When you’re getting started with your blog, it can be challenging to know what mistakes to avoid or to even realize if you are committing an error. Mistakes while blogging are inevitable, and even the most experienced bloggers are prone to repeat them. But with a few tips, you can skirt away from making them. The first part of avoidance is understanding what to avoid. So here is a list of 25 blogging mistakes that personally, we feel we knew how to avoid while we were starting out.
This article is intended to educate you about the most common bad blogging habits that bloggers fall into. Hopefully, this post will save you time, money, and effort.
Blogging Mistakes To Avoid
Table Of Contents
- Starting on free platforms
- Not choosing a unique domain name
- Buying the domain and hosting for the first year
- Spending money on extras
- Creating content for passion
- Not buying the right theme
- Designing the website for too long
- Fighting Perfectionism
- Wrong mindset
- Not setting up google analytics
- Not mobile-friendly
- Sharing after publishing one blog
- Slow website speed
- Not SEO optimized
- Using other people’s content without credits
- Not having social media accounts
- Waiting for the right time to publish a blogpost
- Not using the right call-to-action
- Putting ads and affiliates too early
- Not posting consistently
- Focusing on quantity over quality
- Ignoring email list
- Not automating things
- Failing to create a backup
#1 Starting on free platforms
Hosting platforms like Wix, and Blogger offer all-in-one packages that will help you to host, design, etc. for FREE. But nothing great is always free. With these platforms, you are limited to the things and tools they provide. On the other hand, a self-hosting platform like workpress.org gives you 100% freedom and customization. The collaborators and ad management companies like Mediavine expect your website to be professional & self-hosted.
In simple terms, it is worth it to buy your domain. Your website should not have YourDomainName.wordpress.com; instead, it should be YourDomainName.com. This is the most important thing you should do if you want your readers to take you seriously. This is one of the blogging mistakes which can’t be changed later on.
#2 Not choosing a unique domain name
Your domain name is your brand. Keep it simple and unique. If like us, you are starting a travel blog, you can find numerous blogs starting with wandering, traveling, hippie, or nomad; So, choose something unique that makes your brand stand apart. Choose a name that is catchy and one that visitors can easily recall. Also, make sure your domain name is relevant to your niche and is not too narrow if you are planning to cover a plethora of topics. If you are planning to sell the domain later, don’t use your personal name.
Note: You can buy a new domain name but cannot alter your existing domain name later. It is crucial that you check if someone else is using a similar domain name or social media account before finalizing.
#3 Buying the domain and hosting for the first year
Starting out, we made the mistake of buying a domain and hosting for the first year alone, although we knew we would be publishing content for a longer duration. After the first year, the renewal charges for the services are double or costly. It doesn’t matter which company you are planning to buy. Opt for the most extended initial duration available while you start. This is truly cost-efficient.
#4 Spending money on extras
There are a lot of blogging-support companies that offer you compelling add-ons that you cannot say no to with PRO or Premium plans. These are not a good idea for an amateur, as there is no real advantage to spending on them in your initial days. In fact, even after a year, we have had zero compulsion to opt for these paid services.
Go with the free version first. You always have the luxury to upgrade later if needed.
#5 Creating content for passion
You’ll be passionate about a handful of things. Blogging about anything and everything will get you nowhere. Choose a niche that is not too narrow and stick with it. Create for your readers, not yourself. Educate. Provide value or anything that is awareness-oriented to grow your readers.
Documenting everything is good, but if you want to be a professional and make money through blogging, do keyword research. Create beneficial content that visitors might find useful and worthy of their time.
#6 Not buying the right theme
Buying the right theme is a fundamental step in building a website. Changing them is challenging, expensive, and a tedious process. Here are a few factors to keep in mind before picking out your theme.
- Responsive and fast
- SEO friendly
- AMP-compatible (Google Accelerated Mobile Pages)
- Supports ECOM
- Preferably lifetime access for a one-time payment
We are using the Soledad theme from the Envato market. Their customer support is excellent and we can happily vouch for it.
#7 Designing the website for too long
Designing a perfect website would delay your estimated launching date, and it would needlessly lead to postponement. We recommend that you first launch your website and do corrections along the way.
We changed the design of our home page and a few pages a couple of times later. So, you can alter the design as and when required.
#8 Fighting Perfectionism
When you put something out online, something that can stay forever, more often than not, you would want it to be perfect. But perfectionism is a double-edged sword, and as an amateur, it is something you can do without.
We try something new and learn along the way in our blogging journey. The content, design, pictures, and new features can be learned and updated over time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for creating exquisite design and content especially when you are just starting. Publish first and worry about making it perfect down the line.
Don’t care about people judging you for whatever you have created. You have put yourself and voiced your expressions online, and that is a lot to be proud of.
#9 Wrong mindset
Blogging is not easy. It is not a money-making machine that pays you from day 1 or as soon as you have successfully launched your website. It takes hours and hours of hard work and loads of content. It can be so disheartening with nothing much happening over the years.
But don’t give up! Prepare your mind for the long run and enjoy the process. Just be consistent and keep going. When the traffic starts to kick in, boom – set new targets and hit your goals.
#10 Not setting up google analytics
Many sponsors & management companies prefer to know how many visitors you get on a regular basis. Set up the google analytics account and monitor from Day1. This will also help you in understanding your audience better and in producing more audience-oriented content.
#11 Not mobile-friendly
The usage of smartphones has increased drastically over the years. In fact, smartphones are the primary delivery devices of content. Reports have stated that an average person spends about 3 hours and 15 minutes on their smartphone every day. This means that your website has to absolutely be responsive on smartphones. If you are buying a theme for designing the website, ensure it is mobile-friendly.
In a recent update, Google released that it would rank websites based on mobile-first-indexing. So, it is essential to check if your website is compatible with mobile devices.
#12 Sharing after publishing one blog
The excitement when you’re getting started makes you feel like you have already achieved something. While that alone is plenty to be proud of, it would be prudent to keep in mind that you are just getting started. When you do something new, the inquisitive nature of people will lead them to visit your website on the launch day. Having at least 10 blogs on diverse topics will genuinely engage your audience and make them stay longer as opposed to finding only one.
Ask for feedback from the visitors and do improvements.
In every post wherever affiliates are used, it is mandatory to highlight the same to readers.
#14 Slow website speed
Buffering is never fun. It will be very frustrating for your readers to wait for the pages to load. This also affects your ranking in Google searches. So, check the speed of your website often. Compress your images by installing the required plugin. Extensively check if the theme that you have installed is causing the slowness or the hosting. Regardless of the reason, you must find the root cause of the slowness and optimize the speed of your website.
#15 Not SEO optimized
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is one of the most important mediums that drives traffic to your website. In short, it is about being visible on the first search result page when a google search is done. You should definitely learn SEO as they are equally significant as content on the blog.
Blogs are google driven businesses. You truly make money when people search for information. You can rely on Google or search engines, but not on social media platforms like Pinterest or YT because if your account got hacked or deleted or if the algorithm changes, you vanish. So, you should know how to do keyword research by learning about SEO from the initial stages, or else you will have to revise your published blogs which consumes a lot of time and energy.
#16 Using other people’s content without credits
Anything including images that are not yours or original should be given credit. If you aren’t sure who the owner is, it is better not to use the content. Giving credits doesn’t mean just mentioning the owner. You should redirect to the source URL from where you took it or read their terms & conditions on how to use their content.
Be original and authentic. Some websites give royalty-free images that you can use. But the best decision is to use your own pictures.
#17 Not having social media accounts
Leveraging social media to multiply your growth is one of the cleverest ways to drive traffic. Understand the purpose of the platform and its users. This also helps interact with your readers and diversify your content relevant to the platform.
Focus on creating an account on one or two platforms. It will be overwhelming for you to be consistent if you are everywhere.
#18 Waiting for the right time to publish a blogpost
Search engines don’t crawl through and rank the blogs right away as soon as the blogs are published. It takes time. So, publish immediately once the blogs are ready.
#19 Not using the right call-to-action
What do you want to do with your blog? What kind of content are you willing to share? What is the ultimate goal? What are you aiming to achieve on this platform? You need to have answers to these questions to understand the frame of your blog.
Be it anything like creating a community, selling products, helping people, sharing your expertise, reviewing products, or generating revenue, be crystal about your purpose. This will enable you to effectively cater to your intended audience.
Analyzing this will help you use a strong “Call To Action” or CTA at the end of each blog or page. But regardless of that, every blog post should have an option to share across social media platforms.
Asking the visitors to subscribe to the newsletter, share the blog across social media, buy now buttons, etc., are a few CTAs commonly placed across the website(s).
#20 Putting ads and affiliates too early
We started using Amazon Affiliate but it generated no revenue for the first 6 months. Our account was closed since we didn’t reach the target. After getting 500 visitors per month, we reopened it again. If you are just starting or getting less than 250 visitors per month, it doesn’t make sense to do affiliate marketing. Google Ads costs are so low that some bloggers skip the idea of having one in their early stages. Instead, we recommend you utilize that energy and time to learn link building, SEO, keyword research, etc.
#21 Not posting consistently
Numerous bloggers left the blogging space midway due to various reasons. Blogging teaches you patience. You should continue doing what you love. Consistency is the key. Embrace the journey.
Try to publish at least one blog post every week. It is completely doable even with a full-time job and we have been doing it until now. Even if you write one blog post, make sure to give your best. You can increase the frequency as you progress.
#22 Focusing on quantity over quality
Writing multiple short blogs is equivalent to writing one single content-rich blog post. It doesn’t matter if your site has 100+ blogs; what matters is the quality of content each blog possesses and the value of the information it has.
Long-form content ranks better in organic searches than shorter ones. Basically, the ‘more the merrier’ principle here works to your benefit. Write relevant to the chosen topic and cover as much information as possible. The idea is to present your content as the best article one available on the internet.
#23 Ignoring email list
Emails spark interest, help sell more products and redirect readers to your website. Your email subscribers are highly targeted people who know what they signed up for. These people look forward to your updates and are regular readers and lifelong assets. Don’t ever scam/spam them with frequent and unnecessary emails.
Building an email list takes time. Start collecting right from the launch of your website. Insert popups for compiling a list so people don’t need to scan through your website if they want to subscribe.
#24 Not automating things
Any work that is done repeatedly and frequently should be automated for optimization. Scheduling blogs and Pinterest pins ahead of time helps you stick to your timetable and avoid redundancies. Automate as much as you can to save time.
#25 Failing to create a backup
Last but certainly not least, the most important thing is creating a backup. This is the costliest blogging mistake of all.
We have come across many horror stories of content vanishing for the sole reason of not having a backup. You must take a backup of your website at least once in 3 months. If you haven’t backed up in a while, please do it immediately.
Before updating WordPress or the plugins or changing the domain or hosts, always create a backup. Blogging involves a tremendous amount of effort. Better to be safe than regretful.
Each mistake is paramount that you should eliminate when found. Blogging requires a lot of patience, hope, and a ton of foresight. So, be prepared, and keep in mind that blogging is a long and arduous marathon. We hope this compilation is extremely useful when you are stepping into the world of blogging. For more blogging tips such as this and travel-related content, stick with us, the twin travelers.