How often have you heard someone say they want to start blogging or even write a book? If you’ve ever thought about writing something down, then you should consider starting a blog. Blogging has become a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with others. In addition, it helps build your personal brand and gives you the opportunity to earn an extra income.
However, if you’re just getting started, there are some mistakes that can make your blog look unprofessional and amateurish. Here are just a few:
Not having a clear purpose is one. If you don’t know what you want your blog to be about, how will anyone else find out what you have to offer? It’s important to have a clear purpose for your blog so people understand why they should visit your site.
Another common mistake is using too many links on your homepage. If you use too many links on your homepage, visitors may get confused and leave without reading any other pages on your website.
Yet another common mistake includes not optimizing your site for search engines. You need to optimize your site for search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This means making sure that all of your content is easily found by these search engines. This optimization is not just about writing, but making sure that technical issues are corrected, and that the site is easily crawlable and indexable.
The following includes common mistakes that new bloggers make, and mistakes you must avoid if you want to become a successful blogger.
Not Having a Purpose That’s Clear From the Start
In my experience, most new bloggers don’t know what they’re doing. They think they’ll just write whatever pops into their head and see where it takes them. This usually leads to a lot of wasted time and effort.
You don’t need to have things figured out from day one. But having a general direction helps you be more intentional with your creative energy and time. If you don’t know what you want to do with your blog, how are you supposed to spend your time writing about topics that interest you?
No sense building a luxury skyscraper when you really want a little cottage by the lake, huh? Consider your goals. Do you want to build a brand? Are you trying to sell products or services? Or maybe you just want to connect with others online. Whatever your goals are, consider what kind of blog you’d like to build.
Once you’ve got an idea of what you want to do, then you can start thinking about what kinds of posts will help you achieve those goals. For example, if you want to build a business around your blog, you might decide to focus on content marketing. That means creating helpful guides and tutorials that teach people how to use your product or service.
If you want to create a community, you could write about social media trends and share tips on how to get started. Or perhaps you want to provide inspiration through personal stories. In this case, you may find yourself sharing more about your own life than your products or services.
If you’re not sure what kind of post would best serve your goals, ask yourself these questions: What’s something you’re passionate about? What’s something you wish you knew more about? What’s something that makes you feel good?
The answers to these questions should give you some ideas about what kind of content you’d enjoy writing about. Once you’ve decided on a topic, you can start brainstorming possible titles and sub-topics.
When you come up with a list of potential titles, make sure each title is unique enough to stand out. As you work out the beginnings of your blog, you should be able to come up with a clear purpose along the way.
Not Defining Your Niche From the Beginning
Blogging is one of the easiest ways to make money online. But how do you know what topics to write about? Should you stick to a certain industry or just pick something random?
To answer those questions, we need to look at the difference between blogging and writing. Writing is simply putting words together. If you want to become a writer, you need to find a topic that you enjoy writing about. This doesn’t mean you need to be good at writing; it means you like reading books and articles written by people who are good writers.
Once you’ve found a topic you enjoy writing about, you need to narrow down your niche. What makes you different from everyone else out there? Are you better than others because you offer unique information or products? Or are you more competitive because you’re offering similar things to others?
What does this mean for your blog? Well, you don’t need to specialize in everything. Instead, choose a few topics that appeal to you and start writing about them. Once you see that your audience grows, you can expand into additional niches.
Having focus is important, because it helps you keep a focus on your blog’s topic while also being valuable enough for your audience.
Not Focusing on the Interests of Your Audience
The blogger in charge is usually the one who plans and writes blog posts. But there are times when the writer is actually less relevant than the audience. In fact, sometimes the best way to improve your writing skills is to stop focusing on yourself and start thinking about how you can help others.
Here’s why: Your audience doesn’t care about your personal struggles, your hobbies, or even your education. They don’t care because they don’t relate to those things. What does matter to them is what they want to learn, what problems they face, and what questions they want answered. When you think like that, the whole blogging process changes completely.
Instead of worrying about whether your post is interesting enough, you become concerned with helping your readers solve real problems. And since you’re no longer trying to impress anyone else, you can finally relax and just enjoy writing.
Skipping Steps during the Setup of Your Blog
When you start planning a brand new blog, there’s always a lot of excitement and anticipation. You could be thinking about what kind of posts you want to write, how you plan to promote your site, and whether you’d like to make money off your efforts. But once you’ve got those big decisions taken care of, you might feel a little overwhelmed by all the small things you need to do to actually launch your blog.
The first thing you’ll probably want to do is buy a domain name and host your site. Choosing a domain name that reflects your interests and target audience will help people find your site easily, while choosing a web hosting provider that offers the features you need will ensure that your visitors don’t experience downtime. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to install software on your computer and configure your site settings. Finally, you’ll need to publish some content.
However, if you skip a few of these steps, you can end up spending hours trying to figure out why your site isn’t working properly. While a checklist approach is not always ideal, and could get in the way of creativity, it does help you remember all the steps you need to make sure that your new blog is working from the start.
You Ignore SEO and Keyword Research
Blogging is hard work. If you want to make money blogging, you need to know how to optimize your site for search engines like Google. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time writing articles that no one ever sees.
If you’re starting out with a blank canvas, it makes sense to focus on building up your audience first. But once you’ve built up some momentum, you should start thinking about optimizing your site for search engines. There are many ways to do this, but here are five mistakes that we tend to see most often.
1. Not Knowing What Keywords to Use
You might think that “keyword research” sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. In fact, it’s quite simple. All you need to do is find out what people are searching for when they look for information on your topic. This way, you’ll know exactly what terms to include in your articles.
2. Using Generic Words
Generic words aren’t good for SEO because they don’t tell Google anything specific about your article. Instead, try to come up with unique keywords that describe your post. For example, if you write about real estate, you could target the term “Fort Lauderdale Homes for Sale,” which is a more specific term than “Florida Real Estate.”
3. Writing Too Much Text
While it may seem tempting to fill every single word on your page with keywords, this won’t help you rank well in search results. Instead, aim to keep your text between 300-500 words. Longer articles tend to perform better than shorter ones, so you can also consider making your articles more concise.
4. Overusing Links
Links are great for linking back to other pages within your website or even external websites. However, overuse of links can hurt your rankings. Try to avoid using more than two links per paragraph.
5. Posting Duplicate Content
This is another common mistake that beginners make. If you have multiple articles on the same subject, then you’re likely going to lose traffic to your site. Make sure that each article has its own unique title and description.
Ignore SEO and keyword research at your peril. There are significant gains that can be had if you take the right steps towards targeting the right keywords with high search volume and the right SEO efforts to expand your site’s reach and performance.
You Don’t Spend Enough Time Choosing the Right Topics
Picture this scenario: A small or medium-sized business starts out with a brand new blog and begins writing about whatever topic strikes their fancy. But here’s the thing: Businesses don’t blog just because they want to. They do it because they have something to say that matters to their customers. They also do it because there is some money to be made from it. And if they haven’t done their homework, they’ll end up writing about things that nobody cares about.
So, how do you choose the right topics? Start by asking yourself some key questions: What problems does my customer face? How can you help solve those problems? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start thinking about what kinds of information you could provide that would actually benefit your readers. If you’re still stuck, here are some tips to help you find the best topics.
Start With Your Customers
First, think about the types of people who read your blog. Do they make decisions based on price alone? Or are they looking for reviews and opinions? Are they interested in learning more about your products and services? Think about the different groups of people who visit your site and try to identify what they’re looking for. Then, look at the keywords that bring traffic to your site.
You might find that there are certain terms that aren’t related to your product or service, but are highly searched. These are good candidates for topics that you can write about.
Look At Your Competitors’ Blogs
If you’re struggling to figure out what to write about, check out your competitors’ blogs. There are many sites like BuzzSumo that allow you to see exactly what your competitors are sharing online. You can learn a lot from reading their posts, especially if they cover similar topics to yours.
Do Some Research
Finally, you should always conduct thorough research before starting any kind of project. This includes researching your potential topics as well as finding out what others are saying about them. The last thing you want is to spend hours writing an article only to discover that no one wants to read it!
You Aren’t Publishing Frequently or Consistently Enough
If you want to rank well organically, you’ve got to keep up the frequency. You’ve got to post regularly, consistently, and often. Otherwise, you’ll fall further behind your competitors.
Here is why frequent posting matters:
Every blog article you publish casts wider nets in search.
Every time you publish, you’re casting a wider net in search — whether you know it or not. This is because each article you publish creates a new URL pointing to your site. When someone searches for something, they might use keywords like “best WordPress plugins,” “how to start a blog,” or even just “blog.” So, when someone types those words into Google, your site appears in the results.
But here’s what happens when you don’t publish frequently enough:
When someone does a search for one of those terms, they end up clicking on one of the sites that appear in the results. But since they didn’t find your site there, they move on to another site. They might check out the second site, but they won’t come back to yours unless they remember where they found it.
So, if you publish infrequently, you could lose potential traffic to your site. And that’s not good.
Your Content Is Not User-Focused
The first three mistakes are ones you must avoid when starting out. They are things that affect getting started and set direction.
However, the majority of blogging errors we see happen are on the page. These include having too many ads, too much text, or not enough images. The worst of these is that the blog posts turn into promotional pieces rather than helpful guides.
Most people’s defenses go up whenever they feel like someone is selling something to them. When readers land on an article to learn about a topic, they want to know what it is they’re buying. They don’t want to be told how great they are; they want to be shown how they can improve.
If they land on an article and instead get a chest puffing piece, they’ll likely leave and find the article they need. If they land on an informative, useful guide, they’ll stick around.
Your Articles Don’t Dive Into the Topic Comprehensively Enough
If you want people to read your content, make sure it’s thorough. You don’t want to provide a quick answer and hope someone reads your entire post.
We recommend writing long, well-researched articles that cover every aspect of what you offer. This way, your readers know exactly what they’ll receive when they come to your site. They won’t feel like they’re missing out on anything.
And yes, longer doesn’t always mean better, however. Make sure your content isn’t too wordy. If you’re providing a video tutorial, don’t include 20 paragraphs explaining how to use the product. Keep it simple.
If you write a great article about how to do something, chances are good that people will want to read it. But if you don’t format your post properly, no one will ever see it.
The same goes for blogs. If your writing isn’t easy to understand, anyone reading it won’t know what to make of it. And even if someone does figure out what you’re talking about, there’s a chance they’ll just move on without clicking through.
A few formatting basics can go a long way toward improving the quality of your posts. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Use paragraphs. They break down large blocks of text into digestible chunks, making it easier for readers to absorb information.
- Make sure every sentence ends with a period. This makes it clear where one thought stops and another begins, helping readers follow along.
- Avoid excessive use of boldface and italics. These formatting tools make text stand out, but they aren’t essential. In fact, many people find them distracting.
- Be careful with headings. Headers are useful for organizing content, but too much emphasis on headers can detract from the overall flow of your piece.
Aside from great original content, proper formatting is key to ensuring that people will actually want to read your blog.
Not Including the Next Call To Action (CTA)
When writing about anything, it’s important to think about what happens next. If you’re talking about a product or service, are there other things people should do? If you’re discussing something else entirely, like how to use Excel or how to cook a chicken breast, what are some other resources readers might want to check out?
If you are writing about a topic that isn’t related to the reader’s immediate needs, it’s important to think about what else they might want to do. Perhaps they’re looking for something similar to what you just wrote. Or maybe they’re interested in learning more about the subject matter at hand. Whatever they’re looking for, make sure to include some type of call to action. This could be a link to another piece of content, a registration form, or even a freebie like a downloadable PDF.
The most important thing you can do when writing an article is to make sure it leads readers to the next logical step. This could mean answering questions, suggesting additional resources, offering a free report, or even setting up a webinar. It could also mean having them contact you to place an order for any services or product you might be selling.
If you don’t provide the next step, readers won’t know where to go next. And if they aren’t sure where to go next, they probably won’t come back.
Pigeon-Holing Yourself Into One Monetization Method
Blogging is hard work. If you want to make money from blogging, you’ll probably need multiple revenue streams. But how do you know which ones to use?
Many people think that if they’re running a blog, there must be a “right way” to monetize. They figure there must be one strategy that works better than others. And since they don’t have much experience with alternative methods, they stick with what they’ve always done.
But if you look around online, you’ll find dozens of ways to earn money from your blog. Some of those options might seem complicated or confusing. Others might require lots of upfront investment. Still others might just not work very well for you.
For example, one might consider selling info products to customers. Or, another monetization method might be paid ads. Still, another monetization method might be affiliate marketing. Another monetization method could include display ads from ad partners that you sign up for on your own personal advertising program on your blog.
The list of monetization methods are endless.
Mistakes Are Learning Experiences, But They Shouldn’t Be a Crutch
Make sure that you’re really learning from your mistakes, and that you’re not defaulting to them as a crutch.
When you work on learning from your mistakes, you want to replace the erroneous actions with the correct ones.
And this could take some swallowing of the ego to do, but it is possible.
If you use your mistakes as a crutch, they could come back and haunt you later.
How do you plan on learning from your own mistakes on your next blog?