As I approach my four year anniversary of blogging I've been reflecting on what I've done that's helped turn my blog into the best job I've ever had. Many new bloggers make the same mistakes that can later on cost them thousands in lost revenue. I started my blog off on the right track to make significant money down the line by doing a few simple things. Be sure to pin this if you think you might start a blog at some point so you can avoid the mistakes that many new bloggers make! You Set Up a Blog in Wordpress.com
If you set up a blog using wordpress.com then you won't be able to do sponsored posts or run ads on your website. You can see bloggers who've set up through wordpress.com when you see web addresses like "ericadhouse.wordpress.com."
Make sure you sign up for a blog through wordpress.org. Yes, you have to pay to register your domain name and for hosting but it will be so worth it if you plan to make money off of your blog. I have a easy to follow guide on how to set up a blog through wordpress.org.
You Choose a Cheesy Domain Name
Think very, very hard before you commit to a domain name. Sneakers & Fingerpaints might sound fun now but will you still want that as your business name in five years? That was the blog name of a friend of mine who realized she quickly outgrew that name and had to go through the headache of transferring everything over to a new domain.
You want a name that's catchy and unique, but not too weird and versatile enough that it gives you room to grow. Obviously I'm partial to using your name as your domain name! I've blogged on everything from health and fitness, to travel, psychology, parenting and finance.
You Make it Difficult to Contact You
Put your email on the front page of your blog, preferably in your mini bio that's in your sidebar. SERIOUSLY. I just spent a few hours this past weekend trying to contact fellow bloggers to see if they wanted to be affiliates for a course I'm launching and half of them didn't have an email listed anywhere! I gave up and moved on to someone else, as I'm sure brands do too.
I don't love an embedded email form (I like to be able to see that the email has gone through and have it in my sent box to remind me to follow up if need be.) Bonus tip: make sure your email is something professional as well. Erica@EricaDHouse.com sounds much better than EDH1983@google.com.
You Focus on the Wrong Things
I get emails every week from new bloggers asking what they can do to start making money. I'll give them similar advice that boils down to this:
- Blog consistently
- Make most of your posts evergreen: posts that provide value, have great photos, and make people want to share/save them.
- Actively grow your social media channels
Is it basic? Yes. Is it effective? Yes. Yet, the majority of the bloggers don't stick with it consistently or focus too much on the wrong things. You can't just post blog after blog after blog and expect people to start magically finding you. I see so many bloggers get obsessed with figuring out Pinterest or Facebook ads and changing algorithms when the harsh reality is that their content sucks. Focus on improving your photography and writing amazing, shareable, content.
You Don't Hustle
If you want to blog for a job you have to treat it like a job. Dedicate time to working on it every week. I work an average of 20 hours a week on the blog and do most of the work at night after little man is asleep. I have a list of things that I do every single day to grow my blog (and share that list in my new 0 to 60k Blog eCourse launching next week!)
If a brand or reader emails you respond back within 24 hours. Always submit sponsored posts on time (an editorial calendar is great for keeping track of due dates.) Go above and beyond expectations. Have a great looking media kit even if you only have 1,000 pageviews a month. Act as though this is your job even if you aren't making money yet.
[Tweet "5 Mistakes New Bloggers Make (That Can Cost Them Thousands!)"]
My new eCourse "0 to 60k Blog" is launching next week at a special discounted price. After a week the price will go up so if you are a blogger hoping to start making significant income off of your blog you should sign up to be notified when the course opens! I've included everything I know about writing the perfect post, growing your social media channels (I have about 75,000 followers now), working with brands, finding sponsored posts, ... it's all in there (and more!)