As someone who has been blogging for close to 8 years now, I have certainly made my share of blogging mistakes. Today I want to look back at some of the common mistakes I made after launching my blog and some of the common errors I see made by other bloggers on the internet. I hope that you can avoid some of the blogging pitfalls made by myself and others in your online income journey!
Using a Free Blogging Platform
Blogging on a free platform like Blogspot is the same as working for free – and you should never leave money when you’re doing hard work! No matter what anyone says, blogging is a job (or a side hustle), and in order to make it profitable, you must use a custom domain name and website hosting.
Don’t make the mistake of refusing to invest in the success of your blog.
Overthinking at the Beginning
I am a member of several Reddit forums and I’m astonished at the number of bloggers who hesitate to publish their first posts because they feel they aren’t good enough. Just hit publish! It’s like I always say: it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be published!
In the tech startup world, there is a term called “MVP” which stands for minimum viable product. The goal of every startup is to get the minimum viable working solution out the door so feedback can be gathered from users. Bloggers can taake this same aapproach by publishing the minimum amount of content necessary to answer the user’s query.
Choosing Too Broad of a Niche
Going after one too many things is a good way to leave empty-handed. That’s why you need to become an authority figure on something specific, not try your luck with ten different subjects.
Visitors will read your content (and tell others about you) if you are the number one about something specific, not a second-rate commentator about one too many things.
Writing about Multiple Unrelated Niches on the Same Blog
You can own several blogs where you speak about different subjects. People don’t want to visit a website and have to scavenge for the topic they want to know about.
Imagine you visit a website, and someone is writing about cars, dog food, fitness, and more. It’s all over the place! Keep your site niche-specific. Open a few others if you want to write about more things.
Writing for the Wrong Audience
You may have the right niche but the wrong audience – which is one of the most common blogging mistakes there are.
Use data analytics to figure out if your visitors care about what you’re writing. You will lose your traffic if you don’t adjust accordingly.
Not targeting keywords when writing blog posts
Keyword stuffing is as bad as not using keywords. People can only find your work if they search the right keywords – as long as you write them in your articles!
Use the right amount, though. Search engines improve their algorithms daily, and you may end up penalized if you try to abuse the system. Write organically with keywords in mind.
Forgetting to make a Content Plan
A content plan is a necessary plan for the future of your blog. You need to plan ahead if you want to make it in the blogging business. You need to have strategic ideas and follow deadlines. Otherwise, you will write less and less and every so often – and your blog dies alongside your discipline.
Not disclosing your affiliate relationships in compliance with the FTC
As you know, making money by writing is more than okay, but you must disclose your affiliate relationships to your readers. They need to know you might make a commission through the links on your website. Disclosing your financial relationship is the law. Check the FTC website for current regulations and tips.
Writing a few blog posts and expecting high traffic
It’ll take a long time before you start getting serious traffic (and even more so, making serious money), no matter how high-quality your articles are.
Writing great stuff is a must – but the number one requirement to make it is consistency. Dropping in and out of writing is one of the biggest blogging mistakes that newbies make.
Publishing Too Long Paragraphs instead of Short Paragraphs
Did you know people have short attention spans? You will lose most readers’ attention unless you get to the point quickly. Studies show people have an 8-second attention span – and it’s not getting any longer. You want to write short paragraphs and keep them three or four sentences long.
Writing Blog Posts Less than 300 words
Short sentences and paragraphs are a must – but avoid short articles. You need to use a lot of subheadings and express your ideas quickly. And you also need to write long-enough blog posts for visitors to find the answer to their many questions. The longer your content is, the better search engines will rank it.
Forgetting to Edit/Proofread Your Posts before Publishing
Writing is half the job. Proofreading is what makes or breaks your content. Poor-written articles lack authority – and visitors don’t care about what they can’t trust. Typos and poor structure are two of the biggest blogging mistakes you don’t want to make. Hire an editor if necessary or go with a free tool like Grammarly.
Adding a Table of Contents to Your Posts
I cringe when I come across a blog post that has a Table of Contents at the top. Why are you giving away your whole post at the beginning? It makes no sense and slows down your page speed. Plus, if you have ads on your blog, a clickable Table of Contents allows readers to skip sections of your blog post and therefore you miss out on the ad revenue you would have received if you had forced the reader to scroll through the post. TOC is a bad idea!
Writing a Boring Title that Won’t Get Clicks
Your job as a blogger is to hook your reader in every sentence. The first one they’ll read is the title. A bland title gets no visitors. Losing visitors that easy sounds like one of the silliest blogging mistakes possible – because it is. Get your blog off on the right foot by writing a catchy title! Of course, you need to hook them again in the first paragraph.
Using stock images or low-quality photos
Stock images are a big no-no when blogging. The same thing goes for low-quality photos. It’s simply a great way to make your blog worse than it is. Why is that? Because visitors want to see what makes your blog unique! Stock photos are a sign of unprofessionalism. There’s a pretty high chance someone who looks at a stock picture won’t get to read your content because they’ll leave beforehand.
Forgetting to Add Internal Links to New Posts
Adding appropriate internal blog links is one of the easiest ways to rank better in search engines and will also help visitors navigate your website better; that way, they’ll spend more time reading your content. It’s a great way to improve your SEO strategy.
Forgetting to Add Social Share Buttons
Don’t stick to blogging alone. Having a social media presence is a must. Even if you have no Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts – other people do. Adding social share buttons will help visitors post your content on their accounts, widening your audience. That helps promote your work without you having to do anything at all!
Not Collecting Emails and Building a List
Having a newsletter is a great way to make money online. It’s like a second channel you can use to interact with your audience – and pitch products to them. What’s great is that you own your email list – not some trendy social media company!
Building a newsletter takes a long time, though. Fortunately, you don’t have to do much other than ask for people’s emails and write a little more than usual. Don’t put off starting your email marketing list. It’s worth it!
Checking Your Traffic Stats too Often instead of Writing
Keeping an eye on your web analytics is the right thing to do. Obsessing over data is the worst strategy possible – and one of the blogging mistakes you want to avoid. The best way to not obsess over web traffic is to check data periodically. Do so monthly or bi-monthly. Your job is to write, not to check data every day!
Not Using Google Analytics/Search Console to Find New Post Ideas
Everyone starts blogging with a few fresh ideas – but will soon run out of things to write. Doing research is a prerequisite to writing and one that you must do whether you like it or not.
Research is easy thanks to tools like Analytics and Search Console by Google. You have to spend a couple of minutes every day searching for inspiration. Check your competition too (they’re doing it as well). There are lots of ways to find new blog post ideas if you know where to look!
Using a Hard to Navigate Blog Theme with a Bad Design
Visual hierarchy and color schemes matter a lot. An ugly blog gets no visitors. It’s similar to the stock images and similar blogging mistakes: people will pay attention to the visuals first, then the content.
There’s no need to be unique or reinvent the wheel when it comes to design. Keep it simple, pretty, and straightforward. Too many colors clash and having too many options confuse people.
Using Blog Fonts that are Hard to Read
Design is not about color schemes alone. The font you decide to use is crucial. The key here is “font,” not “fonts.” It’s always better to use one font than one too many.
The more elements you add to your blog (fonts, colors, options, etc.), the more cognitive strain you put on your visitors – and people can only take so much before they decide to leave. Always strive to simplify your design.
Focusing on Desktop Experience Rather than Mobile Experience
There are more cellphone internet browsers than computer users nowadays. More and more people surf online through their phones than their computers. Focusing on desktop design is playing to lose – and one of the biggest blogging mistakes you can make. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have both a desktop and a mobile design. Go mobile if you can only focus your efforts on one option, though.
A lot of writers hate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because it forces them to make decisions they wouldn’t normally do when they write. Unfortunately, you have to play the SEO game if you want to have a winning website! Learn it now so you can benefit in the future. The last thing you want to do is have to go back and SEO a bunch of old posts!
Not Taking Blog Security Seriously
Who is going to hack a blog, right? Well, hackers. There are a lot of criminals online – and they are brilliant when it comes to stealing things. You may not realize it, but a popular blog is something people want. Not paying attention to blog security makes you an easy target.
Not Making Backups of Your Blog
There’s more than one way to lose your blog. Not having backups could lead to losing your entire work – and that’s one of the biggest blogging mistakes there are. You can lose years’ worth of writing in a second if you’re not smart enough. Don’t trust your hosting services. Create a backup and put it in your hard drive to be safe.
Not Taking Business Deductions Come Tax Time
Writing is a very profitable business. Sooner or later, you will make money. At that point, you need to talk to your accountant – or hire one. That way, you’ll find out what taxes you have to pay – and what deductions you can get. Don’t wait until the IRS comes knocking!
Hopefully, you didn’t find yourself making too many of these common blogging mistakes!