So you’re starting a blog and hope to make money from it right?
If that’s the case, then you need to strategize just the right ways to make sure that your blog is running smoothly and optimized perfectly for your visitors.
That means avoiding some common blogging mistakes that can be detrimental.
It can be said that ‘amateur bloggers‘ often make these mistakes, because well, they’re new!
But when you’re new to blogging, you will have a few hiccups along the way and that’s totally fine.
This isn’t anything to stress about when you’re just starting out.
And get this – all bloggers make mistakes some time along the way. What matters is that we learn from them and bounce back.
As your blog grows and you mature in your blogging game, you will learn more and integrate the best practices for your blog.
Here, I’ll give you some of the most common blogging mistakes newbie bloggers make and how to avoid them.
Remember to PIN this post for later!
Mistakes amateur bloggers make
1. Using a free blogging platform (just don’t)
Let me just tell you right from the get-go. If you’re using a free blogging platform, you’re making one of the biggest blogging mistakes, like ever.
I don’t want to crush your dreams and all that, but if you’re using this, it’s time to let it go, my friend.
When someone heads to your blog for the very first time, they’re looking for a professional-looking blog with a reputable domain name.
If they look at your blog and see “.wordpress” or “.web” in your domain name, chances are, they won’t be sticking around.
Some of these free platforms also skimp on their theme design and overall optimization and this kind of first oppression will not sit well with your visitors.
And believe me, in the blogging world, first impressions last. (sometimes)😉
You want to make sure you start off with a self-hosted website platform like WordPress.org.
It’s the platform I use, and I totally love it!
Not only is it easy to set up, but you have thousands of themes to choose from.
When you start your WordPress site with a hosting platform like Bluehost, you also get a FREE domain name and plans that start at just $3.95 a month.
Isn’t that great? Check out my simple guide on starting a self-hosted WordPress website the right way.
If you’re going into the blogging business, go in with a bang!
That’s right. Avoid this amateur blogging mistake from the get-go.
Remember it’s a business, and if you start it the right way, you will inspire confidence from your readers and potential customers.
So going the self-hosted route is the best way forward.
2. No target audience
So this definitely a biggie and you have to think about just who you’re writing to when starting your blog.
Your audience is who you’ll be reaching, marketing to, and promoting your services to.
It’s necessary then, that you find out their likes, dislikes and just what they want.
New bloggers will sometimes try to reach a wide audience because they think this will get more people and drive more traffic.
This blogging mistake could not be further from the truth. What you’ll find is that people are usually looking for just one thing when they want answers.
If I’m looking for, say, baking recipes and I find a great blog with these recipes, I’ll read, and if I love it, I’ll subscribe.
But if I return to that website and I start seeing posts about eco-friendly fashion, I’ll be super confused and head outta dodge. That’s just how customers’ minds work, and readers are no different.
As a mom blogger myself, I see how hard it is working online and managing my home simultaneously.
I truly want to help moms like myself, because I experience what they experience and vice versa.
That’s how I managed to find my audience. It’s also something I’m passionate about.
Targeting your audience is not very hard when you think it through.
If you’re starting a Gaming blog, for example, you want to reach an audience that actually lives, breathes, and plays games.
From this analysis you can then select the types of games you will be writing about, whether it be action, role-playing, platform games, etc.
After deciding on the specific type of games you will be targeting, you can then select your target audience demographic. And you can go from there.
In this instance, you’ll be writing to a specific audience who will want to read only about certain types of games – the ones you’re writing on.
Another great way to target your audience is by using opt-in forms, polls, and surveys on your blog to find out what your audience’s specific needs are.
So when you’re a new blogger, it can be easy to want to ‘spread your wings’ and write to any and everyone. But trust me, writing to a wider audience usually doesn’t work.
The more targeted your audience, the more targeted your traffic, and the more simple writing your content will be.
3. Forgetting SEO (this is a no-no)
Not implementing SEO from the outset is one of the most common mistakes amateur bloggers make!
A lot of bloggers, both OG’s and newbies, do NOT like the mention of SEO. And I get it.
Everyone makes it sounds so, complicated. But it’s really not, or at least not as hard as some people make it out to be.
If you’re new to SEO, it basically stands for Search Engine Optimization.
It’s what helps you to rank in search engines like Google.
Using keywords like ‘Best pizza recipe’ (it’s a bit broad but for the case of this tutorial we’ll use it) and it will bring up what Google considers the top pizza recipes.
But these keywords come with high competition from larger companies or businesses.
It’s a little bit harder for smaller bloggers like myself to rank for these types of search terms, so we can use long-tail keywords like ‘best Sicilian style pizza in Napa Valley.
This long-tail keyword will have a little less competition with more targeted phrases.
If you want to do thorough keyword research with a tool that is super affordable, I recommend using Keysearch.
You can get a 20% discount using my link.
This keyword tool is the best and it has really helped me with finding and using long-tail keywords that my blog can rank for.
So SEO is nothing to be afraid of as a new blogger.
Get more help by using the Rank Math plugin that helps you with optimizing your blog posts to have more readability.
As you write your posts, it will give you hints and suggestions on whether your sentences are too long or if you don’t have enough subheadings.
It’s a very useful tool that I recommend every newbie use.
There are lots of plugins to add to your blog, to make it much more functional and will make your life easier.
4. Not building an email list
Let’s say this together: I NEED AN EMAIL LIST. Yes.
Email list building is essential!
This is a must if you want to run a successful blog.
It might sound tedious and hectic ( it sorta is in the beginning) but there are solutions for making it much more simple.
We’ll get to that soon.
I know that a lot of bloggers start off without an email list because they think it’s not important.
I signed up with MailerLite for free and I send out my weekly newsletters using their services.
Another popular email service provider is Convert Kit. You can also sign up with them for free.
An email list is one of the first things you should think of when you’re getting in the game.
After selecting your niche and deciding on your target audience, you can then formulate a plan to get leads.
One of the easiest ways by far is by creating a Landing Page.
Once upon a time, landing pages were mostly used by large businesses for consumer leads.
Now, bloggers have seen the importance of capturing leads through a landing page opt-in.
Take a look at this Opt-in from Shopify for example. It starts off with a large banner telling you that you can sell online.
Secondly, it mentions that it’s trusted by 1 million businesses worldwide.
After it has gained your trust, it shows the opt-in where you can leave your email address.
You have the option to create simple yet eye-catching landing pages with an easy tool like Thrive Architect.
They have gorgeous pre-designed templates. Secondly, you add an opt-in form to your landing page and connect it with an email service provider.
Simple as that!
I use Thrive Architect to design multiple landing pages for my blog and it only costs $67!
So you’ll never have to pay a monthly subscription because you only pay once!
When someone lands on your landing page they will see a message like ‘Sign up for free fall printables’ or ‘Get my free recipe ebook’.
We call this a lead magnet.
If it’s something they want, they will add their email address, and voila, they’re signed up.
This is just one way to get email subscribers, and if your offer is tempting enough, you can get a lot of sign-ups in no time.
An email list is one of the things every new blogger should have when they start a blog.
Using a simple opt-in form with an attractive lead magnet is a sure way to create conversions.
5. Writing boring headlines
Your blog post headlines matter a whole lot especially for gaining visitors to your blog.
No one wants to read a post with a boring headline because they don’t think anything is in it for them.
Headlines are so important that there are people out there that write them as a full-time job!
Yeah. I was just as shocked as you when I first heard this.
The reason is that people are intrigued by heart-stopping, attention-grabbing, and sometimes controversial topics.
You don’t want to get too controversial now, but you want a headline that will stop someone in their tracks and have them think ’ What on earth is this all about?’ and head on over to your post.
Caitlin’s blog is all about pregnancy and babies, with lots of humor and fun parenting tips.
Her post titled ‘The cutest baby names you’ve never heard of‘ might get a lot of clicks because it makes you feel like you just have to know what’s in that post.
If you’re an expectant mom, you’ll want to know even more! Who knows? You might just get lucky with a super-cute baby name.
I’ll give you another quick example. If you saw a post that said ‘ How to clean your house’ and another that said ‘ 7 ways to make your house sparkle in minutes’.
Which one would you click, and why? I think we all know it’s the second one.
Because it made you think:
- How can I get my house to sparkle?
- How can I make it clean in minutes?
- What are these seven ways to do it?
The headline opens interest for the reader and they will want to know your answers.
That doesn’t mean you get to write a great headline but mind-numbing content in your actual post.
Make sure that your piece lines up with the headline that you wrote. Writing an eye-catching headline is great, but the content should also be helpful for your reader.
6. Not adding legal pages
Don’t make the mistake of not adding legal pages to your website.
Having legal pages is something that bloggers may not think about when they’re starting out, and they might put it on the back burner.
This is one of the worst mistakes that amateur bloggers often make that can cost them real money!
Nowadays being legal is essential. Not creating proper legal pages on your blog can turn out to be very costly.
So it’s an important step in covering your grounds and protecting yourself.
If you don’t, you risk being sued and you could lose your blog and waste all that hard work you put in!
For some bloggers who work with affiliate companies, an appropriate affiliate disclosure is necessary.
It’s also important that you are compliant with certain regulations like CCPA and GDPR.
If you are setting up your blog or are thinking about starting one, it’s important to get your legal pages set up from the start.
There are free websites that can help get you going. A few of them are:
If you want to go a bit deeper and make sure you are fully compliant, you can choose to pay a lawyer that provides legal pages for clients who want to have foolproof legal pages.
Go ahead and try any option, they are definitely worth a try.
Avoid this amateur blogging mistake at all costs and get to adding legal pages to your website ASAP!
7. Not Promoting your blog
Now, it might not seem like there’s enough time to put the word out on the street about your blog- but let me tell you now -it’s a must.
Sometimes promoting your blog might feel like a hassle, and new bloggers might skip this step in the beginning.
Then again traffic might not be your number one priority when you start your website or blog, but it is sooo very important.
When your blog is new, it’s the best time to let people know you’re there for them to get some of that sweet content.😊
If you haven’t started promoting your content as yet, why not start now.
One of the best ways you can do this is to use Pinterest.
You can create a Pinterest business account which is free, and then start making pins to drive some traffic to your blog.
The tool I use to do this is Tailwind which is the official Pinterest scheduler.
Sign up with Tailwind and schedule your first 100 pins for free!
Pinterest is not the only way to make it happen though. You can try joining Facebook groups for bloggers in your niche, and create social media accounts so your readers can follow you there.
Whatever channel you use to promote your blog, it should always stand out.
So I recommend:
- Writing engaging headlines
- Using images in your posts (no one likes to read just text)
- Adding your own personality and unique take
Avoid these amateur blogging mistakes
We all make mistakes when we just start out blogging and you will too!
Just remember to take it easy and learn from them. There are plenty of Facebook groups out there for like-minded bloggers in all niches.
I recommend joining them to get some help and share your experiences.
Did you make any of these blogging mistakes in your blogging career?
Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear.