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Before we get into today’s post, have you checked out my last post – 4 Reasons why my first blog failed? If not, you should check that out too!
As I mentioned in that post, over my years of internet writing, I’ve had 3 different blogs. This one here, is my latest. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve also learned a lot as well.
Looking back at my first blog, I can honestly say it was a train wreck. The second one went a bit better, but it still wasn’t what I’d consider a success!
Turns out, I’ve made a whole mess of mistakes! (And I’m sure to make plenty more this third time around!)
So stay tuned for all the things I did wrong, so you know what to avoid as well!
Here’s a short backstory of my second blog so we’re on the same page when I get to what I did wrong!
My second blog came into effect about a few months after my first blog. didn’t work out. Even though I only posted two times on my first health and wellness blog, I was instantly addicted to the idea of owning my own website.
I had always really wanted to do something like that, and I loved writing so this profession just fits like a glove!
My second blog was a craft blog, that later was mostly focused on just crochet. I’d been crocheting since I was about seven so I thought it’d be a good topic to write on!
I planned my posts, worked really hard and got my blog up and running with WordPress this time. I had social media accounts made, I was making blogging friends and networking, sharing my posts, and even had an email list!
Everything the big bloggers told me to do, I followed. Because I also put in a ton of research this time!
So… everything sounds good and well with this blog. You might be wondering why was it a fail? Honestly, I don’t consider this blog to be a total fail.
But this second blog was failed in the sense that my overall goal of blogging was to make an income. Which was something I was not doing with this blog.
Where did I go wrong? I did so many things right, why wasn’t I making any money like the big bloggers told me I would? I even bought their courses??
The main reason why I made no money blogging?
I treated my blog like a hobby, not like a business
The thing is, I really thought I was treating my blog like a business. I researched, invested, put the time in and planned. I did everything the big bloggers told me to do.
Let’s take a look at the things I didn’t do to make this blog a success.
1. I WAS INCONSISTENT
This is one of the biggest reasons I think this second blog failed. I would go through spurts with working on my blog. In the beginning, I’d work all day, every day on my blog. Any leftover time I had I was working.
Then sometimes I would go days without touching my blog. I knew I needed to work on it but it just wasn’t fun some days. I’d rather be sitting on the couch watching Netflix (wouldn’t we all?)
-WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD
Well, first and foremost- be consistent. That’s a pretty obvious one. The question is how will you do that?
Honestly, I could give you a hundred tips and tricks on how to stay consistent with blogging. But, not a single “hack” will work if you don’t have one main thing- motivation. Okay, maybe two things. Motivation and passion.
I could tell you all of these different things like set a schedule, make a to-do list, buy a planner, write down your goals… but I’d be wasting my breath (and you’d be wasting your time reading!).
If you don’t have the motivation to get started and the passion to keep going even when you don’t feel like it. There is not a technique in the world that will help you keep on pushing but yourself.
2. I WAS WORKING ON THE WRONG THINGS
As I said, in the beginning, I was always working on my blog. The problem, however, wasn’t how much I worked it was what I was working on. I didn’t focus on how to monetize my site.
I spent almost all of my time creating free content in the form of blog posts, or I was creating videos for YouTube. And while these things could eventually create a stream of income via ad revenue, that was going to be a long way down the line after I had tons of traffic. In short, profit was not going to be instant.
So no wonder I wasn’t making any money- I wasn’t creating revenue streams! I did try to do that at one point by opening my own Etsy shop and selling patterns, but I wasn’t a great pattern maker. And trying to sell things on Etsy is hard.
I made one sale since I opened my Etsy shop (which I’ve had since before my blog even became a thing) and because of the way I priced the item, I actually lost money. Needless to say, Etsy wasn’t the way to go for me.
And since my goal was to make a full time living from blogging, not making money with my second blog is a huge reason why it failed.
-WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD
Decide what strategy you want to use to make money and learn everything you can about it. Something that I didn’t realize until much later is the reason I wasn’t getting paid is that I wasn’t giving a reason for anyone to give me money!
People don’t just hand you money after you’ve been blogging for a month. You have to give them something to buy, offer something for sale- anything that will generate an income for you.
It sounds so silly now that I look back at it but it was something I did for an entire year and never really knew how to fix! I will definitely be doing things different with this blog!
What’s the strategy I recommend?
While I did try affiliate marketing on my second blog as well, I was doing it all wrong. It was one of the biggest failed parts of the blog. I could never figure out how to do it and on top of that, I wasn’t consistent enough in my efforts.
I finally bought a few courses on affiliate marketing but the only one that actually worked for me was called Mastering Sales with Ell every other course I bought was over-priced or just didn’t work for me! So, if you’re struggling to make money, that’s the course I suggest!
In the end, it was totally worth it! I finally feel like I have a grip on affiliate marketing, the one thing that had been a thorn in my side my entire blogging journey. I even made money in my second month with this new blog!
Essentially, what you want to do is focus on the blog content (That’s what gets people to your site!) but don’t focus all of your energy on offering stuff for free! Otherwise, why would people buy from you in the first place? What do they have to buy if everything is for free?
3. NOT HAVING A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
I got better at promoting my blog after a few trials and errors but I was still pretty lost on how to fully take advantage of social media. I didn’t really have any form of strategy.
My only “strategy” was to post on my socials as soon as my new blog post went live to tell people about it, then once again two days later as a reminder. After that, I never shared the post again.
Minus Pinterest of course, because pins have a much longer life than most social media, no one saw those blog posts again!
And I knew all of the successful bloggers told me I should only focus on 1-2 social media platforms and master those before moving on to another, but I never really liked that strategy. Which is probably a good reason why my second blog failed.
-WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD
I think it’s pretty obvious again, try and come up with a social media marketing strategy. What are you going to offer to your followers that will get them to your blog or sign up for your email list?
How are you going to entice them to click through to read your post? Then from here, you can start selling things and making money!
Maybe another good tactic to try is only focusing on 1-2 social media platforms to start out. As I said, I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Maybe a big reason my second blog failed is that I tried to focus on them all. I think I may try out 1-2 and see what happens. You could try as well and see what works best for you!
If you’re not sure what platform you should start out on, I highly recommend Pinterest. Pinterest is the reason for pretty much all of my traffic! I’d say it’s close to like 95% of my blog traffic!
How am I getting so much Pinterest traffic? I took this affordable Pinterest e-course that has so much valuable information on Pinterest strategies!! It was worth every penny I paid for it!
4. I DIDN’T HAVE AN EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGY
Yet another thing the “hotshot” bloggers focus so heavily on, and another thing that never really made sense to me. This was another failed part of the second blog. I never knew what to send to my email subscribers outside of my usual blog posts, and even then, I wasn’t very consistent with it!
I would go a month or so without emailing my subscribers because I’d forget about them completely, or sometimes I just wouldn’t have a blog post to send to them because I wasn’t posting! (See the issue with consistency here?)
-WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD
You’re supposed to give people a reason to subscribe to your email list. Give them something extra that isn’t available anywhere else. Why did they subscribe? Just to be notified every time you post? That’s okay, but it’s not the best reason. People want extra tips, freebies or short email classes to take.
Getting them to click over to your website every now and then is okay but make sure there is something else they are getting from being on your list! As you may have heard before “The money is in the list!” So make sure you nurture them!
-PICKING AN EMAIL SERVICE
I’ve tried all three of the big email services out there. MailChimp was the first one I tried, but it wasn’t easy for me to use and it seemed pretty limited in what I could do. I had the free version, up to 2,000 subscribers so that’s probably why it was limited.
I also tried Mailerlite and setup was a headache, to say the least and gave up before even setting it up fully.
Finally, I ended up on Converkit and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with it! It’s so easy to use and even though it’s a bit expensive to start out with, it gets rid of my email marketing headaches so I’ll happily pay the price. I am running a business, after all, so anything I can do to make my life easier is an investment I’m willing to make!
Interested in signing up for Convertkit yourself? Check out my favorite email service here!
I think that about covers it for the major mistakes and reasons why this second blog failed! If you want to check out the first variation of this post, what I did wrong with my first blog, feel free to go check that out!
Also, if you’d like more tips on what I did to get this blog up and running (the right way) check out How to Get Your Blog Ready for Launch Day!
Have you started your blog yet? What blogging mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them? Let me know in the comments below!