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I applaud you for reading this post. It tells me that you want your blog to succeed! I’ve started several blogs and I just cringe when I think about the beginner blogging mistakes that I made.
My hope is that after reading this post that you’ll be equipped with everything you need to make sure you’re on the right track with your blog so you don’t make the same beginner blogging mistakes that many people do make.
Beginner Blogging Mistake #1 – Not focusing on SEO
As soon as you start publish your first blog post, you’ll soon figure out that you need to get eyeballs on it. If no one comes to your site you’re going to have a hard time making money.
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is one of the best ways to get people to your site. While it’s a rather complicated traffic strategy, it boils down to the strategy of getting traffic to your site from search engines. Make sure to read my SEO guide.
If you take the time to learn it before you’ve published a lot of blog content, you’ll save yourself a lot of time by not having to go back and fix them all. Avoiding beginner blogging mistakes like this from the start will be well worth it.
2. Not Focusing On Pinterest
Pinterest is another great traffic source for bloggers. Most successful bloggers focus on Pinterest and SEO. Before I learned how to succeed on Pinterest, I wasn’t getting many Pinterest visitors to my site. Fast forward to today and it’s my number one traffic source for both of my blogs. Not using Pinterest is one of the beginner blogging mistakes you really don’t want to make.
I recommend purchasing a Pinterest course to cut the learning curve down. By doing so, you’ll learn how often to pin, how to optimize your profile properly, keyword research, and much more. Here are the two Pinterest courses I recommend buying:
- Pinning Perfect
- Pinteresting Strategies
3. Not building an email list
Not building an email list is of the mistakes beginner bloggers make. There’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in internet marketing and it is: “The money is in the list.” It doesn’t seem like anyone knows who first coined it, but it seems to have its origins in direct mail, which is over 150 years old.
An email list of subscribers is one of the very things that you truly own. Subscribers join a list via opt-in forms that ask for a name and an email address.
Bloggers love to build a list so that they can bring people back their site and make money by recommending products to their subscribers.
To build an email list you’ll need an email marketing service provider. There are lots of options for a variety of budgets. For a beginner, I recommend Mailerlite because it’s easy to use and free for your first 1,000 subscribers. Sign up for Mailerlite here.
4. Afraid to spend money
While I’m a big believer in that it takes money to make money, I still think it’s important to keep costs to a minimum. The only things I believe you should money on are a theme, tools, and plugins. Here are all of the tools I recommend.
5. Using a free WordPress Theme
Every time I used a free WordPress theme, I ended up buying a premium theme. Free themes are often designed to give you a taste of what the premium theme is like.
They don’t come with as many features and rarely come with theme support. If I had to start all over, I’d start with a paid theme right out of the gate.
Related Content: 16 Beautiful WordPress Themes To Choose From
6. Switching domain names
I’ve done this a few times and didn’t think anything of it at the time. Later on I learned that every time you switch your domain name you’re essentially starting all over with Google. It takes time for Google to index your site and get traffic.
Before you hit the purchase button, make sure that you really love the domain name. Afterwards, make the commitment to yourself that you won’t change the name in the future.
7. Quitting too early
“Patience is a virtue” William Langland
Writing Explained says that “it is a good quality to be able to tolerate something that takes a long time.” Blogging works, but it is often slow. It’s not something that will make you rich overnight. Many bloggers start earning between 6 and 12 months, and for some it takes even more time.
If you need your blog to make money, my best advice is to keep your 9 to 5 job and view your blog as a side-hustle. Don’t quit your job until you can live off your blog income for 6 months without dipping into your job income.
8. Writing what you want vs what people want
With my very first blog, I wrote about whatever I wanted. I enjoyed what I wrote about, but the blog wasn’t getting much traffic and wasn’t making any money.
Unless you’re a world class writer, I wouldn’t recommend that you just write about whatever you want. Instead, blog about what your target audience wants to read. You’ll get better at this as time goes on.
Related Content: How To Come Up With Blog Post Ideas
9. Focusing too much on social media
If you’re trying to be an influencer, then by all means work those social media platforms. In my experience, building up your blog helps build up your social media.
Social media marketing is a lot of work and isn’t really worth all the time and effort you’ll put into it. Once you reach a certain level of success, you can consider outsourcing social media management to others.
10. Thinking everything has to be perfect
Analysis paralysis is a real thing. If you overthink everything, not much will get done. Resist the urge to make everything perfect before you publish or put your site live. Your blog will always be a work in progress. You can make changes to your site and articles as time goes on.
11. Worrying too much about logos and design
I wish you could see my very first website. I paid my website designer friend a few hundred to build it. He did what I wanted regardless of best practices and, boy, was it ugly! Even after he finished with it, I kept tinkering with it over the next year until I moved on to another project.
The reason this is a mistake you want to avoid is because it’s unproductive. The two things that are worth your time are writing blog posts and getting blog traffic. Allocate as little time as possible to everything else.
12. Not choosing a niche
One of the biggest blogging mistakes is trying to be all things to all readers. You can’t possibly be a subject matter expert on everything. Your blog will succeed much better if you narrow down on a niche.
Related Content: How To Find A Niche In Fashion
13. Evergreen content vs seasonal
Evergreen content is likened to an evergreen tree. An evergreen tree stays green all year and evergreen content is content that is consumed all year regardless of seasons or holidays. Learning this lesson made a significant difference in my content marketing.
Before writing evergreen content, most of what I wrote was holiday content. I would experience nice holiday traffic, but then it would die out as soon as the holiday was over. When I started writing evergreen content, my traffic became more consistent and had less highs and lows.
14. Not posting consistently
How often you post will determine whether you’re a hobby blogger or a full-time blogger. How bad do you want success?
According to Marketing Insider Group, “Publishing 2 – 4 times per week provides the highest results in terms of both traffic.” You may be tempted to post every single day, but I would encourage you to decide how often you can post consistently while still putting out high quality posts. It’s better to go for quality than it is to go for quantity.
My best suggestion here would be to create an editorial calendar and stick to it for the next couple of years. If you need help with creating one, check out this post from my friend Eb!
15. Not treating your blog as a business
There are two main types of bloggers – hobby bloggers and full-time bloggers. There’s nothing wrong with either. Hobby bloggers typically don’t post very often and don’t make much money.
Full-time bloggers treat their blog as a business and the income shows. They are constantly learning and improving both their writing and marketing skills.
Which type of blogger do you want to be?
16. Not having a plan to monetize
You’ll get different opinions about how to monetize and when to monetize. If you want to be a full-time bloggers, then I recommend monetizing from the very beginning. This means putting ads on your site, including affiliate links, doing sponsored work, and creating digital products to sell.
Related Content: How Do Fashion Bloggers Make Money?
17. Not writing high quality posts
The brutal truth is that you can’t write a high quality post in 100 words. To get lots of traffic from Google, you’ll need to write long posts. Short blog posts simply won’t cut it!
Brian Dean of Backlinko “discovered that content that’s ranking in Google tends to be on the long side. Overall, the average word count of a Google top 10 result is 1,447 words.”
If you’re struggling to write high quality posts that are a good word count, check out Rand Fishkin’s video about creating 10x content.
Tony Robbins said it best when he said, “Success leaves clues.” My hope is that by avoiding these beginner blogging mistakes you can have a successful blog much quicker.
If any experienced bloggers are reading this and feel like I’ve left something out, please let me know and I can add it to the post.