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If you’ve been blogging for a few months with a consistent weekly publishing schedule but haven’t gained any traction (even a tiny one), you’re likely to make some blogging mistakes without being aware of them.
Of course, every blogger makes mistakes, including me.
But, if you repeat serious mistakes over and over again for a long time (maybe because you’re unaware of them), it’s not good at all. Those mistakes can ruin your blogging career.
Today, let’s learn the most common mistakes many beginner bloggers often make and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Not Having a Realistic Goal and a Clear Roadmap for Your Blog
This is a widespread blogging mistake that new bloggers often make.
But before digging deep into this pitfall, I want to talk about one secret sauce to blog successfully: blogging intentionally.
You may hear about it several times, but do you know what it actually means?
Simply put, blogging intentionally is to develop a clear blogging roadmap leading to your ultimate goal. Every task you take will drive you forward on that route to your desired outcome.
As a beginner, you may not have a specific goal but a vogue one like: I want to make some money with a blog. You’re easily distracted by tons of other things and have no idea what to do to achieve your goal. You imitate other bloggers but fall short. As a result, you feel overwhelmed, get lost, and want to give up.
All these symptoms say that you lack a roadmap leading to your end goal.
To cope with this blogging mistake, you first need to search for your purpose. You can refer to the S.M.A.R.T model to set your ultimate goal.
Now, assuming you already know where to go, it’s time to figure out how to get there. And, it’s all about creating a roadmap that helps you:
- Have an overview of your blogging path.
- Prepare yourself in terms of skills, finance, emotion, etc., since you already know what’s waiting for you ahead.
- Define steps you need to take and set priority to reach your goal (more about this later).
- Keep yourself on track and stay away from distraction.
The process isn’t easy, especially if you’re a beginner. You might change your goal and roadmap several times before figuring out your right holy grail.
But once you do it right, you increase your chance of landing in your dreamland.
2. Starting Too Big
Think about these situations:
- You create your first blog with a website builder instead of using a user-friendly premade theme.
- You set an unrealistic goal such as earning $1,000 within the first months of blogging.
- You try to write 15-20 high-quality blog posts by yourself in a month.
What’s wrong with starting too big is that you’ll create more resistance to launching your blog. You’ll feel overwhelmed with a long to-do list. You’ll be frustrated since you have to deal with complex issues.
You forget that you’re a beginner. You may know a lot about blogging thanks to reading others’ sharing, but you lack first-hand experience. And when it comes to dealing with a problem, theory alone is not enough.
Let’s get back to the example of a beginner building her site with the help of a website builder.
A website builder gives you more control over your blog’s design. Most of the time, you only need to drag and drop elements. You can also make the most of templates to simplify and speed up your working process.
But, a website builder requires a steep learning curve that forces you to spend hours, even weeks watching and reading tutorials. Even when you do exactly what you’re told to do, there are weird errors arising all the time. Or you might mess your site up without knowing why.
Now, instead of focusing your precious time on creating high-quality content for your audience, you get stuck looking for ways to fix the website design. You’re lengthening the website set-up process and putting yourself under pressure to start a blog.
Keep in mind that starting too big is a trap you should avoid.
Instead, always choose an easy method to get started. Make it done, and move on.
3. Having No Priority or Prioritizing Wrong Things
Below is a typical example of this blogging mistake:
Many new bloggers spend time applying for affiliate marketing networks when their website setup is just in progress. And, when it’s time to concentrate on revenue-generating activities, they do nothing but are obsessed with their website design.
Unsurprisingly, they fall short of both building a user-friendly site with high-quality content and getting admission to affiliate marketing networks.
They fail not because they don’t work hard enough but because they have no idea what needs to be done first and focus on the wrong thing. They make a blogging mistake of spreading themselves too thin.
In general, you can boil running a successful blog into three phrases: building, growing, and monetizing it. Each stage requires you to do specific tasks that make you have a long to-do list to check off.
If you try to keep up with all the tasks on that list or focus on the wrong thing, you’ll be overwhelmed and fail. Only concentrating on the current step instead of messing up the process will drive you to the next one and achieve your goal.
Besides outlining a clear blogging roadmap, as I mentioned earlier, you can ask yourself the following questions to find your priority:
- What tasks should I take to achieve this blogging goal?
- Whether making this task a priority helps me achieve this goal or not?
- Does this task help drive me to the next step on my blogging roadmap?
- At the moment, which task is the most urgent and essential to me?
At the end of the day, blogging is not about working harder but smarter. And setting your priority and sticking with it is one of the best ways to blog smarter.
4. Choosing a Niche That is Too Wide or Too Narrow
Even when you believe you’ve already picked the right niche for yourself, your niche battle hasn’t ended.
Here are two scenarios of this blogging mistake you may encounter:
You find natural cleaning for households are fully-potential since moms are talking about it. You decide to give it a shot. But, by the time you hit the publish of the twentieth blog post, you realize there is nothing to write more about it.
You are a twenties-something girl running a lifestyle blog. You write about college, traveling, shopping, finance, relationships, etc. Then, you get burnout. You feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a topic to write about since there are many options available.
Can you relate?
Both pigeonholing and going down a rabbit hole with a niche are popular among new bloggers.
What to do to avoid this blogging mistake?
It’s something to do with niche research.
When discovering niches, pay attention to the number of blog post ideas for each niche. Leave it now if you can’t find at least 50 topics to write about.
Of course, I don’t ask you to generate 50 blog post ideas by yourself. Take a look at other bloggers within the same niche. What’re they writing about? How many posts do they have? What are unsolved aspects that you can make the most of?
Try to figure out if this industry can be niched up or niched down easily. The more flexible a niche is, the longer you can go with it.
Niche-related blogging mistakes can be prevented as long as you put enough effort into the research process, and getting rid of them will benefit you in the long run.
5. Chasing After Other Bloggers
One typical example of this blogging mistake is choosing your writing topics by heavily spying on other blogs within your niche.
Sounds weird, right?
You may get advice like this: Find blog posts that get tons of traffic, write your own with the same message and make it way better.
While this strategy may work effectively, it has a disadvantage as well.
How can you stand out from the crowd if you always write the same things as other hundreds of thousands of bloggers do (no matter how better your posts are)?
If you want other people to remember you in the noisy virtual world, you need to be both helpful and unique.
I always recommend new bloggers to pick 1- 2 favorite veteran bloggers to learn from them.
But don’t get me wrong.
I don’t advise you to copy anyone, nor do I ask you to do exactly what others do.
The right way to learn from someone is to figure out how they blog and apply your findings to your job flexibly. You also need to test these lessons to see if they work for your blog. Even when they’re godsent to you, don’t forget to customize them and make them fit into your blogging path.
You’re a unique individual, and your blog should be outstanding too.
6. Not Interacting With Your Target Audience
Many new bloggers are struggling with finding topics to write about.
If you relate to this problem, it’s because you are making a blogging mistake of not staying engaged with your target audience.
You blunder by thinking that you can only build a relationship with your readers by sending them emails or replying to comments on blog posts.
You can (and you should) hang out with your ideal readers, even when your blog’s not ready to launch.
Because it’ll help you figure out your audience’s pain points, solutions they’re looking for, and the conversation they’re having in real-time. By joining these talks, you stay connected with them and walk away with golden nuggets that help you attract them to your blog.
Now, the question is how to know where your prospects are often hanging out.
Short answer: Take time to find out who your target audience is.
For example, if you focus on twenty-something girls who love social media and sharing their life with the world, Instagram may be a good place to start.
What about moms who want to learn recipes that help them save time while having nutritious meals for their families? Well, you should consider relevant Facebook groups.
Quora, Reddit, and other forums may be nice choices as well.
Being a friend of your target audience is worth it and can bring positive results, even better than using paid advertising.
7. Publishing Blog Post Without Optimizing It
An effective blog post is a stone that you can use to kill two birds: answering your readers’ questions and reaching a specific goal that you set for the post beforehand.
To achieve this, you need to do two steps together:
- crafting your writing with golden nuggets.
- optimizing your post for meeting a particular target such as asking your readers to sign up for a form, joining an event, or simply helping your readers consume content easily, etc.
Most new bloggers stop at the first step. And, if you do the same thing, you’re making another blogging mistake.
Below are some mistakes relating to blog posts you might encounter:
- Not formatting blog posts properly: Your target readers are often busy and lazy to read every single word, so the more scannable your writing is, the higher chance you’ll get their attention. All factors such as easy-to-read font, clear structure, concise sentences, short paragraphs, and a lot of white space will help your audience go through your post with ease. That’s how a well-formatted blog post improves your readers’ UX (user experience).
- Not optimize blog posts for sharing: Let’s imagine that your audience finds your writing useful, and they want to share it with the world (or maybe they save it to their Pinterest for later reading) but can’t find a way to do it. It may cause them to feel a bit annoyed. On your end, without shareable images or sharing buttons, you’re missing out on the chance to reach more and more readers. So, next time, before publishing your amazing content, don’t forget to spend some minutes making it shareable.
- Not optimizing blog posts for capturing email addresses: Your blog post is one of the best places to showcase opt-in forms to collect your readers’ email addresses. Especially, if you offer a freebie that is relevant to your post, you get a higher chance to convert your audience into your subscribers. Of course, you don’t need to include a signup form in every blog post. You can choose to add it to those that are your pillar ones or that receive many visits.
Remember, your blog post is your most powerful weapon in winning your readers’ trust battle. Your victory depends on how you make the most of it.
Making mistakes while blogging is inevitable and may sound a bit scary, but you can prepare yourself and avoid them.
Identify what mistake you’re making and follow the recommendations above to fix them. Then, your blogging journey will become much easier.
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