Looking back to when I started bogging a few years ago, I made some pretty basic blogging mistakes.
It’s safe to say the learning curve was steep. It was a new challenge that was always going to take a little while to master. I have learnt an amazing amount on my blogging journey, it’s been quite incredible actually!
Not only have I learnt, I’ve had a pretty awesome time on the way. Things that originally made me stumble are now just second nature to me, because I’ve worked hard, done lots of training, and been prepared to fail.
I’m still by no means perfect, and there’s LOADS more I need to learn and put into practice on a regular basis. I see my blogging journey as an evolution, with small improvements being made all the time.
We all make mistakes, it’s what we learn that counts
I believe we should always use mistakes and failures as mechanisms to learn and grow. Mistakes are just opportunities for improvement.
This blog is designed for people who are new to blogging to avoid some common blogging mistakes, or even as a refresher for the more experienced bloggers out there as a reminder.
Here are the top 8 most common blogging mistakes of new bloggers, as I’ve seen it and experienced it firsthand.
1. Thinking that your blog will make money straight away
I see this one all the time. In fact, I was guilty of this too when I first started out. I thought that my blog would generate revenue fairly quickly. It did not! In fact, the first site I built was not successful at all, and I realised I wasn’t as passionate about the niche I had chosen as I thought I was. I realised it was never going to be a winner, and instead I turned that into my ‘test site’. It’s the site I use to play around with testing themes and ideas on. I have zero regrets about that site, in fact I see it as the launching pad for me into my new life. It was the site that taught me several things:
- That I can achieve something I didn’t know was possible
- I can put learning into practice
- I have the know how to build any site I want
- I can create the life I want if I work hard enough
It might take you a while until you find the right niche for you, and that’s OK. A fellow blogger wrote an excellent article on this:
I didn’t fully appreciate that it takes time and effort to build a site that starts to become an authority in its niche. It does take time to build authority and influence. It takes time to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs), and it takes time to build an audience. Just because your blog exists doesn’t mean it will automatically be trusted. That takes time. And while it is taking time, you may not see any revenue. Over time, you will see a trickle, and then it will start to build. Patience and resilience is the key.
2. Thinking that people will magically find your blog
So you’ve written an amazing post. You’re rather proud of yourself for creating such an awesome post. It will help your readers solve a common problem. You’ve done all the right things – internal and external links, a video, great keyword, and beautiful images. You have a call to action and people would be crazy to not want to read your post. However, they won’t just magically find it.
You’ve only done part of the work once you’ve hit publish. You’ve actually got a lot more to do. That’s right – social media. All you introverts out there, take note. I’m an introvert too, and initially the thought of social media to promote my blog was horrendous. I still don’t love it but am getting better at this. Learning along the way and taking as many opportunities as I can to get my message out there.
You need to build into your routine what happens after you post. Ideally you should create a checklist of the social media channels you want to post in. This could also involve joining groups and posting in there if that’s allowed. Engaging in comments and conversations is important, and introducing your content as a solution to people’s problems.
You’ll need to do your research and work with the platforms that resonate with you the most. For me, those platforms are Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook (despite my love-hate relationship with it), Quora, Webtalk, and Google plus, even though it won’t be around for all that much longer. Tumblr is something I’ve just started to experiment with, and so far I like it. It will require a lot more work though before I see tangible results.
I still don’t get Instagram, even though I see MANY people have success with Instagram. That will be one of my goals for this year.
We all need to focus on our content promotion. It may be that you revisit older posts too, and re post them all on social media. Keep your content alive, and build that into your schedule. Get systematic about your content promotion and don’t underestimate its value.
3. Thinking that everyone who reads your blog will automatically want to buy what you are promoting
As a blogger, I do lots of research. I look at other blogs out there to see what I like and what I don’t like. Sometimes I pick up some great tips and tricks, and other times I learn what not to do.
One of the big no-no’s I see quite regularly is people attempting to sell things without the ‘helping’ aspect. Whilst online sales have never been higher and will only continue to grow in 2019, people are searching for answers to problems. They want information to help them make a decision. They want to trust you and what you’re saying, and that won’t happen immediately, and it certainly won’t happen without you helping them.
Your readers are human beings who have lives. They have every day problems and concerns. Your writing needs to connect with people, and help them solve problems. We all want to be helped, and we are more willing to trust people that help us. When we trust someone, we are much more likely to believe them and purchase something based on their recommendation. Treat your audience like they are the most important person on earth in that very moment, and continue to reaffirm that very idea.
Ideally your content will be engaging, and will encourage people to leave comments and interact with you. Remember that you need to humanize your content so that people connect with it and with you. Jumping straight in with ‘selling people stuff’, no matter how good that ‘stuff’ is, won’t result in the conversions you might think, even if what you’re promoting is of value.
4. That everyone including your friends and family will think it’s awesome
Unfortunately not everyone has the support of their friends and family in their online journey. That is not the case with me, I’m fortunate to have their support, but not everyone is so lucky.
I meet people online every day who are discouraged by the fact that the people they think should support them the most, don’t. For many, this can be the thing that makes them want to throw in the towel. It is possibly because others think it is unrealistic, or not as secure as a regular 9 to 5 job. There may be a whole host of reasons why people aren’t supported, and it can be overwhelming to feel like you’re doing something new on your own.
One of the incredible benefits I have found on my online journey has been the support of the community within Wealthy Affiliate, the platform I use to learn and host my websites on. There are so many ways to access support and share ideas:
There is access to live chat, and there are people to speak with and ask questions 24/7.
There are also classrooms within the training area that are filled with ways to find information and ask questions. Members post blogs daily and interact with each other for help, support and sharing.
You can also access feedback about your websites to see if they are on track or might need some improvement.
In the Wealthy Affiliate community, you feel the support every day. The community can be amazing motivators when you need a friendly ear.
5. That the more websites you have, the better
I would strongly advise against having more than one blog on the go when you are starting out. Sometimes when people start out, because they haven’t fully appreciated the first point about not making money straight away, feel that once the first blog is set up, they set up another and then another. This results in thinning out your ability to properly establish the first and start to gain authority. It means that you have multiple half-baked websites that don’t get your full attention.
I would recommend focusing your attention on a single website to establish it. Build its brand, its community, and its authority. When you are satisfied that is has a very solid foundation and is profitable, only then consider building another.
6. Thinking that you don’t need to write content all the time
I think that many people new to blogging underestimate the work that’s required to create a successful blog. It takes keyword rich content, and lots of it.
You need to treat your blog as a business. Writing a blog here and there won’t cut it. You need to be consistent in producing content over a long period of time. In order to attract traffic, you must have the content. You can never produce enough quality content.
And remember point 2 – the content is really just the start and it all comes down to content promotion.
7. That everything has to be perfect before you hit ‘publish’
Sometimes we can be paralysed into inaction because what we are doing is not perfect. It does not have to be perfect. It has to be good, but not perfect. If we wait for everything to be perfect, we won’t achieve our goals.
Don’t be afraid to hit ‘publish’. Your website may not look perfect. It may not have the perfect the theme, or the perfect menu structure. You may never find the perfect theme. However, pick one, and hit publish. Get some traction and don’t worry if it isn’t perfect.
8. That there is not a science, just do whatever and it’ll be fine!
There are some practical steps you will need to follow in order to be successful.
Whilst it might be fun to think you can do whatever you want and your blog will magically be successful, that usually isn’t the case.
You should be systematic about the way you approach your content, paying very close attention to keywords and search engine optimisation techniques.
I’ve previously written about getting your posts indexed fast, and some SEO techniques to do that:
If you want your blog to be a success, you need to take it seriously. Treat it as a business. Follow the training, learn as much as you can, and systematically apply the training.
Starting a blog is an exciting journey. It is fun, and it can also be challenging when you’re learning as you’re doing. The important thing is to make a start. Everyone will make mistakes, and that’s OK. Learning from those mistakes is the important part.
What have been your blogging mistakes and learnings? Please leave me a comment or a question and I’m always happy to help you out.