Top 10 New Blogger Mistakes – And How to Fix Them
Making mistakes is a given when venturing into anything new, and the best way we as humans learn. As a beginner blogger you are bound to make a whole lot of mistakes. But why not do yourself a favor and avoid some of the major pitfalls if you can. You can save yourself so much time, money, and anguish if you are aware of some very simple and quite common mistakes that frequently occur in those first few months. Do yourself a favor and don’t take the hard route. Learn from those who have been there and avoid these errors. And if you recognize that you’ve already done some of these things, then there are easy fixes towards mending them.
Here’s are some of the top 10 (actually 11) beginner blogging No-No’s you want to avoid at all costs, and ways to fix them to set you up on the road to be a successful blogger from the very start!
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10 Big Mistakes New Bloggers Make
1) Treating Your Blog as a Hobby and Not A Business
Now if you’d like your blog to solely remain a hobby that’s one thing of course. But if you’d ultimately like to monetize it and make some serious money from it month after month, you must get into the habit from the start and treat it like a full blown business.
So how do you go about this? Several ways.
First things first get a self hosted blog, i.e. WordPress.org and a custom domain name.
**Note – if you’re on a free blogging platform like WordPress.com or blogger.com you will not be able to monetize your blog and you don’t own it.
With WordPress.org you have full control over your website, can advertise, install tracking analytics insights, and are free to customize it anyway ole’ way you like.
- Manage your schedule. Create and carve out appropriate times and be realistic about your goals and what you want to achieve. (i.e. Make $2,000 per month to start)
- Join a mastermind expertise Facebook group
- Invest in high quality blogging services (i.e. social media automation tools, email marketing, hire a virtual assistant or a 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
- Keep track of your earnings/expenses with good software
- Using a free CRM system to keep track of leads
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 blogger mistakes you’ll notice in a newbie.
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 3 to 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.
It literally takes a few minutes to change the text and you’re on your way.
Here are 25 of the best sites for professional free stock images:
3) Not Building an Email List
This is a huge blogger mistake and one that many still make.
I started growing my email list right away with MailChimp because it was free and because all the blogging pros said you absolutely must have an email list.
It felt strange because 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 relatively high monthly fee I decided to try it, after all I figured I could always cancel.
In one month my list grew by over 500 subscribers! Imagine if I had started email marketing from day 1? My list size could have been possibly well over 1500+ subscribers just 1 year into blogging.
A little over 2 years into blogging I now have over 20K email subscribers!
The ability to create attractive auto responders, landing pages and sequence forms in Convertkit has made all the difference in my sign ups.
I wish I had started sooner!
You can signup for a free ConvertKit account (30 day free trial).
4) Not Using Scheduling Tools
As a newbie blogger there is a steep and vast learning curve. There is so much information to gobble down, break apart and put into use, but what’s really important to know is that Pinterest is a 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. Big blogger mistake that set me back months!
At the time I wasn’t excited about learning about one more platform. I just wanted to dive in and write my posts!
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 pinning machine!
I now get over 600K viewers.
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.
Read my 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 avoid Tailwind like I did in the beginning.
5) Not Offering Opt Ins
Like I mentioned, it’s vital to have an email service provider.
But what I didn’t 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. Ah, NOPE.
This blogger mistake fails to account for the fact that readers are highly protective over their email addresses. Everyone’s inboxes are overflowing with info these days. What you have to offer must to be extra special, different and worthwhile.
Freebies are key to keeping your readers happy. Once your reader sees that you provide excellent FREE information, services or products only then you can lead into offering more items of value that are worth charging 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, or Lead Pages, 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
Blogger mistake #6!
Some bloggers skip affiliate marketing altogether and I really don’t understand it. 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 they don’t want to appear spam like.
But let me tell you, if you skip over affiliate marketing you are totally leaving a ton of money behind.
And if you want to build a hugely profitable blog, like Pat Flynn or the Penny Hoarder or Shout Me Loud and many other highly profitable blogs, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways 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 these posts:
Don’t make the mistake of leaving potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table and skip over affiliate marketing!
It’s very easy to implement on your blog and there are all sorts of plugins like ThirstyAffiliates that make it super simple.
This free program can help you get started understanding how to become a master affiliate marketer and they have a very helpful community as well.
7) Not Promoting 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.
The truth is I really hate promoting my content but it was something I had to get over. After all, it is a huge part of treating your blog as a business.
If you want your blog to advance to the next level promotion is a must.
It’s so important for the viability of your blog to get it out there on all those social channels as soon as possible.
Google will take much too long to index it organically.
Read the post below how to promote your blog for 45 super tips!
This post gives you numerous ways to promote your blog posts other than just on 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 blogging planner from Designer Blogs 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 blogging mistake #8..
8) Ignoring Guest Posting
Another very powerful way to get backlinks on your blog which is basically incoming links from other reputable sites back to your web page, is by guest posting.
This blogger mistake is typically not accomplished until one has accumulated some good solid content to share.
Backlinks are 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 old place on the web not pertaining to your niche.
This will discredit your site and possibly even award you with a penalty from Google. Huge bummer!
And whatever you do – don’t buy links!
Intimidated by SEO? Don’t be. Get our complete guide to unravel the mysteries of SEO and start driving more traffic to your blog with this:
9) Ignoring Blogger Burn Out Symptoms
Most people have no idea what it takes to be a blogger. Even with the popularity of blogging some don’t even realize it exists.
If you’ve started a blog you now realize what an all consuming task it can be.
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.
Which leads me to blogger mistake #9!
Yes, blogger burnout is a very real and miserable thing. Especially if this is your one means of financial support.
I admit that in the early days 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 found myself completely devoid of all inspiration at times.
Fortunately I was able to fix that just by unplugging and taking a couple days off from blogging.
Taking walks, having a conversation with someone, making time for enjoyable activities, 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) Comparing Too Often
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Comparing yourself can be good or bad depending upon your personality. For some people they thrive on the competition. For me not so much.
If this is you, don’t go down the rabbit hole of comparison. It can be a huge blogger mistake and really halt progress.
Negative thinking only leads to paralysis and whole lot of wasted time. Everyone has a different approach, style and different things to offer on their blog.
Remember, everyone started as a beginner!
Instead of comparing yourself to the competition, think:
- 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!
Bonus Blogging Mistake!
Your data feedback is the crystal ball vision that will tell you exactly what you need to be doing to effectively grow your blog and create more content geared especially for your audience.
Remember! Your blog posts should not be designed around what you want to write but what your audience wants and needs to hear!
Google Analytics, your social analytics or MonsterInsights can give you the means to determine exactly what that is.
I love MonsterInsights because it shows me everything from where and when my audience is visiting from, to the top performing posts, my overall traffic, most popular affiliate links/banners, ad referrals and so much more! Right from my WordPress dashboard.
Read how easy it is to get and set up real time analytics with no coding for free in this post.
The ultimate mistake! Not getting the Master guide to blogging for profit – jam packed with 20 helpful guides to make you a profitable blogger!
Now get out there and rock your blog or online business! There’s an audience just for you that’s waiting to hear your special voice and what you have to share!
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