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Already started your blog and not getting the traffic you expected? Feel like you’re doing something wrong?
I know, I know. It’s frustrating.
You may even search for a fault in the process, even though you’re taking the proper steps.
Or you could be committing the same mistakes I did as a beginner blogger.
Blogging mistakes for beginners? That’s common especially when you’re dealing with new systems, programs, and services.
No one’s an expert on the first day, not even on the first year!
The good thing is, that these errors become your foundation for skills, knowledge, and strategies for a long-term blogging business.
11 Blogging Mistakes I Made in My First Year BLOGGING
Here are 11 blogging mistakes to avoid so you can save so much time on your growth and progress!
1. Not working on a self-hosted blog.
I started writing on free-blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, and Medium.
I admit it. Medium is the first writing platform I fell in love with. It showed me it’s possible to earn from writing online.
But one day, I had to choose whether I should continue writing for Medium or create a blog I could fully control.
Ultimately, my desire for more opportunities and full ownership of my blogs won.
Who doesn’t want to have full control over their masterpiece?
If we want to maximize our earnings, we must build on something that we truly own.
Self-hosted blogs give you the authority on what to publish and promote and how to monetize.
On other blogging websites, policies are everywhere.
Self-hosting opens you to more monetization strategies — advertisements, affiliate sales, sponsorships, and selling your own products.
Moreover, it uses a domain name that usually ends with .com, .org, or .net which exhibits more authority and ranks well on Google’s first page.
Have you ever seen a blog ending in .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com win over other authoritative websites?
That’s because subdomain names don’t have much authority and they unveil an amateurish website.
Worst, free blogging platforms can take down your account without warning once you violate policies.
Whether you’re guilty of the offenses or were taken down by mistake, having your blog taken down is a blow to your confidence and motivation.
I’ll tell it again and again. Self-host your blogs.
You can use Bluehost to self-host your blog and get a free domain name for $2.99 a month to avoid this mistake. I partner with them and only recommend services I believe in.
On a tight budget? Well, if you prefer a cheaper option and web hosting that bills monthly, you can also try Dreamhost.
Related Post: 12 Blogging Tools New Bloggers Should Start With
2. I spent a lot of time designing my website.
This is one of the common mistakes bloggers make: spending weeks or months designing their website!
So here I was in my first year of blogging. Being a noob, I was unaware of the pretty templated themes that I can immediately use for my blog.
What I did was spend two months – two hecking months — on designing my website.
I’d adjust the font size and style, and change the color palette almost daily. I ravaged on more or less 10 themes before I was satisfied.
I didn’t even know that my themes crashed my site speed.
Yeah, I know. It was a complete waste of time.
So on the second website I started, I learned enough. Here’s what we, and new bloggers should do:
Buy your domain name, register it to a hosting, set up WordPress.org, and pick a clean theme.
Then poof, start publishing content.
No more unnecessary editing on your layout. The truth is, new blogs often don’t get any traction in the first 3-6 months. You’re lucky if you get 1 or 2 visitors.
That means no one will see if your blog design is a hot mess as you launch, especially when you have no content there, yet.
So instead of spending months on web design, publish more blog posts and just do sporadic edits from time to time.
To save your time, use themes.
I use and recommend these two themes:
- Kadence, along with Kadence Templates
These are clean, fast, and mobile-friendly with numerous editing options, packed as a free theme.
It’s awesome for both beginner and experienced bloggers.
3. Lacked consistency in publishing content.
Ideally, every blogger should publish at least 30 blog posts in the first two months.
I know that’s a challenging goal when you’re a solo blogger, but that’s ideal if we want our blog posts to age and rank simultaneously after a few months.
My mistake was that I procrastinated on publishing content.
Within 2 months, I only published 10 blog posts with huge intervals and no definite schedule.
Three months in, nothing seemed to happen with my blog.
Picture this. Three months of working with no pay, no traffic, no feedback? Come on. Any new blogger needs tons of faith in there.
But with my willingness to learn, I have searched that blogs take off after 3-6 months. And surprisingly, my blog did take off on my 6th-month blogging.
Thus, we must prioritize publishing more quality blog posts in your first year of blogging. The earlier, the better.
If you would ask me how many blog posts you should publish, the answer is, “as much as you can.”
Do you have a day job? Publish once a week.
Large websites publish once or twice a day. Solo bloggers aim to hit publish every day.
But we’re humans and can fall into the pit of burnout.
That said, publishing 1-2x a week is a good frequency.
4. Hanging around my Google analytics.
When bumps on your pageview metrics appear, you know what that means — a visitor!
“I have a reader from Singapore? Malaysia?” Oh my, my excitement shoots to the roof!
I still remember how exhilarating every month was as I cradled my Google analytics like a baby, checking on it every minute.
However, here’s the deal. We all know about this, but take this as a reminder:
Checking and hanging out on your Google Analytics is a total waste of time, especially when you’re just a few months blogging.
It’s because in the beginning (0-3 months), your Google Analytics:
- Doesn’t give you enough (and helpful) data about your website
- Only zero to 10 visitors visit your blog (and that’s obviously not enough)
- Your analytics don’t change every minute!
Instead of obsessing over Google Analytics and refreshing your metrics nonstop, spend that time publishing more content.
Don’t waste your time checking the metrics that hardly change.
Important note: Once you have gathered at least 200 organic page views a month, that’s the time to check Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Utilize the data for keyword research, analyzing audience behavior, bounce and exit rates, and demographics.
5. Uncertain about my niche and picked a limiting domain name.
It all starts with a niche and domain name.
My funny (but frustrating mistake) was that I chose a domain name that somehow restricted my options.
I started off in a career-focused niche. But as I publish more content, my direction slowly leads from discussing workplaces to dealing with introversion, which surely drifts away from my chosen niche.
It was like wanting to write a “mining” article under a “gardenclaypotxyz.com” website.
What I did was buy another domain name and shift my blog’s brand.
This is the reason why new bloggers must think twice — even thrice — about their niche. Look forward to expanding your website.
You may want a niche in cat grooming now, but who knows, you would later consider expanding your blog to general pet grooming, too.
To avoid the same mistake I did, pick a domain that isn’t too specific.
Have a domain name in mind? You can check your domain name availability here.
6. Coding caught me off guard.
Coding was the last thing I thought of when blogging.
I remember the error I made where I unknowingly redirected my entire blog to a different URL. Then bam, my blog was nonexistent.
I lost my first 2 weeks of website setup, but at least the web host support helped me retrieve them. Phew.
Now you know what to do — learn from other people’s stupid mistakes. Yep.
When blogging, you may have to learn a little about coding here and there — embedding, Html, meta tags, and such.
There are thousands of online tutorials, so it would only take patience to follow procedures.
In the end, learning basic coding pays off because it gets easier over time.
The first blog I created took me two months to set up. But when I started a second blog a year later, it only took me a day to set it up. A day!!!
7. My schedule was all over the place after going full-time.
Here’s some truth. When you’re a blogger, you’re not fully flexible in schedule. You’re even busier than when in you’re on a day job.
I left my day job after six months of blogging. “This is it!” I thought.
However, transitioning from a structured day job to full-time blogging requires arduous discipline and self-motivation. And funnily, I kinda lacked that self-discipline when I was beginning.
I got burnout, procrastinated, and demotivated. My schedule was a mess.
It’s true that I once prided myself on my flexible work schedule as a blogger. However, such “flexibility” made me adapt to unhealthy habits like cramming my tasks late at night, and procrastinating during the day.
To solve my disorganized work habits, I had to force myself to follow an 8 am-5 pm schedule, with days off, and allot time with my family and friends.
After a few months, I realized that setting a deadline works best for me. Not just any deadline I marked myself, but having someone – a friend or loved one – set them for me. The panic when the deadline approaches — I live for it!
I would publish 1-3 blogs a week, work on my Pinterest account and YouTube videos, and keep myself updated on new algorithm updates and techniques.
Blogging is not all about flexibility but more about self-discipline to get off your bed and start working.
You are your own boss when you’re a blogger, so you have to organize your schedule, too.
8. I didn’t have a monetization strategy.
Ads were probably my go-to strategy for monetization back then. Nothing else.
Sponsorships and affiliate marketing? Naw. I was afraid of selling products and turning my readers off.
However, such a lack of confidence is the difference between a thousands-dollar earner and a blogger who passively waits for dimes.
Fortunately, your first year of blogging is an excellent training ground on everything — networking, marketing, writing, research, and confidence.
In your first year, you can start monetizing your blog with:
- Display ads
- Affiliate links
- Services (freelancing, coaching, and more)
You may receive offers and requests through e-mails.
Get through them one by one, check their legitimacy, and start your transactions to monetize your blogs better.
Your first year of blogging is a whole year of firsts, so be brave enough to jump in on opportunities.
Related Post: When Can I Monetize My Blog?
9. Focusing on making sales rather than helping people.
Why do you blog? People would say it’s for expression, influencing, and expanding their reach.
Other reasons? It’s money.
However, focusing on money alone is a terrible blog common mistake.
Bloggers earn hundreds to thousands of dollars from blogging, that’s true.
But when your mind is focused on revenue rather than helping people, it languishes your content’s quality.
You start to create less valuable blog posts and products.
You write for the sake of publishing, or grind for the sake of money.
Being passionate about the money but not fulfilling any purpose for others makes any career dull and repetitive.
In the end, it will be tiring, fruitless, and meaningless.
Instead, write to help your readers genuinely.
When you have your readers in mind, your blog posts aim to be more understandable, coherent, and information-packed.
When you aim to help first, the blog post becomes a masterpiece rather than a chunk of insensible words.
10. I was not confident about my work.
When I tell people that “I blog,” I get confused and furrowed eyebrows.
Even when my family asks me about my job, I cripple with anxiety and hide my published posts as much as possible.
If you’re a new blogger who doesn’t have results yet, it’s hard to be proud of it, right?
But one mistake is to take these things personally to the point where you doubt yourself.
No, don’t let opinions get to you. Stay on track even when the people around don’t understand what you’re up to.
Wouldn’t it be amazing that once your hard work pays off from the years of publishing content, you’d be of telling people that “I’m a writer”?
Definitely awesome. Writer dream, right here!
11. I focused on too many things at a time which halted my blog’s growth.
Opportunities burst here and there, so I just had to take them all.
But I probably have bitten a wee bit more than I can chew.
I wanted to change my blog’s direction, freelance, start a YouTube channel, and all.
I was left with boatloads of tasks to do but had too little time. In the end,
While I was happy filling up videos for my content on YouTube, I noticed that I haven’t published a single blog post on my website for months. It halted my blog’s growth.
I had to sacrifice a few tasks and slow my pace on the others.
If you’re with a team, then doing everything at once would be easy-peasy.
But if you’re a solo blogger who does every single thing, I advise that you wait for one stream to flourish before focusing on another.
One project at a time.
Best things I made in my first year of blogging
1. I invested – pushed me to commit!
The best thing that pushed me to work is investing in my blog.
I’m not a risk-taker and tend to be tight on my budget. But there I was, paying for my domain name, web hosting, and a few subscriptions.
There’s no way I’d quit on something I already spent on!
I had to make this work no matter what and retrieve what I spent out.
Thankfully, I’m now earning enough to substitute for my day job, which was all worth the investment.
2. Experiencing mistakes is better than not starting at all.
I made too many mistakes in my first year of blogging, from the major ones like messing up my entire URL to little ones like messing up my website’s color palette.
But setting foot and testing the waters is way better than just reading blogs and watching videos of those who did it.
Mistakes become great lessons.
After the first year, the process becomes more manageable, easier, and more extensive. It’s like being reborn as a more experienced and confident blogger.
Failure is always better than not trying.
These are the mistakes you can avoid when you’re a beginner blogger. Happy blogging!
BLOGGING RESOURCES I RECOMMEND:
Grammarly – Detects misspelled words and grammatical errors. It gives your piece an overall performance score based on correctness, clarity, engagement, and the delivery of your blog. All free!
Ezoic – Aside from ad monetization, Ezoic also offers SEO, Analytics, and Site Speed tools. With Ezoic, my ad revenue increased 23x more than Google Adsense. They now provide an Access Now Program that accepts new blog websites with a minimum of zero – again – zero traffic.
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