Starting a blog is one of the most effective ways to get your content in front of a broad audience and it's quite easy to get started.
But it's also very easy to make beginner blogging mistakes that could stop you from becoming a successful blogger.
The good thing, though, is that most of these common blogging mistakes are easy to avoid.
I've written this blog post to help you figure out what the biggest blogging mistakes are for beginner bloggers and how to solve them.
[Disclaimer: Some links in this post contain affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you purchase the product through my link at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.]
What is a blog?
A blog is a website (or a section of a website) where you share opinions, thoughts, experiences and other information with the public on a regular basis.
What is a blog used for?
Blogging for fun
You can have a blog for fun or as a creative outlet.
Lots of people have personal blogs they can use as a personal journal, or where they publish stuff about their hobbies or their interests.
Or they just want to help people know how to do something they're passionate about.
Blogging for business
Lots of companies (big and small) have websites and one way they drive traffic to their website, convert it into leads and establish themselves as experts in their field is by having a blog.
By regularly publishing relevant content in their blog, they're attracting readers who are interested in what they do and might buy their products or pay for their services.
But there are lots of bloggers who decide to start a blog because they want to use it to make money, for example, by creating content for affiliate marketing.
If you want to move up the blogging ladder, you need to make sure you avoid making the blogging mistakes in the following section because they can kill your blog even before you start!
Blogging mistakes new bloggers make before they start their blog
You could ask 1000 bloggers what is the worst blogging mistake for beginner bloggers and they'd all give you a different answer.
But I'm pretty sure that all of them would put this blogging mistake at the top of the list:
1. Not knowing why you want to start a blog
Most people don't have a clear idea about what they want to achieve with their blogs. Most beginner bloggers just want people to read their content, but they don't really know why they want to blog in the first place or what kind of outcome they want from it.
Even if you start a blog for fun, you want people to read your content, otherwise you'd use your bullet journal and keep it to yourself.
But if you don't have a plan or a goal, you'll write more inconsistently, write about many topics and you won't be able to avoid some of the other blogging mistakes you'll find below.
Are you making one of the most common blogging mistakes? Find out what the biggest beginner blogger mistakes are and how to avoid them in this blog post. #bloggingtips
2. Choosing the wrong platform
Another top blogging mistake is to start a blog using the wrong platform for you.
Because this will also impact anything you do later and limit what you can and can't do.
But how do you decide on which blogging platform is the right for you?
For me, it depends on the following factors:
- Why are you blogging and what do you want to get out of your blog?
- If you blog for fun, then it doesn't matter so much if you choose to blog from a FREE platform, but if you're doing it because you want to use it for your business or you think you might want to make money in the future, choosing a FREE platform or a platform like Wix might cause you trouble later on.
- How good are you with the technology?
- I don't think using WordPress for blogging is that hard, to be honest. You will have to learn how the back end of WordPress looks and what everything does, but if you keep things simple at the beginning it's not that difficult. But I understand why some people choose Squarespace as their platform.
- How much money you want to spend?
- Starting a blog is not expensive. Initially, you'll need money for a domain name, which is around $15 a year, and then you need web hosting, which you can get quite cheaply at the beginning $3 a month if you sign up for 3 years. And if you want a Premium WordPress Theme, they cost between $50-$150 (usually a one-off), but you don't have to choose a WordPress Theme at the start.
Solution: Decide what your goals for your blog are and choose the best blogging platform to achieve them. Check out this article on how to choose the best blogging platform if you need a hand.
3. Choosing a bad WordPress host
When you start a blog for the first time, it's usual for people to get a website host based on price.
So that's what they use to do their research for finding a web host.
But you also need to consider other issues, such as how good they are with customer service, how difficult it is to use their software and so on.
Another thing to remember is that most cheap deals for the lower plans have limitations, such as limits on CPU usage.
So when your blog grows, you'll likely have to move to a higher priced plan.
4. Choosing the wrong Domain Name
For any blogger, picking the right domain name is critical. A domain with relevant keywords will help your SEO efforts and drive traffic to your site, but your target audience also needs to become familiar with it.
It's not something that you want to leave up to chance. You want your new domain to be memorable, easy to spell, and easy for people to find online.
But it's easy to make a blogging mistake when you choose it.
Some common mistakes bloggers make when choosing their domain names are:
- Selecting an obscure or difficult-to-pronounce name that's hard for people to remember or share.
- Fail to consider how it'll look in different languages.
- Choosing keywords that don't fit your niche.
- Choosing a name that does not represent what you're trying to do.
- Adding dashes and other characters to it.
Solution: Keep things simple and choose a domain name that uses the right keywords. Need a domain name now? Get your domain name at NameCheap.
5. Not knowing your blogging niche
Choosing a blog niche is one of the most important things you need to do before you build your blog.
Because choosing the wrong niche will make it harder for you to get content ideas and you'll take longer writing blog posts because you'll have to spend more time researching the topic and making sure you write quality content.
Solution: Choose a niche that fits with your skills and knowledge or something you're passionate about. Here's an article from Blogging Wizzard on how to choose a blogging niche + 100 profitable niche ideas.
6. Failing to include legal pages
Bloggers usually don't need a legal page until they start running a business.
So it's one of the most common blogging mistakes beginner bloggers make.
But having a legal page that covers what type of content you allow on your site is very important.
If you get started with affiliate marketing or advertising, you'll also need to add a Disclosure Page or add a section to your Terms and #Conditions.
What's the worst that can happen if you don't have legal pages on your blog?
I think some of it will depend on what country you're in and the regulations there, but you could get sued, fined or get your blog shut down. And if you are part of an affiliate program, they could kick you out of the program as well.
Solution: Look around for templates for Privacy Policies and Legal Pages and check out what other people in your niche do. Or use WP Legal Pages Pro to create your legal pages in minutes.
Blogging mistakes that impact on your reader's experience
One blogging tip they gave me at the beginning of my blogging adventures is that a large percentage of the people getting to your blog pages are new visitors to your blogging site. They'll land on a page (blog post) and then they're gone.
And you want to make sure they stay on that page for as long as they can so they can either: buy a product from you, sign up to your email list, buy an affiliate product you're promoting, share your blog content on social media...
You don't want your readers to land on your blog post and leave straight away because you made some these easy to avoid blogging and website design mistakes.
7. Choosing the wrong WordPress Theme
You could actually say that choosing the wrong WordPress Theme is a mistake you make before you've actually started blogging because a lot of people choose a WordPress Theme before they've written their first blog post.
Though, as I said earlier, you don't have to pay for a Premium WordPress Theme when you start.
You can get away with having a good FREE Theme while you learn how to use the WordPress Dashboard and how everything works.
And if you choose the wrong them, you won't be able to get things the way you want them.
But what are the consequences of not having a good WordPress Theme for your readers?
- Pages that take too long to load.
- It might look cluttered or have some element designs in the wrong places, and it could make it look wrong.
- Unattractive design.
- Clashes with plugins could also cause them to miss out on things you want them to see.
- Pages that are hard to read.
- They might have difficulty navigating your blog.
That's why, if you're taking blogging seriously and want to monetise it or use your blog to promote your services or your products, it's important for you to choose a professional-looking theme.
8. Make it difficult for your readers to use the blog
Another beginner blogging mistake to avoid is making it hard for your audience to read your content.
Because if you don't create a good reading experience for them, they'll leave.
Solution: Use the following tips to make it easier for people to read and navigate your blog when you customise your WordPress Theme and write your blog posts:
- Use a minimum size 18 for your text. This is good because it makes it easier for people to read your blog. Remember, lots of people use their mobiles and their tablets to access online content, so it needs to be readable.
- Use white space. Leave gaps between paragraphs and lines.
- Don't overdo it with colours.
- Use shorter paragraphs.
- Use easy to read fonts (no curly fonts).
- Don't clutter your website (with ads) and use space.
- Keep things simple.
- Focus on 2-3 categories at the beginning.
- Choose an elegant WordPress Theme.
- Keep your blog's structure simple.
- Add a clear menu bar to your blog.
9. Failing to include images
One common blog mistake is not using images.
Images are an important part of content creation for bloggers, for both search engine optimization and the overall user experience.
Using images in your blog posts helps make your content more attractive and easier to read, and you can use images to illustrate what you're trying to say.
And this means people stay on your site for longer, so they're more likely to buy something from you or sign up to your email list.
Solution: Add an image every 300 words or so to your content. If you don't take your own images, get a stock photo membership so you always have quality images handy.
Types of images you can
include in a blog post:
- own photos
- stock photos
- affiliate images
Beginner Blogging mistakes make: content writing and editorial mistakes
10. Creating blog content for the sake of it
Blogging has changed a lot since the first blogs appeared and one of the things that has changed the most is that if you want to start blogging, you can't just write about whatever comes to mind.
First, because, you need to write about things your target audience is interested in, unless you write just for yourself and your family.
And secondly, because when you write content for the sake of it, you're not thinking about how to optimise your content for SEO.
And if you don't do your SEO, your content won't appear in the SERPs (Search Results Pages) and it won't get found.
Solution: If you're a beginner, doing SEO and your keyword research SEO can be a bit intimidating. Get this SEO BluePrint Book by my friend Angela to learn the basics of SEO.
11. Not checking your content for spelling, grammar and style
It is a common mistake for bloggers not to edit the grammar and check the spelling in their blog posts.
It happens when you're rushing to finish and you've been working on a blog post for ages and it all looks OK to you.
Even when you're a brilliant writer, there are typos and other mistakes that can creep up when you're moving sections of your blog post or you're rewriting a paragraph.
And that makes you look bad.
Solution: Put your content through a grammar and style editor like ProWritingAid before you publish. And go over your blog post one or two weeks after you publish it to see if you missed anything.
12. Writing inconsistently
This is a super common blogger mistake. Most of us go through periods when we can't write consistently, to be honest.
But it's harder for beginner bloggers to avoid this.
A lot of beginner bloggers start off strong and then fizzle out because they're doing it in their own time and they can only work on their blog a few hours at a time. Or you might publish three blog posts in a week, but then can't publish any for months.
But consistent blog posting and fresh content are two things that are integral to any blog's success. If you want to get traffic to your blog, you need to avoid this blogger mistake.
Solution: Plan your content and have an editorial calendar. A content calendar is a plan that outlines all of your future blog posts. Writing everything down in advance can help you stay organized and work more efficiently.
13. Writing short blog posts
Now and then, I click on a link to read a blog post that I'm interested in and then I find out it's only 500 words long. It's so short that I learn nothing from it, and it also annoys me. It feels like a waste of time.
I think writing short blog posts was something you could get away with years ago. But nowadays long-form blog content is king.
Long-form content usually contains a lot of valuable information for your readers, so they can find answers to all their questions in one place.
But creating long blog posts also means you're going to find it easier to rank on the Google Search results.
This post from Neil Patel will help you learn why you need to create long form content and how to do it.
Solution: Spend more time doing your research and use a tool like Outranking to plan your outlines and write your content.
Beginner Blogging Mistakes: SEO related
14. Ignoring SEO
Do you know one of the silliest blogging SEO mistakes I saw somebody make?
It was choosing a title and meta description that didn't include the keywords for their blog posts. And because they didn't SEO their title and meta description, that meant their images (name and Alt Text) were also wrong.
The titles sounded great and made people click when they saw them on social media, but when it came to Google...
Well, their blog posts weren't getting found at all by people doing searches on Google.
Relying on social media to get your blog posts out there is OK when you're starting out. You can use Tailwind to share your new content on Tribes or use MissingLettr for other people to share your content, but one of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid is ignoring SEO.
I understand you want to get your content out there and you can't become an expert on SEO, but you can still do some work.
Solution: Install RankMath to help you SEO your posts when you're on WordPress and spend some time learning the basics of SEO and doing your SEO research.
15. Focusing too much on SEO
One thing that happens when you're spending too much time focusing on your SEO and 'listening' to whatever your SEO plugin is telling you is that you write for SEO and not for your readers
And when you do this, things don't sound right or you're trying to put all these keywords in the right places, but they don't fit naturally. So it all sounds stiff.
The thing is that these SEO tools give you guidance, but Google is much cleverer than any SEO plugin.
Another problem you can have when you're focusing too much on SEO is that you don't want to write about topics you know you will not rank for because you can see the top results in the SERPs have a much higher domain authority than yours and you can't compete.
For example, I doubt I can rank for 'How to Start Affiliate Marketing' but how can I write about affiliate marketing without telling people how to get started?
Solutions: Create content clusters and use internal links to link to similar content. Do some social listening and find out what your audience likes so you can have a balanced content strategy to keep your audience happy while you attract new readers with Google.
16. Not using SEO tools
You can do a lot of SEO research manually by using Google Search, looking at the competition, checking out Pinterest, using your Google Analytics and using things like the Google Keyword Planner and so on.
But you also need to use tools that help you choose the right keywords and give you information from SERPs.
It's possible to do everything manually, but doing SEO research by hand will take you a lot longer and you'll miss out on important keywords.
Solution: Start by using FREE SEO tools and Chrome Extensions, like Keywords Everywhere while you learn how to use them. Once you get the basics but you're not ready to invest yet, do FREE trials of paid SEO tools and batch your keyword research.
Blogging mistakes new bloggers make: marketing and monetisation mistakes
17. Ignoring social media
OK. So you're focused on SEO and are writing content like mad. But are you neglecting social media?
While you wait for your SEO to work, which can take weeks or months, you should promote your content on social media.
When you start a blog, some of the first page views on your blog will come from social media, even if it's because you're sharing your blog post with your family and friends on Facebook.
But social media is not just there to help you promote your content.
You can use social media to get a lot of information about what your audience is interested in, what other bloggers in your niche and doing and you can start developing some relationships with both your audience and other bloggers.
Solution: Create a social media strategy for your blog and if you need help to plan your content, check out Pixistock's Social Media Calendar.
GET YOUR FREE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY CHEAT SHEET HERE!
18. Waiting to monetise your blog
A common blogging mistake among beginner bloggers is not to have a monetization plan for their blog from the start.
You don't need to have a large audience to start making money with your blog. Obviously, the more people looking at your content, the more money you make.
But that doesn't mean you have to wait until you have 100000 page views a month to monetise.
You can start making money with your blog much earlier if you do affiliate marketing, for example, or if you create digital products.
But if you wait too long, you're missing out on a lot of potential income, and all you'll have is a very expensive hobby.
19. Waiting to start an email list
Most beginner bloggers focus on creating content. And that's great.
I mean, if you don't have content, people won't know what you're trying to tell them.
But the key to making money with your blog is your email list.
So it's important to start an email list as soon as you can.
Without an email list, you rely on social media or organic traffic to get traffic and make money, but what you want is to have a community you can get in touch with all the time, even if Facebook or Pinterest change their algorithms.
Blogging is hard but rewarding work. It takes time and effort to come up with engaging quality content and you want to be successful at it and avoid getting things wrong.
In this blog post, I've tried to give you solutions and tips to help you avoid the most common blogging mistakes people make when they start blogging, such as not doing their SEO research, choosing the wrong niche or failing to monetise their content.
Did you find them helpful?
What's the most useful tip you've found in this article?
Tell me in the comments!
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