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From Blunderer to Blogger: A Cautionary Tale

Guest post by Jenae from I Can Teach My Child

Once upon a time, I started a coupon blog. After blogging for nearly eight months, 14 people read my blog.

Yes, 14. Most of these readers were family and close friends who probably read out of pity.

I learned quite a few foolproof ways to not have a successful blog. Here are just a few (this is all tongue-in-cheek, by the way!):

::Blog about something you are not 100% passionate about. I love getting a good deal as much as anybody, but my passion for couponing seems to come and go–mostly due to burnout. Write down the five things in life you are most passionate about and make sure not to blog about one of those. 😉

::Blog infrequently. Go weeks or even months without posting–it makes life more exciting for your readers! Readers love not knowing when they can expect a post.

::Don’t write any original content. Readers only want to read on your blog what can be found at thousands of other blogs. Make it a point to not write any original articles.

::Be a recluse in the blogging world. Don’t comment on other blogs or participate in link-ups. After all, if people really want to find you, they will.

Yes, these “tips” certainly helped to make for a blog that nobody wanted to read–including me, come to think of it!

Thankfully, I was able to learn from these mistakes on my second attempt in the blogging world (www.ICanTeachMyChild.com) when I swallowed my pride and tried again last July. I zeroed in on one of my life’s passions–teaching children.

It’s amazing how much fun I have when I blog about something I am passionate about! I vowed to post frequently. Most of my posts are ideas original to me or inspired by others. I love the new friends I’ve made in the blogging world and the community that has been created.

Most of all, I’ve learned from my own mistakes. I’ve learned that it’s okay to fail and that failures are often life’s best teachers.

Jenae is a Master-degree holding former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home Momma. She loves finding creative ways to save money, spending time with her family, and sharing fun activities on her website I Can Teach My Child.

photo credit

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33 Comments

  • Janae, THAT is hilarious! Glad you found your way. I especially like the point about original content. My sister works in dot com central (San Francisco area) and I hear her voice in my head everyday saying “original content, original content”.

  • I’m sorry Jenae! I really hate it when I spell peoples names wrong!

    Thanks again for the great tips! 🙂

  • Great tips, Janae! Especially the tip on blogging about what you’re passionate about – it makes all the difference in the world!

  • Mom's Plans says:

    I really love your blog. I have been reading it for about 7 or 8 months now, and I love seeing how your blog has grown. Great work! Also, these are very good tips. Make sure to join a blogging community, comment on other blogs and submit to carnivals. All of these things will grow your blog in addition to guest posting. Can’t wait to see how your blog continues to grow.

    P.S. Your boys are so cute! Are you planning on home schooling them?

  • Kaidi says:

    I love your blog! I get all sorts of ideas from there and since I’m creativity-challenged then your blog is like a gold mine =D

  • Great post Jenae. Your how “not” to blog certainly made me chuckle!

    I have also found that blogging about something I love is the absolute key. There are fewer dry spells and lots and lots of ideas to draw from. Plus, it’s fun. Which is part of keeps the blog going. If it wasn’t fun, I’d quit.

    I love the theme of your blog and all the fun ideas you share!

  • Lisa says:

    Fun!!!

    I love blogging, and it doesn’t matter to me if I’m the only person reading it, but I defintiely love it when I find out others are reading it, too!!

    thanks for the fun post!!

    • Audrey says:

      That’s how I feel too- I just started blogging & it is fun, even if no one else is reading :). It helps me to get my thoughts out there and take a little time to mull them over.

      • I agree! There is something therapeutic about blogging and writing in general. I also have a personal blog (where only my close friends and family go) where I can record more personal thoughts…though that blog often gets neglected. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I enjoy your blog too and am glad you took the time to rethink it!! 🙂 You have inspired several things I have done with my boys!

  • Jennifer says:

    Fantastic post, Jenae! I love your blog, especially because it has really fun activities I can do with stuff “around my house”. Thanks for letting us in on your passion to teach your kids 🙂

  • wannabegodly says:

    Thanks for the help! Now all I need is faster internet & time. (A touch of genius would help, too, I’m sure.)

  • Since it isn’t working and some of you are wanting to buy soap for this price anyway. . .

    I don’t know the price of Dove, but I have bought Oil of Olay at Sam’s Club before. (They sell Dove there as well). The regular price is .87 a bar in the multipacks of Oil of Olay. I have sensitive skin, and I am allergic to most soaps. They only carry the Oil of Olay with Shea butter there (not the sensitive skin one) but this one is mild enough for me to use. I use mine to make laundry soap as well.

    Oil of Olay changed their packaging recently, and I saw several packages of 6 bars at Target on clearance. Final price was .50 a bar. It’s likely all gone now, but the regular price at Target might not be too high, either.

  • Janae I love your blog! And those tips had me laughing out loud. I recently re-launched a new version of my blog and those were the things that were at the top of my list not to do lol. I’m struggling with connecting with other bloggers because there are just so many I love I don’t know where to start. lol I feel like I could spend 24/7 socializing with other bloggers if that was actually possible.

    And Crystal…I <3 moneysavingmom and wish I could express how great it has been for me 🙂

  • Thanks for the tips! The longer I’ve had my blog, the more infrequent my posts…especially as we traveled during the summer, and are now moving across the country. How do you blog frequently when your world turns topsy-turvy?

  • Helene says:

    Geez Jenae 🙂 You got three out of four for my blog too. 🙂 Let’s just say I can verify everything you said 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    Jenae’s blog is one of my absolute favorites for many reasons. I enjoy getting creative ideas for things I can do with my kids and I love the honesty that Jenae expresses in her “A Lesson Learned” posts. In fact, I went back and reread one after a rough day yesterday when I needed some inspiration and a pick-me-up. Thanks so much for all you do, it is appreciated!!

  • Lisa says:

    I found your blog at moneysavingmom a couple of months ago, and it has been a great resource for me as I teach my three daughters. Keep up the original content!

  • Tina says:

    Jenae – I have to say that you inspired me to try my hand at blogging! Like you, I left teaching to stay home with my boys and I now run an in-home daycare. We’ve always done “learning time” and now I have a way to share it 🙂 Thanks for sharing your great ideas!!

  • Nicole says:

    I love the humor and the tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • Miranda says:

    Jenae, I love your blog! I always appriecate your heart for teaching your boys :).

  • Janae, I loved this post! I’ve been at each of those points before! I am currently on my 3rd blogging attempt and really loving it this time. It doesn’t feel like I’m pulling teeth when I sit down to write a post because I’m actually enjoying what I’m doing. I’m blogging all about my frugalness from couponing to yard saling and even selling on eBay anything to save or make a buck. Been going strong for 6 months 🙂

    Amy
    http://www.coupontipster.com

  • Leigh says:

    I love your blog Janae! It is my first “go to site” to find new ideas. I like how you have your menu set up – so easy to go directly to the age group or theme I am looking for. I am just starting my blog design now and appreciate tips from other bloggers. Thank you for your advice!

  • So very true and I love your sense of humor about it. When you know the stats on how many bloggers are out there, it’s much more clear about why blogging is HARD WORK!! So glad you found your niche this time!! I’m with you on the coupon stuff – I LOVE saving money with coupons, but not enough to write about it 24/7. And since I’ve had more children and my time is more limited {and Aldi came to town}, I don’t use nearly the number of coupons as I did before!! Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve followed these tips!! – err, I mean, made some of these mistakes. Haha. Thanks for sharing. I certainly need to comment more. I do follow a lot of other bloggers but don’t comment as much as I should (it’s takes more effort to comment from my phone). But that is no excuse. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • This is written perfectly. Hilarious 🙂 As a newer blogger myself these are great tips to not make once I am more established. I’m excited to try some of your ideas with my own tiny humans.

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