Okay, so my friend (and by friend I mean the guy I had a massive crush on but who didn’t like me the same way), offered to redo my webpage and I thought, Why not? He was learning how to design websites and would move my Blogger blog to the more complex platform, Wordpress, for free. I agreed with trepidation.
Why the jelly feet?
1) I was romantically involved with the guy and I intuitively knew things could get B-A-D.
2) I would be switching over from a known to an unknown blogging service.
3) I’d be buying my own URL and thereby paying for my own domain name and hosting services, and I’m a cheap bastard.
Time passed peppered with warning signs like when I asked him to change the font or the logo design and he looked annoyed. But then *poof* I’ve got my own WP blog, hosting, URL, and custom template. From my first post, I knew something was wrong – my pics had a blue tint or haze over it. I decided to wait to see if it was me, could it be changed, or could I live with it.
Another warning sign that was pretty big, was my web designer wouldn’t answer my emails. Oh sure, sometimes he did when I had questions, but other times he would ignore or forget them. I figured I got all this design stuff for free so I couldn’t complain but I should have.
Mistake #1 Mixing business with pleasure.
Remember the saying: Don’t sell your used car to a friend? Well, I’d say that holds true in the service and web design world too. Ask yourself if your friendship with this person is more important than what you are needing/asking for. Of course, sometimes these things work out great, just think about it if it doesn’t.
Mistake #2 Trusting the other guy completely.
Once I got my new site set up, I asked a knowledgeable friend about my blog but ignored much of his advice because my web designer seem to as well. But now that I have switched themes, and have complete control over my site again, I’ve gone back and looked at my friend’s advice with a critical eye.
As Jim Rohn says, “Don’t be lazy in learning.”
I know tech stuff is supposed to be guy stuff but these days you can google any question and get the answers you need. If you are serious about blogging then you should put in serious effort and research.
Mistake #3 Alienating your audience.
I’ve been blogging consistently since 2009 and since I live in Thailand, I get a lot of questions about being an expat here. So I started to acquire some interesting emails which I thought would be funny to post on my blog (sans names). Well, lo and behold, my readership dropped like a bowling ball into the gutter because I didn’t realize that my audience was mainly old white men (*sigh*), and they didn’t think it was so tee-hee funny that I was sharing their letters. I thought I was connecting with mainly women because my site and content is girly. But I was wrong. (*double sigh*)
Mistake #4 Uploading large pictures.
My friend told me that my photos took a very long time to load, so then we figured out I was uploading these gi-normous files. Photoshop has a ‘save for web’ as well as a ‘resize image’ option, both of which I now change for all of my photos. It makes a big difference and you won’t lose quality, my pictures still look good.
Mistake #5 Not making new connections.
Oh, did I mention, blogging is work? Yeah, for a while I focused on ‘great content’ because that is what the experts told us to do. But all my hard work was just sitting pretty because nobody was finding me.
I went through phases of finding my niche community, getting busy and then letting it lie dormant but still posting weekly. Now I’m back on the outreach and knowing I can’t really let it go again. If I want readers, I need to work for it.
Mistake #6 Ignoring SEO
You know, for the sake of writing, I focus on being creative and pleasing me first because that’s who I ultimately write for, me. So I’m not saying throw your integrity out the car window. I’m saying be smart about it too. Work on that catchy title, craft those first few sentences as best as you can, turn the competition into helping you be a better writer.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert, I’m just telling you from experience, this has been my journey thus far. What’s been your biggest mistakes? Care to share?
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