Whenever you start a blog, you have to be ready to learn from your mistakes as you go for a long. You don’t just start and expect to be professional in one day. You need to learn a lot of things and mistakes offer the best way to learn and achieve your blogging goals. However, this doesn’t mean being naive or ignorant, making amateur mistakes that can be avoided. To a few of us, blogging is a talent and comes naturally without struggling. Others come on board to make money, which isn’t a bad thing. Whatever motivates you, I am sure you have writing intuition that guides you when writing amateur blogs. The main goal is to become a professional blogger, and the quicker you notice your mistakes and rectify them, the shorter your journey will be to success.
You then identify some of these mistakes and how to prevent them in the future. In this article, we are going to identify 15 errors amateur bloggers make when starting. If you are still making these mistakes, I am going to show you how to avoid them. Remember, making mistakes offer learning opportunities and should not put you down as a beginner. You are fortunate enough to read this article and avoid some of these amateur blog mistakes without making them; some of us had to learn the hard way. That said, let’s dive in!
Here’s the 15 Terrible Mistakes Amateur Blogs Make:
Table of Contents
Using a Free Site to Host your Blog
When starting, you are always budget-conscious. You can test by using a free platform, but it is not a good option if you want to succeed, especially if you’re in it for the long run and don’t want to become amateur blogger. Blogging can be lucrative if you start on the right foot, and this means having your domain name. Having your domain gives you more control over what to publish, which is a crucial factor if you want to become an expert in the blogging industry. Growing your blog needs a custom domain name that helps in building your brand and identity. Besides that, having a custom domain name has other great benefits when running a blog. Here are some of them:
- Domain names are cheap
Back in the days when the Internet was a new phenomenon, buying a domain name was very expensive. Nowadays, you can quickly get your domain name with as little as $1-$13. Namecheap is one of the companies offering cheap domain names.
- Custom domains are credible
Free blogging platforms are often preyed by spammers who are always up to no good. This makes these sites untrustworthy to social media users. Using a custom domain name, on the other hand, makes your blog credible, removing the thought that you are using a free blog. Social media users are more likely to engage with custom domain names.
Also, you can read Choosing the Best Blogging Platform as a Beginner
- Web promotion
The majority of famous brands and websites have credibility issues with a BlogSpot domain and will refuse to link back to it. Promoting your website or blog will be much harder if you are using a free site to host your blog.
- Seriousness toward blogging
Creating informative and engaging content on BlogSpot is not enough if you want to be a professional blogger. You need to have a custom domain name that comes with a beautiful layout and a lovely template that readers can identify you with and take your work seriously. You must be willing to spend a few bucks on your blog if you want to succeed.
- Google Apps
A custom domain name allows you to use a custom domain-based email address. Your email address is essential since readers can quickly contact you for feedback or inquiries. The custom domain will enable you to merge it with your email address, especially if you are using Gmail and other Google apps.
Using a Difficult Blog Name
As a beginner, you are tempted to pick a hard blog name, thinking that it will make it unique. That is another mistake you must avoid, or it will end up costing you a lot. When selecting a blog name, it is wise to go for a simple, short, and easy to understand blog name. You want your readers to remember you the next time they want to access your work, therefore, avoid being too fancy. Your blog is better if its name is easy to spell and remember. Remember, your blog is accessed by millions of Internet users who would want to appreciate the information you are offering. To guide you on this, think of a name that compliments what you are offering. Here are a few simple blog names that are straight to the point:
Getting an Insecure domain name
If you have read articles about starting blogs, most of them will fail to tell you that your blog’s security is essential. They are all keen about “go here and start a blog.” Getting cheap SSL certificate for your blog is crucial if you want to keep your blog safe. But, what they forget to do is remind you to make sure you get an SSL certificate. SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, is encryption meant to protect the user’s private information to ensure that it is not compromised.
To know whether the website you are using is safe, you will see a lock icon before the URL in the browser window. This is quite common in online stores since shoppers enter sensitive and private information like credit card details, which need to be protected. Even when you are not selling anything, your website needs to be safe. You need to make your blog trustworthy to your readers. Readers will trust and feel safe on a secured site.
Another thing is that cybercrime is rising, and spammers target insecure sites to spread their malicious software. Secured sites also prevent identity theft. Many browsers also tend to shy away from unsafe websites. Secured sites rank higher on Google than sites without SSL certification. To secure your website, contact your host and ask them to help you add it. Most of them will even do it freely. SSL services are offered by many companies, including SSLforfree.com and Lets Encrypt.org.
No Social Media Presence
If you are running a blog, your social media presence needs to be active. Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, your social media presence means a lot to your readers. These social networks help you to engage with your audience on a personal level. If there are no activities on your social media profiles, readers will not take your blog seriously. I will be honest with you, managing several network profiles is not easy; therefore, have two which you can update once in a while.
If you have several social media profiles, you can use social media automation tools such as Tailwind, IFTTT for Twitter, and Social Pilot, which is a tremendous Gramblr alternative. These tools help you to schedule your posts if you want to post them later without necessarily being there now and then. You can promote your posts daily, which helps to create a brand and build your audience. Like I mentioned, you don’t necessarily need to create social media profiles in all the platforms.
The best networks to start with are Facebook and Pinterest because of their massive reach and popularity. You can, later on, expand to Instagram or any other system. Twitter isn’t that necessary. However, it can help you bring massive site traffic into your blog because it allows you to post multiple times a day.
A poorly designed site that hard to navigate
Starting and operating a blog on a low budget is understandable. However, this doesn’t mean amateur-blogs should have poorly designed themes. Investing in a good idea that is easy to navigate makes your blog user friendly. Readers don’t like ugly websites, and they won’t take it seriously. Do everything you can to ensure your theme is good looking and nicely designed as this will help you convert more readers to your blog. No matter how great and informative your content is, many readers will doubt your blog if it’s poorly designed. Even my own website is designed in Divi Extra Theme which is quite light weighted and easy to use.
The number of brands that built a successful business using ugly themes is countable, but they must have put extra work to succeed. If you are a beginner, don’t risk this because you may not get the desired results. Don’t go for a free theme if you want people to take you and your work seriously. You should use reliable ideas from the word go, and these are some of the reasons why:
- Regular Updates – Reliable themes are safe because they update regularly, and each update comes with enhanced security to get rid of bugs. Free items are bloated with code, which ends up slowing down your site. They are also not maintained by their developers, meaning they are susceptible and prone to errors.
- Many Readers Use Good Themes – Since many people prefer and use good themes, errors from plugin and theme updates will be detected fast and eliminated.
- Good for SEO – Reliable themes are SEO-ready, meaning that they have in-built SEO functions.
- Flexibility – Reliable themes have several functions that you may require when running your blog. They also allow customization by a push on a button, and you don’t need to hire an expert every time you want to change anything.
- Good Themes look Professional – If you’re going to capture your readers with a great first impression, then a good theme will help you with that because they look professional.
WHILE WORKING ON YOUR DESIGN, IT’S ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO OBSERVE THESE TWO CRITICAL POINTS:
- Avoid focusing so much on-page appearance
A good theme is not only made of good design but is also developed with perfect code. However, balancing between the two will take a lot of time and effort. .org offers the best free simple themes. When it comes to paid items, their appearances are lovely, however, they are huge, poorly coded, and have many unnecessary features. Many of these themes are not worth it. Here are several reasons for choosing a great free theme:
- Good free themes are regularly updated to get rid of bugs
- When you choose a reliable free theme, you will get proper support in case you run into technical issues
- Picking a good idea will ensure that your site loads faster and looks good. Unfortunately, getting a good looking and reliable free theme that matches the needs, is an uphill task, especially for beginners.
- Investing too much with little ROI
It is always good to enter the blogging world with a positive mind. With the help of online tutorials and guides, you can quickly start your blog. You can also handle any issues that may are within your blog. This doesn’t mean you can’t hire a freelancer when you get stuck. Hiring a freelancer is necessary if you want to be a professional blogger and not ending up becoming an amateur blogger. However, when you choose to hire a freelancer developer, ensure you get one with enough experience. Why waste time guessing and second-guessing freelancers when you can hire me? Besides choosing the best freelance developers, invest on a self-hosting platform like Bluehost or SiteGround. You also need plugins such as Yoast and WPMU to help you with your site’s SEO. All these are necessary if you want to be a successful blogger. Avoid spending money on things to don’t need. They include putting up sales funnels when you are just starting, purchasing paid themes, and subscribing for advanced email marketing software.
See More:- 5 Top Web Hosting Companies
Failure to diversify income streams
If you started your blog to make money, you should identify ways to monetize your blog. There are several ways to generate revenue with your website, including Google Adsense, Ad networks, affiliate marketing, and even selling your products. One of the many mistakes amateur bloggers makes is using only one way to steam passive income into their blogs. For instance, you can decide to use an ad network to monetize your blog, but what happens when your site traffic suddenly drops? It means that your income will also decrease. You can choose affiliate marketing, but what happens when the program changes its terms or the store you are promoting shuts down? You will also lose money. You should diversify your income streams so that you are not left hanging when other ways fail.
Using unformatted Articles
Before generating articles for your blog, ensure you have come up with the right format for writing your articles. You should include H1, H2 tags, white space, and subheadings. If you are not using these things when developing your articles, your readers will have a hard time going through your content. You should know that some readers prefer picking a few essential points in your content instead of reading the entire post. Formatting your posts makes it easy to read and extract information from them. Just as have formatted this post, you should also do the same to your articles if you want your readers to take you seriously as a blogger. Another way to make your readers comfortable when reading your posts is to use shorter paragraphs in your articles. Readers find it difficult to read a block of text. The best way to go about it is to use 1 or 2 sentences in a paragraph, instead of 5. The content will be digested by the reader easily when you apply these things.
Not mentioning the source of copied content
As a newbie blogger, writing posts for the first time seem to be an uphill task. Many of the amateur bloggers will decide to copy posts from popular blogs to make work easier. If you are not careful, you may end up losing your blog as a result of plagiarized content. In the publishing industry, copying work done by other writers is not good and may result in lawsuits. Professional writers know this. That is why they always cite their sources. You also wouldn’t like it when someone else uses your content without mentioning you as the source or even requesting your permission.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN SOMEONE COPIES YOUR BLOG CONTENT?
When someone finds and copies your work online, he or she reduces the chances of your website ranking high. Search engines despise duplicate content, especially Google. You risk being penalized and banned if you are at fault. The only way to avoid duplicate work is to create original content, and you are going to use someone else’s work, ensure that you request first is to cite them as sources. Getting information online is not wrong. If you are going to use it to develop your idea, just make sure you craft it in your own words and presentation to prevent plagiarism. Originality will help you further develop your blogging skills and achieve your goals.
You need to be consistent when publishing content on your blog if you want to be a professional blogger. Failure to remain consistent with your posts will lead to low site traffic since you are not offering anything new to your readers. It’s just like exciting once a month and expect to cut weight. You put extra work to get on top and this means putting in extra hours to research and publish new content regularly. And that’s not all; you also need to promote your content, learn writing skills, and to implement them. Generating over $10,000 a month of revenue from your blog requires a lot of sacrifices and hard work, no shortcuts. Not everyone entering the blogging industry catches up fast. However, what matters is the dedication and willingness to achieve your goals. That matters regardless of how long it takes to get there. To help you remain consistent, write down a strategy on how you are going to achieve your short and long term goals. Find time to research what you are writing about.
Failure to optimize your blog for Google
The moment you start publishing your blog, you need to optimize it for search engines, especially Google. Failure to optimize your content will force you to revisit and update your work in the future, which is hectic and straining. SEO is not as easy as it seems. It has many different aspects. However, when you hire an SEO expert, he or she will know exactly what to do and give you tips to optimize your blog.
However, you can start by optimizing your post titles and descriptions for keywords to make your blog visible when visitors type these keywords on Google. Besides this, you also need to make the entire article optimized for keywords in your niche. You need a well-thought strategy for this. As an agency, we use different ways to help our clients optimize their content for Google. Here are some which I also suggest that you use in your blog as a beginner:
- Research on keyword
- Choose a blog title
- Outline your article
- Research and change your outline
- Fill in the content
- Edit your work
- Publish and share
- Rinse and repeat
No Headshot of the Blogger
A great headshot of the blogger is necessary, whether you are a beginner or a veteran in the blogging industry. This is another mistake amateur bloggers make. They think that having the blogger’s headshot in on a blog is only meant for experienced authors who have been in the industry for long. But that isn’t the case. Publishing your headshot as a blogger with a simple ‘hello’ help your readers connect to your work by visualizing how you look. This also helps to establish a strong first impression.
Headshots are usually used in your about page, social media profile icon, and also sent to brands when they use your guest post. A good headshot should be of high quality, represent your brand, and consistent. This is the first thing you need to invest in any of your work, whether it’s a blog or any sort of online business.
HOW TO GET A GREAT HEADSHOT
Use Natural Light While In Focus
If you don’t know what this means, you should hire a professional photographer to help you with that. Don’t add any bright lights when taking a headshot and always be in focus.
Take a True Headshot
A right headshot should be made in the top half of your body. The photographer should be close enough for people to see your face.
Don’t Wear Sunglasses
People usually use sunglasses when they are not feeling their prettiest when taking a photo. However, for a headshot, it’s not advisable to have sunglasses as this not show your true facial identity. Do everything to look your best without sunglasses. Put your chin up and look confident.
Use an Updated Photo
Your headshot should always be up to date and accurate presentation of you and what you represent in your blog content. Avoid putting on seasonal or holiday outfits since they don’t show professionalism if you want to be taken seriously.
Posting Posts with No Author
If your posts have “Admin” as the author, you are missing the mark. Readers don’t like posts that don’t say anything about the writer. Most will just end with, “Hi, I’m a fun-loving husband with four boys.” Your reader will feel connected to you when they see your name on your blog posts or an author bio at the end of your posts. An author box under a blog post is also a good idea as it explains more about you and what you like as a person. A name, headshot, and an author box are powerful enough to increase comments from your readers.
Nothing to help you build your Email List
Don’t have excuses that you are a new blogger, and building an email list is not on your mind at the moment. That is the notion most newbies have when starting blogs. Monetizing your blog is one of the reasons that drove you to start a blog in the first place, and if you don’t look for ways to build your email list, getting revenue from your blog will be hard. You should set up an email list as early as possible, and you need a plan to help you with this task.
One way you can use to collect your email list is to use a pop up with an attractive headline to entice your visitors to sign up or subscribe for your newsletter. The best email marketing service I can recommend to you is MailChimp login. This service offers a free subscription for the first 500 subscribers. For beginners, this is a great place to start when you want to build your email list. I also use Pinterest to increase my email list, which helps me to generate subscribers daily.
Sticking to Old Techniques
The majority of beginners tend to be comfortable where they started from and are afraid of trying out new writing techniques. If you are an amateur blogger, this is another mistake you should avoid. You stand the danger of lagging when you don’t want to try new ways of generating your content. The online industry is quite fragile and keeps changing every day. If you are not exploring new skills to present your posts, you will find yourself overtaken by events. Remember, there are millions of bloggers you are competing with, and if you don’t offer what the audience wants, you will not withstand the competition.
Thanks to new technology, you can use innovative ways to communicate with your audience. On such an option is the live feature on Facebook. Capitalize on social media networks like Instagram, which allows users to upload photos and videos using Instagram usernames, making it one of the biggest social networks of this age. Take your sweet time to look for new and exciting ways to share your knowledge and content with the world. If you can afford it, take a course that helps you to push your blogging ideas to the next level.
Giving Up Early
Blogging is not for the faint-hearted; therefore, if you think you are going to make it in a few weeks, you are in for a big surprise. It is a long term investment that requires patience and sacrifice to bear fruits. The majority of beginners hardly reach three months in their blogging journey. If you want to be a professional blogger, don’t fall into this category of amateur bloggers. When the going gets tough, you need to develop a thick skin and press on. With time, you will begin to see the fruits of your labor.
My advice to you is don’t enter into blogging will the sole purpose of making money. You will end up getting disappointed when money isn’t coming. You can start as a freelancer, before moving to the blog. This way, you won’t be anxious to make money with your blog, and you will also learn new ideas to develop your blog. Believe in yourself and have the courage that one day, you will accomplish what you wanted.
With perseverance and hard work, you won’t depend on your paycheck any more to make a living. Your dreams are significant for you to give up on them without a fight.
Checkout quick video review on the Terrible Bogging Mistakes
Source- Mario Gordon
Blogging is a lucrative online venture that can help you earn a living if you are willing to invest wisely and put some work in it. The problem with many people starting blog is that they don’t come prepared and end up quitting after a few months. Don’t be a statistic and fall into this category. Now that you know these mistakes try as much as possible to avoid them, and your blogging journey will go on smoothly. Whatever you do, you should know that your dreams are valid, and you should not lose hope!
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