I see a lot of blogging mistakes to avoid online. Here are 43 you might be making as a blogger.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, the mistakes listed in this post are some important things to avoid as a blogger. Starting one can feel overwhelming from the get-go. I hope these tips help steer you in a good direction!
In this post, you’ll learn about 43 blogging mistakes to avoid.
Stop making these blogging mistakes
I’ve put together 43 of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid in this post. Read on to see how many you’ve made:
Not having a content plan
Having a content plan is so important to have as a content creator of any kind. But not having one is the biggest mistake I see online.
Bloggers should always (at minimum) have a growing list of keywords, topics, or ideas they can pull from on those weeks your creativity is phoning it in.
Not focusing on your blog post content
The temptation is heavy to focus on anything else, but when you’re growing your small blog, you HAVE to create and publish regular content. Take it at your own pace, but try to aim for at least one post per week!
When you post then ghost, you’re basically treating your blog like a hobby. Consistency is one of the most important things every blogger should prioritize.
That doesn’t have to mean posting daily or even weekly. Find a schedule and stick to it to ensure your blog stays current on Google’s ranking and search results.
Not having a strategy
One of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid is not having a strategy. I’m not just talking about your content here, either. You need to know your goals and have a “destination” of sorts in the back of your mind to grow your blog and audience.
Not marketing your blog
For most blog posts, it takes at least 3 months to begin ranking for the specific keyword you choose. But in reality, it can likely take more than 6-12 months on average. Without an intentional marketing plan, your blog’s traffic won’t see much organic growth.
Not knowing your target audience
You need to know who you’re talking to. This helps you know what sort of content you need to create.
Having a too specific niche
There is such a thing as niching too far down. If you’re a lifestyle or travel blogger, you likely won’t find much traction without a specific focus to help the right people find your blog. But if you box yourself into a niche that’s so small and irrelevant to almost everyone, your content can’t grow.
Relying too much on AI content writing tools
There’s a lot of flack against AI writing tools. And rightly so! In my experience, AI writing tools don’t sound as natural as their ads want you to believe. Sometimes, the information they generate just isn’t true. You always want to make sure what you publish has substance, value, and truth to it.
However, I personally love using WordHero for helping me outline my blog posts. The actual AI writer is rather inconsistent, their outlining capabilities do help me get ideas onto the page, resulting in me writing faster!
Not having any niche
You need some kind of anchor for your content, but you don’t need to stress out if you don’t know your final niche. Honestly, your content might shift a little over time as you explore what you love creating and talking about. That’s normal.
If you spread yourself too thin, it’ll be less likely that you’ll prioritize writing posts for your blog. Because you can’t give anyone one platform your full focus, your growth can be slower — resulting in you feeling discouraged.
Not prioritizing monetizing your blog
Every cent matters in the beginning. You might not be able to get into the Mediavine club just yet, but Google Adsense makes it (kind of) easy for beginner bloggers to monetize their content.
Not learning how to write well
As a blogger, you write quite a bit. So, it’s important to write well. Your blog posts don’t have to be perfect; however, you should learn how to structure, outline, and produce content in a way that makes sense to your audience.
Ignoring important legal pages
Listen, your blog has to have certain pages and policies to be considered “legal” these days. The most common pages bloggers stop at, though, might not cover you as much as you think. Here’s a list of legal pages I recommend your blog to have:
- Terms & conditions
- Disclaimer policy
- Accessibility statement
- Affiliate disclosures
- Testimonials statement
PRO TIP: Never copy a blogger’s policy. Not only is that actually ironic (because you’re stealing someone else’s content to make your blog legal), it’s lazy and in poor taste.
Having bad blog design
While you shouldn’t spend weeks on your blog’s design, you need to have a decent, simple, and easy-to-use design.
I have personally used the Divi theme by Elegant Themes for my site since 2017. However, I know not everyone will be able to purchase a theme right out of the gate (though I HIGHLY recommend Divi for everyone of all skill levels).
That’s why I also recommend using the free version of the Astra WordPress theme to start off with a page builder like Elementor.
Not knowing what your audience wants to learn about
Just like you should know who your audience is, one of the beginner blogger mistakes to avoid is not knowing what type of content is relevant to your ideal readers and visitors. Content is the king of blogging, and it takes so much time to write it. That’s why you should always have an intentional plan in place.
Spending too much money on tools, themes, & web hosting
Blogging doesn’t have to be expensive. You can get webhosting for as low as $2.99 per month and build up your tech stack with free tools from Google:
- Google Search Console — Help Google index your site faster
- Google Trends — Find keywords and phrases to help create your content that ranks
- Google Analytics — Track your site visitors and other data
- Google Adsense — Monetize your site with relative ease
If you’re needing the best tool for finding the best keywords online, you can grab 100,000 search credits from Keywords Everywhere for about $10. I’ve had mine for about 6 months and I’m only down to about 83k at the time of writing this post.
Neglecting learning (and maintaining) SEO standards
As overwhelming as it can be, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most non-negotiable things you need to learn as a blogger. Just knowing even the basics can help you rank in the Google search algorithm.
Not backing up your content
It might be tempting to write directly on your posting platform, but always consider backing up your work in some sort of Cloud! This is one of the easiest blogging mistakes to avoid — especially when you use Google Drive or Dropbox.
A lack of confidence in your blog
Another one of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid is not having confidence in your blog (or yourself). I get it! It’s a little hard to just turn this on, but when you’re constantly doubting yourself, it’ll be even harder to stick with maintaining your blog’s content.
Following bad and/or outdated blogging advice
While blogging is one of the more evergreen forms of online content, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t bad advice floating around out there. Blogging takes quite a bit of time out of your life. So when you hold things like:
- “You have to blog every day”
- “You have to have a complete website in order to be successful”
…you’ll likely end up just wasting your time when you could have just been posting content at a consistent rate that best fits your schedule and commitments.
Using copyrighted photos without permission
If you have a blog, you need a game plan to use copyright appropriate images. If you have Canva Pro, you’ll already have access to a decent library of stock videos and images. Alternatively, you can also use Unsplash.com — but you should note that almost every other blogger out there will be using your images.
One permanent line item in my blogging budget is a monthly membership to Styled Stock Society. Another stock membership site I love is The Stock Shop Co. The Stock Shop Co is priced at just $9.99 USD monthly at the time of writing this post.
Choosing not to self-host your blog
There are so many reasons you need to self-host your blog. A lot of new bloggers make the mistake of seeking out WordPress.com. But when they get inside, they discover crucial features like the ability to place ads, install plugins, and upload custom themes that are all locked behind an expensive paywall.
Please just use a host like HostArmada for your WordPress blog for full customization and flexibility.
Not having an email list from the beginning
Not having an email list from the beginning is one of the bigger blogging mistakes to avoid. It takes a lot of time to get in those first few dozen subscribers. In that time, you can be planning out your first digital product or other ways to monetize your blog.
Not having a strategic lead magnet
Lead magnets, for better or worse, are still the best way to attract people to sign up to your email list. When it’s a strategic freebie, you’ll get only the best leads on your list.
Not networking with other relevant bloggers in your niche
When you network with other bloggers, you get the chance to support them as well as receive support in return. I recently published a post all about the 9 best Facebook groups for bloggers. If you want to get started, I’d check out that post next!
Not taking your blog seriously right away
Out of every mistake in this list, it’s THIS ONE that ended up being my biggest mistake. I spent all this time designing the perfect website and imagining what it would be like to blog…all the while I didn’t actually write anything.
Not having an About page set up
Not many people will likely hang out on your About page, but it’s still important to have for those few visitors who want to know more about you!
Spending too much time on designing your blog
Ouch! This one feels like a personal attack. The truth is that your blog can be as simple as you need it to be. Design is important, yes. But it’s not the end-all, be-all when it comes to blogging. If you’re letting your blog’s design get in the way of posting consistent content, try finding a balance.
Choosing the wrong blogging platform
This is where I lose a few of you. WordPress is, in my expert web designer opinion, still the best blogging platform online:
- It’s the most affordable option when you choose the self-hosted route
- It’s the easiest to troubleshoot (thank you, YouTube!)
- It has the most flexible customizability options.
When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot that WordPress soars above the other options out there, too.
Stealing other blogger’s content
I wish this was as common sense as it should be, but don’t steal other bloggers’ content. Taking inspiration from a post to add your own expertise or value to it is one thing. But copying and pasting another creator’s content and calling it your own is stealing.
I refuse to call this a mistake. It’s just downright theft, and it’s the best way to kill your credibility online, so please don’t let this be one of the blogging mistakes to avoid that you make.
Not using Pinterest
I’m no Pinterest expert (at least as of writing this post). In fact, I’ve only recently started to post content on Pinterest. But this is an easy way to boost the traffic potential of your blog site.
I plan on posting about my personal strategy for this platform once I’ve found a “lazy” way that works for me, so keep an eye out for that in the next couple of months!
Ignoring your blog analytics
Even if you’re a complete beginner, you should always track key metrics to see and track your growth!
Not investing ANY money into your blog
Another one of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid that I want to talk about is not investing any money into your blog. If you want to turn your blog into a business, you have to act like a business owner now. That means investing even a few dollars into it each month.
Not using branded graphics and photos
I feel like we constantly see the same 30 or so images around Pinterest, Google, and social media. I’m such a huge fan of having a unique brand. That’s why one of the non-negotiable line items in my blogging budget is Styled Stock Society.
Not knowing how to properly link things
If you’re writing a lot of blog posts linking to tons of affiliate products or services, you should know how to set these links to “nofollow” so Google doesn’t penalize your blog in SERP for spammy content.
Having too many unnecessary plugins
This is one of the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid if you’re a WordPress.org user. Having too much bloat on your blog’s back-end slows down your page loading times. People are already impatient without having to wait more than 2 seconds for a page to fully load.
Part of running a blog is making your site as user-friendly as possible for everyone. Navigating through your blog posts shouldn’t make anyone scratch their heads!
Not having a blog post template
I leveled up my blogging process the second I created a blog post template in my Admin backend space. Now, creating brand new posts is easy and publishing is fun!
Overlooking your blog’s security and site backups
Just like you should back up your blog content, you should always prioritize backing up your actual website, too! There are a few free plugins for WordPress, like UpDraft.
Not choosing a clear blog name
Your blog name can be clever if it fits, but I always suggest being clear over clever! If your name is too hard or too similar to someone else’s, your brand won’t be as recognizable.
Not keeping up with the best strategies
You shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon of the current most popular strategies. Around here, I call those trends. Strategies need an intentional incubation time to test and tweak slowly over time.
However, you should know when major platform algorithm changes occur, so you always stay looped into them.
Getting onto the first of Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) takes time. Instant or overnight virality is an outlier exception: not a rule or expectation you assign to your blog.
There’s this thing called the Google Sandbox. Simply put: it just means that in order to rank on the results, it takes anywhere between 4-12 months depending on how well you’ve optimized your SEO.
Giving up (because you don’t show up)
Your blog will not grow if you never create valuable and relevant content, market it online, or keep up-to-date with blogging trends and strategies. Showing up will look a little different for everyone, but you HAVE to show up and put in the work in order to see any growth.
This post was all about beginner blogging mistakes to avoid.
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Good job, Aubrey. All are common blogging errors.
Great advice! I think one thing that many new bloggers don’t realize is that they need to have the legal pages on their blog.
Thank you for this post! I’m a new blogger and this was very helpful and informative!
Thanks for sharing these blogging mistakes to avoid. So helpful for me as I just started my blog in the middle of February and I am not being very consistent about it yet.
You made some great suggestions regarding blogging. Although I have been writing for a few years now, I think it’s about constantly learning how you can do better and more. Thank you for sharing. ☺️
Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)
Great post! Agreed about being on too many social media platforms! Its tempting to be everywhere but its just so hard to do it all well!
I’m guilty of 20 of these… this would make a really handy checklist to have to always refer back to!
Great list, great info too.
So helpful! I have absolutely made some of these mistakes and am nodding my head knowing how important is was that I fixed them. Your site’s gorgeous, BTW, and I love your logo!
Yes! Agree with all of these so much. I am just starting to set up my email list and regret not doing to sooner.
I’ve just come across your blog for the first time, and wow, it’s packed full of invaluable info. As a fellow introvert, I struggle with that ‘chatty’ tone often required for blogging. That, and inconsistency. Thanks for this post!
This is a very well-made and accurate post. In my two-ish years of blogging, I’m pretty sure at one point or another, I’ve made every mistake on this list! I wish I could have stumbled upon this a long time ago, and so much of this has reminded me of things I need to still get after. I’m saving this post so I can return to it and use it as a tool to ensure all my i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Thank you!
Really great post! I personally still have to figure out some mistakes mentioned above 🙂