The search term ‘how to start a blog’ has become a sensational viral topic online, which resulted to over 164 billion blogs available on the internet today.
Out of these blogs online, 90% of them barely gets 1,000 visitor daily, Don’t get it twisted – these bloggers aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong.
Blogging is a journey and need to be followed tactically, as a blogger your are bound to make mistakes as a beginner, but learning from other’s mistake and avoiding them in your blog will make you look like a pro in the field.
Some bloggers believe that pumping out good content is all they should be doing to generate leads and crank up sales. So, they chose to invest in good content heavily. But still, nothing panned out.
Some of them have been putting in the hours, working around the clock, in the hopes that Google would eventually pick up on their effort and reward them with a prime slot in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
But for some reason, nothing appears to pay off.
Why is this so? And what exactly should they be doing to beat the odds?
Well, it starts by avoiding the following some blogging mistakes that bloggers make all the time
I have outlined in my list the common blogging mistakes new bloggers make and how to avoid it .
#1. Blogging Blindly: No strategy. No Sense of Direction
The First blogging mistakes in my list is that many bloggers are into blogging as part-time. They don’t see it as a viable business.
Many of their blogs are diary-like. Some will keep a dairy and be quick to call it a journal.
From a casual glance, a majority of the blogs people have, are basically dairies or minutiae of their lives, laced with overheated ruminations of the things they did.
We get it – some people enjoy these trivialities. But from a business standpoint, there isn’t much room to grow with this.
As a serious blogger, you can’t be winging everything you do. You need a strategy, a well-thought-out one, that you took your time to think through, and which you’ll be improving over time.
Find a successful blogger and sign up as their understudy. There’s so much you can learn from them instead of running everything blindly.
Scour around for blogging courses and sign up for a few of them. Find out what other successful bloggers have been doing differently to grow their businesses.
#2: Poor Content Promotion Strategies
It’s true: so many bloggers have no idea as to how they should be promoting their content.
They waste so much time writing. But when it comes to putting it out there in front of their target audience, they’re stumped.
Here’s the thing: ask a few bloggers about how they get their content out there, and the answers they give you will be along the lines of:
“After publishing content, I go ahead and share it across different social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.”
It’s sad because that’s what a majority of bloggers out there are doing.
The next question to ask is, “and then what?”
And that’s where everything falls flat. Most of them simply go back and write more content as they learn to exercise patience.
Sharing your content on social media isn’t a bad thing. But it isn’t a strategy that you can count on.
So, what works then, smart pants?
Simple: Learn to think big, you need to spend more time promoting your content than writing new ones without getting readers.
How To Promote Your Blog
- Add Share Buttons To Your Post: Creating a sharable content and adding a share button at the end of the post is a good way of promoting your blog.
- Being Active In Niche Forums: Forums can be a great tool when it comes to promoting your blog. Involve in discussion and make positive contribution with a link back to your site. Don’t spam!
- Network With Other Bloggers: Keeping good relationship with bloggers in your niche is a good start up, pinch them whenever you publish a new post and ask them to share with their social media followers.
- Guest Post On Other Blog: Search for blogs that allows guest post, send them an outreach email and tell them your guest post topic , once they approve the topic write a unique content that will add value to the blog and get a link back to your site.
Always have other bloggers in mind. Remember to mention a few of them, and it shouldn’t be that hard convincing them to suggest your blog to their readers and followers.
You’re not just writing, but establishing a good relationship with well-established bloggers.
#3: Creating a “Me-too” Blog
You want other bloggers to take note of your blog and help you share it around. But how can they when your blog is like any other blog on the internet.
A “me too” blog echoes just about anything that’s making rounds in the blogosphere. It has no distinguishing factor or anything of substance to offer to readers.
It’s a me-too blog when it’s nothing more than an echo-chamber of the same old, half-baked pabulum that everyone is publishing.
Nobody cares about such a blog, because it’s got nothing of value to offer.
The question you should be asking yourself is, “how do you plan to stand out from the 164 million blogs that exist today?”
The secret is really simple: be very specific with what you blog about or stand for.
Instead of blogging about fitness, cut down your audience to a specific niche, like “fitness for people over the age of 45.”
That pigeonhole may appear like it’s holding you to only a tiny audience, but once you succeed in owning that topic; there’s always room to target another audience, and then another until you’re able to cover everyone.
#4: Ignoring Email Marketing
It’s unnatural to run a successful blog without creating an email list.
According to stats, 73% of marketers think email marketing sits at the center of their online success.
Two successful bloggers in the financial sector, Gregory Ciotti and John Chow, when asked about the biggest mistakes they ever made as bloggers, were quick to say, “not creating an email list from the word go.”
Email marketing is the most effective channel for promoting your content – 40 times more effective than social media.
They can drive traffic to your blog. But even better, they’re a snap to create.
If anything, much of the traffic that big blogs get is as a result of email marketing.
You want to grow your list of subscribers, and that’s because email subscribers are loyal and eager to act on their promise. They’re also engaged and more likely to comment or take whatever action you have in store for them.
#5: Not Letting their Personality Shine Through
Readers don’t really care about your stories or who you are as a person – not as much as they care about the solution that you’re about to give.
However, that’s no reason to make your writing stiff. For God’s sake, you’re not writing a term paper.
Let’s be honest: no one enjoys reading a term paper. No one enjoys digging through huge chunks of texts with little to no space to breathe.
Your writing style must be effortless to read through. Both the language and style of writing must be personable.
Go slow on industry speak and jargon, and instead learn to write as you usually talk, while observing grammar.
Readers want to feel like they’re interacting with a real person, not a robot. So, while you’re writing, it’s important to create a persona and assume you’re directly addressing that person. Your writing must appear like a real-time conversation, nothing stilt.
#6: Writing Posts that are a Brain Dump
Many bloggers will come up with a topic to write about and then act on their excitement. They simply let everything slip out in a conscious flow of thoughts.
But what they end up is a subpar piece of article that isn’t anywhere close to what they had envisioned.
As a blogger, you have to understand that there’s a huge difference between reading a book and reading a blog post.
Online readers don’t dig deep into a piece of writing. They simply skim through it, hoping to pick up the main points as they go – until again, you figure out how to keep them engrossed all through.
You need to come up with a template for all your blog posts, a structure that will be guiding you all through.
Your posts need to have an outline and sectioned using header tags. It’s also crucial that you organize thoughts by highlighting the main point before getting down to the writing bit of it.
#7: Not Citing Plagiarised Content
There’s a reason the school was so opposed to the idea of plagiarism. The least you could do after copying someone else’s content is credit them.
Google is not lenient either. They have a harsh penalty for any attempted effort to plagiarise other people’s content.
It’s simple: if you didn’t write it, don’t post it. The last thing you want is for search engine bots to catch you with someone else’s post.
A verbatim rewrite of someone else’s article could get you off the hook, but it’s not going to sit well with the readers that you attract to your blog.
Editors and readers can sense if a piece of article has been plagiarized. If your voice keeps on changing with every new post that you publish, the odds are that you’re busily plagiarising other people’s posts.
There’s no harm in researching the topics that you write about. But you should at least credit the sources or acknowledge the original authors.
Learn to cite other people’s work – it’s among the few things you should be thinking of learning right at the beginning of your blogging career.
#8: Not Editing Your Posts
You’re writing shouldn’t end with the last full-stop that you make.
With every article that you produce, you have to go through it a couple of times, editing everything to the last detail.
It doesn’t matter if everything was fluid in your head or if you were psyched up to write the article. You have to polish every piece of content that you write – and not just once, but two to three times at least before publishing it.
Even the most experienced writers that you know edit their content before publishing. First drafts tend to carry a lot of grammatical mistakes, run-on sentences, and typos.
You must take your time to edit and polish it through. Make sure everything flows and that every sentence makes sense – just like it did in your head.
#9: Trying to Make Your Post perfect
Perfection is a disease that’s affecting so many bloggers.
At no point will your post ever be perfect. There will always be something that you could have done to make it better. You could have come up with wittier jokes, better phrases, and so on.
That’s the sad truth. Chasing perfection is like chasing the wind. It’s elusive, and regardless of what you do, you’re never going to catch it.
So, what do you when you’re not satisfied with the article that you wrote?
Don’t be too pedantic, and instead hit the publish button. As long as you took your time to research the topic and edited it after that, you’re free to go ahead and publish it.
You can always go back and update it. But don’t let it get to you that the article didn’t come out exactly as you wanted.
The point is, mistakes are inevitable. And regardless of how much effort you put in, some will slip through. Perhaps the article was marred with statistical inaccuracies or a typo that both you and Grammarly missed.
Don’t beat yourself up in case of any grammatical mistakes or errors. Instead, correct it and move on to the next thing. You can even ask your readers to help you correct some of the errors by reaching out to you via a link or email address that you’ve provided.
#10: Overoptimizing their Content
The general rule of blogging is that search engines come second, after the user, of course.
Quality content pieces possess two things:
- They have something of value to offer to the reader.
- They’re decently written.
However, digital marketers tend to be so much obsessed with writing for SEO that they forget about quality. Remember, search engines are only interested in what’s best for the user. All their policies and guidelines are driven by the deep desire to give users what they want.
If you think about it, the common denominator is the user. It goes on to show that the two of you pretty much want the same thing.
If users love your content, you can bet search engines will also love it.
So, instead of worrying about keyword density, content length, local modifiers, and all that, focus on offering a real solution to your readers. Focus on making your content useful and entertaining enough for your readers, and forget everything for a minute – or until you’re done with the article.
#11: Choosing a Bad Webhost
Many bloggers aren’t keen on which company they choose to host their websites.
They simply settle on the cheapest option they can find. The problem with these web hosts is that their hosting services aren’t of decent quality.
Some of these hosting services aren’t built to sustain a surge in traffic. If, say, one of your articles goes viral or an influencer decides to share it, you can bet your website will come crashing down.
That’s not to say that you should go for the most expensive web host that you can find. After all, you’re a new blogger, and it won’t make any sense for you to be shelling out $50 every month for web hosting services.
The point is to get a web host that you can be sure will be there to bail you out should you incur any problem. The moment you go online, you can’t afford to go offline for more than a few minutes. Your web host should be able to come to your rescue and get you back on within minutes.
There’s nothing wrong with going for shared hosting while you’re starting. But the more your site grows and starts attracting more traffic, the easier it should be for you to upgrade to a VPS or something better.
New bloggers like taking other people’s photos and using them on their blogs without crediting the source. As a matter of fact, crediting alone isn’t enough, you should ask for permission first.
You don’t have to own every single photo that you use on your blog. But there are credible sources for you to acquire them.
You can start by visiting the Creative Commons section of Flicker. All the photos provided there-in have no copyright claims. You’re allowed to use them any way you deem fit as long as you credit the source.
Other free options include sites such as Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexel, and so on. As long as you credit the sources, you’re free to use any image you find on any of these sites.
#13: Inconsistent Blogging
Another common mistake bloggers make is blogging only when they’re in the mood.
The other times you’ll hear them complaining about a mental block and all manner of lazy excuses.
Successful bloggers have no room for excuses. They’re disciplined enough to stay on course.
They’ll establish a regular schedule that will dictate how often they blog.
Deadlines are never missed with them since everything is planned for in advance.
So, how often should you be blogging?
Well, there’s no straight answer or number to this question. How often you blog is for you to figure out.
However, as Neil Patel puts it, you need to write a lot if you’re looking to drive more traffic. This advice holds because Neil has some really interesting stats to back it up.
Jon Morrow, on the other hand, chimes in with a contradictory statement. According to him, hammering your keyboard every day isn’t going to get your blog to the top of the SERPs.
So, what’s the best way forward?
When it comes to consistency, you have to figure out how long will it take you to come up with a quality post.
How many hours or days do you need to come up with a publishable post without sacrificing its quality?
After you have determined this, you can go ahead and pick a day or date that you’ll be publishing your posts. It can be daily, weekly, biweekly, or once a month.
The point is to have a specific day, time, or date that you’ll be publishing your posts, and it’s upon you to make sure that you’re strictly following your calendar.
#14: Being Money-oriented
You can’t start a blog hoping to apply for Google AdSense the next day and populating your blog with ads.
With blogging, it’s all about value. Instead of obsessing over money, why don’t you focus on increasing the value of your blog?
Remember, people will only pay you what they estimate your worth is. As a beginner blogger, your value is almost zero. So, unless you start working on raising it bit by bit, there’s no way you’re going to make a decent amount of money through blogging.
Learn to give, and give even more at the beginning of your blogging career before you can start earning from your effort.
Forget all about Google AdSense and everything and focus on growing your blog. Write high-quality posts and continue promoting your blog and watch it grow into something other people will love to value.
#15: Too Much Content
So many bloggers spend the bulk of their time churning out content. When they’re not writing, they’re researching on what to write next.
This makes absolutely no sense when you only have a few readers that check you out — bombarding them with so much content won’t multiply their number.
Let’s assume your website has about 100 active readers. What are the odds that some of the readers will love your posts that they’ll go tell their kith and kin to read it?
Not more than 2%.
That translates to 2 of your visitors suggesting your blogs to their friends, who may or not like it.
So, your number grows from 100 to 102 visitors. Now, how many blog posts will it take you to grow to 1000 visitors using the same approach?
Do the math, and you’ll see that it makes no sense at all. That’s no way anyone would want to grow their blog’s readership.
Instead, you should be thinking of a way to grow your visitors from 100 to about 500, and then 700, and exponentially so until you’re able to direct upwards of 10, 000 visitors to your site.
So, forget about populating your blog with posts and instead focus on promoting the little content that you have. If 100 people love your content, the chances are good that 10 000 more people will also love it. You just have to figure out how to get to them.
Again, it’s not about the quantity of content that you produce. But the quality of it all. Where you’d have used a few hours to generate a few pieces of content, use that whole time to come up with a well-researched and intelligently written piece of article that everyone will love.
Mistakes are inevitable. You’re bound to make lots of them in your blogging career. The only thing you can do is learn from them and recalibrate where necessary.
It’s even better when you’re able to identify some of these mistakes earlier on and fix them before they become incorrigible.