As a beginner blogger, everything is new to you, and you might be so into your blog that you might forget to pay attention to mistakes that are usually done at the very beginning.
Mistakes are not something you should be scared of or that these mistakes are something that wrecks your blog.
I have made most of these mistakes, and I’m still alive. My blog is still alive, so yeah, we both (blog and me) survived.
The reason I created this list is that you get a solid start for your blog and know how to avoid these.
I am still amazed by how much there is to blogging and how it’s not just about writing content that you like and care. It’s only one part of the whole blogging scene, to be honest.
There’s email marketing, promoting content, SEO optimization, website design and so on.
Mistakes are part of the learning process when you are just starting out with blogging, and even when you have read this list, you might still make some of these mistakes in the future.
Just try your best to avoid these mistakes and keep this list close to you as you might need to come back to it later.
The full list
- You wait for the right time to start blogging
- Treat your blog like a business
- Content is King!
- Writing content that makes sense
- Concentrate on the reader you are writing for
- Not focusing on traffic
- Don’t forget to think monetization
- Email marketing and optins
- What are your strengths
- Promoting your content
- You will fail but get back up and learn from it
- Create posts that serve your business goals
- Write like you talk
- Bring personality to your posts
- Underlining your main point over and over again
- Start with a specific working title
- Remember to edit your post before publishing it
- Go for organic traffic in the long run
- Using copyrighted images
- Starting a blog on another platform than WordPress
- Designing your website all over again
- Trying to blog for free
- Long tail keywords and not using keywords
- Design Pinterest worthy pins
- Be confident
- Blogging anonymously
- Website speed
- Being a perfectionist
- Don’t just promote your products and services
- Respond to blog comments
- Spamming blog with ads
- You focus on word count
- Make your posts as easy to read as possible
- Conclusion is stale
#1 You wait for the right time to start blogging
There’s no right time. You can start as soon as you think you are ready. A good starting point is to have around 10-12 articles ready and published to your site.
You should also make sure your website design is spot on and colors, and branding is carefully thought out. Your website has to look professional and please the eyes of your readers.
From the mindset perspective, I would say that you are never ready to start the blogging journey. The only thing you need to do is start. Start writing today.
Start the journey and never look back. If you feel scared or you think that you don’t know enough. Stop with those thoughts. We all learn with time and by reading more guides like the one you are reading right now.
#2 Treat your blog like a business
One of the biggest mistakes that beginner bloggers make is that they treat blog something else than business.
This is one of the most challenging mindset shift you have to make.
I assume you are working a full-time job or you are at college. So you might get into blogging as making it your hobby. You can do that, but if you decide to make money from your blog, you need to treat it like a business.
Blogs don’t make money, businesses do.
So how do you change your mindset from blogging to running a business?
The first thing is that you have to be disciplined. You have to think like you are working in your blog business, you have obligations in your business. You have responsibilities and tasks you need to get done. Daily.
You make it your second job, not a blog. You make it work for yourself, you are a business after all.
If you want to make money with a blog, it is then a business; Your business.
#3 Content is King!
This is the saying they use in the blogging world. Content is everything, and it makes perfect sense.
Content is the thing you are producing for others to read. If your content sucks, no one reads it. If your content rocks, your readers will read it, share it, remember it and come back to it time to time.
Your goal with blogging is to produce the best possible content available.
If you think that everyone else has already written everything, there is to write about. Sure, the internet is filled with excellent content, but none of them is you.
You create content that is unique from everyone else.
Don’t publish content that is ok. Publish content that is great and worth reading. Publishing mediocre content frequently won’t get you anywhere. Put effort into your content.
#4 Writing content that makes sense
I wanted to include this mistake right after the content is king. As it’s closely related but still a mistake of its own.
When you are writing the blog post, make sure you stick to the topic. Don’t write something that is not related to the blog post. It all has to be about that one subject and headline you have given to your post.
Differing from the subject only makes your reader confused and lose touch to the post. Keep it consistent and to the subject.
You also have to make sure you are writing content that makes sense. If you are scribbling everything that comes to your mind, how can your reader follow your writing?
#5 Concentrate on the reader you are writing for
When I started my first blog, I was more concentrated on myself. I didn’t remember to focus on the reader. I forgot to focus on you, the reader. I’m writing this all to you and so should you.
You are writing to a specific group of people. I’m writing this post for beginner bloggers. For those who are just starting out their blogging journey.
I try to help you with this article. Giving you tips and tricks so you can avoid the mistakes most beginner bloggers make.
When you write your blog posts, remember to keep your reader in mind. If you like dogs and write about dogs. Talk to the reader as he/she owns a dog and that you know about the topic you are writing about.
Focus on your reader more than you focus on yourself. You are not helping yourself. You are helping your reader.
#6 Not focusing on traffic
One of the most important things in blogging is traffic. When you are just starting, and blogging is new to you. You might not yet be familiar with traffic and what that means.
It’s ok. Everything is new at the beginning. However, traffic is one thing you have to keep in mind when you are writing your content.
Remember that content is king. Content is what drives traffic and if you don’t know how to track traffic or you don’t understand how traffic works.
Your focus might go to waste.
You need to make sure you have activated Google Analytics to your website, so you can track your traffic and see how your users act on your site.
Traffic in simplicity is users/people visiting your site.
Google Analytics lets you see the traffic you have on your site and how they behave on your website. Analytics has a lot of data to study of, but in the beginning, the most important thing is to get the Analytics for yourself so you can track traffic.
#7 Don’t forget to think monetization
Many start a blog with the idea of just blogging and won’t be thinking about how blogging can get them a full-time income.
Yeah, there’s a lot of bloggers out there that make insane amounts of money per month just from blogging.
However, there’s also the flipside where bloggers don’t make any money with their blogs, and there’s an apparent reason for it. They haven’t built their blog with monetization strategy in place.
When you start your blog, think about the reason you are blogging. Think about the ways you could make money from your blog.
To give you a quick list of monetization strategies that bloggers use:
- Display advertisement
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital products and services
When you start your blog, think about the way you want to make money.
When you have your strategy and idea in place, start creating content that supports your vision for your business.
#8 Email marketing and optins
I assume here that you are a total beginner and don’t know anything about blogging so I’ll explain what an email list is.
An email list is a list that you create by getting email subscribers to your blog.
You have seen those subscribe for a newsletter forms, subscribe to this and that. Those are all forms that collect emails to an email service provider like ConvertKit.
An email list is crucial. An email list is one traffic source, but more than anything you collect an email list to being able to connect with your readers and message them when new things are happening in your blog.
Email makes connecting personal, and you get closer to your readers. This is important from the monetization point of view too.
They say money is in the list and the above is the list they are talking about. They are your followers and listeners.
When you publish your blog, make sure you have even the basic form of subscribing to blog updates form available for readers.
You need subscribers as much as you need traffic.
You don’t want to make surefire mistakes right at the beginning. Right.
#9 What are your strengths
If you read all the blogs out there, you see they are all different. They all have a specific person and personality behind them.
There are moms, dog trainers, fitness coaches, relationship specialists, financial planners, lawyers, investors and so on. The list is endless.
What are your strengths?
What is it that you would like to write about? You see, if you start your blog with a topic that you are somewhat interested, you will fail.
You have to see to your strengths and dive deep and feel what it is that you want to write about.
Some beginner bloggers start a blog about some topic, only later to find out that they don’t feel the same passion towards it after a while.
Choose broad enough topic but still something that is specific. A topic that keeps you interested and a topic you know something about.
I know about blogging, personal development, investing, saving, making money, selling and marketing.
So it’s natural for me to write about those subjects. I like to write about them. You should feel the same kind of emotions.
#10 Promoting your content
There’s so much to do at the beginning, however, if you do it strategically, you only have blog posts to publish.
You have your website design “completed” for this year. You have subscription forms and things look good.
Just publishing content is not enough, you also have to promote your content for people to find you.
No, you don’t have to pay to promote your content.
There are many ways you can promote your content, and social media is the best one out there.
After you have hit the publish button, don’t forget to promote your new content to your email list (if you have one), post the content (as a link) to Facebook and Twitter.
Also, use Pinterest to your advantage and promote your new content there.
As you can see, you have a greater reach when you promote your content, and when that content is great, people will come to your site to read it and stick with you longer if they get value form the post.
At the beginning you might feel like publishing content is the only thing to do when there’s a lot of things to do after you hit that publish button.
#11 You will fail but get back up and learn from it
You are not perfect, and you will most likely make mistakes in your blogging journey.
When some give up blogging altogether, your job is to continue. You don’t quit. You learn from your mistakes and keep going on.
We make mistakes, and the weak ones quit, the ones that didn’t have dedication and commitment to blogging.
You will evolve with blogging, and you will change yourself for the better. You become one that serves others, and when the time is right, you will rise to the top.
Failing is only temporary, quitting is permanent.
In the beginning, the blogging world might feel overwhelming. Even this post already might get your head spinning. That’s the reason I said that you should save this post for yourself, bookmark it, pin it.
Just don’t quit.
#12 Create posts that serve your business goals
One mistake that beginner bloggers do and even the seasoned bloggers do is that they don’t have a clear strategy behind the posts they publish.
Even when you are writing about the subject that you feel is one that you know the most. It’s not enough. You also have to make those blog posts to support your overall business.
You are building a business after all. Blogging can be just blogging, but if you like to make money with it. You will have to transform it into a business.
Your business needs a strategy, and your blog posts need a strategy too.
If your goal is to make money with your business, align your blog posts so that they serve that goal. Writing product reviews, for example, is one way of aligning affiliate marketing to your blog.
#13 Write like you talk
Blogging is a conversation between you and me. While it might be nice to write articles to everyone and be professional and all. People really don’t relate to those articles too much.
When you write like you talk, your blog posts become so much more personal. You are creating a connection with the reader.
Like with you right now, I’m writing this to you. You are one that is interested in blogging, you might have your own blog already, but you feel like you don’t want to make mistakes with it. Right.
So I’m talking to you. Even though these are written words, that you are reading. I’m still talking to you.
Just sharing my thoughts and experiences with you. Things I have learned and things I feel I need to share with you.
I make the writing easy to read and make it short and easy to digest.
#14 Bring personality to your posts
A mistake that might not be so easy to understand but you don’t have to tell how cool person you are, or how unique you are in the posts.
You don’t have to tell anything about your personality in the post you are writing. You can just write and show your personality through your writing.
Your voice is unique, and you write in a certain way with a certain voice. It’s your personality that will shine through those posts, making you, the person you are.
Language, the way you present things, all fall under your personality and the way you express yourself. Don’t make your posts dull and uninteresting. Bring your own flow to them.
#15 Underlining your main point over and over again
People are not dumb. You’re not stupid. So why should I repeat my message to you over and over again?
Say the thing you want to say and leave it there. Don’t repeat yourself (too many times).
#16 Start with a specific working title
There must be a bunch of things you want to talk about. So the next thing is to write yourself a working title.
A headline that acts as the main goal you are aiming for.
If you just start writing what comes to your mind, you lose structure and you lose the reader.
You can’t follow a post that has no structure. A working title gives you a direction to which you aim for. Giving your post a structure and it keeps your focus on the subject you are writing about.
#17 Remember to edit your post before publishing it
In the beginning, we just want to get shit done. Right.
We want to publish stuff and move on to the next post. Hammering content to our readers like never before.
Don’t do this. You don’t have to hurry anywhere. So many of us make this mistake. We think that posting all the time is the thing to do. You are creating a content base, and you have to burn that midnight oil to get everything done.
What you need to do, is write an excellent piece of content that is original, high quality and speaks to your audience.
When you think you have done. You will next edit that masterpiece of yours. You make sure there are as little errors as possible.
When you think the post is as ready as it can be. Then you publish it. You don’t do that before but after. After you have done the editing.
I have understood that Google likes consistency. Whether it’s once a day, once a week, once every two weeks. The most important part is that you post consistently.
You produce new content consistently, and it’s high on quality.
What usually happens, in the beginning, is that you are excited about blogging and produce articles at a nice pace. Then it hits you, and you suddenly don’t know what to post.
That’s why you need a content strategy to be able to post consistently.
You either come up with new ideas while you write your current post or you have ideas in a separate spreadsheet or something.
When you create content consistently, you also build your traffic steadily. You are telling search engines that you are producing new content and that they should note you for that effort.
Consistency also makes you more disciplined, you as an online business owner (blogger) have obligations, and consistent blogging is part of those obligations.
Beginner bloggers might forget the business aspect of things, so they post when they feel like it. You don’t do that. You post consistently.
#19 Go for organic traffic in the long run
You already know that you need traffic to your site. So you might rush on things and start to do everything there is to do to build that traffic.
Things take time. Relax.
Concentrate on quality and original content. Focus on the long-term goal. Which most likely will be to make money from blogging.
When you create fantastic content for your readers, Google will pick that up after time, and when you have organic traffic, it doesn’t go away too soon.
So you might want to focus on things that matter, and that is writing those blog posts with SEO in mind.
#20 Using copyrighted images
If you think that you can use any image on the internet, you find. You are wrong.
You can not use images you find online if you are not sure they are royalty free and the owner of the image is giving permission to use it for personal and commercial projects.
These sites offer free stock images to use in different projects, so you don’t have to steal images from other people.
#21 Starting a blog on another platform than WordPress
You choose WordPress.
It’s that simple. You choose WordPress and if you think it’s technical or hard to use. Just go to my resources page or read my How to start a blog tutorial and you see that it’s anything but technical.
Wix promotes themselves as drag and drop builder. Well, you know, WordPress is that and even more. Like way more.
With the right tools, you can create yourself a full ecommerce store right beside your blog. WordPress is that powerful.
#22 Designing your website all over again
Aaand we get to the next mistake beginners do and that is focusing all your energy on the website design.
Yes, you have to make your site look good, but when it looks good. Stop there and start creating content.
You can always design your website further but if your site looks good already, what’s the point of fixing something that ain’t broken.
#23 Trying to blog for free
This is another point to complement the WordPress part. Blogging is business if you want to make money with a blog. We know that.
Have you heard of a business that has no expenses? I mean, I haven’t. When I started blogging, I wanted to do everything for free or close to free.
I soon however noticed that blogging needs money, hosting costs, domain costs, premium plugins costs, and email service provider costs.
You are building a business so expect to have costs involved.
If you sign up to those free blog services like Blogger or Tumblr. Realize that you don’t own those platforms and it’s dangerous to be in a situation where your content is owned by someone else than you.
You want full control of your content, and free platforms don’t give you that. Even if you would own the content, you can’t make the platform look like yours. WordPress.com is a perfect example.
Don’t create a blog on WordPress.com, you create it with WordPress.org and more precisely said, you install WordPress on the hosting platform of your choosing.
#24 Long tail keywords and not using keywords
Yup, you need keywords to make your posts visible on Google or in Pinterest.
Let’s say you are a total noobie with blogging and don’t know anything about keywords, so let us see what a keyword is:
According to Techopedia: “A keyword, in the context of search engine optimization, is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page. Keywords are intended to act as shortcuts that sum up an entire page. Keywords form part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines match a page to with an appropriate search query.”
To simplify this all, it means that when you are searching something through Google, you put in keywords to the search field.
If the post you are writing about does not include keywords, meaning that people don’t search those words that are on your headline for example. Do you think your post will be seen?
You need keywords to make sure your posts are searchable. I started my first blog by creating headlines from the top of my head. Well, you can only imagine that no one ever found those posts.
Even when the content was excellent, the thing was that no one searched my content with the words that were in my blog posts headline. Nothing in my post was searchable.
When you write those first posts of yours. Do some keyword research before you nail down your headline and content.
#25 Design Pinterest worthy pins
In the beginning, your website traffic is low, and you feel like you are writing these posts for yourself.
Don’t feel discouraged by the situation. Instead, go all in and do everything you can to promote your content.
Pinterest is one of the best organic traffic sources there is.
What you need to do is create a pin that is worth pinning to Pinterest. Pin with a nice design and layout make other pinners pin your content. Which creates ripples in Pinterest that eventually form traffic to your site.
Your content deserves pins that showcase your content in the best possible light. Take time to design your pins and remember that you only do the work once.
If you feel like there’s so much to do, well, yeah, there is but it’s a business, and there are things you need to do.
I use Tailwind to help me schedule my pins, and I can only say that this little app makes all the difference for me. Pinning becomes something that is easy to do and does not require time from your side.
As I mentioned before, you are building a business if you want to make money through your blog. You need money and Tailwind is one app I consider an investment, not an expense.
#26 Be confident
Your first post might make you feel like, am I qualified to talk about this subject.
Am I experienced enough to write about this thing? Am I the expert that they want to listen to?
Ditch those thoughts right away. Don’t make the mistake of thinking of yourself as nobody. You have your own voice, your own experiences, you have lived a life, and you know your stuff.
If you don’t know your stuff, study and learn from others. Then again, you should build a blog based on your interests and strengths.
When you know your stuff, and you do. You write with confidence.
I’m not a native English speaking American. Well yeah, my name might already reveal me, but the thing is that I didn’t let my fear of grammar errors stop me from starting a blog.
Don’t let your fears stop you. Be a confident writer and bring your voice to the world.
#27 Blogging anonymously
People like to get to know you. There’s no need to hide your true identity. How can you relate to me, if you don’t know who I am? Sure, you might not yet know who I am, but you can always check my about page for more information.
You too should be confident about yourself and show yourself to the world. Don’t fear others judgment. They don’t know you.
When they get to know you, their perception of you changes for the better or the worst. Depends on what kind of person you are.
By being a blogger, you are a provider and a person that wants good for others, one that wants to help others and help yourself in the process. So you are must be a good person. Right.
#28 Website speed
Did you know that one ranking factor for Google is your site speed? Even if we take Google out of the equation, your site speed is still hugely relevant.
When you visit a site and see that the page takes ages to load, do you stay on that page and wait for it to load? Maybe, but would the person next to you wait too?
The thing is that site speed is utmost of importance, do not make the mistake of not optimizing your site for speed. When you have a site that is fast, your users can enjoy the content you have there.
Quicklist on the factors that play a part on your site speed:
- Number of plugins
- Number of images
- The size of images
- Unorganized coding
#29 Being a perfectionist
Your content does not have to be perfect. When you read this post, do you think it’s perfect? No, it’s not perfect even if you would like to say so.
There might be grammar errors here and there (and trust me Grammarly helps to correct a damn lot of those). Your job is to get the message across. Don’t aim for perfection aim for help. You know, aim to help people. If you do that, your reader will be happy.
Like this post for example. If you got something useful out of this, I have done my job. I’m happy, even if there’s grammar errors or something along the way.
Just get your message out there, write those posts you have in your mind and don’t worry so much about the little things. If the person got value from your post, then you have done an excellent job.
Perfectionism is something most of are going after. It’s like we want to produce such a masterpiece that the world turns upside down.
No need to do that. Trust me.
#30 Don’t just promote your products and services
You might be tempted to promote your cool products or services in every single blog post. You are proud of your products and services that you are selling so you would like to add those in front of your readers.
Remember the reason why they arrived at your site and blog in the first place. They got there because you wrote about a topic they were interested in.
They didn’t come to your blog post because there was going to be a product offer for them to see and know about.
Trust me, people will find your shop page and services when they want to.
Just concentrate on providing value and help people with their problems.
#31 Respond to blog comments
You might have so much going on that you might forget this little thing here. Someone has commented on your blog post to share their ideas and thoughts about your blog post. It would be a bit rude not to respond anything back. They are after all trying to contact you.
Respond to comments as much as you can and have to time.
This will also grow your blog posts appeal to other persons. They see you comment on blog posts, so they feel like there’s a human being on the other end of the site.
#32 Spamming blog with ads
You don’t need ads to your blog when you just release your site to the public. Google AdSense, for example, don’t bring you anything if you don’t have traffic.
When you do have traffic you don’t need Google Ads but instead, apply to one of these ad providers:
And when you have some serious traffic like 200K pageviews per month, you can minimize ads to make the user experience better.
#33 You focus on word count
Even at the beginning, you might be familiar with the concept of long-form content. I even said it myself in this post that you should focus on quality content and stop posting short posts just for the sake of content.
However, long-form posts are not what’s it all about. You should focus on quality. If you only focus on hitting that “magical” 2K word count, you are missing the point.
Yes, I made this mistake, and I had to change my mindset from this whole concept of providing valuable information. Not being concerned whether that 2K word count is reached or not.
Yes, it has been studied that long-form content ranks better in Google. No one said were they quality posts or not. They most likely were, so I think quality triumphs quantity.
#34 Make your posts as easy to read as possible
You have to have a clear structure for your posts. Making it easy to follow and read. Use H1, H2, H3, H4 headlines as well as lists and quotes now and then.
When you can break your content to multiple small chapters, it’s easier to follow and read.
Don’t just go on and type the hell out of it and pray that your post is readable after all that keyboard slamming.
Structure your blog posts.
#35 Conclusion is stale
Don’t forget this part. Some readers like conclusions as those usually summarize the main parts of the blog posts or give you some extra value on top of the whole blog post.
Conclusions should be interesting and giving your reader a feeling of conclusion to the whole blog post.
I know that after a long article, your main thought is to get it done and move to the next. Leaving the conclusion a bit of must to do, rather than making it interesting and worth reading.
Remember that you are writing a quality piece and every part of it should be thought out. Don’t neglect the ending.
A final note
If there are a few things I would like you to take away from this post, these are it: quality triumphs quantity. Website speed keeps your readers coming back and extends their visit time on your site.
Start with 10-12 blog posts in your site and blog consistently.
Focus on the other person, not on yourself. Try to create the best content you possibly can and make your readers feel like you are talking to them, making the blog post conversational.
Don’t feel discouraged or anything by this huge list of mistakes you might be doing with your blog. This list is more of a reminder and something you can come back to now and then.
I’m not perfect so I still make these mistakes. Should I care so much, no, and you shouldn’t either.
Bring in the discussion
If there are some mistakes you have done that are not on this list, leave a comment below. Did this list intimidate you? Do you feel like you can’t even start a blog after this list? Leave a comment below and share your feelings. I’ll try my best to answer your concerns and would love to hear your thoughts on these mistakes.
Don’t forget to bookmark this list and share on Pinterest.