20 Worst Blogging Mistakes You Need To Fix Now
Are you a new blogger and you’re not sure if you’re making the worst blogging mistakes without realising it?
Starting a blog is quite a challenge and the chance that you’ll make a few blogging mistakes is quite big.
But not to worry, to help you out I’ve made a list of the absolute worst blogging mistakes, so you can avoid making them or fix them if you already have.
Let’s have a look.
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Blogging mistake 1
You don’t have a purpose
When I first heard about blogging, I thought it meant keeping some sort of online diary that other people could read…
Boy was I wrong.
But I’m not the only one…
Lots of people still think this is what blogging is.
But guess what? As harsh as this may sound; no one is interested in your personal life.
Maybe if your life is a roller coaster of exciting adventures and travels, this type of blog could work for you. But for most of us, our daily grind is far too boring to attract any visitors beside your mum.
So you have to ask yourself: why did I start a blog?
What is the purpose of my blog?
The main thing to realise here is that your blog is about your reader and how you can help them.
So you need to figure out who your ideal audience is.
What are they struggling with?
How can you help them.
If you can answer these question, your blog starts to have a purpose and it will be easier to find blog topics to write about.
Blogging mistake 2
You haven’t picked a niche
Once you know who your ideal audience is, you need to pick or refine your niche.
Let’s say you picked health as your blog topic, that’s a good start but it might be a bit too broad. There are a million things you could write about in the health niche, but not every health topic is relevant for the same audience.
You could divide this niche into many sub niches:
- Health for new moms & babies
- Skin Care
- Exercise and muscle building
- Diets and weight-loss
And the list goes on…
As you can see, these topics are all very different and someone who’s looking for exercise tips might not be interested in articles about babies. Because of this, it makes sense to narrow down your niche for a very specific target audience.
To decide on a niche think of:
- What are you good at
- What do you know a lot about
- Who would you like to help
- How could you monetise this niche
For more tips on picking a niche read this:
3. You haven’t planned your blog
Do you know the saying: if you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail?
I know, cheesy right? But if you start a blog without a plan, without a purpose and without doing some research, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
Especially if you’re planning to make money with your blog, you have to make a plan and set some goals. To help you out, I’ve created a Blog Planner Workbook that guides you through the 13 steps of planning a blog. You can get it here:
Blogging mistake 4
You’re using a free blogging platform
I know it’s tempting to start on a free blogging platform, and it’s totally ok to do this if you’re not sure yet if blogging is something you want to commit to. But if you are serious about blogging and you see it as a long term commitment and business opportunity, you have to set up a self hosted site with WordPress.org.
It’s totally easy to do, (you can read my hosting set up tutorial here) and it only costs $3.95 per month.
Having a self hosted WordPress site has lots of advantages:
- You own your site and are in full control of every aspect of your site.
- You own your domain name.
- You’ll look professional to your audience and potential sponsors.
- Unlimited design options with 1000’s of themes available.
- You can customise your theme to create a completely unique site.
- You can add unlimited functionality with over 50.000 free plugins.
- You can monetise with affiliate links, any ad network or sell your own products or services.
- WordPress.org is the best for SEO
To set up your self hosted blog read:
If you started your blog on a free blogging platform and you want to move it to WordPress.org now, use this tutorial to help you transfer your blog:
5. You’re using an outdated or untrustworthy WordPress theme
Your WordPress theme is like the foundation that you build your blog on. That’s why it’s important to pick a quality theme from a reliable source.
A lot of free themes don’t get updated regularly, which can lead to security issues, leaving your blog vulnerable to hackers. Free themes also don’t offer any support, so if you run into a problem, you’re on your own.
Buying a premium theme is one of the best investments you can make when you start a blog. Besides making your blog more secure and getting support when you need it, premium themes are also a lot easier to use and often include extra features and functionality.
Some quality WordPress themes are:
6. You don’t have legal pages on your blog
Did you know it is required by law to have legal pages on your blog?
These templates are all FTC, GDPR and CCPA compliant and come with a course that explains how to use them.
Or if you want to learn more about blogging legally you can take this free legal course for bloggers.
7. You haven’t set up your WordPress site correctly
If you started a blog without knowing anything about WordPress, there’s a good chance you haven’t set up your site correctly.
Common WordPress mistakes beginner bloggers make are:
- Not installing a security plugin
- Not changing the default login details
- Using the wrong permalink structure
If you’ve made any of these mistakes and want to know how to fix them, read this:
Or if you are just starting our, you might want to check out this top quality WordPress course that teaches you everything you need to know about blogging in WordPress.
8. You’re not updating your site regularly
Your blog’s theme, WordPress files and your plugins all need to be updated regularly. Keeping everything updated means it’s less likely your plugins or theme have vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of.
9. You’re not making regular back ups
What is a blogger’s worst nightmare? Getting hacked and not having a recent backup.
Don’t let this happen to you!
To prevent this doomsday scenario, install the free plugin Updraft Backup/Restore and back up your site at least once or twice a month. This way you can simply delete your hacked site and restore a clean backup.
If you want to learn how to backup your blog and how to edit your WordPress site, I highly recommend taking this Wicked at WordPress course.
10. You’re using too many plugins
Using too many plugins can severely impact your site loading time. No one likes a slow loading site, especially not Google, so it’s important to delete all unnecessary plugins.
If Jetpack and Hello Dolly were already installed, delete them straight away because Jetpack is bloated and will slow down your site and Hello Dolly is completely unnecessary.
11. You haven’t checked your website speed
Your website loading time is important for the wellbeing of your blog. Website visitors are impatient and will leave if your site takes too long to load.
To avoid this, check out your site loading time with the web page test and spend some time improving your website speed.
If you need help improving your blog’s loading time, I highly recommend talking to Grayson Bell. He can not only help you with all your WordPress problems, he also offers a site speed service that will make your website load in less than 3 seconds.
12. You haven’t checked your site on a mobile screen
Did you know that more than half of your website visitors view your site on a mobile phone?
Here’s a breakdown of devices that my site visitors use:
Because of the large amount of mobile visitors, you have to make sure that your website is optimised for mobile viewing and everything is working correctly.
Common mobile design issues:
- the content is too wide and runs of the page
- pop ups overlap each other so you can’t see the content or close the pop ups
- mobile menu isn’t working correctly
Take the Mobile Friendly Test to check if your blog is optimised for mobile viewing.
13. You’re not using SEO
To get your blog showing up in Google searches, you need to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Of course you can drive traffic to your blog with social media and Pinterest, but that takes continuous promoting.
With SEO you optimise your blog post and website once and when done correctly your site will show up in Google search results for months at the time.
SEO might sound scary when you’re a new blogger, but its’s actually not that hard. To learn the basics of on-page SEO read my post:
14. You haven’t created a brand for your blog
Your branding and blog design is often the first impression your visitors get of your blog.
So it’s important you get this right!
A cohesive brand will connect with your target market and make your site visitors recognise and trust you and your blog. And trust is key when you want people to buy from you or through your affiliate links.
15. You’re not formatting your blog posts
No one likes reading big blocks of text on a screen. Web readers like to scan your post, so to make it easier for them you need to keep your paragraphs short and break up your text.
You can format your blogposts with:
- Sub headings
- Bullet list
- Pinterest pins
It’s also important to increase your font size and line height, your font size should be at least 18px and your line height needs to be adjusted accordingly so it’s easy to read.
For more tips read: How to write a killer blog post
16. You’re not using social sharing buttons
I still see this happening, you read a blog post and you want to share it, but there’s no sharing buttons! A real newbie mistake!
If you want people to share your blog post, you have to make it easy for them by adding social sharing buttons to your posts. Add a Pinterest pin to your post and ask your readers to share your post.
I use Social Warfare for my social sharing buttons, have a look how easy it is to add a Facebook optimised image:
It has another section to upload your Pinterest pin and it even has a Twitter section. You can try out Social Warfare for free and for just $24 per year you get extra editing capabilities.
17. You’re not promoting enough
Thinking that people will magically find your blog is another mistake that some beginner bloggers make.
The world wide web is so full of content, no one is going to find your blog unless you promote it over and over.
Blogging is 20% content creating and 80% promoting
A great way to promote your blog is on Pinterest but you have to learn how to use it correctly. Pinterest is not a social media platform, it is a search engine. This is why it’s super important you learn how to use SEO for Pinterest.
I highly recommend taking this Pinterest Marketing Course that shows you how to do keyword research, how to create viral pins and how to rank in Pinterest’s search results.
18. You haven’t started an email list
Does your blog have an email list? Or are you too scared to start one?
I was a bit scared when I started my first email list. Apart from worrying if I had set up the tech side correctly, I also worried about what to say to my subscribers.
But then when I started, I actually found it really easy. I even had something new and valuable to share with my audience every week!
So my advice is: don’t put it off any longer and just go for it, because email marketing is a great way to stay connected with your audience and build a relationship.
(I don’t recommend Mailchimp at all, I started with this and it was a nightmare. Very clunky and not intuitive.)
Both Convertkit and Mailerlite are easy to use and especially made for bloggers.
Here’s a screenshot of the form editor in Convertkit.
If you’d like a step by step walkthrough on how to set up your email sign up forms, your optin freebies and automated sequences check out this super detailed email marketing course.
19. Your site has too many ads & pop ups
What is the quickest way to scare your audience away from your blog?
Annoying ads and pop-ups!
I actually checked out a site the other day on a mobile phone and several pop-ups overlapped each other and because of this I couldn’t close any of them. The content was hidden behind the pop-ups so all I could do was hit the back button and leave the site… (a reminder to always check your site on a mobile screen.)
Nothing is more annoying then being bombarded with pop-ups in the first few seconds of trying to read a blog post. Set your pop-up settings so it appears when someone is about to leave your page, this way it won’t scare off your audience.
Having too many ads is also annoying, especially ones that flash and move! I recommend not joining an ad network unless you have enough traffic to join Mediavine. Otherwise the little money you make, won’t be worth annoying your site visitors.
20. You’re not adding a call to action
What do you want your readers to do when they come to your blog?
- Do you want them to sign up to your email list?
- Do you want them to contact you about a service you’re offering?
- Do you want them to buy your (affiliate) product?
Whatever it is that you want your readers to do… you have to tell them!
They don’t know what you want them to do.
You need a Call to Action.
Add a newsletter sign up form, a contact form or a special offer so you can convert your visitors into subscribers or buyers.
Here’s my Call to Action:
If you’re a new blogger and need some help planning and starting your blog, sign up for my Free Course: Kickstart Your Money Making Blog.
These are the worst blogging mistakes you can make as a new blogger
I hope this post has helped you fix any mistakes you might be making and you now feel more confident that you are doing things the right way. Let me know in the comments which tip you found most helpful and share this post if you liked it.