I know what it’s like wanting to start a blog, starting it and then all of a sudden going: “Oh shit, I have a blog now.”
Yes, when I first wanted to make money online, I had no interested in blogging per say, even though I liked writing, but seeing as how blogging is one of the best ways to make an income with the internet, I said “yeah I can do this.”
However, as a beginner, you have to watch your step. Seeing as you are completely new to this whole thing, you may be doing mistakes that you won’t see now, but that will reveal themselves to you three, six, twelve or even 24 months down the line.
Here I am going into my 6th year of blogging, and I still see “gaps” that were caused by me not doing the right thing from the get-go.
Today we are talking about 13 common blogging mistakes that you can’t do as a blogger. They might be simple little ones but they can have an adverse impact on your journey down the line, so it’s best to go about handling them now rather than later.
The thing is, (and I am speaking from experience here), is that once you start blogging and you are enjoying it, you may get tempted to start the second one; which is fine.
But, unless you know what you are doing, you will be repeating the same mistakes from blog #1 seeing as how you haven’t seen the effects of them quite yet.
Fret not, though; I am going to try and cover all the “beginner blogger mistakes” in this post, and I will also give you a solid solution for you to move forward with.
As always, some things may or may not apply to you here (I don’t know what expertise level you’re at). Also, if you are a newbie blogger and you are struggling with something that is not on the list, be sure to get in touch with me and let me know.
I would love to help you with what you’re experiencing and also provide a solution for the other readers of this blog.
Enough introductions now, let’s look at what you should not do.
13 Common Mistakes Bloggers
Not Installing A Favicon
You may be wondering, what the heck is a favicon?
Yes unfortunately this is not talked about by most bloggers, but it is one of my pet-peeves when browsing online, and if I do not see it present, I immediately leave as it shows a sign of immaturity and unprofessionalism.
It’s a minuscule thing, but it will make a world of difference for me, and I am sure I am not the only one.
A favicon is the tiny little icon you see when you have a tab open, in other words, this thing right here:
This little thing makes you look so much more professional, and it’s so easy to install.
How to install a Favicon?
Some of the new modern WordPress themes have this feature already are and all you have to do is just find the setting and upload the image to it.
If you’re stuck for an image, I recommend you use the tool Icon Finder to download yourself (for free) a quick icon.
If your WordPress theme does not have this feature, fret not as this plugin will allow you to install one in a matter of second.
Again; very small thing but it makes a huge difference so do not neglect this.
Not Using WordPress
There are many blogging platforms, and some, I assume are good platforms (get it?) but the best one there is in undeniably WordPress.
WordPress is trusted by the world’s biggest blogs and it opens the doors to a lot of creativity for your blog.
Forget Tumblr, Ghost, Medium or Google Blogger. While they are all great, all of them combined still do not carry the power that a simple WordPress blog has, In fact, you will see a lot of bloggers who have started up on other blogging platforms desperately looking to find out how to migrate everything to WordPress.
While this is possible, it is a huge task to do, and it will leave your site a mess with tonnes and tonnes of broken links so please, avoid this headache and simply start with WordPress.
I promise you there is nothing like it, and you can get started with a free one using the SiteRubix site builder.
Not Starting An Email List
You may be thinking that I am getting a bit too advanced here but I’m not. From day one, you should have an email sign up form present on your website ready to receive readers and sign ups.
Why is this so important?
It’s tough to build an email list so getting started from day one will only help you in the future. Also, it gives your readers a way to connect with your blog even further, and you will be able to send quality emails to your list with new updates and news instead of them visiting once and leaving forever.
You may also be thinking that this is something expensive and hard to set up but you’d be happy to know that MailChimp offers a free service for your first 500 visitors and it’s super easy to set up (they have a lot of tutorials on how to do it).
I prefer Aweber myself, but that is a paid option, just go on MailChimp and get started straight away. Install it on your website and be ready to start collecting emails.
Offering a freebie will also help increase subscribers rate significantly.
Getting A “Fancy” Theme
Right, let’s talk about this for a second because I know that if there happens to be blogging experts reading this, they may disagree.
When you are choosing a WordPress theme (considering you did in fact start on WordPress), you have to keep in mind what you want to do with this blog.
For me, my content should be the top priority of the blog which means that I have to pick a blog that best represents my content.
There are many, many beautiful themes that are just a work of art, but you will find that the emphasis is on the “bells and whistles” rather than the actual content of the blog.
While I do find these themes gorgeous, I do not like using them for the simple reason that my top priority is my content and how easy it is to be found and read.
So, if you are looking for a WordPress theme, which you will find plenty of free ones but it’s always a good idea to get a premium one, keep in mind your content and your reader.
It doesn’t have to be very pretty or very basic either. Just find a good balance of great content display and aesthetic beauty.
I don’t want to toot my horn, but my theme is a perfect example of what I am talking about. It looks good, but the focus is 100% on the content. No fancy widgets and other items. Just content!
Not Buying Your Own Domain
I get it, buying a domain is a bit of a commitment seeing as how you have to keep it for a year but when considering the costs ($15) is pretty much a no-brainer.
Having your own private domain instead of a free one (like; mysite.tumblr.com) is always a recommend way of doing things.
Yes free domains can work and they can work quite well but your own hosted domain would be much better and much more professional looking. Don’t cheap out on this and if you are serious about blogging, then go buy a domain name asap.
If you hold off and suddenly you’re a year in with your free blog, migrating it to your own domain would be an issue just as it is for people that do not start on WordPress and then decide to move.
Paying For Hosting? Don’t!
Here’s another controversial one!
Right, I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate, an all in one training course and platform to teach you how to start a blogging business.
As part of their premium membership, WA offers free hosting for up to 25 websites.
Now, a very basic, yet decent hosting package will run at least $10 a month so if you have 25 sites hosted, you are looking at $250 a month in hosting expenses.
WA, on the other hand, only costs $359 per year + you get all the amazing training , community support, etc…
I won\t push you to do this as I don’t want this post to be a sales post. Just take a look at my Wealthy Affiliate review and see all the things you will get from it and make up your own mind.
Not Doing Keyword Research
I am not sure if you are interested in doing any SEO work for your site, but if you are (and you should be), then you have to understand keywords, what they do, how they function and why you need them.
Keywords are what people are looking or online and knowing what keywords people are searching in your niche will give you a clear idea on what to write about, and once you start writing keyword-targeted content, you will (likely) be getting ranked in search engines and get traffic from that.
Obviously, SEO is a broad, complicated topic, so I won’t get into it here but here are a few ways that you can get started with that will show you what SEO is and also how keywords can make or break your blog.
Not Using Social Media
Social media has been amazing for bloggers and a lot of blogs report that social media is their #1 traffic source – my one included.
The majority of my traffic comes from Pinterest, around 20,000+ a month to be exact, so I can’t deny the power of social media.
Not focusing on one, is another common blogging mistake most beginners do and by that I mean that they try to do all the social networks at once.
When you’re first starting out, focus on one and become great at it. Once you master one and have a good buzz going, move on to the other social networks you want to be on and use the audience you already have on platform 1 and drive them to platform 2.
Find out where your target audience is and start focusing on that, trust me; it’s much better to be focused on one then focused on all, but get no traction.
Also, as a side note and a bonus tip here; do not use social media to just spam. In fact, I would recommend you do not post any promotional material for the first few months of you creating your profile.
This is not a rule, but a recommendation. You don’t have too, but you should trust me on this.
Writing About “Anything”
If you want to write and blog about anything, then that’s ok but if you want to build up a blog that gets a lot of targeted visitors and makes you money, then you need to niche down your writing to a particular niched-down topic.
Whatever that topic may be; go with it.
The internet audience is too big for you to be worried about whether a niche has readers or not, just write about what you like; but keep it focused.
Burning Out Too Soon
Dear newbie blogger, I know you are excited right now, and you can’t seem to step away from your computer without you thinking of a great idea for a blog post and soon after hurrying to publish it.
All I can tell you here is: just chill out for a second.
I know it’s exciting to be starting a project like a blog but you need to understand that a blog is for the long haul, surely you can’t keep this up for long. If you do not take a step back, organise your thoughts and your content and move slowly, then chances are you are going to burn out. Way, way faster then you will see a result.
Just take a break, only publish once a day, or even 3 to 4 times a week. You do not need to publish more than once a day.
Again; I understand your excitement, and I applaud you for it; but please slow down. We want you to last here, and we want to see you become another blogging success story.
Eyes on the $
If you’re starting this new blogging venture to make some extra money every month; first of all congrats; you’re doing the right thing, but you have to understand something if that is the case:
You are not going to make money…. quickly.
Chances are you won’t ever make money. It’s tough trying to monetise, and although it is possible, not everybody has the heart to stick with it until it starts to pay off.
It’s a shame, but it’s true.
I have been blogging for about five years now (going into my 6th), and I have been making (good) money from my blogging consistently or the last two.
Now, sure some may make it quicker, that is also important to note (I was on and off my blogging in the early days) but for example; this guy started making $10,000 a month just after one year.
The reason why it took me four years and this guy 1 (and he makes more money than me) is unknown, there’s hundreds of reasons why it happens like that, but it did.
One thing me and him have in common though is we started, and we never finished. I would still be doing this 6 years later even if I didn’t start making consistent income two years ago.
That’s just the way it is.
So, yes; keep your eyes on the $ but do not expect a get-rich-quick type of thing from blogging. It just doesn’t happen that way at all.
Thinking You Know It All
Another common blogging mistake you can’t do as a beginner is thinking you know it all.
Again; I have been blogging for years and I still do not know everything (and I do this full time too). The internet and online business is so vast and filled with opportunities that “understanding” all of it is like saying you understand the universe – you might have a good idea, but you can’t say ‘you know it all”.
Luckily, there is training out there for you and I want to take this opportunity to invite you to try my free getting started course here.
It’s a 10-day step by step training course that will take you from being a newbie blogger to understanding how the whole industry works and how to make money with it.
You can read the full review of this course here.
Not Getting A Mentor
Don’t go about this on your own, and not because you may think you know it all, but because it is a lonely life.
When you start getting into the intricate details of the blogging world, not many would understand what your issues are but having a community (or even better a digital mentor) helping you can make a world of difference.
I have found my mentors and a super helpful community here if you’re interested (it’s part of my 10-day training course too)
So what do you think? Are you guilty about some of these? Have I pointed out something to you that may have had adverse consequences for you and your blog down the line?
I really do hope so, and I do hope you carry on with your journey and become another blogging success story.
How would your life change if you could make money blogging about the things you enjoy to blog about?
I will leave you to answer that question for yourself, but you can leave a comment down below with your ideas. I’d love to hear what you have in mind.
Thank you very much for reading, I hope to see you back on the blog soon and I look forward to seeing you win.
Till next time,