Whether you’re thinking of blogging, just launched one or have been blogging for a couple of years now, there are some common blogging mistakes that can make the experience harder for you.
There is so much information online when it comes to the technical, social and economic aspects of blogging that it can be confusing, especially when they are giving opposing advice!
So if you can relate to any of the common blogging mistakes I mention in this post, don’t feel bad. Knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle!
Below, I’ve listed 15 common blogging mistakes that can set you back and keep you from growing online – and their solutions! Because what would be the point of bringing up a problem if we’re not going to fix them right?
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15 COMMON BLOGGING MISTAKES AND HOW TO FIX THEM
1) Not being consistent
Consistency is key to growth over time. If you’re an Instagram user, then you’re probably aware that someone who shares a new image every day is going to grow their account faster than someone who shares when they feel like it.
The same goes for your blog! Your readers are expecting content from you. If you can’t deliver fresh content consistently you aren’t going to keep their attention and they will move on.
On Caffeine and Conquer, I share new content every Thursday at 4 pm (99% of the time). My readers have learned to expect that from me now and it’s one of the reasons I’ve retained people and see growth. On the other hand, my YouTube channel is another story. I have no content strategy, I just create and share videos when I find time in my schedule…and the growth shows that (oops!).
Firstly, decide how much you can really do without burning yourself out. Are you able to post new content once, twice, three times a week? Once you figure out what works for you and your audience choose what days and time you are going to publish and stick to it.
Consistency applies to both your blog and social media strategy. Once you begin to show up when you promised to you will begin to see more growth over time.
2) Focusing on too many projects at once
Maybe it works for you, but it probably doesn’t. Stop juggling all your ideas at once! It’s hurting your biz!
It’s probably not the best idea to launch a podcast, and a course, while designing a new product and juggling all the daily tasks of blogging.
I totally get it!
Ideas pop into my head all the time and I’m going “oh I have to do that!” fives times a day. I write them down so they are always there when the time comes. If you’re starting too many projects at the same time they have a higher chance of falling flat. You can’t give 100% if you’re juggling this, and juggling that. It’s not possible. Your audience will also be overwhelmed with all this new stuff your throwing at them.
Write down your ideas for later! Purchase a notebook or download an app. Every time you have a stroke of genius write it down.
Focus on one project at a time. Put all your energy and effort into the perfect Podcast or course launch, whatever it is you’re doing at the time. Once it’s planned, developed and successfully launched, then, and only then, should you begin putting your attention on the next great thing.
3) Believing the market is oversaturated
If you’ve dipped your toe in this industry you have probably heard the dreaded word “oversaturated”. People, inside and outside, are arguing that you will not be able to become a successful blogger now because there are just too many of them. The competition is too high and you would have had to start 10 years ago to make it.
I hear this and I see them as excuses rather than legitimate reasons to move on to another idea. Holding back your dreams of running a successful blog because you’ve heard the market is oversaturated is one of many common blogging mistakes holding people back.
Yes, there are a lot of bloggers in 2019 but none of them is you. They don’t have your unique perspective on life and what you are offering. If you understand your target audience and are providing your readers with valuable actionable content then you will find your own audience.
In fact, with more and more businesses expanding online there is a growing market and need for people with our knowledge!
Don’t let the word “oversaturated” scare you. The future is online.
4) Not setting up a mail list from the beginning
Setting up a lead generating method such as an email list is a blogging task that often gets overlooked in the beginning. An email list allows you to capture contact information, such as email and first name, of your audience. They voluntarily sign up to receive additional content from you via email and in return, you can reach out to them about what you’re doing or selling.
If you aren’t collecting these contacts you are missing out on further nurturing your readers and converting them to paying customers!
If you’ve already started a blog and don’t have your email service set up yet that’s fine! Get it set up as soon as possible and start collecting leads.
I currently use MailChimp to manage my list and WordPress plugins to help capture them. I love Mailchimp because it’s free until you pass 2,000 subscribers. My favorite plugins for capturing leads are Popup Ally, Hello Bar, and Sumo.
You simply have to sign up for your email service provider and integrate it with your plugins!
5) Sticking to short-form blog posts
It can be tempting to write short 300-500 word blog posts. They are quick to write, don’t require a lot of research and are easy to read. However, Google is constantly changing their algorithm and what was once favored (short-form posts) are no longer helpful. Instead, to rank higher in Google searches, they are favouring long-form blog posts.
How long these posts need to be is debatable. On Caffeine and Conquer I try to aim for 1,000-1,500 words in a post. Other bloggers recommend writing 3000+ words for Google SEO.
We can agree that the trend in SEO is long-form posts over short-form. However, they don’t all have to be essay-length posts. Consider your audience and topics. If your audience is tech professionals and you write about online technology then you will need to write a lot and your audience won’t mind. On the other hand, a food blogger would fill their post with visuals rather than words.
Play around with writing long-form and short-form. I recommend having a few longer posts on your blog to drive more traffic through Google but also writing with your reader in mind.
6) Using a formal writing tone
Of all the common blogging mistakes, the writing style is a noticeable one.
The style and tone of writing online are completely different than what you’ve likely been taught to do. Writing in a formal tone throughout your blog can turn people off your content. Formal writing is often dry and lacks personality. It’s best kept for university essay writing.
Instead of writing as if your doing a report, write conversation style. People reading a blog respond better if your personality comes out in your writing. They are more likely to read the entire post if it’s an enjoyable, entertaining read as well as valuable.
If writing conversationally is not easy in the beginning it will become natural with practice. Next time you’re writing a blog post think about how you would share the information if you were talking to someone face to face. Your writing will be a lot better and you will connect more with your audience.
7) Having no understanding of who you’re writing for
There’s a big difference between a personal journal style blog and a professional blog. The first is written for you and the second is written for your readers.
Many blogs created today are created with the goal of building an audience. A huge change from when blogging first appeared online! However, you can’t gain a large readership or make sales, unless you understand your target audience. Common blogging mistakes are writing about what interests you and expecting people to always be interested. It doesn’t work that way.
If you’re writing professionally (which I hope you are if you’re reading this post!) you can still write about topics that interest you. Though, you should also consider the interests of your audience. What questions are they asking online? Is there something of value that you can help them with?
It’s not very hard to use your experience and turn it into a solution for other people. Just make sure you do your best to research and find out who is reading your blog. You can find out through surveys, collecting information with lead captures, viewing the data on Google Analytics and your social media channels.
8) Giving up too quickly
Thinking back to the “oversaturated” issue, this would be more of a problem if most people who started a blog didn’t give up so early. I don’t know the exact percentage but for the number of active blogs online there are just as many abandoned ones, if not more.
A lot of people start a blog with the expectation that they will have a certain amount of readers or income by an imaginary date they made. It’s slow! So slow. There are some blogs who got lucky but they are the exception, not the rule.
Giving up too quickly before good things start happening is number eight of our common blogging mistakes!
Growing a blog and making money from it takes time. If that is your goal there are a few things you can do to make it easier.
- First, don’t make the blogging mistakes listed in this post!
- Second, start blogging for money as a side hustle and give it time to grow. This could be 6 months – 2 years before you might be able to quit or reduce your work hours.
- Third, when you start to think about giving up don’t do it! I’ve read so many stories of bloggers who were about to quit and then got their big break. If they had quit it wouldn’t have happened for them.
9) Focusing on quantity instead of quality
A lot of bloggers seem to think the more content they push out the more successful they will be. This isn’t always true!
If the quantity of your content is affecting the quality than is it really worth it? Scrambling to make your deadline of a post a day means your posts probably aren’t as good as they could be and things can easily slip through the cracks.
It is recommended that you write at least 1 blog post a week. Many brand partnerships and sponsored post opportunities require you to be at least active once a week. It’s also really easy to write quality content that often. There is time to research, write long-form, revise and edit before publishing.
Consider the quality of your content and weigh it against how much you’re trying to accomplish in a week. Reflect on it. If you’re writing is suffering as a result of you trying to overachieve I would consider scaling back. As long as your creating fresh content once a week, your growth won’t suffer as a result.
10) Ignoring spelling and grammar
There’s one thing I really really hate. It’s reading a blog post full of spelling and grammar errors. And I’m not perfect either! But I try my best to catch them before publishing.
Ignoring spelling and grammar, and skipping revising your blog posts before publishing, is one of the worst common blogging mistakes you can make. The errors can be distracting when reading and make your blog appear unprofessional.
Don’t do it!
There is a built-in spell checker in most blog platforms. I like to go beyond these though because they don’t catch everything, especially grammar mistakes.
I currently use the free version of Grammarly and recommend any online writer use it. Grammarly is a browser extension in Google Chrome (I don’t know if it works in other browsers) and is really easy to install. Once it’s set up it will flag errors wherever you’re writing online and provide suggested fixes.
11) Ignoring your readers
A big mistake bloggers make is not engaging with their audience on their blog, social media, and emails. Ignoring blog post and social media comments tell your readers that you don’t care about them, you’re just doing it for the money.
They are investing their time to support you and you should be doing the same.
Creating content should only be a small part of what you do. Most of your time should be spent engaging with your readers, building an audience by reaching out to new people and nurturing potential customers.
Choose a time every day that will be dedicated to engaging with your peeps. For example, answer your blog comments first thing in the morning right after checking your email inbox. Or, engage and share your followers’ social media content in the morning and early evening.
Figure out what works for you and schedule it like you would any other work.
Your readers are important! Without them, the only reader you will likely have is your Mom!
12) Trying to be perfect
If you have perfectionist tendencies it can hurt your growth as a blogger. Perfectionism often leads people to procrastinate. If they can’t do it and do it well, then why do it at all?
Trying to be perfect is part of the common blogging mistakes because it will hold you back. When you first launch it will not be perfect. You might be on a free platform, you might have to change your theme a couple of times before finding one that works for you and your writing might suck.
The solution is simple – just do it anyways!
Your first attempt might be horrible but at least you tried and now you can learn from it. You might need to write 5-10 blog posts before you find your groove and let your personality shine through. If you’re also doing YouTube videos your first vlogs are going to suck. They just are. It’s inevitable. But with practice, they will improve.
Don’t let your weaknesses stop you.
13) Focusing on a single niche because “that’s where the money is”
There are many common blogging mistakes and deciding on your niche based on its monetizing potential is used often. A lot of bloggers do this. If you’re not passionate about what you write about you will feel it. Blogging will become a chore. Who wants to do that?
If you’re in it for the long run and want to blog professionally, don’t choose a niche because you know other bloggers are making money writing about it (unless you love the topic as well).
Choose a niche you’re knowledgeable about and won’t get tired talking about it all day every day for the rest of your life. In the beginning, you will be super excited to write and grow as a blogger, but if you aren’t talking about something you truly love you won’t last.
You can monetize almost anything online so don’t let that be your deciding factor.
14) Failing to promote your content
This is you if you write blog posts, hit publish and stop there. You might get a few views from people who religiously follow your content (a.k.a. your mom) but likely not much more.
You must promote to reach new readers and keep past readers interested. It also helps with SEO because Google pays attention to things such as comments and traffic on your posts. If you’re not actively driving traffic to your new content why would Google show it to more people either?
Your blog won’t grow unless you consistently promote your new and old content. Ditto.
Have a marketing strategy in place for your blog.
I recommend creating an account on all social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You don’t have to put 100% of your attention on all five, however, at least share new content as it comes out. If you want to take it further, find out which platforms your audience is hanging out on and spend more time engaging on those.
You can use a scheduling app to make social media sharing more consistent. Check out Hootsuite, Buffer, Planoly, and Tailwind for more information.
Other ways to promote your content include paid ads, collaborations, email, and Facebook groups.
15) Being too scared to get started
Lastly, the final of all the common blogging mistakes is not even starting a blog! Often times people worry that they don’t have the technical knowledge or their writing isn’t interesting enough to warrant creating a blog.
No way, Jose!
With today’s blogging platforms you can set up a blog in less than 5 minutes with no technical knowledge whatsoever. Many of them use drag and drop designers, which you can do with the click of your mouse.
If you wish you were a blogger but don’t get started out of fear, you are truly missing out!
There are several resources out there to help guide you into getting started.
I recommend reading my post Start Your Own Blog on WordPress for step by step instructions on how to pick a blog name, choose a platform and set it up!
Most blogging platforms offer great customer support to help people through areas they may get stuck. You just have to pick up a phone and call them or use the chat feature on their website!
There are a lot of small common blogging mistakes that can affect your blog’s growth and success. By being aware of them you can make some changes over time that will greatly help you out.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of common blogging mistakes either but some that I have personally come across over the last year.
Best of luck on your blogging journey!
Did I miss any common blogging mistakes? Share your tips in the comments below.