Your early days as a new blogger could easily become overwhelming and that overwhelm often leads to a lot of blogging mistakes.
You probably have all of these ideas running in your mind but you can’t quite figure out where to begin or what your next steps are or even worse you feel like you’re never able to accomplish anything.
Here’s a little reminder:
Your first few months and maybe even up to a year or more will feel lonely.
Not in terms of you as a person but for your blog in general.
You’re obviously going to start your blog with zero traffic, no followers, no email subscribers, etc.
All of those things come with time and every successful blogger started the same way.
If you are a new blogger, you shouldn’t obsess over those things right out the gate instead you need to use the early stages of your blogging journey to hone your skills and focus on putting the right systems in place.
Everything you do in the beginning will have a huge impact on where your blog will end up later on down the road.
So the reason for this post is to show you 10 common blogging mistakes you need to absolutely avoid as a new blogger.
As a matter of fact these are mistakes you should ALWAYS avoid if you want to stand any chance at all.
I’m going to break them down into 2 categories: The Human Component and The Technical Aspects.
Let’s take a look at what these blogging mistakes are.
Table of Contents
Blogging Mistakes - The Human Component
1 - Failing To Plan
You can’t tell me you’ve never heard this before – “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
As far as blogging mistakes go, this is one you really need to do your best to avoid.
You need a solid plan.
In fact any sort of plan is much better than nothing at all.
Blogging isn’t one of those things you can just wing and hope everything eventually works out for you.
Not with the continuously changing landscape and the amount of competition you’re facing.
You cannot have any sense of direction if you have no plan or goals to work towards.
One of the biggest mistakes I made with some of my earlier blogs was I was too broad about my goals and didn’t even know how I was going to get there.
Chances are you started your blog (or at least plan on doing so) because you want to make money online and hopefully transition this into a full-time business that gives you more personal and financial freedom.
That sounds great but as you sit here reading this content right now, what exactly will it take for you to get to that point and are you doing the necessary things you need to get there?
It sounds great to say I want to make $10,000/month but how exactly are you going to accomplish that?
Or maybe you want to grow your email list to 10,000 subscribers.
What steps have you taken or do you plan on taking to get to that point?
Hopefully that has you thinking a little.
And part of that planning process means you need to have well-defined goals.
You should try to make everything as precise as possible.
You can’t just say “I want to have a million followers.”
Yes it’s a great milestone to aim for but you also have to be realistic and have a clear strategy in place to help you get there.
Your new blog won’t magically grow overnight.
So you can start with something like “I want to get 300 instagram followers in the next 30 days.”
It’s feasible and is a much clearer outline of what you want to achieve.
From there you now have to reverse engineer the process.
What do you have to do to get your first follower. Then your tenth, 100th and so on.
When you start with smaller specific goals, it makes it much easier for you to accomplish them.
The overall goal may still be 1 million followers but when you break it down into smaller chunks you get quicker results and the whole thing adds up.
Along the way you may even find out that maybe your blog doesn’t need that many followers in order to be successful.
But you won’t know if you don’t have a plan or are just doing things purely based off of someone else’s results.
You can apply the same planning process to every goal or task you set for yourself and your blog.
The added advantage of having a plan is it also tells you when something isn’t working.
You can’t determine what needs to be changed if you don’t know what your expectations are.
So once again the very first blogging mistake you need to avoid is Failing to Plan.
I recommend you read this post: Why Failing to Plan Really Does Mean Planning to Fail
2 - Failing To Take Action
As obvious as it may sound, failing to take action remains a HUGE mistake for many new and experienced bloggers alike.
It’s no secret that if you don’t begin you’ll never reach your goals.
And I’m not referring to just launching your blog here.
I’m talking about all of the other things you know you should be doing in order to grow your blog.
So many people set themselves up for failure by not taking that initial step.
I believe there are 3 main reasons why many bloggers fail to do so:
And if you give in to those things, all you’re doing is slowing your own progress.
Procrastination is nothing but the thief of time.
Don’t push things off for another day if you can get them done today (especially if you have a full-time job).
When you keep carrying things over, it all piles up and your work gets harder.
Hesitation usually happens because we’re waiting for the “perfect” moment.
The time when everything will hopefully align itself and things will feel just right.
Unfortunately no such thing exists.
You create your own moments both in life and as a blogger.
It took me launching and failing with several other blogs before I created this one.
If I had waited, I won’t be here.
So don’t hesitate because you’re waiting for the perfect moment.
The right thing to do is get started then learn and improve as your blog grows.
Which leads me to fear.
The topic of overcoming fear is a huge topic and I won’t do it justice in a few lines.
But fear is often attributed to 2 things:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of other people’s opinions
Well truth is nobody likes to fail and fear in so many ways is meant to help us protect ourselves but you have to be okay with being uncomfortable if you want to realize your goals.
The takeaway from all of this is you need to be decisive about your blog and its growth.
I’m not asking you to do things without thinking them through.
There’s a difference between calculated risk and doing things blindly.
If you have a solid idea or something you know has been proven to work and you’ve done ample research on it then act upon it.
The sooner you act, the faster you learn and the quicker you grow your blog.
3 - Failing To Prioritize
Arguably this could fall under both the human and technical aspects of blogging.
I included it here because for many new bloggers that often means you also have another full-time job and with that comes the difficulty to prioritize or the complete lack of it altogether.
I’ve never been in an advocate for dropping everything you currently have going on in order to pursue your dreams.
In fact you often need that full-time gig to sustain your current side hustle and to make sure you continue to have food on the table and a roof over your head.
That said, you need to learn how to make your blog a priority.
You’re going to have to make some necessary sacrifices in order to grow your blog. There’s no way around it.
And when you flip over to the technical side of things, you have to remember your blog will also have a lot of moving pieces.
I’m not telling you all of this to scare you. Actually quite the contrary.
In fact there’s no way for you to keep up with everything your blog requires of you.
Even some of the top bloggers have a whole team working for them and they know how to outsource different tasks effectively.
The point I’m trying to make here is you need to embrace the journey you’re about to embark on.
You have to learn how to prioritize your personal time and the different things you’re working on for your blog.
Which schedule works best?
Only you can answer that.
You know your schedule much better than I do so you are in a better position to figure out what works best and how to manage your time.
The lesson here is you NEED to establish your priorities.
4 - Lack Of Effort and Commitment
This is basically an extension of blogging mistakes #1 and #3.
When you have no plan and no means to prioritize your time and your work, all of that eventually leads to lack of effort and lack of commitment as a result.
This tends to happen during the early stages as a new blogger but it can definitely carry over if you don’t nip it in the bud soon enough.
In the introduction to this post I told you the early days of your blogging journey are going to be the toughest ones.
That’s when you really need to plant your seeds and take care of that baby consistently until it grows into the full grown, giant sequoia that it’s meant to be.
If you don’t put in the required effort, your business will never grow.
And yes your blog is a business!
That in itself is another one of those blogging mistakes many people make.
You have to treat your blog as a business – right from day one!
You can’t hope to make $10,000/month if your work ethic and commitment doesn’t match the goal.
Not when you don’t have any guarantees.
Blogging and the internet in general has presented us with a lot of opportunities to build our own financial freedom but don’t get tricked into thinking it’ll just come to you on a silver platter.
You have to put in the effort to reach those goals and you have to remain committed to the plan.
Much of that happens when you have the right mindset.
In fact success is 80% Mindset and 20% Strategy.
Programming the right mindset will get you very far in life.
So set a plan, put in the work and remain committed to it.
5 - Giving Up Too Soon
Do you know what the difference is between the 7-figure bloggers and the people who think it’s impossible to make any money online?
The people who don’t make any money are the ones who decided to give up.
The number 1 reason why many bloggers fail is because they get discouraged and give up too easily.
The lessons you’re going to learn from this blog or any other blogger for that matter are the same ones that helped them be successful.
That means if you follow their lead you have a better chance of being successful yourself.
I use those words with some HEAVY, HEEAAVVY CAUTION.
Even if you literally copy and pasted someone else’s work, you won’t achieve similar results in the same amount of time.
First things first, success doesn’t happen overnight.
We’ve already established that point so no need beating a dead horse.
What I really want you to know is the information and content you get from other bloggers is meant to serve more as a guide.
You learn from them, apply the things you’re being taught and continue to tweak until you get the results you want.
Blogging is not like your 9-5 where you go in and follow a strict set of rules and get paid every 2 weeks.
Your life as a blogger is more of a huge experiment in itself.
Some days you get amazing results and on others you don’t.
Either way you learn from it and work on getting even better the next day.
You can’t quit just because you’re not getting any results within the time frame you expected.
In most cases things will take much longer than you expected.
Let me give you a very simple example to explain what I mean.
I prefer to use SiteGround to host all of my websites.
Other bloggers swear by Bluehost.
At the end of the day does it really matter who your hosting provider is?
If we’re being completely honest, it really doesn’t.
Do some of those providers have added benefits over the others?
Of course they do.
But if you start your blog with Bluehost and things don’t go as planned can we really blame it on the fact that you chose Bluehost when I recommended SiteGround?
If I tell you it’ll take about 6 months before you make any money online should you quit if it doesn’t happen at that point?
I think we both agree the answer is No.
Blogging is always evolving and adapting to the ever-changing audience’s needs.
Bloggers that started 10 years ago have a bigger advantage over those of us starting today and you’ll have a bigger advantage over those starting tomorrow.
But if you give up today then what?
Don’t make the mistake of giving up too soon.
Changes are a part of the game and you need to know when it’s time to pivot but if you give up altogether…well then you gave up.
And I don’t think you want to give up on your dreams.
There’s a saying that always comes to mind when I think about this:
“Giving up on your goals because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.”
Blogging Mistakes - The Technical Aspects
With our own self limitations out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the technical blogging mistakes that can hinder your progress.
6 - Not Listening to Your Audience
Let’s make one thing clear – Your blog is NOT about you.
I understand how much sweat, tears and sacrifice you’re going to put into your blog but at the end of the day your success depends on how well your audience responds to your content.
You can create a 20,000 word blog post, create the “best” Pinterest pins, and share it across all your other platforms but if nobody is interested all of that work would be in vain.
Your goal as a blogger is to create content that your audience is actually interested in.
Plain and simple.
Every time someone visits your blog, the main question they’re asking is “what’s in it for me?”
You do the same thing all the time so that really shouldn’t surprise you.
It’s not that people don’t care about you but they really want to know how they could benefit from the time they’re going to spend on your blog.
And if someone is going to spend their precious time interacting with your content then you better make sure you’re giving them something of value.
You need to put the needs of your audience first.
Because being a successful blogger ultimately comes down to 4 steps:
- Getting people’s Attention
- Keeping them Interested
- Make them Desire more (Building Trust)
- Getting them to take Action
Everything you do as a blogger is going to fall under 1 of those steps and as you can clearly see for yourself you need to help your audience first.
Take care of your visitors and they’ll take care of you in return.
The True Definition of "Value"
The term value gets tossed around a lot often.
So much so that you have people cracking their heads and so hesitant to put out any content because they don’t know if it’s valuable or not.
If I asked you right now “What do you think value is”, what would your response be?
Keep that answer in mind.
When most people think about value, the first thing that comes to mind is search engines (especially Google) and the competition.
Those are definitely things you need to consider but I have to ask you why they matter.
Why do you want to rank on the 1st page of Google?
Why do you want to out smart your competitors?
Aren’t all of those things because you want to attract more visitors?
And not just any visitors but you want to make sure you’re attracting the RIGHT people.
That right there should tell you value is in the eyes of the beholder.
It’s not necessarily about the length of your post or the design of your blog or whatever external factor you may attribute it to.
It ultimately comes down to the person who’s interacting with it.
It comes down to the emotions they can feel and if they can walk away from that piece of content knowing it truly served their best interest.
I’ve read tweets that had more value than a 5,000 word blog post.
I’ve gotten free emails that provided more value than some paid courses.
So before you lose another night of sleep over what’s valuable make sure you’re actually doing what’s best for your audience.
Your niche and your audience determines what value is.
Now think about your answer again.
7 - Lack of Content Promotion
Gone are the days when you could just post stuff and people will come flooding in.
Like I said earlier, the blogging landscape has changed a lot and the competition has definitely gotten stiffer.
If you want to be noticed you have to put yourself out there.
That means you need to be constantly promoting your content.
And just in case you’re wondering why, here are a few reasons you need to:
- It increases your blog’s awareness
- It helps with more sales & more revenue
- It helps boost your site’s SEO (more on this later)
- It helps you build better relationships with consumers and other bloggers
Long story short, if you fail to promote your content you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities to grow your blog effectively.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself how to go about this.
The answer I’m going to give you is sort of a broad one but the best way to promote your content is via social media.
That obviously leads to “which Social Media platform is the best?”
That ultimately depends on your niche but in most cases, one of the best places to get started with is Pinterest.
In my opinion, Pinterest is an indispensable asset for any blogger.
It’s definitely a great starting point.
The other blogging mistake you want to avoid here is jumping from one platform to another.
Pick a single platform, get really good at it before you move on to the next.
That’s how you get the most out of your time and it ensures you’re doing your best to make it work.
It’s better to be great on 1 platform than to have mediocre results on 5.
8 - Poor SEO Techniques
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to the success of any blog.
It helps improve your site’s visibility which leads to more traffic, more sales and all of the other good things you want to happen to you as a blogger.
Neglecting it is like basically telling yourself you want your blog to fail.
Social media and other forms of content promotion may work in the short term but SEO is one thing that isn’t going away anytime soon.
Since this is a very important topic, I’m going to give you instead some of the best SEO strategies you need to be focusing on at all times.
i - Keyword Research
Keywords are essentially the words people type in when they’re looking for something online.
You obviously want your blog to rank for niche related keywords.
Your focus should be on long-tail keywords.
ii - Avoid Keyword Stuffing
You can’t outsmart the search engines by stuffing your keywords all over the place.
That’s actually frowned upon.
The goal is to create content around your keywords but don’t overuse them.
You want to make sure there’s a good flow and also be sure to include a good mix of related keywords.
iii - Good Backlink Strategy
Backlinks are links from other websites pointing back to your blog.
The more relevant and authoritative websites you have linking back to your blog, the more trust it builds in the eyes of the search engines.
They’re basically a vote of confidence.
One good way to build excellent backlinks is by Guest Posting.
iv - Great User Experience
Site speed, ease of navigation, customer engagement, and mobile experience are a few things that come to mind here.
The whole point of user experience is to make sure everything is pleasant to your visitors.
Keep things simple and make it easy for people to access the information they need.
If you make it harder they get frustrated and leave.
v - Provide Valuable Content
Yes. I know. That word again.
But I’m bringing it up because it really matters for SEO.
Great content attracts more visitors and tells the search engines your content is relevant.
That said, remember you’re writing for human beings not machines.
You create content for your audience first then optimize it for SEO. (Not the other way around)
Your takeaway from all of this is SEO is an essential long-term game.
But if you don’t start working on it today you’re already setting yourself up for failure.
SEO is one of those topics that has been overcomplicated throughout the years but if you’re looking for something that’s simple and easy to understand with proper guidance then read this post.
9 - No List Building
This is another holy grail of blogging mistakes.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase here.
You CANNOT build a successful long-term blog without proper list building.
I’m ready to argue with anyone who says otherwise.
Growing your subscriber (email) list is one of the best ways to keep on engaging with your customers outside of your blog itself.
Email also happens to have the highest ROI of any other marketing channel available and really is the only marketing asset you have any control over.
If you’re really serious about growing your blog into a profitable business then you need to start figuring out the best ways to get people onto your mailing list.
Many new bloggers put off this task because they don’t have any traffic yet or because they’re not sure how to go about it.
If you don’t know how to go about it then there are so many free resources for you to learn from.
If your problem is the lack of traffic then I need to remind you blogging is all about having the right systems in place.
You don’t wait for people to show up before you start capturing leads.
You make sure you the right offers in place so once that traffic begins to trickle in you have a means to get them to subscribe.
There really should be no excuse as to why you’re not growing your mailing list.
Email is a powerful tool for higher conversions and is a great way for you to stay in touch with your audience.
The one tool I recommend you use to help grow your email list quickly is MailerLite.
10 - No Monetization Strategy
The last of our blogging mistakes is lack of a proper monetization strategy.
If you’re blogging just for the sake of it or just because it’s another hobby of yours then this really doesn’t matter.
But I know you didn’t start your blog just out of pure curiosity.
You actually want to make money online.
That part isn’t what people struggle with.
In fact we all know what that target number is for us.
It could be $1000/month, $10,000/month or maybe even 6 figures every single month.
The issue here isn’t the number itself or what a realistic target should be as new blogger but the exact strategies you’re going to use to get there.
Of course this is part of your overall planning strategy but we’re talking specifically about money.
There are 2 struggles here:
- Being okay with the fact that you want to make money online
- Having an actual strategy in place to help you make money
Many bloggers shy away from the intent to make money online.
And I understand why – money is a very sensitive topic and it takes time to wrap your head around the fact that you’re going to ask someone to pay you for information.
But here’s the counter – why not?
Do you think your offers or products aren’t worth it?
Do you think the thing you’re selling won’t have any positive impact on someone’s life?
If you’re recommending crappy or shady products then you don’t deserve to have a blog but on the other hand if you’re creating amazing products that have the potential to change someone’s life for the better then why don’t you deserve to get paid for it?
This is another one of those areas where the whole idea of value comes in again.
Just in case you missed the bold yellow section from earlier, you can click here to read it again.
The second part of this is the actual strategy.
And this is something we already touched on earlier.
Let’s assume your goal is to make $10,000/month, how would you go about it?
You’d probably give me responses like:
- First grow my traffic to 100,000 monthly visitors
- Grow my email list to 5000 subscribers
- Use Affiliate marketing, etc.
But if I somehow magically gave you 100,000 visitors today or 5,000 email subscribers or taught you all the ins and outs of Affiliate Marketing, how exactly will you use those things to get to $10,000/month?
One of 2 things just happened.
You either went completely blank or you broke everything down into a step-by-step process you’re going to follow.
What we obviously want is that detailed, step-by-step process.
So many bloggers know what they want but have no clue how they’re going to get there.
Think of it this way.
Do you want to keep driving around in circles or do you want a detailed map you can follow to help you get to your destination?
Making money online is no easy feat but don’t make it any harder on yourself by doing things haphazardly.
You need to embrace the fact that you want to build a business, be intentional about making money online (the right way) and have a plan you’re going to follow to help you get there.
Don’t make things anymore complicated than they need to be.
Final Thoughts on Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
These are just some of the common blogging mistakes you need to be aware of as a new (or experienced) blogger and avoid them as much as possible.
As your blog continues to grows you’ll face many other challenges but if you are able to tackle these then you’ll already have a solid foundation.
Remember, the early stages of your blog will always be the toughest ones.
Some of these mistakes can be avoided if you try not to handle too much at one time.
It takes A LOT of hard work to be successful online and it’s even tougher to master all the ins and outs when you are just getting started.
The key is to be patient and stay committed.
Above all if you find yourself making any blogging mistakes (we all do) make sure you learn from them and don’t repeat them again!
I hope you found this useful and I’d love to get your thoughts below.