When you’re a new blogger, making blogging mistakes is probably the easiest thing you will do. I started blogging about 8 years ago and I honestly wish I could could go back and correct some of the biggest mistakes I made as a newbie.
I wasted so much time, energy and unnecessary frustration complicating blogging technics and strategies that were actually 100 times easier than I thought.
There are countless blogging mistakes newbies make, but I’ll share the ones I’ve learned from the most.
1. Starting a blog on a free blogging site
Ugh! This was the biggest of all my horrible blogging mistakes.
I started my blogging journey on a free platform at blogspot.com simply because I didn’t know any better and back when I started blogging, WordPress wasn’t as popular as it is today.
My blog was basically just ramblings about my life because I hadn’t yet understood that blogging could be more than a hobby, it could be a lucrative side hustle.
In fact, I’m pretty sure the title of my blog had the word “rambling” in it.
Interestingly, people were actually ready and before I knew it, I’d build a great community.
But I couldn’t do anything about it
Because I hadn’t thought long term, I couldn’t monetize my blog and when I wanted to blog about concrete things (other than my daily musings) and move it to my custom domain (without the blogspot.com attached), it was the biggest nightmare you could imagine.
In the end, I had to abandon that blog and start all over again with a self-hosted domain where I had full control over my site.
Here are just a few reasons using a free platform is one of the biggest blogging mistakes you could make
- You don’t actually own that blog (or that content you’ve worked so hard to create)
- It sucks for SEO, which is why most blogs on free platforms (like blogspot.com or wordpress.com) barely rank for keywords on Google’s first page
- It’s difficult to monetize your blog
- If you’re blogging as a business, using a free blogging platform takes away from your authority
2. Choosing a cheap web hosting company
When I finally realized that I had to ditch the free blogging platform and buy a domain, I didn’t do much research and went with a web host that was gauging me at $24/month.
What’s worse is that my site was down all the time. Believe it or not, their hours of support were 9 to 5, so I often sat seething with a dead blog overnight until their support line was open.
It wasn’t until I was fed up that I researched and came across Bluehost and my life changed.
Not only was my blog never down, but I actually broke it one time and the Bluehost team managed to get my blog back up on in a matter of minutes.
If you’re anything like me, cost is a big factor when you’re just starting your blog, and Bluehost is as budget-friendly as you can get:
I’ve bought and hosted several domains since I first started blogging and have always used Bluehost…
With the exception of one time.
I wanted to try a competitor to see if Bluehost was really all that and a bag of chips (yes, I’m a 90’s kid). I choose a reputable host, but the support wasn’t as good as Bluehost’s and I didn’t find them as reliable. After my site was down a few times, I threw in the towel and came running back to Bluehost.
3. Choosing a niche you have no passion for
I started a blog a few years ago that was about paying off debt. Being a serial entrepreneur, I had acquired a small business loan and was hoping that my blog would keep me accountable to paying it off as fast as I could.
I paid off the debt and then realized I didn’t really have an interest in debt repayment… at least not enough to dedicate an entire blog to it.
If you’ve ever tried writing about a topic you have little (to no) passion about, you know how easy it is to get writer’s block. I barely updated that blog because I didn’t have much to say and after a few months, I accepted the reality and shut it down.
4. Not starting an emailing list
Of all my blogging mistakes, I think this is the one I made over and over again with a few of my blogs.
Like me, most newbie bloggers tend to wait until they have more traffic to build an email list. In fact, I blogged for three years before it occurred to me that I should actually listen to the advice that expert bloggers are giving – start an email list from day one.
How many times have you come across a really good blog and tell yourself you’ll have to come back? How many times have you actually gone back? The answer is probably never, because it’s hard to remember. It happens all the time.
An email list is a great way to build readership because people who join your email list are readers who are already engaged and find your content interesting.
Without filling their inbox with constant emails, you can send reminders of your new posts. It’s a great way to increase traffic and create loyal readers.
As a newbie blogger, Mailchimp is a great provider to use. It’s user-friendly and free for up to 2000 subscribers.
5. Putting Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the back burner
When you start out as a newbie blogger, most people just write, write, write. The advice that content is king is most definitely true. One of the most common newbie blogging mistakes is not learning about search engine optimization early enough.
I thought it was too technical so I wasn’t investing any effort… and I was doing things wrong – simple things like not doing keyword research or optimizing my images. I barely even understood what SEO was until I got serious about blogging as a side hustle.
The beauty of having a self-hosted site with WordPress.org as a platform is that you can download free SEO plugins that guide you before you even think about publishing a blog post. For a non-technical blogger like me, this is a dream.
You’ll be shocked at how quickly you pick up SEO good practices for your blog. The key is to keep reading and learning.
6. Giving up too soon
Starting a blog to make a side income is definitely a long-term plan. Very few people make money blogging in the beginning… and if they say that they do, they’re not being completely honest.
Blogging can be discouraging in the beginning. It feels like nobody’s reading and when you see your blog stats, those feelings are often confirmed.
It’s way too easy to tell yourself you’ve failed as a blogger and move on to something else.
It sounds corny, but the moment you’re on the verge of giving up feeling like your blog was the biggest waste of your time is the very moment your blog is about to to take off .
Stay the course and do everything right again and again (write good content, stay consistent and optimize your blog with solid SEO strategies) and you will get there… it’s really just a matter of time.
7. Waiting to become an expert before starting a blog
There is one thing that’s worse than giving up too soon – waiting to become a blogging expert before starting a blog.
When I got serious about blogging as a side hustle, I can’t tell you how long I read other blogs before I starting my own blog as a side hustle. I wasted an unbelievable amount of time and energy.
I wanted to learn as much as I could about SEO, how to create an email list, using the best WordPress plugins, etc.
Unlike so many other side hustles, blogging is forgiving. You can learn as you go and provided you have the basics, it’s easy to go back and optimize posts the more your learn.