Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by Serish | I Hated My Boss
Are you a beginner blogger and frustrated because you’re not getting any blog traffic?
You’ve spent all this valuable time creating content, but lacking website visits and engagement.
Don’t be so hard on yourself!
Remember, all bloggers started with zero followers, zero website visitors and zero subscribers (including me!).
In this post, I’ll be going over 8 common mistakes beginner bloggers make and share an actionable plan that’ll help you avoid or fix these blunders.
What’s the Purpose of Blogging?
Let’s take a quick minute to really understand what blogging is.
In short, blogging provides answers to what people are searching for online.
For example, you landed on this article because you’re probably a beginner blogger looking for solutions to grow your blog traffic.
Likewise, people search online for “how to” or step-by-step guides, reviews about a business and endless other things.
But let’s put more depth into the real purpose of blogging.
Done properly, blogging is about providing valuable information and sharing actionable solutions to people about the topics they are searching for.
Not only does this establish authority and trust among your website visitors, but has them coming back for more.
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8 Common Mistakes Beginner Bloggers Make
In this portion of the guide, I’ll be tackling the most common mistakes beginner bloggers make and how it can affect your blogging career if the right steps aren’t taken.
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1. Using Free Publishing or Hosting Platforms
This is by far one of the top common mistakes beginner bloggers make- especially if their goal is to make money from their blog.
As a new blogger, you may find yourself relying on free publishing platforms to kickstart your blogging career.
Though this is a great way to get your articles published at no cost to you, it will actually hold you back from monetizing your blog and being seen as an expert in your niche.
An example of a free platform with a shared domain name looks like this: www.YourDomainName.wordpress.com
Let’s be honest, that looks unprofessional.
But if you want to soar high in the blogsphere, you need to invest in a domain that won’t share your website name.
The ideal way of doing this, is investing in a reliable hosting company.
I emphasized on reliable because the last thing you want, is your website crashing and visitors being turned away.
SOLUTION: Sign-up with BLUEHOST
Personally, I love Bluehost.
Not only is Bluehost one of the most popular hosting companies on the market today, but they’re also officially recommended by WordPress.
A three-year plan at my special pricing of $3.95/month will run you around $142.20 total.
But if you’re on a budget right now, you can always go for their 12-month plan at $71.40.
Plus, Bluehost will give you a free domain name for the first year (a savings of ~$15).
And if you’re not a techy– like me, Bluehost offers all its customers the Blue Flash plan for free.
What is the Blue Flash plan?
This service is heaven-sent! I wish it was available when I first started blogging.
Basically, a BlueHost expert will walk you through setting up your WordPress website.
Better yet, they offer a one-click WordPress installation.
So if you’re worried about not having much technical knowledge on how to set up your WordPress website, don’t fret it because Bluehost will guide you through it all!
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2. Focusing on Perfection
When I first created my blogging website, I was obsessively focused on perfection.
I wanted my website to look like all the other seasoned bloggers’ websites.
In addition, I wouldn’t publish my articles until I felt I had perfected the content.
The more you focus on perfecting your content, the more you look for errors.
And the longer you wait for the ‘right time’ to publish, the longer you’ll have to wait till you reap your rewards.
So there’s no use scrutinizing every detail, every word, or every letter in your blog to perfection.
SOLUTION: Use Grammarly and Yoast for Review
If you’re still working on perfecting your grammar, sentence construction, diction and more, you can let Grammarly do it for you.
It’s efficient, accurate and free.
With the free version, you can add the browser extension, Microsoft Word or Outlook plugin, or even download their desktop app.
What’s really neat about this tool is not only will it correct your spelling and grammar mistakes, but it’ll detect your tone and tell you if your article sounds formal or not.
But if you feel you need advanced help in fluency, readability, compelling vocabulary– or even want to check your article for plagiarism, the premium version can help you with that.
So after editing and revision, the best thing to do is hit that publish button!
Remember, you can always come back to the blog later and make edits.
With over 5 million installations, the Yoast WordPress plugin is free and a must-have for all bloggers!
This plugin is basically used for optimizing your website and blogs for on-page search engine optimization (SEO) and ranking on Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Another cool feature of this plugin is that it will analyze your content for readability.
This includes how easy it is for your audience to understand your blog posts, if your paragraphs and sentences are too long, if you’re using enough transition words, as well as the use of headings and subheadings, and so much more.
To download this plugin, simply go to your WordPress dashboard’s sidebar, and click “Add New” under plugins.
In the search bar, type “Yoast SEO.”
Make sure to select the one in the image below.
Click “Install Now” and then click “Activate.”
You can find this plugin at the bottom of each of your blog posts.
3. Not Publishing Blogs Frequently
First and foremost, you must begin by defining your blogging goal.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is blogging my career?
- Am I planning to do this full-time?
- Do I want to monetize my blog and earn income?
- Do I want to generate more blog traffic?
If you answered yes to either one of the questions above, then it’s imperative to publish content frequently.
But how much does frequently really mean?
Now, I know there are plenty of experts out there advising you to publish X amount of articles on a weekly basis.
Some recommend two blogs per week for beginners, while others may recommend writing daily (some new bloggers write up to five articles daily!).
Did you know– Huffington Post publishes over 2,000 blogs per day?
Then again, that’s HuffPost and they got hella dough to hire freelance writers.
But don’t let that discourage you as a new blogger.
Here’s the thing…
When you focus on a high number of articles you think you need to publish, the thought of that alone is overwhelming.
See, when I first started blogging, I took advice from seasoned bloggers who recommended I publish 10 blogs before I launched my website.
I felt sooo burnt out, that I put off launching this blog for an entire year!
This too is part of the list of common mistakes beginner bloggers make. Hence, they don’t even end up launching.
And I don’t want the same for you…
So, how often should I publish blog posts?
To succeed in a vast pool of competing bloggers, it’s important to publish at least one quality blog on a weekly basis.
If you’re publishing once a week, I’d recommend writing a minimum of 2,000 words per article.
And it’s also important to create content that is relevant and helpful.
The idea here is to start out small and then pick up the momentum as you get a hang of it, without feeling overwhelmed.
If you have the ability to write more than one quality blog per week, then more power to you!
SOLUTION: Schedule Your Posts
If you want to boost your blog traffic dramatically, publishing content consistently is key.
And the best way to accomplish this is by scheduling your blog posts.
Not only will this help you stay focused on your goals, but it will also motivate you to keep going.
One of the tools I use to schedule my blog posts is this free WordPress plugin: Editorial Calendar.
This tool encourages me to stay on track and pushes me to publish my blogs in a timely fashion.
To install this plugin, go to your WordPress dashboard and hover over “Add New” plugin.
From here, enter “editorial calendar” in the search bar.
Then choose the plugin that is pictured below and click “Install.”
Once installed, click on “Activate.”
You will find the plugin under the Posts section, see image below.
Once you click on “Calendar,” you will be directed to the scheduling page.
Here, you can easily create a schedule by entering a title, description and time.
Check out this example:
4. Unable to Pinpoint a Topic to Write
At one point or another, many bloggers experience writer’s block.
Though this can range from different types of creative slowdowns, most beginner bloggers experience one of two issues:
- They have absolutely no clue what to write about
- They have so many ideas and can’t narrow it down to one topic
The best way to overcome writer’s block is by narrowing down your audience and identifying your niche.
Once you have a better idea of who your target audience is, it will make it so much easier to find a specific topic to write about!
Granted, as a new blogger you may be wondering: “If I write a blog topic that is suitable for everyone, it will attract a lot more people.”
But this will actually bring more disadvantages than benefits.
A blog post that’s written for everyone will appear generic, without a focus on who you want to help and inform.
Moreover, to build credibility and trust with your readers- you’ll need to narrow down your choices and focus on a specific topic so you are seen as an expert in your field.
Here’s an example:
Say you’re interested in writing about fitness.
This is such a broad topic because there are several subcategories in the fitness world: cardio, crossfit, personal training, cycling, pilates, etc.
So let’s say you’re a new mommy and want to help other mommies lose that post-pregnancy baby weight.
Now that’s a wonderful micro-niche! You are now speaking to a specific audience and can offer distinct solutions to help them.
By doing so, you’ll build a community of repeat readers and improve engagement by providing valuable content that is significant to them.
SOLUTION: Use Hubspot’s Free Topic Generator Tool
If you’re not sure what topics to cover and need some extra help, try this Hubspot’s blog topic generator tool to get you started.
This is a great tool to help you identify different blog topic ideas.
To generate blog topic ideas, just enter five keywords to describe your niche.
As you can see from the image below, I entered five keywords related to fitness.
Once you click Give Me Blog Ideas, Hubspot will display free blog topics that you can work with.
Here’s an example of the blog topics they generated for me when I entered several keywords related to fitness:
5. Not Being Yourself
Another common mistake beginner bloggers make is not being authentic.
I’ve been just as guilty, too. I recall my tone being serious and dull.
And I tell ya, those blogs were boring as heck to read!
The thing is, people LOVE hearing other people’s stories and relating to them in one way or another.
They want to learn about the person behind the screen and connect with them.
This establishes trust and builds a loyal following.
SOLUTION: Be Authentic and Share Your Story
With that being said, don’t be afraid to be yourself and share your personal story!
The key here is to engage with your audience.
And the best way to do this is by injecting your personality into it by writing how you talk-– but perhaps with less curse words 😉
Whether it’s the clumsy, hilarious or quirky side of you– your readers will find your content as approachable.
Oh, and dont trip about people not “liking” you or your personality.
The key here is to appeal to the right people, not all people.
So be genuine, be honest and most importantly…be YOU!
6. Not Formatting Your Blogs Posts Correctly
From all the questions I receive about blogging, this is one that is often brought up.
And indeed it’s an important one.
Sad truth is, our attention spans are shortening in this digital age.
We are constantly seeking instant gratification and convenience (man, are we spoiled!).
And since mobile internet usage is on the rise, it’s important to keep up with the latests trends and behaviors.
SOLUTION: Use 5 Best Practices to Format your Blogs
That said, here are five best practices to implement when writing your blog posts:
- Use a font size between 14-18px
- Keep enough ‘white space‘ between sentences
- Use a different color for hyperlinks
- Bold important texts
- Use headers: H1, H2, & H3
If you’re reading this blog on a mobile device, you can see how the font is big enough to read without squinting or having to zoom in.
You may have also noticed a decent amount of white space between each sentence and paragraphs.
Additionally, using different colors for hyperlinks encourages readers to click on the links.
And by highlighting certain texts, it’s a great way to emphasize important points you want to make.
…see what I did there 😉
When you have a blob of text and long paragraphs, your readers will likely lose interest in your article– regardless of how much value you have to offer.
Additionally, most readers will only scan your blog post in search for what ever section applies to them.
So be sure to separate your paragraphs by using different headers: H1, H2, and H3.
By implementing these techniques, it makes it easier and enjoyable for website visitors to read your content and keeps them wanting to scroll down the page.
7. Trying to Be Everywhere
As tempting as it may be, plastering your blog links on all social media platforms is ineffective and a waste of your precious time.
It’s fair to think that by having a presence on all major social media platforms, your blogs will have a better chance of getting noticed.
Although that is a valid point, as a new blogger, it’s just too much to juggle at one time.
So, to avoid such common mistakes- it’s best for beginner bloggers to initially focus on one platform max.
SOLUTION: Start with Pinterest or Facebook
The two best platforms you can boast about your blogs, are Pinterest and Facebook.
By far the best means of obtaining a lot of free traffic to your website, Pinterest is excellent for bloggers.
I always read that Pinterest is the absolutely go-to tool for bloggers and business owners to increase website traffic.
So I decided to learn everything I possibly could about Pinterest, and to my surprise– my blog traffic tripled within a month!
On top of that, my Pinterest viewers jumped to over 100,000 within that 30 day period.
Moreover, I used Tailwind to schedule my posts to establish a consistent pinning schedule.
This is by far THE best tool to schedule your posts so you don’t have to worry about the manual upkeep on a daily basis.
Tailwind offers a free trial where you can schedule up to 100 pins on Pinterest at no cost. Give it a try- you won’t be disappointed 🙂
I’m sure you’re no stranger to Facebook.
Facebook is a great avenue to build and interact with a community.
Creating a Facebook business page is not only free, but allows you to post blog links, schedule your content- such as images or videos, and market your future products and services.
In addition, it gives you access to analytics reports and allows you to create cheap ads as well.
Another cool feature I love about Facebook are Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups are an excellent way to collab with other bloggers and get more exposure to your website.
8. Not Building An Email Marketing List
Alright dude, we really gotta talk about this one!
I’ve read various different articles arguing both sides on this topic.
Some bloggers are convinced that email marketing isn’t essential and social media marketing is the only way to go; while other bloggers (raises hand) deem it necessary for long-term blogging success.
If you’ve been following me for some time now, or have read my story— then you know exactly why I stress the value of email marketing.
Not only is it important to get into your visitors’ inbox for follow-ups, but it’s so much more important to build a relationship with them.
Think about it: you’ve spent all this time and effort curating valuable content.
But how will you come in contact with former visitors when you publish a new blog post or launch your very first product?
SOLUTION: Sign-up for MailerLite
To drive more traffic to your blogs and sustain repeat visitors, the key is to retarget them.
And to do that, you must have a reliable email marketing service set up.
Though there are literally hundreds of email marketing providers to choose from, I recommend MailerLite for all new bloggers.
With their free plan, you can collect up to 1,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month.
Most importantly, MailerLite aims to support beginners because of its easy-to-use interface and affordability.
Wrapping Up: 8 Common Mistakes Beginner Bloggers Make
Just like any other job, managing a blog has its challenges.
It requires time and patience.
However, implementing the above solutions will help boost your blog traffic and engagement.
While these are some of the most common mistakes beginner bloggers make, what has been your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Hollar at me in the comments section below!
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