25 Common Blogging Mistakes for Beginners

by | Dec 5, 2020

If you’re new to blogging there’s a good chance you’re probably committing a host of common blogging mistakes.  Blogging has a way of stretching you thin.  Getting a website built, publishing your first posts, getting social media accounts made, and building out email funnels are only a few of the things you’re probably dealing with.  We haven’t even started talking about driving traffic and monetizing.   Needless to say, There are A LOT of common blogging mistakes that can easily be prevented.  

Fear none, we’re here to help!

By the end of this post, we hope you feel confident about what mistakes to avoid when launching your blog.  As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.  Enjoy!

1. Put your Audience Before Yourself

When you’re building a blog as a business, you need to make sure you’re serving your audience the best way possible.  A common blogging mistake is to write content that only interest you.  Instead, focus on what your base of readers would find valuable.  Do your research and uncover questions they have so you can be the resource they’ve been looking for.  

Solution: Join forums and groups surrounding your niche and start engaging.  Learn hands-on what people are struggling with and focus your content on those problems.

2. No Big Picture Plan 

So many bloggers have no strategic direction when they decide what to write about.   A long term approach is crucial for blogging success.  Once you have the big picture in mind you can start crafting ideas on topics to write about that help support your goals.  

Solution: If you’re serious about building a blogging business, you need to treat it like a business.  Start with a Business Model Canvas.  This is a one-page document that helps you visualize the different components of your business. 

Big Picture Plan

3. Match your Tonality to your Audience

The audience of a knitting blog probably won’t respond well if you’re speaking to them like a 16-year-old skateboard punk.  Tonality is key is making sure you’re resonating with your audience and keeping their eyes on your content.  The more they believe you’re speaking to them, the likelier they are to engage with your content and become a consistent reader.  

Solution: Pick a niche that you’re familiar with.  Picking a niche simply because it has the potential to be more profitable comes with a host of problems.  Pick a niche you know and understand so you don’t fall victim to an audience you can’t relate to.

4. Becoming Discouraged 

Blogging is a long game.  It takes time to get results and see consistent growth in traffic.   This mistake is common for beginner bloggers and it’s an easy trap to get discouraged.   Stick through, keep writing, and be patient!  Through consistent efforts, you’re blog with build traction and become more popular in the search engines.  Blogging consistency is a must to see results, just stick to it! 

Solution: Network.  Network with other bloggers and hear their stories.  You’ll quickly realize there’s a lot of other people with similar frustration!  Maybe even build an alliance to help grow each others blogs.  

5.  Going too Broad within your Niche 

If you want to blog about fitness, great! But find a niche within the fitness niche.  For example, yoga, high-intensity interval training, bodybuilding, etc. would all be examples of sub-niches.  Typically speaking, the more niche you are the easier it’ll be to start building traffic.  

Solution: Use the 4-Step Validation technique to brainstorm and validate profitable blog niches with proven demand.

6. Boring, Stale, Uninteresting Headlines.  

There’s a delicate balance you need to strike when writing keyword-rich headlines for SEO’s sake, and writing captivating headlines that will entice a click.   One of the most common blogging mistakes people make is by writing boring headlines that don’t give people a reason to click through.  

For example, instead of: “How to Start a Blog”  you could write “How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Easy Steps.”  See the difference?

7.  Using a Site Builder Instead of WordPress 

Choosing platform to start a blog

Site Builders like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly have made creating a website easier than ever.  They certainly have their place on the internet and are a great option for people who need to quickly and easily build a website.  However, if you’re serious about building up a successful blog you need to be on WordPress.  There’s definitely a learning curve but once you get it down you’ll be happy you did.  WordPress powers about a third of the internet and offers the most flexibility to customize different elements of your blog.

8. You’re Not a Robot, Don’t Sound Like One 

This is one of the main reasons I have an issue with hiring a writer to write in my blogs.  Creating a piece of content without any personality behind it is just boring.   Good luck keeping people’s attention these days if you sound like a soulless bot reading off a script. Becoming a great content writer takes time, persistence, and patience.   Read and write enough and before you know it your content will grab people’s attention before they even realize it. 

Even a little flair goes a long way.  It won’t be perfect at first but as long as you stay consistent you’ll start to get it down.

9.  Perfection Kills Progress

I wish we would’ve heard this tip in our early days to building out blogs.  Whenever anyone gets their hands on their own website for the first time they often want to tweak everything about it and make the site and their writing perfect.   Avoid perfectionism at all costs!

One of the most important things when you first start generating content.  Google needs to see that you consistently deliver content to the web.  When you focus on things other than content you’re taking time away from Google to start getting you visible in their search engine.  Once you’ve established a foundation of content is when you can start tweaking with the estethics.  

Solution: If there’s something you can’t figure out, write it down and come back to it later.   As you become more skilled a lot of the issues you were dealing with in your early days will become easy to fix.  Don’t waste your time with those minor fixes right now.  

10. No Plan to Monetize

“How am I going to make money?”  Is a question everyone should ask themselves before spilling all their sweat equity into building a profitable blog.   Even though profits are a while away when you first start you should have a general idea of how you’d like to earn profits. 

Whether it be affiliate marketing, advertisements, online courses, products, or even services, you should have a plan going in.  As you start to create content and build out the blog you’ll start thinking of creative ideas to funnel people towards your method of monetization.  

Monetizing a Blog

11. Becoming a Lone Wolf – Network! 

For all you introverts out there, I’m sure this is a common blogging mistake you’re guilty of.  When you start blogging you might not realize that there’s a giant community of like-minded people that are trying to accomplish the same thing as you.  Reach out to other blogs and build connections.  This can be wildly beneficial in growing your blog.  The progress you make towards your blog will grow exponentially once you get the opportunity to learn and share experiences with other bloggers.

12. Poor Writing Skills & Bad Grammar 

Unfortunately, Google may not be as lenient at grading your papers as your high-school English teacher might be.

Poor grammar and writing skills are a quick way to get someone to bounce off your website.  In fact, 43% of users consider bad grammar decidedly unattractive.  (Source Colorworks)

Furthermore, not only is it a bad user experience but it’s also a bad bot experience. Even though the Google search bots aren’t perfect, they’re pretty good at spotting grammatical issues.  Don’t worry though, the more you write the better you become.  

13. Not Tracking Progress

Once you’re about 3-4 months in (depending on how much content you’ve written) Google will start to take notice of your site.  Start learning how to track user behavior and the analytics of what people are doing on your website.   The more data you understand the better you can tailor your content and the better you can optimize.  

14. Paralysis by Analysis 

On the flip side of not tracking progress is paralysis by analysis.  Don’t become so enthralled with the data that it prevents you from consistently writing new content.  It can be very motivating to see that your blog is building popularity, don’t let it slow you down from what matters.  Just keep building and visit the analytics semi-regularly.

Solution: Becoming a consistent writer and sticking to a blogging schedule will force your eyes off all your stats.  When you understand that writing is what pays your bills it’s much easier to find the time to do it.

15. Not Referencing your Data Claims

Do yourself a favor and be sure to link to the sources you’re citing your data from.  Or at the very least include a reference guide at the end of your post so your readers can see you’re legitimate.   Anytime you throw out statistics, or any other data that requires research it’s important you’re telling your readers where you got that data from.  Additionally, this will help generate external links which can have a positive impact on SEO.  

16. Not Using Examples to Support What You’re Saying 

Have you ever tried learning a new skill and realized that without examples you’d be a lost puppy? That’s because examples help everyone understand the concept which you’re explaining.   Imagine trying to learn something like how to start a blog and there were no examples of other blogs that have become successful.   Examples are vitally important when you’re dealing with hard to understand concepts and ideas.

17. Not Using H1, H2, H3 Header Tags 

Websites have a way of building a hierarchy into your content through the use of H1-H6 header tags.  An H1 header should be the main header while an H6 is the least significant.  Often times we see bloggers increasing the font of their paragraph text and not change it to an H1-H6 tag.

For example, the H1 tag of this blog post is “25 Common Blogging Mistakes.”  The list of common mistakes (1-25) are all H2 tags.  The remainder of the content is all paragraph text.

18. Lack of “Evergreen” Content 

Evergreen content is content that stays relevant for a very long time.   If you write a blog post about “Best Blogging Tools in 2021” you’ll have to constantly update, fine-tune, and optimize that piece of content to stay relevant.  however, if you created a blog post about “Passive Income vs. Active Income” this piece of content stays relevant without any updating for a very long time.   The more “evergreen” your content, the less updating and less work you’ll be required to do in the future.  

19. Neglecting SEO 

SEO has become so important in the world of online marketing and becoming visible online.  You don’t need to be an SEO expert to make sure you’re touching on a few important things with your SEO.   Taking a couple of minutes to learn about SEO 101 can have a huge impact on the growth of your blog. 

20. Not Enough Promotion After Publishing 

“If you build it, they won’t come.”

A rule of thumb here at Moonlight Jo is that we spend the same amount of time promoting new content, as we do create the content.  Far too often we see bloggers create a beautiful amazing piece of content and never go out and promote it!  If you build it, they will not come. 

Check out our post on how to drive blog traffic for FREE to learn about the different ways you can promote your blog for free. 

21. Not Enough Consistency (No Content Calendar) 

It’s easy to think that staying on top of your content calendar will be a breeze, and at first, it is!  When you’re 8 months into your blog launch staying consistent with your blog calendar becomes much more difficult.  

A great way to build trust with your readers and with the search engines is to stay consistent with your posting schedule.  You don’t need to blog every day or even every week to be successful.  What’s most important is that you stay consistent with publishing new content, even if it’s only once a month.

22. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Good luck trying to earn high positions with your content in the search engines if it’s riddled with grammatical errors.  It’s well worth your time to spend 5-10 minutes after you’ve finished to review the content and look for typos.   There are also some powerful tools on the web you can use to assist with your writing.  

Solution:  Grammarly.  It’s free and it’s easy to use.  The paid version has some cool features that allow you to proofread as many words as you want.

23. Not Performing Any SERP Research 

So many people get lost in “keyword research tools.”  Don’t get me wrong these tools are very powerful and can help you grow your blog in a variety of different ways.  However, not enough people actually go to Google and type in different queries to see how Google will auto-populate the results.  It seems simple but another common blogging mistake regardless. This is an amazing way to start generating ideas. 

Once you have a couple of keyword ideas like to blog about, research the pages that show up in positions 1-10 in search engines.  This is a very powerful technique to help you understand how to build out your content.

24. Too Little (Or Too Much) Call-To-Action

“Don’t make me think, just tell me what to do”

When a visitor comes to your website it should be very clear to them what action they should be taking.   Don’t inundate people with buttons everywhere and make your site hard to navigate.  Have a simple, clear, concise call-to-action and make their experience on your blog better than your competitors.  

Solution:  There’s a variety of different call-to-actions you can choose from here.  Some of the most common are email captures, phone calls, form submissions, and chat bots.  

25. Not Responding to Comments 

This common blogging mistake shouldn’t be too difficult when your blog is still new to the web.   As your blog becomes more popular, keeping up with comments becomes much more difficult.  Neglecting to respond and engage with the viewers who are engaging with you is a good way to build a bad reputation.  Stay on top of comments and let your readers know you’re listening to them!

Emma with Oncrawl came out with an interesting article about why you should be responding to blog comments, I highly recommend it! 

There you have it! 25 common blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.  Did you find this article helpful?  Let me know by commenting below, I’ll be sure to respond ;).  Bye for now!

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