New to blogging? Or you’ve been blogging for a while now but your blog doesn’t seem to grow?
When starting a blog, you must know that growing a blog takes time, learning, and experimenting with various strategies. But what if you’re applying the blogging best practices and still nothing happens? Then you might be making some of the biggest blogging mistakes newbies make.
But there’s no need to worry. In this post, you’ll learn about the biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them. You’ll be improving your blogging skills with only a couple of twitches to your approach.
#1) Blog post topics are too broad
As a beginner, you might be tempted to jump on broad and general topics like:
- How to promote your blog on social media
- Blogging best practices
- How to lose weight
This is not the best way to tackle your topics because of two reasons.
One, you can’t answer all the questions your readers might have about the topic. Just think about how many details get into the weight loss topic for example. You can’t cover all the information under a single blog post.
The second reason is it’s extremely hard to rank on broad keywords. Try a Google search on how to lose weight. There are no less than 352 million results and the top ranking pages have more than 500 backlinks. As a small blogger, it would be extremely hard to compete against those already established websites.
How to fix it
Aim to cover specific topics.
Instead of going for how to lose weight, find a title that covers a specific aspect of losing weight. Some examples are:
- How to lose weight when breastfeeding
- What fruits can help you lose weight
- Losing weight through yoga: 7 routines you need to try
Of course, these topics depend on your audience. You won’t write a blog post about losing weight when breastfeeding on a blog that’s dedicated to men. But the idea is to find narrow topics on which you can cover all the details in the single post.
#2) You don’t structure your posts
When coming up with a blog post idea, a common blogging mistake beginners do is opening up a document and start writing. And while brainstorming by freely writing your ideas down is a good practice for a writer, it’s not so great when you are writing a specific blog post.
When you write without having a clear idea of the outcome, there’s a great chance the final blog post will be a random pile of ideas. It’s easy to start jumping from one idea to another when you don’t have a framework to guide your writing.
Another disadvantage is that the lack of structure in a blog post makes it hard for readers to follow through. When people read an article, they are mainly scanning it, not reading it word for word.
Having a great structure makes a significant difference in a blog post’s quality.
How to fix it
When you come up with a blog post idea, don’t jump to the writing part the next second. First, think about the most important tips or ideas you want your readers to get from your blog post and create a section for each of them.
If you section the post into chapters and subchapters, it not only makes for a more engaging article for your readers, but it also makes the writing process way easier.
After you have the sections ready, all you have to do is to fill in the blanks. It’ll be way easier for you to write in small chunks that are focused on a specific idea rather than writing a whole post from start to finish in one take.
#3) Using too many popups
One big blogging mistake beginners make when they set up their blogs is adding too many popups on the pages.
It’s easy to get caught into placing popups for everything, everywhere. After all, popups make a good job into getting more email subscribers.
But too many of them, and this method will backfire.
Have you ever went to a website just to be bombarded with popups? One popup when you first get to the page, one when you’re moving your mouse towards the exit, one when you are halfway through the blog post. What’s your reaction? Getting out of that page as soon as possible until other popups get to flood your screen again.
Not to mention, those popups telling people to subscribe the moment they got on the page are not so successful either. Why would I subscribe if I haven’t even got to read your blog post yet?
Still, things change when you offer discounts, promotions, or freebies with your popups. This strategy is exponentially boosting the chances for popups to be successful. Even so, you need to be careful not to overdo it.
To keep visitors on your blog, you must offer them a great user experience in completion to the awesome content you publish.
How to fix it
Only use a couple of popups that are strategically placed.
Just because there are a lot of popups on your page, it doesn’t make them successful. They must be placed in the right place and have the right call to action.
For starters, you can test different popups to see what works best for your visitors.
Let’s say you are just starting out. Try a popup triggered at page exit with a certain call to action and let it run for a period of time. After a while, change the call to action and see how that one goes. Compare the data from both of them. Which one converted better?
Also, play with the placements of your popups. Sometimes, newsletters forms work better when they are placed on the sidebar, sometimes they work best as a popup.
Always keep on experimenting with different popups and call to actions and analyze the results. But don’t jump on using all the popups types at once.
#4) Not using call to actions
One of the biggest blogging mistakes beginners do is waiting for their readers to take action without specifically telling them what they should do.
Using call to actions at the end of your blog posts is a powerful way to keep readers on your blog for longer or to receive more social media shares. Unfortunately, many forget about this step and wrap up the blog post without telling the readers what to do next.
You might think that if a reader enjoyed your piece, s/he will hit the share button automatically. Or that s/he will also check out your other blog posts. In reality, most users don’t behave like this.
It doesn’t mean nobody will share your content if you don’t tell them too. But when you specifically ask people to share, you maximize your chances of people actually doing it.
How to fix it
Each time you write a blog post think about what action you want your readers to take next.
Do you have a related blog post which will add more value for readers and would like people to check them out following the present piece? Let a link at the end of your post telling your readers why they should check it out.
Are you aiming to go viral on Pinterest with that blog post? Then remind people to pin your post. Don’t forget to make it easy for them to do so by adding a pinnable image to your blog post.
#5) Ignoring the community
Becoming part of the community is an important part of blogging.
It not only helps with meeting like-minded people and exchanging knowledge, but it’ll also boost the growth of your blog.
When you start connecting with other bloggers, you will find ways of helping each other through guest blogging, shutouts or other types of collaborations.
How to fix it
Leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to start building out connections. This is an easy method to get yourself under other bloggers’ radar.
Another way to show your appreciation for other bloggers’ content is to connect with them on social media. Like their posts and share their content. Don’t forget to also tag them when you share their blog posts to make sure they see your activity.
After you interact with other bloggers’ content for a while, you can directly reach out to them. Write an email telling them about a blog post of theirs you enjoyed and how it helped you.
If you want to build a strong connection, don’t ask for favors when first reaching out. It’s best to first build a relationship. When you’ll have a favor to ask, they’ll already know who you are. And they’ll know you are familiar with their content and you’re not just randomly looking for opportunities.
#6) Spreading too wide
Have you started your blog and now you’re trying to grow on every social media platform because you want to catch everybody’s attention?
This mistake is understandable. Nobody wants to miss on getting their message to as many people as possible. What if part of your targeted audience is active only on Instagram and you’re not there to expose your content to them?
The thing is, you won’t be successful if you’re trying to catch everyone at once. And that’s because mastering social media is not as easy as it sounds. You can’t just share some posts and have great results from day one. Social media needs time, learning, and experimenting with different types of social content.
When you’re spreading yourself wide on every social media platform, all you do is waste a lot of time while getting low, if any, results.
How to fix it
Start with only 1 or 2 social media platforms. I know it’s hard to think you’ll be missing on opportunities, but trust me. You’ll get way better results with this approach.
To choose the right platforms, find where your audience is the most active. Depending on your blog niche, it can be Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+.
For example, Google+ is where lots of tech people are spending their time. If you’re looking for millennials, you can find them on Instagram, while older audiences spend their time on Twitter. It also depends on what types of content you’ll be sharing. If you are into fashion, beauty, design, or anything to do with visuals, Instagram and Pinterest are the best places for you to be. But if your content is mostly text-based, then you might be more successful on Twitter.
Another thing you should do is analyze what your competitors are doing.
What social media platforms your competitors use? And most importantly, where they have the most engaged audience? If you see your competitors are active on Twitter for example, while only getting 100 followers over the last year, is it really worth spending your time on Twitter? Probably not. Look for platforms where other bloggers have results.
#7) Editing while writing
This is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when blogging – editing and rewriting while in the process of drafting the blog post.
You must keep in mind that writing the draft and editing it are two separate steps of writing a blog post.
When you let editing become part of the drafting, all you do is interrupt your writing flow. Which means the writing will go slower and you might forget about some of the ideas you had in the beginning.
The draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. You’ll turn the draft into a great blog post in the editing process.
How to fix
Get used to only keep going forward and not look back. Even if you know you messed up a word, just let it be. You’ll fix that later.
If you, for example, write a sentence and a different phrasing comes to your mind, don’t delete the first one. Leave both sentences on the page. When you’ll come to rewrite, you’ll eliminate the excess. And maybe you’ll get new ideas from the sentences you wanted to take away. You can also save the phrases you want to take out and use them for social media posts.
And, for those who just can’t help themselves (shoutout to all the perfectionists out there), there are writing tools with a feature that stops you from editing anything until you finish writing the whole draft. Draft has the Hemingway mode where you can only keep writing, you can’t even delete your last character.
Keep on using a tool like the above one until you get the habit of only going forward with your writing.
#8) Too little or too much editing
There are two common mistakes newbies make when it comes to the editing process.
There are the bloggers who spend too much time on editing because they’re never happy with the outcome.
And there are the overconfident ones who believe the initial draft is good enough and doesn’t need any rewriting or proofreading.
Both situations are bad.
When you spend too much time obsessing to create the perfect blog post, you place a lot of stress on your shoulders, getting yourself into an analysis paralysis state. You might even miss keeping up with the posting schedule because of it.
Contrary, when you don’t take time to edit the draft, you’ll end up with a post full of errors and weak sentences. Even the most experienced writers go through the editing process to rewrite and fix typing and grammar mistakes. Professional bloggers actually pay good money for a human editor to do the job for them.
How to fix it
Once you are done with the draft, take at least half an hour for editing the piece.
To avoid over editing, you can set the goal to only work on editing for 30-60 minutes and use a timer to keep track of time. When the timer goes off, just stop. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Some great tools for editing and proofreading are Grammarly, Hemingway App and Typely.
To make the editing process more effective, don’t edit the same day you write the draft. It’s best to distance yourself from the post for at least one day and come back to it with fresh eyes. It’ll be way easier to spot the errors and the sentences that need to be rewritten.
#9) You don’t build an email list
Most of the conversions happen because of the subscribers’ list.
Those who subscribe to your newsletter are the ones that read all your blog posts (or almost all of them) and are the easiest to convert to customers.
Ask any great marketer about what’s the most important asset of a business and don’t be amazed if the answer is the email list. The best salespeople can grow a business from the ground if you give them only an email list.
Also, having a list to send updates about your new content, results in more traffic to your blog. The people on your email list are already familiar with your blog and they subscribed because they found value in it. Meaning they are the most likely to check your new blog posts.
How to fix it
Wait no more and start building your email list.
If you’re not ready to invest in a mailing tool, you can use MailChimp to begin with. It’s one of the best email marketing tools and you can use a free account until you hit 1000 subscribers. This gives you the opportunity to get the hang of what it means to collect emails from your readers.
What you’ll need in the beginning is to set up a welcome message. It should show your appreciation to your readers and should hook them up so they wait for your next email.
After that, you can start sending a weekly newsletter where you let your readers know about the blog posts you published over the week.
Be careful not to send too many emails. If you have something truly helpful to share with your readers then, by all means, provide them value. But don’t send out emails just for the sake of it. People won’t miss on the chance to hit unsubscribe, especially if they are new on your list.
Do you make any of these blogging mistakes?
Now you know which are the worst blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Blog post topics too broad
- You don’t structure your posts
- Using too many popups on your blog
- Not using call to actions
- Ignoring the community
- Spreading too wide
- Editing while writing
- Too little or too much editing
- Not building an email list
For more blogging tips for beginners and beyond, check out our post: