Ever felt like your blog's stuck in a rut, invisible to search engines no matter what you try? Or even hired a blog writing service that didn't perform as promised?
I've been there, and it's a tough place to be, especially when you want to attract new visitors.
I've stumbled on the vital blogging mistakes, often more than once, before I figured out the right path.
Have you been posting new content that didn’t hit the mark and wondered why? We've all been there, and I'm here to help you navigate it without needing to buy a course on blogging.
In this guide, I’ll share with you 21 blogging mistakes I've made and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
I've provided various blogging tips for beginners and professionals, and after you go through these mistakes, you can avoid them.
Blogging combines art and science, requiring strategy and consistency. Critical mistakes, like ignoring SEO, needing a plan, or creating low-quality content, can stunt your blog's growth.
Stick around as we jump into these mistakes, helping you sidestep them and drive your blog toward success.
Ready? Let's dive right in and turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones for your blog.
I also want to share a video from my mentor, Adam Enfroy, who shares his past blogging mistakes.
What Are The Most Common Blogging Mistakes To Avoid?
Starting your own blog can be exciting, but it can be challenging. The right blogging strategy is crucial, yet it's surprisingly easy to overlook critical elements.
I've been there, too, making errors that put roadblocks in the way of my blog's growth. These missteps can slow your progress when trying to build a content-based business.
To help you navigate these common obstacles, let's dive into the most frequent blogging mistakes and how to sidestep them.
To summarize, here are the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid to generate traffic and make money online.
1. Using The Wrong Type Of Website Platform
One common blogging mistake new bloggers often make is choosing the wrong type of website platform. Your choice of blogging platform is essential in shaping a successful business blog. Not all platforms are created equal.
I recommend using a self-hosted WordPress site for most people starting their blogging journey. Why? Because it offers you complete control over your website and its customization.
With various plugins and themes available, you can tailor your site to your liking, optimizing it for your readers and search engines.
While starting a WordPress blog is a top choice, please remember to set up your blog through WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. The former allows self-hosting and gives you more freedom regarding website design and monetization.
Now, choosing the right hosting provider is just as critical. Fast providers like WPX and Cloudways offer excellent speed and support, helping your site perform its best.
But what if you're looking for an alternative to a WordPress blog? Ghost and Webflow are worthy competitors.
They offer user-friendly interfaces and robust features that make them a solid choice for any blogger looking to create engaging, high-quality content that can rank higher on Google.
Selecting the right platform and hosting provider can save you time, effort, and money. It's a decision that certainly merits careful consideration.
WPX is the perfect choice for those who need high-quality hosting that can accommodate up to 5 websites. It comes with a caching plugin, insane support, and in-house CDN, making it easier to create WordPress websites!
2. Not Updating Your Old Blog Posts
Another mistake that bloggers often make is ignoring their old blog posts.
Consider this. You've already put a lot of work into creating your best blog posts, and they have the potential to drive consistent website traffic. Why not leverage them to their fullest potential?
Keeping your blog posts up-to-date is an easy way to get the most out of these valuable resources. It's like picking the low-hanging fruit. As you update your blog content, you can see better rankings in Google's search engine.
Using an AI SEO tool like Surfer SEO can simplify updating old posts. It analyzes your content, suggesting improvements based on what’s currently ranking well in search engines.
This gives you a clear direction on optimizing and refreshing your content for better results.
Also, remember to monitor your blog's performance closely. Google Search Console is an excellent tool for tracking your blog posts' performance.
Especially look out for posts ranking on the second page of Google. These are your prime candidates for blog post updates. These articles could break into the first page with a few tweaks, significantly increasing their visibility.
Regularly updating your old blog posts can significantly enhance their performance and contribute to your blog's growth. By staying on top of these updates, you're maximizing your chances of success.
3. Not tracking your analytics
A frequent slip in the blogging world is neglecting analytics and not monitoring your old and new blog post content.
This is like trying to hit a target blindfolded as you're writing and publishing content but have no real insight into how it's performing or where your traffic is coming from.
Using tools to track your analytics is crucial for understanding your blog's performance and making data-driven decisions.
Google Analytics is a popular choice, offering an in-depth look at your website's data. However, for a more lightweight and privacy-friendly alternative, consider Plausible.
Many alternatives to Google Analytics can track better and save you money in the long run.
You can still learn about GA4 for free if you need further education.
These tools provide valuable information about your website's organic traffic, including the geographical location of your visitors, the devices they're using, and, most importantly, the content they find most engaging.
Once you know which articles attract website traffic, you can focus on monetizing them effectively. This could mean adding relevant affiliate links and call-to-action boxes or optimizing the content for better conversion rates.
Also, tracking your analytics helps you understand where your traffic is coming from. Are your visitors finding you via search engines, or are social media channels driving more traffic?
This information is vital as it can guide your marketing efforts and help you prioritize where to spend your time and resources.
Failing to track your analytics means missing key insights that could help refine your blog content marketing strategy and drive growth. So, make sure to make this blogging mistake.
Do you see this beautiful affiliate display? Yup, it's built with Lasso. Lasso is the perfect solution for bloggers who want their affiliate links on full display.
4. Plagiarizing content
One of the most damaging mistakes you can make when creating content for your blog is plagiarism.
While drawing inspiration from other successful bloggers is essential, directly copying their work is a definite no-no.
Plagiarizing not only discredits your integrity as a blogger but can also harm your blog's SEO and result in penalties from search engines.
Instead, adopt the approach of "steal like an artist." This doesn't mean stealing content but learning from the blog post topics you admire and creating something new and original.
This way, you maintain authenticity while delivering a good blog post influenced by successful examples in your niche.
Plagiarism is easier than ever to detect, and several tools help you avoid unintentional instances.
Using a plagiarism checker before publishing your blog posts can ensure your content is original.
These tools sometimes show a small percentage of plagiarism because specific phrases are commonly used.
This is generally acceptable as long as it's not a significant portion of your content.
With the rise of AI-generated content, using AI content detectors to scan for plagiarism in blog posts has become increasingly important.
They spot copied content and can identify AI-generated content, ensuring that your blog maintains originality and quality.
Remember, originality is key when it comes to creating content. Stay inspired, but always produce unique and valuable content for your readers. It’s the best way to build a blog that stands out.
Originality.ai can scan and detect AI-generated text instantly. You can also use it to check an entire website with a click of a button for AI content.
5. Blogging Without a Content Plan
Among the top blogging mistakes is jumping into the world without a well-structured content plan.
Having a set of blog post ideas and a schedule for when to publish them (also known as an editorial calendar) is critical to maintaining consistency and building an audience.
Without it, you may be scrambling for ideas or failing to publish frequently enough to keep your audience engaged.
In my personal experience, using a Kanban system has been a game-changer for managing my blog content plan.
I use Trello, but plenty of other content-creation planning systems exist. Pick one that suits your style and stick with it. It can help you visualize your workflow, plan your content, and track where each blog post is in the production process.
This has allowed me to write blog posts faster than ever.
Remember, your publishing schedule should fit your lifestyle and other commitments. Only some people have the luxury to blog full-time, and that's okay. What's important is that you're consistent with whatever schedule you choose.
A content plan helps you stay organized, reduces stress, and ensures you're continually putting out valuable content for your audience. It's a simple tool that can make a significant impact on the success of your blog.
I use Jasper AI to write all my blog articles and social media content. This AI writing tool lets you create a blog post in seconds with just the push of one button!
6. Zero Link-Building
Many of my blogger friends need to pay attention to link-building's importance, a common misstep.
Sure, you might manage to rank a single blog post without links, but that doesn't guarantee profitability.
The keyword's search intent or competitiveness can significantly impact your earnings.
The content that generates the most revenue is often the most competitive, making link-building a critical component of your content creation process.
Link-building improves your blog's visibility on search engine results pages and drives more traffic to your website.
It's a sign to search engines that your content is valuable and trusted by others.
One effective link-building strategy is guest posting, where you write a post for another blog and include a link back to your site.
Not only does this generate backlinks, but it also helps you reach a wider audience.
Most successful bloggers will do this and build relationships with a new audience, and most of the time, the sites will push the guest post on all their social media channels.
But I hear you. Link-building can be time-consuming. Thankfully, AI marketing tools can streamline this process.
They can automate outreach and even aid in content writing for guest posts, providing you put out good writing attractive to readers and search engines.
Ultimately, your effort into link-building can pay off a big deal, raising your domain authority and increasing your revenue potential.
Remember, a business blog without links is like a city without roads that are hard to discover and navigate.
7. Not Linking To Other Content
When building your blog, pay attention to the power of linking to other content within your site (internal links) and other reputable sites (external links). Sadly, this is a mistake that needs to be corrected.
Internal linking is particularly beneficial for two reasons.
Firstly, it helps Google crawl bots understand the structure and context of your site, which can positively influence how your site ranks in search results. Secondly, it's a great way to keep your readers engaged.
By linking to another relevant post within your site, you encourage readers to spend more time on your blog and consume more of your content.
When deciding which posts to link to internally, prioritize relevant and profitable ones. This way, you're directing your readers to the content most likely to generate revenue.
After linking to these critical posts, you can connect to other related articles to provide additional value to your readers.
You can use specialized tools designed to make the internal linking process easier. These internal linking tools can help automate the process, saving you time while ensuring you're fully leveraging the benefits of internal linking.
External linking can lend credibility to your content and provide added value to your readers by pointing them to additional resources.
In short, having internal and external links is important if you want to rank higher on Google.
8. Not optimizing your blog content
Creating compelling and valuable content is just one part of writing blog posts.
The other part is optimizing that content for a search engine like Google. A process is known as search engine optimization or SEO. An all-too-common blogging mistake is to overlook this crucial step.
Search engine optimization involves structuring your blog content to make it easy for search engines to understand and rank. When done correctly, it can significantly increase your blog's visibility, driving more traffic to your site.
Luckily, content optimization doesn't have to be highly annoying. There are several content optimization tools available that can help simplify this process.
These blogging tools provide features like viewing the top search engine results pages for your target keywords, creating content briefs based on these SERPs, and suggesting on-page SEO improvements.
These tools can be a game-changer, whether writing the content yourself or outsourcing it to freelance writers. They allow you to ensure each piece of content is SEO-optimized before it's published, increasing the chance of ranking well in search engine results.
Also, with the help of these tools, you can optimize your blog posts more quickly and efficiently, allowing you to maintain a regular publishing frequency, which is a critical factor in building and keeping an engaged audience.
So skipping this SEO step is like hiding your blog posts in a sea of online content. Optimizing your content helps it get found and read, and isn't that the whole point of blogging?
9. Doing keyword research wrong
Mastering keyword research is a necessary step that many tend to trip over.
This is more than finding keywords and blog topics with high search volumes. It's also about understanding your target audience and their search intent.
Keyword research is the process of identifying the terms your audience is searching for, and it's essential in ensuring your content aligns with what your readers want to find.
It's possible, for instance, to write an excellent article full of valuable information, but if your keyword research needs to match the search intent, your efforts might have been for nothing.
Understanding search intent, "the why behind a search," can make all the difference when you write and create content.
Generally, search intent falls into one of several categories, such as informational, navigational, or commercial.
For example, someone searching "best laptops for gaming" likely has commercial intent—they want to purchase a gaming laptop.
You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEranking, Keyword Insights, or Surfer SEO to get your keyword research right.
These tools provide a wealth of data about search terms, their volume, difficulty, and how they cluster with other keywords.
Keyword clustering helps you group related keywords together, which can help map out your content and ensure you're catering to the correct search intent.
In short, keyword research is about more than just finding high-volume keywords. It's about understanding your audience's intent and delivering the content they seek.
Remember, the best-written article in the world will only matter a little if it aligns with what your readers are searching for.
You can also use tools such as google trends or trendspotting tools.
10. Writing blog posts without proper formatting
A common blogging mistake that can impede your success is paying attention to the formatting of your blog posts.
Good writing is essential, but it's the formatting that can make your content more readable and accessible for both readers and search engines.
Formatting your blog posts properly involves breaking up your text into digestible paragraphs, using an organized heading hierarchy, and including relevant images or infographics where applicable.
This makes your content more attractive and easy to read and helps with SEO. Search engines love well-structured content and SEO-friendly headings that clearly define the content's structure.
An AI text generator can be a beneficial tool in this process, aiding in creating well-structured and SEO-optimized content.
Also, reviewing the top-ranking websites for your chosen keywords is a good idea. Analyze their structure, how they've divided the content, what kind of headings they've used, etc. This can provide you with valuable insights to apply to your own posts.
Just remember proper formatting isn't just about aesthetics. It's an important component of creating engaging, SEO-friendly content. Don't let poor formatting stand between you and blogging success.
11. Not growing your email list
Another common blogging mistake many people make is not focusing on growing their email list.
While creating great content and driving traffic to your website is essential, retaining that audience is equally vital. That's where email marketing comes into play.
Your email list is a collection of people who've shown interest in your content and permitted you to contact them directly. Your loyal fans and people are more likely to return to your site, engage with your content, and even become customers of any products or services you offer.
If you're not capturing the emails of your website visitors, you're missing out on the opportunity to convert casual visitors into dedicated followers.
Just because someone visits your website once doesn't guarantee they'll remember to come back. But, if you have their email, you can gently remind them of your existence and bring them back to your site with new and engaging content.
Growing an email list is a powerful strategy in content marketing that can significantly increase your blog's retention rate, engagement, and conversion. So, if you're not already doing it, start building your list today.
12. Missing SEO Best Practices
Any booming blog will always have best practices or training guides to follow before publishing any article on its site.
It would be best if you did the same, and you can start with content briefs and blog post outlines. This makes it easier for you to complete all SEO tasks you might have to do before publishing an article.
So, if you write SEO content, you should use a content optimization tool to help you grade your SEO score.
Most of them are the same and usually require you to do the following steps:
- Select writing tools (e.g., Document Editor, AI Software).
- Understand search intent.
- Choose the appropriate blog post title and meta descriptions.
- Decide on reference links to include.
- Write the outline (use tools for proper on-page SEO).
- Write the draft.
- Add CTAs (Calls to Action).
- Include images and other assets.
- Conduct a first draft review.
- Complete any missing on-page SEO tasks.
- Perform final edits and review.
- Publish (Force index is optional).
13. Not Networking With Other Bloggers
In the world of blogging, networking is an often-overlooked strategy.
Engaging with other bloggers can provide knowledge, opportunities, and even friendships. Despite this, many bloggers make the mistake of isolating themselves from their peers.
You are forming connections with seasoned bloggers who've walked the path before you, which can be priceless.
They can provide guidance, feedback, and support as you navigate the blogging journey. You can connect with these individuals through SEO events, podcast guest appearances, or online communities.
Joining different blogging courses has been an incredible networking opportunity. Not only do you learn from the course material, but you also get to interact with like-minded individuals.
These connections can lead to collaborations, guest posting opportunities, and referrals.
Social media platforms can also serve as a great networking tool. Engaging with other blogs and their content can help create a sense of community and open doors to new opportunities.
14. Giving Up To Early
One of the most common mistakes in blogging is giving up too early. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
It requires persistence, patience, and consistent effort. The journey may be slow and sometimes frustrating, but remember, success rarely happens overnight.
The nature of Google's algorithms means it can take several months before your blog starts gaining traction. This delay can be disheartening, especially when putting in so much effort and seeing little return initially.
However, it's important not to let this discourage you. Instead, you can focus on building your blog's foundation, publishing frequently, and staying tuned to your blogging schedule.
Over time, with consistent effort, you'll start to see improvements. Your traffic will increase, your audience will grow, and your hard work will start to pay off.
So, if you're feeling impatient or overwhelmed, remember why you started and give yourself the time and patience your blog deserves to prosper.
15. Choosing A Bad Hosting Provider
When starting your own website, opting for a cheap hosting provider to cut costs can be tempting. However, this is a pitfall many bloggers fall into, and it can lead to frustrating outcomes down the line.
I learned this lesson the hard way. Initially, I opted for a budget-friendly host, thinking I was making a wise decision.
However, as my traffic increased, I soon realized that a cheap hosting provider couldn't handle the load. This led to slow site speeds and unsatisfactory user experiences.
This realization led me to switch to WPX Hosting. The difference was immediate and impressive. Not only did WPX offer fast hosting, which is crucial for core web vitals and SEO, but their customer support was also unmatched.
So, from my experience, investing in a good hosting provider from the start will save you time, effort, and potentially lost traffic. It's an investment in your blog's future success.
WPX is the perfect choice for those who need high-quality hosting that can accommodate up to 5 websites. It comes with a caching plugin, insane support, and in-house CDN, making it easier to create WordPress websites!
16. Picking The Wrong WordPress Theme
When setting up your blog, choosing the right WordPress theme is important. Unfortunately, many new bloggers make the mistake of selecting bloated, complex themes that slow down their site and make customization difficult.
To avoid this, focus on a minimum viable website approach—choose a simple, clean, and user-friendly theme while also being robust enough to grow with your needs.
I prefer Thrive Themes, a conversion-focused WordPress theme with a drag-and-drop builder. It's exceptionally user-friendly, even for those with minimal technical knowledge, and it's particularly effective for affiliate content sites.
Thrive Themes offers a range of pre-built, conversion-focused templates that you can customize to your liking. This makes setting up professional-looking, efficient web pages a breeze.
So, remember, when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme, sometimes less is more. Avoid bloated themes and opt for a streamlined, easy-to-use, conversion-focused option.
17. Misusing AI Tools
The rise of AI tools in blogging has opened up a world of possibilities.
These tools can assist you in creating engaging content faster and more efficiently. However, one major blogging mistake I've noticed is misusing AI tools, specifically AI writing software.
The key word here is "assist." These tools are designed to help you create content, not replace you.
In their search to produce content quickly, many new bloggers publish AI-generated outputs without human editing or oversight. This can lead to thin, low-quality articles that fall short of Google's ranking criteria.
The result is that their blog struggles to gain traction, leaving them confused and frustrated.
So, remember, while AI copywriting tools can be beneficial, they are not a replacement for a human touch.
Always review and edit the outputs of your AI writing software. Use it as an assistant, a helpful companion in your blogging journey, not a replacement for good, thoughtful writing.
Doing this will improve the quality of your content and, ultimately, the success of your blog.
18. Not Using A Blog Post Checklist Before Publishing
One blogging mistake I often need to correct is omitting a blog post checklist before hitting the 'publish' button.
This safety net checklist covers all critical aspects of your blog post, from your heading structure to your SEO strategy.
Using tools like Surfer SEO, you can analyze your competitors' heading structure and adjust to compete effectively.
ChatGPT or alternatives can help by grading your content and providing improvement feedback.
A pre-publishing checklist guided by AI marketing tools can significantly elevate your posts' quality and overall blog success.
19. Zero Blog Promotion Strategies
Building a successful blog is not just about creating great content; it's also about outside traffic through social media promotion.
I've noticed a common misstep among new bloggers: they spend all their energy writing their latest blog posts but overlook the importance of blog promotion.
There are many ways to promote your blog post. You can leverage your email list by sending broadcasts notifying subscribers of new content.
You can also use social media marketing, such as posting snippets of your blog on LinkedIn, Twitter or even creating YouTube videos that provide a sneak peek into your post.
Another overlooked but potent blog promotion strategy is Pinterest SEO. Your pins can drive significant traffic to your blog with the right keywords.
Promoting your blog effectively requires strategy and effort, but the payoff is worthwhile. Remember, even the best content won't make an impact if the right people do not see it.
Don't let your efforts go unnoticed. Make blog promotion a key part of your blogging strategy.
20. Focusing On Web Design Before Content Publishing
One of the common blogging mistakes to avoid is an overemphasis on web design at the expense of content publishing.
While having a visually appealing site is important, it should not take precedence over generating quality content.
Too often, I see bloggers spending excessive time creating image assets or fine-tuning their site's design while their blog remains devoid of substantive content.
This focus is misguided. The truth is, content is king. Without consistent, quality content, no amount of aesthetic appeal will keep your visitors engaged.
If you are not proficient in design, consider outsourcing this task or buying a template.
This will free up your time and energy to focus on what truly matters: crafting excellent content and publishing frequently.
Keep your priorities straight. Don't let the allure of perfect design overshadow your content marketing efforts.
21. Not Writing Your Linkable Asset Post First
A common blogging mistake that often goes unnoticed is not starting with your linkable asset post, also known as a Long List (RRL) post. Brian Dean coined this strategy, which should ideally be the first piece you publish on your site.
Why? This post serves as a cornerstone, building the foundation of your content plan and establishing your topical authority right out of the gate.
This long-form, comprehensive content can cover various aspects of your chosen topic and is a go-to resource for your readers.
Unfortunately, skipping this important step is a mistake many new bloggers make.
What I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Blog
I have made many common blogging mistakes, as shown in this blog post, but there are a few key things I wish I had known before starting a business blog.
- Don't niche down too much where you can no longer pivot. Which also means don't choose a niche domain name.
- Start an email list early on to capture your visitors
- Write content that you know about and care for. This will lead to better rankings and conversions.
- Don't obsess over monthly search volume or other SEO data. These are just tools to assist you.
- Track everything and outsource the annoying parts of a blog.
One of the biggest things I wish I knew is that blogging is a patience business that takes time to rank. It can also take time to make money with Google, so try freelance writing while building your business.
Why do many bloggers fail?
Many bloggers fail because of wrong advice or thinking they can make money overnight with a content-based business like blogging.
Writing articles and building authority isn't the sexiest way to make money online, so many people tend to move on to another shiny object.
You will likely not fail in this business with the right blogging tools and tips.
What is the most difficult part of blogging?
Each stage, from setup to scaling, has its unique hurdles. The most difficult parts often include:
- Keyword Research: This forms the backbone of your blog's SEO strategy. Identifying the right keywords that align with your content and are likely to drive traffic can be stressful. It requires a deep understanding of your niche, audience, and SEO tools.
- Writing: Consistently producing high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your audience can be demanding.
- Generating Leads: Turning visitors into leads, and ultimately loyal customers, is challenging.
- Driving Organic Traffic: Ranking high on search engine result pages to drive organic traffic isn't a piece of cake. It involves optimizing your blog posts, building backlinks, and staying updated with SEO algorithms.
Every blogger's journey is unique, and the difficulty level can vary based on individual skill sets and experiences. However, overcoming these challenges can lead to a rewarding and successful blogging career.
From all the blogging mistakes that can happen to you, it's at least helpful to know how to avoid them. This article went through every single hurdle I went through when starting my blog.
This was before I knew about content optimization tools and other ways to make your life easier as a writer.
So, take notes or save this blog post before you move on to other tasks.
Blogging Mistakes FAQ:
What should you not do when blogging?
One crucial blogging misstep to avoid is proceeding without a well-structured editorial calendar. Always have a clear content plan to guide your blogging strategy.
What is the most common mistake for first-time bloggers?
The most common blogging mistake to avoid is not setting up your SEO metadata for your site. It would be best if you gave clear directions to Google about your site so it understands your knowledge graph.