The Biggest Mistake I Made When I First Started Blogging and How You Can Avoid It

email marketing with AweberWhen I first started Good Financial Cents in 2008, it didn’t take long for me to see some immediate results.  It’s not because I knew what I was doing, but I had some other blogging friends that showed me the ropes. There’s nothing like having some good mentors to help you along the way.

I was able to pick up the concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) pretty quickly, and because of that I was able to rank fairly highly for some competitive keywords. There were some days when I was getting over 5,000 visitors to my site a day, which is fairly impressive for a new blog.

So with all the early successes I had, you might be wondering how did I screw up?

I didn’t realize how big the mistake was until my site got hit by Panda in April 2010.

*If you are unfamiliar with Panda, Google Panda was a change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm that hit back in February of 2011. 

What was the big mistake?

I wasn’t actively recruiting e-mail addresses for my newsletter.

Still trying to make sense of the effects of Panda, I quickly realized how Google can take away your readers in the blink of an eye. I realized that without collecting their e-mail addresses when they visited the blog, they were as good as gone after Panda.

If I would have had some type of email subscription service up on my blog where readers could enter their email then I would have still had a way to contact these readers that all the sudden went M.I.A. Thank you very much Google. *insert sarcastic grin

Sign Up Here, There, and Everywhere

If you go to my site now, you’ll notice I have e-mail subscription boxes all over the front page, on my about page, and I also have them on various landing pages throughout the site.

If you’re starting a site; even if it’s brand new, I would encourage you to start collecting e-mail addresses.

You never know when someone might pop over to your site for the first time, and without giving them that option to stay connected, they might not bite.

Best Email Newsletter Service

Aweber is the e-mail service that I’ve been using, and have been quite satisfied with.  In a future post, I will show you some of the analytics that I use via Aweber to determine when to send emails, and also how to set up an auto-responder series that gets you the most success.

Note:  Aweber is a paid service.  There are free services that exist, but they do not have the auto-responder feature.  I’ll explain for on this in a future post, but it definitely makes Aweber worth it.

If you do, then definitely sign up for Aweber.

Even if you don’t know what you are going to use it for.   Getting emails addresses will be huge whenever you want to promote a certain project or product you’re working on, or if you enter into an affiliate relationship you think will be beneficial to your readers.

If you have a decent readership then remember,  you never know when Panda will bite again. Be proactive!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip. I don’t currently have a way of collecting email addresses, but maybe I’ll start now :)

  2. Definitely great advice! I got terrorized by the Panda as a writer at Suite101 (one of the hardest-hit sites). I used to make an average of $2,000 per month there, but that has gone down the drain post-Panda. Now I’m learning the blogging ropes and striking out on my own. I certainly will be working on building my lists (I have two primary sites – WhatMommyDoes above and http://www.taxesandstuff.com)! Would you recommend spending the money on Aweber before you have the website income to justify it or going ahead and doing it in anticipation of having a big list and lots of traffic? I’ve noticed a couple of rather popular PF blogs with regular old Feedburner that seems to work for them.

    ~Lena

    • @ Lena. Great question. For me, Aweber was worth it. On my main site, I got really motivated to build my email list while building trust through that list. I did that by creating an autoresponder series that sought to educate and engage my new subscribers. If an autoresponder is not a concern, then any of the free services will work.

      Personally, though; I’ve had much greater interaction with my readers through my newsletter than I ever have had on my blog. It’s actually blown me away on how much more people engage me through email than on the blog. Food for thought. :)

  3. I have a site at go daddy . I haven’t used it much. Is that what aweber does? I also blog at IBO and wanted to learn how to use some of the ideas of successful bloggers to promote myself there and across the internet.

  4. Awesome tips Jeff!! Defiantly going to have a look at Aweber

  5. Jeef,

    Thank for the good advice. I’m already have aweber, but did not put on my blog yet. Will do soon. Thank also for the info about PANDA. I really don’t know about it. I just create the blog to try make my first dollar online. Great to have you sharing the knowledge. Hopefully to learn from you.

    I just set up my blog http://myamazonincome.blogspot.com in order trying to make online income by selling amazon stuff. If really appreciate if you can look for my blog.

    My strategy is to create amazon blog associate and write an article in squidoo.
    We’ll see soon either I can generate my first dollar.
    Actually I know about your blog from Adrian Abrate – http://cashioca.wordpress.com , he mention about your blog.
    Any way thanks for the info. Really appreciate it.

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