We all start with amateur blogs…
And in this journey, we all make our fair of amateur blogging mistakes. Having said that, some of these dumb mistakes can cost us dearly.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss 11 of the most common blogging mistakes and how to fix them for the better.
But before that, here’s what our reader Alice (an amateur blogger) wrote to us the other day.
Sounds like your story?
I know, because I have been there too.
I have also had my fair share of rookie blogging mistakes.
But now, I can proudly say that by rectifying these amateur blogging mistakes, I make a living online.
About 95% of bloggers who aim at starting a blog, quit halfway.
They just quit even before making a single buck from their blog.
Because, they don’t have the proper action plan of things to do after registering their domain.
I know money isn’t everything, but if you’re blogging for business, writing to add that extra income to your family budget or quit that nagging job, money sure means a lot.
As bloggers, you and I are battling for attention in a distracted world.-Swadhin
It is very hard to hook your readers to what you are saying, leave alone selling them something.
But, at the end it all sums up to one thing. We have to try and give our best no matter what. Failure is just one more chance to re-evaluate your strategy.
Let’s start with the dumbest mistakes amateur blogs make that you must avoid like the plague.
Top 10 Mistakes by Amateur Blogs (With Examples)
- Not self-hosting
- No focus on keyword research
- Not investing back in blog
- No focus on building an email list
- Not writing in-depth, engaging content for targeted audience
- No solid blog monetization strategy
- Not networking with fellow bloggers & influencers
- No focus on building backlinks
- Distractions & shiny object syndrome
- No blog visibility
- No social media exposure
1. Not Self-hosting Your Blog
Choosing a free hosted platform (like Medium, Blogspot etc) isn’t always an intended mistake, it is often the result of:
- Not having enough money to start a blog
- No confidence in the future of blogging as a business
However, choosing a free blogging platform is always the #1 mistake amateur blogs make because that means you are planting your flower on someone else’s garden.
Free blog platforms not only host your blog for free, they own the rights to delete your blog as and when they deem fit without even warning you of it.
Imagine waking up one morning and seeing all of your 100 articles and the community and everything vanished into thin air!
Besides, blogs that are not self-hosted also end up displaying intrusive ads from the blogging platform they’re hosted at.
Totally not cool.
Lastly, blogs that are not self-hosted to not rank well.
Let me ask you a question, “when was the last time you saw a site on a sub-domain ranking on Google?”
That’s why, going self-hosted is the way to go. You own your blog, you won your content and it performs better on search engines too.
2. Not Doing Keyword Research
Finding and using the right combination of keywords while creating content is the surefire way to increase your overall search traffic to your blogs.
But that’s what we as amateur bloggers don’t do.
We write whatever we think is interesting, right?
Now, think it this way…
Whatever is interesting for us, might not be interesting for our readers.
If you want to build a successful blog from scratch, you need to find better keywords that increase your traffic. (HINT: Use SEMrush (click here for 14 days free trial worth $99.95) to find hidden gems that your competitors can’t).
See, if you are not using the keywords that your target audience might type on Google, how can you expect visitors coming from Google to read your content?
- Always focus on finding more than 3 to 4 long tail keywords. Also make sure to choose the keywords that have monthly search volume less than 2000. By selecting and using the less competitive keywords, you will not only rank higher but you will get faster results.
- Get access to keyword research tools like Long Tail Pro, SEMrush, and Kwfinder (5 free searches per day) etc. Get to know how to use them. They all have free trial versions which allow you to get the best keywords list. If you are happy with them, go ahead and buy!
- Find out what keywords your competitors are using to increase their traffic. Find out if you can use the similar keywords to increase your blog’s traffic too.
BONUS VIDEO: How To Grow Your Organic Traffic (FAST)
Watch it before moving forward, you’ll love it and go back with lots of tips to improve your blog.
3. Not Investing in Your Blogging Business
Blogging is a business, not a hobby.
Sadly, most amateur bloggers don’t realize this fact. They expect to make money blogging without investing back any into their blogs.
This is one of the biggest blogging mistakes you could make, ever!
Although you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to create a profitable blog but you should definitely invest money on getting a good design, web hosting, having access to the right tools etc.
If you are looking to make money from your blogging efforts and take advantage of all the benefits of blogging, here are few places where you should consider investing money.
1. Tools, plugins or themes
Isn’t your blog your virtual office?
If yes, then why not brand it with a premium theme.
A premium theme, apart from making your blog beautiful and easy-to-convert, helps boost your blogging credibility.
When someone visits your blog and sees you have invested a good sum in your blog maintenance, he or she knows you are here for business and not running away.
On a sidenote, here’s a list of best WordPress blog themes that you can try!
Similarly, a premium service like Tailwind can boost your blog’s visibility on Pinterest and drive you a lot of traffic which would obviously bring you good return on investment.
But for that, you have to get off and invest a minimal sum firsthand.
I have been using SEMrush to find out some real profitable keywords that aren’t hard to rank even without backlinks.
Check out my SEMrush review and tutorial guide to see how you can use it to discover untapped keywords and even spy the keywords that your competitors are targeting.
Web hosting is extremely crucial. It not only decides your overall site speed but also search rankings hugely depend on it.
So make sure NOT to go for a cheap or free hosting that usually goes down.
Blogging takes too much time whether it is for content creation, SEO or managing your blog’s traffic sources.
If you are not willing to put time on your blogs, try considering spending money on outsourcing those tasks which will pay you in the long run.
4. Not Focusing on Building an Email List
When I started blogging, I used to read these blogging for beginner guides that always advised on creating an email list.
And I always thought to myself, I don’t need those. I have a measly blog traffic, who will subscribe to my list?
But, I was wrong.
This is when I knew I had to build a email list of subscribers who I own and who own me.
Having your own subscribers is great because you can connect to them when you want and they can reach out to you when they want.
An email list can help you:
- Increase your traffic (when you publish a new post and send a newsletters)
- Increases your sales (when people see value in your stuff, they buy from what you recommend for example, special deals, courses etc)
- Increases the trust (trust is the currency online!)
If you are not yet building your email list, you’re leaving money on the table!
Here are few powerful tips to quickly boost your email list:
- Getting started with list building is easy: I recommend and use Convertkit. (Instead of using Mailchimp which is a great free option, I recommend investing some bucks and getting yourself better equipped from the beginning (don’t commit the blogging mistakes I committed). With Convertkit, you can segment customers based on their interest which is a big thing as you get targeted readers = targeted sales). Click here to read how I used it to increase my list size!
- Give an incentive to your visitors. No one likes to give their email without any freebie. eBooks are often easy to create and help you quickly boost your list. Or you can create a checklist. I use my
(click on it to see the optin box) to entice subscribers.
(Or read my ConvertKit review)
Liking the tips to grow your blog so far?
Discover 7 more amateur blogging mistakes and the best blogging advice to overcome them.
5. Posting Generic Content
Content is the king.
It doesn’t matter how much traffic or money you put, without creating engaging content, you can’t make a blog popular.
Even Google came up openly to declare that content is one of the top 3 ranking factors along with backlinks and rankbrain.
If you are struggling to increase your blog exposure with your content, try implementing the following content writing tips.
- Write detailed SEO-optimized content. Generally the blog posts with over 2,000 words always perform well in Google search results. So take time to create in-depth articles that help your audience.
(Please Note:If your audience loves short form content, like in the food niche, you could obviously do that, but don’t forget to evaluate what your competitors are doing and then write better than that to outrank them. )
- Find out what your audience wants: Define your blog niche (here are 100+ blog niche ideas to choose from) and set your target audience before you create any content for your blog.
That way you will be able to create laser focused content that attracts more social shares, links and sales.
Beginner Blogging Tip: Write Strictly For Your Audience
- Make your content/grammar error-free: You could use the free Grammarly browser extension (check out my Grammarly review and tutorials) for that or download this free grammar cheat sheet as a handy solution.
6. Not Having a Blog Monetization Strategy
Are you struggling to make money from your blog? It might be mainly because you don’t have a proper monetization plan.
Without creating a strategy to monetize your blogs, you won’t get any better results no matter how hard you try.
Every beginner should know the importance of creating a blog sales funnel. Find out the ways to turn your normal website visitors into email subscribers into buyers.
I have recently invested in a premium plugin called Thrive Ultimatum (read my hands-on review here) so that I can show exact affiliate products to my niche site readers and increase sales.
This plugin can help you in setting up campaigns like the ones you see with countdown timers (ex: offer expires in 7 days). This type of hype and showcase of scarcity situation helps your visitors buy your product faster. So far, I am earning awesomely using that plugin.
Email list also comes into handy for business blogs or while monetizing a site. It can quickly help you build awareness about the products or services you promote.
Don’t just solely depend on one or two strategies such as AdSense, selling banners or affiliate marketing etc.
If they fail to help you make money, you will eventually lose all the interest in blogging. Like they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. :)
- 30+ high-paying affiliate programs to earn a passive income
- 30 blogging tips that SUM UP my blogging journey from zero to $6000 per month
- Best WordPress themes for more ad revenue
7. Not Networking With Fellow Bloggers
Connections are everything online.
The #1 mistakes amateur blogs make, is not trying to connect with fellow bloggers and influencers.
Your network is your net worth.
Observe any successful professional blogger like Pat Flynn, Neil Patel, Darren Rowse and you will notice that they all have spent a lot of time in building loyal community around their blogs.
And that’s how they were able to build million dollars websites online.
Even you can do that by focusing on creating fans for your blogs. Unfortunately, most beginners spend a lot of time in pleasing Google.
If you chase your target audience, Google will give you best rewards. It’s as simple as that.
Check out how Harleena Singh built her blog with the sheer power of networking with her blog commenters and fellow bloggers.
8. Not Building Backlinks
Backlinks are the backbones of any website that gets huge traffic from search engines.
Without building quality contextual backlinks, no matter how much content you create won’t get good results in Google.
Here are few effective link building strategies you can try to quickly boost your overall search engine traffic.
- Nothing beats engaging content that naturally attracts a lot of links. Spend a lot of time in writing in-depth articles and you will have better chances in getting more links from other blogs.
- Make sure to link out to other bloggers frequently. Do let them know about it whenever you link out. That way sooner or later, they will also start doing it when they find your content really informative.
- Guest posting is the most effective way to build backlinks. Try to write for top blogs in your industry and it can quickly help you boost your overall domain authority and backlinks.
If you follow the next 3 blogging tips, you’ll agree that they’re perhaps the best blog tips you ever read!
9. Checking Website Stats Everytime
Seriously, most bloggers (especially when you’re beginning) check their traffic stats every single minute. It’s a complete waste of time.
When you are building a new blog, you should focus on spending your time increasing your traffic not checking the stats. If you are struggling to increase your blog traffic, try the following things.
- Create viral headlines that make people to immediately click on your posts.
- Learn the art of proper on-page SEO optimization.
- Always perform keyword research as I discussed earlier in the post. It’s a must to increase traffic to any website.
10. Not Writing for Other Blogs
When creating a new blog, most amateur bloggers make a mistake of writing content only for their blog.
See, how can you reach wider audience by creating content for a new blog?
Blogging is all about reaching more people and eventually increase the exposure to your blog, right? That’s the reason why you should start creating the best content for other blogs. Write guest posts for them and you will get a lot of traffic to your own sites.
Try writing 1 post every week for any better blog in your niche and within a few months, you will not only build a lot of links but more importantly you get more exposure.
If you think your writing is not up to the mark and why would anyone read your blog posts, STOP everything now and read this post (takes 30 seconds). Okay, you can thank me later. ;)
10. Not Leveraging Social Media
Social media is becoming the new SEO. If you are struggling to boost your search traffic, you should give a try to social media.
You can easily leverage social media traffic by connecting and reaching out to influencers on social media. Find out how can you help others with your content or tips and make sure to go viral with your stuff.
You can consider creating funny images, memes, Infographics etc. to quickly reach more audience on social media.
Here are some of our guides to help you leverage social media for your blog’s growth:
- How to get more Facebook likes
- How to pin your tweet for maximum clicks and sales
- How to brand yourself on social media
What is an amateur blog?
An amatuer blog is a blog by a beginner blogger that isn’t managed professionally.
What are some examples of amateur blogs?
Amateur blog examples include pharmapolice.blogspot.com (that’s my blog from 2012). See how it has no content, isn’t self-hosted and doesn’t even have a domain of its own? Another example of an amateur blog would be alertcafe.com (again, this is also my blog from maybe 2013 or something which is now reduced to a standby testing platform for various WordPress products I use and review on this blog).
How to know if your blog is an amateur blog?
If you’re not seeing growth for your blog or think there is still scope to be covered then your blog is probably an amateur blog. However, if you go through this blog post, you’ll find more pointers to help you identify if your blog is an amateur blog.
How to transition from amateur blogging to professional blogging?
In this article I have mentioned 11 mistakes or roadblocks that prevent you from transioning from amateur to professional blogging. Feel free to follow those steps to get into serious blogging.
Are blogs on free blogging platforms amateur blogs?
Yes, blogs on free platforms are very limited and indicate a beginner’s journey. If you’re a professional blogger and are making decent income you’d want to switch to self-hosted blogging platforms like WordPress.
I hope you liked my collection of blogging mistakes by amateur bloggers and got tips to rectify them.
Blogging is hard especially in the beginning. You will not only struggle to increase your traffic but also sales.
Just remember this,
Every professional blogger (who is making a lot of money from his blog) was once a beginner and amateur blogger.
Building a successful blog depends on how quickly you learn from the mistakes you make.
So what are the amateur blogging mistakes you made that cost you really badly?
Share your thoughts in the comments below so that we can discuss them.