Few years ago I started my personal blog, looking back now, I realize that I made a lot of mistakes I could have avoided if only I asked for help and followed experts’ advice. If you are looking for an introvert, I will probably be your first choice, I guess that’s why I spend most of my time on a keyboard articulating and dishing out my thoughts in letters.
Quite a number of steps I should have taken and decisions I should have made earlier, but I didn’t. Just like other top bloggers, I’d follow the bandwagon and say; “If only I have done some of these things, my blog will be unarguably bigger and better than this”. Isn’t that what they say?
I quickly compiled this list for you so that you won’t have to repeat the same mistakes again. Even if you are going to make any mistakes, it would be new ones that you will also be able to warn the coming generation about.
Avoid the 7 Most Common Blogging Mistakes
1. Picking a niche and identifying the audience.
Whenever people are told that I own a blog, the next thing they assume is that I must be financially okay because my blog must be consistently vomiting some cool cash for me. They even go further to whine about how they wish they own a blog. I always laugh silently.
If this is why you decided to start your blog, I must tell you that you are on the wrong path already. Out of desperation, you are bound to make a lot of wrong decisions that will ultimately lead you to frustration as long as your gratification is not coming forth as soon as you thought.
If you must get anything right, it must be the niche of your blog. Right from the onset, you must have explicitly determine what you want to blog about and who your audience will be. You must be careful when making this selection because it is not something you can just change easily.
Often time, your niche will influence the name of your blog, the design, etc. You may be wondering; “How do I pick a niche?” Well, it’s easy:
○ Make a list of subjects you are very familiar with or interested in.
○ Use Google trends to determine the popularity of each subject
○ Scale the subjects based on their popularity
○ Select the most popular one or the one that interests you the most.
While picking a niche is essential, it is also paramount that you determine who your audience is and what their pain point really is. Only when you know this will you be able to write posts that will resonate with them and encourage them to engage with your posts.
2. Commitment and Inconsistency
Initially, when you first start blogging, the momentum is high and you have this raging energy wanting to do more and breakthrough. Apparently, as time goes by, your morale starts dwindling and you get disappointed because you couldn’t achieve the unrealistic goals you set for yourself.
Commitment is a very important rudiment for a successful blogging career, because without it, you will not be able to build your followership filled with loyal readers, you will not be able to continually keep getting enough traffic to your blog.
A recent research conducted by HubSpot showed that; blogs that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than blogs that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts. If you are not consistent with the rate at which you post on your blog, then you are really losing out.
Yes, you are new and you may be finding it difficult to come up with topic ideas. Why don’t you try this topic generator by HubSpot.
3. Focusing on quantity instead of quality
The research conducted by HubSpot showed that posting more numbers of blog posts in a month will lead to more inbound traffic. That’s quantity right? Yes. What if I say you must be more bothered about the quality of your blog post than the quantity. Why? A quality blog post will stand the test of time and will naturally gather as many backlinks as possible.
Expectedly, writing more numbers of quality post will definitely do a lot of magic works to your blog traffic. Brian of Backlinko discovered that; “content rated as “topically relevant”, significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.”
Yea, you got that? Make sure that every piece you write must fully address the issue which is being discussed. They shouldn’t finish reading your article and leave with more questions, hence, the main reason why you must leave no stone untouched wherever it’s possible.
4. Ignoring SEO Totally
This is one major mistake I made as a result of a wrong information I got. I read somewhere that I should do everything naturally and not directly focus on SEO. As a result, I ditched keywords research, I write my headlines anyhow I like without adding any relevant keyword to it.
But now that I understand the importance of SEO and the technicality around it, I spend enough time researching long tail keywords I can utilize to help me rank high for that particular subject. Although, during the time I was in the dark about SEO, I did get a good amount of traffic and engagement for some of my posts because of the quality. But, it could have been more if I really focused on SEO.
While I ignored SEO, some bloggers focus and dwell so much on it that they forget the audience. Unknowingly, you may start writing for search engines and not meeting the needs of the readers. Do not forget that, SEO and search engines are there to satisfy the readers, not you. If you satisfy the readers, you will rank well.
5. Not engaging with the audience
Writing a good post does not end as soon as you publish it on your blog, you have to reply to the comments of the readers to further increase the level of engagement. Neil Patel, despite the numerous numbers of comments he gets on his blog posts, he still creates time to reply to everyone. If he can prioritize that, maybe you should too.
Another way to engage the audience is by writing what the audience actually needs, not what you think the audience needs. This is one mistake too common among bloggers. You may tend to write on a topic just because you feel like writing on that particular topic. Have you asked yourself if what you are about to write will solve any of the problems facing your readers. Will it motivate them in anyway? If your answer to these questions is NO, then you better write articles that will meet the demands of your audience.
6. Staying in Isolation away from other bloggers
Networking is not a new term, especially in the corporate world. Bloggers need to network with fellow bloggers too. You must strive to build a symbiotic relationship with fellow bloggers in your niche. You should follow experts in your niche on social media platforms just to learn one or two things from them. From there, you can pitch whatever proposal you have to them especially favors that will help you accomplish your offsite SEO goals.
If you are close to any of them, they will share their experiences with you and it will save you from a lot of errors. Networking is very important and it will go a long way in determining how far you may go in your blogging career.
Make new blogger friends and share ideas with one another. The best way to keep the relationship going is by making sure that the giving is not one-sided. Don’t just keep taking from them without giving anything back in return. That’s not a relationship that is pure extortion. You may lose their trust and interest.
7. Delaying the collection of email addresses.
“For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32”- DMA, 2018. Blogging for fun is cool, but making your blog create multiple streams of income for you is way cooler. One of the valuable assets of all bloggers is the mailing list, especially the ones voluntarily released by the owner.
In the future, if you plan to run any promotion or sell any product, you email subscribers are definitely the first set of people you will reach out to. Guess what, the response rate is superb. Hence, immediately you launch your blog, start finding the means of collating the email addresses of your readers with their consent.
You can do this by offering a special discount on your product or giving out an ebook for free. You need to offer them something to make them release the email address to you. There are a couple of tools you can use for this task; Subscribers, HelloBar and MailChimp.
This list cannot protect you entirely from making any mistakes as a new blogger, but now that you are aware of the few I mentioned here I believe you won’t fall into the trap again. Blogging is a very interesting thing to do, whether you are doing it for fun or treating it as a career. Either way, it requires a long term commitment and an unwavering consistency. These two will make you grow exponentially in no time.