Launching My First Blog: Learning from My Mistakes


What’s the old saying? “One definition of crazy is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results”?

Are you “crazy” when it comes to online marketing or do you adapt and learn from your mistakes? After 12 months, I’m adapting.

Around March 1 of last year I began my Online GED Site blog. I never expected it would make tons of money. I hoped it would teach me about blogging, WordPress, Google Analytics, keyword research, and using some of WordStream’s free tools.

Here’s a graph of my visitor traffic for one year. It took 8 months to attract my first 1000 visitors. Now, during this last month, I attracted 1000 visitors in 30 days alone.

 Site Visits

What were my mistakes?

A failure to build backlinks, building an email opt-in too late, an unattractive website (blunt, but true), and not joining a top-notch community like SEO Dojo.

But my failure to build backlinks was the major mistake. The bloggers at WordStream talk about the importance of linking. I think they have said an SEO should allocate at least 1/3 to 1/2 of his/her time to building those links. They were right, I was wrong. (Writing blog articles is easy, building backlinks is the hard work.)

I’m good for a beginner (don’t know if I’m a beginner anymore) in using and interpreting Google Analytics. That’s why I knew I had visitors from Texas and I built special web pages for Houston GED and Dallas GED. Now I have even more high school dropouts looking for help at my website so they can pass the General Equivalency Test (GED).


What did I do right?

  1. I never gave up. I’ve written 45 meaningful blog articles and have saved 30 blog ideas for future write-ups.

  2. I’ve read WordStream’s blog every day.It’s true; this is a shameless plug for WordStream. But I’ve learned a lot on this website. I use WordStream’s free tools (and hope to use their paid tools soon). I’ve learned the power of using infographics for inbound links from WordStream (I was a little slow on the uptake on that one.) I’d like to offer my thanks to Ken Lyons, Larry Kim, Elisa Gabbert, and Tom Demers for their fine articles and supportive emails.

  3. I’m learning new tools. I finally figured out Aaron Wall’s Rank Checker software. I’m seeing new insights daily in Google Analytics. Just the other day I learned how to find other educational blogs so I can participate and hopefully earn a few backlinks.

A Brief Word On High School Dropouts

If you know a high school dropout, take them out to lunch and offer them encouragement. They will earn approximately $10,000 less a year than a high school graduate, they will experience poorer health in their lifetime, and they are more apt to end up in jail. Encourage them to take and pass the GED test. There are 30 million Americans who never finished high school according to the 2010 census.

Back to Online Marketing … Are you adaptive? Do you learn from your mistakes?

I need to re-distribute my online marketing efforts and spend at least 1/3 of my time building backlinks, using the spectrum of methods I've read about on this blog. If I learn anything this year about online marketing, I want to learn how to build trust with inbound links.

I need to join SEO Dojo as Ken Lyons suggested on this blog on February 24, 2011. You can’t learn SEO in a vacuum. I am joining SEO Dojo today.

Be adaptive and learn from your online marketing mistakes. Transform your weaknesses into strengths. Your website will thank you.

Richard Kraneis by Richard Kraneis, a frequent commenter and occasional contributor to WordStream. Richard is a training consultant and online marketer. His first blog is Online GED Site where he’s receiving visitors searching for New York City GED and Los Angeles GED help and information.

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Dahlia Valentine
Mar 14, 2011

Hi Richard... you mentioned that writing articles was easy, but building backlinks is hard. Actually (and I don't know if you're doing this or not), but you can build backlinks by submitting your articles to other GED-related blogs. You may even want to joint venture with other GED bloggers where you submit an article to their blog, and they submit one to yours.

Just a few ideas!


Richard Kraneis
Mar 14, 2011


Thanks for commenting.

I use Google Alerts daily to follow certain topics and then try to followup with comments to blogs discussing the GED or high school dropouts.

I haven't tried guest blogging on educational blogs. But it's on my "to do" list.


Allison from solar pv north east
Aug 20, 2011

Hi great post I also think link building is key to the success of any website, always looking for new ideas to add to the link building strategy.

Dec 01, 2011

Writing guest articles is pretty effective in terms of getting your link placed on another site. Blog comments are also a decent method but the search engines don't weight those links as heavily.

Social Factory
Jan 11, 2012

LoL.. I created so many blogs and didn't learn anything from them.. Now I am finally able to make some fine blogs like you :)

Martin Smith
Jan 30, 2012

Good points Richard. I think the most important point you outlined was "never give up". It can seem like a lot of work at first with little reward in return for all the backlink building. But as you rightfully pointed out it can take many months before you start getting real results for you efforts. 

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