You've come up with a great content idea, so you sit down at the computer and start tapping out that post, but soon your enthusiasm wanes and you're suddenly worried.
What's going on?
You were pumped up about getting that blog post done. Yet, it's not working out the way you imagined, so in true determined blogger fashion, you keep on writing.
Unfortunately, FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) is getting stronger and wearing away at your determination and confidence. You put your head down and keep writing, but the FUD gets stronger while your determination gets weaker.
And now you're looking at your post and thinking, "What a mess. How did I get here?"
Every blogger has been in that situation at some point, and making blogging mistakes is especially common with new bloggers.
Blogging Mistakes You Might Be Making
Following is a list of 10 common blogging mistakes new bloggers make. Read them in order or click on any one of them to jump ahead to that section.
5. No flow.
9. No USP.
10. Weak headlines.
12. Chasing rabbits.
1. You're not clear about your blog's purpose.
This is one of the most common blogging mistakes - you start without clarifying your blog's purpose. Get this is as clear as you can from the start.
Here are some reasons people start blogging:
- To help and inspire others to make positive changes in their lives.
- To practice and improve their writing skills.
- Starting a blog is a great way to keep learning about CMSs (content management systems, such as WordPress), website design, SEO (search engine optimization), web graphics, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, web hosting. And you'll certainly learn more about the subject you choose to blog about as you do research on all of the sub-topics related to your main topic.
- Build an online brand and reputation. You'll increase your personal authority and your blog's authority as you do more research and post more content related to your audience and subject.
- Face their fears. If you're an introvert, blogging is a great way to put your thoughts, opinions, and expertise out into the public domain. Many people find that blogging is helpful for their emotional health, too.
- Make money online. There are a lot of bloggers who make a great living by blogging, offering consulting/coaching, selling digital products, doing affiliate marketing, and even placing ads on their blog.
- Meet new people. Starting a blog and driving traffic to your blog is a great way to get to know new people and especially others who are working in your chosen niche. There are communities of people who blog about a common topic who have meetups, in-person and online, and host activities to help and support each other.
- Document your life and business journey. This was the original purpose of blogging. People used blogging as a way to share their life and work with an online audience. There are still many bloggers who use their blog in this fashion.
- Land the job of your dreams. You'll never know what doors will open to you once you start a blog. Many current SEOs and content marketers landed the jobs they have through blogging and/or started their own agencies as a result of their blogging experience.
KEY POINT: One of the most common blogging mistakes is not clarifying your blog's purpose. Avoid this by deciding ahead of time what you wish to accomplish through your blog.
2. Blogging without a sub-niche.
Not having a sub-niche is one of the most common blogging mistakes.
What is a sub-niche?
Imagine you're looking for advice on how to write a science fiction novel.
Which blog would appeal to you more: a blog about writing novels in general, or a blog by a published science fiction novelist who only blogs about writing science fiction and how to get your science fiction novel published?
How to write a novel is a general niche topic, but how to write science fiction novels is a sub-niche.
KEY POINT: Once you've chosen a general niche, choose a sub-niche to focus your blogging on. Don't be afraid to narrow your blogging focus because the fact is that 73% of bloggers who earn $50,000 dollars +/year focus on a sub-niche.
3. The point of your posts isn't clear.
This is such a common blogging mistake and I see it all the time.
If your readers get to the end of a post and they're asking themselves "why did I bother reading this?" you've made one of the most common blogging mistakes.
You've been there before, too, haven't you?!
You read a 1500-word post that's pointless. You get to the end and you're wondering why you wasted 10 minutes of your life.
KEY POINT: Before you start writing any post, know what the point is. Your readers must be clear about the benefit they've received from reading your post.
4. Your blog posts don't resonate with your audience.
One of the most common blogging mistakes relates to the headlines, introductory paragraphs, and post contents.
This blogging mistake is when these 3 parts of a post don't resonate with your audience.
Your headlines should hook your readers and peak their curiosity so they want to read more. Is this one of the blogging mistakes you're making?
Additionally, your introductory paragraphs should resonate with your audience (notice how mine does this by painting a word picture of a common situation bloggers find themselves in).
Finally, the rest of your post needs to provide them with helpful, positive, and actionable advice they can immediately use to solve their problems and become better at what they do.
KEY POINT: It's a big blogging mistake to write stuff that doesn't relate to your audience. Learn to write headlines that hook your readers. Write introductory paragraphs to resonate with your audience. Make sure your blog posts provide actionable advice your readers can use.
5. No flow.
Readers should feel the flow of your narrative. It's like floating in an inner-tube and being carried by the flow of a river.
Think about the posts you've found most enjoyable to read and you'll notice that they have a flow to them, one thought flowing smoothly into the next, hypnotically keeping you engaged to the end.
KEY POINT: Edit, edit, and edit to ensure you content is logically developed and persuasive, magnetically drawing your audience along one sentence at a time.
6. Writing like an engineer.
Structural engineers are obsessed with details. They have to be, because details matter when you're responsible for the strength and integrity of the structures you work on.
One of the most common blogging mistakes is writing like a structural engineer by including too many details in your posts.
Give only the information your readers need to understand the point without wandering off into the proverbial weeds.
If you've got to provide more details, use internal links, instead.
KEY POINT: Don't get lost in the weeds. Your readers need to understand your point, that's enough. If you've got a lot of details, use links to other posts on your site.
7. The long and winding road.
Way back in 1970 The Beatles had a number one hit with The Long and Winding Road.
It's a great song. However, one of the blogging mistakes is taking your readers on a long and winding road with the length of your posts.
You must hold your audience's attention and keep readers interested.
Despite what many bloggers say and do, you don't need 2500-word posts to inform, teach, and help your readers. Keep your posts as short as possible while accomplishing their purpose.
Instead of going for long and winding posts, do a two or three-part series of posts on the topic. A benefit of doing so is more posts allow you to target a variety of keywords.
KEY POINT: If you can provide your audience with what they need in a thousand-word post, then do that. Don't write 2500 words when you don't need to do so.
8. Bottish writing.
Remember, breathing human beings are reading your posts. So, write for people not for SEO.
There's no hope of you selling products or services on your blog if you're writing lousy, keyword-stuffed content that's just filling white space.
Write quality content that attracts and holds your reader's attention.
KEY POINT: People, not robots, are reading your posts, so write for people and not for SEO.
9. No USP.
If you look at a lot of the top blogs, many of them are just copies of each other. There's nothing unique about them.
You must differentiate yourself, and you can do that by knowing and selling your uniqueness, your USP (unique selling proposition). What's yours?
Be bold and willing to take a different stand from your competitors.
That will attract and hold your audience's attention. Readers will look forward to your content because you have a different perspective.
KEY POINT: What can you do to differentiate your blog from all of the others out there? What makes you unique? Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and stand for something.
10. Weak headlines.
If your headlines don't compel people to choose reading your posts instead of others on the same topics, you may as well not write the post at all.
You could be a gifted writer, but if your headline doesn't tell someone why he or she should read your stuff, it won't matter.
Great headlines aren't just slapped together on a whim. They're carefully constructed and will attract more readers to your posts.
KEY POINT: Learn to write headlines that hook your readers so they'll want to know more.
11. It's all about you.
Your posts aren't a platform to run on at boring length about all of your personal affairs.
So, if you're writing is all about you, stop it right now.
No one cares about your personal issues, marriage problems, conflicts at work, or health issues.
Get out of yourself and start focusing everything on your reader. It's the reader's interests, problems, goals, and desires that you need to write about to help people grow and succeed.
I already mentioned the need to edit, edit, and edit your posts under point number three. Edit to ensure your blog is reader-focused. Here are tips for editing your blog posts that will keep readers engaged and interested in your content.
KEY POINT: Focus your posts on helping your reader solve their problems, overcome their fears, and achieve their goals.
12. Chasing rabbits.
Getting distracted with a lot of activity that isn't going to help your blog traffic or income is one of the biggest blogging mistakes new bloggers make, and this is an area where I disagree with a lot of blogging advice out there.
If you've got a new blog, 90 percent of your time should be spent on writing and uploading posts to your blog.
DO NOT get side-tracked creating accounts with Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok and DO NOT worry about posting and engaging with people on these platforms when you're starting out.
KEY POINT: Stop chasing rabbits and start creating quality content/posts because it's the key to growing the organic traffic to your blog and getting your blog posts indexed in the search engines.
13. Letting content go stale.
Some of your content is going to need updating, especially if it contains statistics, or discusses current trends, because stats and trends change. So remember to regularly review your content and update those posts that require it.
KEY POINT: Updating your content for relevancy is important to your readers and there is some research that shows that updating your blog content can increase your organic traffic by 106%.
Blogging mistakes you'll be glad to be rid of.
We've just covered thirteen common blogging mistakes rookie bloggers make.
If you're making any of these blogging mistakes, don't get discouraged and don't give up. Whatever the purpose of your blog is, focus on that, start creating lots of content and publishing it, and you'll soon see your organic traffic and your audience growing.
There's only one thing left for you to do. Fix the blogging mistakes you're making and watch your blog grow.