January 11, 2011, 5:00 am

6 Biggest Mistakes I made With My Blogs And That You May Make In Any of Your Projects

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business,Make Money Online
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blogging mistake

I rarely do this, but today I will talk about where I haven’t succeeded. I am proud of sharing how I have built my online venture but I never really talk about the mistakes I have made while building it. While examples cited in this post are related to my online company, most mistakes I made can be related to any type of business.


#1 Start This Earlier


Yeah I know, this one seems pretty obvious. We can all say that we should have started earlier; going to the gym, eating healthier, getting a diploma, aiming for a promotion, start a business, having a baby? But beyond the obvious, I mean something else; I should have started this venture when I had time, when I was in University.


The funniest part of this statement is that we always feel we don’t have enough time. I thought I was busy with my part time job and studies… man I was clueless. And this is what I want to tell you; I know that you don’t have much time right now to start your business… but it will get worse as you age!


At University, I thought I was busy. When I moved in with my girlfriend and started a full time job, it was worse. Then we had William and saw our free time diminish once again. And finally, Amy came at the same time I started my MBA! At that time, I didn’t have a second to spare for myself…and this is when I really started to think of my blogs as a business. So if I was able to create an online venture at the moment I thought I did not have a second to lose, imagine the online empire I would have built if I had started a few years earlier! Don’t use time as an excuse, just start working on your project right now!


#2 Taking it Seriously


As I mentioned before, I started blogging because I was passionate about finance and I always liked writing. I can picture myself writing everyday for hours. I guess most sideline income starts like this; it is born from a passion. The problem is that while you really love what you do, you don’t take it seriously. You don’t want to bother with a second job, you just want to have fun. The problem is that your project grows without a structure, without a clear vision and it may fall just because you are too lazy to establish your goals.


Taking things seriously doesn’t mean that you stop having fun in what you do. It just means that you are setting up a structure behind what you do. Having a hobby solely based on the fact that you like it won’t bring you anywhere. It will just, for a limited time, entertain you as driving an M3 at Need For Speed on a PS3 will do. I started to identify my blogs as a real business only 2 years ago… while I started blogging in 2006!


#3 Identifying a Clear Direction


I once told you about one of my friends asking me what will be the next step for The Financial Blogger. Where did I want to go with my blog back in 2007? The answer was….I dunno! Funny enough, I have read this advice in many ebooks and on many great blogs but it never hit me until recently: your project needs a mission. In 3 to 5 lines, you should be able to identify what you want to do. Back in 2008 when we created the corporate structure around our blogs, the idea was pretty clear about what we wanted to do with the company. However, we didn’t bring the exercise to the ground level; identify the direction of each blog individually (thx to Baker on this one!).


This is incredibly important for anything you want to start. I now keep my focus in mind for each of my blogs before writing anything or starting any other projects. Before I write a post, I now ask myself 2 questions:


A) Why am I writing this post?


B) Why would you want to read this post?


The 2 answers must link to my blog’s direction. If not, I know that I am just filling the blogosphere with another ordinary article as we (bloggers) do too often. I don’t always write interesting stuff… but now I am aware of it ;-).


#4 Ignoring Adsense / Other Income Sources


At first, I didn’t have much success with Adsense. In fact, I was making less than $100 per month (the minimum trigger to get a monthly check!). Then, I started to give more attention and wonder why so many people were successful while I was not making 10% of my revenue with Adsense. So I gave the big G a second chance and started to actually work on it. I am now able to earn the minimum payment trigger daily ;-).


The point of this advice is not that Adsense is great. The point is if it’s successful for so many people and not for you; you are missing something. Instead of using the usual excuse “it’s not for me”, try to understand why it’s not working for you while it works for tons of other people. It may not be the right option for your project (that’s what I thought for a long time), but you might be missing why it works for others too. Make sure you are not ignoring what is successful for others. Even if you finally explain why it can’t work for you, you will have understood how the system works and how to benefit from it.


#5 Ignoring Optimization


Here again, I was too busy to take a look at what wasn’t working well within my blogs. We kept on growing and making more money month after month. We didn’t care much about keyword optimization while others were growing much faster than us… simply because they were tweaking their sites and we weren’t. We didn’t focus on becoming strong in our niche since we were growing. We thought it was good enough… man we were out in left field on this one!


Once you have a business up and running, the most important thing to do is to optimize every single part of it. This is how you can:


–          Produce something better


–          Make more money


–          Save time (so you can produce higher quality and make even more money!)


My biggest mistake was to not consider how I was using my time until recently. Since time is a scarce resource, it’s important to know if your time is used to create value. Most everything you work on is useful, but some actions will add to your results, while others will multiply them. You must look at which actions create exponential results.


#6 Not Quitting My Job


Biggest statement of the year! I should have quit my job when I could. I am not stuck between 2 realities:


–          I know I can make more with my online company than at my regular job.


–          But the comfort of making a 6 figure income working 4 days a week is considerable too.


This is what I called being stuck in the rat race deluxe. While the regular rat race forces you to live on a pay check to pay check budget, the rat race deluxe only provides you with more comfort… but in the end, you are still dependent on your job. It is now too hard to quit since I’m too scared to do it. If I had quit my job when I was making 40K, it would have been easier… well this is what I think now but definitely not what I was thinking at the beginning of my career! No matter how much you make per year, you will always be scared of quitting your job. Unfortunately, I don’t have any solution for this one…


Final Thoughts on Make Mistakes


The funny part about mistakes is that they are even more valuable than success. It’s always fun to share your good moves but it doesn’t teach you how improve. It think the important part is to make sure you review your mistakes and understand what has happened and how to benefit from it. When I hired my full time employee, I told her one thing; “I’m expecting you to make mistakes. Because if you don’t, this will mean that you are not doing anything to improve”.


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Comments

” I am now able to earn the minimum payment trigger daily.”

WOW! That is fantastic I am far far away from that goal

by: The Financial Blogger | January 11th, 2011 (2:46 pm)

Keep it up, it took me 3 years to reach it… along with a lot of money and time invested in several blogs 😉

You are really doing it big time. My guess is that you will be blogging full time by the end of the year.

by: The Financial Blogger | January 11th, 2011 (9:18 pm)

I’ll wait until I get this year’s bonus 😉 hahahaha!

Wow! meeting the minimum trigger daily? Is that for just ONE of your blog that you manage?

That’s nothing short of amazing!

I have been happy to have the minimum trigger monthly 🙂

Amazing! Love the post. It’s always nice to hear mistakes and tribulation towards success. It shows what entrepreneurs do, try and try again until you succeed. Excuses are for the others …

I could not agree more that the behaviors you list are often expected when in business. When doing a hobby, we also need to operate in the same manner if we want to bring the hobby to another level.

Time is often an excuse and it’s mine these days 🙁

The quitting your job is a tough one, don’t feel bad about that. I’m not sure how anyone is able to quit a well-paying job. I give much props to those that have the balls to do that.

A quick thought: maybe if you took your blogging too seriously right off the bat you might have burned out quickly? I find that a lot of bloggers burn out quickly because they always have money on their mind.

I’m glad I’m learning from your mistakes early then! lol I definitely plan on taking this seriously, and I now have the time to do it. I’m trying to learn from the best and really put my all into it.

by: The Financial Blogger | January 12th, 2011 (7:48 am)

@ Young & Thrifty,

No, that’s for my web network. I would be pretty happy if I had each of my site generating $100/day with adsense ;-D

@ Passive Income Earner,

Yeah, the point is learning from your mistakes, not taking them as excuses!

@ MD,

I’d say that it could be a counter part. I am now more experienced and I would be able to manage my time properly if I was to quit my day job. However, I can’t say I had this maturity 2-3 years ago!

Excellent article. Way to share your mistakes with others. Hopefully we all can benefit. I believe you benefited as well as you are selflessly helping others, learned from your mistakes, and shooting toward bigger and better things. So will there ever be a point where you do walk away from your regular job? You seem to have that Golden Handcuff problem Financial Samurai talked about.

by: The Financial Blogger | January 14th, 2011 (4:45 am)

@Buck,

Yeah, it’s quite a “problem”. My goal is to use my daily job income to reduce my debts and eventually buy my financial freedom with my sites. I just don’t know how much time it is going to take!

Having less and less time as we get older is a very interesting point that I definitely agree with. I also think though that we become more effective in the use of our time as we age – thus enabling us to accomplish more.

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Sweet my friend.
An inspiration to all of us trying to claw our way up the chain.
Three years is not really that long.

Live it LOUD!

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