Last month, it was this blog’s anniversary.
Not that it matters, because I’m still struggling to gain some viewers and sometimes I get some writer’s block in a way I have no idea what to write. However, I think it’s a great step as in I’ve learned many things from my first year to work on The BeauTraveler. 🙂
As you may probably read it somewhere on my post, I only decided to actually focus on monetizing my blog last year. I have been blogging since forever, using different platforms in the past. From the classic LiveJournal to the mainstream Blogspot, I used everything.
It was until in 2009 when I decided to only focus on updating my daily journal on Tumblr. Until last year, I finally decided to start learning more about blogging and how to work things out so I could make it a source of income.
And if you’re familiar with the term rookie mistake, then I’ve done it. A lot of it.
So on this post, I want to share with you what rookie mistakes that I’ve done when I started blogging. Hopefully, this will help anyone, who wants to start their own blog, avoid doing the same thing in the future. 😉
1. Blog’s Name and Domain
As easy as it sounds, choosing blog’s name and domain could be really tricky.
Why? Because you want it to be easily recognized by your potential readers. And you also want it to represent your blog’s characteristics. And once you want to take a further step to purchase your own domain, you want it to be available. 😛
The first mistake that I’ve done when it comes to my blog’s name and domain is that I chose Indonesian words for my blog’s name and domain when I write the whole content in English.
Yup, when I decided to create this blog, I went with the name Ransel Ungu before finally rebranding it as The BeauTraveler a few months ago. It took a few months for me to consider the rebranding because that way, I had to spend more money to buy a new domain etc.
So, what if you want to do the same thing still?
Based on my experience, sure it’s doable and I still got some viewers anyway, but then it wasn’t ideal as my target readers are also those who are not Indonesian speakers.
Even though they came across my blog because of one thing, the chance for them to revisit my blog would be thin because they might not remember my domain or blog’s name. That’s when I decided to change my domain and rebrand the blog entirely before it’s too late. 😛
The BeauTraveler is the same concept that I have brought up ever since I created Ransel Ungu: beau-beauty-travel. That’s not so difficult for me, and the domain is available on the market so voila! 😀
2. Not Knowing the Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
As I mentioned earlier, I have used different platforms for blogging before this.
But, the first time I created this blog, it was also my first attempt to use WordPress as the blog platform. And I had no idea that there are actually TWO kinds of WordPress: wordpress.com and another is the self-hosted one wordpress.org.
I created this blog on wordpress.com and I upgraded it to Personal Plan to get my own domain for around $35 USD. I only noticed the difference of these two when I noticed I couldn’t apply for any affiliate marketing because there was no HTML/CSS stuff in which I could edit for ads and any attempt for monetizing my blog.
The other reason that made me decide to go self-hosted is also the fact that I was never happy with the theme design for my blog because it always looks so generic and the premium theme on WordPress costs a fortune for my budget!
And then when I checked out the theme designs on some websites, most of them are only eligible to use on WordPress.org platform. You know what that means? I’ll be stuck with the sucky theme design if I still don’t wanna spend more money for a premium theme.
That’s when I actually decided to transfer my whole blog to self-hosted. Not only because of the limited choice of theme designs but also because I need to rebrand my blog anyway.
Now, voila… I use both new domain and a nice, free high-customizable theme design on WordPress.org! 😀
3. Refusing to Take Part in Any Blogging Community
This is something essential that I used to ignore ever since I started blogging the early 2000s.
My first purpose to blog is only to share my thoughts about some particular issue, and I was too afraid to get myself out there so I kept my blogs only for myself. I was too afraid to get my posts read by people, especially those who know me in real life.
But then ever since I started taking blogging seriously, I realized that being a part of the blogging community is important in a way we could find people who share the same interests, and we could learn a lot of things from them!
I mean, for sure… The rookie mistake about not knowing the two wordpress(es) could be avoidable if I joined any blogging community before creating my account. But then what’s done is done, so at least lessons learned. 😀
Not only that we could get some more knowledge through joining a community, but that’s also how you network with other people from the blogging industry.
Without joining the blogging community, I suppose I wouldn’t get a chance to cover those cool travel bloggers that I have featured on The Wander Lover Series. Through being a part of blogging community, I could also update my blog constantly through the weekly or bi-weekly feature like What You Could Get in the City for $10 and Around The World with the Beauties.
4. Spending Money for Some Unnecessary Things
Here’s my confession… Due to these rookie mistakes that I’ve done, I spent money over the budget that I had prepared for this blog.
If I calculated everything since the beginning, I could have saved around $60 USD if only I went straight to WordPress.org.
Other than that, there’s some money that I spent and found unnecessary. One of them was for Facebook ads. I used it for my Facebook fanpage, and I didn’t find it worth the money I spent on it. Sure, I’ve gained hundreds of fans in a week. But then they weren’t really my target market. And they didn’t even engage with any of my posts.
If I could, I would totally spend less money that I invested on my blog for unnecessary things like upgrading plan on wordpress.com and also promoting on Facebook ads.
Based on my experience, it is more effective to actually engage with other bloggers in the community rather than just having random people to like your page or posts. So I’ve got my lessons learned.
So yeah… Those are some rookie mistakes that I’ve done when I started this blog.
Are you planning to start blogging and not sure where to start? I hope this would be useful for you. Or have you been blogging for quite some time now? What’s the rookie mistake you’ve done the first time you started?
Drop your comment below, and cheerio! 😀