How To Blog

8 Blogging Mistakes That Cost Me Income

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My blogging mistakes are not unusual, even though I researched many blogging techniques.

Let’s be clear; I still make blogging mistakes; however, I’m far more aware than I was nine years ago.

Imagine quitting your full-time 9-5 job and working from home to build a profitable blog.

That’s like winning the lottery for bloggers who have been successful with their blogs.

Could you envision going to bed and waking up to earning money while you were asleep?

That’s how a profitable blog works, primarily if you have an audience who connects with you.

Today I’m sharing blogging mistakes for those of you considering blogging as a second income source.

Making Money Doing What You Love

Last week I blogged about How I earned my first $100 blogging and how thrilled I was about it.

That $100 took me years to earn while sharing our financial journey on a free blog.

Unfortunately, not everyone on WordPress had the opportunity to monetize their blog.

When WordPress contacted me to know if I’d like to incorporate ads, I thought, why not.

If my blog, which was a hobby at the time, could earn cash, I was all up for it.

When you write about personal finance and frugal living, and a money-making opportunity arises, you take it.

Excitably it was my first eye-opener into the world of monetizing a blog. I had no idea you could do this.

Boy, was I surprised to find out how many thousands of dollars bloggers can make each month?

If you’re good enough and your audience resonates with your journey, that could translate into millions of dollars a year.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can, which many bloggers, especially food bloggers, have proven.

So here I was blogging about our journey to debt-freedom and sharing budget-friendly recipes.

Canadian Budget Binder was a bank vault waiting to open, and I was clueless.

If you’re running a profitable blog and know where I’m coming from, you too realize what you’ve missed.

How To Write A Blog Post – Blogging Mistakes #1

How to write an informative blog post
How To Write An Awesome Blog Post

Blog writing takes a particular person, especially if you plan to monetize blogging for extra income.

Earning a passive income blogging doesn’t have to be a dream as many are living it.

Many bloggers I know from online interactions are now earning six figures a year. Wow!

Nothing like cashing on a couple of million dollars from blogging; heck, I was jumping at $100.

Unfortunately, I’m not in that 1% because of the blogging mistakes I’ve made over the years.

Learning About SEO – Blogging Mistakes #2

If anything, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tool that you want to learn about before you publish your first post.

If growing your business is a priority for you which I would assume every blogger should incorporate SEO.

Three things you want to focus on are traffic quality and quantity to your website and organic traffic.

Traffic quality can be direct traffic that comes specifically to your website but is not a referral.

Quality means are the visitors sticking around to read what brought them there and perhaps subscribes.

The quantity of traffic suggests how many readers are clicking through your blog posts because they are interested in learning more.

Organic traffic comes from search engine’s organic results and not from a paid ad.

I read the book Professional Blogging For Dummies” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”>Blogging For Dummies because I was a new blogger and didn’t want to look foolish.

Ever since, I’ve always recommended new bloggers to purchase this book and to read it.

There was so much to learn about that was unclear to me that the book helped me to understand.

My goals were to be professional about Canadian Budget Binder and to be active for my readers.

SEO is a way to incorporate techniques that help your blog post potentially rank higher in Google.

There’s a bit to learn, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll blog with confidence rather than uncertainty.

Don’t Let Money Get In The Way Of SEO

Some bloggers don’t care about SEO, especially if all they are in it for is earning the big bucks.

I can think of a blogger or two who is like this and earning millions a year.

However, when you are the king of your castle, it’s hard to come back down to reality.

Never let money get in the way of who you are as a blogger, and be true to your readers.

Incorporating SEO into your blog post will not only give you that extra push. It sets you apart from others.

For example, SEO incorporates keywords, catchy titles, small paragraphs, longer blog posts, standards, social media and much more.

Essentially you want to write a blog post that shares a story or information to help the reader when they land on your blog.

For example, if someone wants to learn about the scanning code of practice, they may land on CBB.

My blog post ranks on the first page in Google, so when people click on the post, you want them to get the best experience.

Every blogger’s dream is to have their blog posts shown on the first page of that topic.

Ultimately, you want the reader to subscribe to your blog not to miss your blog posts.

Building an email list is essential and something I wasn’t concerned about when I first began Canadian Budget Binder.

Massive Link Dumps – Blogging Mistakes #3

Back in 2012, when I was the new kid on the Canadian blogging block, I followed what everyone else was doing.

That was not the most ingenious idea, as now I have pages of posts from my Friday Daily Brew posts with massive link dumps.

I guess it was supposed to be a way to support other bloggers to build their online presence and ranking with Alexa (not an affiliate) and Google.

My Alexa score was way up there, and then it tanked because I realized I only wanted people to share what was meaningful to them.

Now I have to go back and clean up the mess of links and dead links to bloggers who quit blogging.

What I learned from that mistake is that you can’t beat the system.

You had players who want to stick around to learn and be there because they want to.

If I share a link to a blogger today, it’s because I’m interested in sharing what I’ve learned.

Networking – Blogging Mistakes #4

Honestly, I didn’t know many Canadian bloggers when I first started Canadian Budget Binder.

Still, today I feel like there aren’t many Canadian Finance Bloggers who are legitimately connecting with their audience.

Most are all about making as much money as selling crap articles, which goes across the board worldwide.

I never wanted Canadian Budget Binder to be that way which is why I stayed anonymous.

It was easier to be myself while not exposing my employer, colleagues, friends and family to who I was.

I love my audience because many of them started with me in 2012 are still with me today.

Honestly, that moves me, and because of that, I cherish each and everyone who subscribes to the blog.

My social media platforms have thousands of subscribers, and I’m a one-man-band regarding updating and communicating.

Never put your audience aside for money or fame. That’s what I learned from networking.

Although I have many blogger friends worldwide, I’m now only hanging out with those bloggers who interact with their readers.

Does that make sense to you? Do you prefer the interaction from a blogger? I know I do.

Free WordPress – Blogging Mistakes #5

I suppose I didn’t know that I wanted to earn money from my blog until I realized the potential.

By then, I was already with the free and needed to swap over to

For years I was missing out on earning income because I wasn’t monetizing my website.

That sucked to find out.

Moving forward, I try not to think about what I could have had and focus on what I do have and improving it.

The reason is free is that you don’t have to hire a blog designer or pay someone to fix what’s broken.

While self-hosting is the way to go, if you want to work from home as a blogger, some expenses come with that.

I’ll discuss them more in another How to Blog post listing everything I purchase and the costs.

There are also the benefits of owning an online blogging business when it comes time to do your yearly income tax return.

We’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post for this blogging series.

Blog Post Planning – Blogging Mistakes #6

I’m still not the best blogging planner, but I’ve gotten better at it.

I tend to write my best posts late at night or early morning around 4 am and have done so for years.

To plan, I create topic ideas to share and research any information to complement the post.

I’ve heard that having a blog schedule at least a month in advance is the gold standard.

By that, it means that the blog posts are ready to hit publish.

I’m not that fantastic, but I do have hundreds of ideas and experiences that I want to share.

My first two years of blogging were the worst when it came to planning and organization.

I set time limits for publishing, and they became too tight when our son came along.

The early years saw me blogging every day, but the posts are horrific. (please don’t look)

I’ve been updating them with SEO, covering photos, and add more information to the posts.

No matter what you choose to do with your blog, please keep it simple, plan, and research.

Over the past two years, my blogging schedule is Tues, Thurs, alternate Friday newsletters or Saturday weekend review and a blog recipe.

Even that can be overwhelming for me, but I don’t let it get me down like I used to.

I’d be upset with myself for not posting by 7 am which is absurd looking back.

Now my blog posts are published by 10 am which allows me time to review and edit.

Hey, I’m not perfect, so don’t judge my writing skills. Haha!

Professional Blog Design – Blogging Mistakes #7

Years ago, I hired a blog designer who moved me from the free WordPress to self-hosted.

I thought I had done my research, but even that sometimes is not good enough.

If I needed help or wanted information at any time, he stopped answering my emails after being paid.

My new blog was ok, but it’s not always easy to bring a vision to life.

Luckily, I met Sara, who owns Moonsteam Design and also re-designed CBB.

Just after we spoke, we moved the blog to Big Scoots Hosting, and I’ve never been happier.

Below are three hosting companies that I’ve had experience with at different stages of my blogging career.

You’ll need a host if you start a self-hosted WordPress blog.

I’m an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. When people read what I’ve written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn a commission from the retailer.

I began with Blue Host, which is incredible for beginners and cheap and moved to Big Scoots as the blog grew.

You can’t beat $2.95 a month for web hosting your blog, and the introductory price through my link is incredibly reasonable.

Lastly, one of the more popular Canadian hosting companies is called StormWeb.

The great thing about self-hosting a blog is that you can easily swap over to another web host if you’re not happy. 

StormWeb – Canadian hosting at a fair price.

Putting A Blog Vision Together

Sara and I are still working on getting the CBB Blog vision together, but we’ll get there.

I didn’t want a rush job, so I asked Sara to take her time to miss anything.

What I love about Sara is that she is a busy designer but is always willing to help.

I call her my blog mechanic, but she’s more than that to me; she’s my friend and lifeline.

Below is the review I left on her website Moonsteam Design.

I don’t earn affiliate income from Sara. Instead, I choose to offer truthful information about someone who knows what the hell she is doing and willing to help.

I don’t remember how I found Sara and Moonsteam Design, but I’m sure glad I did. I’ve been blogging at Canadian Budget Binder for seven years and have had my fair share of designers come my way.

By far, Sara has been THE BEST because she cares, is attentive to detail and will respond to your emails. I also like that she’s funny and will not derail your vision, instead bring it to life.

My blog hasn’t looked better, and I credit that to Sara, and I know I will be hanging around for a long time to come.

She’s my new go-to girl for all things on CBB!!”


Monetizing The Blog – Blogging Mistakes #8

There are so many ways to monetize your blog to earn money, and you have to fight off the low-ballers.

When you start blogging, you’ll get emails from people you’ve never heard of who want to guest post.

They test you to see if you will charge them a fee for the guest post, and I’ve fallen for it.

I’ve been working my way back to remove links in these blog posts from 2012-2013. I’m not too fond of that task.

Even as an established blogger, I send out my media kit with pricing and get emails such as this.

Dear Mr.CBB,

Thanks for writing back so quickly about my guest posting on your website.

We don’t have a budget for guest posts, but we are willing to give you $50.

I charge close to $600 for a sponsored post that I have to approve and feel will fit the blog.

When you get an email like that, you delete it. The middle person is probably getting far more than $600 from their client.

If they pitch a post idea to me and pay $50, they keep the $550. It’s a game that’s only one part of the black door (yes black) of blogging.

These days I send my media kit, and if they like it, they will chat with me about their ideas in full.

I’m very picky and only want the best for my readers.

Regarding guest posting on other finance blogs, I’ve done that many times before but not recently.

As this blog grows, I find it increasingly difficult to do everything, including my full-time job and being a dad and husband.

A large chunk of my blogging income comes from Mediavine ads, sponsored posts and affiliate income.

There will come a time where I may have to hire a writer, or I’ll pull back my blogging schedule to 2 posts a week.

The great thing about blogging is the options available to you and your plan to take your blog.

I don’t want to quit my day job because I love my career, and making millions sitting on a yacht doesn’t appeal to me.

They say, do what makes you happy, and I’m doing it.

Building An Email List

Once Sara started designing the blog, she set me up with Mailerlite to build my email list.

An email list is a way to communicate to your subscribers and allows you to build a relationship.

I couldn’t be happier with Mailerlite since moving from Feedburner.

Mailerlite allows me control over my email subscribers and to create awesome newsletters.

Not only is Mailerlite affordable, but the service is excellent, which are two business characteristics vital to me.

What do your readers want to know?

How can you answer their questions or help them solve a problem?

Essentially you want to write a blog post that shares a story or information to help the reader when they land on your blog.

For example, if someone wants to learn about the scanning code of practice, they may land on CBB.

My blog post ranks very high in Google, so when people click on the post, you want them to get the best experience.

Ultimately, you want the reader to subscribe to your blog not to miss your blog posts.

Just remember the importance of building an email list, and it’s imperative and something I wasn’t concerned about when I first started Canadian Budget Binder.

Learn From Others Mistakes

Well, I hope you’ve learned a thing or two from my blogging mistakes, although I can probably think of many more.

Don’t worry; I’m working on this blogging series to try and be as throughout as I can about my experience.

I’m also sharing my monthly income report from the blog, so you can see what I earn as a part-time blogger.

Discussion: What have you learned from my blogging mistakes? If there are any questions that you have, please comment below, and I’ll respond.


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