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Are you a brand new blogger or even a blogger with a blog that is less than a year old who is starting an income blog?
If you are, you’ve probably trying to learn as much as you can about blogging so that you do not fail at it.
After all, about 81% of the people who start blogging make less than $100 from their blog.
I personally think that being a blogger takes way too much work to only make $100 for all this effort that you put in.
If you do not want to be a part of this 81% of unsuccessful bloggers, please read this article to learn the mistakes I made with my first blog and how you can possibly avoid those mistakes and be on your way to having a successful blog.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more information.
In it, you will learn the mistakes I made with my first blog and how you can possibly avoid those mistakes and be on your way to having a successful blog.
The first major mistake that many people (including myself) make when starting a blog is thinking only about the money.
Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make money from your blog (I think everyone who wants to blog as a career should be able to do so unjudged.
After all, managing a blog is like managing a business!
The problem comes up when you try to fit yourself into a niche that you think is (filled with money) without a thought about providing value to your readers.
Think of it this way, If you have a fast food business in which you provide your patrons with lackluster meals and services (badly cooked, burned, half seasoned, not on time) do you expect the customers to be pouring into your business daily without fail?
I don’t think so…
This is similar to a blogger who is blogging about things that do not interest him/her.
The customer (in this case your readers) will never return to your blog if the content is mediocre and half-cooked!
Therefore, if you do not have a passion for the topic or at least a mindset to do some valuable, in-depth research in this niche and give readers something to look forward to, then do not pick that particular niche, I beg you.
I did this once and I failed miserably.
Something you should know, every single topic you can think to blog about is able to be monetized. I do not care what anyone else on the internet has to say about this and I will prove why I feel this way.
Most people (including me in 2014) choose a niche that they think will produce income the quickest because they are unaware of the numerous possibilities out there to make money from a blog regardless of the niche it is in.
I didn’t know this before, but, there are all types of companies and websites creating new products and services that they want to make visible to the masses.
We as bloggers can search on the internet for those companies and promote their products for compensation!
Easier still, we can join Affiliate Marketing Networks which already have massive amounts of affiliate products and services that we can promote for money.
There is also the opportunity to join ad networks. There are hundreds of them out there and many of them do not require you to have a traffic minimum, so new bloggers like us are welcome!
Why My First Blog Failed
I’m a very introspective person and so, I have thought long and hard about why my first blog failed and this is what I came up with.
1. I picked a niche I was not interested in simply because I had heard it was very easy to monetize with this niche.
The niche I picked was health and fitness. I knew nothing about it and I was not very motivated to learn too much in regards to that niche. How was I ever going to give good advice to people?
2. The second big mistake I made was not focusing enough on acquiring traffic. I literally thought the traffic would come flowing to my blog as I wrote those mediocre blog posts.
3. Also, I was paying way too much money for my website hosting and I was seeing no returns so I felt at a loss.
4. I was not using proper SEO because I did not know about the Yoast SEO or Rank Math SEO plugins then. Those little green, yellow and red reminders are very helpful in keeping me on track with proper SEO!
5. I thought my niche was easy to monetize, and it was, but, I was getting no traffic and so I wasn’t making any money.
This was making me very unmotivated. I had bought into the hype that I could earn tons of money in my first month of blogging.
6. I thought blogging was ‘easy’ and a ‘quick way to make money’. I never expected to have to put so many hours into blogging.
As I said in #2, I thought traffic would flow steadily and so I expected tons of clicks on my Amazon Associates links and views to my ads.
What I Plan To Do This Time Around To Guarantee Success (And you should too !)
I have told you exactly why I failed, so now here are ways that I am preparing myself for success this time around (I encourage you to follow those strategies along with me so that we can all be successful together!
Mistake #1: I picked the wrong niche
1. Solution: I picked a blog niche that I have a deep interest in. I love making money and I love to see everyone around me making money as well.
I also love speaking about ways to improve your saving and invest wisely.
This time, I focused on finances because I love the freedom of making more money (without a 9-5) and saving to invest in assets. This is something I can speak about for hours on end. So I have a ‘finance blog’ where I share how people can earn some extra cash online.
I also have a food bog where I share all my delicious recipes. I’m a foodie, so this niche alines with me very well.
My advice to you
In order to be successful, pick a blog niche that you love. End of story.
There is a high chance that your blog will look very generic and boring if you do not pick something you do not care about and can inject your own creativity into.
Your articles will be crappy, your blog design will be crappy and frankly, it will begin to feel like that nine-to-five job that most of us are trying to run away from.
It will literally be a prison. You have the opportunity to pick any topic in the world.
Pick One That Makes You Happy, something you will be eager to wake up to in the mornings!
Mistake #2: I did not focus on growing traffic
Solution: I am focusing on growing my traffic! I know now that Google will not rank my websites in search engines for a while to come.
My blog is way too new for that just yet. That does not mean I will wait around for Google, In fact, I will use other means of getting traffic like Pinterest. (Have a look here to see how I am improving my traffic each month)
My advice to you
Focus on growing your traffic! This is a huge point. If you wait for the traffic to come(especially in your first few months of blogging) you will fail.
Traffic hardly ever pours in right from the get-go for anyone, but you can implement some smart strategies to get traffic for the first 1-6 months from Pinterest and other social platforms.
Read this article to learn some of the things you need to do to get traffic early on in your blog journey.
Mistake #3: My web hosting plan was too expensive!
Solution: I got an affordable web hosting service. You can find a web hosting service for as low as $2.99 per month through this link! This is very reasonable and this web hosting service is top-rated. When I started my
When I started my first blog in 2014, I was paying $49 monthly! This was way too expensive for me to maintain at the time!
My advice to you
Get the most affordable web hosting package available. Also, focus on quality. You do not want your website/blog crashing on you and not being able to get assistance immediately.
You may already have your own choice of web hosting by now, but for those of you who don’t, I highly recommend SiteGround. You can read this post to learn why I recommend this web hosting company.
Smartnancials.com is an affiliate of SiteGround, you can use my link to receive an 86% discount off the monthly web hosting price You can read the Step by step guide to starting your own blog with SiteGround and WordPress here.
Mistake # 4: I knew nothing of keywords or SEO
Solution: I am focused on learning and understanding keywords and keyword research. I now know that this is a major factor that Google uses to rank blogs and websites in the search engines.
Also, I have learned that Google rarely ranks new blogs or websites.
However, I am making sure that I am focusing on good SEO (Search Engine Optimization practices from the beginning so that in the next 3-6 months when Google decides my blog has enough content and enough credibility, there will be no problem getting rank.
Also, I will not have to spend extra time trying to optimize my articles.
This is how I practice good SEO
I installed the Yoast SEO plugin, This is a lifesaver. It shows me everything I need to work on to make my content SEO friendly as I am creating my post.
I use a keyword research tool called Ahrefs. They have an amazing free version that lets you research keywords so you don’t write content that no one is searching for.
My advice to you
Learn as much as you can about keywords and SEO from other bloggers. Install Yoast Seo, if you have not. Use ahrefs if you can afford it and use Google Keywords Planner too so that you’re not writing up a bunch of content that will never rank!
If you use the resource and learn more about Seo, you will set yourself up to start ranking in Google in a few months.
Mistake #5: I sucked at monetizing my blog
Solution: I am learning how to monetize my blog. I have come a long way from knowing very little about how to make money from my first blog to now being confident in my strategies.
Yes, I was using Google Adsense, but at that time I saw no growth potential there! I didn’t even earn a full dollar from Google AdSense with my first income blog.
Now, I know so much more and I am earning way more.
Also, I was using Amazon Associates, but I hated the look of the Amazon products on my blog, and I wasn’t making any money there either!
My advice to you
I advise you to learn as much as you can about monetizing your blog. This is exactly why I created
This is exactly why I created this detailed post to help new bloggers or people wanting to start making money from blogging, get an idea of the things they can do with their blog for money.
I wish I knew all of this back in 2014!
Mistake #6: I bought into the myth that blogging is easy
Solution: I thought blogging was easy. What a shocker I got when I had to put in the work! I would spend hours upon hours doing tons of things that I had never heard of before.
What people should say is that the concept of blogging for profit is simple, but the process takes a good amount of work and dedication.
My advice to you
Do not go into blogging thinking it’s all fun and games and money will just be pouring in without much effort.
Blogging is a very lucrative career, but it requires some work on your part, at least for the first year or few years of blogging.
That is why I highly recommend products like Pinteresting Strategies, Stupid Simple SEO, and Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing to anyone who wants to start blogging. These three courses will help you to cut through all the noise and focus on only the blogging tasks that really matter.
This can help skyrocket your growth!
I did not know how great Pinterest could be for traffic!
7. I am learning how to use Pinterest effectively to market and to get traffic to my blog, to learn new things that can improve my blog, and to just brainstorm ideas to improve my blog.
Before 2017 I knew nothing about Pinterest Marketing.
Sure, I was on Pinterest and I was that person who saved thousands of fitness, recipe, and fashion pins.
But, I didn’t know that I could market my blog on Pinterest or find tons of helpful, free information and resources to help grow my traffic, learn how to monetize, or set up my blog properly.
I am already seeing great results and Pinterest is my highest source of traffic as of now! You can see REAL screenshots of my results from Pinterest here.
I can honestly say that had I known about Pinterest in 2014, I would have had a much higher chance of being successful.
My advice to you
Get on Pinterest ASAP! It is a great way to get traffic and market your blog but it can be time-consuming if not done right. Read this article to learn the most effective and easy way to use Pinterest to drive loads of traffic to your new/newer blog.
These are all the reasons why I failed at my old health and fitness blog and these are all the things that I am currently doing to ensure that I am successful with this current blog.
They say failure is the best teacher. In my case, I totally agree. I am determined to dominate this blogging career that I have come back to and I fully expect to be earning a full-time income from Smartnancials.com soon!
Will you join this journey with me? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your thoughts and your goals for your own blog!
This post was first published in September 2017.