This blog has been around for quite awhile, but it’s only been in the past year and a half that I have devoted time and effort to post (mostly) consistently. It’s crazy that it’s already been so long! I have learned SO MUCH from blogging and I can’t wait to see how much more this little space can grow.
When I started this blog, I never would have imagined I could be someone who made money through blogging. I started a blog mostly as an experiment and to exercise my passion for finance and writing. It has grown so much more (and much more quickly) than I ever could have imagined. To think, after only a year and I am already making money from blogging!
If you’re interested in starting your own blog, read my free tutorial here!
Not only that, but my blog has lead to the opportunity to get paid to freelance write for other bloggers and companies. Honestly, it has been so amazing to get paid well for writing! I know I have a lot left to learn, but I have learned so much during this past year of blogging. Some were fun lessons to learn, but most were complete fails, so I hope you have a laugh and learn from my mistakes!
1) Not Posting Valuable Content
A blog is your own personal space, and I definitely think you should share as much of your life on there as you want. However, if you’re serious about earning money while blogging and getting actual people to visit your blog, you need to write solid and engaging content that people want to read.
This was a huge shift in thinking for me. No one was going to find my blog if I only wrote about my own life and finances. I had to have an applicable takeaway. So I started thinking about blog post titles. If I was writing something that didn’t have a strong title, I knew it wouldn’t perform well.
I occasionally still do personal and financial updates, but I know that these won’t drive traffic to my blog, so I don’t spend time marketing them.
3) Failure to Be Consistent
This is cliché, but it is so true. Once you build up any following, even if its tiny, you need to be there for your readers. They will expect a steady stream of blog posts!
This isn’t to say you need to post every single day. Lord knows I do not. But chose a time – maybe every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or just once a week on Mondays. Post new content the same time every week.
3) Being Unprepared to Earn Income
I say this because I was totally not prepared to make any money. So all of the sudden, I had people reaching out to me wanting to partner with me or hire me and I had no idea what to do!
I suggest thinking about what kind of work you might do. Would you be open to affiliate partnerships? Different advertisers? Freelance writing opportunities?
This isn’t to say you’ll start off making a ton of money right away. Blogging is a lot of hard work and can take years to grow into something major. But even if you only earn a few cents a day through Adsense, you’ll need to be prepared to keep track of your earnings.
Since I aim to make money through affiliate marketing, advertisements, and sponsorships, I need to have material for any potential client to understand what services I offer. I created a media kit, which has been a literal lifesaver! I’ll have to do a post on media kits in the future, but essentially, a media kit is a snapshot of who you are, what you do, what services you offer, your stats, and your rates. It sounds like a lot, but my media kit is just a simple one-page document. I update it periodically when I change my rates. Now, when I reach out to a potential client or vice versa, I simply send this document to them. It helps me to always be prepared for new opportunities!
Once you start making money, I also highly suggest opening a separate bank account for your blogging income. I personally use Capital One 360 savings, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s all online, which allows them to give me higher interest rates on my savings! If you’re interested and open an account today through my link, you’ll get $25 once you simply deposit just $250 into a new account.
4) Not Putting in Hard Work
I definitely see a correlation between my hard work and how much I make. When I slack a little on the blog, I don’t receive as many page views, which definitely leads to a decrease in blogging income.
Good things come to you when you work hard! Blogging is a lot of hard work, especially at first, but it’s fun if you’re passionate about it!
5) Not Backing Up Your Blog
My number one piece of advice is to Back. Up. Your. WEBSITE!
There may have been a time when I first started blogging that I accidentally deleted my entire website *insert face palm emoji*
Luckily, I didn’t have a ton of content, and I was able to recover all my content. I just used it as a good excuse to redo my blog layout and design. But it was a major headache and it could have been a major issue if my site was any bigger. It only takes a minute to back up your site, so make sure you schedule backups regularly.
6) Not Staying True to Yourself
Remember, above all, that this is your blog. Look to other blogs for inspiration, but be YOU! The world doesn’t need two of the exact same blogs.
I struggled with this a lot at first. I would read blogs that were written in a much more professional and formal tone. I thought I was supposed to write like them! But I realized that it’s not who I am and it’s not what I want this blog to be about. I want this blog to be a fun place to learn about finances and such. So I won’t hide the fact anymore that 99% of the blog posts I write are while I’m on my second glass of Cabernet and rewatching Grey’s Anatomy for the 1291 time.
Keep in mind, this also applies to choosing who you work with and represent. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some companies and brands I really truly love and would recommend. I’ve also had a lot of shady brands reach out to work with me. It can be hard to turn down money, but if it isn’t a brand you can 100% stand behind, it’s better to turn down an offer than to sacrifice your integrity.
7) Failing to Utilize Pinterest
Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest, and it has honestly been the best tool I’ve used so far when it comes to blogging.
Even though I LOVE Pinterest, there is no way I can be on it 24/7 and figure out the best times to pin and share my content. So I pay for services that do it for me. I have used both Boardbooster and Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest feed. They both have their pros and cons. I’ve had great results using Boardbooster, but it was more complicated and time-consuming. I now use Tailwind because it saves me so much time, is very user-friendly, and it gives me in-depth analytics about my pins. I would recommend either!
8) Having an Inflexible Attitude
You can read about blogging and learn as much as you can, but it really is something you have to just dive right in and take as it comes. No amount of preparation can really prepare you (I’m Type-A and can’t believe I’m saying skip the planning!)
Opportunities will arise. You’ll face rejection. You’ll have viral posts. You’ll also have months with very low traffic. You can control some of the outcome, but you’ll also have periods where you feel like you’re working your booty off and not getting anywhere. It’s important to have fun with it and remember that blogging ebbs and flows, just like any other business.
9) Being Competitive
The personal finance blogging community has been so supportive. There are a lot of money blogs out there, but I have never felt like they are my competition. Other PF bloggers have been encouraging and willing to share their wisdom. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers and they have helped me out a ton. I love getting emails from other bloggers and that I know I can reach out to a variety of different people if I need anything.
Personal finance bloggers are so collaborative that we even have our own website directory, created by a few bloggers! Check it out!
10) Not Having Fun!
Blogging is as fun or as stressful as you make it. Push yourself to do well and be consistent, but also enjoy the freedom to write about whatever you would like.
*Bonus! Learn How to Code!*
You don’t need a deep understanding of coding, but as I wrote this, I am so glad I learned a little CSS. WordPress blog themes generally make it easy to make this website look pretty, but sometimes I do have to go in and change the code to get it to look exactly how I want. Learning coding isn’t as difficult as it sounds! I highly recommend checking out Codeacademy.com (and it’s free!)
Are you a blogger? What lessons have you learned? If you’re not a blogger, do you have questions about blogging? Comment below!