Most people start their blogging career with the dream of achieving a living out of it. You read about many insanely popular bloggers making millions of dollars and take it as an inspiration to start your own blog. You create quality content and expect visitors to find you. But the reality will be harsh. The blog barely gets 40-50 visitors per day, and you cannot earn more than a few dollars. You become frustrated and try diverse approaches related to SEO and content marketing. But none of this works, and finally, you give up. Have you ever thought why is it difficult to be a successful blogger?
Before answering this question, let us see some statistics.
Worldometer says that over 5 million blogs are published each day. Although a majority of these are WordPress.com blogs, you get the idea, right? The numbers are huge. Now, think of the previous question again. Your blog is just a tiny speck in the blogging universe. You really have to be unique to stand out and it is not a walk in the park.
How will this expert roundup help you?
There are many blogging mistakes that beginners repeatedly make and you don’t have to fall prey to these common mistakes. The best way to learn about blogging mistakes is directly from people who have succeeded. Expert bloggers were also once beginners who were frustrated with their blunders. They finally saw the dawn of success and fame and so will you, if you learn from these mistakes.
For this roundup post, I have asked 10 successful bloggers one question “3 blogging mistakes beginners should avoid “. There are short and long answers, but each one of them is a crucial lesson for beginners. I have finally added my top takeaways from these responses. I suggest you go through the answers from experts first before skipping into the takeaway section.
Let us get started. The responses are sorted in no specific order.
#Choosing the wrong niche (or no niche at all)
Building a successful blog takes time and patience but the niche you choose can have a huge impact as well.
Choose the wrong niche and you may not be able to earn enough money to sustain your blog. Or if you choose a niche based purely on profitability, then you may end up losing motivation too early on because you don’t have passion for the niche.
The best niche typically sits somewhere between:
- What you know
- What you love
- What you can earn money from
#Not building an email list
Growing your blog becomes far easier (and more profitable) when you have an email list. With email marketing, you can sell products and services while you sleep. It’s also a great springboard for your content.
Every blog post you publish will attract new subscribers, allowing you to drive even more traffic to your next post. The cycle continues and will start to snowball. And, out of all the marketing channels, you can use for your blog, email marketing has the highest ROI. That’s not to say it should be your only focus, but it should definitely be a core part of your blogging strategy.
#Thinking your blog doesn’t have value
I see a lot of bloggers that get disinterested and lose motivation, only to shut their blogs down because they’ve had enough time to become successful. There are many reasons for this. They may have chosen a niche that isn’t profitable, their interests have changed, etc. But the reality is that even a fairly new blog has value. So, if you’re sure that you don’t want to run your blog anymore, consider selling it instead. It doesn’t have to earn money to have value. Platforms like Flippa and MicroAcquire can provide a straightforward way to sell your blog.
#NOT creating in-depth content pieces
Typically, to thoroughly cover a topic, I think a minimum of 2k words is necessary. When you publish a post, you want to look and see what else is on the web on that topic. You want to then create something better than the best piece of information out there on that topic. Then, you might have an excellent shot at being loved by Google and your article being on page 1 (depending on 100’s of other factors also, however).
#NOT SEO-optimizing your blog posts.
It’s simple. If you are not making it easy for search engines to figure out what you are writing about, they won’t know to show your content to the right people for the right search query. i.e. if you are writing an article about how to drive a car but the phrase “how to drive a car” appears nowhere in your article, well, how can Google know that’s what you are writing about? However, that being said, I think Google has made significant improvements in search results via Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to figure out the intent on any piece and then successfully bringing the article up in search results for a query. But, it’s still best to help the search engines to some extent and use exact keywords and phrases to let them know what your article is about.
#NOT reaching out to other bloggers and asking them to share and link out to your content.
This is the crucial piece and the one that’s just so time-consuming. But there is really no good alternative to this if you want to truly get an article to the top of the search engines. This is especially true for new blogs that do not have that much authority in the eyes of search engines yet. You just have to do the manual work of reaching out to other blog posts that have linked out to content similar to but less thorough than yours and request them to link out to your article also because it will be more beneficial to their readers.
Be very precise and creative with these email outreaches, though. But search engines love it when other popular blogs link out to your article. It’s like other sites giving you a thumbs up and a vote and saying that your content is great and worth the read.
Many bloggers become abandon their blogs right away due to becoming disillusioned. However, Google rewards blogs with longevity. Blogging is a long-game. If you want search engine traffic, you need to wait for it. Significant Google traffic could take years.
#Learn search engine optimization
#Remember your posts after publication
Promote everywhere. Link build. Check on the SERP Positions of your keywords and update posts when they start to fall.
If you want to blog, it is important to know about the most common beginner mistakes. You must avoid them to ensure success, both in the short-term and long-term.
So what are the biggest, blogging mistakes that you should avoid?
#Not blogging for passion
No matter what your monetary goals are, you cannot succeed with a blog if you don’t have a passion behind the topic or niche. So make sure to start a blog on a topic that you have deep interest and knowledge in, and a strong passion. Else, your blog will lose steam after some time.
If you are not editing your blog posts, just don’t publish them. Beginners are so eager to get started that getting that post online is often more important to them than ensuring that it is edited and readable. It will take just a few minutes to read and edit a post. Don’t skip the minor effort.
#Not engaging in guest posting
If you think you can keep publishing hundreds of blog posts a year and reach the top tier in the blogging world, you are mistaken. Most beginners don’t take guest posting seriously. You should not get stuck in your own world. Guest posting allows you to reach out to other ‘ecosystems’ and expand your horizons.
No matter what SEOs say, guest posting offers many benefits. It helps you earn backlinks that take your blog to the outside world.
#Limit the number of plugins
If you just started your blog, you should avoid buying tons of plugins. You won’t use many of them and they will slow down your website.
#Avoid copyright violation
Another mistake that you should avoid is copying content or even pictures from other sites. All your content should be original, and you should use only free images.
#Focus on your niche
Another important mistake that you should avoid is to write about everything and anything without selecting a certain niche. You may have different hobbies and interests, but if you write about topics that aren’t related to each other, you will struggle to build an audience and to monetize your website.
If your goal isn’t to become a political commentator, then it would be wise to avoid expressing your political opinions. For example, if you have a food blog or a fashion blog, then there’s no point for you to write about current political events. You may lose a part of your readers that disagree with you, and bore others that don’t care about the events because they live in other countries. It’s best to stay away from controversial topics. You should aim to write about topics that you have in common with your readers, not about topics that may divide your audience and generate debates.
#Have the right expectations
One of the biggest mistakes I feel beginner bloggers should avoid is having the wrong expectations. Blogging isn’t just about writing, but there are a ton of things that have to be done excellently as well. Some examples include social media, email marketing, sales funnels, search engine optimization, creating the right offers, affiliate marketing, copywriting, learning how to use Pinterest, running advertisements, and so on.
#It is not all about writing
It used to be that you could just write articles and run a successful blog because of your thoughtful opinions, but unfortunately, due to the sheer amount of information on the net, you would require a lot of
marketing chops to be a successful blogger today.
#Have an open mind
My advice would be to enter the blogging world with an open mind and to find a mentor or program that would guide you properly along the way.
#Blog mainly for profits, not for fun
Blogging for fun makes the work, the reward, so you do not NEED money. This is a perfect starting point to blog intelligently.
#NOT following advice ONLY from established pros
Invest money in courses and eBooks and coaching from top blogging tips pros. Learn how to blog successfully from the most successful bloggers, from day 1.
#Have zero posture
Develop a backbone! Be confident. Even as a newbie, build your confidence by working on your mindset.
The first key mistake is trying to make their blog too wide-ranging in scope and topics. The worst examples I see are where someone has two completely different interests, like, say… fly fishing and mathematics… and they blog about both on the same site. More common are examples of businesses that write about a broad range of topics related to their business, but fail to focus on the real issues and niche that their audience craves. They say “the riches are in the niches” and that’s because bloggers that are laser-focused in their content get on the fast track to ranking well and attracting more readers and traffic.
#Have a time budget for your posts
The second key mistake is tackling research projects masked as blog posts. While a well-researched pillar post will be tremendously helpful to a blog and business, that shouldn’t be every article that’s published unless you’ve got the time and resources and will to make that happen. Most bloggers feel crushed and overwhelmed when spending 8+ hours on a single post. Instead, make sure that most of your articles you’re spending just 1 – 2 hours writing and that the content is based on what you already know, whether that’s information or stories or experiences.
#Don’t be afraid to “give too much away” in your content
There will always be people who do not have the time to read each and every one of your blog posts to educate themselves and will simply want to hire you to help them, even if you’ve already written 90% of what they might need to know to your blog.
#Choosing a broad niche
Not defining your target audience, simply selecting a broad niche and creating impotent content, would make nothing. Understanding the target user’s pain point/ their needs and based on which, designing a blogging strategy, makes sense.
Not sticking to any schedule and being inconsistent is the major cause for any blog to die within a year, almost. There are plenty of free tools available, like Google Keep, Evernote, etc. to plan and execute tasks on time. Keep practicing it.
#Creating a flawed content
Content is not a trivial one when it comes to blogging. Beginners might try to plagiarize or spin content when they lack ideas. Your blog content speaks for you. Brand credibility and reputation lie in it. So, make sure you are contributing original, valuable, and error-free content to the online users.
Likewise, there are a ton of common blogging mistakes – not building email subscribers, not using visual elements, forgetting about social media promotions, and more.
Follow some thoughtful readers in the industry, get inspired, and make your blogging successful. However, you can’t be perfect all the time. Learn from the mistakes – the universal fact.
#Choosing a non-WordPress platform
Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are free and easy to use. But they do have a lot of limitations. These website builders may serve the purpose during the initial days but as your blog grows big, you will surely outgrow the capabilities of these platforms. If you are serious about blogging, always opt for a self-hosted WordPress site. Migration from one of these platforms to WordPress at a later stage will surely be a daunting task. The initial investment that you need to start a blog will be for buying a domain and a hosting service. A self-hosted website will provide you countless ways to monetize and optimize your content.
#Ignoring the best SEO practices
SEO is the single most important factor to drive traffic to your website. Always keep in mind the below points for better SEO.
- Do proper keyword research before writing an article.
- Create SEO optimized headlines that are compelling.
- Optimize the page URL.
- Always link to external quality content.
- Make interlinking a habit.
- Write an SEO optimized meta description.
#Not building an email list from day one
This is one of the top blogging mistakes made by beginners. The email subscribers are the most loyal followers of your blog. Always keep them engaged by offering additional resources, free resources such as eBooks, or even updates about new content on your blog. Services like Mailchimp provide free plans for email marketing up to 2000 customers. If your subscriber list grows past 2000, you can switch to providers like ConvertKit.
- Choose your niche and focus on that.
- Create in-depth content better than existing ones.
- Build an email list from day one.
- Learn from the professionals in the niche but do not imitate them.
- Focus on SEO and Content marketing.
- Try to build relationships. Guest blogging is a wonderful option to start with.
You can get advice from almost anyone but only a few people know how to get you to the right place. The above suggestions from established bloggers will surely help aspiring bloggers achieve the dream of successful blogging career. These blogging mistakes from experts keep us informed about the pitfalls in blogging. Think of your mistakes and seek your blogging dream with more passion.
Here are a few useful resources for beginners to start with.