A recreational hobby blogger, who just realized that everything I have been doing since 2015 is wrong. I’m at the point where I would like to transform this space into something that is focused while incorporating a niche and could be transformed into a business. I’m also at the stage where I see that I have made sooo many mistakes on my worpress.com site that I think it might be best for me to start from a blank canvas and take the time to re-launch the right way with meaningful and valuable content instead just throwing anything and everything at the wall. I can’t wait for this new adventure.
What type of blog do you have? How much content do you currently have? There’s a lot of great bloggers in here that will be able to offer advice and help guide you as you your decision.
Thanks for jumping into the discussion!
If I’m honest, I might have too many things wrong with my current site.
Early in 2020, I decided to stop publishing new content and take a step back to reflect. Also, I went on a purging spree and deleted a lot of my content. (*I now know that I did this incorrectly, as I have 404 errors.) Of the remaining content, I don’t have much that I would consider transferring (not on brand/niche).
Where I don’t want to lose my current audience a total of 39 ppl (35 ppl who are currently following my site and 4 ppl who have signed up for my mailing list), I think it would serve them better to advise them of the new site and then they can choose to migrate or not. **If treated similar to a product launch, this could be a great opportunity to promote on social platforms and potentially grow an audience.
As I’m currently in the information-gathering phase of this plan, I keep finding things to add to the list of what I did wrong the 1st time round, and the list keeps growing:
no plugins (missing recipe card, analytics, etc…)
currently using only a basic wp theme
images not conforming to correct sizing
not 100% mobile friendly
slow site speed is being impacted by shared server space
I’m leaning towards working from a clean slate. I know that I’m capable of creating great content, and shifting my mindset from a mere hobby to a business has made me want to get started sooner than later.
Any suggestions are welcome,
Sounds like you’ve put lots of thought into it and have done important research and followed along for some good advice from blogging experts.
Can’t wait to see what you do and how it grows with all the tools!
Hi Keira - if you really want to take your blog to a business level, then you need to ditch the free WP version and get a hosted WP site. There are many excellent services to start with including HostGator, SiteGround, and BlueHost.
Since you already have content written, you might consider “loading” the new blog with your best performing content (assuming you’ve been tracking analytics and writing to SEO). If you haven’t been tracking and writing to SEO, then rewriting and optimizing old content would be an easier way to go.
Since you already have some followers, I would keep them notified of your exciting new venture and let them be a part of your growth. If they’re truly loyal followers, they’ll be with you all the way.
On the new site, you can begin collecting new followers by adding a subscribe button and offering a free downloadable (ie menu planner with shopping list or an ebook with some of your favorite already-written recipes from the old site?) And if you have a lot of content on one particular topic, then maybe create an ebook with those recipes, and sell it? It’s a way to make some $$ from your hard work that you’ve already done and will save you the time of rewriting it again. And perhaps you offer it to your current followers as a gift for their loyalty??
There’s no shame in starting over and this way you’ll be able to take blogging from a hobby to a business - you are so ahead of the game already since you’ve got so many recipes to share!
I would also join the Amazon Affiliate program and include links to products in all of your newly written content. There are other affiliate opportunities that Megan talks about on her podcast which will give you more opportunities to monetize your new site.
Brandon of The Blogging Millionaire podcast recently did a whole series on updating old content. I highly recommend listening to each session and following his lead. He is such a wealth of free information and has a great tool he created called RankIQ which would be really helpful for you to use in the rewriting and optimization process.
One last option could be starting over entirely and selling your existing content/site to someone else. They do all the rewriting work and you take the money and put it into a new blogging venture or ? Chelsea from Blogsforsale.co offers a free site evaluation which can help you decide which way to go (sell/rebrand/start over altogether?)
In April I purchased an existing food blog from Blogsforsale.co and am still in the process of rewriting, adding new content, and rebranding. The template that came with the site isn’t meeting my expectations so I’m going to be replacing it now vs. later.
Buying an existing site has been a ton of work to get going. I’ve only been able to rewrite a few of the existing articles so far and added a new lifestyle section which I’ve been loading with new content. Listening to Brandon’s podcasts and subscribing to RankIQ has been a game changer for the rewriting process. I highly recommend it.
If I were in your shoes, I’d personally opt for starting over with a new theme, name, hosting, and would copy/rewrite your old content and optimize it for the new site and add new photos. I think you’ll do really well and wish you loads of luck!
This is really great feedback and helpful - thank you for sharing it with Keira and the rest of the group!
Congratulations on the new blog you bought too! Very exciting!
Thank you for your suggestions, much appreciated!
Welcome to the discussion group for food bloggers.
I myself don’t know much about cooking or developing a recipe But I can research and copy write them well.
We all make mistakes in one way or the other. I am glad you finally learned from your mistakes and are ready to start anew.
Welcome @Keira ! I know this can seem really overwhelming, but just tackle one thing at a time and before you know it you will have a handle on your blog. Start with a great host (LOVE bigscoots), get a good theme and a recipe card (WPRM is top notch). These are 3 great places to put your focus first.
Please lean on the people in this community as you get going. Here for you! You’ve got this!!