advice, writing

10 Mistakes You Might be Making as a New Blogger

Hey guys!  So as you know, I’ve been blogging for just over a month now.  While overall I feel like I have had pretty good success and have gotten a lot of positive feedback on my blog, as a new blogger you just make mistakes.  Even if you have done your research before starting your blog, you are still entering a community where you don’t know much of anyone, don’t know what the standard is, and are mostly clueless about a lot of things.

So, while I’m still by no means an expert on all things blogging, I wanted to share with you (especially you knew bloggers) things that I have learned over the past month and a half.  While I didn’t make every single one of these mistakes myself, I did make a few of them, and I have also heard from other bloggers that did a few of these things as they were just starting out.  That being said, here are ten mistakes you will want to avoid as a new blogger

1. Writing massive paragraphs

I may or may not have done this in my first few posts…….

Anyway, the big idea here is attention span.  People on the reading your posts n=on the internet have a shorter attention span than professors that may read your papers or employers looking for a detailed and long report.

Nope, people on the internet are looking for fast, easy to read posts that are either 1,000 words or less or divided in some way, shape, or form (headings, pictures, bolded and engaging titles, etc.).  So unless you are writing a short story (and I full encourage this…people who like reading short stories have the attention span to read them).

2. Using pictures the wrong way

Pictures can bring life to a blog.  They can make it interesting and engaging, while also helping to break up your text.  However, many new bloggers use pictures in the wrong way such as adding extremely small pictures to your blog pexels-photo-289324.jpeg or

breakpexels-photo-289324.jpeging up text with extremely large images (yes this is an example of breaking text with a picture mistake, not an actual mistake.  Also we are using orca whales because they are pretty much excellent).  To avoid these mistakes, take time picking out your pictures and placing them.  Also, make sure your pictures relate to your writing (unlike my whales….) and that they are aesthetically pleasing (exactly like my whales).

3. Following people just to follow them

Following, liking, commenting, and interacting with other bloggers is one of the sure-fire ways to attract readers to your blog.  However, make sure that you actually care about those that follow your blog, and that you actually care about their blog.  While following  as many random people as you can will help you boost your followers count, most of the people that follow you or view your site will look at it once and then never return.  Also, you need to consistently interact on your followers blogs in order to keep them interested in yours, and you won’t feasibly be able to do this if you are following thousands of people right off the bat.  I would recommend starting by following people you know personally or people that write within your niche.  This will help to attract a solid group of followers right away.

4. Posting too little

I definitely made this mistake during my first few weeks of blogging, and looking back now, I realize just how crucial posting often is when you are a newbie blogger.  At first, I was posting once or twice a week, if that, and I soon realized that I needed to be posting at least once a day, if not more.  While this may seem obnoxious, this is something that can greatly increase your following.  The more high quality posts that your are publishing, the more people will revere and respect you.  This, in turn, will lead them to you blog.  Also, posting often provides more and more experience for you so that you can consistently improve.

5. Making it about you

I think this is probably the most crucial point for new bloggers to realize: blogging is not all about you.  Believe it or not, your readers will probably not want to hear about YOUR vacation, YOUR story, or YOUR life until they actually know you, see that you know and want to help them, and see that you are respected and somewhat of a professional.  So what does this mean for newbies?  Don’t write about yourself all the time.  While it’s okay to occasionally post that selfie and lay out your personal experience with something, you should really try to stick with posts that will help your readers.  This can either be done by writing how-tos, making useful and interesting lists, or somehow using your blogging topic as an advice column for them.  For example, let’s say your blog is about interior design and you just re-tiled the bathroom floor and shower.  In this case, you have options.  You could either make the entire post about YOU and YOUR experience with YOUR bathroom, or you could use your experience to write an excellent how-to article that others can use (you can totally add in small comments like “in my experience” or “when I did this”).

6. You write about broad topics or create vague titles

People like to read posts that are short and to the point.  They also like the post’s title to coincide with what the post will cover, and to define exactly what they will be reading.  Therefore, don’t make the mistake right away of writing about ALL bird species in one post or by titling your latest post “the hopes and dreams of the average Target employee, gardener, and freelance writer” (unless of course you can tie all of these together and form a high quality post, which I would love to read by the way…).  Blog posts should be concise and to the point, and titles need to hook readers, while also identifying exactly what will be covered in the post.  Viewers reading your blog should be able to read the title of your post, scan over it, and understand the main topics.  Don’t write about something broad that takes a couple of pages to read.

7. Not using social media to advertise your posts

This is a big one.  While many of your followers may come from WordPress or consist of other WordPress users, some of you followers may not have WordPress and will only get notified about new posts via email (and who actually has time to scroll through their spam these days right?)  To inform all of your followers about new posts, I recommend announcing or sharing new posts on one or two social media platforms.  I am currently using Facebook and Instagram to advertise my posts to followers, however I full encourage you to use Twitter, Pinterest, or whatever form of social media works best for you.  Several social media platforms also allow you to auto-post directly from your blog so that you don’t even have to manually create a new announcement on social media.

8. Not setting up

People enjoy reading blogs that are well organized, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to read.  One mistake that many new bloggers will make (this was definitely me..) is to jump right in before customizing your blog.  You want everyone that views your blog to receive a great first impression, so make sure you start this from the beginning.  Add a theme, mix up the colors, add pictures, engaging posts, and life to your blog.  In all honesty, customizing a blog does not take that long, (took me two to three days and that was with a large amount of procrastination….) taking the time to set up your blog and make it look nice is worth the time investment.

9. Not properly using links

This mistake may not seem like that big of a deal, but in reality the way you use links and advertise other posts (even if they’re you’re own) is important in how your readers view your site.  When using a link, whether it be to another one of your blog posts, or to an outside source you’re going to want to embed it into your writing and insert it as a hyperlink.  For example, if I wanted to inform my readers build a better blog, I would insert a hyperlink that links to my post on that topic.  Notice how I have changed this link from the typical, lengthy gibberish to a nice and concise few words that will not only clean up your blog, but will also inform your readers of what they are clicking on.  Use this same format when linking to outside posts as well.

10. Not buying their own domain

I know you want to save money, and that domains are not free.  However, if you actually want to attract readers outside of WordPress or your blog host, then you’re going to need your own domain.  For example, when I was on the free plan here at WordPress.com, the domain for this blog was http://www.authorscanvas.wordpress.com.  Although I was attracting some readers to my site, (so yeah…it can be done if you’re determined…) they were all from WordPress and I knew that no outside readers would ever even see my posts.  My blog was also difficult to find and not professional.  So, I upgraded my plan and bought my own domain, https://authorscanvas.blog/  and since then my traffic has increased, and more and more people are able to find my posts.  On WordPress, this is available in three out of the four plans and, honestly, the money investment is worth it.  Your blog will look more professional, will be easier to find, and will be more likely to be accepted by companies for advertising or monetizing in the future.

 

***That’s it!  Thank you guys so much for reading!  Please feel free to share in the comments some mistakes you have learned throughout your blogging experience or things you know that might be helpful for new bloggers to know.  I always love to hear your advice!***

 

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90 thoughts on “10 Mistakes You Might be Making as a New Blogger”

  1. Emily thank you,
    I am making some of those mistakes you have outlined, especially lengthy writing, not having my own domain name (to save £) etc etc.
    I will take onboard your advice and march on!
    Meena

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  2. Excellent tips! I am new to blogging and I want to learn as much as I can. I want growth with everything I do and hopefully I can grow and influence others like yours:) Great job!

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  3. Awesome informational post! I got my blogging information from my aunt and I do admit, it has gotten to the point where my blog has been somewhat successful. The main mistake I am currently trying to fix is posting more frequently. A nice tip is to not under-schedule when creating posts. Sometimes scheduling posts is better because then, you dont have massive amounts of posts in a period, than a period with no posts at all! It spreads out your posts!

    I have been blogging for about 6 months now and I feel like once I hit the social media/new personal computer/phone era, ill be able to spread my blog further than its current limits!

    Thanks for the awesome tips!

    ~AAgers

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heyy there. Great post. If only i could have read it an year ago. Lol. Its been almost sm 17 months since i started. But i was mostly on and off on blogging. So many mistakes were made. But thats how yu learn, so just goin to get back into the zone. Appreciate yua post. Cheers

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  5. This was very helpful! I just started a blog last night and have been trying to find information on do’s and don’ts and this was great! I think I am going to keep my free domain for a bit to see how I even like blogging. Do you think this is a mistake?

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  6. I don’t know hat I am doing wrong.. except for the own domain I think I am doing the remaining ones but it doesn’t seem to work out.. 😦

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  7. Hi, the points that you have put up here are really helpful. And, I am really pleased to see that you got 1000+ followers in a month. That is great!
    I started my blog last year but there was something I missed : Strategic Planning.
    I started writing and posting without a proper plan. After a while, I got caught up in other things and had to discontinue writing. I miss writing for my readers. I have started working on it again. But this time when I restart, I want to post with a proper plan and consistency. These two are another important factor to consider when you are new in this field.
    Thanks for your advice 🙂

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  8. This was a really informative post! It’s difficult starting out as a new blogger especially when trying to build a following, it can be incredibly disheartening to work hard on your posts and get little to no interactions!
    I restarted my blog this year so I’m still learning and growing – so this was helpful 🙂

    Loved the Orca whales too 😉 I went whale watching in Vancouver a few years ago and I’ve loved them ever since!

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  9. Thank you for the post. I am still on the free plan and i started in march this year. I wanted to ask how long should I wait to go self hosted? Should I wait for a certain number of traffic per day since it’s not free and i don’t want to take any decision i might regret

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  10. This sounds like some good advise, thank you for posting it. Definitely needed to get a little insider knowledge, as i feel i may have already begun to make some common mistakes!

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  11. Hello, Thank you for posting this. I am just starting out and this was a great help. Unfortunately it will be a bit before i can buy my own domain. So I will work hard to get my name out there until then. 😀 can’t wait to see what else you got to say, your a fun read.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips! I recently started blogging and made my first post yesterday. I’m glad I came across this post, so that I can fine-tune my site early on.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great tips 😊I have just started blogging a few days ago and I have made a few of these mistakes already.My blog is about my dating experiences,relationships with family and friends,mental health issues so I talk about myself alot.Its mainly so I can show my readers that this is what I am going through,you might be to and they can relate to it or maybe even find comfort or advise on what to do or not to do.
    My paragraphs are too long so I’ll shorten them to make it easier for people to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I can definitely do an article on that. However I will let you know now that applying for Google Adsense is a lot more about meeting their requirements than having traffic. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A fabulous post Emily, a real must read for all new bloggers. I’ve been blogging 8 months, I agree with all of 10 articles of advice, although I’m yet to purchase my own domain, maybe now is a good time to start one, but stlll not sure, ..

    Liked by 2 people

  15. As always this is great advice Emily! I thank you so much for sharing this because it was truly helpful! My blog is mainly about fighting and living with MS, but I do add other thoughts in as well. I am enjoying it so much because I have been able to meet so many people. Not only have I learned from the people I have met, but I feel as though I have helped them some as well, which is great!!! I hope you have an amazing weekend!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Great list! I agree with every single one except number 10. I think for most bloggers, a free WP domain works just fine. But most of all, blogging should be fun and fit into the person’s life without adding stress. Otherwise, why do it? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes this is true. Number 10 is designed for those that really want to expand their blog or monetize it. Otherwise, for personal or “for fun” blogging, I would go with a free WP as well. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or if you want to improve the reading experiences of your readers. For most of the first year of my blog, I used the free domain. But now I have decided that the spammy ads which come with the free domains are annoying. So I will transition to the cheapest paid plan, which is more than adequate for my needs!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  17. Whilst I agree with some of these, I feel like this is mostly targeted at people who want to blog professionally. A lot of us blog just for fun and I think in that respect it’s okay to post however little or much you want and also talk about yourself if you wish to.
    If I were to start a blog professionally though, these tips would be helpful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d agree with you that some of these tips can be better used in a more professional setting. This post is geared towards people that want to increase their blog following. However, the tip about the pictures and the tip about setting up your blog and making it aesthetically pleasing I think can be used for everyone. Best of luck to you on your blog. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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