I’ve been blogging for a while now. Next year will make 10 years. This version of the site has been around since 2019. There are so many blogging mistakes that I made those first few years. If you are a new blogger or if you want to create a blog, I don’t want you to make them.
Over time, I learned from successful bloggers and became a better blogger. I’m still learning as well. In this blog post, I want to go over 14 blogging mistakes to avoid. If you want to make money blogging or if blogging is just a hobby for you, make sure that you pay attention to these mistakes.
Not Being Self-Hosted
Starting your blog on a free provider is fine in the beginning. If you want to take your blog to the next level, it should be self-hosted. If your site is self-hosted, you can control everything including the design or theme that you want. You can monetize it better and also have your own personalized domain. For example, if I didn’t go the self-hosted route, my site’s address would look like MyMoneyChronicles.wordpress.com. To keep it real, that would suck. Those were only a few of the reasons to be self-hosted. When I first started, I used Bluehost to host my blog. There are a lot of hosting providers out there, but Bluehost is a good option for beginners. You can even get a free domain with them.
If you are interested in learning more about Bluehost, check out my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
If you are looking for a more hands-on hosting provider, take a look at Big Scoots. Their hosting is great and they have excellent customer service. They can help you get started with your blog.
If you seriously want to take your blog to the level, you have to consider writing longer posts. Two or three hundred word posts won’t cut it. Trust me, I know from experience. When I first started blogging, I struggled to get my posts to three hundred words. Those articles weren’t getting any traction. I started paying attention to what other bloggers were doing and saw that many of them wrote between 700 – 1200 word articles. Most of my posts these days are at least 900 words. Many of them are over 1200. I know that my audience is enjoying those posts more than my old ones. I have been creating great content. They are staying on the site longer than they used to because the posts are more informative. The analytics shows it. I wish I would have paid attention to this one sooner.
No Share Buttons
Next on the list of blogging mistakes is a big one. A lot of bloggers forget to add share buttons to their site in the beginning. Share buttons are a must for your blog. They make your posts easier to share on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. That drives traffic to your website. More traffic equals more money and opportunities. There are several share plugins available in WordPress. I use Social Warfare. It allows you to see how many times your articles have been shared on different social media platforms.
In my opinion, you have to have a niche for your blog. Everyone might not agree, but I think that as a blogger you need to have two or three things that you should focus on and talk about on your site. If you blogged about 20 different topics, it might be harder to get your readers to stay and subscribe. Your niche should be something that you are passionate about. My main niches are side hustles, personal finance, and travel information. Having a niche blog will help you in the long run.
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Trying to Post Every day
I’ve seen new bloggers try to post something every day. That rarely lasts especially if you run your blog by yourself. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do that effectively. You may also run out of blog post ideas. If you are just starting out, I’d post a couple of articles per week if I were you. That way you can take the time to make sure that the content is valuable and not just thrown together. Once you find your groove, you can possibly start posting more.
If you build it, they will come. While that may be true for some things, that’s BS when it comes to blogging. People won’t just show up to your blog. You won’t automatically get traffic. You have to promote it. There are several ways to promote it such as with social media or via word of mouth. This is one of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid. Don’t be afraid to promote your shit.
No Email List
A lot of bloggers don’t start an email list in the beginning. I “started” my list six months after my blog was live. I put quotation marks around started because I didn’t actively promote and my lead magnet was freaking terrible. When I finally got a few subscribers, I let them sit dormant for two years. Don’t be like me. Email marketing is very important. Start your list ASAP. Create a lead magnet that can help people in some way. When they sign up for your newsletter, they will get that lead magnet sent to them. Below are a few ideas for lead magnets.
Ebook – If you are an expert at something, you can create a small ebook for your subscribers.
Free Course – A lot of bloggers offer free courses. There are hundreds of topics to choose from.
Webinar – Do you like making videos? You can record a webinar. I recently did a webinar on five things to sell on eBay. I added it as a new lead magnet a couple of weeks ago.
Printable – Does your audience like charts or checklists? You could create some printables for them to download.
When I first started blogging, I made the mistake of trying to look perfect. I tried to be 100% by the book (whatever the hell that means) and not myself. I quickly found out that wasn’t going to work for me. My blog started growing when I showed some personality and kept it real. I used a little slang and even cursed a little bit. You don’t have to curse, but make sure that you always be true to yourself. Don’t try to appear perfect. Nobody is perfect, and your audience will know the difference between the real and the fake. This is one of my favorites on this blogging mistakes to avoid list.
If you’re going to run a blog, be consistent. You should have a posting schedule. It would be hard to build a good following if you post once or twice each month. I usually publish new blog posts twice a week. Every once in a while I’ll post a third one, but usually two posts a week are enough for me. Some bloggers post more while others only post once a month. I guess it depends on your schedule and the amount of content that you have.
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Getting Mad That Friends & Family Not Supporting
When I first started blogging, many of my friends and family didn’t support me. Back then, that used to piss me the hell off. I’m the type of person that shows love and support to my family and friends whenever I can. After talking with a blogger at a conference a few years ago, she told me that family and friends won’t always support me. It will happen. They aren’t your target market in a lot of cases. When I looked at it like that, I realized that she was correct.
I stopped getting frustrated when certain people didn’t support me and just continued blogging. A crazy thing happened. People that I didn’t know started reading and supporting the blog. They did that because they were my real target audience. My posts resonated with them. Over the years more of my family and friends have started reading and supporting more. If you are a new blogger, don’t let having minimal support bother you. Keep writing dope shit and continue to promote your articles. If you do that you will reach the right people.
When I first started blogging, I had no idea that there were different themes. I just used the default WordPress theme. After a while, I realized that there were other themes available. At first, I was afraid to change my theme because I didn’t want to mess up my blog. After doing some research and finding a theme that I liked, I finally made the switch.
It was a scary experience, but it turned out well in the end. If you’re still using the default WordPress theme, I would strongly recommend that you switch to a new one. There are so many great themes available now. Many of them are even free. Just make sure that you do some research before you make the switch.
Using Wix or Squarespace instead of WordPress
The problem with Wix or Squarespace is that they can shut your website down at any time. If you use WordPress, you own your website. That’s not the case with Wix or Squarespace. I’ve heard horror stories about people that have had their website shut down by Wix or Squarespace with no warning.
If you want to blog, I would strongly recommend that you use WordPress. It’s the best platform out there, in my opinion. You can use your own hosting and never have to worry about someone shutting your website down.
You also have the freedom to do whatever you want with your website when you use WordPress. You can use widgets and customize your blog the way that you want to. That’s not the case with Wix or Squarespace. You’re free to monetize your site however you want with WordPress. You’re also free to use whatever plugins or themes that you want.
Not Researching Topics Before Writing
You need to make sure that you’re writing about topics that people are actually interested in. The best way to do that is to research your topic before you write about it. There are a few ways that you can research your topic.
The first way is to use Google trends. You can type in a keyword or phrase and see how popular it is. If it’s not popular, you might want to consider writing about something else.
The second way is to use paid tools such as Ahrefs or Keysearch or a free tool like Ubersuggest. These tools will show you how much traffic a particular keyword is getting. If it’s not getting any traffic, you might want to consider writing about something else.
The third way is to use social media. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to see how popular a particular topic is on social media. The number of people talking about a topic is a good indicator of how popular it is.
Not Updating Content
You can’t create content and not expect it to go stale at some point. That’s why it’s important to update your content on a regular basis. That means you go back to your old posts and update them with new information.
You probably see review posts when you search for a product or service on Google. The title almost always has the current year in it. You want to revisit some of your old posts and update them with new information.
I recommend that you check your old posts at least once a year. If you’re not, your website will eventually become stale, and people will stop visiting it.
If you are a blogger, I’m sure that you’ve made some mistakes. Now that you know the blogging mistakes to avoid, you should do better now. You should be able to learn from them and move on.
Are there any other blogging mistakes to avoid?