10+ Common Mistakes Amateur Bloggers Make
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure for more info.
Though arguably there are many ups and downs in one’s life as a blogger and that too in many different ways, but one thing is always common, that they were all amateurs once. No one can just start a blog today and *Poof* gained a massive audience following the next day.
It doesn’t work like that!
Building an online presence is a slow, frustrating but a rewarding process AND not everyone is cut out for what it takes. Avoiding some of the TERRIBLE common mistakes (which is discussed in details here) may push you EONS ahead of your blogging journey skipping all the frustrating part.
1: Not self-hosted, Come on now!
Let us take some examples-
1-Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income makes over $200,000 each month from his blog.
2-Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents makes over $121,000 in just a single month.
3-Melyssa from MelyssaGriffin.com makes almost $173,000 per month from her blog.
4-Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter makes over $20,000 from her blog.
The list goes ON……..What is common in all the successful bloggers out there? They started their journey on the right path! Yes, I am talking about being self-hosted. DUH!
The first mistake new bloggers and entrepreneurs commit is choosing not to self-host their website.
Why, you ask? Most don’t do so because of ignorance.
You NEED the right foundation to build your blog, And that is the good ol’ mighty “WordPress.org”. This means no WordPress.com, no Weebly, no Wix, and definitely not Blogger.com.
There are some free blogging alternatives in which you can start blogging (e.g-blogger) but you don’t want to do that because that blog will never be completely yours and you will NEVER get its full control ever.If they decide to take down your content,
Oh boy! The scary part? THEY CAN take down your content.
If you want to start your very own blog or have already started your blog I highly suggest you start your journey in the right path( Make your blog self Hosted) using my STEP BY STEP guide to starting a profitable blog with all the technicalities covered.
When it comes to the best hosting, Bluehost is my #1 recommendation.
Is Self-hosting CRAZY expensive?
Not at all, Bluehost is one of the top web bosting companies and you can start your own blog with as low as $3.95 a month (Usually $7.99, this low price is with my link). P.S – Bluehost charges yearly! So even at $3.95/month, you’ll need to pay for the full year. And if you are signing up with my link then you are going get the domain free (almost a $15 of value).
You can check if a specific domain name is available or not here:
Self-hosting your website is essential because it ensures that you own your own servers. It also allows you access to a great variety of essential plugins that bring various functions to your site.
2: Not investing in “useful” resources
When you’re new in blog-land, you try to do stuff on your own with a minimum investment in learning as possible which can cause harm sometimes.
The reason why my first blog failed miserably was because I wanted to figure everything out by myself. I felt that relying on blogging courses will be waste of money, but boy oh boy was I more wrong?
Long story short: I gave up after trying to ” Figure it out of my own” for a long time. And decided to start afresh. I didn’t knew how blogging worked, affiliate marketing, email marketing and most importantly, Pinterest. So I took a few blogging courses along the way.
I bought an ebook from Carlyonpurpose.com called Pinteresting strategies solely for learning Pinterest. Carly from Carlyonpurpose.com drives more than 200,000 monthly traffic from Pinterest without using Tailwind or Boardbooster, just manual pinning, FOR FREE.
Yup that’s correct! And I’ll say that everything she said in that ebook was on-point practical strategies that worked for me from day one. I am so glad I bought it and it was so worth the investment.
An interesting psychology trick our minds play when it comes to investing in something.
When I bought the ebook I had to spend time reading and learning, because if I didn’t, I’d be wasting the $32 I spent in the ebook which quickly snowballed into a great learning experience which helped me grow my blog. So somehow, If I had didn’t bought the book, I would have never forced myself to learn. PHEW!
3: Not focussing on Pinterest (Big mistake)
Pinterest is my (and of most blogger’s ) primary traffic source.Unlike any other social media, Pinterest posts have a much higher lifespan than others. In twitter, a tweet has a lifespan of few minutes, few hours for Facebook.
But for Pinterest, the lifespan of a pin can be as long as 3 months. Your pin from six months ago can go viral today. Thus providing your blog an evergreen traffic
How to Make full use of Pinterest?
- Pinterest Switch to business profile
- Pinterest Create boards relevant to your niche
- Create a “best of your own original pins” board
- Join group board similar to your niche
- Confirm your website
- Apply for rich pins
- Pin high quality pins Only.
4: Not starting an Email List from day one (don’t even get me started)
One thing to keep in mind that your email list is your MOST LOYAL READERS.
In 2013, Pat Flynn’s website was hacked.SPI(smart passive income) was down for an entire week after a DDOS attack left the site unusable.
As he was trying to get things back online, he was able to keep in contact with his email list audience to let them know what was going on. It showed him that even if his site was gone, he’d still have his email list so that he could set up things again if he needed to.
Now THAT is a HUGE peace of mind.
Guaranteed permanent traffic is NOT a thing anymore unless you have a really good strategy. With the changing algorithms in social media and Google SEO, getting traffic is just getting harder. A single algorithm change can destroy your traffic patterns significantly.
Your email list is yours to keep. Other external factors of social media algorithms cannot even touch your email list subscribers. So start building your email list from the beginning. If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to start now.
According to Capterra, the average return on $1 spent on email marketing is $44.25! This is why you should take your time and invest in a good email service provider.
Remember the time I talked about having the right foundation?
Yeah! that applies here too. Convertkit is my #1 recommendation for the ESP( Email Service Provider). You cannot go any wrong with Convertkit. It offers Automation features, self-responder and smart separator of people with different interests in your list.
The features offered by Convertkit is UNBEATABLE which includes Web forms, landing pages, sequences, tagging, Autoresponder, Resend to unopened emails option, Triggers and much more.
You can also get a free trial of 14 days of Convertkit and a 30 days refund policy( if you sign up with my link).
5: Website looks…#UGLY!
A good theme sets you decades ahead of your blogging journey! When you have an ugly website, visitors get an “Amateur/ not reliable” vibe from your blog, which later becomes an “Untrustworthy info source” and thus makes you no or little money.
Here is the thing, even if you’ve written some bomb blogs but if I don’t feel like reading your blog or buying the products you recommend, then you’ve already lost the game.
I’ve seen new bloggers try to wing their way out using a free theme but most fail to make a full-time income from it. The reason? The ” Free Theme” is not very customizable, and too with very limited features which hamper your potentials.
Let us take a glance at the pros and cons of a “Good (Paid) theme”-
- PRO #1: A good theme will update regularly for bugs, R.E.G.U.L.A.R.L.Y! Free/bad themes tend to end up slow and ridden with errors because there is no maintenance by their makers, or because they are coded with very bloated code. (huh! it’s free, what can you expect)
- PRO #2: Good themes are typically better for SEO as they are faster and have inbuilt SEO functions.
- PRO #3: Website and page loading is relatively faster.
- PRO #4: Provides a good first impression that leaves the reader wanting more.
- CON #1: The one and only con is that It is NOT FREE. You saw that coming, didn’t ya?
BUT! There are quite a few Paid themes out there, Soooooo which one to choose?
For those who are just starting out or have already started to blog, DIVI Theme is my #1 recommendation. The key feature of Divi is that it is You can customize your website however the way you want with Divi Visual Builder. Its super easy and have lower learning curve than most of the themes out there.
6: Inefficient Monetizing
Let me ask you a question.
Do you hate money?
Then why are you leaving money on the table?
Improper and inconsistent monetizing of your blog makes you lose your money. Add affiliate links to one product to various blog, wherever it seems relevant. And most importantly, don’t just slam affiliate products in the readers face, convince them by the explaining features and usefulness of the product! The art of making sales!
Tips on proper blog monetizing:
1: Create a resource page on your blog where you can recommend all the products (hopefully affiliate) to your readers.
2: Write a product review post
3: Write a “Two products” of the same type feature showdown post.
4: Promote the affiliate products through email marketing an explain how it will help them.
5: Write sponsored posts for once in a while.
6: Interlink your blog posts with one another. For example: stick links of blog posts to other blogs similar in the topic.
7: Being tooooo sales-y
I know that you are eager to make sales from your blog, and it might be driving you nuts when you are unable to.
I know that feeling too well!
But that doesn’t mean you have to shove products down your reader’s throat every time you get a chance. It becomes to seem a little annoying over time. Your primary goal through your blog is to be useful to your readers, provide some value through your posts.
If you succeed in doing so, money will surely come along.
8: Not diversifying your income
While most people think that just placing CPC or EPC ads on their blog will make a lot of money, that is not entirely true. You cannot earn a decent amount of money with just 10,000 pageviews per month totally dependent on ads.
In reality, the real income starts when you have at least 100,000 pageviews per month with only ads.
But with limited traffic, diversity of income becomes a necessity. Given below are some of the ways you can diversify your blog income!
- Join Affiliate networks
- Write an ebook
- Build an online course and make money
- Offer technical/ creative help as a virtual assistant
- Write sponsored posts
9: Not letting search engines to know that your website EXISTS
It is really easy to submit your website to google. Just head over to Google’s URL submission page and add your website URL there. OR you can also choose to submit your website’ sitemap via Google’s search console.
You may have to go through the hassle of verifying your URL, but I definitely recommend that you sign up for Google’s webmaster tools as it gives you a clearer idea of how your website’s contents are ranking in search engines. Thus, how you get traffic.
10: The comparison game
“Comparison is poison for your motivation”.
As a new blogger, you might fall into the “comparison ” traps, I know I have ( a lot of times). Seeing other bloggers in my own niche doing really good in blogging really makes me thinks ” What the FFFudge? How are they doing that in such short amount of time? My blog can never reach that level.” But kicking off these kinds of thoughts is probably for the best.
Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to your previous self.
11: And finally…NOT making your blog a priority
The main reason why some bloggers end up making Thousands per month, while others just fade away is the matter of Priority.
It means that I have to sacrifice my free TV time for my blog if I want results. You may start your blog as a hobby, playing around but to grow a full-fledged blogging business you’ll need a lot more than just a hobby.
If I want to make a full-time income from my blog then I don’t want to think stuff like ” oh! it’s the weekend and it’s my nap-nap time, I’ll work on my blog later”. JUST NO!
Let us wrap up the points we need to keep in mind while blogging:
1: Make your blog self-hosted
2: Invest in learning
3: Focus on Pinterest
4: Start your email list from day one
5: Use a professional (paid) theme
6: Monetize your blog efficiently
7: Try not to be too sales-y
8: Diversify your income
9: Submit your website to search engines
10: Don’t play the “Comparision Game”
11: Yes, MAKE IT A PRIORITY
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