Have you ever wondered what a six-figure business owner would do differently if they started their business all over?
For the longest time, I was growing my blog, but I wasn’t growing my business, Fitnancials. I treated my blog as a hobby and not as a business.
If someone had told me all of the things I’m about to tell you, I would have saved so much time and energy and focused on things that truly matter.
Grow your business much quicker than I did by learning from my mistakes below.
Here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started my business.
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1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
When I first started taking my blog seriously in 2016, I made a big mistake. I had my goal set on one traffic source: Pinterest.
Pinterest is a pretty easy traffic source for bloggers. I’ve seen random pins of mine get picked up and go viral without me even really trying. Obviously, this makes me want to go all in on Pinterest and not care as much about other traffic sources that take a lot longer to get traffic on.
What I didn’t know was that Pinterest can (and most likely will) end up like Facebook one day. Facebook completely shifted their algorithm in a flash and thousands of bloggers and business owners saw their traffic dip in one day.
I’ve only recently started working on diversifying my traffic. I tackled what I was most intimidated by – Google. I ended up taking an SEO course and implemented the strategies and have seen incredible results in just a few months. If you’re not focusing on Google yet, I recommend that be your next key focus of traffic. It’s a game-changer.
Pictured below is my organic traffic from Google from 2017 to mid-2019. It’s grown pretty rapidly, and I only just started taking Google SEO seriously at the beginning of 2019.
2. Set up an email list on Day 1
With over 2.5 billion people in the world using email on a regular basis, email marketing is a must for all business owners.
I started my email list really late in my business because I didn’t think it mattered. Now that I have an email list with 10,000 subscribers, I know how important just 1 email subscriber is.
Social media is a powerful tool, but email marketing is even better. With an email list, you can create a strong relationship with your audience, work toward a warm sell for your digital products or affiliate links and direct them to newly published articles.
Even better, setting up an email list with a new blog is relatively cheap (or free) with an email marketing service like MailChimp. To increase subscribers on your email list, create a strong opt-in freebie that relates to your niche. Nobody signs up for an email list just to get on another newsletter. You have to offer a ton of value to gain their trust.
3. Create results, not a vague to-do list
Creating to-do lists can be so satisfying. Though to-do lists are a great way to get more things done, many of them have a major problem.
The problem with many to-do lists is that we write vague tasks, instead of actionable tasks that end in results.
For example, I used to write things like: write blog posts or work on email.
Instead of being so vague, now I write specific tasks that are the results I want. Instead of write blog posts, I’ll write something like: write 1 blog post on growing an online business with email.
Creating a to-do list this way makes sure you are creating results. You get a lot more done in your business, which increases clients, traffic, and income.
There are so many benefits to networking as a business strategy, and I definitely waited way too long to take this seriously.
If you’re wondering how you can start networking, there is a wide variety of ways to get started. Interacting on Twitter with other bloggers and business owners can lead to great relationships, as well as attending business conferences like Fincon, FlynnCon, or BlogHer. Events can be scary and intimidating (especially if you’re an introvert like me), but they can also be business game-changers.
Networking helped me land sponsorships with major brands, get featured on major publications like Forbes, and even become affiliates for products I’ve never heard of that now make me the majority of my affiliate marketing income.
5. Focus on quality, not quantity
When I first started my blog, I always remember reading articles from other bloggers about publishing new articles 2-3x per week. Some said to publish daily. I published 3x per week for a long time and noticed the quality of my articles was low.
Instead of following what other people did, I did some testing and found that one article every Monday is strongest for my business. I write articles that are at least 1,000 words in length and do my best to write 2,000.
How often you publish content is totally up to you and there’s not a one-size-fits-all rule to follow.
These are just some of the things I wish I knew before I started my business:
These are just some of the things I wish I knew before starting my business. As my business grows, there are new things I learn and things I wish I did differently in the beginning. In the end, I’m learning from my mistakes and hope you can learn from my mistakes as well.
If you’re wondering what other mistakes I’ve made on my blog (and how I’ve fixed them) here is the full list.