I’ve been blogging since 2008 and during that time, I’ve made soooo many blogging mistakes. I sat down to make a list and was overwhelmed by my bad decisions. What was I thinking? I guess at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing. I didn’t intentionally make so many errors. But, if I’m being totally honest, some of these mistakes were a result of pure laziness on my part. At least I can admit it now.
I’ll list out the top blogging mistakes I’ve made and maybe you can relate to some of them. I hope I’m not the only one with regrets!
My Blogging Mistakes
1. Sticking with reviews & giveaways for as long as I did. For my first several years of blogging, I was an entirely review and giveaway blog. I had a team of contributors from USA and Canada who would receive the items and write a post. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I should have been more picky about the quality some of them were sending me.
Some of the posts are very thin content (under 300 words) and I ended up no-indexing them. The majority of the reviews don’t receive any traffic. I’ve been trying to update them and put them into SEMrush to see if they rank. I’m shocked if they do at all.
In 2015, I decided to phase out the reviews and focus more on lifestyle and food topics that I wrote myself. I had to end some relationships which was tough and I had one person take it very personally. It was a business decision though and I had to do what was best for me.
Nowadays, I’ll only take reviews if it’s an item I reallyyyyyyy want and don’t want to buy myself OR if they pay my rates for a sponsored posts. Products don’t pay the bills unfortunately and running a blog isn’t cheap.
2. Posting so much “dud” content. I’m trying to decide what to do with these posts. They are posts like group giveaways, expired coupons and promotions, etc. Right now, they are no-indexed, but I may just delete them down the road.
Back then, I was posting multiple times a day. No wonder I was tired all the time! These days, I’m posting three times a week. Much more manageable and I can focus more on quality, not quantity.
3. Posting so much “thin” content. What I mean here is posts that are under 300 words and are just a couple paragraphs. Some of these posts are ranking, but could probably do so much better if they were lengthened considerably. I was pumping out so much content back then that I just didn’t have the energy to write a lengthy post. My bad. I’m going through these posts slowly and adding more meat to them.
4. Ignoring my email newsletter. I took the “If you build it, they will come” approach to my email newsletter. I put it in my giveaways (and attracted the wrong type of reader for my newer stuff) and stuck a box on my sidebar for people to subscribe (no one barely did).
Last August, I took the plunge into building my email newsletter and working on growing a strong list of engaged subscribers. I switched to ConvertKit, made multiple opt-in freebies, and promoted my newsletter in all my top content. I grew to the point where I was paying almost $300/month!
In Bloggers Tell All, they suggested to prune your newsletter regularly. I deleted about 10,000 cold subscribers and am paying about $150 less per month. My open rates and click through rates have improved. Don’t pay for the dead weight, friends! Get rid of your cold subscribers. I’ll be doing this quarterly to keep my list healthy.
5. Not filling out my recipe card completely. This is just sheer laziness. I’m now going back through old recipes and adding the prep, cook and total time. It’s a big job. I’ll have to update them AGAIN when I move to the Mediavine recipe plugin because it will have nutritional info on it.
6. Not putting my recipe card at the end of the posts. I stuck them in the middle for some reason. I don’t know why. I just did it. My ad network, Mediavine, recommends that recipe cards go at the end of your posts so users have to scroll through and view your ads. More $$$. I’ve got another spreadsheet going in Google Drive where I’m moving the recipe cards. One. At. A. Time. Sigh.
7. Thinking Yoast was enough for SEO. Until I joined Bloggers Tell All, that’s what I thought. I’d make sure my lights were green on my posts and thought I was good to go. Please tell me I’m not alone here!!! In February, I started my deep dive into the wonderful world of SEO thanks to SEMrush and Bloggers Tell All (Thanks Stephanie!). I’m working on low hanging fruit and writing better posts now keeping in mind best practices. I know SEO is a long game and I’m committed.
8. Not removing the Rafflecopter codes after each giveaway ended. Why oh why didn’t I do this???? It would have taken two seconds. My Site Speed Audit said to remove all giveaway codes (and linkys) to improve my site speed. I have 130 pages of giveaways…..I know, it’s nuts (see #1). Each day, I go through about 10 giveaways and remove the codes. I’ll get there….eventually.
9. Making more pin sizes. Pinterest said in a live Facebook show that they are now penalizing those long “giraffe” pins and focusing more on pins with a 2:3 ratio. Long collage pins were popular for sooooo long so every post has them. I’m not deleting them, but moving forward I’m making more sizes. I’m still doing the long pin (because they are still performing for me), a 2:3 collage and 2:3 with just text.
Whew! There are more, but I’d be here all day writing and I know you’re busy. I’d love to hear what are some of your blogging mistakes?