Mistakes to Avoid in Beginning a Blog

by Brook Lenox on February 24, 2009

dangerThe title should really read, “Avoid Mistakes that I Made!”.  I made quite a few errors when launching this blog.  Hopefully you’ll be able to avoid these mistakes, so that you’ll have plenty of time to make others :) .

#1 Find a Mentor

At first, I thought that I would create a blog with no outside help.  Just buy “Blogging for Dummies” and do it myself.   If I wasn’t busy with my consulting business, a wonderful wife, and two kids, that might have been a possibility.  My time was very limited and a mentor could save me valuable time.  I’ve wised up.

I’ve been with BlogSuccess for about 4 months now and I’ve learned a ton.  They have created a bunch of content, a forum, and other tools to help you get an SEO, traffic generating blog up and running.

#2 Use WordPress.org

My first attempt at blogging began at Blogger.com. It was really easy to get started and simple to use, but at that time I didn’t realize that one of the amazing benefits to blogging is that it is built for search engines.  Reading blogs that called WordPress the Blogging Wonder helped me grasp why using WordPrss was so important.

#3 Buy a Word Press Theme

I originally launched this blog with a free Word Press them called Cutline by Chris Pearson.  This was a bit of an experiment, so I wanted to spend as little as possible. Free was little. 

I quickly ran into a couple issues:

  • It looked a bit generic
  • The theme didn’t do all I wanted it to do
  • Because it was free, I didn’t think I’d get great support (I needed it!)

So I went with Thesis, also by Chris Pearson and that solved all the issues above.  If you want to understand why Thesis is so great for SEO, read Sugarrae’s  Review of Thesis.

#4 Don’t Spend So Much Time on Design (Initially)

Don’t get me wrong…the current version of Online Marketing Rant as I’m writing this, still needs a lot of work.  I spent a couple of weeks mulling over what font to use, how many columns I needed, and what graphics if any I needed to have to launch.  I was wasting time and brain cells.  Paralysis by analysis as they say. I’ve learned so much more two weeks after launching the blog, than the month before when I was trying to get “everything right”.

One caveat – there could be some very good reasons to wait to launch your blog.  I just visited one today that didn’t have the “about page” filled out.  That will turn people off, but my design for now, is enough to get me going.

#5 Start Today

There was always a good reason to not launch my blog:

  • Busy week with other projects
  • Felt like I need 2-3 hours a day to get going
  • There was sooo much snow that needed skiing on!

You get the picture.  BlogSuccess had a 60-day marketing plan that I kept putting off because Day 1 seemed like it would take me a week.  Well, I finally jumped in and decided that I was never going to have enough time.  Today was the day.  If I had 20 minutes, I was going to make the best of it.

After nearly three weeks, I’m on Day 4 of the marketing plan, but at least I’m taking baby steps.

If you’ve learned anything interesting as you’ve started you’re blog, let me know.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

kollies February 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Interesting and useful tips, I’ve only just started blogging a couple of days ago and think I’m headed along the same road of trials and mistakes that you mention here. thanks for the heads up.

Brook Lenox February 25, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for the comment Kollies. As you run into blogging tips, send them my way. Also let me know as your blog progresses.

Reisen Tuerkei February 17, 2010 at 3:12 am

Wow, you obtained an impressive web log the following.

Brook Lenox February 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

@Reisen – thanks much!

ciceSweeshila August 24, 2010 at 2:45 am

Hey, I hadn’t noticed http://www.onlinemarketingrant.com before in my searches! Keep up the great work!

Brook Lenox August 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

@ciceSweeshila – thanks!

Thelma Gallegas January 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Damn, I’ve been looking for information like this for a while now. Thanks!

Brook Lenox January 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

@ Thelma – you are welcome.

Brook Lenox January 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

@ Thelma – you are welcome. Glad to help.

Eleanora Ogg October 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hey very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am happy to find a lot of useful info here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

Brook Lenox November 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

@Eleanora – you’re welcome.

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