3 Mistakes You Should Avoid Blogging

What I Have Learned From 6 Months of Blogging – 3 Mistakes You Should Avoid

Results after 6 months of blogging on NextStepFreedom.com

We all like success stories don’t we? Yes we do because they reflect what is possible as most of them are from people just like you and me. I just wanted to share my results from my first 6 months of blogging.

We see people all over the internet (specially Facebook) showing screenshots of results and video testimonials etc etc. Hell, I made one just yesterday. What is not so widely spread around are the failures and the mistakes and all the attempts to make money that didn’t work out.

Am I a success story? In a way yes. But you could also say that I’m a failure. I probably have been able to generate (and make some profits) more dollars online than 99% of the people on the planet but less than probably 99% of internet marketers. I have had success and failures. You see, “success” to one person can be a totally different thing to another.

I did manage to make my first 5K with my first product about 2 years ago – but I failed at going all in full-time marketer last year as my income didn’t sustain me. Too early.

So back to the trenches doing 9-5. Great.

That alone could have been enough to bury my dreams and just forget about this online thingy. But if you add all the other stuff that didn’t work out for me in the past – you would wonder why I still tell myself this is possible. I first googled “make money online” back in 2010 but I didn’t actually managed to generate it until 2015.

But even though I did make money then – I didn’t “get” it. I didn’t understand what an online business should be focused on – helping other people. But the funny thing is that when you are doing this trip, being bombarded with all this tech stuff, the marketing and all that – your brain is storing things unconsciously in the back for later to be drawn out when you have that “aha” moment.

For me I guess I had that moment December 2016 when I finally understood that all the bits and pieces I had learned these two years before were coming together for me. When you stop focusing on your money problems and start focusing on solving others – then things will start to change for the better.

Maybe this post is starting to sound like I just made a million-dollar with my blog. Oh-no. This is not that kind of a success story. Advice: If you are going to start your blog then make sure that focus on that and don’t start comparing to other people. Yes we all know that other people are making millions with their blogs and websites and if you start focusing on that – it’s going to be really frustrating and disheartening when you look at your statistics and see zero people visiting yours.

But those people started maybe years ago in the exact place that you are today if you are thinking about starting out. You have to focus on you and realize that the competition is you. It’s about improving and trying to do grow month to month.

Here is a fact. I have probably started a WordPress blog about 20 times before in the past trying to make money with Adsense or affilate marketing and I have failed at all of them. It shouldn’t surprise you as most people give up when they don’t see results after 1 month. They think “why should I spend time on this when nobody is visiting my blog?”. That’s what usually happens. People throw in the towel after 1-2 months because they are not making money and not seeing the numbers they expected.

That’s where we come to the interesting part of a blog. Numbers and stats. Now to many people numbers and tracking are maybe not the “sexiest” thing about an online business. But it should be. Being a graphic designer myself I had no interest in looking at columns, pies, charts – what you call it – and percentages that are names something like “sessions”, “bounce-rate”, “page-views” and so on. I was more of a graphic guy. But I changed. I decided that I wanted to like it. So I started to tell me that this was fun. I started to tell me that coding was fun. Because I knew that most people didn’t like to really deal with this kind of stuff – and that’s why most people don’t succeed.  Today I’m glad because I’m starting to really love this.

First off not much is going to happen probably. There will be days that you will only see zero visitors and it’s really annoying because instantly you think “well maybe it’s just not interesting for people”. Then you will see number like 1,2 and 3 pop up and even 5. That’s were I’m at. I had 34 visitors come to my blog in June 2017 with at total of 40 sessions (events).  Now before you roll around laughing on the floor it’s important to look at the numbers. You are competing with yourself remember – not other people and their numbers. As I’m writing this post on the 22nd of July and I’m currently looking at my numbers in Google Analytics and it shows that I’m already at 40 unique visitors and 43 sessions. Still 8 days left of july. The 22nd of June I was at 26 unique visitors. That’s an increase of 53.85%!

Let’s imagine that my unique visitor number continues to grows 53% each month. In september the unique visitor number could be around 93 a month. Still tiny right? December the number would be 334. Could be worse but still just 10 people a day roughly. In March 2018 this number would be at 1.194 unique visitors a month. 30-40 people a day. By August 2018 I could potentially be having 10.015 people visiting my blog. Remember. This is if the 53% increase continues to happen. February 2019 the number would be 128.470 unique visitors. That’s a lot of eyeballs on your posts, your products and offers. A lot of influence. A lot of money.

2017 July Blog Stats

2017 July Blog Stats

Now this is just “in-theory” and it’s probably not going to happen exactly like this. It could take longer and it could be quicker. I hear stories about people starting million-dollar generating blogs in just one year. It’s possible. But it usually takes some serious amount of work, SEO, promotions, staff, funds etc. I’m just building my blog on my own pace with nearly zero investment. But the thing I was trying to show you with these numbers above that it’s so important to understand your journey is your journey. It’s important to know that you are moving forward and the numbers tell you. If I know that I’m getting 53% more traffic than last month I know that I’m doing something right. Then I don’t care if my number is only 40 because I know that it’s growing. Just let the progress have it’s way and sit back and ignore the ones that make fun of your tiny number.

It’s obvious you have to track your numbers so here are some mistakes that I made and you should avoid:

Tip 1

Keep your blog seperate from squeeze pages and landing pages

Keep your blog seperate from optins pages and landing pages for your offers. I was running paid traffic to one of my squeeze pages made in OptimizePress connected to my blog. This traffic would show up in Google Analytics and completely skew my data. I don’t want to mix paid traffic with the “organic” growth of my blog. What I mean by that is traffic from search engines, social media and referral traffic like websites and email. Mixing paid traffic with that gives you false ideas about how your blog is doing as you are “bribing” people to visit your blog – so I have realized that the best way is to just buying a special domain for your squeeze pages and send traffic to it. This was some obvious beginner mistakes that I made and I should have known in advance but sometimes you just don’t completely understand things until you test them out. So be warned.

Tip 2

Trying to be perfect

Probably you have some kind of a online role model that influences you. I know that I have. At first I was trying to copy that person too much and I soon saw that I was not being myself. That’s ok. We all have to start somewhere and it can take a while to “find our voices”. It’s good to follow other successful people and see what they are doing and just do the same. That doesn’t mean stealing though. Nothing wrong with getting ideas for things but find your own voice, your own style and with time just let go and be yourself. Don’t worry too much about perfect grammar or about technology. Take imperfect action! Just start taking action and adjust the course on the way. Ok so you forgot to put the logo of your brand in the corner of the video you just made for your blog. Correct it in the next post. Just keep going man. People are going to follow you for who you and less for your attention to detail. Most people are willing to forgive small errors in return for the value your are bringing them.

Tip 3

Taking breaks

No no no. Running your own business means exactly that. There are no breaks. An online business is open 24/7. That doesn’t mean however that YOU have to be working all the time. I recently went on a two week vacation to Spain to visit my in-laws. My 7th time visiting and never disappoints. So what I did was to post one blogpost right before leaving and then I just left it being inactive for two weeks. What a big mistake. Firstly my bounce rate went from 0% up 100%. What is a bounce rate? It’s the amount of people that visit the homepage of your blog and leave within 10 seconds. What does that tell me? That probably I had already generated a small group of people following me and probably checking my blog every 1-3 days. When they see that I have not been blogging for a week – they immediately close the page as there is nothing new! I saw zero visits for 4 days in a row and became a little bit worried checking my stats by pool. What I understand now that with growth there comes responsibility. Just like newspapers are responsible to their readers, a blog has responsibility to it’s website visitors. I mean why am I blogging anyways if not for people to read my posts? After updating my blog when I came home my stats recovered and are not back to normal. What I learned from this and should not surprise you is to write your blogposts in advance and then use the “schedule” options to select a date in the future to be posted. That way you blog continues to ping the search engines and provide value to your visitors thus increasing the growth of your blog (not decreasing) while you relax.

Bounce rate suddenly increasing

Bounce rate suddenly increasing

I am going to be doing short “Goal Reports” for my blog at the end of each month as a way to document my progress, holding my self accountable and inspiring other. I’m going to be publishing them here on the blog and on my Facebook page.

Hafsteinn Thordarson / NextStepFreedom.com


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