We all make mistakes. To err is human, to forgive divine as they say? Well, as a beginner blogger you are bound to make mistakes my friend. But why not do yourself a favor and avoid the major pitfalls if you can. As a beginner blogger I know it’s exciting to want to dive in there and do everything right away, exactly the way you want to. However, you can save yourself so much time, money and anguish if you are aware of some really simple things that can help you in those first few months. I really wish I had not been such a ‘know it all’ and did some more research into what I should of ‘not’ been doing. But as they say, some of us just love to learn the hard way!
Here’s are some of the top 10 beginner blogging No-No’s you want to avoid at all costs and how to fix them to set you up on the road to be a successful blogger from the very start!
10 Mistakes New Bloggers Make
- Treating Your Blog as a Hobby and Not a Business
- Lacking a Consistent Image
- Not Building An Email List From the Git-Go
- Avoiding Tailwind
- Not Offering Freebies
- Ignoring Affiliate Links
- Not Promoting Posts Enough
- Not Guest Posting Enough
- Getting Blogger Burnout
- Comparing Yourself To The Competition
1) Treating Your Blog as a Hobby and Not A Business
Now if you’d like your blog to solely be your hobby that’s one thing of course. But if you’d ultimately like to monetize it and perhaps even make a full time living from it you must get into the habit from the start and treat it like a business.
So how do you go about this? Several ways.
- Manage your schedule. Create and carve out appropriate time and be realistic about your goals and what you want to achieve. (i.e. Make $1,000 per month to start)
- Join a mastermind expertise Facebook group
- Invest in high quality blogging services (i.e. social media automation tools, email, virtual assistant or Pinterest assistant perhaps)
- Invest in a professional blog design, email address & images
- Focus on building your brand (cohesiveness and recognizable logo)
- Choose your specific niche or a lifestyle blog
- Keep track of your earnings/expenses
2) Lacking a Consistent Image
When I first started my blog my images were colorful and eye-catching. But they lacked any type of consistency and recognition. They could of belonged to anyone. I didn’t have a logo and nothing was cohesive.
In a nutshell I was all over the place. Yes, it’s still embarrassing to look back on some of the images that I haven’t gotten a chance to replace yet with my new look.
Lack of branding is one of the first mistakes you’ll notice in a new blogger.
Creating a brand is not only important for your audience but also for your sense of identity as a blogger.
Every time you create a post and have to create a pin for it, it should literally take you no more than 3-5 minutes to do so. It should have the same 2 or 3 colors, with your text, your logo and boom! You’re done.
It should represent exactly who you are, have your amazing click ready headline and be ready to be uploaded into Pinterest or other social media platform.
This will help you with your time management and also your sanity. Now once you’re done with that part you can be creative and create 4 different pins to attract a wider audience. But the pins that are imbedded in your posts should have your unique ‘branded’ look to them.
Obviously I still need to work on this. Being a solopreneur ain’t easy.
My advice to you is to pick a free stock photo site that you really like upload your images into Canva or other program. It makes it so much more stress free!
3) Not Building an Email List
I started growing my email list right away with Mailchimp because it was free and because all the pros said you must have an email list. And it’s true! But meanwhile, I had no subscribers. 6 months into blogging I still had no subscribers. I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong.
I had heard great things from other bloggers about Convertkit and even though they charged a monthly fee I decided to try it, after all I figured I could always cancel.
In one month my list grew by over 1,000 subscribers! Imagine if I had started email marketing from day 1? My list size could have been possibly well over 10,000+ subscribers just 1 year into blogging.
The auto responder and sequence forms in Convertkit has made all the difference in my opt in sign ups. I wish I had started sooner!
You can signup for a free ConvertKit account (30 day free trial).
4) I Avoided Tailwind Like The Plague
As a newbie blogger there is a steep and vast learning curve. There is so much information to gobble down but what’s really important to know is that Pinterest is vital for growing your traffic.
For a while I was happy just pinning away manually on Pinterest. Whenever other bloggers spoke about Tailwind I just waited and put it on the backburner. Frankly, I wasn’t excited about learning about one more platform. I just wanted to write!
But, as my blog grew larger and I had more followers, more posts, and more pins I found it very hard to keep up pinning manually so I finally forced myself to learn Tailwind.
The first time I implemented Tailwind I was amazed at the HUGE difference it made in my account. I grew from 2,000 impressions daily to over 7,000.
Tailwind enabled my blog to grow in ways I never could of done just by pinning manually. Even if I was a super machine!
I joined influential tribes that re-shared my content and made it easy for me to share theirs, collaborate and boost my traffic.
But most of all I could finally pin, unlimited pins for everything for months in advance on Tailwind’s automatic scheduler.
I wrote a blog post about all the benefits that Tailwind can provide for you and how much easier it can make your life as a blogger! It’s definitely one of the ‘must have’s tools to put on your list.
Definitely don’t make this blogging no-no and don’t avoid Tailwind like I did in the beginning.
5) I Had No freebies to offer blog readers
Like I mentioned, I always had an email service provider. I started briefly on MailChimp and then switched over to ConvertKit
But what I didn’t always have was a freebie (or several) to offer my blog readers as a way to entice them to sign up for my email list.
What was I thinking? That readers would just want to sign up and subscribe to me with no incentives whatsoever. NOPE.
Readers are protective over their email addresses. We all have our inboxes overflowing with info these days. What you have to offer has to be special and worthwhile. There are other bloggers out there offering courses and entire libraries of FREE resources, lists, PDFs and digital downloads chuck full of information.
Freebies are key to keeping your readers happy. Once they see that you provide excellent FREE information, services or products only then you can lead into offering more items of value that you can charge for.
These opt-ins allow you to send freebies when people give you their email address. This lets you create attractive opt-in forms on your site and even landing pages to entice readers to sign up.
You can easily do this with a service like ConvertKit, and I definitely recommend it.
An inexpensive service I recommend to sell Digital downloadable products is SendOwl. It’s only $9 per month.
6) Ignoring Affiliate Links
Seriously, some bloggers skip affiliate marketing altogether. Maybe it sounds like it’s too hard or that it will be a waste of time, or that your followers just won’t be interested or it sounds to salesy.
But let me tell you, if you skip over affiliate marketing you are totally leaving a ton of money on the table!
And if you want to build a hugely profitable blog, affiliate marketing is one way to go about doing that.
Affiliate marketing is an inexpensive way to earn money from your blog in the form of commissions. You don’t have to create a product for yourself, and it doesn’t cost your reader anything extra.
It’s a win, win for you, your reader and the company you are promoting.
Here are some benefits of affiliate marketing:
- You can earn passive income from writing your blog posts, while promoting products that you like and use
- You can earn money potentially years down the road from it as long as you keep generating traffic
- You are helping your readers find quality products that they will find useful
- You can use social media to build your business with affiliate links as well as your blog
For more reasons why I think affiliate marketing is the #1 way to monetize your blog read my post:
Don’t make the mistake of leaving thousands of dollars on the table and skip over affiliate marketing! It’s easy to implement on your blog and there are all sorts of plugins like ThirstyAffiliates that make it super simple.
7) I didn’t promote my blog posts enough
For my weekly blogging schedule I would write about 3 blog posts per week and promote about 2 hours worth. When in all truth I should of been promoting two DAYS worth of all my content across the board.
I hated promoting my content but it was something I had to get over. After all, it is a business remember? And part of your blogging business is to promote it and advance it to the next level. Unless you only want it to be read by your family and friends:/
It’s super important for the viability of your blog to get it out there on all those social channels as soon as possible. Google will take way too long to index it organically.
There are numerous other ways to promote your blog posts too. Sign up below for my Ultimate Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts Checklist for the most exclusive ways other than just social media.
It’s so important to think of your goals. What do you want to attain with your blog? You need to have a vision. You need to always remember the WHY of why you’re blogging in the first place or you will lose your clarity along your way.
The FREE ‘Slay Your Goals Workbook’ can help you really determine where you are headed with your goals, give you a realistic timeline and offer valuable resources to stay on track.
Keep your mission and your vision statement clear in your mind. Set attainable goals. Remember your WHY, your WHAT you want to achieve, and your HOW to always keep moving ahead in your success.
This brings me to #8..
8) I Didn’t Guest Post Enough
Another very powerful way to get backlinks on your blog which is basically incoming links to your web page, is by guest posting.
Backlinks is still a major metric for ranking high in Google and other top search engines.
However, don’t make a typical SEO beginner mistake by trying to get backlinks from any ole’ place on the web not pertaining to your niche. This will discredit your site and possibly even award you with a penalty from Google. Not cool.
9) Avoid Blogger Burnout
Most people have no idea what it takes to be a blogger. It’s an all consuming task and if you’re in the thick of it you know exactly what I mean. Therefore it’s so important to pace yourself. Especially if you have a full time or part time job, children, a family, responsibilities and are blogging on top of it all.
Even if you are fortunate enough to be blogging full time you can suffer from blogger burn out big time.
Yes, blogger burnout is a very real and miserable thing. Especially if this is your one means of financial support. I admit that sometimes I would find myself writing from 7:30am after dropping my daughter at school to after 10pm at night.
This type of schedule was needless to say not very healthy mentally or physically and I reached the point where I had to drag myself over to the computer completely lackluster of all inspiration.
Fortunately I was able to fix that just by taking a couple days off from blogging.
Taking walks, having a conversation with someone, even meditating will keep you in the right mindset.
Keeping a reasonable, consistent, sustainable schedule will help your blogging career. If you let yourself get burnt out too often that will just lead to your quitting and that’s not what you started blogging for is it?
10) I Compared Myself Too Often
Comparing yourself can be good or bad depending upon your personality. For some people they thrive on competition. For me it was doomsdayville.
I would literally get overwhelmed and think how fantastic these other blogs were, how mine would never be as polished, as beautiful, as wonderful as theirs were.
And then I’d think so why bother?
Whoa! Put the brakes on!!
This is pure negative thinking and all it lead to was a whole lot of wasted time.
Remember, everyone started at the beginning at one point or another.
Instead of comparing myself to the competition I started to think to myself:
- these bloggers have been blogging for much longer
- these blogs are great and I can learn from them
- my blog has valuable information
- my blog will be beneficial to an audience one day
Don’t let other’s success block you from your potential greatness!
Now get out there and rock your blog online business or whatever you do! There’s an audience for you that’s waiting to hear your special voice!
Sign up for my ultimate ways to promote your blog and weekly tips to make a profitable living online from the start!