It’s amazing how we can start a new project with the best of intentions and somewhere along the way we drop the ball. When I launched Living Dreams Joyfully December 28, 2017 I was full of excitement and ready to set the world on fire. I read all the list of things I needed to be successful and I had lot of ideas and plans, but I failed miserably at executing my plan. So I’m going to share my short comings in hopes that I can help the next new blogger to avoid making the mistakes I made.
1. Monetizing: Make sure you have your plan for monetizing your blog in place the day you launch your blog. Why? Because this will be the time that your new blog will get a lot of traffic regardless of your content. Your personal sphere of influence will be curious to know what you are up to so they will visit your site. My Mistake: I didn’t take the time to learn and research affiliate marketing and how it worked BEFORE my launch. I waited until a month later to start learning and then I got side tracked with other things and NEVER implemented what I learned. My Consequence: I lost my Amazon Associates account because I did not have any sales in 6 months and I have made $0.00 in my first year of blogging. What I would do differently: I would have created content linking to products that I use and love on Amazon. I would have highlighted that content in my new blog announcement and I possibly would have made some sales and had one of my main monetizing items in place.
2. Content Creation: Everything thing I read said you should have 2 to 3 post per topic that you plan to discuss on your blog. I did not heed this advice. My Mistake: I thought since I had a lot of personal knowledge on travel, personal finance and personal development I could just post things as I go. WRONG! I had so many other things going on which made it hard to switch gears to create on the fly. So content creation was constantly put on the back burner. Even though I had all this information that I had accumulated available to me I had not taken the time to organize it and create an engagement plan for my audience. My Consequence: My following has NOT grown very far beyond my family and friends because I haven’t created anything to make others interested in what I am doing. What I would do differently: I would have delayed my launch date and focused on creating quality content to draw new followers in and keep them coming back to hear more of what I have to say. I would have created several post for a later date and made a creation schedule to stay ahead so when life got in the way I would already have content ready to go even when I didn’t have time to create.
3. Networking: I can’t believe I screwed this up because I am pretty good at meeting people. I didn’t meet any other bloggers in person until September 20, 2018 when I went to Travelcon a travel blogging conference. Meeting people in person opens the door to collaboration with others who are on your same path. The conference also exposed me to so much information. I found out just how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know! My Mistake: Honestly this was pure oversight. I failed to think of blogging in a professional sense of starting a business. I was just thinking of it as an extension to social media. My Consequence: I was almost a year into starting a blog before I truly learned about all the things I really needed to know about being a successful blogger. There is a lot of fragmented information online that you can piece together to figure out how to become a blogger, but talking to people who really do it closes the gap on all the things that are missing online. What I would do differently: I would have reached out to a blogger through social media and asked them what the best conferences were for me to attend for networking with other bloggers. I probably would have attended a conference before I launched or shortly after to make sure I had a network of people in the business.
4. MARKETING: SELL YOURSELF!!! This is something that I’ve always struggled with as an entrepreneur. I have a very funny personality and I feel that I shouldn’t have to constantly tell the people around me what I do. My Mistake: I was shy and I was nervous about constantly promoting my blog because I didn’t want people to think I was just trying to flaunt my travels and the life that I’ve created. My Consequence: People don’t come to me for the services I announced through my blog when I launched it because they forget exactly what it is I have to offer. I didn’t create a strong engaged audience to leverage my influence when submitting proposals to work with brands. What I would do differently: I would be shameless about promoting Living Dreams Joyfully and I would make sure I mentioned it to everyone that I met. I would post to my social media accounts on a more consistent basis so people would share the great things they were hearing from Living Dreams Joyfully.
I hope me sharing my mistakes has been helpful for anyone out there considering starting a blog. A lot of people think starting a blog is an easy business and all you have to do is set up a website and write some post. The reality is that this is not an easy business to be in. If it were EVERYBODY would have a six figure blogging career. After having a disastrous first year I am excited about moving into year two with all the lessons that I’ve learned and I plan to have a much more successful update on the second anniversary of Living Dreams Joyfully!