Business blogging has offered millions a platform to share thoughts, connect with others, be famous, and become rich. Despite its alluring potential, many aspiring bloggers still find it a frustrating endeavor rather than a passion project, as one would wish.
That is why I‘ve made this guide so you know the common blogging mistakes to avoid before you start blogging.
Let’s do this :
Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
Along my blogging journey, I’ve encountered my fair share of pitfalls and missteps, which have taught me valuable lessons about the ways of the blogging world. I will help you navigate this exciting yet challenging journey by introducing you to the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid to grow your blog :
Using the Brand Name for Your Blog
A brandable name is a catchy, memorable name that doesn’t immediately explain what a business does. It’s like Google, McDonald’s, Disney, HBO, or Shopify. These names are unique and easy to remember but don’t rely on specific keywords such as ‘smart blogger ‘.While these brand names make these big brands look professional and cool, they can be the wrong name for your blog.
So if you’re a new blogger with a brand name or a personal or memorial name as your domain name, let me talk you out of this big mistake. Here are a few reasons why you should not use these names for your business blog :
- Limits blog growth and potential by restricting the audience and content direction.
- Impedes ranking due to unclear domain name relevance.
- Misleads readers by not accurately reflecting blog content.
- Poses legal risks if similar to existing trademarks.
- Hinders creativity and branding options.
Is there a better option? Yes, opt for a blog name that is specific to your niche. This will make it easier for people to find your blog in search results, giving you a clear focus for your content. You can still use your name in your blog’s branding, but it should not be the main focus.
Here are a few tips for choosing a good blog name:
- Ensure it’s relevant to your niche. One blog that has done this well is minimalists.com, which focuses on minimalism. Another blog is 101cookbooks.com, where Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks focus on healthy everyday recipes.
- Make it easy to spell and remember. For example, smartblogger.com, allinblogger.com etc.
- Make it exciting and unique, like lifehacker.com, and copyhackers.com, which are doing well.
And remember, once you’ve chosen a blog name, stick with it. Changing your blog name can confuse your readers and hurt your search engine rankings.
Blogging Without a Niche
Let me start this with a story of someone you may know. If you have been blogging for a while, you must have encountered Darren Rowse. He is a renowned Australian blogger behind ProBlogger.He occasionally shares this story about how he was initially unsure about niching in blogging. His first blog, ProBlogger, was a personal blog that covered a wide range of blog topics. From spirituality to photography to Australian pop culture.
However, he soon realized that this approach needed to be revised. His audience was becoming increasingly fragmented, and he was receiving complaints from readers who were uninterested in all the topics he covered.
After much thought, Darren broke his blog into multiple niche blogs, each focusing on a specific topic. This proved to be a much more successful strategy. His audience responded well to the change, and he built a much larger and more engaged following for each blog.
Here’s why niche sites have worked for bloggers like Darren :
- Expertise and Authority: Niching down allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field. Your readers will recognize your depth of knowledge and trust your insights, leading to a loyal following.
- Targeted Audience: By defining your niche, you can tailor your content to a well-defined audience’s needs and interests. This targeted approach resonates better with readers, making them more likely to engage with your blog.
- SEO Advantage: Search engines love niche blogs because they indicate what the site is about. It will also make it easier for your blog to rank for relevant keywords, attracting more organic traffic.
So yes, if we go by Darren’s experience, most successful bloggers profit from their blogs niching down to a more targeted audience.
Using the Wrong Blogging Platforms Instead of WordPress
WordPress is like the superhero of blogging platforms. And this is not just about my preference. WordPress is the best option for any blogger. Why? You may wonder? It has already powered over 810 million websites, which only tells you that over 40 % of bloggers worldwide recognize its value.
By value, I mean this platform that gives you complete control over building your blog. So you can customize it to fit your content, add as many plugins and features as you like, and scale it to meet your growing needs. While WordPress may have a slightly steeper learning curve than Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly, it is a more robust and versatile platform. It will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.
But for new bloggers, this may look like a big marketing gimmick. Brands always look like the ultimate choice, even though they may not provide any value. So, let me introduce you to other widely used CMS platforms. You will come across Weebly, Squarespace, Google Sites, Blogger, Wix, and Joomla. They’re not the worst because they also have their share of users, and most people can swear by some of these platforms. Some, like Wix and Weebly, even provide a free plan and many templates to make your blog look the best.
However, the drawback of these platforms is that the free plan may need to look more professional, and your audience has to deal with intrusive ads. And even if you opted for their premium plans, there are still limitations. The first limitation is price. For instance, Wix will cost you between $4.50/month and $24/month, depending on the size of your business. This is expensive, considering the cheapest plan will have the most limited space, which means scaling on a budget may not work for you. But if you go with WordPress, you can start a blog with just $70/year for the most basic plan.
The other limitation you may experience with these platforms is integration with third-party tools and plugins. For instance, these platforms may work differently than other apps such as Shopify and WordPress would.
Not Understanding Your Audience
The internet is now one of the most competitive places, and countless voices are vying for attention. So, not grasping your audience is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger. Yet, many bloggers don’t pay more attention to this fundamental principle, ignoring the readers they want royalty and money from.
Here’s an example of a blogger who will fail: Luke is a finance advisor who runs a personal finance blog and aims to help millennials with general financial planning. He needs to write articles targeting them but regularly publishes articles advising middle-aged professionals about personal finances. So, he is going to an older demographic because they resonate with him more, but if he were to share that content with millennials, he would not get any results. And the worst part is that he may not even fully help middle-aged professionals because, in his mind, he’s helping millennials.
So, what are the consequences of targeting everyone on the internet? Well, you will have to deal with low engagement, declining readership, and, ultimately, the demise of your blog. The answer lies in deep-diving into your audience’s demographics, interests, and pain points. Utilize social media analytics, conduct surveys, and engage with your readers directly to create audience-centered content.
Choosing the Wrong WordPress Theme
WordPress has thousands of themes to make your blog functional and attractive. However, some of these themes may slow down your blog or not align with your niche. So, while selecting a theme, think of it like choosing the perfect outfit for an important event. You want to wear something comfortable that matches the kind of event that you’re attending. For instance, if you show up at a black-tie event in flip-flops, You will feel like you don’t belong, and that’s an awful experience at the party.
Similarly, a theme defines your style and sets the tone for your online presence. It gives your blog aesthetic functionality and enhances user experience. So, If the theme is slow to load and lacks functionality, you’ll miss out on traffic email sign-ups, and there’s no doubt that search bots will also notice users don’t like your site, which negatively affects your ranking. According to Google’s latest data, 53 % of users bounce from a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load – that’s potential readers slipping through the cracks.
Another thing faulty themes have is poor responsiveness on mobile devices. Most themes will work seamlessly on desktop but disappoint your mobile users. These days, people are increasingly using their mobile devices to access the internet, so ensure the theme is mobile-friendly.
Finally, ensure it is easily customizable; some have such a basic interface. Customization meets your branding goals since inconsistent colors and design are not the best way to present yourself online to people who rely just on your blog to trust you.
Since there are plenty of WordPress themes online, carefully consider your blog’s objectives, target audience, and brand identity before selecting a theme. Read reviews, test demos, and ensure the theme matches your plugins and WordPress version.
Selecting a Poor Hosting Provider
Another common blogging mistake bloggers make is choosing a WordPress host that cannot offer proper site maintenance. Your host is like the backbone of your website. Your hosting provider influences your website’s speed, reliability, and performance. So if you pick the wrong one, you will never know 24/7 availability, you will be prone to malware attacks, or it will always take forever to load your website content.
So, if your services are inaccessible, you will never sell anything or even earn pay-per-click platforms like Google AdSense. Google says that even a mere one-second delay in page load time can affect your sales by 20%. Now, you can imagine what happens when you’re constantly experiencing slow performance and downtimes.
But don’t worry. There are reliable WordPress hosting companies that are secure and faster on any device. I’ve been using Cloudways for my blog, and I would highly recommend this company since I have had the best blogging experience working with them. Another recommendation I can give away is not to make your buying decision purely based on low prices and to prioritize quality. Cheap hosting looks good when you watch those marketing videos, but it will cost you more in the long run. Consider essential features like speed, customer support, and security to support your blog’s growth.
Regarding consistency, I like to use Seth Godin’s “shipping daily” concept. Seth emphasizes that “shipping daily ” inspires people to take action and get things done consistently. So, if you can use shipping daily on your blogging journey, you can develop the discipline to write your blog posts consistently.
But what does it mean to blog inconsistently? Simply put, it’s like playing a game of hide and seek with your audience. You’re hiding instead of trying to win them with your articles. You do sporadic posts here and there, with long gaps in between. This results in readers visiting your blog hoping to find new posts, insights, and ideas. But since you only publish sporadically, they lose interest and may even forget your blog.
Here are some tips for helping you blog consistently:
- Create a content calendar: A calendar will help you plan your blog post ideas and blogging strategies.
- Set realistic goals: Don’t start by doing too much. Start by setting a goal of posting once a week, and then gradually increase your frequency as you get more comfortable.
- Break down every piece of content into smaller tasks: This will make them seem more manageable and help you stay focused.
- Find a writing routine: Set aside a specific time each day or week to write new content or update old posts.
- Feel free to ask for help: Reach out to other bloggers for advice or even ask them to guest post on your blog.
To be fair, building a blog is hard sometimes, and one can lose interest, especially in the first days. Fortunately, there’s hope if you’re writing consistently to keep up with your publishing demands.
Covering Too Many Topics
First, let me clarify that this blogging mistake is separate from not having a niche blogging. There’s a clear distinction between lacking a niche and failing to narrow down within a chosen niche. While I have also emphasized that niching down is the key to building a successful blog, more than merely selecting a broad subject area is needed.
You should also focus on a specific topic within your industry. Narrowing down will help you attract a more targeted audience and enhance your potential to claim expertise in that area. For instance, let’s say you’re blogging about cooking. That sounds great, right? Besides, this niche is one of the most viable blogging ideas and holds great potential to gain followers and earn lots of money.
Therefore, there’s no way you would cover every aspect of culinary arts, like baking, regional cuisines, vegan diets, meal planning, kitchenware, etc. In this case, you will need a blog focused on one specific topic, like vegan cuisine. This can help you adopt a theme of sustainable living, incorporating tips on eco-friendly cooking practices and highlighting the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. This unifying theme would strengthen the value of your blog to readers passionate about veganism and sustainability.
Missing SEO and Keyword Research
Recently, this meme was trending in the blogging community, and people had fun sharing it all over social media. The meme stated, “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results.”No matter how funny this sounds, this is one of the most common blogging mistakes beginners make and it is a harsh reality that many bloggers face. This means that their content remains buried in the depths of search engine results, invisible to the eyes of potential readers.
So why does SEO matter in blogging? Your blog relies on search engines like Google to reach millions of internet users daily. For example, if you type a short query on Google looking for red running shoes, you will see online shops and blogs covering the topic or selling the shoes appear. This means that companies like Adidas or Amazon invest heavily in SEO by investigating what queries or keywords their potential customers use while looking for their products.
Even though you may not be one of those giant brands like Amazon, you can still master SEO and rank on the first page of Google. Follow these tips, and you will be fine :
- Create audience-friendly content: Your blog posts should cover what will keep online visitors coming to your website. Which tells Google your content is suitable for its users.
- Use relevant keywords throughout your content. Use relevant keywords every time you’re writing blog posts to help Google rank you higher in search results.
- Optimize your website for technical SEO. Ensure your website loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, and readers can easily navigate the site structure.
- Build backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other authoritative websites to your website and are a significant factor in search rankings.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends. SEO constantly changes, so staying current on the latest trends and best practices is essential. Check the Google Search Status Dashboard and Search engine news for the latest SEO news and courses.
- Be patient. SEO takes time and effort to see results, so keep going even if you don’t see immediate results. As long as you’re following SEO best practices, you will eventually see results such as making money blogging.
Not Doing Internal Linking
Internal linking is simply linking one page of a website to another page within your website. For these links to work, you’ve to use hyperlinks(The blue underlined text), which then guide users to the linked-to piece of information, which could be another web page, an image, a video, or even a file. Take a look at the following examples and see how internal linking works.
- I’ve got an article about WordPress hosting and linked other relevant posts on the same website. Those would be related topics like WordPress themes, WordPress hosting providers, Cloudways reviews, etc. See the post here.
- When you visit websites like Amazon, they have a product page linking to related products or accessories. See this product page for reference.
- My website’s home page links to different sections or categories within my website.
- I have a “Related Articles” section at the end of each post I publish, linking to other articles on the same topic. See this example.
Internal linking also has numerous benefits to your website. Firstly, it enhances easy navigation within your site. For instance, your readers can seamlessly explore your website, enticing them to stay on your site for longer. If readers have a good experience on your page and last long, this brings our second benefit. The perk is search engine optimization (SEO). This is because if your pages are strategically linked, you can distribute the ranking power of one page to others. As a result, search bots will prioritize your website’s visibility in search results, but only if you’re blogging consistently.
Also, remember that you should do internal linking correctly to avoid making link authority from other pages go to waste. Here are some best practices to observe :
- Avoid excessive linking because it’s terrible for SEO.
- Only link to relevant content. Your hyperlinks have to direct the reader to related articles or downloads.
- Use descriptive anchor text. Don’t use a “click here” kind of hyperlink.
Writing Without Proper Formatting
You may be one of those bloggers who diligently publish posts regularly but neglect proper formatting. If this is you, you’re undermining all of your content marketing efforts and look severely unprofessional. Formatting creates a seamless reading experience for your readers, as they can quickly scroll through your articles and reward you with engagement and traffic.
A poorly formatted post lacks the structural elements and visual cues necessary for easy reading and comprehension. It can be characterized by:
- Dense text blocks without headings or bullet points.
- Inconsistent font styles and colors.
- Lack of white space between text and paragraphs.
- Missing visual elements like images, screenshots, or infographics.
- Grammatical errors, typos, and punctuation mistakes.
- Inconsistent use of headings, subheadings, and numbering.
- Long, rambling paragraphs without clear transitions.
- Inappropriate use of jargon, informal language, or slang.
- The uneven tone between formal and informal language.
- Unedited content with errors and inconsistencies.
Formatting while publishing, shows your audience that you value their time and appreciate their willingness to immerse themselves in your writing. While well-formatted posts enhance the reader’s experience, they are also suitable for your credibility, positioning you as a trusted source of information within your niche.
Not Promoting Your Blog Posts
Have you ever wondered why some brands are superior, yet there are better alternatives? They’ve convinced consumers they are the best option using commercials and social media channels like YouTube ads. So, it would help if you also emulated them and persistently promoted your new blog posts on various platforms. Promoting your content ensures you gain visibility and drive traffic to your blog, which is how you make money with your blog.
Promoting your posts isn’t easy, though. You must determine the best way and specific channels to use so it doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Share your blog posts on social media apps: Use Quora, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to educate and entertain your followers with your content. Make use of social media best practices like relevant hashtags to increase the chances of engagement.
- Engage with online communities: Don’t isolate yourself, especially if you’re new to blogging. Join online forums, groups, and communities related to your blog’s niche to engage in discussions to attract interested readers. Respect their rules and members when sharing posts or affiliate links.
- Guest blogging: Pitching guest posts on other blogs in your niche exposes your content to a broader audience and establishes you as an expert. Please ensure you read their guide to writing a blog post. Additionally, you can also invite other bloggers to write for your blog.
- Email marketing: Don’t blog without an email list in place. Send newsletters featuring your latest content and encourage subscribers to share it with their networks.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Use Surfer or Google search console to discover relevant keywords to improve their ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). One example of a blog that has succeeded using SEO is the Search Engine Journal. They’ve thousands of people reading their articles daily and rank for several digital marketing topics.
Remember, promotion is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Whether you’re a new blogger with just 10 articles or have years of blogging under your belt with millions of followers, you must promote every single blog post to gain and maintain continuous visibility.
Not Building Your Email List
One of the top blogging mistakes people make is just focusing on social media as the go-to marketing tool, making them overlook the importance of building an email list. While social media is necessary, it is costly to use without an email list. Social media accounts are susceptible to suspension, algorithm changes, and platform closures. But an email list remains under your control, providing a direct and reliable channel to connect with your audience.
So what can emails do for you? With email marketing, you can send personalized messages and exclusive content and promote your articles or products. So, community building is accessible since you can address them directly, forging deeper relationships with your subscribers. Another cool thing with emails is that you segment your email list. This can help you target promotions and recommendations to specific audience groups, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.
To get started with email marketing is easy. First, you must find an email platform that aligns with your blogging needs, such as number of subscribers, data privacy, and ease of use. Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Mailer lite, Active Campaign, Convert Kit, and many others are the most popular platforms. Some of them, like Mailerlite, have a free plan perfect for beginners. Also, keep in mind that some companies, like Constant Contact, have no freemium version but offer a free trial period.
Here are additional tips to help you build an effective list :
- Design appealing opt-in forms with clear value propositions.
- Place opt-in forms prominently and add CTAs to your blog so that people can sign up.
- Offer incentives like exclusive content or discounts for subscribing.
- Promote your email list through social media and other channels.
- Deliver high-quality, engaging content to email subscribers.
Forgetting to Track Your Blog Performance
In the list of blogging mistakes, this one would win. Many bloggers are intimidated by analytics, thinking it’s a complex thing only tech-savvy individuals can handle. However, we now have AI-powered tools that simplify blog performance tracking. But how exactly do these metrics connect to writing and publishing?
You can track your blog’s overall performance daily, monthly, or even annually using analytics tools like Google Analytics. You will also quickly identify trends in your traffic, most searched queries, engagement, and conversions.
This information can help you understand what your audience is interested in and how they’re interacting with your content. For example, if you see that your most popular posts are about a particular topic, you can create more content on that topic. Or, if your traffic is declining, you can try different strategies that work just for your blog.
But you don’t have to focus on all the results you can see. Narrow down to essential metrics like :
- Traffic: This is the number of visitors to your blog. Check their location, topic of interest, and device used.
- Engagement: How engaged are your visitors with your content? Focus on metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and social shares to know if people are interested in your articles or products.
- Conversions: Investigate the number of visitors who take a desired action on your blog, such as signing up for your email list or purchasing.
Although Google Analytics is the most popular tracking tool, other options like Clicky, Plausible Analytics, Ahrefs, Semrush, and many more exist. They will also do an excellent job of helping you with audience analysis, empowering you to make informed decisions regarding your blog’s direction. So, take advantage of the opportunity to track your progress and write your best blog posts.
Not Building Backlinks
What are backlinks? Backlinks are like votes of confidence from other websites. The more backlinks your blog has, the higher it will rank in search results. This means more people will see your blog and read your content.
The best way to earn backlinks is to create high-quality content that people with great websites might want to link to. With well-researched articles, you don’t need to contact people or websites to get a backlink. They will be happy to do it. So many authority sites are already linking back to bloggers like Brian Dean or Maria Forleo because their content is liked by millions of people and ranking on Google. But if you’re pretty new in the game, you can contact other bloggers and authority websites in your niche and ask them to link to your content.
Another critical thing to note is that link-building is not an isolated activity. Collaborate with other bloggers, influencers, and brands to create mutually beneficial content. For example, you could guest post for another website, do a podcast, or make a video with an influencer.
However, besides backlinks, there are other ways to build relationships with other bloggers and websites. If you use it alone, it may give little results. But if you use it consistently, along with other promotional methods, you will naturally earn backlinks to help your blog succeed.
Blogging Mistakes FAQs
How to Be a Successful Blogger?
The first step towards success in blogging is setting up your blog and overcoming the initial hurdle of publishing that first post. However, the journey doesn’t end there. You must also set clear and well-defined goals for your blog and commit to what’s necessary to keep the blog running. For example, ensure you select a suitable niche for your blog, regularly publish a new blog post, and promote your content if you want your blog to succeed.
Which Mistakes Do Bloggers Usually Make?
Bloggers often make mistakes in their blogging business all the time. Some common mistakes I see are; lacking a clear purpose, covering too many blog post topics, ignoring their target audience, choosing the wrong web hosting company, neglecting SEO, and writing poorly formatted content. However, if you follow my recommendations above, you can avoid common mistakes bloggers make and increase your chances of attracting traffic to your blog.
What Are the Reasons for a Blog’s Failure?
While I insist that blogging works, unfortunately, many beginner bloggers fail. Why? As a blogger, you need to know how to use effective strategies to generate traffic to your blog and the ability to maintain growth once you achieve it. To safeguard your blogging aspirations, actively engage with established blogging communities.
These supportive networks provide free blogging tips and support, empowering you to confidently run your blog and increase your chances of successful blogging.
Blogging is still one of the best ways to monetize your content and earn a stable income. However, most people make huge blog mistakes, so not everyone will see blogging success. After months of hard work, some struggle to get a few readers because they know nothing beyond hitting the publish button.
But if you save this post in your bookmarks for when you start a blog, it helps you avoid mistakes and know what exactly to do to start making money from your blog. That’s because you have a list of mistakes (pun intended ).
Therefore, you will help break the cycle of failing blogs and make your blogging career profitable.