It’s finally happening: you’ve set up your blog, written your first post, and earned your first few followers.
You’re well on your way to blogging success, but you’re also blissfully unaware of many of the easy-to-avoid mistakes that befall new bloggers.
Like anyone learning a new skill, bloggers often make mistakes that cost them time, money, and followers. Fortunately, by being familiar with common blogging mistakes, it’s easy to avoid them and make the early days of your blogging career as trouble-free as possible.
Finding a reliable web hosting company is extremely important and I would be remised if I did not mention this.Once you have found the best WordPress hosting provider for your needs
Once you have found the best WordPress hosting provider for your needs we can move on to some of the other common pitfalls.
Here are five of the most common mistakes new bloggers make:
As a blogger, you’re trying to write like someone else
When you first started blogging, one of the steps you likely took was to cruise around the Internet and find other bloggers you like.
Trust me, that’s a fantastic move.
The mistake, however, comes when you try to make yourself into those other bloggers. While it’s an understandable move (they’re successful, so if you write like them you will be, too, right?), trying to write like someone else inherently robs you of two things: your flexibility to explore new topics and your voice.
If you’re always trying to be exactly like a blogger you admire, you’re going to rob yourself of the flexibility needed to find success. That said, seek out bloggers you admire, study their writing and techniques, but maintain your own voice and viewpoints.
The web wants original content and viewpoints, not replicates of the content that’s already out there. Remember, originality is key when starting a blog.
Your focus is too broad
One of the easiest mistakes to make as a new blogger is to be too broad. For example, imagine you set out to write a post called “How to Cook 101.” Good luck.
A topic like cooking is so incredibly broad that there’s really no chance you’re going to cover it all adequately without wanting to pull your hair out.
A better approach would be to narrow it down considerably. Something like “4 Easy Italian Dishes for Beginning Cooks” or “The 5 Basic Principles of French Cooking” is much easier to wrap your head around, much easier for readers to digest, and much easier to write.
That said, focus on getting more specific. This will help you be a better writer and will more adequately respond to your readers’ needs and desires.
You’re not editing enough
When you’re new to blogging, it’s natural to get excited about publishing posts, but being too quick to post content can be a dangerous mistake. All great writing requires great editing, and new bloggers need to learn to edit their work well.
Right now, 27 million pieces of content are being shared across the web on a daily basis. In order to make yours stand out from what many marketers have termed “The Content Sea,” you need to make sure that it’s as well written and authoritative as possible, which is virtually impossible without good editing.
If you’ve never been in the habit of editing, try this: write your first draft (many writers affectionately call this the “Show up and throw up” version) and then walk away. Come back a few hours later to re-read (out loud) and perfect your draft. Do this as many times as needed to produce something that is high quality and valuable to your readers. This will help you ensure that every piece you write is thoughtful and professional.
You’re too focused on selling
Many people start blogging as a way to make money. While blogging can be a fantastic platform for financial gain, it’s virtually impossible to build a great blog if you’re only focused on making sales.
The reason is this: readers have a highly effective “promotional content” detector. If someone comes to your blog and finds it full of pop-up ads, intrusive offers, and overly salesy content, they’re going to leave in short order.
Because of this, it is a much wiser decision to focus on building relationships and providing genuine, high-quality content with your blog before you start using it to make sales.
When you focus on building a community of readers and other bloggers and establishing a bank of useful, valuable articles for your readers, you build a strong base that can help you make sales down the road.
While there’s nothing wrong with participating in an affiliate program or opening a Google AdSense account as a new blogger, your first priority should always, always be on building relationships.
You’re not blogging enough
For bloggers, maintaining a consistent web presence is a pivotal part of success. This is especially true when you’re just starting out.
If you go for weeks or months without blogging, your readers begin to forget about you, and your traffic will suffer as a result. In light of this, it’s important to set a blogging schedule and stick to it. But how much is enough, you ask?
According to HubSpot, bloggers who post between 3-5 times each month receive more than twice the traffic of bloggers who don’t.
This is because blogging on a regular basis keeps you relevant in the minds of your readers, helps you index pages in Google so readers can find your site more easily, and improves your writing skills so that your posts are more likely to be shared around the web.
As you create your blogging schedule, keep in mind that more posts are definitely better, but you still don’t want to sacrifice quality. At the end of the day, people want to read high-quality, relevant, interesting content, and the more often you can post that for them, the more likely you are to become a household name in the blogosphere.
There are many pitfalls facing new bloggers, but when you know what they are, you can easily avoid them. Of primary importance when first starting a blog is finding a reputable web host who you can trust with your website. I have created several web hosting comparison guides to help your search. Once you’ve found a home for your website you can concentrate on writing quality content.
By maintaining your own voice, narrowing your focus, getting good at editing, focusing on building relationships, and having fun, you can make your blog successful, valuable, and relevant from the get-go.
To learn more about effective blogging and how to use the WordPress platform, sign up for my WordPress Academy today!