No one is safe from making newbie blogging mistakes, especially from the beginning.
You are working hard on creating content and promoting it but no visitors are coming in.
I have also interviewed 25 expert bloggers who have already been where you are now. The question I asked was simple: “What was your #1 blogging mistake?“.
All answers are incredible and full of knowledge! To make things easier, you can jump to this part of the article right here.
Without further ado, let’s see the most common blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1. Choosing the Wrong Platform
If you are serious about blogging, choosing the right platform for your blog from the very beginning is a must. It will be the core of your blog and efforts: from the blog design to your content schedule.
As a beginner, you need a stable and easy-to-use blogging platform, with no coding skills required. This way you can focus on what is most important for your blog growth.
My recommendation is to start with a self-hosted solution. This way you have full control over your content and all other aspects of your blog. Yes, it will cost a few bucks, however, it will also bring advantage in the long term.
#2. Not Giving it Time to Succeed
Growing a blog is like caring for a plant, it takes some time and efforts until you see the desired results.
I know how hard it is in the beginning, you are putting a lot of time to research and write your best piece of content and when no one reads it, you feel discouraged.
Success comes with time, be consistent in what you do, create a content schedule and do not give up.
It may take a few months to see any growth, but the results will come soon or later
#3 Chasing The Wrong Keywords
Another common blogging mistake is not focusing around the correct keywords.
Writing an article on a random topic might bring some value and readers to your blog, but without proper keyword research you risk to chase highly competitive keywords. This is almost always a sign of failure unless you have an already established authority blog in your niche.
If you are just starting out, try to find keywords with less or no competition and optimize your articles around them. Remember, always write for your readers, not for the search engines. Brian Dean from Backlinko.com takes it to the next level with his keyword research guide, I highly recommend to check it out.
#4. Not Building an Email List
Email is still the most preferred communication method these days. Capturing leads and building an email list from your blog is vital for its success.
Imagine the following: you have just written a new piece of content and you are emailing about it to your 1000 email subscribers. Potentially, 1000 people will immediately check it and engage with it.
Sounds good, right?
Now imagine that you have 10 000 or 100 000 people in your list. This is the power of email marketing. You can engage with your audience, answer their questions and provide them with valuable information that is not publicly shared elsewhere.
Building an email list of loyal subscribers is had, but not impossible. Try to provide real value for free, give your audience what it really wants and try to focus on helping people.
25 Full-Time Bloggers Share Their #1 Blogging Mistake
I would like to thank everyone who decided to participate in this roundup. All replies are published in the order they were received.
Mike Pozdnev: My main mistake
Like most bloggers, I want my blog to generate a steady income.
Yes, I wanted to help my readers by crafting awesome blog posts that can truly change a person’s life. This is my primary goal.
But I also want my blog to help me make a living.
I achieved my primary goal.
I received thousands of visitors, thousands of social shares, hundreds of comments. If you want to know my process and the experience gained, here is this post:
Now I would advise myself not to make this mistake.
Even before writing the first posts, create a minimally useful product. For example, an eBook. It should not be perfect. It should not be expensive. (From $7 to $25.)
You and your readers should understand that you are serious about blogging, that you are an entrepreneur.
Your eBook will help you make the right decisions in the future. You can immediately see what your audience is interested in. Analyze and experiment. And at the same time earn even small money.
Why to follow: 17+ years was in love with SEO. Now… helping good people. Founder of I Wanna Be a Blogger. Helping YOU create life-changing blog posts that readers and Google are guaranteed to love. Follow Mike on Twitter here.
Raul Tiru: My biggest mistake when I started blogging was redesigning my blog way too often
I would advise everyone to craft your skills first, create amazing content, and worry about the rest later.
Bill Acholla: My biggest mistake was hosting my blog on a free platform. I thought hosting my blog on a free platform will help me make money.
Little did I know I was not making any effort.
When I started getting advice from experience bloggers, I moved my blog from Blogger.com to WP self-hosted platform.
My advice to beginners: Don’t’ host
Tom Augenthaler: My #1 mistake was thinking I knew what my audience wanted to know when I really didn’t. I published articles that I found interesting instead of what they wanted.
Because of this, my content didn’t get much traction and I got frustrated. However, instead of giving up, I decided to research topics that my ideal audience wanted to know about and created content based on those findings
Why to follow: Tom Augenthaler is a consultant, international speaker and the founder of The Influence Marketer where he helps companies leverage the power of influencer marketing to inspire, persuade and increase business. You can learn more about Tom here: https://theinfluencemarketer.com. Follow Tom on Twitter here.
Ryan Biddulph: I chased money, versus following my passion. I changed course and chose to blog for the fun of it after making this beginner blogging error.
Adam Connell: When I first started my blog, I made a bunch of mistakes. One that hindered growth more than anything else was not building an email list.
I was focusing solely on social media. It was slow going and I was building an audience on “rented land.”
Instead, I should have created a lead magnet and started building my list right away. Here’s why:
Email is the most reliable way of getting visitors back to your site. It’s personal, immediate, and it’s an asset you have more control over.
Unlike Facebook who nerfed organic reach, and Google+ which has officially been put on the chopping block. I’m not saying social media is a waste of time – it just isn’t. You can always promote your social accounts after readers subscribe to your list.
What I’m saying is this: Try not to get hung up on what other people are doing. It may be the right course of action to take, but it might not. It depends on your goals.
So, identify your goals, and then identify the tactics/strategies that will help you achieve those goals the fastest.
Why to follow: Adam Connell started Blogging Wizard in 2012, as a platform to share what he was learning in his new role at a marketing agency. Since then it’s grown into a go-to resource for both beginner and intermediate bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Tami Brehse: Looking back, my biggest mistake when I started my blog was simply writing about whatever topics came to mind and not doing keyword research first
It’s fine to write spontaneously if you’re just blogging for fun, but if you’re blogging for business purposes and hoping to grow your traffic, doing keyword research before every post is really essential to getting your posts found
I saw such a difference in my organic traffic when I started making a point to research keywords and search volume before writing!
Why to follow: Tami Brehse began her career as a news anchor and reporter in various TV markets around the country. Now, she uses her media intel to help small businesses make big headlines. Follow her on Twitter here.
Susan Velez: My biggest mistake when starting my current blog was not taking the time to understand how SEO worked. A lot has changed since I started my very first blog back around 2010. I had been penalized before, so I didn’t want to learn SEO.
I ended up writing over 100 articles that are focused around keywords that are too competitive. To this date, none of those articles bring me any organic traffic.
With my second blog, I’ve made sure to do keyword research properly and start optimizing for SEO from the start. It’s a world of difference how that site is doing compared to my first one.
Why to follow: Susan runs her own successful blog at SusanVelez.com and she is dedicated to helping you find creative ways to earn money and take control of your financial freedom, so you can create the life you desire. Follow her on Twitter.
Pete McPherson: My #1 mistake was not giving my blogs enough time to succeed!
I had different goals and success metrics set for a lot of blogs that I’ve started and it was a combination of two things that let me quit entirely too early in the process:
Shiny object syndrome: seeing other ideas that might be more valuable or doable and then dropping what I was currently doing and moving after that other stuff.
Mismanaged expectations: I had expectations of really quick growth and wins, which was a little silly. I wasn’t building anything for the long term and I didn’t give anything (any project or blog) I’ve started a room to grow.
Through deep-dive podcast interviews with world-class bloggers and entrepreneurs, as well as in-depth blog and YouTube content, Pete’s mission is to change the way we think about blogging, side-hustles, education, and work.
It’s his life’s purpose to help content creators multiply their online influence in order to do good and change the world. Follow Pete on Twitter here.
Chris Lee: The biggest mistake that comes to mind was not learning about how to do product launches before launching my first product.
I launched my first product around 6 months after I started the RankXL blog.
At the time, I had no clue what I was doing. Email marketing was new to me, and I did not know that actual processes for launches existed. I simply built the product, then emailed my list only once to go check it out.
When sales didn’t come pouring in immediately like I had expected, I cut the price in half after less than an hour of launching it. It’s kind of a funny story to tell, and experienced bloggers usually have a good laugh out of that one.
If you’re going to launch a product, take the time to learn how to launch properly!
Doug Cunnington: My writing was very sterile and boring to read. It sounded very academic and corporate because that’s what I knew. But eventually, I found my voice so it wasn’t so much of a mistake as a learning process.
You can’t get better at blogging by thinking about it — you have to actually blog for a while. Blog poorly, but work on improving along the way, even if it’s just a very small amount.
I found a similar learning process on YouTube and again on my podcast. So whatever you’re thinking of starting or doing, you’re better off starting as soon as possible so you can figure things out and learn.
Why to follow: Doug Cunnington is a professional project manager and founder of Niche Site Project. His work has been featured all over the web, including Ahrefs, Empire Flippers, Niche Pursuits, Side Hustle Nation and more. Follow him on Twitter.
Janice Wald: My biggest mistake was not educating myself about SEO.
I recall when I’d post blogging tips, I would categorize the post as “advice”. People looking for blogging tips search “blogging tips” at Google and other search engines, not advice. It’s too broad.
Then, once I learned how to pick relevant categories, I learned how to pick relevant tags and focus keywords longer than one word like long-tail keywords.
Then, I learned how to build backlinks and how to choose internal links.
My knowledge about SEO has definitely been a journey. I pass on what I learn to my readers.
Kulwant Nagi: The #1 mistake I did while starting my blog was not focusing on the keywords. I was writing 1 article daily in my starting days but I never focused on the keywords. I was getting some random idea to write my next blog post and wrote them without doing any keyword research or without understanding the keyword intent.
SEMRush gave me a deep understanding of finding the right keywords and understand what people were searching around that particular keyword. Soon we started writing articles around good search volume keywords and got good results.
Now one of our blogs is getting a decent 15,000+ daily visitors and generating 5 figure per month income. So keywords are the backbone of blogging.
Why to follow: Kulwant is an affiliate marketer, professional blogger, a creative writer, and a big thinker. He started his blog BloggingCage back in 2011 and now he is one of the well-known bloggers in the blogging world. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Eden Fried: My #1 mistake when starting a blog was not realizing that I could have launched a digital product right from the beginning. As a new blogger, you don’t have a lot of traffic. You don’t have a big email list. You won’t get accepted to ad networks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money
If I were to do it over again, I would figure out who my target customer is, find a problem that they have, figure out how I can solve that problem, and then create a digital product solving that problem.
Anyone, no matter whether they’re a brand new or seasoned blogger, can make money from a blog with a digital product. I figured it out about a year in, but wish I would have gotten started sooner!
Why to follow: Eden Fried the host of the Rebel Boss Ladies podcast and the founder of Bread & Butter Blogging University where I teach bloggers how to earn an income online by creating and selling a digital product within 90 days. Follow her on Twitter here.
Ann Smarty: When I started a blog, I had no strategy or plan. I was simply starting a blog because everyone else had it. It all turned out to be ok, but it was also an easier, less competitive niche then. If I had to do it again, I’d ask myself the fundamental question first, “What am I bringing to the table what others don’t have?“
How will your blog stand out? What’s my unique value proposition? What’s my unique angle? All of these questions should be answered before starting a blog. Find your own narrow niche before investing time into blogging instead of trying to be an expert on anything. Think about how your unique skills and experience can help you stand out.
- Check out this guide on niche vs multi-purpose blogging and branding. This will help you get started.
- Create a very detailed plan (free tools like Google Spreadsheets for that) to get yourself motivated and organized
- Also, read this great guide on finding your niche
Why to follow: Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid). Follow her on Twitter.
Shafi Khan: My #1 mistake when I launched my first ever blog was going cheap and starting with a free CMS- Blogger platform.
In 2014, I started my first blog which was about coupons and deals. I used to write about latest deals, how to get free recharge, discounted coupons, and other things related to it. I didn’t have a credit card to pay for hosting. I read reviews and people suggested to stay away from BlueHost India and BlueHost.com doesn’t accept debit card payments.
And honestly I wasn’t sure if I should invest in a hosting and if it will ever be profitable, so never bothered to borrow a CC from family or friends.
I bought a 99 Rupees domain name from GoDaddy, set it up with Blogger and started writing. I wrote every day and promote it like crazy on social media (can be referred to as “spamming”.) The site grew and started getting some traffic and earnings. I wanted to scale it up and be able to customize it better, so I started to look at how to get free WordPress hosting.
I found a decent one and transferred my site to it. That’s where everything went crazy. I wasn’t a techy so when transferring the site to WordPress, I made a lot of mistakes.
I accidentally changed the permalink structure to /post-name/ and didn’t set up any redirect. The free hosting wasn’t able to handle the traffic so most of the time my site was down.
It went for a month and I tried to fix everything with tutorials, asking pros, and what not. Although I was able to fix the site, all my rankings were dropped and there were hundreds of 404 pages on my site.
The traffic was decreasing day by day and I couldn’t do anything to fix it. So, I let it go. If only I had invested in a decent hosting and started with WordPress from day one, I might have been able to reach $50/month and then flip the site for a much better profit.
I learned my lesson and never went back to free blogging platform or a free/cheap hosting.
Robin Khokhar: I’ve started my blog back in 2015 and my worst mistake was a lack of consistency.
I was not consistent in writing blog posts and it took me little more time to make money than expected.
Keri Jaehnig: My biggest mistake when starting my blog was not listing my blog in directories sooner to encourage discovery of my blog to attract new subscribers. While I did get involved in blog sharing groups and content sharing collaboration networks, that effort did not bring the same gravity that directory listing eventually did.
A mistake I see many new bloggers make that I also made at first: Setting it up and managing the technology myself. It was easy enough for me to set-up my blog. But, as you gain authority in your niche and gain some Google ranking technology advances.
There are updates to keep up with, and at the same time you also add more plug-ins to enhance your content and automate some processes. A writer and content creator will not necessarily be savvy with the technology. I added more plugins that did not necessarily play well together.
In turn, I was making it harder for my subscribers and first-time visitors to interact with my blog articles. Things instantly changed when I worked with a web developer that still helps me keep everything running smoothly. It’s been quite worth it!
Why to follow: Keri Jaehnig is the Founder and CMO at Idea Girl Media, a boutique social media and content marketing agency based in Wilmington, Ohio.
Keri has won awards for her social media marketing campaigns in the tourism industry and is a recognized small business influencer. She has written for several top marketing blogs, and earned a Forbes mention for her influence and ideas for sports marketing. Keri is a culturally aware travel lover, her favorite color is purple, and she is always enthused to meet new people.
Follow her on Twitter here.
Mike Khorev: My biggest mistake when I was just starting out with my blog is actually a pretty common (but yet, fatal) mistake made by many bloggers, which is, not putting enough efforts to build high-quality backlinks to your content.
Many bloggers and content creators put too much emphasis on creating great content while targeting the relevant keywords. While this is a good, if not excellent practice, it’s simply not enough due to one simple fact: no matter how good your content is, it won’t bring value unless people actually consumed the content.
We all know that the best way to attract an
With that being said, we will need to promote our content using external channels from using social media (both paid and organic), guest posting, working with influencers to other creative ways. We can get both the benefits of getting backlinks and attracting the audience with these promotions.
In short, treat each of your content pieces as a landing page, build a healthy rank profile for each content, and optimize your internal linking structure between one content and another.
Why to follow: Mike Khorev is an SEO expert and digital marketing consultant who helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing, and many other online practices.
Follow Mike on Twitter here.
Gill Andrews: I had little problems with my current blog because I’ve learned from my previous mistakes with my first blog. But as I first started blogging, my big mistake was to not have a focus. I was writing about what interests me without thinking who may want to read it and why, and what people may learn from my posts.
This is a fundamental mistake. People didn’t have any clear reason to follow my blog. Plus, because of the different and often unrelated topics, my posts didn’t rank in search.
Later, I understood that I needed to do both: Write about the things I’m interested in myself, but also give my blog a clear focus and purpose. When I started my second blog and focused on writing about improving websites to drive more business, I saw my blog taking off my faster.
Kathryn Aragon: My biggest mistake was not creating a list of keywords to target right off the bat. You can create authority faster if you’re tightly focused around just one topic.
My advice: Find your focus, make sure there’s enough traffic to around that focus, then write high-quality content that targets the top 20-30 keywords your audience is searching for.
Why to follow: Kathryn is an award-winning content strategist, copywriter, consultant, and author. She runs a content marketing agency that helps you share your message in a way that makes you truly stand out. Follow her on Twitter here.
Ravi Chahar: Everyone wishes to become a famous blogger, which make them vulnerable to making wrong choices. Before you place to start a blog, it’s vital to find out your passion and how’s the market is responding to that niche.
You can find millions of blogs for the same niche, but you need to understand how you can stand out. Most people give up after a few months because they have no patience. Everyone wants to make money, but if you focus only on making money, you will have a detour to somewhere you never intended to go.
Maintain consistency and perseverance.
Patrick Coombe: The #1 mistake I made when I first started my blog was worrying about vanity numbers like views, likes, shares, and retweets.
Don’t get me wrong, having someone view your blog is very important, but it is just not something you should be focusing your energy on early on. Obviously, you want people to share your blog and you want people to view it, but that is not going to happen until you nail down your content and get a feel for your creative.
For instance, a lot of people focus on email marketing and driving viewers to their blog when they first start but if you don’t have a solid content plan what are you driving them to?
Imagine this, you drive 100 people to your blog but when they get there you only have 4 posts, your theme is all jacked and there is broken stuff everywhere. That’s what I did when I first started and it was a mistake.
In retrospect, I should have just put my head down and cranked out content. It took me 3 years to realize that but eventually, it paid off.
Why to follow: Patrick is a well-known internet marketer and SEO specialist, running a successful agency called Elite Strategies. With years of experience, he is an avid industry speaker and regularly publishes industry articles on his blog. You can follow Partick on Twitter here.
Sathish Arumugam: Probably, expert bloggers starting a new blog will have lesser chances for committing mistakes since this is not the first blog. If you are just getting up into blogging for the first time, mistakes you will make mistakes along the way. In the excitement of just launching a new blog and rush to bring it up caught up with even silly mistakes.
The one big blunder (#1) I would say while starting a new blog is choosing the wrong hosting partner. Anyways, shared hosting will be the option for new blogs since its traffic will be low. Still, the uptime and the customer support level are the two factors crucial for beginners while choosing a hosting solution. Probably, beginners will be lacking knowledge in site hosting, CMS configuration, and getting started with a neat blog layout.
The hosting partner must be well-supportive in guiding you to hosting, connecting name servers, installing the content management system (like WordPress), configuring email accounts, creating subdomains, and if any security functionalities required.
Don’t pick your hosting solution only from the cost perspective. Better not to prefer free hosting. If so, you will struggle to get growing with poor customer support and improper performance.
Go with a reliable hosting provider. The great initiative is almost like half work done. The same mistake I did so. Over the years, after a severe battle trial and errors with many hosting service providers, I have now found my right hosting solution.
Secondly, don’t go for nulled themes. Better to choose any Schema Markup free themes. You don’t find any customizing features; still, you don’t require any theme customization at the very beginning. Almost free plug-ins can help you to more additional functionalities to your theme and website.
And then, don’t blog on something you are not interested in or not passionate about. Later, you will regret it.
Why to follow: Sathish is the founder of Traffic Crow, SGS Mediasoft, and few other niche blogs. He is an enthusiastic but silent blogger, outreach marketer, web designer, and a professional trainer. You can follow him on Twitter.
Faizan Ali My #1 blogging mistake was not getting involved in networking enough. Blogging is a team game, you cannot get success in blogging if you decided to walk alone.
Yes, this happened to me. I’ve avoided networking, making a relationship, and spending time on social media and FB groups.
I thought that I could get tons of traffic on my own, I thought I could solve every problem that I may have. I thought I can learn everything by reading other blogs and sites.
But I was wrong.
It was my top mistake that I realized after 3-4 months of my blogging. If you truly want to have success in your blogging journey, then you should start networking with fellow bloggers. Facebook and Twitter are the best platforms to find fellow bloggers who are in the same niche.
Start networking with them, send them friend requests, follow them, like, Comment, retweet/share their posts/photos. This way they would surely notice you. Join their groups and try to help their group members.
Try to mention some of your Blogging friends in your next blog posts and inform them by tagging or through email, they will like it and who knows you may get a mention too in their next blog posts. Share your experiences and ask them if you have any problem.
Why to follow: Faizan Ali is a passionate blogger and a writer. He writes about blogging, affiliate marketing, and online businesses. He is on the mission to help newbies to start and grow their online business. You can follow him on Twitter here.
If you want to be a successful blogger in your niche, try to avoid these mistakes. Writing compelling content, engaging with your visitors and networking with other fellow bloggers is the way to go.
What was your #1 blogging mistake when you started your blogging journey? Let me know in the comments below and share this article with your friends if you find it useful.