There is so much to learn as a new blogger. Just browse through Pinterest and you will see tons of posts giving you advice on what to do, it’s unreal. What I feel that not enough people talk about though, are the blogging mistakes. We were all new once, we all made mistakes but we learned from them. Now you can learn from them before you even make them! If you are sick of making these blogging mistakes and want to start making money, then check out my Ultimate Bloggers Guide Resource Page with all the information you can ever need!
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When I first started blogging, I thought I knew it all. I had done some research, but not much. I decided I would just wing it and see what happened. That lead me to make quite a few mistakes, that I ended up having to fix in the long run. Learn from my mistakes, so you won’t waste time fixing them in the long run.
Not Self Hosted
So my first, and what I believe to be my biggest, blogging mistake was not starting out self-hosted. It seemed confusing to me and instead I went with one of the paid WordPress.com packages. Looking back, that made no sense! I was paying more than I would have for my hosting and domain, and I was extremely limited on what I could do with my site. Thankfully, I realized this rather quickly (before 30 days) and I was able to get a refund and switch over to self-hosted. I have an entire post about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org self-hosted if you want to check that out here. Like I have said before, if you just want a hobby blog, by all means, get a free account on WordPress.com, but if you want to go into this to make some kind of money or turn it into a business, then do yourself a favor and go self-hosted. I even have a post about setting up a profitable blog for you to check out.
Let’s talk about SEO, Search Engine Optimization. When I first started, another of my bigger blogging mistakes was not doing enough research on SEO. I had no idea what it meant and just kind of ignored it. On my WordPress.com site, I could not add plugins (another reason to go self-hosted), so I couldn’t use the SEO plugins that help me optimize as I use now. Yoast is what I use now and it makes it so simple! I use the free version, but I will probably upgrade that soon. I really recommend doing some research on SEO because this will really help your site perform well in search engines.
Bad Pinterest Images
My original Pinterest images were so terrible. They were not vertical, the wording was barely readable. Really, it was just a mess. After breaking down and doing more research (are you seeing a trend here?) I discovered that vertical images do exponentially better on Pinterest. People are more likely to pin a tall image with clear wording on the image. I started using Canva to make my images and I saw a HUGE increase in repins. I will be doing an entire Pinterest post soon, but really try to make large vertical images with text overlay and you will notice a difference.
Writing Only For Yourself
Now, if you aren’t in it to make any money or you don’t care much about your views, then by all means make your blog a personal diary. Though if you want to grow, you want to write useful articles for your audience. One of the most common blogging mistakes I see is people using their blog as a personal journal, which is all fine and dandy but not if you want to be a business. I promise, most people do not care about what you did on vacation. Your readers basically want to know what your article can give them, and what it can help them with. So, give them what they want.
Not Knowing The Audience
This goes along with the aforementioned blogging mistake, but so many people do not know their audience. Who are you writing for? A good way to find this out is to check your Google analytics. Personally, my largest target audience is women from ages 25 to 35. So I want to write what they want to read. Of course, you want to keep your voice and your message, but you want to be helpful as well. You can do a poll on your social media, asking what people want to hear and read about. People love talking about themselves and giving their opinions online, so this is a great way to gauge your audience and tailor content around them.
Your Site Is Hard To Read
This one bothers me to no end. When I go to an article that sounds interesting, I want to easily be able to read it. If you have a crazy background color with script font, I am probably clicking off. Think simple! I know you want your blog to be pretty, but simple is what helps attract and keep readers. A white background is the easiest to read from and a basic font makes it easier on the eyes. There are a ton of themes out there you can use that are beautiful and simple, so please go with one of them.
No Share Buttons
Another thing that I know bothers me, so probably bothers other readers, is when there are either no share buttons or limited share options. or they are small and hard to find. You want your share buttons to be obvious to your readers. I use the Sumo plugin and it provides that nice bar on the left side of my site for people to easily share my content. It is large, but not overwhelming, and it gives a TON of sharing options. Your readers are more likely to share when they have more options. If you only offer Twitter and Facebook, for example, some people just won’t share at all. Sumo also has an image share option that puts a Pin button on your pictures. This has upped my Pinterest shares exponentially.
Not Joining Influencer Networks
So you think your blog is too small? Think again! There are so many networks out there working with bloggers with small numbers. Yes, some want a certain amount of followers or page views, but many do not. I know this from experience because I started getting a few smaller sponsored posts within two months of starting my blog, and I got them through networks. Be confident and know your worth, plus the worst they can say is no. Just apply to everything that fits your niche and eventually, you will get that awesome opportunity. Check out my post on the top-paying influencer networks for a really good starting point.
Ignoring Your Email List
The money is in the list! we all focus on growing social media, which is important so don’t get me wrong, but we also need to focus on a strong email list. If social media were to go dark tomorrow, your email list would still be there. Growing the list can seem tedious, but there are so many things you can do to get people to sign up. Offer a great opt-in, free printable, free email course. If you offer something that others deem valuable, they will sign up. I personally use MailerLite, which is an awesome mailer plugin that is free for up to 1,000 subscribers. It offers automation, campaigns, pop-ups, and really everything you will need to make your list great.
So there you have it, my top blogging mistakes. I have made them, others have made them but you don’t have to! Do your research and see what works. Remember that if you want to make money, you need to go into this with a business mind and be prepared to do the work.
Now I want to know, what are the biggest blogging mistakes you have made, and how did you fix them?