Are you a blogger who is just starting out but have no idea what you're doing?
You’re definitely not alone. A lot of people start blogging without knowing what they’re doing. And that’s okay. We all have to start somewhere.
But if you want to make your blog better from day one, you need to avoid making mistakes. Mistakes can be costly, especially when it comes to blogging.
There are lots of mistakes amateur bloggers make when they start a blog. Luckily, you don't need to repeat the same mistakes as I've collected 17 most common mistakes amateur bloggers make and simple fixes for those.
Let's get started, shall we?
17 Mistakes Amateur Bloggers Make
1. Not Defining a Niche
Your blog’s niche is the area of interest you focus on in your posts. For instance, one blogger might write about food, while another focuses on fitness.
It’s important to define a niche at the beginning because it will help you decide what kind of content to create and how often to post that content.
If you don’t define a niche, then chances are your blog won’t get much traction. You'll end up writing random posts that might not interest anyone!
2. Hosted and Self-Hosted
Your blog obviously needs to be hosted online so people can access it. But should you use a free blogging platform like Blogger or should you invest in a self-hosted blog like WordPress?
I suggest you go for a self-hosted blog. It’s simply more professional.
If you choose hosted blogging platforms, your readers won’t be able to see who owns your blog, and that sort of defeats the whole purpose of starting a blog. Also, hosted blogs tend to look unprofessional and random because you can change the header, background, and widgets whenever you like.
I know that owning your own blog sounds intimidating because it requires a fair bit of technical knowledge. But once you learn how to use it, WordPress will help your blog look more professional!
WordPress includes lots of helpful tools for blogging like Analytics, great community support, and customization options like themes and plugins.
If you go the self-hosted route, then you'll have complete control over your blog and what can be added to it in the future. The only problem is the initial cost of the hosting and site setup (and subsequent costs if you want to add new features later).
3. Sharing Only Your Content
You might think that sharing only your content is the best way to grow an audience… but it’s not. It’s actually hurting you in two ways:
It makes you look desperate for attention.
You miss out on the opportunity to expand your blog audience.
When you share your content only, your readers don’t get to see any of the great stuff that other bloggers are writing! And if they can’t see their posts, they won’t follow you either.
You might think you’re helping others by sharing your posts on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, etc.
But beware! Sharing only your content can damage your blog in the long run because it limits how much exposure you get. Sure, you might get a few shares and likes, but it won’t last.
Before you know it, your blog will be forgotten about because no one knows who is writing the posts! You have to do more than just share your content if you want people to follow your blog.
4. Imitating Others
You might wish you had someone else's blog with an audience of thousands or even millions. But trying to imitate them rarely works out for anyone!
For instance, it would be a mistake trying to write about the same topics as those popular bloggers. It doesn’t matter if your favorite blogger writes about pets and you want to write about pets too. If your content doesn’t match up then you'll just be trying to imitate them and that won't work!
It's better if you create content based on what people would like to read about in your niche. That way, you're the only one providing it! And chances are, once people start reading it, they’ll stick around for more. Remember, you should be original!
The same goes for your blog style. It would be a bad decision to copy someone else's design just because you think it will look better on your site. You want people to see unique content that will bring them back again and again.
5. Build Backlinks Like Crazy
It's always good to go the backlinks route, but only when you're ready. If you try to build them before your blog is popular enough, then people won't link to it because they'll think you’re a spammer.
When other bloggers see that no one is linking to your site or sharing your posts, they'll start to ignore your requests and you'll lose valuable traffic! You have to prove that you can be trusted first.
6. Not Addressing Your Audience
When you don’t add any personality or information about yourself on your blog, it loses its human touch and becomes cold and uninviting. It would be a big mistake to make it seem like you’re not interested in your readers.
You should never just speak about yourself or write as if you're writing for experts. Your posts need personality!
For example, instead of asking if your readers are fans, ask them how they became fans of the blog. Addressing your audience will make it seem like you’re more interested in what they have to say than your own content.
7. Not Learning Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You might think that business will be booming once you have enough traffic, but the only thing people are going to see is search engine results. And if your blog isn’t SEO-friendly, then you won’t get any clients!
SEO is an important part of blogging because it’s all about getting more exposure to your blog and being found online. Without SEO, people will have a hard time finding you on the internet and it will be a lot harder to grow an audience!
It doesn’t mean that SEO is about getting as many backlinks as possible. It’s more about letting Google find your content so they can put it in front of the people who are searching for it.
To get started with SEO, you need to find out what keywords your readers are using when they search online. The more popular phrases you use in your posts, the higher up you’ll be on Google and other search engines!
8. Not Linking To Others
Link building is the process of getting backlinks to your blog. But if you’re not linking to other blogs, then you’re not using this strategy correctly! Your readers expect you to give them recommendations on what they should read.
If everyone who reads your blog uses it as a reference, then that can help get it higher in the search engine results. It also helps when you recommend other blogs to your readers because that’s what separates a good blog from a bad one!
9. Mobile Optimisation
Your blog needs to be mobile-friendly if you want people to read it on their phones. It would be a huge mistake not making it easy for people to use your site from different devices!
People are constantly on the move and don’t have time to wait for a page to load. If they can only read half of an article, then they’ll just stop reading and go to a different blog. A slow or non-mobile-friendly website is a huge mistake that many businesses make.
10. Not Having a Monetisation Strategy
You’ve spent hours working on your blog, so why not make money off of it? It would be a huge mistake to start blogging and neglect the idea of monetization because you don’t know how to make money online!
The key is to build an audience first (make sure they love your content) before starting to think about how you’re going to make money. People will start visiting your blog and sharing it with others once they like what you have to say!
You need a monetization strategy in place if you want to know where your blog is heading and grow revenue online. It would also help when choosing which marketing strategies fit into your business model.
In addition to creating a financial plan, you also need to have an editorial calendar so you know what posts are coming out when. That way you'll be able to keep your readers interested in what they're reading!
11. Not Knowing Your Audience
You might think that all blogging is the same, but there are a lot of distinctions you need to make. If you don’t know who your audience is and what they want to read, then you won’t have a lot of readers!
It’s important to understand your audience so that you can give them exactly what they want. You can tell if your blog isn’t working if you’re spending hours writing content and getting no views over the course of a day.
There are three main types of blogging that you can do: personal, corporate, or hybrid. Businesses who just want to sell their products should pick the corporate blog-style because it lets readers know about what they have to offer. Personal blogs are for people who just want to share their opinions with the world.
12. Not Focussing On Pinterest
Pinterest is a great way to promote your blog and get more views! If you’re not using it in your marketing strategies, then that’s a huge mistake.
With Pinterest, people aren’t just looking for articles to read, they want ideas of what they can use around the house or wear to an event. In some cases, they might even want to buy what you’re selling on your blog.
In order for this strategy to work, you need to have a lot of pins with different ideas on them. Once people realize that you’re a trustworthy source for advice and tips, then they’ll start following your boards!
13. Not Knowing What Keywords Are
Keywords are the words your readers use in search engines to find your blog. You need to know these keywords so that you can rank for them when people search online.
If you’re not ranking high on Google, then there’s a good chance you don’t know what keywords are. When you know these words, then you can plan out blog posts where they’re mentioned in your source code.
If you want to rank highly on Google, make sure that you have a good balance between short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are 2 or 3 words while long-tail keywords are 4 or more words. You don’t want to focus on just one type because then you won’t have a diverse set of keywords that your readers are using!
14. Neglecting a Mailing List
You might be reading this and thinking about all of the articles you’ve read in the past that don’t mention mailing lists. That’s because they’re not important!
A mailing list is a great way to market your blog and get more views, especially if your current marketing strategies aren’t working. Once you start having readers, you should build a product or services page on your blog so that you can start selling things.
Businesses who want to grow revenue online should always have an email list because people are more likely to buy something if they’ve already heard about it. If you want them to see what you're offering without being pushy, then just send them an email once in a while with updates on new products.
If you don’t have any readers yet, start building your list by adding sign-up forms to the bottom of your blog posts. Then send out an email every week or so letting people know about different plans that are available for them!
15. Focusing on Traffic Instead of Sales
If you're trying to grow an audience then it's inevitable that someone will land on your blog one day and buy something from you!
But if you're only focusing on building up your list of subscribers, then it's likely that you won't make any money.
That's because getting people to sign up for your blog is the easy part. The hard part is making them take action when they visit your blog. For instance, some bloggers will drive traffic to a squeeze page that asks people to leave their email addresses.
But when the reader gets to that page, they don't see any compelling reasons why they should sign up for your blog! That might explain why only 5% of the people who subscribed actually go on to buy from you. But if you spend more time focusing on offering valuable content and calls-to-action, you'll increase your chances of making sales.
Of course, this doesn't mean that traffic is unimportant! You still need people to come to your blog before they'll subscribe or buy from you. But make sure you don't forget about the real goal: making money!
16. Not Treating it as a Business
A lot of bloggers think that their blog is just a hobby and they don’t think about it as a business. The problem with this mindset is that you won’t be progressing as much as you could!
You need to treat your blog like a company because then you can start running ads and getting sponsorships. You also need to have a good balance between free and premium content so that people will want to sign up. With this approach, you’ll get more money from your blog which makes it worth the time that you spend on it!
If you want your blog to be successful, then make sure that you treat it like a business from day one. This is the best way to turn your blog into a full-time job that pays you for all of your hard work.
17. Not Diversifying Your Income Stream
The best way to do this is by diversifying your income streams so that you aren’t just relying on advertisements. This is a huge mistake that most new bloggers make and it hurts their business because they aren’t getting as much money as possible.
Having just one source of income isn’t enough since the market is always changing, which means that your blog can become obsolete really quickly. If you have more than one income stream then you won’t have to worry about being left behind so much!
Below are some of the methods for diversifying your blog income:
- Join Affiliate networks
- Create an e-book or information product that you can sell through your blog
- Write sponsored posts
- Create your own advertising agency
- Sell products that you create yourself
Blogging is a great way to make money online, but without the right advice, you can really struggle. This guide will help you stay ahead of the competition and avoid making common blogging mistakes that amateur bloggers make.
Everyone starts out making mistakes when they first set up their blog, but the key is to learn from those missteps and move on as quickly as possible. That way you’ll be much more likely to succeed in the long run!
I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments section below 🙂