Blogging can be as much of a learning experience for the writer as it is for the reader. Little did we know when we first thought “I should start a blog” just how much would really go into it. Luckily, if writing is something you truly love the learning experience can be quite a fun one.
We all make mistakes when it comes to starting a new site. Either our writing isn’t exactly as grammatically perfect as we thought it was, or we really just have no idea how to do things like study analytics, research keywords, or promote ourselves.
The good news is that many, if not all, of these mistakes, are easily fixed by slowing down and taking a while to understand the mistakes you are making to learn how to fix them.
Related: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Starting a Blog (How to Start a Blog TODAY)
10 Blogging Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now
These actionable steps will help you get your blog fixed regardless of any issues you have going on. Grab a cup of coffee, a notebook, a good snack, and let’s get to work!
Not Knowing Your Readers
One of the most common mistakes I see newer bloggers make is assuming they know who their readers are without taking the time to look into their analytics.
Analytics can be daunting when you are first starting out. However, with a little time and a plan of action you can easily make your data work for you. Whether you are using google analytics, the Facebook pixel, or other trackers available this information can be so useful in determining just who is reading your material and how much they are enjoying it. From there you can make any applicable changes for the next month, quarter, or however you decide to divvy it up.
Another mistake I see bloggers make when it comes to analytics is thinking that they are too small or too new of a blog to need to use them. This is actually one of the most important times to make use of this information. By knowing the data about which content is being well received and by whom we can come up with a content strategy that lends itself to quicker growth.
Not Writing for Your Readers
I know, I know. You most likely didn’t start a blog to write what other people want you to write. You started a blog to write about your life and your experiences. You wanted to share your voice with everyone not be told what to do. Believe me, I had all of these thoughts too.
The truth is you can still write about your experiences in your voice AND write for your readers. This all comes back to your analytics. If you have taken the time to go over your data and come up with your reader avatar you will know how to write your story in a way that really resonates with your readers.
This will make them more likely to be able to connect with you and share your content because more than just telling a story about your life it is helping them to feel connected to, or perhaps even help them learn how to best handle a situation in their lives.
Regardless of how new or small your site is it is always a good time to think about monetizing your content. there are two main reasons for this.
For one, if you start from the beginning it is much easier to seamlessly blend promotional material into your own work. You can come up with a solid strategy and plan for when, where, and how you are going to add advertising or sponsored content to your material.
Secondly, I’m a believer that when done properly a good marketing strategy can help to set you up as an authority in your field. Not only do you know what you are talking about but you know where to find the best things as well.
This could be anything from full coverage makeup to sensory friendly clothing. When your readers begin to trust products that you recommend it helps to create a sense of overall trust that your site is a place to go for the best advice on your particular topic.
Not everyone is good with a camera, and that’s ok! If photography isn’t your strong suit there are a variety of things you can do from working on learning and bettering your skills to relying on stock photography.
Put simply, the images on your site will be noticed before anything else. In fact, one study showed that 80% of the time your featured image will make or break your article. This means that even the best-written content is going to really struggle without beautiful imagery.
Of course, more than just photos it can also make a world of difference to have a professional looking beautiful theme or overall visual feel to your site.
Too Much Clutter
I know how tempting it can be to have everything and the kitchen sink on your site. As an adult living with ADHD I know this one far too well, in fact.
Sure you can have a chat and every social profile under the sun on your site. You can even set up a period tracker if you really wanted to. However, unless you are something like a fertility blog you might want to rethink that one. The same goes for everything else you can potentially add. Does it fit into your niche? Does it add real value to your site or is it just more clutter that will distract from your content in the end.
Clutter can relate to the content itself as well. Once you have chosen a niche it is important to do your best to stick to it. It can be hard to set yourself up as an authority on a topic and provide value to your readers if you are hopping all over the place on things that have nothing to do with your niche topic. It’s perfectly fine to have other interests and to discuss them from time to time. However, always do your best to relate them back to your niche in some way and avoid posting from out in left field.
For example, as a special needs education blog a post about blogging may or may not work. I try to tie this in by making all of my blogging posts educational. This way, readers who don’t care in the least about the intricacies of blogging but are just there for the education may still learn a thing or two and find value in posts that don’t necessarily meet their interests.
Poor Writing or Grammar
Unless you are just out of school there is a good chance that your grammar isn’t quite perfect. There’s nothing to be ashamed about here. There are so many intricate rules to the English language that it’s natural to forget a few of them from time to time or to forget how to spell an obscure word.
One of the quickest ways to fix this problem is a browser plugin called Grammarly. The free version of this plugin will help you to identify and correct spelling errors and basic grammar errors. The paid version goes even further and includes a plagiarism checker. Although I once used Hemingway (and still recommend that one as well for some) I now use Grammarly on everything I write.
I know it can be tempting to see others who are doing well and want to imitate them in hopes that their method will work for you. There are two reasons why this will almost never work.
For one, it is working for them because they are writing from their experience and in their own voice. Many of the most popular or highest earning blogs are doing so well because the readers are there for the personality of the writer or because they can resonate so well with them. If you are not that person it will not seem genuine and will not have as much of an impact as the original.
For another reason, if one thing is already doing well the chances are that nobody is interested in seeing a copy of it. They are already looking for something new and different. Your voice may just be the next big thing. You will never know though if you are spending all of your time trying to imitate others.
Not Planning Ahead
One of the most important things, for me, when it comes to blogging is planning, planning, planning. I used to go with the flow and write a post when it came to mind. Nowadays, I plan ahead for the season, any topics I may be covering at length, and a variety of other factors.
Not only does planning help to keep you on a regular schedule but it can help to prevent burnout, overwhelm, and a variety of other obstacles bloggers face.
Just like your social media strategy, your analytics should be taken into consideration here. Which posts are doing well? Which posts do you think your readers would like the most? Take your data and create a plan for the month. Once the month is over go back over your data and change accordingly based on how your plan was received.
Related: The Ultimate Blog Planning Workbook
Sometimes, whether you plan or not you can end up overdoing it. This could be trying to put too much content into your schedule and dealing with overwhelm. It could mean seeing a drop in the quality of your work as you try to keep up with a schedule you packed too tightly. For some, it could mean a constant game of catch-up due to the lack of a clear plan.
Overdoing it can mean just trying to put too much on your site as well, though. Remember the kitchen sink we discussed earlier? Putting your ovulation chart on a car repair blog might just be overdoing it. Of course, I’m using an extreme example here but take a look at your content and decide if there is anything you can streamline to make your writing experience more enjoyable, and the reading experience clearer and more enjoyable for your visitors.
Not Getting Techy with It
The last of our mistakes could be one of the most important. For some bloggers, the only concern is the words on the page and not the nuts and bolts that hold them there. In the long run, this will end up hurting them eventually. It is of the utmost importance not only to help provide the best experience for your readers but also to help protect yourself from possible disaster to really get to know how things work.
If you set up a blogging schedule ( which I recommend as part of a clear plan ) take a day to devote completely to learning. This could be learning about anything from SEO to defense from hackers. In the grand scheme of things this will be just as important to your site as your content, and ignoring it is only hindering you. I know at times it may seem like you don’t have the time. However, by finding the time here and there you can prevent yourself from having to spend much longer later.
What Mistakes Have You Made?
What have you learned on your blogging journey? We all have something that was an “ah ha!” moment for us. For me, the biggest thing I’ve learned was just how important keyword research is. I thought I was doing keywords just fine until I took the time to sit down, read a book or two, and realize I was way off!
I’d love to hear what your learning experiences and epiphanies were!
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