Mindset is 80% of your success, and I work on mine every single day.
Back when I started my first blog, it was a mess, and I’m sure I made all of these blogging mistakes.
I had no idea what I was doing, and it was like chopping wood learning how to blog.
Fortunately, I’m still here, and this is a little bit of what I learned.
Mistake #1. You’re not organized.
Remember the five Ps?
Proper planning prevents poor performance (I do have a shy inner nerd).
Stay organized from the beginning, and it will help your blog journal transform faster.
You’ll know that the first steps are done, and suddenly you won’t be at the beginning anymore.
You don’t want to skip crucial parts when you’re building the foundation of your blog, and you don’t want to get stuck in a loop.
Need to take that plunge and actually start your first blog? Read How to Choose a Blog Name with Confidence.
Struggling with keywords and SEO? Basic SEO Tips to Help People Find Your Blog
Ready to up your Pinterest game? Try this free training.
Mistake #2. Choosing the wrong topic.
The first step to becoming a successful blogger is choosing the best topic FOR YOU.
You don’t want to select a topic that has no legs or will be dead to you in six months.
It’s okay to pivot your blog topic, so you stay interested and in the game.
Which is exactly what I did, and I’m much happier for it.
I didn’t burn out on blogging or writing, I burned out on blogging about blogging.
However, it was a great experience, I made some money, and it was the only way I knew how to learn.
How do you learn to blog?
Mistake #3. You don’t want to invest in your blog.
I know how you feel. This blogging thing is brand new, and you don’t know if it’s actually going to work
Investing in your blog is investing yourself, and when you’re investing in yourself, it’s never a mistake.
Are you going to buy things you regret?
But, you’re still going to learn something, and it means you’re moving forward instead of standing still.
I’m guilty of wasting money and time on products that don’t matter to the success of my blog.
There is so much more to blogging than writing a blog post and hitting publish.
Blogging is a jack of all trades, and eventually, you become a master of some, but you can’t do that without some guidance.
Information is power, and the more you have, the more successful your blog will be.
Mistake #4. Not using a paid hosting service.
Free platforms don’t allow ads or let you sell your products.
If you set up your blog journal on a free platform like WordPress.com, Blogger or Bloglovin, running ads and selling your own product is against their terms and conditions.
You don’t own your journal… they do.
If you violate their terms, these free blogging platforms will shut you down without warning, all your hard work will be erased, and you won’t ever get it back.
The solution is to select a hosting service that:
- Meets your website needs (you only need the cheapest plan for your single website/blog)
- Has skilled support personnel
- Comes highly recommended
- Is within your budget
This is my web hosting review and how I got the best deal.
Mistake #5. No personal domain name.
I own my blog.
It’s mine, and no one can tell me what I can and can’t do.
Okay, the FTC can tell me what to do, but other than that, it’s 100% my call.
If you haven’t done it yet, get your domain name and build a blog journal that can make money.
Mistake #6. No Support
What about support from other bloggers?
Do you know any other bloggers?
Have you ever talked to another blogger?
When I started blogging, I was the only blogger I knew.
I needed a place I could ask stupid questions, a place I could go to talk about blogging.
I had no one to talk to, and I needed someone to tell me if I was going in the right direction or if I was utterly lost.
I decided to join Blog Simple Framework, but you’ll have to determine if it’s the right fit for you.
I definitely recommend getting on the email list, it helps me stay focused and keeps my head straight.
Mistake #7. A slow and poorly coded theme.
We talked about free blogging platforms, next is the truth about free themes.
Let me be the first to tell you that free themes suck!
I spent months fighting with free themes, and then out of desperation, I invested $60 in an even worse theme.
I didn’t have the technical skill to operate that theme, it was awful, and I couldn’t believe blog themes were this hard to figure out.
Turns out they’re not.
Consider these five things when choosing a theme:
- It comes highly recommended
- Compliments your blog content
- SEO optimized and mobile ready
- Includes easy tutorials for setup
- Provides support/customer service
If you’re looking for beautiful and functional, try these theme designs.
Mistake #8. Too many social media platforms.
Trying to be on all social media platforms?
You see the big shot bloggers on every platform, and you think you should be doing that too.
But you forget one small detail, those bloggers have help.
As a new blogger, you’re a one-man-band, and you can’t afford help.
You’re not even ready for help, and the only social media platform you need to be on is the one you love the most.
Trying to do more than that is the fastest way to new blogger burnout.
It happens every day.
New bloggers burn themselves out before they even get started.
Social media will kick your butt if you try to take on more than one beast at a time.
Pinterest is the fastest source of traffic for a new blog, try this free training to get you started.
Mistake #9. Saying No to SEO.
Another blogging mistake is avoiding SEO.
It’s not optional, your posts have to be optimized if you want traffic.
It takes 35 weeks for a blog post to rank on Google.
If you’re not using the right keywords and putting those keywords in the right place, it’s never going to happen.
But, how do you know if you’re doing it, right?
If you’re brand new to optimizing, get this WordPress plugin installed today.
It’s free, and it will completely transform your blog and how you feel about SEO.
Mistake #10. Writing without a cause.
You write a bunch of blog posts on random topics you’re interested in, and none of them are connected to each other, that’s a problem.
It’s an SEO problem, Google bots crawl your site to figure out your blog topic.
If your random blog posts don’t connect, they get confused, or they think you have limited information on each topic, which lowers the overall value of your blog.
SEO is about communicating with these bots and giving them clear instructions.
Without SEO, everything else you do for your blog is worthless.
Start with the basics, and you’ll catch on more and more as you go.
One basic rule of SEO is that each blog post needs to connect to at least one other blog post.
When a person starts reading your blog, they should be able to navigate all the way through without ever touching the menu button.
Try this free WordPress SEO plugin, it simplifies SEO tasks, so you begin to actually understand how to optimize.
Mistake #11. Not posting consistently.
Another great way to burn out on blogging is by posting way too often.
Crappy posts written in haste and under duress are not going to grow your blog.
Google doesn’t need more information; it needs better material.
I committed to posting twice a month when I started, and that’s all I could handle.
Now I can pump out three a week, I don’t, but I could.
The more you do it, the faster you’ll get, so don’t overburden yourself too much in the beginning.
Quality is better than quantity, quantity is inevitable if you don’t burn out and quit.
Mistake #12. Your blog posts have no structure.
You want your audience to absorb your information as efficiently as possible.
If you’re not using a blog post outline, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
It’s one of the simplest ways to write faster and create better content.
Create an outline of your talking points, so you don’t forget to add information and organize it in a storytelling way.
Start at the beginning and have a middle and an end to your posts.
Mistake #13. A great headline and opening line.
The headline is how your blog makes money.
Your blog post may be superior in every way, but it won’t matter.
The better headline will always get more clicks.
90% of the time you spend on a blog post needs to be on the headline and opening line.
First, get them to click the headline and then keep their attention with the first line of your post.
Try these phrases that keep people reading all the way to the end:
- Get this
- Picture this
- Here’s the secret
- Here’s the thing
- I mention this because
Mistake #14. No white space.
If your blog post is a massive wall of words with no white space or images to break up the text, you’re in trouble.
Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text.
It also helps the reader retain more of the information.
Not only that, but your audience wants to be entertained while they’re being informed.
A little fun and a little color always make a more enjoyable read.
Break up text with images and headings.
Notice how this blog has space after every sentence?
Since everyone is on mobile devices, one sentence looks like a full paragraph.
The white space gives the eyes a break and helps people absorb information better and faster.
Mistake #15. Hard to read font.
Reading online is much more complicated than reading on paper.
Imagine one of these fonts in a wall of words with no pictures, graphs, or space in-between.
After two seconds of trying to see the words, your reader is exhausted, and they leave.
The font alone can ruin your chances of becoming a successful blogger.
It’s one of the smallest mistakes new bloggers make, but it can destroy your entire blog all by itself.
Mistake #16. Not knowing what audience to target.
Who are you trying to connect with, and do they know that?
First, we talk about communicating with Google, and at the same time, you have to write for humans too.
Two languages in one blog post, bloggers, are very talented.
This is another SEO issue. If you don’t know what type of person you’re talking to, how will Google know?
The solution is to think of your audience as one person.
You want to answer this one person’s questions and find solutions to this one person’s problems. Where there’s one, there’s more.
Mistake #17. Getting discouraged by small amounts of traffic.
Another blogging mistake to avoid is focusing on your lack of traffic.
- What are you planning on doing with that traffic once you get it?
- Are you ready to collect emails?
- Do you have any affiliate products to sell?
- Is there a way for readers to follow you on social media?
- What are people supposed to do once they get to your blog?
These all need to be double-checked and in place before you start bringing heavy traffic to your site.
Don’t get ahead of yourself, all that traffic will be useless if it’s doesn’t convert into an email or a sale.
Mistake #18. Comparing yourself to others.
You know you’re doing it.
It’s the most self-sabotaging of all the mistakes bloggers make. Blogs are as individual as the blogger, and there are no set rules.
What works for them may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for them.
Stop comparing your day one to their day four thousand nine hundred and sixty-two.
Otherwise, you go insane with depression, and your blog fails.
Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to suck the fun out of anything.
When I’m in the weeds, I remind myself that there is a solution and that I will find it.
I take a break and come back determined, and it works every time.
This leads me to believe that successful blogging is more about determination than anything else.
Bloggers are hardcore, they don’t let it go or give it up.
We want answers, we want solutions, and we’re willing to stick it out until we find some.