Avoid These 8 Mistakes When Starting Your Blog

feet on desk with computer

Six! Yep, six years blogging. I don’t even know where the time has gone. Plus, I’m like a pre-OG blogger. And to be completely transparent, this is only the second thing in my entire life that I’ve consistently done. Well third if you count motherhood (but who gives up on that, insert duh emoji). Writing is something that I do every single day. Whether it’s a long oversharing Instagram post, or a 500 word rant on Facebook, I am always sharing my thoughts.

The number one question people ask me is, “how did you become so successful?” First off, how y’all know I am successful. That word is relative and depending on the day…but I will say that being successful is a state of mind that is only determined by you.

But when I look back at those six years there are a few mistakes that I made that maybe you don’t have to if I spill the tea! So here’s 8 mistakes you need to avoid when you start blog (or even if you’re blog is old, stop doing these things now!)

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1. Not defining your target audience.

 

create your audienceIn the beginning, I was just writing. I was writing everything for everyone. I thought that I could appeal to every single person in the world. I even wrote in third person so that you would think it was a team of us here at GIG. Fail number 84,078,219,381,974,819. Then I thought that my audience would find me. Fail number 417,183,741,874,281,741,807,201,749,210. While this is true, it took about 3 years for her to find me. Talk about time wasted.

Even though I have some readers of other races and ethnicity, my reader looks like me. I know this to be true, thanks to a reader survey I just did (you can take the survey here for a chance to win $100 gift card).

I learned that she’s Black! Something that I fought for a while. I told myself that in order to be successful I had to dial back on my Blackness. Gasp, that’s a lie! My reader is also close to my age, fairly tech savvy (or willing to learn) and she loves slaying her look. A few of my readers are bloggers but most are just 9-5 type women searching for the answers of life. I don’t have all the answers, but I got some!

Here’s what you should be doing…

Start by identifying the one or two topics you are going to write about. Example, I write about beauty and lifestyle.

Then decide who is most likely to read your work. Example, Black women who want to be entertained and educated read my blog. My reader, Keisha, she’s a little bougie at times, but trust, she is street smart. And while she is socially conscience, she cannot pass up watching a WSHH video. Keisha and I have a “judgement free” type of friendship.

This is creating a marketing persona. Creating a persona is putting a name and background to your customers. It’s like an educated guess of your blog readers.

Next, create content based on what she/he is most likely to read. Now that you are actually creating content, use words that are inclusive (like “you,” “we” etc.).

I’ve started doing polls and asking questions because that’s really the only way you can get to know your audience (once you have defined them). Once you’re aware of the goals, challenges and demographics of your audience, you can relate to them and write to them like the humans they are.

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1. Not defining your target audience.

25 Comments

  1. January 12, 2016 / 10:54 am

    So um, yeah. I read the first paragraph and stopped reading to run and go write up that marketing persona! Lol I’m rebranding my blog to do things right this year, so I totally had to get that done. So glad you reminded me. I think I’ve covered almost everything else, thank goodness. (But that’s only because of our uh-mazing blog community. Whoop whoop!)

    Thanks for this girl!

    ~ Sanaa

  2. January 12, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    Thank you Ty. I just started a website for my interests, actually two for now – one is about embracing my gray. I foolishly put color in it thinking I was going to get a toned down gray – wrong! Anyhow, I’m getting it to fade (it was a demi-permanent) but this inspired me to create by graylocksrock.com I didn’t know if I wanted to blog or just create a semi-static site. Still thinking about it, this article will help me.

    • January 12, 2016 / 12:10 pm

      Umm you’re hair is gorgeous (on the picture in your blog). Stay #GorgeousInGrey XO 🙂

  3. January 12, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Great read. I know my target likes travel posts, but I know that’s not my full life so I’m trying to incorporate more lifestyle topics. I still give em what they want and it helps. Now to use that email list. lol Thanks for sharing.
    Joanna recently posted..Year 30: 2016 GoalsMy Profile

  4. January 12, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Best blogging advice I’ve seen! I’m less than a year in this game and I’ve done a couple of these right. I;m working on posting consistently 3 days per week and plan to move to 4 next month. I’m easing myself in to 7 days a week. This was encouraging. You da bess! Bless up.

    • January 12, 2016 / 1:12 pm

      We all start somewhere. There are days that life happens and I don’t make my 2 a days BUT the key is to always be in beast mode and go at it again the next week. 🙂

  5. Kendra
    January 12, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    I just started my blog and this is great information. Thank you for the information.

  6. January 13, 2016 / 12:39 am

    In the beginning, and now somewhat, I am guilty of a few of these. One area for improvement for me is definitely time management and treating my blog like the gem that it is.

  7. Ambernique
    January 13, 2016 / 12:50 am

    Hi! I just discovered your blog today and this post was much needed. I’m a 25 year old new mom, full time grad student, and new blogger. I’m totally new to blogging even though I’ve been reading them for years but I’m passionate about writing so I want to nurture this passion by blogging. This information is going to help me. I was looking for some advice on how to get started without paying someone a great deal of money to just do it for me while I sit back and watch ya know. I want to be completely involved because this is my new baby and I want it to thrive and flourish like no other. I love your blog btw!!! So glad to have found you! ❣

  8. January 13, 2016 / 7:24 am

    Great article and good info. Thanks Hun!

  9. January 13, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    This informations was really helpful?? I started my blog while I was in college as an assignment and one day just stopped writing on there because the assignment was over and done with. But I really love to give people information and news so I decided to finback to posting and I told myself that I am going to stick to it and get my blog where I can get a good following. So basically I’m a beginner or a newbie to the blog world lol. I feel like I got off topic but I thank you for this information it was helpful✨✊?

  10. Shirley Chevalier
    January 14, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Thanks Ty! This was a great post, especially since I am just getting started as a blogger and so need the information. I am a little torn a about the direction though .. I am thinking about a faith based blog because my faith has sustained me over the years as a single mom, a single person and just keeping me in this crazy world. I raised an incredibly successful Black man and am headed into retirement, but I am not ready to quit cause I’ve got something to say. The other thought for a blog is Over Fifty and Fine! That is being over 50 and doing fine or striving to be fine in every aspect of my life. Let me know your thoughts. By the way, thanks for the Lens Crafter finding your style quiz. I used it and bought a bad pair of Ralph Lauren glasses that represents who I want to be. lol It was so very helpful. Keep doing what you do!

    Shirley

  11. January 16, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    All very good tips and several I’m guilty of. 16 Days into the year I’ve got a plan and its working. *Fingers Crossed* I just have to keep it up and get better.

  12. January 16, 2016 / 11:16 pm

    Take me to The King!
    Excellent post.

  13. January 22, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    These are great tips. The marketing persona suggestion is really great because it forces you to focus on the specifics of your brand and thereby produce valuable content. I am working on setting up a blog myself and really appreciated this advice.

  14. March 10, 2016 / 2:25 am

    I started my blog four months ago and these tips are so valuable to me. Thank you so much for sharing these.

  15. April 3, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    Thank You Ty! Great Post. I am on the verge of launching my first ever blog (Eeek!) and it is both exciting and terrifying. This was great advice. I will be referencing this article as I prep for my launch. So glad I came across your blog.

  16. April 8, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    Hey
    Just wanted to say a great read and really useful info. Yes the whole thing is daunting in setting up a blog but I really really want to set one up with great written content and possibly selling something connected to writing such writing journals, grounded coffee and quality teas. I want to make it a goal and not just wishful thinking. Have a great weekend.
    Plus read what i have to say on dark and long hair.

  17. September 13, 2016 / 12:18 am

    Thanks Ty….really helpful, I got at least “one” right! I love, love, love your blog and your hair.

  18. December 19, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    Hi,
    i was thinking to start a blog and was thinking before i start new blog i should do some research and i found your blog and read this post and this article was very helpful to me and i was following your tips and now i am making money with that blog and want to say thanks for your great tips 🙂

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