After three years of blogging full-time, I’ve made just about all blogging mistakes in the book. Strategies evolve and we need to adopt,
If I could go back in time, there are definitely things I would do differently or not do at all. Even the most successful blogs can list the blogging mistakes they made at the beginning of their careers. We all make mistakes, but you can avoid the most common blogging mistakes by learning from people who’ve been there.
If your goal is to create a profitable blog as quickly as possible, then it’s important to know what to do as well as what not to do. That’s why I’m breaking down the biggest blogging mistakes that new bloggers tend to make. Make a note of these mistakes so that you can avoid them.
Blogging Myth #1: Not Investing in learning
Trying to figure everything out on your own is a big mistake. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The formulas for creating a successful blog are already out there. You just need to find someone who has achieved the type of success you’re looking for and learn from them.
Why not just go and Youtube and watch some free videos? That’s definitely an option, especially if you’re in a money crunch. The problem is that there’s a ton of information and misinformation out there. If you’re just looking for technical tutorials to set up your blog, Youtube is a great resource. If you want to learn about marketing, traffic, or email list building, you’ll find a lot of conflicting information. In addition, you’ll have to watch a long list of videos and try to piece everything together yourself. You’re spending time to save money.
I’m a big believer in investing money to save time. Rather than sorting through Youtube videos, I invested in blogging courses, coaching programs, and conferences to learn straight from successful people. I credit this with helping me to rapidly grow my traffic, email list, and income. Not only did investing in learning help me grow my business, but it also helped me become a more confident entrepreneur. The more I learned, the more opportunities I discovered.
Blogging Myth #2: Ignoring SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably the most intimidating topic for bloggers. In a nutshell, SEO refers to the practices that allow a website to rank on Google. It can be broken down to two parts: on-page SEO (keyword research and content creation) and off-page SEO (link building). SEO may seem scary at first, but it’s straightforward once you break it down. The downside to SEO is that it can be tedious and time-consuming, especially link building. However, the payoff – consistent, reliable traffic from Google – is well worth the effort.
At the beginning of my blogging journey, I ignored SEO because it looked like Latin to me. I knew that SEO was important but couldn’t get myself to learn about long-tail keywords or backlinks. Instead, I focused all my energy on Pinterest, a visual search engine that’s much easier to navigate than Google. While I’m a big fan of Pinterest, I know that Pinterest traffic isn’t nearly as targeted and consistent as Google traffic.
Almost two years into my blogging journey, I finally started to take SEO seriously. I invested in a course called Stupid Simple SEO. It was a game-changer. After working through the course, SEO went from a convoluted topic to something doable. Stupid Simple SEO demystified SEO for me and made me more confident to tackle the subject. As I implemented the on-page SEO and off-page SEO tactics, I saw my organic traffic explode.
Blogging Mistakes #3: Not treating your blog like a business
Your blog is a business: a blog-based business to be exact. That means you can’t write whenever you feel like it or post on social media randomly. Being a successful blogger requires a great deal of organization. You need to have processes in place, like a writing schedule, a content strategy, a marketing plan, and a system for bookkeeping. I also recommend having a blog business plan can help to serve as a roadmap to achieve your goals. The more you treat your blog as a business, the more likely it will succeed.
To treat your blog like a business, you may want to actually set up a business entity. The process for registering a business varies by country and state. I’m going to focus on the United States. You can register your business as a sole proprietorship, which means your business and personal affairs are linked together. While this is the easiest business entity to set up, it offers no protections. If your business gets sued, you get sued. A better option to file an LLC, a limited liability company. This separates your personal and business dealings.
Once you have your business set up, set aside a specific time to work on your blog every week. Maybe you’re working a full-time job while starting your blog. Even if you can only set aside two hours a week, stick to that schedule. Create a business plan, style guide, or standard operating procedures that you will follow. The more consistent you are, the more successful you’ll be.
Blogging Mistakes #4: Blogging for yourself instead of your audience
People often start a blog because they are passionate about a certain topic. That’s awesome. I think it’s ideal when a blogger has a genuine interest in their niche. It means they’re more likely to stick to writing about that topic. That enthusiasm also shows up in the content, which is great for building a loyal audience.
There is one common pitfall, however. New bloggers sometimes focus on writing for themselves instead of their audience. They pick topics they like instead of what their audience is searching for. This happens quite often in the travel niche. You’ll come across posts like ‘How I Met My Boyfriend in Hawaii’ or ‘My Awesome 10-Day Backpacking Trip Through Peru.’ Remember this: your blog isn’t about you. It’s about your readers. The goal of your content is to educate, entertain, or inspire your readers. No one cares about your love life and how much fun you had in South America unless you can connect it to their wants or needs. The ultimate litmus test is the question: What’s in it for me? How does this piece of content you’re about to post help your audience?
Blogging Mistakes #5: Not writing long-form posts
A study by Backlinko found that the average length of a page 1 post on Google is 1,447 words. People and search engines alike see long-form content as more valuable. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to write long, informative posts. I aim for between 1,200-5,000 words for every post I publish. Nothing less than 1,000 words gets published on my sites.
While not every topic lends itself to a long post, you should aim to be as thorough as possible with every post you publish. By doing this, you satisfy user intent, what the reader was looking for when they make a search. If you give users what they want, they will come back. Not only that, but Google will also take notice. The amount of time someone spends on your site is one of the 200+ ranking factors in the Google algorithm. Long-form content tends to keep readers on your site longer, helping your rankings in the process.
Have you made any of these blogging mistakes? Comment below.
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