beginner blogging mistakes

Are you a newbie to the blogging world? If you are, you may be grasping at straws trying to figure out what kind of content to prepare, how to drive traffic to your platform, and even what platform you should use in the first place. There are lots of strategies you can try, but not all of them are effective for achieving the success you’re aiming for. Avoid having to learn everything the hard way by checking out these 5 beginner blogging mistakes most people make and what you can do to avoid them.

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1. Your post topics are too broad

One beginner blogging mistake that a lot of people make is choosing blog post topics that are too broad. For example, if you have a blog for your marketing brand, you may be tempted to write a post on “how to do email marketing.” And if you have a blog for your bakery, you may decide to write a post on “how to bake a chocolate cake.” After all, don’t you want to write something that’s broad enough to be relevant to almost anyone who would end up on your blog?

The answer is “no.” Why? Because these topics are too broad. Broad is bad for two reasons:

  • You’ll be competing with lots of people for search engine rankings and visibility
  • Your posts won’t resonate with people who are looking for info on really specific topics

The fix

Fix this beginner blogging mistake by homing in on specific topics your audience will be interested in (e.g., “How to write a good welcome email for your event planner clients” and “How to bake the perfect dark cherry, chocolate chunk cake.”) Are we making any of you hungry yet?

2. You’re not building an email list

This isn’t strictly a beginner blogging mistake. Lots of people, even those who have been blogging for years, are still making it. But this doesn’t mean you should follow their lead.

Building your email list is absolutely critical, and you’ll have a hard time finding a serious blogger who disagrees.

Why are email lists so important?

Because your email subscribers are the people who are most likely to engage with your content and buy from you. After all, they’ve already gone through the trouble of signing up for your list. That’s why email converts 3x more than social media does.

The fix

Avoid joining the ranks of bloggers who have made this beginner blogging mistake by starting your list today. Place sign up forms in multiple places on your blog and create an epic opt-in incentive (e.g., an ebook, guide, or checklist) to encourage people to join your list.

3. You’re relying on social media and SEO

When you’re new to the blogosphere, it can be easy to make this beginner blogging mistake. After all, you’ve probably read articles upon articles of how important it is to promote your posts on social media and make SEO a priority.

Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t use these as strategies for driving traffic to your platform. In fact, we’ve written about the value of both SEO and social media for boosting traffic to your posts.

What you don’t want to do is write posts stuffed with keywords or awkward phrasing that only an old-school search engine would appreciate. Remember, if your posts sound awful, no one other than your mom is going to read them (if even that!). Plus, it takes 4-5 months for a new site to get substantial search engine traffic. So don’t expect it to give you hits right away.

In the beginning, you also don’t want to spend huge amounts of time promoting your posts on social media. Why? Because social media platforms driver fewer visitors per hour to a site than almost all other strategies.

The fix

Write your posts for actual people and naturally incorporate niche keywords into them. And instead of counting on Instagram or Facebook to bring you traffic, avoid this beginner blogging mistake by focusing primarily on getting your first 1000 email subscribers.

4. You’re using images illegally

One beginner blogging mistake that’s easy to avoid is using copyrighted images on your blog. Sure, that photo of a startup team or makeup flatlay may look amazing. But it’s not worth the toll it’ll take on your budget, time, and credibility if you get caught using it.

Unless an image is free for commercial use with or without attribution, you can’t scrape it from another site and put it on yours. This is true even if you acknowledge the source.

In the same way that it wouldn’t be cool to copy and paste someone else’s copy onto your blog, it’s not okay to steal people’s photos. After all, they either paid for the photos or worked hard to create them.

The fix

Steer clear of this beginner blogging mistake (and all fines and lawsuits that come with it) by using one of these strategies:

  • Find free photos that are available for commercial use
  • Buy stock photos
  • Hire a photographer or graphic designer
  • Take your own photos

5. You’re settling for a free platform

One beginner blogging mistake that’s tempting to make is to place your blog on an existing blogging platform with free hosting (e.g., WordPress.com or Blogger).

If you’re just getting started with blogging and aren’t sure whether it’s a good strategy for your brand long term, starting with a free, hosted platform seems like a good idea. After all, you can switch to a paid platform when you’re ready, right?

Well, yes, but it’s not really that simple.

Hosted platforms let you start blogging immediately for free. But there’s a catch: you won’t have much control over what your blog looks like and what you can do with it. You can’t customize your blog as much, and it’s harder to put features in place to capture leads. You’ll also end up with a domain name that looks something like yourname.wordpress.com, which doesn’t look as professional as yourname.com does. And if you make the decision down the road to switch to a paid hosting solution, your domain name will change and your SEO will take a hit.

Having all of the fancy features right from the beginning may not seem important. But if you’re going to put in the effort to give blogging a try, shouldn’t you give it a fair shot?

The fix

The good news is that it isn’t as hard as it seems to avoid this beginner blogging mistake. Popular and powerful self-hosted platforms like WordPress.org are really affordable and pretty easy to use, even if you don’t have a web development background. They also have thousands of tutorials available online to walk you through almost anything you’d want to do.

Avoid these beginner blogging mistakes

Starting a blog can be daunting because there’s so much to learn and do. But the good thing is that you don’t have to go it alone. Take cues from people who used to be where you are now. If you can learn from their beginner blogging mistakes before (or not too long after) you make them, you can accelerate your journey to blogging success.

Having a hard time getting new subscribers for your email list? Learn our 4-step formula for building your email list like a pro.
Download the free email list builder cheat sheet.

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5 beginner blogging mistakes most people make + free email list cheat sheet
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