Blogging is one of the most gratifying and flexible ways to make money online. However, there are a few blogging mistakes most beginners make that you should avoid.
The mistakes range from choosing the wrong niche or web hosting company to ignoring the power of quality content and good SEO practices.
Below we highlight fifteen common blogging mistakes to avoid. Some might appear lame, but many blogging beginners are likely to make them.
Do not become one of them…
Beginner’s Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
Let’s start with the most basic of mistakes and trickle down to more advanced ones, shall we?
1. Choosing money over passion
So many new bloggers start in a niche they aren’t passionate about. They choose a niche that can make them lots of money.
Choosing a niche simply because it’s easy to monetize and make thousands of dollars a month won’t do you any justice.
People search for solutions to their problems, and they can “smell” from a mile away that you aren’t giving them any value.
But if you choose to start a new blog on a topic you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in, then it will be easy to write quality, informative content.
This will sustain your new blog in its initial starting phase, and soon enough you’ll build loyal readers and potential clients.
Because they find value in your content and are more likely to buy the products or services you either sell or recommend.
2. Using free blogging platforms
Another blogging mistake you should avoid at all costs is using free blogging platforms to launch your blog.
Examples of free blogging platforms include:
NOTE: There’s a difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Our website uses .org, and that’s what most professional bloggers use.
But why shouldn’t you start your new blog on a free blogging platform rather than paying for a premium domain and hosting packages?
First, your blog won’t look professional at all. Let’s say you would like to call your blog Happy For Life. This is how it will look on a free platform:
Secondly, free blogging platforms have limited designs and you’ve very few customization options. That means you cannot really have what you want because it’s FREE unless you choose a paid option.
Thirdly, you do not own your blog 100%. You can wake up one day and find your blog has been deleted for no good reason or the parent company was sold and you’re left with nothing.
Finally, it’s hard to monetize a blog running on a free platform. You’ll have limited plugins if it’s a wordpress.com blog.
Besides, how do you expect someone to buy a product or service you recommend if you do not have a professional blog?
3. Choosing the wrong host
Not all that glitters is gold, so they say!
Have you come across a web hosting company that says you get unlimited everything even with the most basic hosting packages? Like;
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited websites
That’s bullsh*t, I tell you.
How can a hosting company give the same amount of bandwidth and storage space to two different clients; one paying $4.99 per month and another paying $99.99 a month?
If you choose the wrong hosting company, some of the basic problems you will experience include:
- Your blog crashing due to high traffic
- Lack of SSL certificate for blog security
- Possibility of a DDOS attack
- Poor customer services (you must open a ticket if you need assistance)
In the event your blog is getting a lot of traffic, the company will tell you to upgrade to a higher package for your blog to continue working well.
Did you plan for that? I bet NOT…
Lack of SSL certificate means your site is not secure and can leak sensitive information such as credit card data or even usernames and passwords.
You can also experience a DDOS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) which will crash your site making it inaccessible to anyone. You will be forced to purchase Cloudflare to prevent the same from happening again.
…and that again is another unexpected expense you never saw coming.
How about when your website is offline and you need urgent help but you’re forced to open a ticket and wait for several to be sorted out?
Some even do not attend to their customers on weekends.
That’s why I always recommend some of the best web hosting companies, including:
- WPX Hosting (free SSL certificate, DDOS attack protection, live chat 24/7 support, free migrations)
- Kinsta (free+imported SSL certificate, live chat 24/7 support, 1 free premium migration)
- Bluehost (free SSL certificate, free domain for the first year, 24/7 support)
- WP Engine (free SSL certificate, free migrations, live chat 24/7 support)
4. Prioritizing quantity over quality
Most beginner bloggers often think that having lots of posts is more important than a few quality posts, and that is a mistake you should avoid.
They go ahead and post two or three posts per day. Working under pressure to produce several blog posts a day means you’re less likely to produce in-depth high-quality posts.
Because you are racing against time.
It’s better to have just one blog post a day that is in-depth with ideal multimedia such as screenshots to make it more user friendly.
Besides, accomplished bloggers often write one or two articles a week, while some only do 2-4 blog posts a month.
EXCEPTION: There are topics or niches that don’t require intense research and you can write a good article within 3 hours. These niches also require just one image; a featured image and you’re done.
Create one outstanding blog post a day then have screenshots or infographics to accompany it when you post. You can also add one or two video embeds if you can.
That will make it more resourceful and more likely to rank higher on search engines.
5. Writing super-short blog posts
Another common blogging mistake is focusing on writing very short content. Ranking short content (300 words or less) is becoming difficult as Google and other search engines become smarter. People want in-depth, highly informative blog posts.
NB: There are a few topics or blog types that can still do with fairly short content, such as entertainment blogs.
But why is short content being kicked outta the door? Because they often offer little value to users
Having short blog posts also mean you’re limited when it comes to using enough related keywords without looking spammy.
Remember, spammy content rarely rank on Google and other search engines.
Short content also means you can not use multiple multimedia within your blog posts. Multimedia could be:
- Images and Banners
Lack of these essential elements makes your blog a little bit boring and monotonous. Multimedia serves as an important role in providing additional value and making content more readable and user friendly.
6. Ignoring on-page and off-page SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important cornerstones of a successful blog. If you do it right then your blog is sure to succeed, but ignoring them is courting doom for your online business.
You need to write quality content for both search engines and users.
Because Google is now using User Experience to understand whether a certain piece of content was helpful to a user or not.
To write for search engines, you need to have a focus keyword or phrase, then use the same in your blog title, subtitle, and within the content.
You also need to use related keywords (LSI keywords) to optimize your content well. This ensures you do not spam your blog with only one focus keyword.
Well, let me use a simple illustration.
Let’s say you want to write a blog post on “cheap web hosting”. Your related keyword can be “affordable web hosting”.
Using these two related keywords in your blog post will ensure you rank for more than one keyword. You’ll even realize you can rank for more than ten keywords yet you focused on only two keywords.
When it comes to optimizing your content for the best User Experience, you need to use multimedia such as:
- Images and Banners
Additionally, ensure the font style you use is easily readable, the right size (not too small), and your content is well-spaced (text not too close together).
Other SEO elements to focus on include:
- Ensuring there are no crawler errors preventing your content from getting indexed
- Ensuring your theme is light for faster loading and better user experience
- Using appropriate meta descriptions for each blog posts
- Ensuring your blog has an SSL certificate installed (HTTPS://)
- Reducing bounce rate and increasing dwell time
WPX Hosting, Kinsta, and WP Engine are the three web hosting companies that offer the best website loading speeds (hence low bounce rates), free SSL certificate (blog security), and 24/7 live chat support for all your blog’s technical issues related to your hosting company.
In a nutshell, there are dozens of on-page and off-page SEO strategies that you need to implement if you want your blog to be successful.
One of the worst blogging mistakes to avoid when launching a new blog is focusing on multiple unrelated topics or blog ideas.
Let’s say you would like to start a niche blog on fitness. Having categories on making money online, lifestyle, and entertainment won’t do your blog any justice.
Your blog will be too generic… And you know what with generic blogs?
It’s almost impossible to brand yourself as an expert or a reliable source of invaluable information.
Secondly, it will take longer to rank your blog posts on the first page of Google, hence delaying your blog’s success.
It’s recommended to launch a blog on a specific niche for the following reasons:
- Your content strategy will be highly defined and you can interlink related posts easily
- You can rank high within a short time with minimal content marketing
- Top ranking blog posts will pass link juice to closely related posts increasing their rankings in the process
- You can establish yourself as an expert in the niche, hence easy to monetize your highly targetted traffic
- You can build a solid SEO strategy for an entire blog (long-term success assured)
8. Using unnecessary plugins
Most blogging beginners think that having many plugins is beneficial for their blogs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Too many plugins slow down your blog, leading to higher bounce rates, lower search rankings, and ultimately reduced organic traffic.
There are also plugins that conflict when used together, such as Yoast SEO and Google XML Sitemaps.
If the XML sitemap option is activated in Yoast SEO, you will see a warning message instructing you to disable Google XML Sitemaps plugin.
You will have to either disable the XML sitemap option in the Yoast SEO plugin or get rid of the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.
I recommend you choose only essential plugins. No need to have two or three plugins when one is enough to do what the other two plugins can do.
9. Aiming for perfection
This is one of the mistakes I made when I first started blogging way back in 2016. Instead of focusing on content quality, I aimed to have a perfect blog name, theme, design, and content.
There’s nothing called “perfect” when it comes to blogging. You’re wasting your time aiming for perfection, trying to find the perfect name, blog theme, or even blog design.
Instead of being obsessed with perfection, do these things and your blog will be successful:
- Creating quality (resourceful) content
- Building a blogging community
- Marketing your blog/content
- Building long-term relationships with your readers
- Connecting with other amazing bloggers in your niche
Rather than aiming for perfection, do the following instead:
- Find an easy-to-read and write name for your blog
- Choose a simple theme with quick customizations
- Ensure the theme is mobile responsive and the font is user-friendly
- Create quality content and share to generate traffic to your blog
10. Focusing on yourself
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one really cares about your personal life (unless you’re something like an Insta model) or how you spend your day.
No one cares about your favorite movies or food or shoes or jewelry.
No one cares about the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and what your hobbies are.
And certainly, no one cares about whether you’re famous or not.
People care about how you can help them. Be it by solving a basic problem they are facing or giving them ideas on how to do something, such as start a blog, monetize their blog, generate highly-converting traffic, etc.
Give solutions to their problems or resourceful answers to their questions and your blog will soar to new heights.
It’s that SIMPLE! So don’t be SELFISH with your content…
11. Buying unnecessary tools/software
How do you justify buying software that costs hundreds of dollars when you’ve just launched your blog?
How do you buy marketing software/tools when you have one blog post on your blog?
Or how do you justify the need to have a link-building tool when you have 3 blog posts with you?
Focus on creating quality content for the first one month then you can market your blog or build backlinks (though I do not recommend this – natural links are better and safer) or even do a guest post outreach.
The only exception I have is building an email list from the word go. Start building an email list immediately you launch your blog.
The best tool to do so is Convertkit. Building an email list is one of the most important things to do as a blogger.
Think of it this way…
You manage to convince someone to click your link on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest (because they have a real interest in the topic), why then let them leave your site if you know they can be a potential client or loyal reader in the future?
An email list will come in handy when launching your digital product (such as an ebook) and you need to reach the right audience.
12. Learning too many skills at a go
Another of the common blogging mistakes to avoid is trying to learn many skills within a very short time span.
Be it doing on-page or off-page SEO, generating traffic with Facebook or Pinterest, doing outreach for guest-posting, or even link-building strategies, doing all this simultaneously isn’t advisable.
I recommend you have monthly targets when it comes to learning new skills, such as:
- On-page and off-page SEO in the first month
- Traffic generation through Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter in the second month
- Graphic design or creating infographics in the third month
- Video editing in the fourth month
This will enable you to learn and master each skill in the best way possible.
13. Not using enough multimedia
As earlier highlighted, multimedia has an important role to play in making your content user-friendly. But one more thing with multimedia is that it allows you to do a different kind of SEO; Image SEO.
Let’s say you use screenshots, images, and infographics. All these have an option to add “ALT Tags” when uploading them.
Using target keywords and related keyphrases as ALT tags will help improve your blog’s rankings. Videos also help with higher rankings as they provide additional value users need that might not be available on your competitor’s blog.
Advice though, be sure to compress your multimedia to ensure it doesn’t slow down your page’s loading speed.
14. Failure to market your blog
Most new bloggers think they can just write an awesome piece of content, hit the “publish” button, and readers will know of their new blog post.
Sorry mate, it doesn’t work like that…
That’s the luxury only established bloggers who use push notifications enjoy. A few facts worth noting include:
- It’s hard for readers to know of your new blog post unless you notify them
- Search engines take time to start ranking brand new blogs
- Organic traffic alone isn’t enough to earn you a good income
- Use push notifications to notify your subscribers every time you publish a new post. Try out One Signal, it’s great if you’re a beginner
- Trying to leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to generate free traffic
Put the same effort in marketing new blog posts as you do in creating awesome content.
15. Relying on instant blog income
Another beginner blogging mistake you need to avoid is relying on your blog for instant income. Most new blogs rarely make money in the first 1-3 months (unless you have a massive social media presence).
As a new blogger, do not depend on your new blog’s income to sustain you and help you pay your bills as it can take several months to start making some good money.
Make sure you have an alternate source of income for the first 3-6 months. You can also ensure you have enough savings in your bank account to see you through the few months of your blog’s infancy.
If you make the mistake of relying on your blog for instant income then you’re likely to fail, and your blog will not succeed because you’re expecting something in return from it.
Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
These are some of the notable mistakes new bloggers should avoid. Is there one or two mistakes that should be included in this list? Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.
Have a fantastic blogging journey!!!