9 Blogging Common Mistakes to Avoid
As a brand new blogger, you are probably not familiar with all the blogging stuff that is needed to make your blog professional and even start making money with it.
Many people think that having a blog is easy peasy lemon squeezy! Yeah, it could be if you just want a place where you can talk about your new mascara; or how happy was your kiddo when you gave him the toy he wanted for Christmas.
BUT! If you want to blog for a living there are a few things that you need to follow; for instance strategies, social media marketing, content length, email marketing, etc. These are just a few of the things we will discuss in this post.
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THE BASIC OF THE MOST BLOGGING COMMON MISTAKES:
Before we talk about the nine blogging common mistakes; I would like to pay your attention to the most basic mistake that is made by the newbies.
As you probably know, there are two ways to start your own blog. Creating a free or a self-hosted blog. The difference between both is obvious – the money; but there is another difference as well. If you start a free blog your domain name will look like this www.yourdomainname.wordpress.com, for example. But if you start a self-hosted blog your domain name will be: www.yourdomainname.com; see the difference? When you get rid of the ”wordpress.com” after your domain name:
A) Your site will be professional
B) You will be able to monetize it with ads
C) You will be able to apply for affiliates
D) You will be able to start an online business and make money from home or anywhere
Lots of advantages, huh?
If you determined to start an online business; I think that blogging is the widest spread way. The thing is that many people have succeeded and lots of them have failed in this journey!
If you still don’t have a blog; I suggest you start today because if you are not brave and daring for your dreams who would be?
Make your way to a post I wrote especially for people who need a kickstart with blogging; and the very great tips on how to start a blog on a budget! Believe or not GreanFrog.com is made by paying only the host expenses and nothing else. Read more about it here!
#1. The Impossible Schedule
As a new blogger, you are probably fulfilled with thousands of ideas; and you want to make them at once! I’ve been there and recently I realized that this is just impossible! Let me tell you why.
The first of the blogging common mistakes; I’ve called it ”the impossible schedule” because I think that when you start to blog you would want to make things clear! You should be aware that you cannot do ten things for a day and spend 8h blogging!
At first, it’s okay to start with baby steps. Before creating a weekly schedule be aware of how much time it takes you for completing a task. You can create a weekly schedule when you know how much time you can spend blogging a day.
I always try to work around four hours a day and to complete max three tasks. When you get overstressed; you begin to lose focus and makes things even harder for your business! I suggest you stop for a moment; take a deep breath, exhale and create a new small weekly schedule! Take your time and be patient; things will work, there is no need to rush!
When I first started I was creating very long plans for the week; sometimes I was able to complete them but it cost me a lot of efforts and time! And it wasn’t worth it. I learned how precious is my time and what I have learned; was how to be more productive and how to appreciate my time. This amazing book ”Work less, make more” by James Schramko helped me achieve my goals and how to have more free time! I strongly recommend it to you – it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far! You can buy it here!
#2. Neglecting SEO
Search Engine Optimization it’s a method that helps to increase the visitors on your website from search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. The number one search engine is Google; and that’s why we aim, all the time, to increase the page views from Google (aka the organic search).
If you want to be in the top five pages in Google; it’s really important to optimize your blog posts. There are a few rules you should follow, in order, to have a more organic search. But let’s not forget that SEO is a slow process; it may take you a few years to appear in the top five pages; even on the first page and even in the top five post results.
As a newbie, the first thing you should do is to install the YOAST SEO plugin. This plugin will help you to optimize your content for the search engines.
So, the rules you must follow for your posts are:
A) Write articles with 1,000/1,500+ words.
B) Always add images and optimize them. (Keep reading; we will get to this on how to optimize your images.)
C) Add Internal and External links – links that lead to your other posts and links from another source.
D) Use keywords in your content. If you write a post about weight loss; you should type the sentence ”how to lose weight fast”, for example; people search for this type of articles in Google. Also, make your keywords in bold and even make some H1 or H2. So, if your blog is well-optimized and you have a good amount of keywords that you did in bold; when Google makes its search for someone, it’s very possible to show your content.
E) Meta Description – it is really important to type it because if you don’t; Google will write its own meta description, very often happens, that it would be the first few sentences of your post. The meta description is a summarization of your post. It appears in search engines that take into account the content of the post. The right thing to do is to write а description with popular keywords or phrases.
#3. Using Pinterest as a Social Platform
The most blogging common mistake is to think that Pinterest is a social platform. Well, it’s not! Do you chat or talk with someone through Pinterest? Nope. Do you search recipes or hair tips or beauty hacks on Pinterest? Yep.
Well, let me tell you: Pinterest is a SEARCH ENGINE. A search engine like Google but with images; and it’s easier to drive traffic from Pinterest than Google. But Pinterest is way different because if you want to make it work for you; you need to spend some time in the platform, gain followers, publish your content, etc.
Pinterest is the most friendly search engine for bloggers. 90% of my traffic and everyone else’s traffic is from Pinterest.
If I start to write about Pinterest I may fulfill you with information. That is why I have a post that might teach you how to use properly Pinterest and increase your page views -> How I actually use Pinterest to Boost my Traffic.
#4. Not Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics has been made to keep on track everything on your website. How many page views you have hourly, daily, weekly, monthly; how many people enter your website throughout mobile, tablet, computers. Also, where your audience is (country, city, etc.). Which are your most popular posts, pins and so on.
Analytics is free so if you didn’t approve your website – do it now! It can help you in many aspects of your blog.
Bonus: Analytics is really useful for Pinterest. You can keep on track what are the most popular pins of yours and pin them into the boards; this way you make these pins even more popular and will increase your page views.
You can try this when you enter Analytics; select Aquisition -> Social -> Network Referrals -> Pinterest. You will see your most popular content; then select the first post and it will show you the most popular pins on Pinterest that you have. Copy the first link and paste it into another tab in the browser, and pin it. You can do this every day with your most popular content.
#5. Writing Without a Strategy and Not Knowing Your Audience
The foundations of a successful business are the strategy! You need a strategy to target an audience; a strategy on how to write the content; then you have to think on how to promote it, etc.
In times of war, how do you think the most epic battles were won? By using tactics and strategies! How do boxers train for the greatest fight in their career? By knowing their opponent’s weaknesses and strengths.
Don’t get me wrong; in blogging, we don’t run battles with our readers; but the examples above has something similar with the online business. YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
The first thing you need to consider when you start a blog is to choose a niche. After that, you need to get to know your audience weaknesses so to work on it. To attract more readers of your target audience you have to hit their pain spots and write about it; and give them the solution they need.
#6. Not Creating an Email List
Emails are just another way to market your products or affiliates. It’s important to create a pop-up form; so your readers can subscribe you. But remember that is not okay to place affiliate links in the very first newsletters you send. As a newbie first you would want to start gathering subscribers.
When you create a pop-up form you need to write why people should subscribe you and what they will receive from you. For example, at the very beginning of my blogging journey; I placed a form that said ”Subscribe to our newsletter and get amazing tips and tricks”. As you think, no one subscribed and it’s because I didn’t say what exactly tips and tricks I will send to my readers. And to be frank, I didn’t know because we were writing about everything; and we didn’t have a specific niche nor a target audience. We tried to target everyone. It’s not that bad to write about everything in life but only if you have the time to write at least one new post per day. And that’s a lot of work!
One of the many ways to get more subscribers is to create a freebie. It’s something that you give, for free, in exchange for someone’s email. Be aware that you have to stick to your niche! If you send a freebie about something related to the budget niche; then your newsletters you will send after that should be about money, saving tips, how to get rid of debt, etc.
#7. Not Adding Images
As we talked earlier about SEO; one of the requirements to rank in the first five pages in Google is to have good keywords and blog post structure. It means that your posts should be readable and one of the ways is to add, similar to the topic, pictures.
When you add images you need to write the ‘alt attributes’; this is another way to add keywords to your content. ‘Alt attributes’ are hidden in the images so you don’t have to worry if people can see it. They are super good for SEO in Google and Pinterest.
What bloggers do to their content is to place at least one pinnable image. The same image you add on Pinterest; should be added in the related post. When you write the ‘alt attributes’ with more keywords and when someone enters to read the content he will be able to pin it; when the image is pinned on Pinterest the ‘alt attributes’ you added earlier will become a description for the pin.
To write the ‘alt attributes’ you need to add an image into your content and then to click to edit.
And here you add the keywords; your image becomes pinnable on Pinterest your content becomes more readable; and also you monetize good SEO for Google.
#8. Writing Poor and Misleading Headlines
To attract more people into your blog; you need catchy titles. To be a title catchy – needs to spot a problem and to show people if they click to read this content would they get the solution to the problem.
As we talked above – you need to get to know your audience. You have to make a research about what are the biggest problems that your audience has.
Try to write headlines that show that you can decide someone’s problem; try not to use phrases, and do not use compound words. Make it clear what the post is about; so you don’t mislead the audience.
#9. Blog Post Structure
The way you structure your posts might be of real importance for your success as a blogger.
Your posts must be readable; and it means that you should add images; subtitles, bucket list even. Also, make the word spread – add social buttons, following Pinterest and Facebook button.
Explain in the beginning what the post is about and what you’d cover. In the end, make a statement or summarize the whole content in a few sentences. Or you can ask something to boost the comments.
Here is an infographic that’ll help you how to structure your content.
Everyone makes mistakes; and you don’t have to be perfect; so to be a good blogger. These nine blogging common mistakes are basics in the bloggers’ world. Try to avoid them and be careful when you write. There are a lot of things that you should remember in the beginning, but after a few fails you will get used to it, and you’ll make fewer mistakes.
What were the mistakes you made before; or you make now? How did you avoid them? Or do you need help with something not mentioned in this post?