Stop! Don’t make these common amateur blogging mistakes! Read on to learn more.
Blogging can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but as an amateur blogger, you may encounter several pitfalls that could hinder your success. It’s essential to learn from these mistakes and implement best practices in your blogging journey. As a passionate blogger with multiple successful blogs, I will share my personal experiences and insights to guide you.
One of the biggest mistakes newbie bloggers often make is choosing the wrong niche for their blog. Your niche determines the content and audience of your blog posts, and it’s crucial to select something you have a genuine interest in for long-term success. This not only helps you create high-quality content but also keeps you motivated to invest the lot of time and hard work required to become a successful blogger.
Besides selecting the right niche, it’s essential to prioritize your blog’s technical aspects and avoid relying solely on free platforms. By taking control of your blog by self-hosting, you establish authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines and your readers. Remember, your blogging career is a journey that requires patience and commitment, but with the right approaches, it can be a fruitful venture.
The following things are the most common amateur blogger mistakes I see new bloggers making. The good news is that you are learning from professional bloggers who have made these mistakes (raises hand for some of them), so that you don’t have to!
Choosing the Wrong Niche
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an aspiring blogger is choosing the wrong niche for your blog. When you pick a specific topic that doesn’t align with your interests and expertise, it becomes difficult to stay motivated and create quality content on a consistent basis.
To avoid this mistake, it’s important to focus on finding the right niche that suits your personal experience and knowledge. This will make it easier for you to connect with your target audience and produce valuable content they find engaging and helpful.
Remember that when you find the right niche, you’re more likely to put in the effort and time required for a successful blog. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your niche:
- Identify your passions and interests. Write about topics you truly enjoy and are passionate about, as this will keep you engaged and motivated in the long run.
- Consider your expertise. Choose a niche where you have the necessary knowledge and experience to offer genuine insight and value to your readers.
- Research the market. Analyze the competition, search trends, and the target audience to ensure you’re choosing a niche with enough demand and growth potential.
- Think about monetization. If your goal is to generate income from your blog, make sure your chosen niche has viable opportunities in terms of affiliate programs, advertising, or product creation.
By taking these factors into consideration, you can avoid choosing the wrong niche and increase your chances of building a successful blog that delivers the right things to your target audience. With a solid foundation in place, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful and knowledgeable blogger.
Along the same lines of niches, people talk a lot about “niching down”. While I have seen a lifestyle blog or two that does well in search, overall Google likes to see topical authority, and this is typically done by niching down.
My advice is to choose a domain name and niche that you can really niche down on, but leave room to expand. For example, you start a beauty blog and niche down just on one type of skincare, but after you write as much as you can on that subject, you can expand to another and so on, showing Google that you are an authority in one subject before branchig out.
Using Free Platforms and Domain Names
When starting your blogging journey, it’s tempting to use a free platform and domain name. After all, it’s cost-effective and allows you to get your feet wet. However, relying on these free options can have negative consequences for your blog’s long-term success.
I started with a Blogger blog, but once I realized that all serious bloggers used a self-hosted blog, I switched to WordPress.
Free blogging platforms limit your capabilities and control over your blog. For instance, customizing your design, monetizing your content, and optimizing your blog for SEO becomes difficult. Additionally, your blog’s perception as professional and trustworthy may be affected by the restrictions and limitations.
Using a free domain name poses similar issues. Visitors may perceive your site as less credible due to the generic domain name. It’s also harder to rank well in search engine results with a free domain. Therefore, using free domains may hinder the growth of your blog.
The first thing you must consider is investing in your own blog, which includes choosing a paid domain name and opting for a reliable hosting provider. While it’s possible to find cheap hosting solutions, going for a reputable and slightly more expensive hosting service will pay off in the long run. It’s vital to have a stable and fast-loading site to keep your readers engaged and offer a better user experience.
In conclusion, opting for a paid platform and domain name grants you increased control and flexibility. It allows you to present your blog professionally, improve SEO, and, ultimately, grow a successful online presence. So, leave the free options behind and invest in your blog’s future by choosing a quality platform and domain name.
Ignoring SEO and Keyword Research
One of the biggest amateur blogging mistakes is ignoring search engine optimization (SEO). I was reluctant to do SEO for a long time, but it has made all the difference in my business.
As a successful blogger, I can’t stress enough the importance of optimizing your content for search engines like Google. It might take a long time to see results, but investing in SEO is crucial for long-term success.
Keyword research is a vital aspect of SEO. Without it, you might be creating content on topics that have little search volume, or you may miss out on ranking for popular search terms.
Your ultimate goal should be to rank high in Google search results (optimally on the first page of Google) to drive organic traffic to your blog. To achieve this, it’s important to use a reliable keyword research tool that helps you identify valuable keywords specific to your niche.
The world of affiliate marketing also relies heavily on SEO and keyword research. To succeed in affiliate marketing, target relevant profitable keywords that your audience frequently searches for. This ensures that your content reaches potential customers who are likely to convert.
Bullet points to remember while creating SEO-driven content:
- Use a dependable keyword research tool
- Focus on long-tail keywords with low competition and high search volume
- Sprinkle relevant keywords naturally throughout your blog post – in headers, meta descriptions, and body text
- Optimize images with alt-tags and appropriate file names
- Build high-quality backlinks to boost your site’s authority
Remember, a well-executed SEO strategy takes time to show results. Be patient and consistently create optimized content to see growth in your blog’s organic traffic. Your blogging efforts will eventually pay off, placing your blog among the top-ranking results in Google, and significantly boosting your revenue in the long run.
Inadequate Content Quality
One common mistake that amateur bloggers make is failing to prioritize content quality. As a successful blogger, it’s essential to produce consistently great content in order to build trust with your audience and improve user experience.
Producing high-quality content involves thorough research and careful crafting of your message. Skipping these steps can result in shallow or poorly written content that doesn’t resonate with your target audience. Remember, it’s your duty to provide value and insights that keep readers coming back for more.
In addition to solid and well-researched articles, don’t overlook the importance of user experience. A visually appealing and easy-to-navigate blog will make your audience feel at home and invested in your content. Utilize formatting tools such as tables, bullet points, and bold text to make your information clear and easy to digest.
Another aspect of creating top-notch content is adapting it for various platforms. Your blog may attract different types of readers through social media or email marketing campaigns. It’s crucial to consider the preferences of these audiences and tailor your content accordingly. This could mean diversifying your content formats to include images, videos, or podcasts to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
Lastly, remember to engage with your readers through comments or social media interactions. Encouraging feedback can help you refine your content and foster a sense of curiosity and community around your blog.
By focusing on producing high-quality content and enhancing user experience, you set the foundation for a successful blog that stands out among its competitors, attracts loyal readers, and drives consistent growth.
Plagiarizing Others’ Content
One of the most serious mistakes you can make as a blogger is plagiarizing others’ content. This is not only unethical but also illegal, as it violates copyright laws. Additionally, search engines like Google heavily penalize websites with duplicated content, negatively impacting your site’s search rankings.
To avoid plagiarism, always create original content for your blog. If you need to refer to or quote someone else’s work, ensure that you properly credit the original author and include a link to the source. This not only keeps you on the right side of the law but also builds a good reputation with your readers and fellow bloggers.
When using social media platforms to promote your blog, it’s also important to be cautious about sharing others’ content. Make sure you share responsibly and give proper credit to the original creators. Social media can be a great way to connect with your audience and grow your network, but plagiarizing content will damage your reputation and could result in losing followers or even getting your account suspended.
Remember that your blog is a representation of your knowledge and expertise. By taking the time and effort to produce unique, valuable content, you’ll not only establish yourself as a credible, authoritative voice in your niche but also engage your readers and keep them coming back for more.
This is especially true for images. Make sure you have permission to use anyone else’s images on your blog, or use quality stock photos.
Neglecting Email List Building and Marketing
As a seasoned blogger, one of the major mistakes to avoid is the neglect of email list building and marketing. Despite the rise in popularity of social media, email remains one of the best ways to build and maintain a loyal readership.
By neglecting this essential aspect of your blogging strategy, you’re leaving potential revenue on the table and missing the chance to engage with your audience on a more personal level.
To begin with, make sure you have a dedicated opt-in form on your blog that encourages visitors to subscribe with their email address. This can be done through a simple sign-up form, a pop-up, or even embedded within your blog content itself.
Keep in mind that offering exclusive content, discounts, or promotions can increase the chances of visitors subscribing to your list.
I use Convertkit for all of my email lists and love how easy it is to use and automate. Plus they have a free plan!
Once you have started building your email list, it’s important to focus on email marketing. This involves creating and sending targeted and engaging emails to your subscribers on a regular basis. A well-crafted and consistent email campaign can lead to increased traffic, conversions, and blog engagement.
Here are a few tips to consider for effective email marketing:
- Personalization: Address your subscribers by their name and tailor content to their interests or preferences. This can help increase open rates and click-through rates.
- Segmentation: Divide your email list into smaller groups based on shared characteristics, such as location, demographics, or user behavior. This allows you to send more targeted and relevant content to each group, thus improving your email marketing performance.
- Testing and analytics: Continuously test and analyze your email marketing campaigns to understand what works best for your audience. Use this data to optimize and refine your email marketing strategy.
Do not overlook the importance of email list building and marketing in your blogging ventures. A robust email marketing strategy will not only help you retain and engage your audience but can also significantly boost your blog’s revenue and credibility.
Poor Promotion and Engagement on Social Media
One major mistake you might encounter as a blogger is inadequate promotion and engagement on social media platforms. To overcome this challenge, it’s essential to actively build relationships with your followers on various platforms.
Utilize popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to promote your blog content. Share your posts consistently and engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages. Don’t just rely on automated scheduling tools; be present in real-time to create genuine connections.
Networking with other bloggers can also help boost your visibility and credibility. Participate in Facebook groups and online forums related to your niche as this gives you the best chance to establish relationships with fellow bloggers. Support their content and share valuable insights to demonstrate your expertise in the field.
When using social media for promotion, make sure to tailor your content to the unique characteristics of each platform. Consider the type of audience present, the style of content they prefer, and the best times to post for maximum engagement. This approach ensures that your posts resonate with your target audience and drive more traffic to your blog. Remember, the key to successful promotion and engagement on social media is to be consistent, authentic, and proactive in building relationships with your audience and peers.
I know it’s tempting to have a social media presence on ALL the platforms, but please don’t jump in to all of them all at once! That is a sure fire way to get burned out. Focus on growing the one(s) that best fit your audience. For me, Twitter was a bust and I wasted SO much time working on it. I should have focused on Instagram instead and wish I had.
Find where your people hang out and are engaged and work on those, putting minimal effort into the rest. It’s fine if you can repurpose content to share on various platforms, but don’t wear yourself out doing so.
Ineffective Monetization Strategies
As a successful blogger, it’s crucial to avoid ineffective monetization strategies that can hinder your progress. One common mistake is relying solely on Google AdSense for revenue, which can limit your earning potential.
I was reluctant to join a premium ad network because I felt like it was too many ads – and you wouldn’t believe how much money I lost out on that way! I think the most I ever made from AdSense was $300 in a month, and I’ve had five figure months with Adthrive and Mediavine.
Instead, diversify your income sources by incorporating a mix of monetization methods, such as affiliate marketing and sponsored content.
When using affiliate marketing, it’s important to choose products and services that align with your content and genuinely benefit your audience.
Placing irrelevant or low-quality affiliate links throughout your blog can have a negative impact on your readers’ experience and hurt your credibility. Carefully select and promote products that offer value, and always disclose your affiliate relationships to maintain trust with your audience.
Another ineffective strategy is posting excessive advertisements or focusing too much on promoting products rather than providing valuable content. Remember that your primary goal is to engage and inform your readers.
Some people still feel that Mediavine and Adthrive (now Raptive) have too many ads, but you can control the number of ads on your site if you choose to. Otherwise you can have the ad agency take care of ad placement.
Striking a balance between content quality and promotion is essential for retaining readers and keeping your blog’s credibility intact. Overloading your website with ads can lead to a poor user experience, causing readers to leave.
Instead, integrate ads seamlessly with your content while maintaining a clear focus on providing valuable information.
Equally important is optimizing your blog for ads. Ensure that your ad units are placed strategically and follow Google’s guidelines to maintain your website’s user experience. If you choose, AdSense can be a part of your monetization strategy, but don’t solely rely on it and keep exploring other revenue channels for your blog.
Lastly, invest in building your brand on social media platforms to boost your affiliate marketing efforts. A strong online presence can drive traffic to your blog and provide additional exposure to the products and services you promote, increasing your earnings in the long run. Consistently engage with your audience, share valuable content, and leverage social media to grow your blog’s reach and revenue.
By avoiding these ineffective monetization strategies and focusing on a well-rounded approach, you can maximize your blog’s earning potential and sustain its success.
When you don’t provide contact information, you miss out on opportunities for networking, collaboration, and feedback from your readers. It can also make your blog appear less professional and trustworthy.
To address this issue, make sure to include a dedicated “Contact” page with your email address and any other relevant information, such as social media links. Or you can choose to have a “Work with Me” or contact info on your “About” page, but make sure readers have a way to contact you.
Overlooking the Importance of Backlinks and Networking
One common mistake made by amateur bloggers is underestimating the power of backlinks and networking. As someone who has successfully run multiple blogs, I can tell you that link building and forging relationships with other bloggers are crucial aspects of growing your online presence.
When it comes to backlinks, it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity. Earning high-quality, do-follow backlinks from authoritative sites in your niche will improve your search engine rankings and increase your blog’s visibility.
To achieve this, create valuable content that other bloggers and websites find useful. This can be anything from informative articles to engaging infographics. As a result, they will be more likely to link back to your content.
Networking with other bloggers, influencers, and industry professionals provides you with opportunities to expand your reach, acquire guest posting spots, and even gain some valuable insights from seasoned pros.
Collaborate on content, share insights, and support each other in promoting your respective blogs. This will not only help you learn from others’ experiences but also open the door to future partnerships and guest posting opportunities.
Remember that link building and networking are an ongoing process. Reach out to other bloggers, participate in online forums, and engage with your audience on social media.
As you continue on the right path, these relationships will develop over time, resulting in a stronger, more visible blog that attracts an engaged and loyal readership. Stay confident and knowledgeable, and always maintain a clear and neutral tone as you communicate with your peers and audience.
Ignoring Design and User Experience
One common mistake amateur bloggers make is overlooking the importance of design and user experience. A visually appealing and easy-to-navigate blog is essential for attracting and retaining readers. To create a professional-looking blog, it is crucial to choose the right theme, whether it’s a free theme or a premium one.
While free themes can be a good starting point, as a successful blogger, I recommend investing in a premium theme. Premium themes generally offer better customization options and a more professional appearance. Remember, your blog’s design is the first impression your readers will have, so make sure it’s visually appealing and user-friendly.
You can take this free quiz to help you pick a premium theme (These are the themes I recommend):
User experience goes beyond your blog’s design. It’s important to simplify navigation, making it easy for your readers to find what they are looking for. Offering a search bar and having clear, well-organized menus can significantly improve your blog’s overall user experience.
Don’t forget to optimize your blog for mobile devices. A good idea is to test your blog on multiple screen sizes, browsers, and devices to ensure it’s both responsive and accessible to all users.
When it comes to enhancing your blog’s user experience, there are several free tools available that can help. For instance, you can use a free version of a website analytics tool to track user interactions and identify areas for improvement. By keeping an eye on your analytics data, you can make informed decisions about adjustments you need to make for better user experience.
Paying attention to design and user experience is crucial in maintaining a successful blog. By investing in an appealing theme and focusing on user-friendly navigation, you can ensure that your readers remain engaged and keep coming back for more.
As a six-figure blogger, this is an aspect that I cannot stress enough – because a visually appealing, easy-to-use blog is more likely to attract and retain readership, increasing your chances of success.
However, on the flip side, do NOT spend lots and lots of time on your theme. It’s important to get content on your site, and you can always change your logo and branding later. Just go with a good theme and work on it as you add content.
Final Thoughts on the Most Common Blogging Mistakes
Okay, so I know there is a lot here about the most common mistakes bloggers make, but if you are starting out now and reading this, you are WAY ahead of where I was when I started.
Consistently producing great content is vital for any successful blogger. Keep in mind that long-form content often ranks better and provides more value to your readers, so avoid skimping on length just to publish more frequently. When creating content, always ensure you’re fulfilling the user intent, providing helpful and thorough information that actually addresses the search query.
Remember that networking and promoting your blog are essential components to achieving your blogging goals. By connecting with other bloggers and actively promoting your content on social media or through guest posting, you’ll expand your reach and attract more potential readers.
Learning to avoid common amateur blogging mistakes will help you on your journey toward success. One of the most important things is to start your blog on a reliable hosting platform instead of a free one, as this will grant you more control and credibility. Additionally, be cautious not to stuff your posts with keywords recklessly, as that can have adverse effects on your search engine ranking.
In conclusion, the right way to approach blogging is by being strategic and focusing on providing value and quality to your audience. By doing this, you’ll more effectively build a community around your content and increase the chances of turning your blog into a profitable venture.
As someone who runs multiple successful blogs, it’s clear that employing careful strategies and continuously learning from the experiences of others will put you on the path to success. So take your time, put these tips into practice, and remain dedicated to reaching your blogging goals.