How I Messed up my Blog From Day One
When I started:
Before I started my website, I went on Pinterest to look for tips on the best way to create one. What I found was TONS of information. Too much, really. It was overwhelming, and I didn’t understand most of it. So, I decided just to go ahead and create my blog and learn as I go. If you choose to do that, that’s not a bad thing. Just take the time to learn from some of my mistakes before you make any commitments. I’m going to be discussing the biggest mistake that I made when I started blogging, and it’s an easy one to do, but a hard one to reverse.
What I did wrong:
When I created my blog, I decided to go with the website host that I saw people talking about the most. This host was WordPress. What I didn’t know, was that most people who are wanting to run a profitable blog use WordPress, but don’t use it as their host. Everyone talked about wanting to use a paid host, and so I used the paid version of WordPress. As it turns out, using the paid version still doesn’t give you the freedom you need to monetize your blog.
WordPress offers different plans for all kinds of websites. The one I chose was one that was recommended for bloggers. It allows you to profit off of ads, but you can’t install any plugins. What I didn’t know was that the plugins are the things that you really want. It takes about a thousand views on your website to make ONE dollar with the ad plan WordPress uses. When you’re starting a new blog, one thousand visitors may take a while, and you want to see money come in as soon as possible.
Why that was wrong:
If you want to install plugins using WordPress as your host, then you have to use the Business Plan. This plan costs about $300 for a year. I didn’t have that kind of money to invest, and other hosts allow you to do that for A LOT cheaper. I’m not downing WordPress, they are perfect for some people. But if you’re starting a small business, then you may not want to invest that much into starting your website either.
Plugins don’t sound critical when you don’t know much about starting a profitable website, but they include things like Google Ads, Google Analytics, and E-mail list managers. These things are all necessary if you’re wanting to make a profit with your blog or website. I made an account with ConvertKit and couldn’t even make it where website viewers could sign up for my newsletter. I also made accounts with Google Analytics and Google AdSense and couldn’t use those, either. These things are essential to profiting off your blog, and not being able to use them is such a disappointment.
Why this was such a big mistake:
The biggest reason that choosing the perfect host is so important is that you can’t transfer your host for 60 days. I didn’t see this information anywhere when I was reading about starting a blog, so I thought if I didn’t like it, then I could just switch out. I decided to change hosts about two weeks into starting my blog but then realized I was stuck for about a month and a half. I don’t want anyone to go through this frustration and disappointment, so if you research anything, be sure to look at all the different hosts you can use. I recommend making a list of all the features they offer and the cost and decide which one seems like it would be a good fit for you. SiteGround is the one that I chose, and I will be writing on a post on why very soon.
What I would do differently:
If I could go back, I would research hosting options more. There is so much information out there that it is confusing, especially if you are not familiar with all the blogging terms yet. It takes reading a lot of articles about blogging to start to understand it, but the only way to truly understand is to do it yourself. I would still go for it like I did, to begin with, but I would take the time to look at all of the options to see what host works best for my website goals.
How you can avoid my mistakes:
You can avoid having to wait 60 days to transfer your domain by reading what you’re signing up for thoroughly. There is nothing duller than Terms and Conditions, but it does benefit you to know the rules you’re agreeing to. Look up terms if you don’t understand them, and look at other blogger’s reviews of that hosting platform. Read a lot of reviews, though, so you’re not just reading sponsored ones.
All in all, WordPress is an excellent website that has many uses. They are great if you’re wanting to run a blog just for fun or just play around and see if you enjoy blogging. If you’re wanting to profit off of your website, I do recommend that you look elsewhere for hosting or be prepared to spend a lot of money upfront. I hope this helped someone avoid making the mistake of choosing a host that doesn’t suit their needs. What are some things you learned along the way blogging? Let me know in the comments!