If you’re a new blogger, you’ve probably felt both the excitement but the overwhelming nature of blogging.
Whether you’re a new blogger or old, we’ve all been through the beginning blogger stages and have made plenty of mistakes along the way.
Here are 10 common mistakes new bloggers make and how to fix them.
1) Not Creating a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Probably one of the top things new bloggers struggle with the most is creating a realistic publishing schedule. When you first start blogging, you’re likely full of ideas and excited. You might even publish once a day, or multiple times a day.
While you might be able to sustain that, trust me, it will be difficult, and you’ll risk burnout. We all know bloggers who jump right out of the gate when they start their site, only to abandon it months later.
If you want to be a successful blogger in the long-term, you’ll need to figure out a schedule. The key to blogging is to publish content consistently, not just when you feel like it. So decide 1) how often will you publish and 2) what days and times will you publish?
Having a schedule will ensure that you always have content available for your readers and it will keep you sane. If you aren’t sure where to start, it’s best to underestimate how much you will post. Start with one post a week and go from there. Your readers might be disappointed if you start posting less, but they’ll be excited if you post more.
Solution: Create a simple Excel sheet of content ideas and dates when you will publish. Here is a free download for 2017.
2) Running on a Free Site Instead of a Self-Hosted Site
If you’re unsure about blogging, it can be tempting to start a free website through WordPress.org, Blogger, or SquareSpace, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Starting your own self-hosted blog is extremely affordable and easy to do. You can even find a step-by-step tutorial here. For a few dollars a month, you can have your very own website.
Having a self-hosted website is important for numerous reasons. First, it sounds and looks more professional. Second, you can’t advertise on a third party platform. It will be almost impossible to monetize. Further, if you run a self-hosted blog, you own everything and can make all of the changes you want. There are no restricting “rules” to follow.
Solution: Start your very own self-hosted blog on Bluehost and follow the installation instructions here.
3) Publishing Big Blocks of Content
If you look at this website, you’ll notice that we like to use many tiny paragraphs instead of large blocks of text. Why is that?
Well, a 1,500 word blog in block text looks like a book. It’s overwhelming to read, and it’s just hard to look at. On the other hand, 1,500 words broken up seems like a short article.
Further, broken-up content ranks better with Google, making it easier to find for potential readers.
Solution: In the world of blogging, you’ll have to loosen up on all the rules you learned in English. Add more breaks than you think you should, and always aim to create more white space on your blog.
4) Focusing on Profits Instead of Content
It’s no secret that blogs can be profitable. In fact, we talk about it a lot on Young Adult Money. However, focusing entirely on profit as a new blogger will leave you sorely disappointed and frustrated.
In order to become a profitable blog, you need to have visitors. And in order to have page views, you need strong content and marketing of that content.
Like they say, content is king. You can focus on site design, marketing, and resources all you want, but if you lack strong content, you won’t be able to monetize like you hope.
Solution: Hit pause on attempts to monetize your site until you have plenty of solid content and a plan to market it.
5) Being Afraid to Reach Out to Other Bloggers
When you first start blogging, it can be intimidating to reach out to other bloggers, especially bloggers who have been in the business for awhile and own big sites.
It’s time to get over that fear. While not everyone will respond, you’d be surprised how many do. Bloggers typically enjoy expanding their network, and having fellow blogger friends is invaluable.
Unlike many fields, blogging, at least from my experience, is collaborative versus competitive. You can learn a lot from other bloggers and gain exposure by collaborating on guest posts or freelance writing for them.
At the the very least, make sure you follow and comment on other blogs regularly. Not only does this expand your network of bloggers, but it allows you to gain exposure from their sites.
Solution: Follow other bloggers on websites like Bloglovin and comment frequently.
6) Using Pictures Incorrectly
No matter what your blogging niche is, you need at least one picture to market your blog. Some types of niches, like fashion or travel blogs, likely include multiple pictures. To avoid any future trouble, it’s important to understand how photo copyrights work.
Unfortunately, if you simply Google an image of what you are looking for and put it on your blog, you are probably violating copyright rules. Even if you link it back to the original source, the risk is still there.
Every photo on the internet has some degree of copyright. It can get confusing to understand what the rules are for each individual image.
A simple solution is to only use Creative Common images. You can find them on Flickr or various websites like Unsplash. You simply add a link with the photographer’s name to the photo.
Another option is to take all of your own photos. Just make sure you make it clear what your permissions are for those photos so no one else steals them.
Solution: Do your research before you use a photo on your blog. If you’re unsure, always use Creative Common photos or take your own.
7) Having an Inconsistent Tone
Believe it or not, your tone can influence how your readers view your site. If you write very properly on one post, while the next is filled with slang, your readers might become confused of who you are as a writer.
Solution: Go with your natural tone and decide to stick to it. Whether you’re casual and funny, or formal and serious, be consistent in how you write.
8) Having Too Many Niches
Many bloggers start writing about a wide array of topics. While a blog should be based off what you enjoy writing about, it will be difficult to gain much of an audience or build income without a focused blog.
Knowing bloggers make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts, you have to be considerate of who your audience is. It’s more appealing to others if you look like an expert in one niche versus a generalist in every topic. If you want to make money from blogging, pick one or two related concentrations and focus entirely on them.
Solution: Become a master of one topic instead of spreading yourself too thin.
9) Not Backing Up Their Site
Old bloggers are probably just as guilty of this mistake, but backing up your site is a must.
Every little change or spam attempt threatens the security of the site. Unless you’re an expert about security, there is only so much you can do to prevent your site from disappearing.
The good news is you can salvage your site if you keep it backed up. Plugins like Backup Buddy make it very easy to back up your site on a regular basis.
Solution: Look into options to backup your site and create a schedule to ensure this is done regularly.
10) Not Engaging in Comments
Comments on your blog mean that you are getting readers to become very interested in what your site is about. It’s a very good thing. No one likes to be ignored, so make sure you take care of your readers by responding to their comments and questions.
Remember that people want to get to know you as a blogger. Even the best big-time bloggers will reply to comments and interact with their audience, because it shows that they value their readers.
Solution: Make it a point to reply to every single comment, no matter if they are long or short, or positive or constructive.
Want to start a blog? Use our quick guide to get started today!
Already a blogger? Here’s 30+ Ways to Improve Your Blog.
What mistakes did you make when you first started blogging? What advice do you have for new bloggers? If you are a new blogger, is there anything on this list that you can improve upon?