Updated: December 5, 2018
The time is here and you are ready to start a blog and you don't want to commit any blogging mistakes.
Smart, very smart.
Too many people are starting blogs and making the same silly mistakes. While you don't want to spend the next 6 months researching and falling into analysis paralysis, you do want to make sure you have everything lined up correctly.
In this post, you're going to learn about some of the mistakes new bloggers make and how you can avoid them.
Mistakes New Bloggers MakeNow, this post isn't meant to strike fear into you. Thankfully, when it comes to blogging nothing is written in stone. If you make a mistake it is okay, you can go back and change it.
Don't expect everything to be perfect when you finally launch your blog but you can definitely make sure some things are correct.
1. Choosing the Wrong NicheFollow your passion.
Ummm, I'm not sure about that.
Most of the time your passion is great because it is your passion, not someone else's.
When it comes to blogging you can write about anything you want but odds are you are going to start a blog because you want to make money.
There is no shame in that. Sure you want to help people and share your knowledge, but the money is what is drawing you in. If you simply want to start a hobby blog then there is no point in reading this post.
Every blog I start I make sure is in one of these 7 niches:
- How to make money
- Personal finance
- Personal development
- Health and fitness
- Beauty and fashion
When a blogger asks why their blog isn't making money one of the first things they should ask is are they in a niche that can make money?
Picking the wrong niche before you even get started with a blog can be one of the biggest mistakes you make as a blogger.
2. Not Understanding Your AudienceLook, you won't 100% understand your audience until after you talk to them, but too many bloggers start their blogs blindly thinking that what they are interested in is what their audience is interested in.
You want to make sure you have some type of idea of what problems your audience is facing so you can write wonderful blog posts offering solutions about them.
If you're starting a parenting blog you might think about how cool it will be to write a post on how to teach your 3-year old calculus and that would be cool, but most people won't care.
Because that's not a problem they are facing.
Instead, the other parenting blog just wrote about the 27 books all parents should buy to help their kids read.
That post is way more popular than your calculus post.
Down the road, once you're established and have a healthy amount of traffic, then you can put some focus on the off the wall posts, but until then focus on the bigger issues our audience will face.
How do you figure out these issues?
With a little bit of research.
Assuming your blog is in one of the 7 niches listed above then Pinterest will become an awesome resource for you. Simply type in a topic that your blog talks about and then browse through the pins.
You're looking for pins with a lot of repins because that shows the topic is something many people are interested in.
Create a list of all of these topics and you now have a better idea of what your audience wants.
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3. Writing for ThemselvesWhen your audience first arrives they don't care about you. They only care about themselves and you can't blame them.
They went looking for a solution to something, saw a link to your blog, and now expect to find that solution.
If you waste their time by only talking about yourself then they will just leave and find another blog that offers the solution.
Your blog is meant for your audience. It is not meant for you.
When you learn to accept that you'll find that your writing is better and that you get a lot more engagement from your audience.
So are you not allowed to talk about yourself? Of course, you can!
I talk about myself all of the time. For example, here is how I make over $5,000 a month from affiliate marketing.
When you talk about yourself you just have to make sure that there is a point to it that leads to something of value to your reader. I'm not going to ramble about how one of my dogs always like to puke when she eats chicken feet.
However, I will tell you a story on why I'm the perfect person to be writing the blog post you are reading.
4. Not Thinking About How to MonetizeYou are getting ready to start a business.
You tell your friends about it and they ask you how you're going to make money, what do you say?
- I have no clue, I'll figure it out later.
- By doing this...
There are an unhealthy amount of ways to make money blogging so sometimes you can get overwhelmed. Depending on the niche you're in you'll find that some monetization strategies do better than others.
This means the first way you pick might not be the one you use 5 years from now and that's okay.
You need to have a monetization strategy starting off so you know where you want to take your blog.
For example, let's say you decide you're going to write a book on setting a sleep schedule for your baby.
That sounds like an interesting book!
Because you know you're going to sell this book you also know that you should write blog posts related to the book.
You're not going to write about the best restaurants to take your kid because it doesn't relate to the book. You can write that post later.
The best thing you could do is write about topics that the book is going to cover so you build interest for the book.
Using another example if you know that you're going to make money with affiliate marketing then you're going to write posts where you can mix in affiliate links.
You don't want to put yourself in a position where you write blog content for 6 months only to realize that you've wasted 6 months not building up a way to make money.
Remember, the first choice you make isn't the one you need to stick with long term, but you should have some idea so you can build a strategy around it.
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5. Not Building Your Mailing ListThe first time someone visits your blog you want to make sure that you have a shot of talking to them again because there is no way they are going to remember to come back to your blog on their own.
Many beginning bloggers ask why they need a mailing list and the simple answer is that the money is in the mailing list.
You might think of email as outdated but it's still the best way to get in touch with your audience.
Blog posts are great but they are simply a gateway. The emails you send through your mailing list allow you to reach out and connect with your audience in ways that a blog post can't.
When it comes time for you to finally launch that online course don't you want to feel secure knowing you have an audience of 1000s waiting to hear from yoU?
If you want to learn how to build your mailing list read How to Build an Amazing Email List That Makes Money.
6. Not Creating a Blogging RoutineBlogging takes time.
A lot of time.
For all of the big bloggers that travel the world and talk about how they only spend 4 hours a month on their blog, what they tend to leave out is that it took them a long time to get there.
Some bloggers reach that point sooner than others and the deciding factor is usually productive time spent on their blogs.
I can't tell you how many new bloggers come to me saying that they started a blog but haven't gotten much done over the past couple of months.
The problem is that they don't set a blogging routine that they can stick to.
Look, blogging is a job and you should treat it as such. You shouldn't tell yourself that you'll find time to blog whenever you can.
Set a day (or a couple) of the week and time where you will sit down and bang out some blog posts. Stick to that schedule for a couple of months.
You need to make blogging a habit because you have a long journey ahead and it's important that you are constantly moving forward.
Dorian McKinney has a great post on how to plan a blog schedule that you should read.
7. Falling Into the If You Build It TrapYou can blog all you want and write the greatest content on this planet but if you don't spend time promoting that content then nothing will come of it.
Blogging is intriguing, especially to the introverts, because it can seem like you don't need to interact with others.
The fact of the matter is that you most definitely need to interact with others. While you don't need to host parties at your place, you do need to find the places where your audience hangs out so you can show them your content.
And you can't just do it once. You need to do it again and again and again.
Some bloggers believe that 80% of your time should be spent promoting. Others think it should be a 50/50 split.
You might think that promoting your stuff too much is spammy and there is a fine line you need to tread. You also have to consider how much value you're providing the community.
For example, if you're in a Facebook Group about blogging and every time you interact within the group you're promoting your work then people will associate you as the person only looking out for themselves.
However, if you spend most of the time helping out others then people won't mind when you share a link from time to time.
It's no different than a friend only calling you when they want to borrow money.
Don't be that friend.
One of the best methods of promotion for your blog is Pinterest. To learn how you can get more out of Pinterest check out my free 7-Day Pinterest Bootcamp.
You Have to LaunchAt some point, you have to launch your blog. You don't want to get it out so fast you make these mistakes but you don't want to wait so long that you waste months not moving forward.
No blog journey is perfect and there are always mistakes to be made along the way.
The key is that you learn from these mistakes and continue to push forward.
For another blogger's perspective on mistakes you want to avoid check out 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog.