Whether you’re a newbie or have been blogging for awhile, blogging mistakes happen.
Because I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I and many other bloggers made when starting out, I put together this list.
To make it even easier for you, I explain how to avoid them and the solutions if you have made these mistakes.
1. Not Setting Up an SEO Friendly Permalink Structure
WordPress default permalink structure looks like this:
This is the URL that is shown in your readers brower and on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
It is not user or SEO friendly at all.
At a glance, your readers and the search engine bots will not be able to know what the article is about.
Solution: Change your permalink to a more user and SEO friendly URL.
To change the permalink, go to your WordPress dashboard then go to Settings > Permalink and change to a more user and search engine friendly link.
2. No Search Volume
You wrote an awesome blog post, hit publish and waited for traffic.
But you get no traffic at all to the blog post.
Zip. Nada. Nothing.
Many beginner bloggers and even seasoned bloggers didn’t check if there was any search volume for the topic.
Solution: Do keyword research before you write any article. Verify there is enough search volume for your topic.
How much is enough search volume?
Well, that depends.
If your blog is just starting out it will be very difficult to rank for high volume keywords.
So start with low-volume keywords, about 20 searches a month. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot but in the long run you will be ahead of the game.
Check out this article on why low-volume keywords are not a waste of your time.
3. Not Keeping On Topic
Another blogging mistake made by new bloggers is they write an article but have too many topics within it.
For example, you are writing an article about budgeting and throw something in the article about something funny your pet did.
Solution: Stay on topic within your article. Yes, you may have sub-topics in the article but make sure they are relevant to the main topic.
4. Not Setting Up Categories or Tags (or Setting Up Too Many)
Categories are used to organize your site to help your readers (and search engines) find information they want.
Tags, on the other hand, are one or two words that you use to highlight items you talk about in a blog post.
Solution: Most blogs have 5 – 10 categories for their content. However, this is not a rule set in stone.
Because each blog is different, place your blog post in only one or two of the most relevant category.
Solution: Each blog post could have 5 – 8 tags.
However, don’t create a tag that only applies to one blog post.
Furthermore, each blog post needs to be in a category but you don’t have to create tags for each post.
Setting Up To Many Categories or Tags
Another blogging mistake beginners make is setting up too many categories or tags.
If you have over 10 different categories, try to consolidate them.
Also, check out how many tags you have on your posts, if there are more than 8, verify they are relevant to your post.
5. Not Editing Your Blog Post
There is no way around it.
English is a difficult language.
It is very easy to misspelled words, have improper punctuation and runon sentences, etc.
Solution: After you have written your blog post, make sure you edit it for any grammar problems. Grammerly is a great tool to help you with this.
It’s also a great idea to have someone read the post to see if it flows well, all the information makes sense and grammar is correct.
If you don’t have anyone to proofread it, be your own critic and read it out loud to yourself.
6. Not Adding Home to Your Main Menu
When readers come to your site, most of the time they will not arrive on your home page.
Sure, they may not want to go to the homepage, but if they do, make it one click away for them.
Solution: Make sure they are able to get to the homepage easily from anywhere on your site.
To add the homepage to your menu:
Appearance > Menu
Select the menu to edit. Add Your Home page to the top of your main menu and then Save your changes.
7. Having Too Many Plugins
Installing too many plugins can cause your site to load slowly, have security breaches, site crashes, and more problems.
You may even have a few that are doing the same job.
When first starting out, you only need a few basic plugins for your site.
As your site grows, you can add more. But do it one by one to verify they work well together and will not crash your site.
Solution: First, go through all of your plugins and delete any that you are not using.
Second, write a list of all the ones you have left and the function(s) they do.
Lastly, if you have two plugins that are doing the same functions, delete one of them.
8. Readers Don’t Stay Long On Your Site
You have started to get traffic on your blog but your visitors don’t stay long (bounce rate is high).
Solution: Your readers are the reason for creating your site. Create a great UX (User Experience) for them.
A few ways to create a great UX:
- Don’t use “click-bait” titles for your posts.
- If you have pop-ups, verify on a tablet, desktop, laptop, and mobile phone to make sure they are easy to close.
- Don’t use advertising all over the page/post so it’s difficult for your readers to read (and find) the information.
- Verify your site is easily viewed on a mobile phone.
- Article title reflects what is in the contents and vice versa.
9. Not Learning SEO
You may believing that SEO is too difficult to learn or confused and overwhelmed with where to start.
Solution: Don’t let fear of not understanding SEO stop you.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a crutial element for your site.
Start by learning SEO basics and go from there.
Also, I see so many new (and veteran) bloggers use only social media (Pinterest) to drive traffic to their sites.
Huge blogging mistake.
Because if their social media channel gets shutdown, there goes all their traffic.
Using SEO on your site and blog posts, will help bring in traffic from the search engines.
That way if your social media site gets shutdown, you still have the search engines sending you traffic.
To get you started on learning SEO, check out my WordPress SEO strategies beginners guide to get you ahead of your competition.
10. Giving Up Too Soon
Creating a blog is easy.
It’s the “after” part that is a struggle.
From creating content, learning SEO, email marketing, link building and all the other parts you need to work on to build your blog makes you want to give up on after only a few months.
I get it. I really do.
Solution: Patience. Motivation to keep pluggin’ away, and taking one step at a time.
These three will help you achieve your goal to make a successful blog.
And yes, depending on what niche your blog is about, it may take many months to see steady traffic and possible years to achieve success on a massive scale
Don’t give up on it too soon.
Believe in yourself and your blog!
See also #16.
11. Trying to Create a Free Blog to Make Money
You may believe or have been told you can make money online by using a free blogging platform.
I am sorry to dash this hope, but you can’t.
You see, using the free blogging platforms, gives you very limited ways to montinize your blog.
Also, they will place ads on your content and most times you will not received any of the revenue.
Solution: If you are serious about wanting to make money by blogging, you will need to spend some money (about $5 USD a month to get started. Yes, really!) to create it.
But don’t worry, I took all the guesswork out and created this step-by-step tutorial on creating a successful blog to help you build your blog on a solid foundation.
If you are still set on using a free blogging platform, check out my article on the disadvantages of using a free blogging platform to make money online.
12. Not Doing Keyword Research
This is a blogging mistake many bloggers make. (me included)
By creating a lot of content but not taking the time to research keywords, it can slow down your efforts to create a successful blog.
Solution: Keyword research is an important step when you are creating your content.
One of the biggest reasons is to see if your content idea has any search volume (see #2).
Another reason is it will help you see what information or products your target audience is looking for.
Lastly, it is a huge part of SEO to help search engines send relevant traffic to your site.
Yes, search engine traffic can fluctuate but over the long haul, you want the search engines sending you more and more traffic.
If you need help with learning keyword research, check out this free keyword research guide.
Once you have researched for your keywords, step up your search engine optimization game by checking out my WordPress SEO strategies for beginners guide.
13. Not Building an email List From The Start
You may have heard the saying “the money is in the list”.
This is because social medial platforms come and go and your search engines traffic will fluctuate day to day and month to month, but your email list is yours.
Having an email list allows you to reach out to your readers at any time with information, products to purchase from you or other people’s products (affiliate marketing) that give them solutions to their problem(s).
Solution: Start building an email list for your new blog.
If you’re short on money, don’t worry here are two great email platforms you can start using for free.
Another blogging mistake made when collecting email addresses from your readers is to ask them to sign up for your newsletter.
People want something free and a newsletter is not very enticing.
To get them to sign up for your email list, give them a free item when they sign up.
Your free item could be an ebook, printable download or anything that will help your readers “fix” a problem.
If you have no ideas on what to use, take a look at your competitors and see what they are using (but don’t swipe it and use for your site).
14. Trying to Make Your Blog Perfect
You have to find the perfect theme.
Oh, and the images need to be positioned just right.
Wait, what was I thinking when I chose those design colors! Nobody is going to take me seriously.
I know you want to make everything perfect before you launch your site.
But we are human and being perfect is not part of our genetics.
Solution: First of all stop and take a breath. You don’t need the perfect theme, image, design colors or content to make your blog shine.
You just need to be YOU!
Your blog will mature and grow as time goes by.
And with that, so will you and you will find the perfect fit for everything.
15. Not Posting Consistantly
You post a great article and create more great content once a week for 2 months.
Then life gets in the way and it’s weeks before you post your next.
Yes, life happens.
And usually at the most inopportune time.
But if you are wanting blogging to work for you, you must post content constantly.
Solution: Do you only have time to create content once a week, every two weeks or even every three weeks?
That is fine but decide on a posting schedule.
Remember it is quality over quantity.
Once your audience sees what your posting schedule is, they will be fine with that as long as you are giving them quality information.
16. Thinking You Must Post a New Blog Post Every Day
It is not needed.
Yes, at one time, it helped with SEO. But not anymore.
Solution: Don’t stress about it. Once again, I will say it.
Quality over Quantity.
It is better to have 5 articles with great content then 15 with so-so content.
17. Not Doing Updates
If you are using WordPress, keeping it updated is very important.
Not only do the updates fix bugs, many times the update could be to fix a security breach.
Solution: Check your blog every couple of weeks to see if there is an update.
But remember, before you do a update, backup your blog in case there are problems.
18. Not Removing Unused Themes and/or Plugins
While you built your site, you may have downloaded several different themes or plugins to try them out.
That is what most bloggers do.
Some may have worked out for you but others, not so much.
So you deactivated them and left them sitting in your plugin area.
Solution: Go through and uninstall all the deactivated plugins.
Not only can they slow your site down, they also can be a security risk for your blog.
19. Not Taking Your Site’s Security Seriously
There are hacker’s trying to get into WordPress sites every second of every day.
Having your blog hacked is a major pain.
I know, it happen to me. It took months to get it straightened out.
Besides, possibly losing all your hard work, the search engines will shut off any traffic to your blog.
This blogging mistake has ruined more than one blogger’s dreams.
Solution: Make sure you have security measures set in place so you will not lose all of your hard work.
There are several plugins to keep your site secure but I favor Wordfence.
Because their plugin is dedicated to keeping your site safe and not mixed with other features that you may not want.
Wordfence plugin has a free and premium option.
The free version has a lot of good features but when your budget allows, I recommend paying for the premium version.
After purchasing Wordfence premium, I have never regretted it.
20. Trying to Use Every Social Media Platform
You either love or hate them.
Most of the blogging tutorials steer you to use as many social media sites for your blog.
Yes, I won’t deny that using social media platforms can drive large amounts of traffic to your site.
But doing that can also lead to social media burnout when trying to juggle them.
Solution: Focus on one (or two) social media platforms to start building your brand for your site.
If you are not sure which one to start with, take a look at your competition and see which social media platform has the most social shares.
However, if you’re already on some social media platforms, see which one (or two) have been showing you more love and focus on those.
21. Expecting Free Tools to Give the Success You Desire
Who doesn’t love free blogging tools?
We all do!
There is no doubt that some free tools are great to use when you are starting on your blogging journey.
But there is a price to using all free tools.
Why is that?
Because unfortunately they have very limited features to help you achieve the results you desire.
Sure, there are some free tools that are ok to use when starting out.
- email marketing platform
- SEO plugin
But there are a few blogging tools you need to purchase for your success.
These tools costs per month are not very much.
In fact, you are able to purchase these tools for less than $25 a month. This is a small price to pay to achieve your blogging success.
In Conclusion for Blogging Mistakes Beginners Make
If you realized you made any of these blogging mistakes, don’t stress about it.
Use the solutions to help you work through them and continue to blog on.
What mistakes did you make? I know I made all of them.
So let me know in the comments what mistakes you made and how you overcame them.
And as always,
Create yours, step-by-step