Beginner Blogging Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Blogging Mistakes

Which Blogging Mistakes are you Making?

The easiest part about starting a blog is deciding to do it. However, everything after that will have a learning curve and blogging mistakes will be made.

The hard parts are creating content, promoting it and waiting for the response to your posts. It can be intimidating to share with the world your personal experiences or knowledge. It can be even more intimidating seeing readers responses to what you put out there.

We laid out the most common beginner blogging mistakes and how to avoid or correct them. From timing to personality, we've covered it all. With so many blogs out there, there is no room for a piece that is less than perfect.

Let's get started!….

You are not Considering Trends / Timing

Even the most researched, well written blogs can be ruined by poor timing.

Avoid making this blogging mistake by: Understanding when your blog post is most relevant based on trends and keyword research and posting articles during peak hours for your readers, your post will be much more successful. Not timing your blog post appropriately so that it is viewed by as much of your target audience as possible is one of the most important blunders you can make with one of the easiest solutions.

The Fix

Research! Take note of your previous posts; recognize when certain posts do well and make adjustments based on comments from readers. Keyword research is also an important part of your article's success. By searching the terms you plan on making your keywords with tools like BuzzSumo or Google platforms, you can determine the keywords that are most successful.  For example, when searching the keyword “blogging mistakes to avoid” in BuzzSumo we can see there are several articles that were successfully shared many times.

BuzzSumo – “Blogging Mistakes to Avoid”

However, if we try “Blogging Blunders” as our keyword we can see the results are much lower.

BuzzSumo – “Blogging Blunders”

Use social media management tools to post on pages at the correct peak hours for each time zone of your target audience. Hootsuite is a good tool as is Buffer.

Be aware of trends and when blog posts will be most well received. Take note when your subject is too saturated and will not be unique enough to get the most views.

You Don't Know/Target Your Audience

Recognizing your audience and who you want to target could be the most important part of blogging, especially as you grow your content base. As you learn who your audience is, you can adjust your writing style and when you post appropriately. You can also write about things that matter more to these readers.

The Fix

Interact with your readers via comments and email. Determine exactly what you're selling and the types of people you want to buy that product or service.

Refer to articles like this one below from Coschedule to learn exactly how to determine your audience.

CoSchedule “Do you really know your target audience?”

Your Blog Lacks Personality

A blog lacking personality won't be as well received. No one wants to read an article full of fluff, stiff language or something without media to break up your words. Your business will be more successful if you show who you are as a writer and a person.

The Fix

Write the way you speak. Include your own experiences and media into your pieces (like Meraviglia blog below incorporates – a site that helps you decide where to stay when traveling, posting their own pictures in each article). People are more likely to purchase a good or service from someone they trust and feel that they know personally.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to hook your audience with an anecdote in your introduction, such as:

“One of the first things I learned in Bali was not about other cultures, but about my own. As I made friends and interacted with people, I started to see how differently my perception of my country and its citizens was. This lead me to understand something very important about traveling; the best part isn't always what you learn about others but what others can teach you about yourself.”

 

Meraviglia Paper – showcasing personal photos and experiences in travel

Don't forget to add an avatar, either a real photo or cartoon profile picture whenever possible. Putting a face to the author of an article deepens that personal connection between the author and reader, an important part of growing subscribers and customers.

Add an “About Me” page to further interact with your readers. This is an important step because the about me can grow trust between you and your readers even more than your content will. As readers discover your page, they will want to learn how and where you gained all this information. There is immense value in transparency, when it comes to blogging.

Related Article : 6 Vital Tips to Help You Add Personality to Your Blog Posts.

Your Blog is too Personal

Blogging about yourself is important to build a connection with readers but only blogging about yourself can come off as narcissistic.

The Fix

Add anecdotes from others, data from case studies or examples from a wide range of places to come off as genuine rather than conceited.

Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker, wrote a guest post on how to determine if your blog is too personal. Mainly, her rule is to never post something she wouldn't want her 11-year-old reading.

She says:

Sharing my experiences and beliefs on an honestly-written lifestyle blog can be a tricky business. There is a persistent voice in my head that warns me not to reveal too much about my personal life but do allow my readers to see the real me; the real Alex, through what I write. So, the goal becomes how to be transparent while not being excessively personal.

My hope is the articles resonate with each reader and they find value in the words. To do that, I need to be vulnerable and transparent. Even though my writing is far from perfect, I’m finding a sweet spot that gives people a chance to look in without overwhelming them with personal details.

This is an excellent rule of thumb to have and to double check before posting your articles.

Your Topic is Too Broad

If you don't choose a niche and instead focus on a topic that is too broad, it will be more difficult for people to stumble on your article and easier for the post to get lost amongst other similar articles. Once you clearly understand your audience, it is important to be specific in your topic to target that audience.

The Fix

Make your titles specific and targeted. Certain tools can help you do this like SEOPresser or HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator.

Pick a topic and dig deep into it, finding a niche within it to then expand on.

Hubspot

HubSpot Blog Topic Generator

You Fail to Edit Your Article Completely

One of the quickest ways to lose readers is by posting a poorly edited article. Admit it, when you come across grammatical errors in an article,  you begin to question that author. Even though you want to let your personality shine through in your language, your grammar should still be up to par.

The Fix

Walk away from your article and reread it with fresh eyes before you post it. Or, even better, have a trusted friend read and edit the article for you.

Grammarly is also a good online tool to help edit your articles.

Grammarly

Grammarly

Another easy fix is to read your article out loud. Sometimes reading out loud can help you hear things like run on sentences or clunky, awkwardly phrased sentences in a way reading in your head cannot.

You Don't Promote Content Proactively

You're not done once you publish! Without promoting your content on social media platforms and throughout your network via email, you could miss out on reaching large chunks of readers. Promoting content once it is written and published is a full time job in itself.

The Fix

As stated above because we can't say it enough… use social media management sites to organize when and where your articles are published! Tools like these make it easy to proactively promote content after you publish. It also helps you view past posts in one place which will help you see patterns in your posts and avoid posting the same thing twice.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an easy Social Media Management Tool that can maximize your ability to promote your posts

You Fail to Network with Other Bloggers

If you don't network with other bloggers, you're missing out on a whole group of people that could boost the success of your blog. Once you build a community of bloggers, you will see how much you can learn from those writers and how much you can help each other grow.

The Fix

Comment on other bloggers posts and expand your community by opening up conversations. If you mention a fellow blogger, email them the published article to let them know they were featured in your article. Hopefully, they will share the post with their network, reaching even more readers.

It can also be helpful to hear what is working and what isn't working for other writers. Try subscribing to sites like Bloglovin‘ for access to a community of bloggers.

Bloglovin'

Bloglovin' – Be a Part of a Network of Bloggers

You are Posting Inconsistently

Posting consistently is important to keeping your target audience active and interested. Inconsistent posting leads to a drop off from readers as they search elsewhere for new content.

The Fix

Make an editorial calendar and stick to it! Assign yourself or your team with a certain number of articles per week/per month etc using platforms such as Asana, Trello or just Google programs. Make a schedule that is consistent but not overwhelming such as a few times a week or 4-5 articles a month. Don't forget to post on social media to keep your followers up-to-date and interested.

Take a look at this example Trello editorial calendar. We can see ideas for articles, research that is being done, articles that are on hold and more. You can customize your editorial calendar completely, adding colored labels to keep you organized and easily dragging topics from “researching” to “on hold” to “complete”. Their are many possibilities from this and other platforms to keep you on top of each post.

Trello

Trello, editorial calendar example

You Aren't Growing Subscriber

You may be gaining readers but if you aren't gathering their emails and proactively growing your list of subscribers then you're missing an important opportunity. The best way to gain traffic and therefore value for you blog is by growing subscribers.

Why? HubSpot Blog has a great article that explains their increase in 147% email subscribers in one year, simply by adding an “opt in” to emails button on their site, boosted their traffic more than threefold. Simply put, more subscribers translates to more traffic.

HubSpot Blog – How Subscriptions Increase Overall Traffic

The Fix

Add a CTA to your blogs to make it easy for readers to add themselves to your email subscription list.

Send a welcome email to new subscribers to personalize the experience. Then set up a regular newsletter to continue to target those subscribers and keep them interested in your newest content. Learn how to setup email marketing for your blog.

Your Content Lacks Media

Reading an article that is all words can get exhausting. Even worse your article doesn't have many paragraph breaks, headings or bullet points; anything to break up the text and make skimming the article easier (which is the approach many online readers take).

The Fix

Include photos (bonus points if they're your own photos!), video clips and GIFs into your article. Of course, don't go overboard because that can make the page load slowly and readers will lose interest.

Adding media helps with attention

You're Plagiarizing (Probably Unknowingly)

Blogging can be time consuming. Sometimes you just want to be done or sometimes you have a strict deadline. This can often lead to unintentional plagiarism as you do quick research and end up pulling almost exact quotes from other bloggers sites.

Though the chances of whomever you take your content from realizing you plagiarized their work is very slim, you will be more highly respected if you have original content. If you really find it necessary to take chunks of writing off of others' sites, there is an easy solution there too:

The Fix

Cite, cite, cite! We use block quotes to highlight exact quotes from other writers which breaks up the text as well and makes the text sexier. Or simply site the writer's ideas you took by listing them or internally linking their article within your own.

For example: our post above sited HubSpot's article by linking the article AND posting a photo of the article.

You Forget About Your Post After Publishing

Sometimes new information or updated facts can arise after you have published an article. If you don't update the article, you will lose some credibility and trust from your readers for having out of date facts.

The Fix

Be aware of changes in your article's topic and don't be afraid to return to the article and make those updates. You can even email your subscribers and let them know that the article has been updated, especially if it is a major change.

Tumblr

Learning from your mistakes is one of the most rewarding parts of being a blogger.

Next time you're writing a piece, consider the possibility you made one of these blogging blunders before you post; we want you to succeed and we hope this article will help.

What's Next ?

Start a blog today & join the 30 Day Blog Challenge for the best tips, tricks and online community to help you every step of the way to become a better: writer, salesperson, listener, creative thinker, net-worker in the next 30 days.

What blogging mistakes have you made in your adventures in starting a blog? Comment below to learn from other 30 Day Blog Challenge writers and, as always, join the challenge to learn even more.

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4 Comments
  • MATTIE SHAW
    Posted at 02:39h, 05 April Reply

    Thanks for sharing. This was very helpful. I want to start blogging but I’m not ready yet..

    • Matt Challenge
      Posted at 12:05h, 05 April Reply

      You are welcome. Glad you find it helpful. Let me know when you are ready to start. We will walk you through everything step by step.

  • Shannon Mika
    Posted at 13:28h, 08 April Reply

    Thanks for the insightful article. As a beginner blogger, I related to much of what you wrote! Thanks for the advice!

    • Matt Challenge
      Posted at 17:45h, 08 April Reply

      Glad you find it helpful. Happy blogging.

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