Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. If you click through those links and make a purchase, I may earn a little something – at no extra cost to you.
Let’s be real, when you’re just starting out blogging there are a whole lot of mistakes that you can make. Some of them small and relatively harmless, and some mistakes that are large and will need to be addressed down the road.
If you’re a new blogger, spare yourself from beginner pitfalls by learning the top 14 mistakes bloggers make as beginners and how to fix them!
You May Also Like:
Top Mistakes New Bloggers Make:
Choosing a bad name
Not posting often enough
Missing best SEO practices
Not linking to other blog posts
Not choosing a niche
Not setting up your blog for monetization from the get-go
Not using Pinterest
Your blog isn’t optimized for mobile users
You don’t break up your paragraphs
Forgetting to track your progress
You have a social media feed on your blog
You don’t have social sharing buttons on your blog
Your blog posts are too short
Your URL doesn’t have an “s” at the end of your “HTTP”
1. Choose a bad blog name
A blog name may not make or break you, but it won’t do you any favors. A great blog name needs to be memorable and speak to what the blog is actually about so people know if it’ll pique their interest or solve the problems they’re searching for answers on.
Learn how to choose the perfect name for you blog here – as well as see lots of awesome examples!
2. Not posting often enough
In order to improve your Google search traffic and consistently found on Pinterest, you need to be publishing new content at least once per month at the absolute minimum.
For traffic growth, you’ll want to post several times a week (at least in the beginning) so you can share links to these posts on social media and Pinterest, as well as optimize them to appear in search engines.
3. Missing best SEO practices
To expand on our previous sentence about SEO (search engine optimization) tools, missing best SEO practices can severely impact your blog and prevent you from growing it. You want traffic so you can make money on your blog and write content that actually gets seen, right?
Implementing solid SEO strategies in the beginning will help you throughout the life of your blog, continually driving traffic and improving your site performance in the search engines.
You can absolutely do this as a beginner. There are lots of beginner-friendly tutorials online and we’ll be creating a free SEO guide for beginner bloggers here soon, so be sure to check back!
4. Not linking to your other blog posts
This is a common mistake and can easily be remedied. After all, it’s an easy way to drive traffic around your site and increase your page views and increase the length of time users are on your website, which can all contribute to higher search traffic rankings and shows Google you’re a trustworthy and valuable website.
Link to other blog posts that are on similar topics or include like-words. Linking to completely random content on your website won’t have positive effects when it comes to search rankings.
5. Not choosing a niche
Having a niche to focus your blog on is the ideal way to start, you can always add in related niche topics later. Having a targeted niche is imperative to your success as there is a ton of noise on the internet, lots of blogs, and lots of content creators all vying for page views and readers.
A niche helps position you as an authority that is then recognized by search engines and sites like Pinterest. This will help you stand out, and improve your visibility on Google and on sharing platforms.
6. Not setting up your blog for monetization from the get-go
If you set up your blog to be monetized from day one, you’re going to have an easier time adjusting later on when you qualify for more affiliate programs and ad networks.
Focus on building your website traffic, while applying for affiliate programs that have brands, software or other tools you can promote within your niche-focused blog posts.
Getting used to publishing this way and including affiliate links, and focusing on driving traffic will make it that much easier to adapt once you can get into the bigger programs.
You’ll also want to include an affiliate disclosure at the top of your blog now to prevent any future issues. Scroll up to the top of this post for our disclosure so you can see what we mean!
If you’re curious about starting a blog and learning how to make money from it as a beginner, check out our recent post where we discuss just that: How to Start a Blog and Make Money As a Beginner.
7. Not using Pinterest
Pinterest is a total powerhouse when it comes to blog promotion. In fact, it has 450 million active users each month! That’s crazy!
8. Your blog isn’t optimized for mobile users
More than half (typically) of your users will be coming to your blog via a mobile device rather than a desktop. That’s why it’s essential that your blog is mobile friendly. Otherwise you’ll be seeing a high bounce rate, low page duration, and low traffic as a result since Google will likely deem you as a non-quality, non-trustworthy site.
Many bloggers make this mistake and don’t want to take the time to make small adjustments that make a big impact on mobile. Some of these easy tweaks are:
Adequate spacing between paragraphs
Speeding up load time by limiting large pictures and fancy fonts
Make it easy to read and scroll through with headings and bite-sized sections
Use JPEG pictures instead of PNG as they load faster
Have an easy-to-navigate menu
Make sure everything is sized correctly (sometimes desktop sizing doesn’t convert well to mobile)
9. You don’t break up your paragraphs
Long paragraphs may be how you wrote your papers in school, but in blogging they are a no-no. This is also a super common mistake.
People like to skim, it’s uncommon for people to read every single word on a page. They’ll likely skip around to the sections that apply to their predicament or the solution they’re looking for. This is especially true when they’re accessing your site through a mobile device.
You can write as much as you like – in fact, longer is typically better for search engine rankings – but break it up into smaller, easy-to-read chunks. Take a look at this blog post for example, see how it’s nicely spaced out and easy to read?
This is one simple but super important tip for new bloggers, space it out!
10. Forgetting to track your progress
Starting a blog and trying to grow it can be a long and frustrating process, it’s important to track your progress so you know how far you’ve come. This will also help you set and achieve measurable goals which is important for any business (even if it’s just a blog!)
Install Google Analytics on your site for accurate progress tracking. Here are some common metrics bloggers like to track:
Duration on site
Views by page (this can help you determine which blog posts are the most popular and drive the most traffic)
Traffic acquisition channels (where your traffic is coming from – direct, organic search or social channels)
Countries views are coming from
11. You have a social media feed on your blog
Social media feeds might look cool and you might think adding one to your blog sidebar or footer will help you get followers, but any positive effects it has is severely impacted by the major way it slows down your page loading speed.
When it comes to search engine rankings (I know we keep bringing them up, that’s how important they are!), it’s imperative you have good page loading speeds. Social media feeds are going to really slow this down and hurt you in that respect. In fact, slow page load time is the number one reason readers bounce off your blog!
It’s best to just include an icon for your Instagram or Facebook page in your header or sidebar so interested readers can easily find you. This will help you grow your social media without hurting your blog.
12. You don’t have social sharing buttons on your blog
On the topic of social media, you may not want a feed within your blog but you do want social sharing buttons. This is super important in terms of traffic, you want people to be able to share your posts so you can continue to grow and reach new viewers.
Your readers help you get your content out there by sharing your blog posts on your social channels, and in order to do this you have to make it easy for them. If it’s not easy, it’s unlikely they will ever do it.
Include social sharing buttons that show up on every post so readers can easily share your amazing writing in just a simple click! You can do this from Squarespace within the design settings, and on WordPress with a social sharing plugin like the “Add to Any” plugin.
13. Your URL doesn’t have an “S” at the end of your “HTTP”
This is a great tip for beginner bloggers that many new to the scene don’t know. It can really hurt their website authority (again, important to Google) and website traffic.
If you don’t know, there is a difference between HTTP and HTTPS when it comes to your URL. You can see right now if your blog already has this “S” (some blogging hosting platforms like Squarespace automatically include this) by going up to the search bar and checking out your URL.
The “S” stands for secure and tells Google and other search engines that your blog is safe and credible, not a spam website that people can’t trust their data on. You can see when a blog isn’t secure by the warning that appears up on the left of the search bar.
Readers want to know that your site is secure and they’re not going to suffer any sort of security breach. HTTPS is encrypted and much more secure than an HTTP URL. Not having that “S” can make you look inexperienced, hurt your blog credibility, and negatively effect your search rankings.
If you don’t automatically have that golden HTTPS URL, you’ll need to obtain an SSL certificate from your hosting provider. To do this, look through the hosting provider’s website, give it a Google search, or reach out directly to your hosting provider’s customer service to see how you can make your HTTP URL secure with an SSL certificate.
Using a hosting provider like Bluehost (our favorite) makes this easy. They offer it for free with all their hosting packages, are affordable and they’re always there for support and questions 24/7.
14. Your blog posts are too short
Yes, we’re going to bring up SEO (search engine optimization) again. When you’re a beginner blogger, you might not understand the importance of SEO.
If you write a few posts and just cross your fingers they’ll show up on searches, you’re going to be very disappointed.
In order to have good SEO, your blog posts need to be informative and have an average length of 1800 words. Short posts don’t help your website prove its authority or target enough keywords to rank high enough on Google to be seen in searches.
With all of the confusing aspects of SEO, one of the easiest to master is writing a long, informative post. This doesn’t mean 1800 words of fluff, it means expanding on your topic, adding additional details, possibly provided first hand experience, or answering common questions on your chosen topic.
This isn’t to say every single blog post needs to be 1800 words or more, but you should try to get as many as you can that length and avoid anything less than 1,000 words.
Be informative, valuable, and show your expertise so that Google then sees you as an expert in that niche.