The BIGGEST mistakes most new bloggers make that keep them stuck, clueless, and broke! There are a few commom mistakes new bloggers keep making that keep them at beginner’s level, not getting traffic, not making money, not growing their blog big!
What I wish I knew sooner….
There are some common pitfalls that new bloggers are prone to tap into! Avoid these big blogging mistakes and your blog will grow a lot faster!
45 Pro Blogger share the biggest mistake they made as a beginner blogger that held them back from growing when they first started out. Avoid these and you are well on your way to become a successful blogger a lot faster!
Go through these beginners’ blogging blunders and nodd your head if you find yourself guilty of some of these blogging mistakes!
Let’s start with a classic one:
Putting off starting! One post is all you need to get started – just go for it! Everyone has to start somewhere, so get your blog set up, your first post published, and start getting your name out there!
Alexandra Cook, It’s not complicated recipes
Not doing research regarding domain names prior to locking one in. If someone else has already used a similar name for their business, you will be legally forced to change it which is a huge setback. Check with a lawyer to see if there could be copyright infringement issues before anything!
Aleka Shunk, Aleka’s Get Together
I offered a discount code on a product review post hoping it would help drive traffic. I didn’t realise until a month of giving out the discount code for free that I should have been asking for email addresses in exchange to grow my subscriber list.
Carly Hobbs, My Green Toddler
Expecting traffic to go up a lot faster than it did. You see some people with 50k visitors in a few months… that’s not the norm! It took me a while to not take other people’s numbers too seriously and just get on with my own journey.
Jessica Sexton, Bombveg.com
The biggest mistake I probably made was trying to do everything as cheaply as possible. For example, paying extra for hosting is an investment that will pay you back multiple times over.
Erin Nutter, The DIY Nuts
Blogging about everything and anything that would pop-up in my mind without having any sort of focus! It’s only after switching from writing about things I like to what people are searching for is when I started to see improvements. It took a whole year to realise.
Michelle Adenle, My Morning Mocha
Not doing keyword research. I didn’t know anything about writing for keywords. I wanted to write about what I wanted, and didn’t want to focus on algorithms and volumes. I’ve learned that with a little research, I can still write about what I want, but I just have to use the correct terms to help people find it. It was a huge mistake, I’d probably be in mediavine by now if I had done it when I first started.
Melanie Allen, Partners in Fire
My biggest mistake was not taking it seriously on the beginning. I stared in 2012 and didn’t treat it like a business until 2017, I’d be alot farther ahead if I had.
Alecia Horner, Chicken Sratch NY
I put up a post and misspelt the title. It was a good six months before I noticed. “Cocnut and cacao bliss balls.”
Kylie Archer, Kidgredients – Caramel Chocolate Bliss balls
Sleeping on Pinterest. I run an SEO, design, and marketing company and know that Pinterest is great – but I had no idea how much traffic I was missing out on until I saw how well other people were doing with it.
Everett (he/him), The Best Nest
I spent tons of time improving my site’s design and signing up for affiliate networks. I could write double the number of blog posts that could drive traffic. I realized later on that users are more interested in great content instead of the design of website, and joining affiliate programs are of no use until a blog gets some good traffic.
Farwa, The Homemaker Mama
One of the many mistakes we made, was not realising that there’s a recommended (and logical) post structure for each recipe post for a very long time. On the other hand, you don’t know until you know. And we’re working on improving everyday!
This one [Vegan Congee] is a lot better, but I’m sure there’s many more improvements I could make!
The worst blogging mistake I made was to create titles that weren’t SEO driven. Even though I thought it was a catchy title “Got Helmet?” It did nothing for driving traffic to an offroading post. But changing it to “6 offroading safety tips” is a much better title.
Pauline Reynolds-Nuttall, Mama Bear Outdoors
The worst blogging mistake I made was participating in too many blog hops and letting them dictate my content creation. Now my seasonal content dwarfs my evergreen content and it isn’t even the focus of my blog. I’ve seen a huge difference once I stopped participating in them and started creating keyword researched content instead.
Marie Dabbs, Elle Marie Home
My biggest mistake was focusing on too many things at once (blog, social media, etc.). Once I started focusing on one thing it became so much easier and I started to grow!
It took me months to realize that I should be using Google Search Console to understand where my traffic is coming from and about click-thru-rates. Keyword research is only helpful if people are clicking. And you can use GSC to see how Google Discover can drive traffic, like it did for this Earl Grey cake.
Joanne Stekler, Uglyducklingbakery – How to Make an Earl Grey Lavender Cake
The saying “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply to blogs unless it has great SEO, get traffic to it using social media, use Pinterest, and work on getting backlinks. Blogging requires work in order for it to be a success.
Jennifer Beale, A to Z of Subimation
The biggest mistake that held back my success for a few years was picking the wrong Content Management System of Squarespace after transitioning from the Blogger Content Management System. While Squarespace was straightforward to use, it didn’t help me grow my traffic to my website. While on Squarespace, I increased my profitable full-time business by 20% year over year, which is substantial profitable growth for most small business owners.
However, traffic to my website didn’t grow during this same period because of the limitations of that content management system. While there are many different avenues to drive traffic like email and social media, one of the biggest traffic drivers for most professional websites and blogs is Google Searches. I found out that having a domain on a quality host with WordPress as the Content Management System enables the building and configuring of a much more search engine friendly and social media friendly website.
Fast forward to being on WordPress for over two years, and we have grown our traffic from May 31, 2018, to May 31, 2020, by 2139%. 58% of our traffic is now from Google, and 35% is from social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. As a result of that growth, we rarely do any sponsored posts anymore, focusing instead on traffic growth, which drives ad revenue.
Jessica Randhawa, The ForkedSpoon
Yes to this one! For some things, you just need to accept there is a learning curve involved. But rather put in the effort to learn something new than going the easy way and hold yourself back! If you don’t want to limit your growth and hit a ceiling, go with self-hosted WordPress for your blog! It’s not the industry standard for no reason! There are many resources out there that help you to learn blogging on WordPress from scratch!
Thinking people cared about ME. Hahaha! When you are just starting out especially, it is important to write for your audience and tell them how you can benefit THEM!
Delaney Smith, Authentically Del
Quick check: Ask yourself, what’s in it for my reader before you put something out!
My biggest mistake: I allowed my staging site to be indexed by Google for months without realizing what had happened. Took months to fix, and in the meantime some of my staging pages were outranking my regular pages.
Summer Yule, Summer Yule Nutrition and Recipes
My biggest blogging mistake was targeting keywords with ridiculously low search volume when I first started — as in 10 searches a month. I was going for quantity not quality. Now I’ve learnt one quality blog post targeting a more competitive keyword can bring in more traffic than 50 low competitive, low volume and low quality posts.
Alejandra Danielle, The Littlest Crumb
Yes! This is something many new bloggers learn the hard way. They pick keywords and optimize their content only to find that that keywords are not performing and don’t attract people. Friends, keyword research is the most important part of SEO! With crappy keywords all other steps are wasted. Do your research!
Not only keywords:
Not doing the proper research before making decisions. Thus wasting money and weeks of time on an unsuitable theme! Two steps forward and one step back! Run before you can walk! And other suitable proverbs come to mind!
Ella Thompson, Ella’s Better Bakes
My biggest blogging mistake was not creating a plan for how to grow my blog. I started it as a hobby and wrote whatever I liked at first, before realizing just how important it is to have a content creation plan around what your target audience is searching for! Now I map out my posts to make sure I’m creating content that makes sense, solves a problem and is optimized for SEO.
Siobhan Alvarez Borland, Mimosas & Motherhood
My biggest blogging mistake was inserting huge images into my posts which really slowed down my site. Now I resize every image before uploading and use Shortpixel to optimise them.
Kelly Martin, Urban Garden Gal
ooh.. So guilty of this one!
Leaving the kids alone with food I haven’t photographed yet! Just kidding, my biggest mistake is I wish I had started my blog sooner. I have learnt so much just by jumping in and having a go. I look back at my first posts now they were not great but they were an important part in my journey to get me to where I am today. Just start. You will learn and get better as you go.
Sarah Brooks, Keep calm and eat ice-cream
This is a big one and I heard it so often! Get your blog out there, momma!
Look, here is another one:
Not getting started sooner! I wanted to start a blog for a long time, but always put it off because I didn’t have time or skills. If I would have started when I first had the idea, I would be so much further ahead! Your content is going to be a bit rocky at first, but actually starting it and going through the process is what will help you get better.
Dolly at Little Home in the making
My worst mistake was changing the permalinks on my blog posts, not realising this would change the URLs and make all my Pinterest work to date a waste of time and effort. I also ploughed ahead and wrote a load of posts before I learned about SEO, so now I have to work through my old posts and sort them out!
Jo Robinson, Life With Holly
In the beginning, we spent HOURS engaging in reciprocal engagement threads. All of the accounts were small, like us, and never in our niche. So many hours of mindless “liking” and commenting wasted!
Jaymi Torrez, TheSaltyMamas.om
Yeah, that’s one of the tactics I wouldn’t recommend, either.
Being stubborn about change. I waited to move to WordPress – waited to change my permalink structure – waited to move to Mediavine. I wish I would’ve taken calculated risks earlier instead of always waiting to make the big decisions!
My biggest mistake was writing too personal in the beginning. One day, you’ll wake up and realize you want to monetize your site and you’ve got hundreds of personal “dear diary” posts with no SEO. Learn how to write personalized posts that still serve your audience, with a SEO strategy.
Kimberly S., Savvy Mama Lifestyle
Not charging PRs from the beginning and doing a ton of work for free on the promise that something paid would come along later. It rarely did! I’d advise new bloggers to really think about whether an hour or two’s writing, photographing and promoting is worth it for a children’s toy or a box of chocolates!
Leta, Attachment Mummy
As a food blogger, people are always saying “just get to the recipe”. So that’s what I did! My first 50ish posts had just the recipe and very little other content. Turns out that’s terrible for SEO, so I’ve spent months updating old posts with more photos and context!
Kyleigh Sage, Barley & Sage
It took me nearly two years to figure out how to post a site map to Google!
Lisa Mitchell, Fluxing Well- SEO secrets
In the beginning, I didn’t have the camera equipment or setup to take the gorgeous food photos necessary for a food blog. My husband and I spent almost a year going back and remaking and re-photographing the hundreds of recipes that were already on my site. We are still working on redoing the “process” images for some old posts.
Stephanie Lynch, Son Shine Kitchen
Yikes! I have food posts with super ugly pictures, too. Psh… you can use stock images for promotional graphics if your own photos suck so you have something to work with! Recipe posts on your blog need great images to do well!
As a food blogger I used the recipe card that was provided in my theme. I didn’t realize that once I wanted to change my theme, all those recipe cards would no longer work. I had to convert about 50 recipe posts to WordPress Recipe Maker, a plug in that would work with most themes and what I should have started with in the beginning.
Angela Johnson McArthur, The Short Order Cook
I love WordPress REcipe Maker for recipe posts. I have a post that shows you around:
Not backing up my blog. I lost my first blog when my host went “poof” in the night. Hubby and I swore we had a backup on the home network, but nope.
These days I have VaultPress, Backblaze, and a home backup. That may seem like overkill to some, but once you have had five years of work disappear overnight, you would backup, backup, and backup some more, too.
Ann, Ann’s Entitled Life
Yes, yes, and yes! I show you one way to do automatic back-ups of your blog with a free WordPress plugin! But you should also check if your hosting company does back-ups. Keep more than one cipy and keep them in separate locations. Did I ever tell you the story of how I lost all the pictures of 3 years of living in Morocco because they were all on my harddrive that crashed the week before we left? It happened. Read the post:
My biggest mistake was that i didn’t research what Seo ment well enough. Learn from my mistakes. Those free plugins helped me a lot “moz, surfer and uebersuggest”
Susanne Williams, Liltigers
My biggest blogging mistake was thinking if you build it they will come. You must constantly promote yourself on all platforms, people will not find you on their own in this day and age.
Krystle Smith, Bakingbeauty.net
Waiting too long to hire help! You can start on your own, but your blog becomes a revenue-generating business, in order to scale you need to hire help! –
Rebecca Pytell, Strength and Sunshine
My biggest mistake was starting off with a super heavy theme that was very difficult to change and slowed my site down tremendously! In the early days, make sure whatever choices you make won’t be difficult and time consuming to undo. Mistakes are part of the learning process and inevitable in the beginning, but there’s no need to make your life harder!
Whitney from Mama Manages
My biggest mistake with my first blog was that I started with too many categories at once and ended up with no focus topic at all. It takes time to build authority, especially if it’s a beginner-one-man thing. Narrowing down the categories to a manageable size is so crucial. I did that with my second blog, and traffic exploded just a year later. Lesson learned!
My biggest blogging mistake was starting in a niche that wasn’t right for me and that I hated. It was too saturated and meant I needed to post very personal posts. Once I pivoted to a completely different niche (and learned SEO) it transformed my blogging path and I’ve loved blogging ever since.
Catherine McKenna Jordan, Travel Around Ireland
Wow, powerful! Find your niche so your message is strong!
One of my worst rookie mistakes was saving all of my Canva images as .png instead of .jpg. Naturally, this would have slowed my site down over time. I had to go back and change over 100 images! Wish I had learned that one sooner!
Crystal Shriver-Garman, Simply full of delight
Oh, I did the exact same thing!! There are still numerous PNGs on this blog.
When I first launched my blog, I thought I needed to do EVERYTHING – Pinterest, Instagram, SEO, Facebook, Outreach and everything in between. This makes you quickly feel burnt out, and leaves no time to do what you really love – creating great content. I wish someone had given me the advice early on to focus on only a couple channels at the beginning, then grow from there. (With that said, learning about SEO at the beginning is one thing that will save a lot of headache and time in the long-run!)
Rebecca Bowden, Hello Metrics
My #1 biggest blogging mistake is having a portfolio of blogs and not focusing and giving my attention to one site. After 7 years of owning several blogs I focused just on one and the results were so much better. Plus, when you focus just on one blog you can give it your all and make sure every great piece of content is going into one site.
.. It doesn’t matter that you struggle learning about blogging at first, what does matter is consistency and being there for your readers and then the blog and the readers will grow with you.
Samantha Milner – Blogging for 13 years. Recipe This.
Oh, my! That was a lot and I hope it was as well entertaining and educational!
Learn from these mistakes but take away one thing, please: You are not alone in this!
Bloggers fail and we learn from trying and failing. Get your blog out there so you can start failing, learning and growing wildly successful.