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 be one of them!
Let’s start with the most basic of mistakes and trickle down to more advanced ones.
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, in-depth content.
This will sustain your new blog in its initial beginner phase, and soon enough you’ll build loyal readers and potential clients.
Your readers will find value in your content and are more likely to buy the products or services you either sell or recommend.
Just make sure the niche you choose is not too narrow or hard to monetize or else you will invest valuable time and resources on a blog with limited income potential.
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. Most professional bloggers use .org.
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 optimization options. That means you cannot really have what you want because it’s FREE.
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.
Besides, how do you expect someone to buy a product or service you recommend if you do not have a professional blog?
3: Choosing a narrow domain name
Another common blogging mistake is picking a domain name that’s too narrow.
But why is this a mistake?
An extremely narrow domain name pigeonholes you and your blog in that you cannot create content on other closely related topics.
For example, a blog name like (Apple Smart Watches for Women – “www.applesmartwatchesforwomen.com”) will limit you to only writing about smart watches for women manufactured by Apple.
You cannot create content about different brands of smartwatches such as Samsung, Garmin, Huawei, Guess, Motorola, Fitbit, Fossil, and TicWatch.
You can find yourself running out of content after creating content on all the apple smartwatches made for women.
Instead, if you would like to start a blog about smartwatches, you can pick a domain name like “Smart Watches for Women”. This way, you can write about the best smartwatches by brand, price, or a specific target market, e.g. “best smartwatches for diabetics”.
4: 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 an 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 use Cloudflare to prevent the same from happening again.
…and that again is another unexpected inconvenience you never saw coming.
How about when your website is offline and you need urgent help but are forced to open a ticket and wait hours for the issue 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)
Here’s a guide on how to choose the right web host for your blog – it highlights 9 factors you should always consider.
5: 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, theme, or even blog design.
Rather than aiming for perfection, do the following instead and your blog will be successful:
- Create quality (resourceful) content
- Build a blogging community
- Market your blog
- Build long-term relationships with your readers
- Connect with other amazing bloggers in your niche
When it comes to blog name and theme options, just:
- 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
You can use this blog post SEO checklist to identify areas to fix before you publish.
6: 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…
7: 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 and infographics 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 2 hours. These niches also require just one image (a featured image) and you’re done. You can write up to 10 articles a day.
Create one quality blog post a day then have screenshots or infographics to accompany it. You can also add one or two video embeds if you can. That will make it more likely to rank higher on search engines.
8: 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.
Unfortunately, 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 into marketing new blog posts as you do in creating awesome content.
Read our article on reasons why no one is reading your blog and how to fix the problem.
9: 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 to 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.
10: Ignoring on-page and off-page SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important cornerstone of a successful blog. If you do it right then your blog is sure to succeed, but ignoring it 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:
- Ensure there are no crawler errors preventing your content from getting crawled and indexed
- Ensure your theme is light for faster loading and a better user experience
- Use catchy blog titles, optimized meta descriptions, and SEO-focused URLs for each blog post
- Ensure your blog has an SSL certificate installed (HTTPS://)
- Interlink related content to boost dwell time and reduce bounce rate
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.
11: Using too many 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 the 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.
12: 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.
13: Creating content on unrelated topics
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)
14: Lack of consistency
Another common blogging mistake to avoid is being inconsistent with content creation and/or blog promotion.
Consistency will keep your readers in the loop long enough to form a lasting bond and relationship. Your readers will know when to expect a new blog post or newsletter, especially if your content is super awesome.
Consistency also gives you a massive boost in the “eyes” of search engines such as Google, and in return, your blog will enjoy better rankings.
A study by Hubspot shows a direct correlation between blogging consistency and the amount of traffic or leads a blog gets or generates.
The study shows that businesses that published at least 16 blogs a month got almost 3x more traffic that the ones that only published 4 blogs a month.
Pick a publishing schedule, such as twice or thrice a week, and stick to it. Alternatively, update old content with new data, statistics, and info to ensure your content is up-to-date.
15: 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?
Focus on creating quality content for the first 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 after you launch your blog. The best tool to do so is Convertkit.
But why is building an email list important?
Think of it this way…
If 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 let them leave your site yet they can be a potential client in the future?
An email list comes in handy when launching your digital product (such as an ebook) or a course and you need to reach the right audience.
Here’s a list of the best blogging tools I recommend to beginner and intermediate bloggers.
These are some of the notable mistakes new bloggers should avoid. Are there other mistakes that should be included in this list? Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.