I’ve been blogging for over 7 years now and I’ve gone through many ups and downs. Everything I know I had to learn by simple trial and error. No matter if it was this blog or my Tumblr blog I’ve made plenty of mistakes that led to an inevitable fall of my work until I got my shit together. There is a lot to learn from my many failures so let me tell you about the mistakes I made and how to avoid them.
The first big mistake I ever did was changing my niche so suddenly that led to many unfollows. I’ve been a typical fan blog, appreciating many tv shows, bands, and YouTubers. My audience accepted that.
One day I got an offer to collaborate with a fashion website and I took the opportunity. Since that day I got many more collaborations offers and I was thrilled. My audience not so much.
More on how I started working with fashion brands is HERE.
Suddenly I was posting fashion related posts they were not expecting from me.
No one is under obligation to keep following people forever. If you’re not feeling it anymore just hit the unfollow button.
Sadly for me, that’s exactly what my followers did.
I lost so many of my followers back then and I completely understand them.
Ever since that time I gained more than double the number of followers I had before and this time they are all in for the content.
The moral of the story is a bit complicated. You might try easing your followers in slowly. Start something new but keep your old niche in mind.
Who knows, maybe your audience will appreciate your new self if you give them the chance. If not, don’t dwell on it.
You’re moving on and they are too.
I made everything extra hard for myself by simply refusing to speak my native language. Obviously, the possibility for the greater audience comes with English rather than the Slovak language.
Most of the world has no idea where Slovakia is, there are just around 6 million of us and frankly, my thoughts sound way better in English. Therefore choosing to blog in English was super easy. Maintaining my blog in English not so much.
It’s one thing to speak the language. The other is to speak the language on a technical level.
I’ve struggled so much trying to understand the basics, not only because of the English language but mostly for the technical language. But I was way more proud of myself for finally managing it.
I had a very basic understanding of how websites work or of the HTML coding. Everything I know now I learned by myself by googling a ton and making a ton of mistakes.
I can’t even count how many times I put the wrong code to my theme and disrupted the whole thing. It took me an embarrassingly long time to write the ads.txt file and even longer to find out where to put it. The same goes for robots.txt that I’m still learning to use. I know everything there is to know about robots.txt files in theory but the application is still missing for me. Each of my coding errors leads to a decrease in my reach and hand in hand with zero earnings.
Google ads are great once you know what you’re doing.
Most days than not, I was earning 0-0,1$ per day and I’ve spend days looking for an error in my ways.
Using Google ads is a perfect example of learning blogging the hard way.
Let me tell you a story of how badly I fucked up.
It was my beginnings with google ads and one obvious thought entered my head that I’m sure entered the heads of many bloggers before me.
What if I ask people to click my ads and increase my earnings?
I knew it was frowned upon and punished to do so but I thought I was smarter than that. I’m not gonna get caught. The plan was to use different IP addresses and different days to click the ads.
It’s not only about simply clicking. The potential customer needs to click around for a while for the money to come your way. I made my sisters, parents, and friends do so thinking how easy it is to screw the system.
I was earning around 10$ a day by self clicking and I thought earning money blogging was so easy. Why don’t more people do that?
Until the day I got caught.
All of the income I made was taken away from me and my blog was blocked for a month from displaying ads on my site. Naturally, my reach dropped. Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting was gonna happen. I knew it was wrong while I was doing it but I was like “Let’s do this while it lasts”.
Moral of the story: You’re not smarter than the system honey, don’t click on your own ads.
There is another beautiful way I fucked up because of the dangerous ack of information.
I was not aware of like amount limit at WordPress and I’m sure many of you aren’t familiar with it either.
Like who actually reads terms and conditions right?
So apparently you’re not allowed to like too much or too fast.
I admit, exploring readers’ section on WordPress and liking other blogs is a great tool. Not only you can see how other bloggers do it, show your appreciation or make some friends but it also brings a lot of new readers to your blog.
Curiosity is a beautiful thing. Curiosity is the main reason you’re all reading this right now.
Most of the time I did not finish reading all of the articles I liked. I liked the photo so I liked the post. I liked the title so I liked the post without really going through it all.
One day I noticed that every time I try to like a post my like pops up for a second and then disappears.
I didn’t know what to do so I messaged Jetpack’s support.
I bought myself a jetpack premium so I wanted to use that at least once.
They kindly explained to me that I’m blocked from liking and for the first time ever I heard that there were such things as like limit at WordPress. To my surprise, they lifted up the ban and I was free to like again with a little warning of not liking too much and too fast.
Honestly, the concept of too much is so subjective, and no matter how hard I searched I couldn’t find anything explaining how many posts can you like at WordPress before you’re banned.
Funny thing: a couple of months ago I got banned again. This time Jetpack refused to unban me as they apparently have a policy saying they can make an exception once and that’s it. I’m banned for life from liking WordPress articles.
So, my fellow bloggers I see you, I like you but I can’t actually like you cuz WordPress said so.
Jetpack promised that it’s not gonna affect my reach, people from WordPress will still be able to find my blog in the reader section I’m just not allowed to like anything. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed a major decrease in incoming readers from WordPress from hundreds to few tens a day.
That’s the price I pay for being too greedy with the likes. Let me tell you, from the bottom of my heart: My bad.
Moral of the story: Be cautious with what you like.
Purchasing expensive blogging packs is its own thing. I myself consider it sort of a mistake.
Getting a jetpack premium pack served me 2 times altogether. The first time I mention already when I was banned from the liking.
Then the second time was when I got hacked and all my recent articles got erased and replaced with one broken link. I messaged the jetpack support and they helped me restore my articles back. It turned out a lot of bloggers got hacked that time and messaged jetpack so the issue was global.
Honestly, I wouldn’t need their help if their security was working properly.
Other than that I didn’t notice I’m paying extra to improve my website.
To be fair I don’t remember the time I wasn’t using the premium pack so I can’t really tell the benefits of it. It’s been always there so I barely notice it anymore.
A few months ago I upgraded my Yoas SEO to SEO premium and that was a huge mistake I’m still learning to deal with. The day I purchased it my reach dropped by thousands and I’m unable to get back to the top.
Obviously, I messaged the SEO Premium support.
If I have to compare the jetpack and SEO support I have to say jetpack is way better.
Jetpack support reply within minutes and with useful answers.
Seo premium support answered in like 1 day with zero answers. They referred me to their courses on using the right keywords or writing the right title. Apparently, there are many reasons why my reach might have dropped. Basically, I learned nothing from their email. Not helpful at all.
On the other hand, their SEO courses are pretty cool even though they are unnecessarily long and slow with repetitive information.
I’m still trying to figure out how to use my bought plans for the best but it’s such a mess. The truth is I had better results when I kept it simple with a basic plan. The times when all that mattered was the content of my articles and not all of the crap all around it.
Monetizing my thoughts took the fun of writing.
Back in the days, I took on collaboration with blogerize when I converted from WordPress to self-hosted and I had a lovely lady helping me out. Wrote it all down in my How to start blogging like a pro. I guess the collaboration had some time expiration cuz I tried to get in touch with them for months now asking for help with my reach drop with no answer whatsoever.
It’s still better to do it on your own and your own terms but the key to that is understanding.
Easy is boring so I’m gonna spend time trying to understand blogging and making so many mistakes to learn from. It’s frustrating and hard and from time to time I’m wondering if it’s really worth it.
But then as I’m typing and typing and typing thinking about how thousands of people all around the world are gonna read what I have to say I think: Well, blogging is pretty cool.