Are you struggling to get the results you want from your blog? Everyone makes some blogging mistakes when they’re just getting started. And even if you follow my “How to Start A Blog” guide carefully, you’re possibly going to make a decision or two that you’ll later wish you’d done differently.
The stories abound when you ask any successful blogger about the terrible blogging mistakes they made when they launched their blog. I myself wish it was possible to slip back in time to employ better blogging strategies and to avoid those mistakes.
The Major Blogging Mistakes One Should Avoid
The common blogging mistakes that tripped me down included: 1) Neglecting Blog SEO 2) Not Joining A Blog Community 3) Focusing On Quantity Instead of Quality 4) Being Solely Driven By Word Count 5) Procrastinating. 6) Blogging for The Wrong Reason and 7) Writing Poor Headlines
Undoubtedly, such dangerous blogging mistakes affected those dreams of building my online business empire. It took four very painfully long years before I got my first 1000 subscribers, increased my blog traffic or made money blogging. You bet that there are some decisions I would change!
Monetizing my blogs was always very important but the blogging mistakes most beginner bloggers make lead to many early missed opportunities and unnecessary setbacks.
Good friend, you don’t have to make these blogging mistakes. This article will help you to avoid the pitfalls of blogging, which can cause blog instability or perhaps even derail your digital career.
So, for all of you beginner bloggers out there who are looking to get up-to-speed quickly, keep on reading. Below are 7 common blogging mistakes most beginners make and some tips on how to avoid them.
1. Choosing the Wrong Blogging Niche
Finding your blogging niche should be one of the aspects of blogging which the blogger carefully considers before starting a blog. This is especially important if the blogging is being done for the purpose of financial compensation.
Ideally, a blog owner should select a blog subject about which they are passionate and knowledgeable. However, bloggers should also carefully consider the direct competition as well as the purpose of the blog before starting their blog.
Following are some of the mistakes that can lead to choosing the wrong niche.
a) Blogging Without Subject Matter Experience
Please do not blog about topics for which you are sorely wanting regarding your experience.
Choosing a niche can be difficult for new bloggers. It’s easy to become motivated to write about blogging, wanting to create a blog within the same niche when they read blogs like SmartBlogger, ProBlogger or other similar blogs.
Or, sometimes when a new blogger reads about how a particular blogger is making money, he decides to blog in a similar style with the hope of also making money. Unfortunately, this is a common trend, and while I have seen some who do well, I have also seen many blogs quickly buried in record time.
As in any field, blogging requires experience. You can’t become an expert in one day after talking about how to blog or how to create a blog. Only after spending a significant amount of time blogging and experiencing various issues can you write as an authority on topics like monetizing your blog, mastermind groups, creating a membership site, or the new Pinterest algorithm affecting our traffic, etc.
So, a good way to choose a niche for yourself is to consider the topics in which you have both knowledge and actual experience. It could be anything – baking, fishing, fashion, parenting, finance – anything about which you possess an undying passion about.
You must have enough passion to continually write content, learn more about, and to teach others who will find what you write interesting because of the passion with which you deliver the information on your blog.
There is no limit to your imagination and what you can do with it. However, you need to be honest with yourself and be honest with your readers.
Otherwise, it could cause future problems. Blogging is something that develops a relationship between you and your audience. It is important to avoid any misinformation given out to your followers through your blog about which you have no experience.
b) Not Blogging About Your Passion
For example, let’s say you chose traveling as your niche but know nothing about traveling. It will not go well.
One of the first considerations for a new blogger is his or her personal interests. This is important because a blogger who is passionate and knowledgeable about a particular subject will not only have an easy time coming up with ideas for new blog posts but will also likely be highly successful.
This success will likely be attributable to the fact that blog visitors can sense her passion for the subject matter. Therefore, they’ll greatly appreciate the knowledgeable posts which are informative and accurate.
c) Choosing A Niche, Too Few People Are Interested In
The interests of the blogger may run the gamut from subjects that are widely popular to subjects that are of interest to only a small subset of the population. However, there will likely be interested readers regardless of the subject of the blog.
Therefore, bloggers are not discouraged from opting to blog about even the most obscure subjects. However, bloggers who are seeking financial gain through high blog traffic should consider selecting a topic which appeals to a larger audience.
If you’re not planning on making money with your blog, then there’s no problem in choosing a niche without a large audience.
2. Choosing the Wrong Blogging Platform
There are many free blogging sites available. Yet, choosing the wrong blog platform is one of the many blogging mistakes new bloggers can easily make.
I can appreciate that using Wix or Squarespace is enticing to new bloggers – lowers the learning curve. These platforms are certainly not complicated to use but they do have some limitations and drawbacks. They don’t offer all the critical features that would let you drive traffic and make a significant income.
This may not be of any importance when you are starting out, but as your writing improves and blog gains traction, you will end up asking this question to yourself: What else can I do with my blog?
So, how do you find what blogging platform is right for you?
The ideal blogging platform lets you do the most important things – writing and publishing. But when searching for the best blogging platform to use, you may also need to find one that:
- Allows you customize the look to match your personality.
- Lets you add your own logo.
- Allows you to use a custom domain name.
- Lets your readers subscribe to blog updates.
- It offers social media sharing and subscription options.
WordPress.org (Self-hosted WordPress platform)
WordPress is a very popular platform for launching a blog and is great when it comes to the addition of content. It means that the content can easily be made interesting as well as SEO friendly. One use to have the most relevant keywords in the content as well as URL in order to make the website more SEO friendly.
According to a recent survey at the time of this writing, WordPress powers 32.3% of all websites on the internet. Below are 8 benefits of using WordPress to set up and run your business or personal site.
- Flexible and Adaptable for Changing Needs
- WordPress Sites Rank High
- WordPress Sites Have a Built-In Blog
- The WordPress Community Offers Support
- WordPress Sites Are Mobile Responsive
- Themes Offer Multiple Options
- User-friendly—Even for Beginners
- Plugins Extend Functionality
You can start your blog via WordPress after purchasing the domain name and the web hosting plans. The starting cost is very low in WordPress so you can manage your blogging website well by WordPress.
3. Choosing the Wrong WordPress Theme
Most WordPress Themes are created to look good, and rarely to play well with the plugins you choose to install.
So, as a newbie blogger, are you thinking to start your first blog with a free theme and then change to a Premium theme at a later stage? Beware! Below are three common disadvantages of using free WordPress themes and the reason why you should choose a premium theme:
No Support and No Updates
For most of the free WordPress themes, you won’t get any support from the company if you’re facing issues in installing the theme. If the developer updates the theme in the future for bugs and advanced coding, you won’t get any updates and your site will be at risk.
In free WordPress themes, there will be hardly any in-built SEO options and the coding will be unclear. A clean code, faster loading time, SEO compatible makes a theme SEO-optimized. On the other hand, theme developers take care of all these aspects in their Premium version.
Lesser Number of Features
Free themes have lesser number of features integrated into the theme. For example, a Premium theme has Premium slider plugins, contact forms, ticket support plugins, etc. integrated into the theme. This way, you can make your website the trendiest and offer many features to your potential customers. However, free WordPress themes do not come with these features and you need to integrate these features separately.
Most beginner bloggers grow impatient when searching for an appropriate theme. The combination I recommend to all new bloggers is Elementor’s Page Builder paired with the Astra Theme. Both start completely free, are highly customizable and will give you a really fast blog.
Consider Premium Over Free
Okay, some free themes still may work better for new users. However, if you’re legit about growing your business and having a professional online presence, then a premium WordPress theme should be at the top of your Business Wish List. It is so worth the investment, and here’s why:
- Better support and documentation.
- Better security.
- Better coding.
- Better design and customization options.
- Saves you time (free themes save you money but cost you a lot more of your time.)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with bootstrapping in the beginning if you’re just starting out. But as your business grows and you start to generate some revenue for your business, definitely consider upgrading to a premium theme. You can typically expect to spend anywhere from $59-$75 for a basic high-quality theme.
4. Choosing A Bad Web Hosting Company
Being unaware of a good hosting company for their website is a common mistake made by newbie bloggers.
Web hosts are companies that rent out their services and technologies to host websites on the internet. Once the hosting company hosts your website, users can access it by typing in your web address (domain name) in their web browser. When they do this, their computer connects to the server your website is hosted on.
Usually, most hosting companies start their prices from $3 to $50 per month. The most popular hosting companies include Bluehost, Big Scoots, Dreamhost and SiteGround among others. Be very careful while choosing a proper hosting company because not all hosting companies offer the same reliability or affordable hosting services.
Why I Chose SiteGround As My Hosting Provider
If you’ve started to read your free guide – How to Start Your Blog – you likely noticed that I recommend SiteGround for website hosting.
SiteGround is the first web host I’ve used that I actually feel confident in recommending to others. Sure, I have used a variety of hosts in the past. Yet, I always experienced issues with my websites. My pages would take forever to load or the site would go down for no apparent reason.
While identifying a suitable web host provider consider adopting a comprehensive approach. Here are 6 reasons you should choose SiteGround:
- Affordability (Price & Reliability)
- Speed / Quick Load Time
- Focus Areas or Specialties
- Features and Limitations
- Technical Support / Customer Service
- Tons of Features & Free Add-ons
- Reputation/Satisfaction/Customer Review
- Email Features
Get Started with SiteGround
If those 10 incredible reasons why SiteGround is the best web host for bloggers convinced you to sign up with SiteGround, here’s step-by-step instructions to get you started.
Click here to go to SiteGround.com
Select WordPress Services then WordPress Hosting
Choose the “StartUp” Plan
Enter the Domain Name You Want to Use
You can also purchase your domain through namecheap.com and save $5 – $8.
However, doing this delays the process because you may have to wait 24 – 48 hours for the nameservers to point to your hosting.
It also creates another technical step in the process.
For this reason, we recommend purchasing your domain name through SiteGround. It keeps things simple.
When selecting your domain name, keep these tips in mind:
- Keep it short and simple (so it’s easy to remember)
- Avoid words that are difficult to spell
- Avoid using numbers in place of the words “to” and “for”
- If possible, include keywords specific to your niche
Complete the Form and Submit Payment
Once you’ve selected an available domain name, you’ll be directed to a form to collect your personal and payment information.
The bottom of this form includes extra services.
Unless you need an additional layer of privacy and security, you can uncheck those options.
Once you’ve filled out your personal information and completed the transaction, you’re ready to get everything set up!
5. Choosing Bad Domain Names
You’ll want to choose a domain name that is easy for your target audience to read. This can become quite a stressful exercise because you don’t want to make a mistake. Although deciding on your domain name is not the biggest decision to make, it is very important and essential for your blog.
If a person has trouble reading a website, they are much less likely to be able to remember it. Having people remember your website name is not only important so that they come back, but it is especially important so that they’re able to tell their friends.
When people routinely misspell your domain name because it’s too hard to figure out, all of that potential traffic is lost. Most people will give up searching for your brand’s site quickly.
Here are some smart tips for choosing a winning domain name:
- Confirm Availability – You can do this via a domain registration service such as Namecheap to ascertain the URL’s availability. It’s also prudent to check if your preferred domain name is available on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.
- Make it Memorable – One of the features of the domain name is also that it is easy to remember because it is one of the biggest things in your URL that the audience remembers. Therefore, if you want to engage the audience the domain name must be somehow easy to remember. It is the only thing that will make your audience come back and type that in the navigation bar.
- Simple is Better – Domain names that are easy to spell, pronounce and write on the navigation bar are suggested. Complicated spellings of a domain name are one of the major blogging mistakes often made.
- Use Name Generators – Are you having trouble thinking of a domain name for your blog/website? Domain name generators help identify catchy domains available and gives you the tools to register them on the spot.
6. Using the Wrong Name for Your Blog
How important is your blog name? Domain names build your blogging brand. If your domain name matches the name of your blog, it reinforces that brand, grabs the attention of your target audience – making it easier for readers to remember and return.
Blog names are extremely important: 77% of marketers say that proper branding is critical to growth. Bad names can be confusing, hard to remember, hard to spell, and hard for your audience to share with others. A bad name makes it harder to build a following — no matter how much you might personally love it.
How Do I Name My WordPress Blog?
- Grab the Thesaurus for a Catchy Name.
- Look at Competitors’ Blog Names.
- Use a Blog Name Generator.
- Take Inspiration from Books.
- Consider a Different Language for the Best Blog Name.
- Play with Words to Come Up with A Perfect Blog Name.
- Use Humor.
- Try Alliteration.
Other Common Blogging Mistakes
The majority of bloggers have made the same mistakes when they started out (including myself!). Here are 25 more common blogging mistakes and tips to avoid to ensure a bright blogging future.
- Neglecting Blog SEO
- Not Using Your Own Domain Name
- Sacrificing Keyword-Rich Titles for Cleverness
- Not Sharing Your Expertise
- Not Collaborating With Other Bloggers In Your Industry
- Becoming Obsessed with Your Blog Stats
- Not Joining A Blog Community
- Writing for Yourself, Not Your Audience
- Not Promoting Your Blog Content
- Focusing On Quantity Instead of Quality
- Not Taking Time to Respond Thoughtfully to Your Blog Comments
- Not Engaging with Your Readers
- Only Talking About Your Company, Products and Services
- Not Having A Strong Niche
- Writing Poor Headlines That Fail to Engage Readers
- Not Committing to The Process
- Inconsistency (Writing & Posting On Your Blog)
- Not Continuing to Invest in Their Blogging Education
- Covering Too Many Topics
- You Focus On Word Count
- Not Understanding and Focusing On Your Target Audience
- You Don’t Know Who You’re Writing For
- Not Providing Valuable Content
- You Think You Need To Publish Daily
Wrapping Up the Biggest Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
Unquestionably, we all have made blogging mistakes with our blogs and I have certainly made quite a few. Blogging can be complicated, so you want to make sure you’re doing things right. But if you are not stepping up to the plate to have a swing you are never going to hit a home run or even get to first base.
The mistakes featured above that many bloggers have made from time to time, if avoided can minimize some future pain. I wrote this article to help you not make such mistakes. Sure, these are just a few of the major blogging mistakes to avoid in 2020 when committed to growing your blog. You may also enjoy the following articles for further reading on the topic:
For a more comprehensive guide on starting a blog (the right way), read my ultimate guide about how to start a blog this year.
Which Blogging Mistakes Did I Miss?
What do you think is the single biggest mistake that bloggers should avoid? What are some blogging mistakes that you’ve made along your journey? Were there any we didn’t cover here that you want to warn other bloggers about? If so, please drop your mistakes into the comments below.