Let’s get straight to the point.
So you’ve just started blogging.
And you’re not sure what you need to do as a new blogger to join the ranks of the best bloggers in the world, such as Neil Patel and Brian Dean of Backlinko.
You can see that these guys have established themselves and brands in the digital marketing space. And they have been doing this for years.
And you’re worried about how long it will take for you to get to that point. How much work you will have to put in to get to that point.
You’re focusing on the wrong things, though.
Instead, you should be worried about the many mistakes that new bloggers make that set them up for failure. And in this article, we’ll talk about these very big mistakes.
Mistakes New Bloggers Make
- Mistake #1. Launching Wrongly.
- Mistake #2. Not Defining Their Niche.
- Mistake #3. Not Defining Their Audience.
- Mistake #4. Not Doing Keyword Research.
- Mistake #5. Poor Writing and Focus on Quantity over Quality.
- Mistake #6. Blogging Inconsistency.
- Mistake #7. Not Promoting or Distributing Content.
- Mistake #8. Thinking they can do it all alone.
- Mistake #9. Bad Monetization Strategies.
- Mistake #10. Expecting Quick Results.
Mistake #1. Launching Wrongly.
You might think that blogging is all about writing, putting down your ideas in texts, and sharing them with the world.
Well, there is more to it than that.
And it starts from choosing the right platform on which you’re going to blog.
Most likely, you will want to have a platform where you have full control of your content, and social media is not the best place to do that. So you decide to launch a website.
Next, there are numerous content management systems designed for blogging. Each of them has its pros and cons. Many new bloggers dive into whatever CMS they discover first and regret later.
Choosing the right CMS is essential because it sets you up for a nice or bumpy ride.
And the two best platforms I know of are WordPress or Medium. And if you want to make money out of your blog, WordPress comes in handy.
Then there is the part of choosing the right domain name, a name defined by your blogging goals and that will allow you to expand and write without limitations.
New bloggers don’t spend enough time or involve enough creativity when deciding on their domain name. Then they later realize the things they cannot do with their half thought domains.
Also, new bloggers settle on hosting services that are expensive and mediocre because they pick up recommendations blindly and fail to do their research.
Factors such as server location, downtime rates, additional features, among others, are not even considered. Just because a certain company offers the cheapest packages in the market doesn’t mean it’s the best for your blog.
When all these launch considerations are not well-considered, a new blogger can become easily frustrated early in the journey. Most give up.
Mistake #2. Not Defining Their Niche.
For anything imaginable by the human mind, there is content about it on the internet.
We are generating content in the form of millions of articles, hundreds of millions of emails and billions of social media posts every single day.
And every piece of this content is striving to get our ever-elusive attention.
You cannot afford to be a jack of all trades, writing about everything you can think of.
It would be best if you chose a certain topic that you will focus on to stand out because it is only by focusing on one thing that you’ll be recognized. That’s if you want to make money.
Most new bloggers fail to realize this. They dive in and write whatever pops into their mind. They write for themselves and hope the world will be interested.
I understand; your blog is your space. Yet if you want to get money out of people’s pockets, you need to write for them. Not yourself.
It would help if you chose a specific, well-defined niche, one that you’re ready to dedicate your time and do it compassionately and can create content that is useful to your audience.
Bloggers who don’t define their niche well have difficulty coming up with content ideas and creating content that solves people’s problems.
And this takes me to the next problem.
Mistake #3. Not Defining Their Audience.
When when you start blogging and don’t understand who you are blogging for, you cannot write content that solves their problems,
Because, well, who are they?
New bloggers make this mistake. They might have a general idea of who they are writing for but cannot define them well enough to realize their potential customers.
That’s where personas cards come in place. These cards define your ideal reader to basic details such as age, gender, location, income and personalities.
HubSpot has a template for defining the audience; you can look at their content marketing course, which is one of the most required courses that I will advise any new blogger to indulge into.
Understanding your audience starts with understanding the particular challenges you want to deal with. And this can only happen if you have a well-defined niche.
For instance, you’ve chosen a niche in the sports shoe industry. So you start by considering a sportsman persona and then define the challenges that he faces.
Knowing these problems gives you a direction and helps you come up with content ideas.
As you create content, you’ll have this persona in mind and write as if you have a one on one conversation with them on the challenges they face.
Without audience personas in mind, new bloggers generate content that doesn’t resonate with anyone.
Mistake #4. Not Doing Keyword Research.
Gone are the days when you would start a blog, write about yourself, share on social media, and get easy traffic.
In today’s world, you must understand who you’re writing for and what problems you’re solving.
And this comes from doing keyword research which involves finding out the queries that internet users are searching for on the internet and coming up with content that solves these pain points.
New bloggers neglect this. I did so too when I was starting, and it took four months to realize my strategy wasn’t working. I started doing keyword research, and traffic picked up.
There are several tools for keyword research. Some are free, and others are paid. The best free tool is Google.
On the search box, input a single word or two words related to your niche and your audience. Then wait for Google to list related questions being searched the most.
With these suggestions in mind, you can develop ideas and create content that’s valuable to your target audience.
Mistake #5. Poor Writing and Focus on Quantity over Quality.
Poor writing is self-explanatory. Bad grammar, incorrect punctuation, repetitiveness, uninteresting language.
Many bloggers write content and publish it without even checking for errors which are often unavoidable, especially when writing draft content. No one is perfect.
And this is a very big mistake, especially for new bloggers who don’t understand the essence of making their content high quality.
The surefire way of keeping away new readers from coming back for more is through poor writing.
Meanwhile, it’s general knowledge that with more content, you’ll likely get more traffic. So new bloggers dive in and focus on publishing as much as they can without considering the quality of their content.
With the endless content on the internet, Google only ranks the most valuable content highly. This means your mediocre content will hardly get any attention.
That’s why you should instead focus on creating high-quality content rather than creating a lot of content.
Many top bloggers have shown success by focusing solely on content quality. Chris Von Wilpert from Content Mavericks built a system of writing five high converting content pieces and generating 1000s of leads using less content.
So, it’s not always about quantity. To stand out, you must produce quality content.
Mistake #6. Blogging Inconsistency.
Without consistency, you cannot establish your blog as a reliable source of solutions. Google and other search engines reward consistent content producers.
New bloggers don’t start with zeal. In the first month, they publish often. But this energy soon dissipates. Then the inconsistency wave sets in and destroys the fun.
It would be best if you start by setting a target of content you’ll produce per week. Then you get to work. Make sure you hit the publish button every day before you sleep if you have a daily target. Make it a routine and let nothing be an excuse for you not achieving your goals.
If you plan to write two long-form content every week, do this consistently for months. It keeps your readers in the loop and prooves to search engines that crawl your site often that you are serious.
Consistency is the backbone of all success in any internet or online space, even in social media. People who post consistently are almost guaranteed for success and growth of their audience.
Mistake #7. Not Promoting or Distributing Content.
New bloggers write content and publish, then wait for free traffic.
I used to do this, and the most effort I would put in distributing my content was sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.
Then I’d wait for people to visit my website.
And this never worked well. I did this for months before I saw the need to change. Many new bloggers do the same. Some implement SEO strategies, sit back and wait for google to feed the readers.
You need to promote and distribute your content to the right audience. Because as a new blogger, you must establish an audience first.
Look for people who will find your content most useful, share your content with them, and grow your brand awareness.
There are many distribution channels of content and social media platforms where your dream customers actively engage with content. You can also find them in niche forums and content distribution platforms.
By all means, Promote, Distribute.
Mistake #8. Thinking they can do it all alone.
Most new bloggers sit on their chairs in their rooms and write content day after day without engaging with other bloggers or networking with experts in their niche.
Like in any other industry, what puts you ahead of everyone else is not how smart you are. Neither is it how hard you work.
It’s who you know.
Make friends from blogging communities and work with them. Collaborate on blog posts, comment on their blogs, do guest posting, or any networking activities. Through this, you get noticed and build networks that open doors you’d never imagine alone.
It also builds your credibility because people will trust you if other bloggers in your field respect you.
You’ll also learn from the best on how to become a better blog. Many people have attributed their success to knowing the right people.
In fact, as a new blogger, it is more beneficial to network more than you write content.
You can become successful faster if you focus on creating two high-quality articles every week and spend the rest of the week networking with experts in your field.
Mistake #9. Bad Monetization Strategies.
So new bloggers don’t understand how to do monetization. They either start so early, do the wrong monetization strategies or do it late.
Bad monetization strategies are the reason why most bloggers give up fast. New bloggers start hoping to make a lot of money within the first few months. They pay little attention to the strategies that have to be taken to be successful.
First of all, you need to find an audience before you even think of monetizing a blog.
Bloggers come up with products, launch them on their websites, and then promote them on social media, hoping that people can buy your products. When they get no conversions, they wonder what went wrong?
Well, it’s because you haven’t created an audience for yourself. You have not built trust for your potential customers to believe that your product will help solve their pain points.
Another bad monetization strategy is focusing on ads and sponsorships. Monetization through Ads is the first option new blogger has. But when you get stuck on ads, you’ll never see the full potential a blog has to make money.
I focused on ads and sponsored posts throughout my early blogging year to monetize my blog, yet I made 80% of my income from other avenues.
As a new blogger, you need to consider affiliate marketing and other more lucrative monetization strategies rather than advertisements.
Mistake #10. Expecting Quick Results.
Most new bloggers expect to strike gold early. Yet this is never the case for most people unless you have great strategies and good capital at hand.
Blogging today is hard because of the unlimited amount of content on the internet, competing for a chance in the top 10 rankings on search engine results page.
Expecting to join the game and beat competitors who’ve been working for years for that high rank within days or even weeks is a facade. The average amount of time it takes for content to rank high on Google is about eight months.
And that is high-quality content that has been well optimized. It’s not as easy as you thought, and this is why many new bloggers give up blogging. They realize how hard it is to earn a living.
You ought to prepare yourself before taking on blogging to supplement or even replace your income source. Plan 6-8 months ahead because that’s the average time it takes for serious bloggers to start making enough to live off their blogs.
Wrapping it up.
New bloggers join the blogging industry with no idea of what they’re getting into. They try so many strategies read from blogging advice and find out that most of these strategies don’t work for them.
Before finding what works and what doesn’t, how about knowing the mistakes, you need to avoid. Is it not easier to skip potholes you can see along the road.