7 Mistakes Beginner Bloggers Make (& How You Can Fix Them)

by in Blogging, Business Websites, Marketing Your Business

Blogging Mistakes
Whether you're blogging as a profession or blogging to promote your business, there's a lot of advice out there about how to blog. I've been blogging for over a decade, and there are a lot of common mistakes I see beginner bloggers make. Below, I'll list a few of them out, and give you some advice on how to avoid or fix them.

Mistake 1 – Blogging for the sake of blogging

You've no doubt read advice that you need to blog as often as you can. This strategy isn't always the best one to use. It's better to put out less content that is higher quality than to publish posts simply because you've read you need to post five times per week.

Additionally, some businesses simply don't lend themselves to being able to put out quality content surrounding them three times per week. While recipe sites can publish quality posts at that rate, a pool builder cannot. Remember that creating posts high in quality and value is more important than the frequency at which you publish them.

That said, whether you're blogging once every two weeks, or once a day, you should organize your efforts. The free Editorial Calendar plugin is a great way to keep your blogging on whatever schedule works best for your niche.

Mistake 2 – Blogging about what you want to write about vs. what your audience wants to read about

I've said many times over the course of my career that the sweet spot for bloggers is finding post topics that land squarely in the center of the ideal content trifecta. That is – what you want to blog about, what your audience would like to read about, and the ability to generate revenue (be it via earning page views for your advertisers or promoting affiliate programs within your posts).

So how do you come up with post ideas that fall within that trifecta? You'll find some advice on coming up with ideas for new blog posts people want to read here. That said, typically posts that fall within the trifecta have one primary thing in common – they solve a problem. If you can solve problems for your audience (whether it's how to bake the perfect cake, or how to grow a garden in a sloped yard best), you stand to earn their readership and revenue.

Want more information? I did an entire session about this during Affiliate Summit East in 2015. You can find the full video from that presentation here and the slides that went along with it here.

Mistake 3 – Not learning about & employing basic SEO techniques

First up, you'll want to make sure your blog in general is optimized from a technical SEO standpoint. Yoast has a great guide and offers a free plugin for doing so.

Once you've got the technical basics covered, you'll want to ensure you're optimizing your posts as you publish them.

Make sure you have a descriptive title that includes a primary keyword (my favorite keyword research tool is SEMrush [affiliate link]). Pro tip: The titles you create for readers that appear at the beginning of your post can be different from the title you set for the post in the title tag for search engines.

Be sure to add image descriptions and image titles for every image you include in your posts (you can find out more about how to promote your website using your images here).

Create a meta description for each post that acts as a mini-marketing message that tells users viewing your result in the search engines why they should click through to your site and what they can expect to find.

Be sure to create links within each post to other content on your site where it makes sense. An example would be the link I added to the paragraph above about image descriptions. Use keywords in those links when you can, but be sure to mix up the anchors you're using and don't overdo it.

Break up important sections of your blog posts with heading tags.

Mistake 4 – Publishing posts that utilize poor grammar

When I first started blogging, this was a mistake I was guilty of committing. A few months ago, I went back through my Sugarrae blog to prune some posts and was a little embarrassed looking at my grammar in the early days. Look, you don't need to hold an English degree to blog well from a grammatical perspective.

So how do you improve your writing? For me, I credit the improvements in my writing to three core things. The first is that I gained experience. The more you write, the better you'll get at it. The second was that I took a college level English class. The class helped me learn to organize my writing and to get my ideas across succinctly. The third, and the one I give the most credit to is using Grammarly.

Grammarly is a content editing program. Not only does it help you edit your content from a grammatical perspective, but it also teaches you why the mistakes it notes are mistakes. So not only am I catching grammatical issues in my writing, but I'm learning why they're problems and how to avoid them in the future. It's an affordable alternative to a human Editor.

They have a free Chrome plugin as well as a paid service (affiliate link). I use the paid version, but at a minimum, you should be using the free one. I don't publish anything without running it through Grammarly first.

Mistake 5 – Not building an email list from the beginning

At any point in time, Google could decide to take your traffic away. You work hard to bring readers to your blog. You should be building an email list to give you a way to contact those readers without the middleman. I personally use Aweber for my mailing lists. Missy prefers Constant Contact, so that's what we use here on the It's a WAHM Thing blog since she is the one managing that list. Whatever mailing list service you want to use, the important thing is to use it.

Mistake 6 – Not interacting with your readers

If your audience takes time out of their day to comment on a post you've written, you should be taking time out of your day to respond to them. Interacting with your readers in the comments of your post is a no-brainer to building a relationship with your audience, and creating evangelists for you and your brand.

Mistake 7 – Not promoting your posts

I see so many bloggers that fall victim to the “write it, and they will come” mentality. The truth is that you can have the best content in the world, but if you're not promoting it and no one sees it, it won't develop your audience. Promote your posts on social media, send them out to your email list, tag or email anyone you mentioned or linked to within the post, etc.

Another mistake to avoid is only promoting a piece of content within the days or week after you publish it. Re-share old posts occasionally. Not everyone who follows you now has seen every single past blog post you've published. If you're writing quality posts, they should be shareable for a long time after you've initially posted them.

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About the Author - Rae Dolan

Rae (Hoffman) Dolan aka "Sugarrae" is the CEO of PushFire, an online marketing agency specializing in SEO audit services and search engine optimized web design. A veteran affiliate marketer, some of her current projects include Custom Comet (a promotional products company) and Audrey Micah Investments.

 

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