#62 | 6 nasty mistakes I made when I started blogging

When I first started blogging I was terrible at it.

And that’s even with years of experience in content writing and SEO under my belt before I started my first site.

I’ve no idea whether other successful bloggers were giving tips on how to succeed back then.

If they were, I didn’t know about it.

I figured everything out through trial and error.

And made a ton of mistakes along the way.

So in today’s email, I’m going to share the details of some of those mistakes.

To make sure that you don’t fall into the same traps.

Here we go…

(but first, the ad break that makes it possible for me to write these emails)

1. I quit too soon.

I only worked on my first blog for a month before I quit.

I didn’t know that it takes at least 6 months to see results.

I didn’t know how valuable those results could be.

So I quit, and I didn’t start again for another 7 years!

I really am kicking myself about that.

2. I niched down too small.

I don’t think I’ve told you this, but I don’t like my domain name.

I put zero thought into choosing it, and it’s far too niched down for the broader niche that I want to cover.

I cover the broader niche regardless, but for most readers, the domain name doesn’t really match the content.

Could I change it?


But it would cost me thousands in lost ad revenue during the switch.

And links with a 301 redirect are never as good as clean links.

So I’m stuck with it.

Ah well.

Brand names don’t matter as much as you think.

There’s a shop in the UK called ‘Carphone Warehouse’.

They’re still going strong, even though many people reading this will be too young to know what a ‘carphone’ is.

3. I made my site pretty, but slow.

My site had large, detailed images.

It had widgets and plugins doing all sorts of fancy but unnecessary things.

I picked a random theme that looked nice without considering how heavy it was.

And the site was slow as shit.

People didn’t hang around waiting for things to load on mobile, and the traffic suffered.

I switched themes to Generate Press, deleted as many plugins as possible, and resized every image to under 150kb before uploading.

And now it’s fast AF.

4. I didn’t grown an email list

My email list is SO valuable.

But I didn’t start growing in until at least 2 years in.

I didn’t know how to.

But now I know it’s simple.

All you need is a simple freebie (like a pdf cheatsheet)

An in-content block or pop-up where people can enter their email address to get the freebie,

And you’re good to go.

You can build all this in a couple of hours with Mailerlite

And it’s free until you have 1,000 subscribers.

5. I didn’t check my spelling and grammar

When you’ve finally finished a post, the last thing you want to do is proofread it, right?

Not to blow my own trumpet here, but I’m damn good at spelling – in both British and American English.

I can write about an embarrassing manoeuvre with pomegranate daiquiri,

No problem.

But I have fat fingers when it comes to typing.

Not only do typos not look professional to your readers,

But they’re a signal of low-quality content to Google.

Now I use the free Grammarly Chrome extension to underline anything that looks dodgy.

6. I started too many sites

There’s always a reason to start a new site.

But most of the time, that reason is because it’s fun, not because it makes good business sense.

I have five sites now and, yes, I’m going to start another one soon.

I try to justify this by saying ‘I only start one per year’


‘I always get one making money before I start the next’


‘This next one is just to test a certain strategy’

Those are all true, and they are mitigating circumstances.

But the fact of the matter is that I would be making a lot more money if I only had one site.

Have you made any of these mistakes too?

They’re probably pretty common.

But the main thing is that we recognise where we can do better,

we never stop learning, and we keep improving every day.

Until next time,