money to hire a website developer and designer. You want to buy a theme that ticks off most of the boxes on your list!
Your website is part of your brand and it needs to be recognizable for your audience. Switching it up like I did is not the best thing to do if you want to be recognizable in the crowd of travel bloggers!
Read more. As a blogger, you’ll work from home a lot. Read my tips to be productive while working from home.
Not knowing my niche
“I am going to start a travel blog.” That’s what I had in my mind. Perfect. I started, created my blog and started writing. But just “travel” is way to broad nowadays. The industry is not too saturated for you to join, but you need to niche down and create a special place for yourself within the entire travel nice. Does that make sense?
I completely niched down this year to conscious travel and conscious living. Still writing the travel guides but with a conscious view on it. To experience the most on the destination and to help create a positive impact on the destination.
The market in conscious travel is pretty doable and obviously not as large as the travel niche itself. So yes, I am in the travel niche but I have conscious travel & living as my focus.
Not doing my SEO research
SEO is going to be your best friend to start building your website traffic. My traffic this year grew over 500% by using SEO and Pinterest. It’s been growing ever since and it is the most motivating things ever to see new people coming to your blog every day.
SEO means Search Engine Optimization and it includes keywords, URL structures, internal and external linking and so much more. If you want to learn more about SEO, I suggest buying the e-books from Nele van Hout! Her e-book Keywords for Bloggers has the complete guide to finding the perfect keywords for your blogpost. Keyword research is so important. The e-book SEO for Bloggers covers every. single. factor in SEO that you need to include on your website.
Her e-books helped me increase my links clicks from search engines with hundreds each month. She explains it all in her e-books and it gives you a huge head start in the SEO game! It may sounds scary, but it’s not scary at all.
Read more. This is what I wish I knew before starting a blog!
Not taking Pinterest seriously
So Pinterest is not a social media channel like many people describe it. It is a visual search engine which means keywords and strategy are very important. You want to create catchy titles, write a description with perfect keywords and have a visually good-looking pin to upload.
Pinterest gives me headaches sometimes. It mistakenly marked me as spam and low quality in the past and it dropped me from 500K monthly viewers to 150K at the moment. However, monthly viewers aren’t the most important thing. You want to increase the link clicks to your website!
One thing that saves me from throwing my laptop out of the window is Pinterest by Ell. Her online course updates after every algorithm change so it’s always up to date. Her tools are perfect and it relieves so much stress to follow her guide and to actually know what you need to do to get lots of traffic to your website. Do you like to read e-books instead? Pinterest Perfect by Mariam is an e-book to read everywhere you go with awesome tips too!
Do not underestimate the power of Pinterest. Many bloggers get the majority of their traffic from Pinterest. It’s incredibly powerful and you can have thousands of link clicks per pin. Every day. Tailwind makes the Pinterest game a lot easier too. This website has the option to schedule pins on the times when you’re audience is active. It saves a lot of time, because you create the pins, schedule them at the ideal time and Tailwind will post them for you!
Do these 5 things not the way I did it in the beginning and take my advice. You want to do them all right to get a quick start into the blogging world and grow an audience! Blogging isn’t dead. My viewers are growing by hundreds every week and month and it is so rewarding. The market isn’t too saturated, you just need to know how to market yourself.
What would you like to know about blogging? I will write down all the suggestions and write new blogposts about it!