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68 most common mistakes bloggers make

Before everything else

Do you know that it’ll be impossible to succeed as a blogger if you’re guilty of the most common mistakes bloggers make? But, if you knew these mistakes and the solutions to them, you could take your blogging far. And in this post we’re going to see 68 of those mistakes and how to avoid them for a successful blogging career.

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Having a blog is one of the easiest ways to start a business online by growing traffic and building a reputation.

With content marketing less expensive than traditional marketing but 3x more effective in generating leads, more and more people are starting blogs.

However, you make certain common mistakes that can jeopardize your progress in the industry.

Are you struggling to get the results you expected when you started your blog?

Then you will need to continue reading this post if you want a blog to make money at it or have it become your new career.

The 68 most common blogging mistakes that beginner bloggers make and ways to avoid them that we are going to discuss is a boon for you if you don’t want to make the same mistakes. You can learn from them and use the knowledge to put yourself out there and get a breakthrough with your online presence.

Here are the 12 main headings under which we’re going to handle the topic:

  • Failing to build your blog for success
  • Failing to prepare your blog for success
  • Failing to prepare your content to attract traffic
  • Failing to set up your blog for monetization
  • Failing to commit to the blogging process
  • Failing to be realistic
  • Failing to write right
  • Failing to think of your audience
  • Failing to let quality prevail over quantity
  • Failing to adhere to best blogging practices
  • Failing to promote or promoting too much
  • Failing to be a sociable blogger

That said, and without any further ado, let’s see the first main heading and the common errors associated with it.

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A. Failing to build your blog for success

Under this first heading, we will look at 4 common blogging errors which are:

  • Not starting a blog on a paid platform due to financial and technical problems
  • Not choosing a blog name that could withstand the test of time
  • Not going self-hosted
  • Not choosing a good host

Let’s look at the first common error here.

Not starting a blog on a paid platform due to financial and technical problems

I started my first blog on the free blogger.com platform.

Later on I learnt you can also start a free blog on WordPress.

Building a blog on both platforms is free and easy as …a… b… c.

With $0 and in less than 2 minutes, you have your own website with an address like:

YourBlogName.blogspot.com or YourBlogName.wordpress.com.

My blog’s address was https://www.it-is-easy-to-make-money-at-home.blogspot.com.

I was happy with it until a commenter told me if I wanted to be taken seriously as a blogger then I had to use a paid platform.

That’s not the only problem with free platforms. Your growth and monetization options are also limited.

With a free blog, you’re always in danger of getting it shut down for unknowingly violating the terms and conditions of the platform.

I lost my free personal and business voila.fr websites because the company decided to shut down the free service and I didn’t decide early enough where to move my blogs. So, all my efforts went up in smoke.

Even if you’re just testing the waters, I encourage you to use a more professional setup and have control of your property. This will save you the pain of losing your content and audience. (My blogspot.com blog however is still online although I haven’t posted there in years).

All you need to have a paid platform is to start with your own web host. You would find many web host companies even offer a hosting plan with a free domain for the first year. They may even install the WordPress plugin on the domain for you.

I recommend you use WordPress. It’s powerful and fairly simple to use. No doubt most websites are built on it.

You will find tons of WordPress tutorials online to help you set up your website and many WordPress blog tutorials like WPBeginner to customize it.

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Not choosing a blog name that could withstand the test of time

COVID-19 is on all lips and on all minds at the moment. So, choosing “COVID-19 Tales” might seem like a good blog name idea.

But what happens when the pandemic is over and you must move on because that topic no longer interests people?

You’re left with a blog name that is outdated.

It is possible to do a rebranding, including changing your URL and social media usernames. But it’s a pain in the ass that only those who have undergone it know.

Read influencer blogger Yaro Stark’s harrowing experience on retiring EntrepreneursJourney.com here.

So, you must choose a name for your blog that will stand the test of time. You would want to make it specific enough to convey what your blog is about, yet doesn’t limit you in anyway.

See what I mean here:

Don’t try to emulate or blatantly copy the names of any of the existing blogs, especially the successful ones. With similar names, you risk being mistaken for them.

Know finally that there’s no perfect blog name. Only a good one. You might think you’ve got it nailed with the niche name like “affiliate marketing” in the URL, but what happens when your blog grows and you want to expand beyond that?

So, choose a name versatile enough that you can still use it as you grow in time.

Not going self-hosted

I’ve already said it but it begs repeating: if you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, you need to go self-hosted.

Not only that.

You must also go self-hosted if you want to make money from your blog as you can embed an email subscription form on it.

You must also go self-hosted if you want your blog to be online for as long as you wish.

You must also go self-hosted if you want your blog to be an extension or a new incarnation of your professional identity.

You must also go self-hosted right from the very beginning if you don’t want to go through the hassle of having to switch things over after you’ve already built an audience.

Of course, you can find some highly successful blogs on wordpress.com or blogspot.com domains. They are the exceptions rather than the rule.

If you’re creating your blog just for your family and friends, using a free blog through wordpress.com or blogspot.com platform could be okay.

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Not choosing a good host

You must be self-hosted but not any hosting will do.

Out of ignorance or for financial reasons, many new bloggers buy hosting from companies which are cheap or popular.

The problem is that they don’t provide decent quality.

Some charge just $2.49 per month for hosting. Others ask for from $4.08 to £3.99.

Difficult to resist.

But know that if your site hosted by these companies goes down for any reason, you’re not going to get it back up without going through a whole lot of trouble. If finally you get through to a real person at customer service, it might be days before your site can go back up.

What if you got a sudden surge of traffic following an influencer sharing a post of yours, for example? Your hosting can’t handle it, making your blog lose the advantage of being shared in the first place.

At the other extreme, it doesn’t make sense for a new blogger to pay $50 or more per month for hosting.

I therefore propose two intermediate solutions.

First, I recommend Bluehost for new bloggers.

Plans start at $9.95 per month for a year or as low as $3.95 per month if you commit to multiple years.

With Bluehost, you can always reach someone in customer service if you need Help/Support. It’s very rare, but should your site go down, the problem is resolved quickly.

Those are the most important attributes of a good web host.

The second solution I propose for new bloggers is Wealthy Affiliate.

Click to view

Or, read FAQs About Wealthy Affiliate – Part V: Hostings

With that, we’re finished with the first main heading and will now go to the second one.

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B. Failing to prepare your blog for success

Under this second heading, we will look at 3 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not taking time before publishing your blog
  • Not choosing a strong niche
  • Not sticking to your target niche

Not taking time before publishing your blog

I know this feeling.

You’ve struggled to build your blog, now you’ve got your first post up, what can be as natural as sharing the blog with the world?

Besides, you’re dying to get your friends’ and family’s opinion on your blog and this first post you’ve created.

Calm your enthusiasm. For, you’re not there yet. Better have a few more posts up before you publicize your blog.

It’ll be even a good idea to add a page post to each category on your blog, such as the About Me page, Mission Statement, Contact Me, Privacy Policy, Disclosure and Disclaimer, Terms of Use, and Getting Started and a few posts on the homepage.

This will show prospective readers what your blog will be about and maybe even subscribe if what they see convinces them.

Not choosing a strong niche

Maybe the biggest common mistake bloggers make is trying to be everything for everybody, and ending up being nothing for anybody. Jack of all trades is master of none, remember? In the same vein, blogger of all niches is master of none.

What you need is focus.

Engineers say that the pressure, per square inch, from the spike on the average woman’s shoe is actually greater than that from an elephant’s foot.

This is because all the woman’s weight are focused in that tiny spiked heel whereas the elephant’s are spread out, that is to say, diffused, over a broader surface.

Another example is the sun. Its rays diffused over a large area do not normally start fires. But use a magnifying glass to focus the rays on the edge of a piece of paper and it bursts into flames.

That’s the power of focus.

You benefit from the power of focus when you direct all your energy, creativity, power, and effort on achieving a very specific thing.

Therefore the more clearly and tightly defined your mission for blogging is, the more likely you are to succeed in a niche that is equally as focused, passionate and valuable.

Doesn’t working in a niche pigeonhole the blogger?

No. It just makes your topics more specific, and hence more interesting and valuable, to a smaller group of people ready to die for you.

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Not sticking to your target niche

Some beginning bloggers choose a niche market alright, but make the mistake of deviating from it while writing new blog posts. In their desire to appeal to a wide audience, they spread the range of their topics too wide.

The problem with this?

By trying to appeal to a broad audience you attract no one in particular.

People may visit your blog, get confused with your message and click themselves out, never to come back again.

If you target a specific niche to blog about, it helps you to reach out to the right audience. This increases the engagement rate and grows your blog traffic over time. You also easily establish your authority as a blogger.

Niche-focused content marketing also helps to eliminate unhealthy competition in the blogging field and lets you solve specific problems.

And, with that, we come to the third heading.

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C. Failing to prepare your content to attract traffic

Under this third heading, we will look at 8 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not starting with a very specific working title
  • Not engaging readers with a compelling headline
  • Not using a specific post type, creating an outline, and using headers
  • Not using keyword-rich titles
  • Not embracing SEO
  • Counting on SEO or social media at all costs
  • Not using images the right way
  • Not caring about your topic (anymore)

Not starting with a very specific working title

Beginning bloggers generally write on topics like:

  • How to Do Affiliate Marketing
  • Blogging Best Practices
  • How to Make Money From Home on the Internet

Problem: these topics are far too broad. In each of them you can have many details and nuances. Therefore going so broad makes it really hard to do a good job on them.

However, the more specific a topic is, the more it tends to appeal to a more targeted audience that is more likely to convert into leads and customers.

You don’t have to break your head about this. Brainstorm using Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator.

You simply enter basic terms you want to blog about, and the tool suggests five sample blog titles for you.

Note that a working title is just what it is: a mere concrete angle to help keep your writing on track. It makes it much easier for you to write blog posts which are specific.

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Not engaging readers with a compelling headline

“The biggest mistake bloggers make is failing to engage readers with a provocative title and an opening statement or question that supports it,” says Jeff Korhan, professional speaker, consultant and columnist on new media and small business marketing in this blog post: 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) put together by Cindy King.

He asks bloggers to liken the title to the label of a package. People will only open the latter if the label gets them interested in the content. In the same way, people will click to read an article only when the headline gets them interested.

Going back to the package, people will gladly consume the content when it’s as inviting as the label said. With an article, the first few lines have to hook the reader once again by delivering on the promise of the label. Only when both the title and opening work successfully together that the rest of the content will be consumed.

In 20 Mistakes Bloggers Are Still Making, David Aston gave 11 great examples of provocative headlines:

  • Don’t Even Think About Blogging Without Reading This Report!
  • Amazing New Discovery Kills Kitchen Odors Quick!
  • Why Some People Almost Always Make Money Online?
  • Is The Life of a Child Worth $1 to You?
  • 7 Reasons Income Diary Readers Live Better
  • Free Book Tells You 12 Secrets of Incredible Sex
  • Why Some Foods “Explode” in Your Stomach
  • The “Friendly” Health Advice You Should NEVER Take
  • The Strange Breathing Technique That Improves Your Posture
  • Thousands Now Play Who Never Thought They Could
  • Lose Weight While You Eat (10 Foods That Actually Burn Calories)

Not using a specific post type, creating an outline, and using headers

When beginning bloggers get a blog idea they’re excited about, what do they do?

They sit down and feverishly write about it.

But that’s not the right way to come up with a good blog post.

Keep in mind that most people scan blog posts, they don’t read them. So you need to organize your posts to enable them do that. Which will you prefer: readers to skim your posts and read what they like or abandon them altogether?

Your choice is clear. So structure your blog with a template, outline, and section headers.

The first step is to decide what type of blog post your article is going to be. A how-to post? A list-based post? A curated collection post like this one? A Slide Share presentation?

For help on this, download HubSpot’s free templates for creating five different types of blog posts. It’ll make it easier for you to write your outline.

Orderliness is time-saving. So put in the time up front to organize your thoughts and create a logical flow in your post. This way the rest becomes nothing more than just filling in the blanks.

Using headers is also critical for reader experience.

Since they’ll probably mostly be skimming your posts, it’s only wise to make them skim-friendly. That means using lots of paragraph breaks, titled sections, relevant images, and formatting. They make it easy for readers to quickly find the piece of information they’re looking for.

To sum up, let’s listen to Karla Cook, Sr. Manager of the HubSpot Blog Team:

“To write a blog post outline, first come up with a list of the top takeaways you want your readers to get from your post. Then, break up those takeaways into larger section headers. When you put in a section header every few paragraphs, your blog post becomes easier and more enjoyable to read. (And plus, header text with keywords is good for SEO.) When you finally get to writing, all you’ll have to do is fill in those sections.”

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Not using keyword-rich titles

Instead of choosing titles containing the targeted keyword, many bloggers go for clever, attention-grabbing headlines they feel will trigger social shares.

Search engines use keywords to serve searchers content. Searchers also use keywords to search for something. So you see how not using keywords in your titles will cause your content to be ignored by its N° 1 ally, the search engine, and therefore not found by its N° 1 consumers, the searchers?

However, using keyword-rich titles will ensure your blog post a place in search indexes and become a resource instead of fading into nothingness.

Jason Miller, social media marketing manager at Zoomerang says in 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) put together by Cindy King that “If you want to have a catchy title, put your keywords first, add a colon, and write an attention-grabber.”

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Not embracing SEO

I know Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sounds like rocket or nuclear science to many beginning bloggers and therefore they balk at trying to learn it to compete with sites which have been doing it successfully for years.

But if the big sites are using SEO, so can you. Anyway, you can’t afford to ignore it. SEO is the fuel driving much organic traffic to your site.

So make sure each post you write has:

  1. a descriptive title containing your target keyword, preferably placed at the beginning;
  2. a “permalink” natural-language and keyword-rich URL;
  3. descriptive section headers that utilize keywords specific to each section; and
  4. “anchor” text (the text that is hyperlinked) that contains keywords relevant to what’s being linked to.

Check the window above and notice how the URL of this very post is http://secureyourfuturewithus.com/68-most-common-mistakes-bloggers-make, not, http://secureyourfuturewithus.com/?postid=321.

While the first URL tells Google what your post is about, and therefore may bring you lots of traffic, the second however does none of that and you will lose traffic because of it.

Your objective in writing a post should be that as many people as possible read it. And that is possible only when you use SEO best practices so that a post ranks well and is found when its subject matter is Googled.

Neglecting this is the biggest mistake bloggers can make.

The easiest way to get started is to download the free WordPress Yoast SEO plugin. Then use it to target keywords you want to rank for in your URLs and post titles.

Also, a blog should have a Headspace SEO plugin for WordPress so that bloggers can craft their own title and Meta description tags for each post.

All of these elements should convey the subject matter of the post in a keyword-rich manner, from the title right down to the conclusion.

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Counting on SEO or social media at all costs 

SEO is crucial to improve the online visibility of your content. However, don’t prioritize it over user experience, as you may end up on the wrong side of blogging.

I know many beginning bloggers make these mistakes in traffic building:

They think of building backlinks instead of gaining their audience’s trust.

They think about the search engines first rather than their users when producing content.

If you’re one of them, then you’re setting a trap for yourself.

This is because those who do those things are guilty of keyword stuffing. They also resort to spammy article directory submissions. And, the content on their blogs is thin.

These are blackhat strategies devised to trick the search engine algorithm into giving you traffic. But they are too smart for that now. Therefore, expect the trap to snap sooner or later and handicap your website.

The surest way to avoid search engine penalty is to write for your target audience/marketing persona.

Writing exclusively for Google will bore your readers to death. What you have achieved is waste their time.

The first step in writing SEO content is to perform keyword research to find the popular terms or phrases your readers are using to search for your content and which you can add to your content to enhance its visibility.

Following the recent Google algorithm updates, the search engines now give more attention to the context of the content than to its SEO value. It goes without saying that for your content to bring you value, it must be well-researched and of high-quality.

And, if you’re a new blogger doing keyword research, use it to create blog posts that address the problems faced by your target audience. Still, don’t expect to get a surge in traffic from search engines right away.

It takes anything from 3-6 months for a new website to pick up search engine traffic.

Meanwhile, you need to build your audience, establish your brand authority and build relationships first.

Soon, you’ll find that writing for people pleases search engines too.

The same is true for social media.

Although Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest are good traffic sources, don’t count on them too much.

Instead invest your time, energy, money and efforts on building your email list to 5000 (or at least 1,000).

Always write for your audience first, then optimize for search engines later.

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Not using images the right way

We humans are visual creatures. Besides, social media is becoming increasingly photo-focused. Therefore using images in blog posts is not optional but vital.

The common mistake of most new bloggers is that they use photos which are too small, poor, fitted around blocks of text, or missing entirely in a post.

Instead, use photos that are big.

Not caring about your topic (anymore)

If you lack enthusiasm about your topic, you cannot write with passion about it. Your readers will feel it and this will kill their interest in your posts.

I found these in 11 Common Blogging Mistakes that Waste Your Audience’s Time as ways you can get excited when you’ve grown bored with your topic:

  • Talk to clients and understand how you can make their lives better
  • Find a good salesman and ask how he or she would sell your ideas
  • Look for an expert and learn about fascinating details
  • Explore other topics and see how they can be related to yours
  • Challenge yourself to write your most inspirational post ever
  • Take up a writing challenge—come up with a new metaphor, write an ultra-short post, or write a poetic post

That brings us to our next heading.

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D. Failing to set up your blog for monetization

Under this fourth heading, we will look at 3 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not capturing leads on your blog with a subscription CTA
  • Not having a newsletter subscription for your blog
  • Not creating your own sales funnel but preferring AdSense

 

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Not capturing leads on your blog with a subscription CTA

This is a very common mistake in the blogging world.

Most people write blog posts and then leave them to just generate traffic.

As for conversions, that question hardly occurs to them.

Yet not growing email subscribers is a very costly mistake bloggers regret bitterly for.

The idea never crosses these new bloggers’ minds that blogging isn’t just about getting new visitors to your blog. One of the biggest benefits of blogging
is growing an email list of subscribers you can share your new content with and send offers to.

That’s why if a blogger wants to get significant business results (traffic, leads, and eventually customers) growing subscribers is a must.

To see why collecting emails is vital for your business, let’s first take a look at the stats from AWeber’s pdf: GROWING YOUR BUSINESS WITH EMAIL MARKETING, A How-To Guide on Getting Started:

 

Email marketing delivers a return of 4,300 percent.

74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email.

66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message.

138% more is spent by consumers who receive email offers than those who don’t.

Now, let’s get more stats from Neil Patel’s post 5 Common Blogging Mistakes (And How to Fix Them):

Email content marketing generates, on average, a 38x return on investment. Which means that every dollar spent returns $38.

73% of marketers claim that email is not only an integral part of their overall business strategy but also a key one.

Let me again borrow from Neil, this time extensively, because he showed just how powerful collecting emails can be:

 

That was the traffic to his blog from his email list when it had only 3,612 people back in its infancy.

On Quick Sprout, over 16% of their blog traffic for every post came from email marketing to their newsletter list.

Besides, over 35% of Quick Sprout’s blog post comments came from his email list.

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Here is even more still from my blogging hero Neil Patel’s 11 beginner mistakes that cripple blogs in their first year:

Email is the most effective marketing channel for businesses.

Why?

It’s 40 times more effective than social media.

Seeing that email marketing is crucial for your blogging success, what must you do?

That’s what we will see in the next section.

How to set up a subscription CTA using Hello Bar

Now, Neil uses lead capture tools all throughout his blog.

Hello bar lead capture
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You can also use Hello Bar to start capturing more leads other than driving empty, unconverted traffic.

Their free version gives you a test-drive period.

Hello bar pricing
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Just head over to HelloBar.com and type in your website URL.

Hello bar convert more visitors into customers
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Then, sign in with your Google account and select your main goal from the list of options.

Hello bar select your main goal from the list of options.
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In the example, Neil selected “Grow Your Mailing List” because that is the most effective way to collect leads on your blog posts.

Next, customize the bar’s text and button to your taste.

Hello bar customize the bar’s text and button to your taste.
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You can also edit the style of your Hello Bar design to match your current website.

Hello bar You can also edit the style of your Hello Bar design to match your current website.
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You can even edit different fields and decide which are most important for you to capture.

Hello bar You can even edit different fields and decide which are most important for you to capture.
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Your finished product will show as a preview on the right-hand side on your current website.

Your finished product will show as a preview on the right-hand side on your current website.
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To get it fully installed and start capturing leads for free, simply head to your settings on the dashboard and install the WordPress plugin, or install the HTML code if you don’t use WordPress.

Hello bar head to your settings on the dashboard and install the WordPress plugin
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Now you are ready to capture leads on your blog posts and reap the huge benefits.

Not having a newsletter subscription for your blog

Many beginner bloggers overlook the importance of having newsletter subscriptions for their business.

I guess you’ve heard of John Chow?

He is among the most successful bloggers in the make-money-online niche.

Can you believe that the biggest mistake in blogging that he admitted to making was not creating an email newsletter from day 1?

Check for yourself.

John Chow's experience with email
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Pretty much every top blogger claims that AN EMAIL LIST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN HAVE.

See, social networks come and go; you may even be locked out or banned from one. If Facebook and Twitter can suspend former President Donald Trump definitely from their platforms, what can’t happen to you?

But email list remains yours so long as you continue to maintain it. Besides, if people sign up for your newsletter, it means they have chosen to receive your information.

That is HUGE.

That said, let’s see what you’re missing if this concerns you:

Email newsletters are easy to create.

A newsletter enables you to reach out to your target audience.

Then, it allows you to gain subscribers cheaply and keep them updated on the new content published on your blog.

As such, when you publish a new blog post, your subscribers will give you that initial surge of traffic essential to ensure that post’s long-term success.

Email brings repeat traffic to your website. For, subscribers who are not able to read every new post, the newsletter notifies them of what they’ve missed from your blog. So they can visit later and catch up.

Newsletters bring back old readers who once subscribed to your blog. Since it contains a list of the best-curated content on your site, the chances are that the old readers might revisit and reconnect.

With a newsletter, you can drive targeted traffic to your site.

Also, newsletters can help improve interaction with your regular readers. Because they read your new content, comment on them and take action. You reply to these comments, consider their feedback, and improve interaction with them.

Finally, your email subscribers are loyal and engaged. Apart from reading your posts and commenting on them, they ensure their social media distribution by sharing them on their Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and other platforms.

Seeing the importance of having a newsletter for your blog, what should be your next logical step?

Set up one.

How to set up an email newsletter (According to HubSpot)

With your email autoresponder marketing tool, you can set up a welcome email for new subscribers. You can also use the tool to create regular emails that send out your most recent blog posts to your existing subscribers.

Now, with the snippet of code you obtain from your ESP (Email Services Provider), you add subscription CTAs to your blog.

They should be simple, one-field email opt-in forms.

As for where to place these CTAs, they can be near the top of your blog, above the fold, at the bottom of your blog posts, and elsewhere, like the footer of your website to make it easy for people to opt in. You can also add a slide-in.

Learn how to add a slide-in CTA to your blog posts using a free tool called Leadin here.

Another great way is to create a dedicated landing page for subscribers where you can direct people to from other channels such as social media, other pages on your website, PPC, or email.

Are you new to email marketing?

See this blog post for a list of more simple ways to attract subscribers.

Are you an advanced user?

Read this one for more advanced tips.

There are a couple of email services providers that bloggers use. See why I, like many bloggers, prefer AWeber.

How does Aweber compare with its competitors?

My personal experience with AWeber as an affiliate and a customer

Now, how can you funnel your blog visitors into your email list?

By offering them a valuable resource like an eBook or a free course and driving traffic to your opt-in form.

N.B.: When setting up your WordPress theme, include space in the web design for a landing page section, call to action, or email collection point.

Not creating your own sales funnel but preferring AdSense

Consider this.

An AdSense ad placed on your blog funnels your visitors to another website where they buy products at a much higher rate than you got from the ads.

Being that you can sell pretty much the same products on your website and make that amount of money, what is the logical way to monetize your traffic?

Image source

Have you heard of Zac Johnson?

He is one of the names which count in affiliate marketing. He lists not building your own products as one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make.

All you need to start is build a sales funnel. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, like signing up for an ad. You’ll need to test and survey your users a lot. But, just as the sun shines again after the rain, your efforts could possibly earn you $1 for every unique visitor.

E. Failing to commit to the blogging process

Under this fifth heading, we will look at 4 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not blogging well and often enough
  • Not fixing inconsistent writing schedules
  • Not fixing inconsistent publishing frequencies
  • Not outsourcing your content writing

Not blogging well and often enough

Not committing to blogging consistently is another big mistake bloggers make.

We can divide this problem into two:

  • Not writing consistently
  • Not keeping a regular blogging schedule

Not writing consistently

This normally comes from people who entered blogging with the sole aim to make money. Such bloggers have no intention to work hard. At least, initially.

Yet, constructing a blog that builds your business takes time and effort.

When you go into blogging, you should plan on writing at least a couple posts (something like, two to three) per week for the first six months to get the expected results.

You certainly have to post more if you’re in a competitive industry. Neil Patel says he posts each day. And his phenomenal success shows for it.

This doesn’t mean that just any writing will cut it. Your posts would have to be keyword-rich with persuasive, compelling titles that people can’t help reading, linking to and sharing on social media sites.

That association of the need to be consistently publishing and the need for consistent post quality is the key to successful long-term blogging. Meaning, it’s not likely you’ll experience overnight success.

But that shouldn’t discourage you because…

It’s in the order of things.

Blogging more often not only brings increasing traffic but also helps you to collect more leads and acquire more customers.

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When you produce more helpful content, you deliver more value. As you gain traction, it goes without saying that you’ll generate more leads and attract more customers.

See how blogging daily to produce more blog posts generates more inbound traffic.

Will the opposite happen when you stop blogging for a while?

Have a look at Buffer’s traffic when they stopped blogging for just a short period:

What happened was over a 4% drop in traffic. That doesn’t sound terrific until you know that it equates to 40,000 fewer visitors!

Neil Patel experienced a similar thing when he intentionally dropped just a few posts from his blogging schedule.

His traffic dipped by 10,000.

So if your blog drives a good amount of traffic, it’s never a good idea to pause content creation.

One of the biggest reasons why people visit your blog often is because of the fresh content they get to read at each visit.

If you subject them to successive hiatuses, they may abandon you altogether.

“But one can write only a certain number of posts per month!” you’d argue.

Yes, it’d be tough to post more than a certain number of times (say, 16) per month.

Not keeping a regular blogging schedule

This blogging mistake ensues logically from not writing consistently. For it is hard to imagine a blogger who produces content regularly and not post them on their blog.

Not fixing inconsistent writing schedules

If you’re a blogger long on time and are prolific and methodical, the first suggestion is especially good for you. But if you’re short on time but have financial means, we will suggest a solution for you too.

Use HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator for content ideas.

This is one of the easiest ways to create an angle for your next blog post.

To get started, head over to the HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Type a keyword into the first box and hit “Give Me Blog Ideas!”

The tool will give you multiple blog ideas and topics to schedule for an entire week, or even month, of blog posts.

Repeat the above process for different topics that you want to target, and proceed to the next step!

You’ll no longer talk of shortage of blog topics to write about. You may even have more blog topics than you know what to do with!

Not fixing inconsistent publishing frequencies

Schedule ideas in your calendar

Getting blog post ideas handed to you on a silver platter is one thing. Taking action on them is another. And this is by far the more crucial step. For, action speaks louder than words.

This means you have to schedule your content so that it actually gets written!

Apart from helping to keep your blog updated, posting content frequently to your blog also makes search engines to index it frequently. This can make your content to rank well and strengthen your authority in your niche market.

Besides, Google shows its love for websites which are updated regularly with fresh content.

To be convinced, look at what self-improvement blogger, James Clear, achieved in his blogging journey of 939 days when he wrote a new blog post every Monday and Thursday.

See the benefit of this posting consistency to his blog:

James amassed a whopping email subscriber list size of 200, 727!

Whew!

If you use WordPress, you can download a plugin on the dashboard to create your own editorial calendar.

It’s free and provides a simple drag and drop interface super simple to use for new bloggers who don’t have complex WordPress plugin and planning experience.

Or you can use Google Calendar to add your blog post ideas into designated time slots:

This makes it much easier and more efficient to write 16+ posts per month.

Even at HubSpot, they typically use good ol’ Google Calendar as their blog editorial calendar.

You can learn how to set up step-by-step here.

Or, you can click here to download their free editorial calendar templates for Excel, Google Sheets, and Google Calendar, along with instructions on how to set them up.

Alternatively you can also use Trello.

It’s used by huge blogs like Mashable and ReadWrite.

In 11 Beginner Mistakes That Cripple Blogs in Their First Year, Neil Patel suggests aligning your editorial calendar with your inbound marketing strategy. Then he gave the following questions to consider while creating your calendar.

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Do you know that you can also use an editorial calendar for all your blog, newsletter and even YouTube content you send out?

The more content platforms you manage the more you need to plan out what content is being published. And the best way to do that is using Trello or a template in Google Docs.

Holly says “I use Google Docs to store my editorial calendar and video ideas, and Evernote to store all of my different content ideas.

My Google Doc template lays out what piece of content is going out on each day of the week and what category each falls under.”

Not outsourcing your content writing

Getting free blog topic ideas is one thing and writing the posts another one, and a difficult part if you don’t master the subject matter.

If you don’t have the time nor the acumen to write but have money, you can outsource content writing to experts on fiverr. Many successful bloggers do it. And it works fine.

But a word of caution.

Fiverr is a site originally created for everything costing $5, hence the name. If you approach content outsourcing with that mentality, you may be disappointed.

In life, you get what you pay for. Paying $50, $100, and preferably more per article, will get you a blog post which will drive traffic, leads and conversions which will bring huge returns on investment.

And with that let’s see in the next heading what not being realistic brings.

F. Failing to be realistic

Under this sixth heading, we will look at 9 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Thinking you need to publish daily
  • Expecting every blog post of yours to go viral
  • Expecting that value-adding high-quality content will flood your blog with traffic
  • Awaiting instant results
  • Being over-confident
  • Consuming too much content or too little
  • Being in it solely for the money
  • Not having time to develop your skills
  • Loving complexity

Thinking you need to publish daily

Publishing blog posts daily is not bad per se but when you do so without adding any value to conversations, you waste space.

You clog up readers’ inboxes with the arrival of yet another blog post instead of getting them excited to see another email of yours. They may unsubscribe from your mailing list.

So, don’t waste your time and other people’s with an endless stream of scrappy blog posts. Only write when you have something to say. Your audience would love you for that.

Expecting every blog post of yours to go viral

You just can’t wait to publish a blog post which, you hope, will go viral. You feel it.

After you publish it, you check the traffic numbers in Google analytics.

To your dismay, your post does not do so well, and you wonder what happened. Was it your post? Was it Google which has been mean?

Most of the time it’s nothing more than an unrealistic expectation.

Reality is that not every blog post you write will go viral or get 100,000 visitors a day.

Imagine, only 1% of blog posts online get over 1,000 shares.

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And the majority get less than 100!

While your blog posts may not go viral, Neil Patel suggests to use one of his favorite tools to drive more traffic every time.

It’s called Google Trends.

Use Google Trends to scout viral topics.

This tool helps you see trending topics and keywords.

Google Trends tool saves you time as it helps you assess whether targeting specific topics and keywords is worth your time.

For example, Neil wanted to write a local SEO article.

He searched for it on the Google Trends page and found that the topic was declining.

So he didn’t invest his time and energy into something that no longer interests people.

Better still, Google Trends will show you the current viral topics and stories.

For example, here it is solar eclipse or “Game of Thrones.”

Neil suggests you could write a blog post like, “How Game of Thrones Inspired My ___ Strategy.” But he says associating Khaleesi to something like SEO might be tricky, but it would definitely get some attention and bring you traffic!

Expecting that value-adding high-quality content will flood your blog with traffic

Remember we quoted that under 1% of content gets more than 1000 social media shares?

Here is the image once again:

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What then can you do to attract lots of social media shares and a flood of traffic to your blog?

Create the right kind of content

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But the right content is only a part of the equation.

The other is to plan a strategic outreach campaign to build relationships with the influencers in your niche.

Awaiting instant results

Often, I see new bloggers asking on Quora, “When can I start making money blogging?”

Seasoned bloggers answer them: “Not immediately/Never.”

You don’t start getting traffic, leads or sales, and even comps or gigs or advertising simply because you have a blog.

You get these things when you have an audience. And people just starting out in blogging have no audience.

Don’t expect to make a dime for the first year of blogging.

The reason why many bloggers never make any money is that they quit before they’ve been long enough at it to cultivate an audience. And, many companies won’t work with a blog which is less than a year old.

So, work on your craft, create quality content, and be consistent with blogging. An audience is cultivated at a snail’s pace but when you continue doing those three things, your blog will grow.

Being over-confident

Have you heard the proverb, everything in moderation?

That holds true in blogging also.

Having some amount of confidence can make you stand the vicissitudes of blogging and help you grow your online presence. But cultivating too much confidence won’t get you anywhere.

If you feel that your degree in English should make people like your blog posts and share them like crazy and/or that the amount of articles you’re writing should lead to a certain amount of pageviews a month, then you may be in for a shock.

Too much confidence may also not enable you to acknowledge your personal and professional shortcomings and weaknesses and will not let you seek help beyond your own self.

So before holding yourself as somebody in blogging, earn enough experience and credibility first.

Consuming too much content or too little

If too much of everything is bad, too little could be also.

Saying that they want to learn from the best first, some new bloggers read blog post after blog post and fail to implement what they are reading.

This is a sign that you’re overwhelmed and need to cut back.

Holly of ABranchOfHolly said she was guilty of this. Then she I stopped.

“Instead of reading every post about blogging tips out there, I picked 3-5 key people whose content I read, implemented and shared,” he said. “And you know what happened? I became a lot clearer and started to take action.”

So, pick 3-5 successful people in your niche that you admire and learn from them. You’d be glad you did.

Being in it solely for the money

A lot of people, including me, started our blogs purely for this reason.

For me, it was essentially out of necessity and ignorance than greed.

I was eager to escape my 9-5 and I didn’t know that I had to help my readers solve their problems. I thought blogging just like that was enough to make money.

But look! People hate to be sold to. And when other bloggers are helping your audience with solutions to their problems without heckling them to buy anything and you’re offering no value but keep on bombarding them with buy notices, where do you think they’ll go to?

When we see stories of bloggers making loads of money, we think, “Jeez, I wonna do that too.” And we start a blog.

Anytime Holly of ABranchOfHolly is asked to take part in a few round-up posts where he shares a top piece of advice he’s learnt as a blogger, he gives the same piece of advice:

“You’ve got to love what you do. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul. You can just be in it for the money, the freebies or the pageviews, because that stuff doesn’t happen straight away, maybe not even within the first year. So you got to be dedicated, keep going with it and remember why you’re doing it.”

When you are blogging only for the money, your readers will see through that and shun you.

So get into blogging for the right reasons and all the things you crave will come when you’ve made a name for yourself.

Seek ye first the interest of your readers and everything else will be added unto you.

Not having time to develop your skills

As a new blogger, you should have some extra time. And one of the best things you can do with some of that time is to strengthen your online presence by developing your skills in the use of new tools.

How to strengthen your skills

When you decide to develop a skill in blogging, you may use some or all of the five ways top businesspeople employ to strengthen their skills:

  • Visualization
  • Affirmation
  • Education/Information
  • Association
  • Action

Visualization, as the first means of “programming” the subconscious mind, enables you to form and hold mental images of yourself as a successful blogger. It is important to rerun this “mental movie” over and over again.

Affirmation is telling your subconscious mind over and over again that you want to be a successful blogger, and it will work to fulfil the command.

Education/Information is to learn more about blogging so that it becomes less intimidating or less difficult to deal with.

Association makes you get good or better at blogging by being with people who are better at it. These people would challenge you, and you could learn from them by observing.

Action is what will give value to the above 4 ways when you act on your thoughts and ideas.

Successful people in the business field, especially in terms of careers, quickly follow decisions with actions. Because they know that you become what you DO and not what you think or say.

So, use these to hone your skills in Facebook advertising, Evernote, blogging tools, and social media management tools. And take your blogging and online presence to the next stage.

Loving complexity

Some people often associate complexity with high academic achievement, intelligence, or sophistication.

But this is not true. It’s just being pompous. For, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci

So, the next time you write, try to simplify your message. This will help your readers understand your post fully and be inspired by them in less reading time.

Readers are giving you their time. Help them make the best use of it.

So, let’s learn how to write right in the next heading.

G. Failing to write right

Under this seventh heading, we will look at 11 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not writing well
  • Not writing in plain English
  • Not writing like you talk
  • Not using persuasive copywriting techniques in your writing
  • Not avoiding making too many spelling, grammar and formatting errors
  • Not using short paragraphs
  • Not writing long-form content
  • Not creating blog posts which serve your larger company goals
  • Not infusing your personality into your blog posts
  • Not letting your main point dominate
  • Not refraining from writing stale conclusions

Not writing well

A blogger’s objective is to find and retain readers.

This cannot be done with bad writing which turns off acquired and potential readers.

Before bloggers became writers, editors and media owners, people used to send their works to an editor at a publication.

In addition to the paper’s writers’ guidelines, the editor uses rigorous selection process to choose which pieces to publish.

With the ease and accessibility of creating a blog and publishing your own pieces nowadays, good writing as a criterion in getting published has almost vanished.

So, it’s not uncommon to come across formatting, spelling and grammatical mistakes in blog posts and articles published online, at least where there is no rigorous and independent editorial process.

Some of us who learned to write right and got published in serious newspapers and magazines, have also fallen into the lax writing which characterizes blogs.

Sometimes I cringe in awe when I’m rewriting one of my own blog posts as answers to questions on Quora. I find myself whittling down redundant matters which couldn’t have passed even by an inebriate editor.

These avoidable mistakes distorts the message you want to get across in your blog post. In addition, they make it unpleasant to read and difficult to understand. Worse, the reader is left with a less-than-professional opinion of the blogger.

In 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) put together by Cindy King, Corina Mackay, an entertainment-based social media manager and writer advises to “Use spell-check; take time to research ideas, facts and concepts you’re not sure about; and most importantly, read over your work before posting. This can make a huge difference.”

Young girl reading Compact Oxford English Dictionary
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Not writing in plain English

Do you use jargon, clichés, gobbledygook, ambiguity and bombast in your blog posts? Then you’re doing your readers a disservice because these things slow them down.

Jargon, which is vocabulary, phrases and styles of language which relate specifically to professions and specialized areas of activity, are only intended to be intelligible to those who are themselves engaged in the same field of activity.

Is that the case of your readers?

Certainly not.

That’s why when you use jargon in your posts, your readers are obliged to stop and think about the meaning of your words.

Clichés are words and phrases that are over-used as a substitute for simple, direct expressions. They are often used by bloggers under the mistaken idea that they are the latest fashion and therefore more likely to impress the reader.

The problem with clichés is that they had a specific meaning when coined. But as they are picked up and used over and over again, the original meaning gets lost or forgotten.

The constant use of clichés is said to be a sign of laziness.

Is that how you want your readers to see you?

When I checked in the dictionary, gobbledygook was defined as “confusing, pompous and roundabout language, or, unintelligible jargon”.

This takes up readers’ time without adding any meaning.

If you can afford to waste your time, never try the readers’. They will desert you.

Always make sure that what you write is explicit and not ambiguous. Ambiguity in writing can be understood in more than one sense by the reader.

This can be very confusing for your audience.

For example, when you write something like Liz told Betty that she had won the blogging prize, it’s not clear who won the prize. Was it Liz telling Betty that she, Liz, had won the prize, or was Liz telling Betty that she, Betty, had won the prize?

Bombastic sentences, which are full of unnecessary words, slow your visitors down as they try to process the meaning. Irritated, they click themselves out of your copy.

Is that what you expect of your readers?

When you eliminate the use of such language from your posts, you’re doing your readers a big favor and delighting them. As one good turn deserves another, they will return the favor in the form of repeat visits, leads, and sales.

Show your readers you value their time by writing in plain English.

Not writing like you talk

Is your writing too stiff like in an academic paper?

This mistake made by new bloggers stems from the only experience they have with writing a term paper.

The problem is that people don’t enjoy reading the term paper style of writing. Writing a blog post is much different.

Because of decreasing attention span which makes people only skim bog posts, most visitors aren’t going to read the whole of your article. If you want them to do so, try writing in a style that’s effortless to read.

Try to write blog posts that feel warm. Like one person talking to another. In other words, be more conversational in your writing. For, the more approachable your writing is, the more people will enjoy reading it.

So make your writing lively. Use contractions. Make a pun or two, as in Belloc’s suggested epitaph for himself: ‘His sins were scarlet but his books were read.’ That’s how real people talk and that’s what they like to read.

Not using persuasive copywriting techniques in your writing

If people began reading your blog posts and then clicked out of the page, this is a sign that there was no hook.

This opening paragraph mistake bloggers make coupled with the lack of a good angle was what did not make the piece interesting for visitors to spend their precious time on.

What then is a good hook and angle?

It states a problem or issue facing the reader.

Since they are looking for a way to take action on or fix the problem, the reader will only trust the blogger who states it forcefully right from the beginning.

Remember, it takes the average reader only 37 seconds to decide if a blog post is worth reading. A good hook does that.

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Fortunately a technique exists that helps you create content that enchants your readers.

It is a proven blogging formula that helps you write in a clear and concise manner that makes your visitors stick around to read the entire post.

This is called the Agree Promise Preview (APP) method.

Neil Patel even calls it one of his favorite blog writing techniques. If you know who he is, that must tell you how powerful the technique is.

The APP is the brainchild of another of my blogging heroes Brian Dean of Backlinko.

Let’s see what it is:

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The APP blog writing technique starts by acknowledging and concurring with an idea that the blog visitor will agree with.

See how Brian highlights this technique in this opening sentences:

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He empathizes with the reader’s pain points, making them to relate and agree with him on those points.

Then, he goes to the Promise step to set the hook.

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Look how he engages his readers by offering them a proof that he can help them solve their problems.

Finally he grabs the reader’s attention with a Preview of how his blog post offers a solution to the problem.

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“This formula works;” says Neil Patel.

If Neil says that, you have to take it as a gospel truth.

You can also check Neil’s own copywriting tips here.

Believe me, like the proverbial two heads are better than one, both techniques will make you write in a clear style.

As Neil says, “Instead of freestyling your writing, stick to proven formulas that drive engagement and make people stick around for the long haul.”

For, expert bloggers do not just write their posts, they resort to certain subtleties.

These consist in hooking readers with the headline and introduction. They then relate with your pain points and finally offer special bonuses leading to instant gratification.

Such a writing persuades.

And the use of psychology triggers in your blog post copy is crucial in this period of continuously shrinking attention spans.

It’ll make your website visitors to engage with your content and take action.

Besides APP, there are more tools that the pros use to create compelling content.

Click to check 3 proven copywriting strategies that have an enormous impact on your website engagement and conversions.

Structure your blog post and social media updates with AIDA

Have you heard of AIDA?

I hadn’t until learning about it from Neil Patel’s 11 Beginner Mistakes That Cripple Blogs in Their First Year.

He said AIDA is an awesome advertising formula for writing captivating posts, landing page copy, direct response copy and social media updates.

This is what the letters of the acronym stand for:

A for Attention – Draw the attention of your reader (by means of an enticing headline).

See how Kevan from Buffer uses striking headlines in his social media updates regularly.

I for Interest – Offer fresh and insightful information that’ll interest the reader. Brian Dean’s APP method is great for writing interesting introductions for your posts.

D for Desire – Stimulate your reader. Persuade him to trust in your idea by declaring its proven benefits.

A for Action – When the reader has engaged with your copy, don’t take it for granted he’ll take the required next step.

So, round up your post with a persuasive call to action (CTA) making it clear and easy for the reader to take your proposed next step.

The following is a print ad from Los Angeles Times following the AIDA model which appeared in 1988.

If you are wondering how the ad fits the formula, head to Crazy Egg for a detailed explanation.

“You” need to get personal

Many years ago I attended a seminar where we were taught to shift our focus from teacher-centered teaching to a student one.

That is, we had to move from a situation of the teacher knows all and gives all to involving the students in the course. “Do 40% of the work and let them do 60%,” the trainer of trainers said.

To my delight, I found that contributing to what they are learning make students more interested.

A similar thing has happened in blogging.

Expert bloggers have realized that their readers are keener on fulfilling their own needs.

So they shifted the focus of every post from less of “me” and “I” in their copy towards using more of “you” of the reader.

“There are few things that ignite most of us more than hearing our own name,” says Neil.

The use of “you” and “your” in your writing allow you to speak directly to your reader.

See a good example in the Sprint ad below.

The strategy is so effective despite its simplicity. No wonder Brian Clark lists ‘you’ among the two most important words in blogging.

Not avoiding making too many spelling, grammar and formatting errors

If you don’t proofread your blog posts, readers will detect spelling and grammatical errors in them.

What if you used editing tools like Hemingway and Grammarly?

They’re useful. Unfortunately they don’t catch every single detail.

Spelling and grammatical errors aside, what’s going to make you appear more as a professional blogger is when you format your posts correctly.

“Your blog posts form the foundation of your blog,” says Holly in 11 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make In Their First Year. “They’re what people see the most. So read through each blog post after you’ve written it and format it with your readers in mind.”

Finally, make sure your blog post is just not one solid block of text. Then check for any errors before hitting the publish button.

Not using short paragraphs

Almost every new blogger makes this mistake. I did too.

Hell. Go to my old blog posts and you’d find giant solid blocks of text without any dividers.

Remember, today’s readers on the web have a shorter attention span.

Long paragraphs of text that aren’t broken up in some way discourages them like being forced to eat the food you hate most. And, even if they summon the courage to read such posts, it soon bores them to death.

But your job is to make visitors remain on your blog for as long as possible. Make it easy: motivate them to stay.

The solution to motivate them to stay longer?

Avoid long paragraphs and break your short paragraphs up with headings, bolding, and photos.

These make your blog posts smooth to read and easily digestible.

Not writing long-form content

When you’re not able to handle enough short-form content for your blog, it sounds insane to be asked to write a few thousand words more about the moment’s trending topic.

That maybe explains why one of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is not writing long-form, actionable content.

But this is a costly mistake. Long-form content generates more than 9x more leads than short blog posts.

What is a long-form content then?

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As you can see, the average blog post is just over 1,000 words.

Yet, the top-ranked content on SERPs is much longer on average.

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With the exception of position 2 above, all the pages in the first ten positions are over 2,000 words long.

The reasons these long-form content rank on the top page of Google are that they’re long, actionable pieces. They contain enough information to help searchers solve their problems.

Besides, they’re how-to posts that help users do things like correct mistakes or set up new systems.

Take this very post, for instance. It’s long-form one broken down into sections of the most common blogging mistakes and how to fix them.

That’s actionable content. Bloggers can use the suggestions to solve their blogging problems.

If the thought of creating longer, more actionable blog posts scare you, let’s show you how it can be done.

Show, don’t tell

Don’t explain the problem and not offer a solution…

Also, don’t use one sentence to explain the problem and then provide a non-actionable solution.

For instance:

Problem: One reason why you’re not making money with your blog is that you’re not building an email list.

Solution: Use AWeber autoresponder email management system to do it.

Instead of telling the reader what to do, show them a step-by-step way to solve the problem.

Back up your assertions

When you affirm something, you need to back it up with data for credibility.

Wrong: You state “Email marketing is still alive and worth your time” but give no hard statistics to back up your claims.

See an example from Curata of how to look for statistics to support your opinion.

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These sites contain data and studies to help support your arguments and throw light on real problems.

There is a search function on MarketingProfs to search for data on your topic.

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Neil searched for “content marketing ROI” and got the following:

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Almost 10,000 charts and data you can use to better explain the problem and agitate and solve it so that your readers become fully aware of the need to fix it.

Be more actionable.

But, don’t count on them to solve the problem, you have to entice them to take action.

For that, write how-to blog posts with tools at your disposal.

An example, is this Neil Patel post on fixing a failing lead-generation strategy:

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He takes the user step-by-step through the process, with screenshots of everything.

Evernote is the tool which lets him take these screenshots and also add annotations.

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Lots of annotation options are available to help guide users through any process.

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So, use detailed screenshots to help you provide truly actionable content.

Not creating blog posts which serve your larger company goals

When you get an idea for a blog post, the fact that it interests you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for your company.

You aren’t blogging just to please yourself, are you?

No, you’re blogging to solve problems for your audience and, so doing, grow your business.

In that wise, your blog post ideas should help sustain those growth goals.

Therefore, align your blog posts with your company’s growth goals.

Not infusing your personality into your blog posts

How many are we as bloggers writing on exactly the same topics?

Thousands, no doubt.

But when you read a blog post, you know, or, at least, feel, which blogger wrote it.

Now, ask yourself: What makes you different from the other bloggers? What makes you stand out in that crowd?

It’s letting your personality shine through.

Now, how can you let your personality shine through your blog posts and make them unique?

  • View topics from a fresh perspective
  • Present arguments to suggest an opposite approach to what most people believe is right
  • Share your personal experiences to guide your readers
  • Entertain with your unique sense of humor
  • Develop your own blogging voice that speaks strongly to your tribe
  • Share a glimpse of who you are to bond with your audience

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How you show your personality in your blog posts is a personal matter. While some bloggers crack jokes, others make pop culture references, and more others use vivid descriptions.

Here’s an example from the introduction of a post
by HubSpot’s Director of Content Corey Wainwright:

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“To infuse personality into your own writing, try looking for ways to relate to your readers on the topic you’re writing about — then write in the first person as if you’re hanging out with them and chatting about it. Make your tone personal, approachable, and engaging, just like you would in a face-to-face conversation.” – HubSpot Bloggers.

“Your personality, your experiences, and your voice make bring value to your posts. Your readers engage with you because of who you are.” – CopyBlogger.

Not letting your main point dominate

Although you must let your personality appear in your blog posts, remember you’re not writing an autobiography. Bringing up too many personal anecdotes can obscure the point you’re trying to get across.

A person is reading an article for a reason. If they do not quickly find what they need in it and repeatedly, they will click themselves out. To avoid that, you must restate your point in every section of the article.

“The best blog posts commit to an overarching message and then deliver it gradually, expressing it multiple times in small ways from beginning to end,” HubSpot Bloggers said in this post.

Not refraining from writing stale conclusions

It’s one of the blogging mistakes easily found in new bloggers’ posts.

I like how it is explained graphically by CopyBlogger in this post: “… serving up an uninspiring conclusion is like presenting the cheapest supermarket ice-cream after a lavish home-cooked meal. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”

When you’ve given your post your best, don’t wiz through writing your conclusion and disappoint your readers with a bland conclusion.

To avoid having such a conclusion, some people write it first. Others do it the day after writing their post.

Let me quote CopyBlogger again: “Put all of your enthusiasm into a conclusion that inspires, motivates, and energizes your readers.”

With that, let’s go to the next heading to see how to think of your audience.

H. Failing to think of your audience

Under this eighth heading, we will look at 5 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not knowing your target audience and devising a blogging strategy
  • Not writing for your audience but about yourself
  • Not identifying what resonates with your audience
  • Not engaging with your visitors
  • Not giving your audience something to walk away with

Not knowing your target audience and devising a blogging strategy

For beginning bloggers, the most common blogging mistake they make is to blog without defining a target audience.

These bloggers may clearly understand the topic alright and have the facts, but in their posts they connect with nobody in particular.

Writing for everybody may sound great, but it can kill your blog … slowly.

When you don’t have a particular audience, your blog posts become generic. They end up speaking to no one in particular and just waste your time, your readers’ and pixel.

It’s important that bloggers know what the audience already knows about the topic so as to craft useful posts. Otherwise, the posts deliver superfluous information or not enough information, making them déjà vu or too elementary. Or, the posts fail to touch on the problem being faced or doesn’t explain the problem being solved. Either case, the information is of no use to the reader.

Yet, as bloggers, you have to understand the problems confronting your readers and empathize with them. That is, literally feel what they feel and see through their eyes.

Once this is done, creating engaging posts that solve their problems and answer their questions is a breeze.

What is the target audience then?

It is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your blog content and business offers because both fulfill their specific needs.

For example, the target audience for a dog food brand will be dog owners. So, when they come to your website, they will see blog posts that might be useful for them. Things like dog nutrition, dog care tips, etc. They will also learn more about your brand. These will help them relate to you and your brand more closely.

But, let’s say you were blogging for the same brand without knowing who your target audience was. Do you think you can attract the right type of people to come check your posts and, more importantly, come back for more?

Your answer is as good as mine.

It’s therefore in your interest to define your target audience before starting to blog, otherwise your content will not resonate with your audience.

To get your audience, you must mind questions like: “Who are you writing your blog posts for?” and paying attention to the suggested answers: “Are they business marketers with annual revenues of $2M? Or are you targeting individuals with a yearly income of $50,000? Are they predominantly male or female? What are their pain points? What do they like doing during their leisure hours?”

If you want to succeed as a blogger, you must know relevant and specific details about your audience. Then use the details to devise a successful blogging strategy that appeals to your audience and bounces you to the top of the search engine ranks.

Do you think like this: even if you don’t know your audience, since they are searching online, they will find you.

Not really, buddy.

That will be tantamount to searching for gold in any soil at all.

People digging for the precious metal do so in a soil whose geological characteristics make them suspect rightly that it contains gold.

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It’s the duty of you the artist to convey your work to as many souls as possible.

Writing great content on subject matters that resonates with your target audience has a stronger chance of helping you fulfill your business goals.

You need to talk to them in their language using the platforms that they use.

See what boundless says to help you keep your audience in mind while writing blog posts.

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You may be wondering how to document your audience details.

Okay, here’s an actionable step-by-step guide to doing it and thus attract quality leads through your content.

First, a tool to spy on your competitor’s audience: It’s a good idea to spy on your competitors audience’s demographics
before
you create your persona.

This will help you in choosing everything, from your WordPress theme to your affiliate links and your blog post ideas.

To begin, plug your competitor’s website URL in Quantcast and click on ‘Demographics’ in the left sidebar.

Below is an example of Lifehacker’s audience demography.

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Depending on your business, you can have one or multiple buyer personas. If your brand caters to a wide range of audiences, then you need to optimize your content to conform to the buyer persona.

While you cannot appeal to everyone, you can write blog posts targeting more than one audience on a single page.

To do that, create a Venn Diagram and define the overlapping pain points; as shown below.

Venn Diagram and defining overlapping pain points
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Then, create a marketing persona: Do you create content alone for your blog or with others?  If the latter, then everyone doing that should have the same vision about your audience.

So, you must create a persona, a buyer persona.

A buyer persona is the representation of your ideal customer.

You can create this by analyzing your current customer base.

Another way is to apply a name and background to your customers. This is something like an educated guess of who your blog readers are.

You can also interact with your readers’ comments and install Google Analytics to collect data on them.

You may further ask questions with the YOP Polls survey plugin which is great for identifying demographics.

Even better, use a service like Survey Monkey.

It’s easy to set up and the free version gives you up to 100 responses and 10 questions per survey.

Knowing your audience’s goals, challenges and demographics can let you relate to them and write as humans.

Here is an example – Tom created by Visual Creatives.

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Look at the relevant details Tom gives, from his personal goals to his pain points to a day in his life.

Eager to create your first marketing persona?

Use this free template from HubSpot.

When you know your marketing persona, your blog posts will become more relevant and appealing to your customers.

While writing the persona, do dig deeper into your audience preferences, but for goodness’ sake avoid irrelevant details. Make the persona actionable.

The person once written, will enable you to know the search terms they tend to use. This can be useful for your search engine optimization.

How does the persona serve you in your writing?

“Once you have these personas in place, you can focus on developing specific content that appeals to these personas. Customized blog content based on buyer personas can generate 18 times more profit than general content. It also helps in getting more leads for your business, improves lead nurturing, and builds a dedicated customer base.” – 8 Blogging Mistakes Most Beginner Bloggers Make

Instead of addressing everybody, while writing, imagine that you’re talking to people one-to-one. In other words, write as if you’re having a conversation with your favorite reader. If you’re not sure who that is, make up an imaginary friend:

  • Write down what she’s dreaming of and what keeps her up at night
  • Consider what you can do to help her realize her dreams and take away her worries
  • Write down at least 20 ideas for how you can help in your blog posts

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Everybody would want to have lots of people read your posts. But when writing, just think of one person. Your post will instantly become more personal, more conversational, and more engaging.

Not writing for your audience but about yourself

This beginner blogging mistake comes from being egotist.

Now, let me ask you some questions.

Do you have a life which people will like to read about? Like a celebrity’s?

No?

Then why do you think writing about yourself will interest your audience?

Is that not being self-indulgent in the name of storytelling?

The harsh truth be told: your readers care less about you, your life, or your stories.

So, stop wasting your time and theirs by creating blog posts to fulfil your business goals.

In this case, you need to keep your readers first. That means writing about topics that they will find useful, topical, inspiring, interesting or entertaining.

Your readers want information to help them solve problems, to become healthier, happier, or more productive. So, you must educate your audience, address their pain points and inspire them to take action.

Does this mean that storytelling has no place in blogging?

Let’s see the answer in this Neil Patel post.

The power of story in blogging became evident when GrooveHQ wove a narrative into their blog posts.

In effect, they found a 296% increase in their full-page readers and 520% increase in average on-page time.

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What’s in question here is contextual relevancy.

Just as we said four sections above, you can occasionally put something about your own personality into your content. It can add color and personality to your posts. You may even add a post or two about something that has happened to you and has universal appeal.

But when you want to write a story about your life, ask yourself this question: Is there something in it for my readers? Can my experience help them solve problems?

If your answer is a resounding yes, then integrate the story.

Check the following tips by HubSpot for developing a story that resonates with your audience.

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You can even share some stories visually since images and videos do strike a better connection with your audience.

Look at the sensory evoking Squarespace website creation advertisement.

 

So, unless what you’re going to say about yourself is directly relevant to your blog posts, don’t make it about yourself.

This isn’t the whole reason they visit your WordPress blog to read your posts.

Not identifying what resonates with your audience

One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is assuming that your content will attract the attention of an audience, even though you don’t understand their pains to offer solutions for them.

Yet, if your blog content should perform well (i.e. generate traffic, leads, and sales), it must resonate with your audience and compel them to take action on their problems.

The secret is to define your buyer persona and get to know the things that matter to them in order to bridge the gap with your content.

“Your persona is the basis for everything you create. Writing for yourself won’t always resonate with your intended audience. If you, instead, speak your persona’s pains, challenges, and goals and they feel like you are speaking to them, they are more likely to stay on the page and convert on your offer.” – According to HubSpot Bloggers in this post.

Not engaging with your visitors

Maybe the biggest mistake bloggers make is not taking the time to respond thoughtfully to their readers’ comments and interact with them.

Responding to readers’ comments and questions show you care about their opinions. This interaction helps build readership because people who are acknowledged are likely to come back. People remember you when you show them some love.

Instead of acknowledging and responding to your readers as they comment, what do we see?

Writers treat blogging as a one-way communication instead of an active conversation with an audience. This is akin to attending a conference where the moderators didn’t provide for a question-and-answer period.

Imagine how frustrating it will be for those who had matters they wanted clarified!

No matter how interesting your content is, the richness often comes from the back and forth exchange with the audience. You will find people who ask great questions that benefit other readers. You will also get interesting ideas readers want to hear more about in future posts.

Let them know you’re a real person who really wants to improve their lives.

Not giving your audience something to walk away with

The mistake many new bloggers make with their content is relying on the conceptual and the vague instead of delivering the concrete.

But, just as action speaks louder than words, actionable content works better than the theoretical.

For your blog to stick out of all those writing about conceptual, vague ideas, you need to include actual, actionable steps in your content.

If your content should be useful, then your audience must walk away with an idea that they can implement.

“People want to learn how to do things in actuality, not just theoretically. When you’re done with a blog, ask yourself, ‘Will the reader know how to implement this idea?’ or ‘Did I provide steps to achieve success?'”- David Aston says in this blog post.

And for Rebecca White, Jr. Staff Writer at HubSpot, to add: “This might come in the form of a ‘how-to’ as you recommend they implement a particular strategy, or it might simply be a suggestion for a tool or tactic to make a process easier.”

With that, we’ll transition into the following heading of how to privilege quality over quantity.

I. Failing to let quality prevail over quantity

Under this ninth heading, we will look at 5 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • · You’re blogging about too many topics
  • · You’re focusing too much on word count
  • · You’re publishing too many short blog posts every day
  • · You’re not compiling your short blog posts into a single pillar article
  • · You’re adding to the noise

You’re blogging about too many topics

One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is covering too many topics.

These people harbor the mistaken belief that writing about a myriad of topics is the surest way to reach as broad an audience as possible,

There is also this widely-held idea that you need to blog a few times a week to make your blog always look fresh. An action which is good for people and loved by the search engines.

The effect is that these beginning bloggers gain in quantity (maybe in page rank too) but lose in quality.

Yet, the truth is that a good, in-depth blog post takes time to research, write and edit. With the exception of larger companies with a team of professional writers, the ordinary blogger does not have the time in the day to do this.

Further, we know that too much of everything is bad.

That’s why blogging about too many different topics (like fashion, beauty, fitness, food, gardening and music) is a common mistake bloggers can make in the beginning.

If you’re guilty of this, you’ll have a hard time growing a loyal community.

Bloggers that focus on 3-4 main categories of a same niche have a much better chance at getting readers to come back to their blog.

In other words, the more focused you are about a few specific topics, the more your traffic and engagement will grow.

This was what happened when this blogger moved from a lifestyle blog to one about online marketing with only four specific topics. The pageviews doubled in four months and doubled again between October and November of a single year!

The consistency of a blogger helps readers know what to expect. Remember, they don’t want to get too confused.

Embracing too many topics can make a blog lose its scope and maybe disengage the readers. Pinpointing a few key areas that your blog posts will cover can finely hone the content and laser-focus the knowledge and expertise of the blogger.

You’re focusing too much on word count

We saw several sections above that long-from content beats the short one in bringing traffic, leads, conversions and sales

So while writing your blog posts, you constantly stare at your computer monitor in the bottom left hand corner. Seeing 537 words, you wonder when you could reach 2,000 and even more.

Yet the task of a writer is not really to write more “text” as such but to communicate a message in the length it takes to do it right.

Can you get your message across in 500 words? Do it. 1,000 words? Do it. 1,500 words? Do it. 2,000 words? Do it. 2,500 words? Do it.

Short, focus on the message and deliver content of various lengths to bring variety to your blog posts.

You’re publishing too many short blog posts every day

When you hear big blogs like Huffington Post publish 2,000+ articles in a single day, you equate successful blogging to the quantity of posts put out in a day.

But, what you’ve not taken into account is the huge in-house team and volunteer contributors who write for these big blogs on a daily basis.

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Look, the quality of your posts is more important than the quantity. This is the case where too much is bad, as you can’t write just for the sake of doing so. It’s a waste of your precious time and especially the reader’s.

Not only the big boys publishing huge blog articles a day have blogging success. Some single-person blogs like Wait But Why, Mark Manson, and Backlinko make it big too.

Wait But Why publishes less than one post per week and gets over a million visitors.

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Mark Manson does even less. With only 12 posts until 2015, the blog is also getting close to a million visitors.

Their secret of achieving such a huge amount of traffic with a low posting frequency is the original perspectives (not rehashed ideas from other blogs) they write.

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They often use original graphics in their blog posts. Wait But Why, for instance, resorts to stick figures.

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Mark Manson occasionally comes out with original graphs.

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Their blog posts are only evergreen long-form content (1500 – 2000 word articles).

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They take their work seriously.

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Brian Dean has published only 100 well-researched, high-quality content. Yet his blog Backlinko does very well.

Coupled with the constant updating of his older posts keeps both the search engines and visitors happy.

As Neil Patel concludes in this blog post dedicated to the question, quality beats quantity.

You’re not compiling your short blog posts into a single pillar article

Of course, we said already that consistency is the key to blogging success. But, don’t equate consistency to forcibly publishing new blog posts daily.

Imagine that you run a blog about teaching English to French-speaking African students.

You blog posts will naturally dwell on topics about comprehension, linguistic competence (which includes grammar), vocabulary, letter writing, essay writing, translation, etc.

Let’s take a series of blog posts you will do on grammar points like verbs and tenses, pronouns, reported speech, question words, prepositions, comparisons, etc.

Now, a French-speaking person who wants to really master English grammar would love an extensive article that covers everything about grammar points, right from verbs and tenses to comparisons, etc.

If you take the time to compile all your short blog posts into a single pillar content covering all the important grammar points, readers will find it more useful.

Since people skim blog posts, make your pillar article such that readers can easily move to the grammar points which interest them most.

This will increase the value of your content and also improve the time spent on a single blog post.

Therefore, it’s recommended to create long-form content of 2,000 words or more to answer as many questions as possible on a given topic instead of writing short content of 1,000 words or below every day.

You’re adding to the noise

Do you have the urge to create content just for the sake of doing it? Publishing material anyhow that lacks substance just adds to the clutter out there.

This diminishes your credibility and lowers the quality of the blogosphere.

Now, how can you put out quality content while also keeping up a steady flow of material?

The secret is to take one well-thought-out topic and break it into smaller parts.

Let’s take this blog post for example. The main topic is “68 common mistakes that bloggers make”.

This is divided into 12 headings.

Each heading has a number of sub-headings.

As you see, this approach could have given me both quality and quantity. But I kept it as one piece because I wanted a cornerstone content, each section of which I will use as 12 guest posts.

Had I decided to write the 12 posts on this blog, I would have started by letting my audience know what I was up to: “This is going to be the first of a twelve-part series that will explore the 68 most common mistakes bloggers make.”

With this simple technique, your audience will know there’s more to come and help to create suspense and demand for the next pieces.

At the end of the piece, invite readers to join in the conversation by commenting or sharing their thoughts. You may also include a survey/poll.

In the follow-up pieces, incorporate the most relevant feedback/input they provided to show your audience you had listened to what they had to say and that you value their opinion.

This is the way to churn out blog posts with a lot of value, and avoid adding to the information overload that’s already out there.

Therefore let’s go to the next heading to see best blogging practices.

J. Failing to adhere to best blogging practices

Under this tenth heading, we will look at 8 common blogging mistakes which are:

  • Not tying individual posts into the bigger blogging picture
  • Not using data and research to back up the claims you make in your posts
  • Not using examples to back up your arguments
  • Not citing others when you draw from their ideas
  • Not taking time to edit your posts
  • Not just not publishing your posts but trying to make them perfect
  • Not focusing on the long-term benefits of organic traffic
  • Not observing copyright compliance

Not tying individual posts into the bigger blogging picture

Another mistake bloggers make is that you don’t tie a specific topic into your reader’s broader struggle.

Your buyers are experiencing pain points and that is pushing them to seek solutions to their struggles.

You already know the importance of understanding their pain points and that your blog posts must resonate with your buyer persona.

So what is at stake, what readers gain by taking the action you propose, should be apparent in your articles. This way your readers know that you understand their struggle and that you want to help.

“Understanding how the topic you’re writing about will fit into a reader’s broader challenges will help you find meaning and value in any post you write, and will enable you to connect with your readers better.” – According to HubSpot Bloggers

Not using data and research to back up the claims you make in your posts

This is a common blogging mistake to avoid because it doesn’t make your point strong enough to let people take action on the struggle you’re writing about.

Let’s say you’re writing a blog post about why businesses should consider using TikTok for marketing to young people.

Which of the following two statements will be more convincing as an argument?

  1. “TikTok has grown in popularity with young people nowadays.”
  2. “TikTok might still be a bit of a head-scratcher for the older generations, but it has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with youngsters. 62 percent of TikTok users in the US are aged between 10 and 29 (Statista, 2020). In comparison, just 7.1 percent of them are over the age of 50.” – 10 TikTok Statistics

Your answer is as good as mine.

While the first one is just a fluffy statement, the second is much more compelling because it is grounded in data and research.

As marketing bloggers, we need data-driven content to make people believe our arguments but more importantly to convince them to take action.

According to HubSpot Bloggers:

“In any good story, you’ll offer a main argument, establish proof, and then end with a takeaway for the audience. You can use data in blog posts to introduce your main argument and show why it’s relevant to your readers, or as proof of it throughout the body of the post.”

Some great places to find compelling data include:

EXAMPLE written brown on white wall
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Not using examples to back up your arguments

Not adding enough context to your blog posts is another mistake bloggers often make.

Meg Prater, Managing Editor of the HubSpot blogs, says in this blog post he might write: “SMBs should expand their social media strategies to experiment with newer, cheaper channels.”

This may be true, but the suggestion is too broad to really convince people.

Now, let’s see a better way he suggested to share this with an audience.

“SMBs should expand their social media strategies to experiment with newer, cheaper channels. For example, you might test running ads on question-and-answer platform Quora, or simply answer industry questions for which your product or service is an answer.”

Do you notice the big difference?

“By adding a specific example to my previously broad statement,” Meg says, “I’ve made my point easier to understand and more actionable for my readers.”

The solution the HubSpot editors suggest is to illustrate your assertions with examples, visual aids, and additional content.

Not citing others when you draw from their ideas

You would notice I’ve borrowed heavily from other sources for this blog post. It’s not a bad idea. I wanted a roundup of the best ideas on the common mistakes new bloggers make. And I got so much from around the web that my post has turned into a huge pillar post.

Each time I’ve given credit where credit was due.

But for some reason, many beginner bloggers think they can just do with the suicidal copy-and-paste technique without citing any sources.

That is plagiarism.

Plagiarism doesn’t work in blogging, or any other form of writing for that matter.

First, if Google notices that you stole your content from other people, you site could be penalized. And this will affect your blog’s organic growth.

Secondly, with plagiarism being a crime, violating somebody’s copyright could cost you a lot.

“Instead, take a few minutes to understand how to cite other people’s content in your blog posts. It’s not super complicated, but it’s an essential thing to learn when you’re first starting out.” – According to HubSpot Bloggers.

You see, I’ve given credit to HubSpot bloggers. So simple, yet it saves me possible trouble later.

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Not taking time to edit your posts

Many new bloggers make the mistake of not editing their writing. When the first draft’s over, you think you’re done.

Nope, you’re not.

Don’t think because your blog post sounded so fluid in your head when you were writing it, it must also flow the same way when read.

Nope, it wouldn’t.

It’s said that writing has a way of taking over when the words are being put down on paper. This’s what creates the difference between your outline and your first draft.

Every first draft of a piece of writing therefore needs editing. And lots of it too.

CopyBlogger suggests to consider at least four rounds of editing:

  • Review the flow of the post. Can you remove any paragraphs without impacting your story or argument? Does each paragraph naturally follow the paragraph before it?
  • Take out the funny asides that aren’t funny or aren’t relevant.
  • Polish each sentence. Cut overly long sentences in two; replace difficult words with simple ones; and cross out redundant words.
  • Correct any grammar or spelling mistakes

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During the editing of your first drafts, you’ll also need to fix typos and overlooked mistakes such as its/it’s and their/there. This is what will make your story flow just as well as it did (or even better) in your outline.

The more time you put into editing of your blog posts, the easier they will be to read.

Your readers will love you for that.

To help you with editing, see HubSpot’s checklist for editing and proofreading a blog post.

Not just publishing your posts but trying to make them perfect

You have to revise the first drafts of your posts a number of times. But of course, you can’t go on editing forever.

There’s no such thing as perfection. Therefore your blog posts are never
going to be perfect.

There will always be something lacking which could have made your posts shine like a gem. It could have been:

  • better application of elementary principles of composition (more use of the active voice, omitting needless words, avoiding a succession of loose sentences)
  • images (more, larger ones),
  • better phrasing (shorter sentences, wittier jokes)
  • an approach to style (writing with nouns and verbs, not explaining too much, not injecting opinions, avoiding foreign languages)

Lastly, your blog posts are not couched in stone. Anytime you find a glaring mistake, you can simply hit edit and update the post.

Remember, perfection in blogging is the procrastination of posting.

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Not focusing on the long-term benefits of organic traffic

Beginner bloggers are especially guilty of this blogging mistake.

You concentrate your analysis on immediate traffic (from email subscribers, RSS feeds, and social shares), and forget that you’ve created your blog for the long haul.

That’s why when you find that your blog posts aren’t generating any traffic after a short period of blogging, you lose your confidence. Thinking that your blog has already failed, you abandoning it prematurely.

It is a big mistake to focus on the spikes of short-term traffic and not care for the cumulative potential of long-term organic traffic. Over time, the cumulative effect of traffic from individual posts will eclipse the ephemeral ones you are concentrating on. It’s just a question of time.

But don’t count on time alone. To help drive long-term traffic, continue to write blog posts with durable relevance. These “evergreen” blog posts which are valuable, of high quality and stay relevant year after year and need little or no upkeep.

“Over time, as you write more evergreen content and build search authority, those posts will end up being responsible for a large percentage of your blog traffic. It all starts with a slight shift in perspective from daily traffic to cumulative traffic so you can reframe the way you view your blog and its ROI entirely.” — Amanda Sellers, HubSpot’s Historical Optimization Writer, said in this blog post.

Not observing copyright compliance

Many new bloggers do not exercise caution when using images from third party sources.

What these people don’t realize is that you can’t simply embed someone else’s photo in your blog post and add a link crediting the source.

As you hadn’t obtained permission in the first place to use the photo, acknowledging the copyright owner makes you as guilty as when you use it uncredited.

So you may find yourself paying $3000 for a photo of Nebraska or $4000 for an $8 photo?

That’s how biting lawsuits can be.

And don’t think you’re covered because you picked up the image by using Google’s non-commercial filter.

You wouldn’t believe the number of incorrectly listed images.

Here is a list of things that don’t release you from liability.

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Now, there are millions of blogs in the world. Could you get caught for using a copyrighted image?

Yes. Sooner or later you’ll get caught.


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So if you need to use images that aren’t your own, buy it.

If you’re short on cash, opt for Creative Commons images on Flickr by using the Photo Dropper plugin and adding a link to the original image.

You can also search for Creative Commons images on Flickr and add a link to the photo with the photographer’s name.

But did you know that even that doesn’t shelter you from lawsuit?

The implications of images with creative common licenses and public domain repositories go beyond attributing the owner and linking to their website. Unknowingly, you may be going beyond what counts as fair use.

Learn more about fair use of online images at Social Media Examiner.

If you don’t want to risk a copyright violation, use an image only after obtaining permission from the owner.

So, how do you stay safe?

Here are three ideas:

  • Purchase stock photos from a website like Photo Dune. Or buy a yearly subscription.
  • Hire a photographer or a graphic designer.
  • Learn photography and buy a DSLR camera.

Violating copyright applies to text too.

Don’t copy and repost other people’s material. Better quote them up to a paragraph or two and then link to the full piece.

Now, let’s leave that behind us and see in the coming heading how lack of promotion and over-promotion affects you.

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K. Failing to promote or promoting too much 

Under this eleventh heading, we will look at 7 common blogging mistakes in promotion which are:

  • Not promoting your blog content enough
  • Not refraining from excessive self-promotion
  • Not choosing consistent social media handles
  • Not adding social sharing buttons on your posts
  • Not encouraging your followers to share your posts
  • Not mastering how to use social media effectively
  • Not having a strong brand statement

Not promoting your blog content enough

Although it’s important to write new blog posts consistently to get traffic to your blog, that’s not enough. You also need to promote your content online to extend its reach.

That’s why one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is not really marketing yourself enough. Once the article goes live, you dump your link on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin and disappear.

Thinking you have it done, you wait for readers to come flocking to your blog. And when the traffic fails to show up, you wonder why.

The problem is that, that’s not the right way to go. It even annoys your readers.

A promotion plan is what you need to bring your blog posts the critical attention they deserve. Without that, your blog may fail at bringing in traffic.

For a little more than a couple years, I had no promotional strategy for my blog posts. I thought hitting publish and sharing it once was all I needed to flood my site with traffic.

I could not have been more wrong.

In the present highly competitive market where businesses are scrambling to increase their visibility through content marketing, you can’t afford not to promote your blog posts.

Doing so on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin will bring them to the notice of your target audience.

This is what will make them share your content and get hundreds more people see it.

There’s a lot of content shared every single day, making it difficult to stand out in all that clutter. But it’s actually worth more being in that noise than without.

You would want to share your blog posts on the day it goes live, on the next day, the week after, the following month, and so on. You want to make sure you’re giving people the opportunity to see your content.

So mind your marketing strategy.

“Even if you get enough traffic on your blog posts, you shouldn’t shy away from promoting them online because your ultimate goal is to get as many leads as possible and convert them successfully.” – EClincher

Check Kristi Hines, author of the popular blog Kikolani and the Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Promotion.

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Not refraining from excessive self-promotion

Although you need to promote your content online to extend its reach, a mistake some bloggers make is engaging in too much self-promotion. They talk too much about their blogs and the products and services they’re promoting.

That’s not the best way to go about it because it drives your followers crazy.

See.

If someone lands on your blog for the first time, it’s not yet because of who you are. They found or heard something which made them decide to check you. So, for the moment, they only care about their problems and how your content, product or service can help solve them.

Your content must therefore put the customer first to build trust. When you build relationships and create a community that wouldn’t hesitate to advocate for you, sales is a done thing.

An African proverb goes that one head cannot rule a village. So, from time to time, you must go outside your own products, services, and company and talk about others’ to enable your readers’ have other solutions to their issues.

This attitude will builds trust, and show your audience you really care about them.

Not choosing consistent social media handles

Which name should you use for your social media handles? Your own or your blog’s?

It’s yours to decide. But whatever it is, the name you use should be the same across all social media platforms.

I’m Akoli Penoukou everywhere:
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and others. This consistency makes it easy for people to remember me.

Should your name or your blog’s be too long, you’ll want to choose something short enough to be used everywhere. Twitter, for instance, has a 15-character cutoff for usernames.

Choose a short, consistent name. Then head to NameChk to make sure it’s available on all the major platforms you want to use.

Social media buttons
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Not adding social sharing buttons on your posts

This is a big mistake which will not enable people to extend the reach of your posts.

Tell me. If people don’t see social sharing buttons on a post encouraging them to tweet, pin, share on Facebook, how on earth do you expect them to do so?

Your readers are preoccupied with their lives. So you need to make things as easy as possible for them. And don’t expect them to copy your post’s link and paste it into the window of their social media handles.

What’s in it for them to go to such an extent?

To maximize your share potential (and thus your traffic and audience), get a social sharing plugin on WordPress.

Not encouraging your followers to share your posts

This mistake is so common that it bears talking about, even if briefly.

Don’t expect people to share your blog posts simply because you’ve made it easy for them to do by giving them buttons to just press.

You must encourage them to do so. Something like: “Share so that your friends can also benefit from this post. Thanks for showing some love.”

Not mastering how to use social media effectively

Facebook was where everyone shared their posts to a large following. But now they favour paid content.

Instagram was easy to drive traffic from. Then they changed their algorithm.

You’ve began to learn how to use Twitter to generate traffic to your blog. Then you hear you need to be on Pinterest. Hardly have you started there, when everybody is talking about TikTok.

What must you a new blogger do? Which social media platforms are the right ones for you to focus on?

Many people advise to concentrate on one or two of them. But one of my favourite blogs said they found four to have really worked for them:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

“These four platforms have played a huge part in getting me to where I am today and winning my two blog awards. So don’t worry too much about platforms like LinkedIn, Periscope or even YouTube.” – abranchofholly

When you get yourself set up on those four platforms, take it from there step-by-step.

This is because each platform is different. You must know when and how to post on each.

Not having a strong brand statement

Do you describe yourself in generic terms like, “I run a beauty blog”, “I’m a fitness blogger”, “I run a fashion blog”, “I’m an inspirational blog”, or “I run a lifestyle blog”?

Then listen to this about your brand statement:

Maybe the number one mistake you’re making about blogging is not having a solid enough brand statement.

This could explain why you’re not attracting your ideal reader.

How about that?

Nobody likes to read a blog which sounds generic, because they don’t know what’s in it for them. They want something precise for solving their specific problems.

So you need to convey what makes you different and how your content will encourage/entertain/ inspire/help them.

Check the following if you are not sure about your direction yet.

Then check the last heading if you’re a hermit blogger.

4 hands etched out of blue paper pointing to acentral point with words CONNECTED on right hand side
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L. Failing to be a sociable blogger

Under this twelfth and last heading, we will look at 3 common blogging mistakes in sociability which are:

  • Not collaborating with other bloggers in your profession
  • Not sharing your expertise
  • Not going it with others

Not collaborating with other bloggers in your profession

One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make, and which I’ve been guilty of myself, is not collaborating with other bloggers. Yet, dedicated, passionate writers within your industry or niche, or, with whom you share the same passions and interests, are ready for such a thing.

When I first began blogging, and up until very recently, I didn’t even suspect that trying to do everything by yourself was not so productive. United we’re strong, divided we’re weak! That’s why collaborating with and promoting other bloggers make everyone benefit from increased traffic and visibility.

You could form a blogging group in your local business community or from across the globe. You can also start a Facebook group or even join one. Each member commits to comment on other members’ blog posts and promote each other’s business through social media.

Resources like Blog Catalog are useful for you to find other popular sites in your niche. And communities like BlogEngage help in the exchange of feedback and links by like-minded bloggers.

Your blog is not an island but part of a larger community. With additional promoters and a greater social circle to help you get more exposure, this could only accelerate the growth of your site.

Just as there’s enough place under the sun for all, there’s enough business to go around. So, a blogger needs to abandon the spirit of competition and embrace an abundance mentality in order to help each other grow!

If you want your blog to grow and your audience to benefit from other perspectives, you would want to engage with other bloggers in your industry.

Not sharing your expertise

Not sharing your expertise with other bloggers and their blogs is a mistake bloggers make. What you don’t realize is that this helps you to build credibility, reputation and trust.

Besides, the fastest way to build a community online is to share
information
. You think you’re doing this already because you share your post daily and interact with your community. But we’re talking about a different thing here.

You see, the most common and biggest problem bloggers face is attracting loyal readers. But readers don’t come from a void. You get them from authority blogs or sites where great information is shared and syndicated.

But how do you get them?

Through comments, and especially guest blogging.

This is the information sharing we are talking about.

So what’s lacking for the bloggers concerned by the mistake being discussed here is the integration of guest posts into their own blogging plans, as well as being a guest author on other blogs.

By sharing excellent information from and across a variety of sources, but not just your own, you rapidly build a community of targeted readers.

So if you want to beat the unprofitable method of searching for readers, and rather let them find you, do guest posts, comment on other blogs and ask to do interviews.

Not going it with others

Bloggers can be great storytellers, but unknowingly they cut themselves short. You think you have to generate the whole story yourself and therefore fail to liaise with other bloggers.

Yet, learning skills from popular journalists, unearthing stories and interviewing others from your industry is what David Aston claims in this post has enhanced his writing skills and opened many doors for him.

So you need to ask questions and go after a story. Follow your instincts and interests. Ask an author if he or she can do a Q & A.

So expand your reach by emailing other bloggers in your niche and asking them for interviews and other collaborative matters.

Wrapping things up

Blogging is a very lucrative career option for individuals and a great marketing tool for companies. Using it to educate your audience about yourself, your products and services, you are able to capture leads and convert them into customers and advocates.

But some bloggers are not able to harness these desired results because of the 68 beginner blogger mistakes we’ve talked about.

Probably you’re not making all of these mistakes, but every beginning blogger definitely made a certain number of them.

As I’ve said throughout the post, I’ve made quite a few of them myself. And you know what? Learning from those mistakes have now made me a much better blogger.

So if you make these mistakes, you can now correct your course by taking the recommended actions. They will be the fuel for the engine to propel your blogging career.

Effective, quality blogging can take time, but eventually you’d find it worth the effort when it’s driving revenue to your business.

Your Turn

What are the blogging mistakes you’ve made in the past, and how did you fix them?

Please share your comments in the box below.

Thank you.

Akoli

Your personal guide to securing your future online

 

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