If you have decided to start a blog – no matter what niche you’ve chosen – you’re probably super excited about getting your website up and running. As a new blogger, there are going to be plenty of surprises along the way. There is no denying that being a blogger is a bit of a learning curve, yet you will want to minimise as many mistakes as possible. With that being said, read on to discover some of the most common mistakes that new bloggers make so that you can avoid making them.
DISCLAIMER: I have made nearly ALL of these, whether it’s been on this blog or with previous blogs I’ve tried to start. I am by no means a perfect blogger!
Concentrating your Analytics on Immediate Traffic
You’re going to need to make the most of analytics so you can determine how your blog is doing. However, where a lot of bloggers go wrong is that they use the wrong analytics to judge the performance of their blog. The main problem is solely concentrating on immediate traffic to judge how successful your blog is.
It is difficult to prove the enduring value of your blog if you are only focusing on immediate traffic from social media shares, email subscribers and good ol’ Facebook group threads. Instead, you need to focus on the potential of gaining organic traffic i.e people finding your blog organically, through Google searches etc. This won’t happen straight away, but good things come to those who wait. My blog has been online since October and I’m really starting to see the traffic trickling through from Google now!
Not Blogging Consistently
In simple terms, the more often you blog, the more traffic you are going to get to your blog. This is not to say that you should be uploading a new blog post every half an hour. You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers or drive them crazy with a constant stream of updates. Plus, if you’re working full-time as well as running your blog, this just isn’t going to be sustainable without a burn-out. They say that as a blogger, 20% of your time should be spent writing content and the other 80% should be spent promoting it.
If you do not post on a consistent basis, you will confuse your subscribers. Leaving too long between posts will cause your readers to lose interest. If you post five times one week, you shouldn’t then only post once or twice the next week. Planning your blogging schedule is essential to keep your blog consistent.
Failing to recognise that you always need to keep learning
Another area where a lot of bloggers go wrong is by diving right in and thinking they have all of the tools they need to succeed. However, blogging is a learning process. There are always new skills to develop and new trends you need to keep track of. This does not only relate to blogging itself, but everything that comes with it. From online courses to local and onsite Outlook training courses, social media, image editing and graphic design there are so many different skills to develop and so many different ways you can go about doing it. Never stop investing in yourself!
Trying make every blog post perfect
This may sound like an odd one; surely you want every blog post to be perfect?! There are always going to be things that could make your blog post better, wittier jokes, better phrasing, or better quality images. Obsessing over this doesn’t help. Your readers will appreciate posts that are authentic and genuinely YOU. If I played around with my posts to perfection – I’d only be posting about once a month! There is a point where you just need to hit “publish”.
On the other hand…
Thinking you are finished once the writing is complete
It is surprising how many people make the mistake of not editing their writing. After all, it sounded so good in their head while they were typing, and so it must read amazingly, right? Well, this is not always the case! You would be surprised by how different a piece can sound once you read it back. Because of this, it is recommended that you always give yourself time to edit your content before you put it online.
I recommend using Grammarly to check your spelling and punctuation and the Yoast plug-in to monitor your SEO!
Your content borders on plagiarism
Of course, you’re going to use other blogs and websites for inspiration. Pinterest is my best friend. You can’t pluck everything out of your head! However, when you end up virtually plagiarising and stealing other people’s content, you end up in big trouble.
Not only can this damage your reputation, but it is likely that Google will penalise your website too, which could be a massive blow to the organic growth of your blog.
It’s important to take a couple of minutes to understand how to cite other people’s content in your blog posts. This is an essential lesson to learn when you are just starting out and it is not difficult to get your head around.
Besides, who wants to read the same thing over and over? Be original and be authentic. Your readers will love you for it – and it will keep them coming back.
You don’t use data as evidence
Last but not least, if you are presenting an argument to your readers, it is not going to look very convincing if you do not have any data to back it up? Simply stating that something ‘seems’ a certain way is very weak when compared with having the data to back it up. Whenever making claims in your blog posts, use research and data to back them up.
As you can see, there are a lot of hurdles to get over as a new blogger. You will make mistakes and misjudgements; this is simply part of the process. After all, you are not expected to know everything there is to know about the world of blogging overnight. Nevertheless, if you can avoid the blunders that have been presented above, you can give yourself the best chance of a smooth journey into the world of blogging. Good luck!