Avoid These Common Mistakes That Amateur Bloggers Make

Blogging seems easy enough, right?

You could work from anywhere and create content about stuff you’re passionate about.

Well, there’s a lot more to it than that. 

Some amateur bloggers get a little too excited and dive right in without any preparations.

They make a couple of mistakes in the beginning and ultimately get discouraged. 

If you don’t want to be lumped in with these would-be bloggers, you’ve come to the right place!

In this post, we’re going to discuss some mistakes that amateur bloggers make. 

I hope that learning about them will help you avoid some initial speedbumps that new bloggers typically face. 

I wish I had this when I first launched my blog in 2009!

With some preparation, dedication, and a little luck, you’d be all set to run the next big blog in your chosen niche.

Let’s get started. 

Amateur Blogging Mistakes To Avoid

Not Hosting Your Own Blog 

amateur bloggers - not hosting your own blog

As an amateur blogger, one of the worst decisions you can make is not to host your own blog. 

I know that going for a hosted blogging solution might be tempting.

You’ve probably been given the advice to stick with something like Squarespace, Blogger, Wix, or WordPress.com

Choosing one of these platforms might seem like a good idea because they often offer “free” starter plans. 

But this is a massive waste of resources.

First, there are always hidden charges, so “free” ends up not being free at all.  

Plus, there are significant restrictions on your ability to expand and monetize your blog with hosted choices.

This means that switching to a self-hosted WordPress site is something that you’ll most likely have to do eventually.  

The process of switching from a hosted to a self-hosted site is a HUGE hassle.

It’s best to do things properly from the beginning.

Related Reading: Discover The Top Ways Bloggers Make Money – Click Here To Read More

Settling On A Suboptimal Domain Name 

Your domain name will be your blog’s home on the web.

It has to be a strong one! 

Spending time at the outset thinking through potential problems and selecting a suitable domain name is really important.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is it easy to remember and pronounce? 
  • Are there slurs in it? 
  • Does it restrict your brand or your content in any way? 
  • Can you get a .com version of it? A dot-com domain is preferable to others like .net, .biz, .tv, etc. 

Not Sticking To The Right Permalink Structure 

This is, by far, the best permalink structure: www.yourdomainname.com/your-blog-post-title

Many amateur bloggers make the mistake of including other things like dates and categories. 

Categories are ok if you’ll never change them. But I believe including a date in your URL is the kiss of death.

In the long run, this creates a lot of issues, forcing many bloggers to set up elaborate redirect systems.

They’ll probably even have to hire folks to fix this problem. 

To switch to the post name permalink format when first setting up your site, navigate to Settings, then Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard. 

What if you’ve been blogging for a year and decide to switch up your post structure? 

You’ll need to set up some redirects to prevent your readers from getting 404 errors and your links from being invalid.

Choosing The Wrong Theme 

choosing the wrong theme

The design is only one aspect of your theme.

Your blog’s theme affects its performance, its readability for visitors, its visibility in search engine results, its monetization potential, and its overall growth and success.

You should select a theme that is well-coded, quick to load, frequently updated, and optimized for attracting visitors from search engines, growing your email list, and making money from your blog. 

Being Hesitant To Spend Money 

Because they don’t want to throw money into something that isn’t immediately profitable, amateur bloggers are reluctant to invest in the blogging world.

However, spending money is necessary for profit.

A blog needs to be managed like a business if its owner intends to make money from it. 

So, spend some cash on good blogging tools so you can make more money down the road.

This is the secret behind the extraordinary success of some otherwise regular blogs.

Brushing Aside SEO 

brushing aside SEO - amateur bloggers

Do not, under any circumstances, disregard SEO.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of enhancing your blog’s visibility in search engine results in order to attract a larger audience.

SEO drives significantly more visitors to established blogs than social media, and this traffic is much more consistent.

Getting traffic from search engines also requires significantly less work.

Some new bloggers may put off learning about SEO because they assume it is too time-consuming or unnecessary.

It’s a tall order, especially at the outset, when search engines are still figuring out whether or not they can rely on you to provide helpful responses to users’ searches.

However, this is a disastrous error.

The absolute best time to learn about search engine optimization and implement it on your site is at the beginning.

You’ll benefit from initial search engine traffic and avoid having to remedy a ton of SEO blunders down the road if you do this.

Related Reading: How Much It Costs To Start And Run A Successful Blog – Click Here To Read More

Not Carving Out Your Niche 

One crucial part of the initial stages of your blogging journey is determining your niche.

Failing to do so is one of the more common mistakes amateur bloggers make.

The first thing you should do when starting a blog is to determine your specialty.

While it’s never too late to start a blog (there are currently estimated to be 600 million online), it is essential to identify your niche early on. 

There are so many blogs out there now that you can’t just make one on travel or beauty and expect to make money off it right away.

Instead, narrow your emphasis. 

If you’re interested in launching a beauty blog, you could zero in on certain areas like premium skincare or cruelty-free makeup.

If you specialize in a specific topic, your readers will come to see you as an authority on it, and your readership will rise. 

Want to start making money off of your blog quickly? Then stick to a narrower focus. 

Your content pillars—the three to five sub-niches you’ll use as the backbone of your strategy—should be identified once you’ve settled on a broad topic.

Ignoring Updates 

Regular updates to WordPress, its plugins, and its themes give you access to the latest features and security patches. 

However, you’ll need to update these manually in your WordPress dashboard if you want to apply these changes.

Your site could get hacked if you don’t keep your plugins up to date.

Go to Updates on your WordPress dashboard to see if there are any updates available.

Be sure to check the WordPress Updates tab regularly and install any updates that may be available.

Once a week is a minimum frequency at which I would suggest updating. (Note: make sure that the plugin is compatible with your current version of WordPress first!)

Do a manual backup of your site before making any adjustments, just in case something goes wrong.

I didn’t do this when I started blogging, and fixing it was not fun.

Now, in addition to my own backups, my hosting company (WPX) creates backups for me.

Packing In The Plugins 

packing in the plugins

A site with too many plugins may become less responsive.

Sites that load slowly lose readers and drop in search engine rankings. 

Having plugins that aren’t up-to-date or haven’t been patched in a while can also potentially leave your site open to attack.

My rule is this: keep the number of plugins you use to a minimum; only what is absolutely necessary.

And make sure the ones you do use come from reliable sources and are regularly maintained.

Failing To Post Consistently 

Regular posting is essential to the success of any blog.

Many amateur bloggers are too sporadic in their postings.

Occasionally they’ll go on a posting frenzy but then publish nothing for months. 

Please try to establish a pattern so that your regular readers know when to look for new content from you.

Whether you decide to update once a week, twice a month, or anywhere in between, don’t let your readers down by being inconsistent.

Since your goal is to gain repeat visitors, this is essential.

Going Overboard With The Tags And Categories 

Overusing categories and tags is a typical error made by bloggers of all expertise levels.

There are many experienced bloggers out there who have hundreds of tags. 

In addition to being pointless, this practice can hurt your blog’s visibility in search results and the amount of traffic it receives from such sources.

Think of your blog as a simple book.

Between four and eight broad categories should make up the meat of your blog’s content. 

There are typically more tags than categories because they function more like the index of a book. 

Even so, they should be utilized with caution.

They’re not there for no reason but rather to help readers find related blog entries.

Not Trying To Network With Other Bloggers 

The value of a blogging network is often underestimated by novice bloggers.

When you find other bloggers in your niche, whether they are amateurs like yourself or pros, you can work together, learn from each other, and lift each other’s spirits when you’re feeling uninspired.

You might benefit greatly from a blogging community.

Don’t go through your blogging journey alone. There will always be others who understand what you’re going through.

You should aim to build a sizable network, as many of the most popular bloggers have done.

Not Prioritizing Your Email List 

To ensure the long-term success of your blog, you need to immediately begin developing a list of subscriber emails and sending out regular newsletters.

This will increase the number of folks who regularly visit your blog, help you attract devoted followers, and encourage constructive reader comments.

And if that wasn’t enough, expanding your email list will speed up the time at which you begin to see financial returns from your blog.

“The money is in the list” is a marketing mantra for a reason.

Actually, as a rule of thumb, you should be making around $1,000 monthly for every thousand subscribers.

And the sooner you start collecting email addresses, the sooner you may reach that point.

Expecting To Make Money Way Too Early On

amateur bloggers - expecting to make money way too early on

As soon as they launch their blogs, amateur bloggers often attempt to monetize them.

However, they typically fail because they have not yet established a strong enough online reputation. 

Earning trust and respect from others is a process that requires time. 

Over time, you can accomplish this by providing useful content, engaging with readers in the comments section, and participating in other social media activities. 

Being trustworthy benefits you as well, as readers are more likely to buy from somebody they like and respect.

Don’t stress out if you aren’t making a lot of money.

To increase your income, all you need to do is work on growing a positive reputation within your niche.

Shoving Ads In Your Readers’ Faces

While monetizing your blog using Google AdSense and similar programs is a great idea, it’s not a good idea to flood your site with ads. 

Increasing the number of ad impressions may improve revenue, but doing so almost certainly increases the likelihood that some readers will never return to your site. 

Ad-blocking browser extensions are used by the masses because folks generally find advertisements to be intrusive.

It’s not worth it to risk losing readers in exchange for a sliver of profit. 

Ads should be kept to a minimum and not forced onto the reader.

You would appreciate it if someone didn’t bombard you with ads, right? 

Picking The Wrong Font 

There is nothing more annoying than a blog with ugly, difficult-to-read typefaces. Amateur bloggers, in their quest for originality, are especially prone to choosing these. 

Most novels utilize the same typefaces since they have proved to be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to read.

Don’t exclude your readership just because you want to pick a quirky font that’s difficult to read. 

Not Promoting Blog Posts 

amateur bloggers not promoting blog posts

Writing a ton of blog posts and never distributing them serves no purpose.

Spend some time promoting your site when each new post is published.  

Whenever possible, promote your content everywhere you can think of: to your email list, on social media, on Pinterest, and on guest blog posts.

Ignoring The Advantage That Is Google Analytics 

Using Google Analytics, you can get a wealth of information about the traffic and engagement on your site.

You can monitor the following: 

  • How many visitors is your site getting 
  • Where is your traffic coming from 
  • How many page views are you getting 
  • Demographic information of your readers 
  • Your posts that get the most traction 

You’ll need to install some code on your site so Google Analytics can monitor the traffic. 

It is critical that you get set up in the early days of your blog.

Google won’t be able to start collecting data until you’ve added the tracking code.

If you want to observe growth and improvement in your blog’s performance, you should start keeping track of your statistics on day one (or as close to that as possible).

You’ll get insights you can use to enhance your blog over time. 

Fixating On Blog Design Over Content 

Of course, your blog’s aesthetics matter, but providing useful content to your audience is far more significant.

Many new bloggers, unfortunately, put zero effort into the actual content of their sites and focus solely on the aesthetics of the design (the logo, the colors, the fonts, etc.).

This is a huge blogging mistake!

Here’s the harsh reality: creating a blog with a “great” design won’t guarantee your success. When you have fantastic material, it will.

Devote just enough effort to the layout and design of your blog to make it passably appealing and not likely to turn away readers.

Then devote the bulk of your energy to the “meat” of your blog, the content. 

After a few months of writing, you will probably want to rework portions of your blog’s design because your tastes and priorities will have shifted.

Therefore, investing a large amount of time into the design at the outset is probably futile.

Writing To Cater To Your Tastes, Not Your Audience’s  

writing to cater to your tastes, not your audience's

Reading around, you’ll probably notice that most bloggers write pretty similarly. Why is that?

Blog growth and success depend on catering to readers’ interests and tastes rather than the blogger’s own.

There should be much overlap, of course, if you’ve picked your niche wisely.

To achieve this goal, it is necessary first to understand your target market.

Engage your audience using social media, and email inquiries, and solicit feedback on your blog entries.

Also, keep an eye on your analytics.

Check your analytics to identify which of your posts are getting the most attention, and then keep producing more of the same!

If you find that five of your top ten posts are DIY tutorials, for instance, you should probably create more posts about DIY.

Not Paying Attention To Site Navigation 

You can’t have a blog without the navigation bars.

If done right, they will increase the average number of pages viewed by each visitor to your blog by guiding them to the content that most interests them. 

More people will find your site through search engines if you use them, and they also assist search engines in better understanding your content.

Two navigation bars near the top of your blog are optimal.

Your primary categories belong in one, while your about page, contact page, subscribe page, etc., belong on the other.

Writing Like It’s For An Academic Paper 

Unlike an essay for class, a report for your job, or an article in a serious newspaper, a blog post is not intended for a scholarly audience.

Rather, it’s like sending a supportive letter to a good friend.

Also, instead of writing essays the way you were likely taught to as a kid, try writing more naturally, as if you were chatting with a friend. 

Use easy and informal language and strike an upbeat, conversational tone.

Your blog entries will be more readable, and your readers will feel more connected to you as a person instead of a faceless organization if you do this.

If you’re having trouble, try picturing your blog post as an email to a good friend who is also having trouble with the subject matter.

Obviously, you don’t want to go too informal.

After you’ve finished writing, give it a thorough read-through to catch any mistakes in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. 

Also, please refrain from utilizing slang or an abundance of emojis, as well as the acronyms and shorthand commonly used in text messages. 

Publishing Poorly Formatted Posts 

Let’s imagine you set out to write a really long blog post in which you provide a detailed guide to a specific subject.

Even if your blog post has the world’s most insightful response to the question at hand, no one will bother reading it if it’s formatted improperly.

If you want people to read your blog, what should you do? You should always add the following:

  • Separate sections with appropriate headings 
  • Whitespace 
  • Bullet points 
  • Bolded text 
  • Table of contents 

Don’t have huge chunks of text, and use lots of whitespaces.

There are, as you may have observed, very few very long paragraphs in this article. 

Fewer than a third of them are more than three sentences long.

It improves the article’s readability.

Large blocks of text make the content seem more difficult to read and digest.

Keeping your readers interested in the content you’ve written only requires a few simple formatting tweaks to make the piece easier to read.

These tweaks might be as small as increasing the line height in your CSS styling.

Next, emphasize the most important information by highlighting it in bold and using bullet points.

As they decide whether or not to read an entire blog post, many readers only scan the material.

Using bullet points and bolded language can help make the most important parts of your writing stand out.

Neglecting The Backend of The Blogging Process 

Yes, it’s crucial to invest considerable time in writing high-quality content.

However, you shouldn’t spend all your time doing it.

Make sure you devote a substantial amount of time to advertising your blog posts on social media and Pinterest, learning search engine optimization, expanding your email subscriber base, and any other tasks that will speed up your blog’s profitability

The time you devote to reading other blogs, learning about blogging, and making connections with other bloggers is also invaluable. 

About a quarter of your available blogging time should go toward content creation, while the remaining time should be divided among the other tasks.

Related Reading: How Is Pinterest Used – Click Here To Learn.

Forgetting To Give Your Readers The Avenue To Share Your Content 

If you want more folks to read your blog, you should make it easy for your readers to share your content. 

Thankfully, a WordPress blog makes this process a breeze.

Once you’ve installed a plugin that adds sharing buttons, readers can easily share your material via the plugin’s interface, which may be found at the top, bottom, or anywhere else on your blog post.

If a reader likes what they read and wishes to share it, they can simply use one of your social sharing icons to publish the piece on the platform of their choosing.

This is one of the best strategies to increase blog traffic.

Not Linking Your Social Media Profiles 

amateur bloggers - not linking your social media profiles

A new reader who likes your blog will most likely also want to follow you elsewhere online.

Make sure your social media profiles are easily accessible.

Installing a social icons plugin and configuring it such that the icons link to your social media profiles is the best method to accomplish this.

Make sure they appear in multiple spots, like the search bar, header, footer, or sidebar.

Not Linking Your Posts With Each Other 

In blogging, a link from one post to another is called an internal link. 

Your readers will like these links very much because they will know just where to look for further information regarding the subject you’re covering.

Internal linking is a simple and effective strategy for keeping your audience engaged.

After all, it is far easier to persuade a reader who is already on your website to click on a relevant link than to get a new visitor to visit your site.

You may even be able to multiply each new pageview into several and keep your reader on your website for a great deal longer, clicking about and following more internal links.

It’s like digging a rabbit hole for readers! 

Finally, search engines like Google will give your blog post a boost in the rankings if they have a fair number of internal links.

It’s an all-around advantage for something that’s fairly easy to do.

Publishing Articles That Are Too Short 

Back then, ranking highly on Google required nothing more than a large number of short blog entries.

Well, that’s not the case anymore.

High-quality, lengthy blog posts are now the greatest method to rank highly on Google.

Because of this, you will naturally produce fewer blog posts.

That’s fine, though! Nowadays, Google cares much more about quality than quantity. 

Your viewers will benefit more from your blog if the entries are longer and of higher quality, providing them with more thorough information and guidance.

Putting Off Your Blog Launch

Putting off the launch of your blog for an extended period of time, or for any length of time, is not a good idea.

It’s best to publish your blog as soon as possible.

If you wait until your blog is perfect before releasing it to the public, you can end up waiting a very long time before releasing it and thereby lose out on a large number of potential readers and revenue.

In addition, and perhaps more crucially, it will take some time before search engines will feel confident enough in your site to start sending you visitors.

Although you may get next to no traffic at first, search engines can begin indexing your site immediately, which will result in a steady flow of search engine traffic by the time your site feels fully operational.

Not Caring If Your Site Is Optimized For Mobile Devices 

The shift toward mobile internet access, with more and more folks utilizing their phones and tablets, is expected to continue. 

If you’re starting a new blog and picking a theme, whether it’s a free one or one you buy, make sure it’s mobile-friendly. 

While it’s not always the case, free themes are less likely to have been fully optimized for use on mobile devices.

You may be questioning, “Why does this even matter?” Websites that look bad when viewed on mobile devices will likely fall in the search engine results pages (SERPs), which is the last thing you want. 

This is why mobile optimization is so crucial.

You may need to hire a developer to make changes to the coding of your site if it’s poorly optimized.

You can skip this step if you pick a good one from the get-go.

Not Planning For Monetization 

How do you wish to monetize your blog once it has been established? 

There’s no one correct method here, but figuring out how you’ll monetize your blog can help you set realistic expectations and move forward with confidence.

If you work toward nothing, your efforts will feel aimless, and you’ll be more prone to lose motivation.

Churning out blog posts without a goal will slow your progress. 

A lot of new bloggers make this error, so to help you get off to a good start, plan ahead!

These are the usual methods that bloggers use to make money:

  • Advertising 
  • Affiliate links 
  • Sponsored posts 
  • Paid advertorials 
  • Selling your own products 
  • Offering courses and services 

Not Including Calls To Action 

If you want your readers to take some sort of action after reading your piece, you should keep that in mind the whole time you’re writing. 

Should you direct them to other articles that they’re likely going to enjoy? 

Do you have premium content that they might be interested in? 

Do you offer any webinars or courses to give them a more comprehensive learning experience? 

Honestly, too many blog posts finish without any plan for what should be done next.

Unless customers can complete the purchase on that page, it shouldn’t be the final stop.

Involve them and keep them interested.

Do not let them stop learning from you by providing useful links to other resources. 

You can include a call to action (CTA) for a relevant offer that can move them farther along the sales funnel by suggesting a few articles they should read next.

Forgetting Older Content 

Visitors to your site who see out-of-date data or links will likely be put off and not return.

But if you’re always coming up with new material, how frequently do you go back and look at your older posts to see if there’s anything you can change?

Getting your material into the first page is easy; maintaining it there is the real struggle.

Valuable content (especially that which has performed well) should be revisited regularly and refreshed with new information.

Obviously, you don’t want the traffic and leads that a particular post has been bringing in to decrease.

What factors go into picking a schedule for content updates?

To avoid forgetting, you can set a reminder to update articles one year after they were first published.

One of the best times to go back and read something you wrote a while ago is at the start of a new year (especially articles that have the year included in the title).

An update is necessary if either new evidence surfaces or previously held beliefs are debunked.

Related Reading: Types Of Blogs That Make Money – Find Out Here.

Final Thoughts 

These mistakes new bloggers make may prove to be costly in the long run.

Give yourself a headstart by avoiding them right from the start! 

Blogging is a very involved business, but a successful blog can be highly profitable if you do it right.

So are you ready to take your amateur blogging skills to the next level?

Our comprehensive guide is here to help you on your journey.

With step-by-step instructions and expert tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro blogger in no time.

Click here to get your hands on our guide

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

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Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on BrooksConkle.com to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

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