A lot of new bloggers want to just dive right in and get started blogging. They figure they’ll learn from their mistakes as they go. In some cases, that’s fine. Too many bloggers are so afraid of making mistakes they never get started. Chances are you’re going to set up more than one blog anyway, before you really start understanding the business. But what if your first blog is a hit? Avoid these 8 bad decisions when starting a new website and maybe you’ll only have to start just this one.
Free or cheap webhosting: There are plenty of free hosting sites out there like Blogger or Weebly, and you can pick up dirt cheap hosting all over the web. The problem is, you have no control over those sites. Some won’t let you monetize your blog, some limit your bandwidth, and some are just plain unreliable. The real kicker is, if your blog turns out to be successful, some of these sites won’t let you move it to your own hosting and domain, either. Then what? All your hard work, down the drain.
At the very least, go to a reputable hosting site like Hostgator and get the smallest package they offer. You’ll have unlimited bandwidth to handle your traffic and if you need more hosting it’s as easy as upgrading your plan, you won’t have to worry about moving anything.
Not buying a domain name: You can name your blog whatever you want, whenever you want. You can even change the name every day of the week if you want to. But your domain name is your blog’s address on the web. It’s unique, and when you buy it, it’s yours. Which means no one can steal your name when your blog becomes a superstar.
Bad domain name: Be careful to check that domain name before you buy it. If it was previously owned by a scammer or unscrupulous blogger it could have some really bad search engine vibes attached. Once Google sandboxes a domain it’s hard to get it back out. Make sure the name you’re buying has a spotless reputation.
Poor blog design: When your blog is new you don’t have to worry about little things like lots of images, lots of videos and most importat – lots of traffic. However, as your blog traffic increases and your blog content grows these things can put a real strain on your platform. Choose a professional blog theme and platform that can handle the growth and traffic. Free themes might look nice but a lot of them have poor coding that can crash under the strain.
Poor content: Don’t put all your energy into your blog design, save some for the content, too. After all, your content is what’s going to keep those readers on your blog and bring them back again and again.
Poor market researched: Just because you’re interested in purple puppies doesn’t mean everyone else is. Take the time to do the research. Is there an interest? How much competition do you have? What keywords do you need to use to attract a targeted audience?
Poor navigation: It’s easy for readers to get lost on a blog. Expecially once your posts roll into the archives. Make sure you have clear category links, clear page links, and highlight special content so readers find it.
Blogging toward the wrong audience: This is one of the biggest areas of difficulty. If you want to attract readers who are interested in buying purple puppies, then you have to provide the content they’re looking for. You can blog about puppies and kittens all day long, but if all you’re selling is purple puppies then you need to do something to attract people specifically interested in purple puppies.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!