Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes I Made Starting a Blog

So you want to start a blog. Almost everyone is on social media:  a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Instagram, Snapchat and multiple others.  So why not a blog?

There is no reason not to have a blog. Many people do, but you may want to avoid the mistakes that I’ve made.

When I started this blog almost a month ago, I made quite possibly every mistake imaginable in starting a blog.  But I just want to tell you about the 3 biggest mistakes I made and hopefully how to avoid them.

1.  Determine your motivation for blogging before jumping in the deep end.  What do you want to accomplish with your blog?

I gave starting a blog about five minutes of thought before I jumped in. I was clueless. To a large extent, I still am. My advice would be to put some serious time and effort into thinking about your motivation, your reason, for starting a blog.

Do you have a business you want to support and promote? Do you have something you want to educate the public about like finance or investing? Do you have interesting stories you want to share? Do you want to entertain? Do you want to inspire?

Take some time to determine what your real passion is and let this guide the direction of your blog. It’s okay to have more than one passion, but a great post should either entertain, educate or inspire.

When I started this blog I thought I wanted to be a freelance travel writer, I like to travel, but I love to write.  I thought freelance travel writing would give me the opportunity to make some money doing what I really love, writing. After getting more familiar with what freelance travel writing is really about, I decided that it was not for me. Most freelance travel articles in publications are dry, boring lists.

I want to write compelling stories, I like writing novels and I’m passionate about many issues.  Dry borings lists is not one of them.

By that time, however, I had already started this blog. OOPS!

 2.  Put some time and research into determining your domain name.

There are an abundance of articles available on how to choose a great domain name in terms of SEO. I’m not a Tech geek so I can’t really offer any advice on that other than to do your research.

The advice I can offer is that it’s a good idea if your Domain name reflects your blog content.  There are exceptions to this rule.  Some bloggers use just their name and for people recognized in their field, that works out well for them.

I really made 2 mistakes in choosing my Domain name but I’m going to give myself a break because they both fall under choosing a Domain name.  Since I’m not focusing on travel writing, Journies with Liz really doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore.  Drats!  Also, according to experts, the cutsie misspelling of journeys is a big mistake in terms of SEO.  A month ago I didn’t know what SEO was.

It’s worth spending more than a few minutes in choosing a domain name.  I certainly wish I had!

 3.  Do some research before choosing a blog host.

The things to keep in mind when researching a blog host are customer support, functionality offered and price.  I didn’t do any comprehensive research before I set up my blog other than a cursory look.  To put it very bluntly, this option was cheap and I was broke.  The functionality as well as the customer service is very limited. For example, Bluehost offers 24/7 customer service where WordPress.com may get back to you in 2-3 days.  That’s just an example and not an endorsement.

These are the 3 biggest mistakes I’ve made in setting up my blog, but I’ve made numerous more.  I’m sure that these won’t be my last and I’m learning more every day.  If you’re thinking about starting a blog, I hope this will help you avoid some of these mistakes.  If you are already an established blogger who took the time to do things right, (and actually bothered to read this) I hope you’re laughing your head off.

This is certainly a journey!  Not the type I intended to be writing about, but a journey after all.