To be successful, you need to make a lot of mistakes first. Mistakes are part of the process. With that said, it does help to avoid some common blogging mistakes when you’re new.
Here are 11 blogging mistakes I see new bloggers make all the time.
1. Not treating your blog as a business
Want to make money blogging? Stop treating your blog like a hobby and start treating it as a business.
Use your blog for what it is: the content marketing arm of your business.
When you do this, every blog post you write will have a clear purpose: to attract visitors to get them into your sales funnel.
Your blog posts are the lure that will attract an audience to your website.
When you blog with this mindset, you are treating your blog as just a (valuable) tool in your business.
2. Not investing in your business
Here is what you need to invest in:
- Domain and web hosting. I recommend Bluehost for startups (I use WPX Hosting)
- Blog theme. I recommend Divi for new bloggers (I use Thrive Theme Builder)
- Email marketing service. I use ConvertKit. It’s free.
- List building plugin. I use Thrive Leads.
- Marketing your blog. Tailwind for Pinterest marketing.
- Blog course. Do Six Figures Bootcamp.
When you invest in the best blogging tools, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to be successful.
But, still, the best investment you can ever make isn’t the stock market or real estate. It’s in yourself. When you invest in your blogging education, you are going to earn more interest than you could ever dream of.
3. Writing about the wrong topics
Your blog is not a content farm where you write about whatever you want. Writing a lot of content won’t get you anywhere.
You need to write content your ideal reader is already searching for.
Then present them with an irresistible freebie, so they join your email list.
To find out what to write about, use a keyword research tool like UberSuggest to help you find the best topic.
Just enter a keyword such as “blogging mistakes” and see if there is volume. If there isn’t any, it’s not popular enough to write about.
You can also look at your past content to help you write your next blog post. For example, by looking at your Google Analytics data, you can see which articles get the most traffic, have the highest average time on page, and lowest bounce rates.
These articles are winners. Do more like these.
4. Using a free, basic, slow blog theme
I like to have full control of my website. That means I want my own domain, hosting, and I also want my own blog theme.
The problem with free blog themes is that you’re limited by the design of the theme author.
With many free themes, you can’t change the width of your blog, the logo size, menu location, font, text size, and more.
What you need is more control over how your blog looks so you can build your website the right way.
Here are the WordPress blog themes I recommend:
- Divi by Elegant Themes – Let’s you edit your entire blog visually.
- Thrive Theme Builder – You have full control of blog design with their drag and drop editor. Released in 2020.
- Astra – Really fast blog theme with a clean look. You can pair Astra with a page builder like Elementor to get more control of the design.
5. Cluttered blog design
Many new bloggers spend weeks on their blog design, adding fancy graphics and colors everywhere.
But that’s not the purpose your blog design serves.
Your blog design doesn’t need to be awesome; it just needs to be functional.
The purpose of your blog design is to get out of the way. Simply make it easy for the reader to find the solution they’re looking for – and you’re good.
Here are some tips for creating a functional blog design:
- Use an easy to read font
This one is Montserrat. A great choice is Open Sans. You can find fonts to use on your blog at Google Fonts.
- Use a large font size and enough spacing
This font size is 20px on desktop, 18px on mobile with a line height of 1.6em, and the default letter spacing for Montserrat.
- Avoid big blocks of text
Break up your large paragraphs into smaller ones. Add headings, lists and images.
6. Not writing with confidence
Your website is the answer to someone’s problem. It is a valuable resource that helps people every day. And yet, many bloggers lack the confidence to write like a boss.
You don’t need to be a professional writer to have a profitable blog. You only need to be able to communicate clearly and with confidence.
When your writing is clear, your readers will understand it. And when you write with confidence, they will believe it.
I use Grammarly to help me write with powerful, confident words. The free version works to catch grammar and spelling mistakes, while the pro version will help you become a better writer.
7. Being afraid of failure
The worst thing in business is not failure but inaction.
Failure is a part of any successful business. In fact, failure is practically a requirement.
In business, you need to continually try new things, fail, course correct, then do it all over again.
Many new bloggers get stuck in “analysis paralysis” mode, where they delay launching their blog or product because they’re afraid it won’t work.
Here’s a newsflash for you; it probably won’t. So your second, third, and fourth try won’t either.
Get over it.
Learn from your failures and evolve.
The faster you start failing, the faster you’ll make it to the other side. This whole blogging thing is a process. Trial and error, try and fail. That’s how you get better and grow.
So please, fail, and fail a lot. Just fail fast.
8. Not starting an email list
It is difficult to make money directly from a blog post. The reader is just there to get their question answered – not to give you money.
So how can you make money from your blog? By continuing the conversion via email. This is where you can establish a deeper relationship with the reader.
By gaining access to their inbox, you can begin to turn that blog visitor into a paying customer.
If you still don’t have an email list, you can sign up with ConvertKit here.
When you start an email list, you are creating the most valuable asset your business will have. And you will own 100% of it.
I wrote a guide on how to get your email list set up here.
9. Relying solely on ads to make money
There’s nothing wrong with monetizing your blog with ads. In fact, I recommend it.
The problem is when you ignore the many other ways to make money with your blog. For example, while you monetize with ads, you can also:
- Offer services
Offer services on a dedicated services page, which you can link from your main menu.
- Use affiliate marketing
You can promote affiliate products in your niche, including products on Amazon.
- Create and sell your own product
When you sell your own product, you control the sales process and price, keeping all the profits.
10. Doing too many things at once
New bloggers are often overwhelmed with just how much work needs to be done. And all of it before you can expect to make any money.
This can lead the typical new blogger to take on way too many tasks at once. But if you try and do everything at once, you’ll end up doing nothing right.
To be successful in blogging, you need to laser focus on one task at a time.
Here is a better progression for a new blogger to follow:
- Focus on your website first
Set up a functional website. This includes the logo, design, homepage, about page, etc.
- Master the art of writing epic content
Do keyword research first and create amazing blog posts to rank in Google.
- Learn how to get traffic from one source
Focus on one traffic source at a time. For example, the easiest traffic source right now is Pinterest, whereas the hardest is Google.
11. Ignoring your headlines
If you don’t get your headline right, you’re not getting any traffic. I don’t care how good your content is. It’s just not happening.
Your headline is your one chance to make an impression. The reader is typically in “scan mode” when looking for help. Do your headlines cause them to stop in their tracks and click on your link?
If the answer is no, then you need to take the time to write better headlines.
When I’m going to write content, I start with a working headline. Then, when the content is done, I write multiple headlines and then choose the best one.
Once you choose a few headlines you like, enter each one in CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool and see which one ranks highest.
To find the perfect headline, use Thrive Headline Optimizer and split-test different headlines until you find the best one.
12. Not dreaming big enough
Dreams are free! I’m still surprised; so many new bloggers think so small. Don’t be afraid to set HUGE goals.
If you want to retire young, set that goal. If you want to become a six-figure blogger in 1 year, set that goal. If you want to earn $5,000 to take a cruise in 6 months, set that goal.
Turning your blog into a business is a lot of work, and mistakes are part of the process. And I hope this article helps avoid some of the most common problems new bloggers face.
Until next time,