This post was most recently updated on July 27th, 2023
[This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.]
One year into my blogging journey, there is failures and successes. I made a lot of common blogging mistakes. It’s normal, right? You make mistakes and you fix them. That’s life and that’s okay.
Making blogging mistakes happens to pretty much every blogger. Like any person starting a new job, they mess things up. So, for all of you beginner bloggers out there who are looking to get up-to-speed quickly, keep on reading this.
First, what is a blog?
Simply put, a blog is kind of a tool that can help develop an online presence, attract people, and engage with an audience. Perhaps it’s often a series of editorial content focused on specific topics that show industry expertise. For example, fashion companies might write blog posts like ‘18 Way Cute Spring Outfits You’ll Wanna Wear When It’s Finally Warm Outside.’
Most of the blog’s traffic is driven organically, meaning that the audience will search for something on search engines and click on your blog if it matches their keywords topic. However, there are a lot of individuals or organizations competing for your audience’s attention, so it’s important to avoid common blogging mistakes to stand out.
Common Blogging Mistakes
Not having a clear motivation
What’s important about having clear motivations is that it will keep you on track and remind you always why you started everything when things become rough or when you lack ideas. Be clear about why you want to start blogging this will help you write your content and your audience will find it much easier to recognize your voice.
Not creating an email list
Email is the most effective marketing channel for business. It is 40 times more effective than any social media platform. It brings repeat traffic to your site and best of all, an email newsletter is not really difficult to create.
How can you funnel your site blog visitors into your email list? By offering my audience a valuable resource like an ebook or a freebie. I use Flodesk to build my email list and it’s easy to use and creating your welcome email is not that hard.
Not networking and collaborating
You can’t live alone in this world, right?
As a new blogger, building your network is really important. In order to grow your blog, you need to collaborate and engage with other bloggers. In the very beginning, finding your way to grow your blog traffic is tough. Collaborating with other bloggers makes you more likely to aim for your goals. If you want to collaborate with me, I welcome you to write a guest post for me.
Not sticking to a schedule
In the first month of my blogging journey, I realized that planning ahead and staying organized is necessary. It makes my blogging schedule a lot easier. I always write down my blog content using Notion or a physical planner. This helps me to check what my month will look like blog-wise. It also helps me to find more inspiration and stay away from writer’s block.
You’ve probably heard that the more often you publish your content, the more traffic you’ll get to your blog, and the more subscribers you’ll generate from your posts. But it’s actually more important that you’re blogging consistently when you’re just getting started. If you publish four posts in one week and then only one or two in the next few weeks, it’ll be hard to build a consistent habit.
Schedule and publish blogs consistently. You can use your planner, editorial calendar, Trello, or Notion, which can help you to form the habit of planning your blog post topics ahead of time and also keep on track of your blog growth.
Falling into the comparison trap
I always say this often. Everyone’s journey is not the same. You will go through different hardships and many things along the way to reach your success. You may reach success after me OR I may reach success before you. You will reach your success by going through trial and error and learning.
One valuable tip to being a professional blogger is to be consistent. We need to work consistently on whatever job we have. As a blogger, I try my best to stick to my schedule. Sometimes, life just happens and I need to prioritize what is more important on that day.
There are many factors that come into play. Somehow I just feel not okay with everything that is happening around me or I’m having a bad day and don’t want to do anything. This can make my blogging journey a little delayed. So, the point is, my journey will be different than everyone else’s but sometimes that’s what makes it so … challenging?
It’s really hard for a new blogger to avoid comparing your success to someone else’s success. There will be times when you can’t stop comparing your number with others. You will feel negative and stop doing what you love. I feel it. But, I keep saying to myself it is not good for me; for both my body and mind. I try to focus on my own and I hope you will do the same. The more you focus on yourself, the quicker you will reach your success.
Instead of comparing your blog, start looking at your own success. You might not have thousands of followers, even hundreds but maybe you will have 40 more than you did last week. That’s progress! Or maybe you didn’t make $1,000 this month but you made $100, that’s progress! Start looking at your progress, big or small! Let the progress keep you focused and don’t give up because that valuable progress will all be wasted if you do.
Focus on the money
I put this on my list because I feel it, sometimes. I try to focus on delivering useful content and engaging with new bloggers. But I can’t avoid the thought of making money blogging. Okay! I want to say this, if you too focus on money, you will eventually give up and lose the passion you have when starting your blog.
I’ve read many successful bloggers’ posts about $1000, $5000, and even $10,000 monthly income. That money doesn’t come right away. And to make that amount of money, I believe they went through sleepless nights, stressed, kept consistent, put in a lot of dedication, tons of coffees, and need people who support them!
Can you make money blogging? You can, absolutely. But that is not going to be your main focus. Your main focus should always be putting out good, useful, quality content for your audience! Always! No excuses!
Have a busy blog design
I have always been a fan of simple, clean, and presentable themes.
One of the common blogging mistakes most bloggers make is having a busy blog theme. It means your blog has multiple pop-ups, ads everywhere, and unorganized widgets. If you have those on your blogs, people will click right out!
So, make sure you have a clean and simple theme. Add widgets that help people navigate your blog not what you need on your blog. You don’t want your blog to look ‘spammy’ right? Plus, remember to put your categories in a clear view. Having a site that is easy to navigate for your audience is vital.
Buy followers of any kind
I’ve seen many online shops or people on social media who fall for the ‘buy followers’ scam. You know that you wasted your money on fake people – people who don’t really know you or your products. The followers you buy will most likely never engage with your content and brands will catch on.
It’s more important to have fewer followers who engage and love your content than 5,000 who are never engaged with your content.
Plus, the one that I don’t like so much is there are really no rules when someone follows you, you absolutely need to follow back. It’s an option. For me, if people follow me on social media, especially Twitter, but s/he isn’t really active or their post is not really … motivated for me or is just a spam account, I won’t follow back. Sorry.
What are follow-for-follow rules? I don’t have a fan of it. When I follow someone, I love their content and their profile catches my attention, or they have the same niche as me; I don’t think about gaining followers. So I don’t really like people who just follow me to make me follow them back and then unfollow me in a few days. That’s a bad attitude and that’s not a positive way to grow your blog.
Relying on SEO or social media as your magic for traffic
I’m not saying that SEO or social media is not Important. They are really important roles in growing your blog biz.
But, are you thinking of building backlinks before gaining your audience’s trust? Do you really think about focusing on the search engines first and your audience second? Oh dear, then you’re at a huge risk.
I mean you can’t just post your content without thinking of your target audience. Instead, write for your target audience. Perform keyword research but from the perspective of market research. Don’t perform it to find your traffic potential. You need to hunt the popular keywords your audience is searching for. Don’t expect to get a steep traffic rise from search engines right away.
It takes more than weeks or months for a new site to pick up significant search engine traffic and you might end up on page 20 for competitive keywords. You need to build your audience, establish your brand, and create quality blog post content first. As you keep adding your blog value, you’ll be happy to find that writing for people works well for search engines.
Obsessing with numbers and views
Yep. This is something that makes me up and down every day. As a new blogger, you will eventually focus on your numbers and instead focus on putting out quality content. I’m glad that I worry about both. LOL.
Let me be honest with you, after a month of blogging, I have less than 20 subscribers and 300+ followers on Twitter. It’s the truth. I keep saying that these numbers are not really important, but what your heart feels and what your mind thinks is different. You can’t avoid worrying about this.
I spent so much time trying to figure out what I did wrong, are my freebies not good enough or my content is not useful, or just low quality?
Guess what, I received comments from bloggers who say they find my content informative, and useful, and really appreciate them. Then I knew: that people will eventually follow, like, or subscribe to my blog if they enjoy my content. That’s what really matters to me.
You need to always remember that just because your following is small, doesn’t mean your content or your blog isn’t good. Building and growing your blog, in the beginning, is not an easy task. Focus on putting out quality content and learn how to market that content!
Get a problem with copyright
Do you like paying $2000 for a photo of Paris or $5000 for a $10 photo? I’m not crazy. Trust me, lawsuits are NOT FUN.
It doesn’t matter if you picked up the image by using Google’s non-commercial filter, there are many photos incorrectly listed. The copyrighted image is probably buried among the 200s of other pictures you’ve used on your blog.
Instead of screwing yourself over, understand the meaning of copyright infringement. When you’re in doubt, don’t risk a copyright violation. Use an image only after authorized permission from the owner. So, what is your safest option?
- Purchase stock photos from a site like Creative Market, see below:
- Hire a photographer or a graphic designer
- Learn photography and buy a DSLR camera
- Purchase this legal bundle to protect your blog biz legally
You can learn more about how to protect your blog legally here.
Waste your money upgrading your blog
Do not waste your money by upgrading your blog. You don’t have to buy premium plugins when the free one is enough to help build your blog. You don’t have to upgrade your wordpress.com when you should be self-hosted (not upgrading your wordpress.com version).
From the first time I knew Blogger, it is really easy to use then I found WordPress, which is the best. I had a free WordPress blog from 2012 to 2015. I could say that my blog is great, I get hundreds of views every day, but that’s just a free site, not a self-hosted or wordpress.com version.
I stopped doing that because I got busy with college and eventually quit. Real life calls me. And last year, I upgraded myself with much research and I found that I need to be self-hosted to have my dream site.
So, what’s a self-host? It’s a server that hosts your blog for you. I use Lyricalhost and really recommend them if you are looking for a fast server, fast CS response, and high security! They will transfer your wordpress.com to org. at no additional cost. Easy? Right. Just try to save all the money you have and the freedom you deserve!
Take long breaks
I’m not saying that taking a break is a mistake. I’m saying that taking a break for a month or weeks or even a year from blogging is NO NO NO! These few days I’m taking a break from posting on my blog because life happens. Life problems, struggle to keep up with current situations, and so on.
But, a break that long will only bring harm to everything you’ve already worked so hard for. Even when you feel like you’ve made no progress or just a little progress, you actually have!
Instead of taking week or month breaks, you can take a weekend off or schedule your posts and promotion in advance. Yes, breaks are really important but if you take it too long, you will lose your passion for what you’ve built so far and you will also love your trusted audience when they notice your inconsistent content.
Those above are common blogging mistakes most beginner bloggers make. Try your best to avoid making such mistakes. It’s best if you take a break when you’re tired or need self-reflection. Let me know what blogging mistakes you make as a new blogger! Is one of them in this post? What do you do to avoid blogging mistakes?