Mistakes, the earlier you fix them, the better your chances of success.
Especially, when starting a blog.
Lucky for you, you’re going to discover 14 blogging mistakes that will kill your blog’s growth.
Avoiding them will double your chances or EVEN triple your chances of success against your competition.
Even experienced bloggers make these mistakes and wonder why their blogs aren’t growing. If your goal is to dominate your niche and build a 6-figure blog, it’s time to pay attention.
Don’t take anything mentioned on this list lightly. Take every single one seriously and make the necessary changes to your blog.
Okay, let’s get started!
Mistake #1: Not Focusing On One Niche
Don’t try to appeal to everyone. If you do that, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
It’s impossible for you to target and please everyone. Sorry, but it’s not going to happen.
What you should do is pick a sub-niche of a broad niche and dominate it. If you don’t have any idea how, make sure to read this blog niche selection guide.
The only time you should be thinking of expanding your niche is when you are grown but plateaued in traffic.
That’s when you slowly scale into other closely related niches.
Don’t try to target a broad topic to appeal to everyone in that niche. You won’t have the manpower to create that much content and promote each of those pieces of content.
The more specific the niche, the higher the chances of standing out from the competition.
Mistake #2: Sacrificing Content Quality For Quantity
Look, if you want to stand out from the competition, you MUST provide in-depth actionable content.
The days of pumping 20 articles every week, each 500 words are long gone.
Instead, what you should do is actually create deeper content that covers more keywords within that topic.
For example, if you’re going to create a post that says “How to lose weight in 4 weeks” then go deep within that topic and talk about:
- The specific meals they should eat daily
- The exact workout routines
- How often they should workout
- How they should handle cheat meals
You want to narrow down on a topic and go deep. That’s how you create content that rank high in the search engines.
Most new bloggers think that posting every single day will guarantee an increase in traffic.
Sorry, but this isn’t 2008.
What is winning in the search engines right now is deep content. That’s what readers wants, hence what Google wants.
As a blogger, you want to answer the question as deeply as possible for the user.
When the user clicks on your blog from the Google search results, give them reason not to click back.
And that should be because you’ve covered everything about that topic.
So, instead of pumping 10 blog posts a week, focus on creating 2 or 3 high quality posts that will satisfy the user and satisfy Google.
Readers are getting extremely smart. They know when they’re reading trash content.
You can tell when a blog puts a lot of effort into the content. It’s vert easy to tell.
It’s just not going to work. You must apply a smarter strategy.
Don’t try to work harder, but smarter.
Mistake #3: Writing About Stuff That Doesn’t Matter to The Reader
There’s a simple rule you should follow. If you follow this basic rule you will always satisfy your readers.
Here it is…
“If it doesn’t benefit the reader, don’t write it.”
If you’re going to create a nutrition blog, your readers will expect you create content around nutrition.
They don’t want to hear about your latest investment in Bitcoin or Ethereum.
They don’t care.
Talking about random stuff will only confuse and annoy your audience. I’m sure you’ve come across some blogs where you can’t figure out what their goal is.
Because they are writing about every single topic under the sun.
If your reader cannot figure out what the goal of your blog is, you have failed as a blogger. Your blog must have a core goal. And it should be evident to a first time reader right away.
If your blog is to talk about nutrition, it should be about nutrition.
I’m not saying you can’t talk about what’s going on in your life but overdoing it will push away readers.
Keep your topics closely related and don’t branch out too far.
Only write about stuff that the reader will care about. Follow that rule and you will never go wrong. Don’t know what to write about? Ask your readers.
Send them a survey and ask them what new posts you should write.
They will GLADLY give you tons of content ideas, more than you can handle.
Mistake #4: Having An Unsustainable Posting Frequency
Don’t make promises you can’t fulfill.
You will disappoint your readers and lose credibility.
Instead, pick a realistic posting schedule and stick with it. If it’s going to be 1 or 2 times per week then that’s just the frequency you can handle.
Don’t promise your readers that you’re going to post every single day, and when they go to your blog, there isn’t any fresh content.
That will just affect your credibility and your readers won’t take you seriously.
Your audience needs some form of predictability. If it’s once or few times a week, let them know.
Mistake #5: Writing Like It’s A School Essay
We all know how boring school essays are.
This writing style will quickly put your readers to sleep or they will close out your blog immediately. Instead, you should write conversationally like you’re talking to a close friend.
This is an effortless way to make your content more engaging.
If the reader feels like you are talking to them directly, you’ll keep their attentions much longer.
Another thing is, don’t overload your readers with too many big words or any type of phrases that cause them to think too hard.
Doing that will overload their brains and just push them to click away.
That’s just how readers are right now.
If you need to state some facts or some studies, just put your personality into it.
Just don’t bore your readers with too many facts. Again, avoid big words and keep it simple.
Mistake #6: Using A Free Blogging Platform
Here’s the thing, readers won’t take you seriously if you are using a free blogging platform.
Your first impression will last.
Using a free blogging platform just says, “Hey don’t take me seriously. I’m just doing this now and then”.
Instead, get a self-hosted blog on WordPress.
If you put your blog on Blogger.com (owned by Google), they can remove it anytime they want. You don’t own the content when you have it on their platform.
As a serious blogger, you must have full control.
Remember, you’re building a REAL business. And yes, it will cost you some money.
It’s not going to cost you a fortune. You can start a blog cheaply right now. But don’t start a blog with the mindset that you don’t want to spend a single dime.
If that’s your mindset then you’re not going to be successful.
I know it is harsh but nothing worthwhile comes free.
There is always a cost involved.
So, invest in a self-hosted blog that you have control over.
Mistake #7: Having A Dark Background With Light Text
Unless your blog is about vampires or goths, you should avoid this type of color scheme.
The whole look and feel of your blog can either keep or push away your readers.
Certain color combinations can affect your blog’s readability. Having an extremely dark background with light text will just make it hard on the eyes.
Especially for older persons and even younger people reading.
To fix this, keep your blog design simple.
Don’t try to overdo it with design and colors. I would suggest that you have a white background and choose a light color to go with it.
Whether it’s light blue or green, whatever color you think will appeal to your audience, use it.
Make sure the blog content is easy to read on desktop and especially, on mobile.
Mistake #8: Having Too Many Sidebar Clutter
The less clutter, the more white space.
And the more white space, means that your headlines, paragraphs and images will stand out more.
You don’t every widget that WordPress has to offer.
Widgets like archives, gallery, tag clouds and calendar will just clutter your blog design.
Remember, the main thing you should prioritize is the content. That’s what the reader wants. Don’t distract them from what really matters.
I know blogs that have extremely good designs but they hardly get any traffic because the blogger is so focused on tweaking the design. They don’t focus on creating the high quality content.
Focus on what matters and avoid unnecessary bells and whistles.
Mistake #9: Thinking Readers Actually Care About You
The truth is, new readers of your blog don’t care about you. The only thing they really care about is what you can give or do for THEM.
What will happen is that they’re going to check out your content and IF it helps them solve an issue or learn something after a while, then they will develop a liking to you.
But when you’re just starting out, don’t go with the mindset that everyone is going to like your content or like you as a blogger.
If you get that then you won’t be emotionally attached to any type of response that you get from the market.
Because you’re going to get good and bad responses.
That’s just how it is.
But if you’re putting awesome content out that help them, you will get amazing results.
Focus on the CORE content that will help them.
If you are writing content for a finance blog about “How to save more money and invest like Warren Buffet”, don’t go talking about what you ate this morning for breakfast.
Remember, it not about you, it’s creating content for them.
When it comes on to jokes and pop culture references, you can use them but just do not overdo it.
Also, don’t use too much humor in your content, it can come off as a bit cheesy.
Use it sparingly.
Mistake #10: Having BIG Blocks of Texts In Your Content
There’s nothing more repelling than reading a blog with huge blocks of text.
It’s very hard to read and it will repel your readers like a bug spray.
Try to keep paragraphs 3 to 5 sentences maximum and keep sentences under 30 words.
You should format your blog posts so that it is readable and digestible.
The readability is as important as creating valuable content. It doesn’t make any sense that you put so much effort into creating good content and no one reads it because your presentation is such a turn-off.
Do you notice how on this blog, the paragraphs have breathing space in between?
It’s done intentionally to make it easier for you to read and digest the content.
I highly recommend you do the same for your readers.
Mistake #11: Not Using Images Related To The Content
When you use related images, it helps to break up blocks of words and breaks the monotonous pattern when readers scroll through your content.
Images actually help to bring across your content more. You want to make sure that you’re using high-quality images that are related to the content.
That being said, the image sizes shouldn’t be large (try to keep it under 550 kb).
It will just slow down the loading speed of your blog. And if you want to rank high in the search engines, the blog content must load very fast.
Realistically you want to get it between 1 to 3 seconds loading speed.
Remember that internet users are getting a lot more impatient. The longer your blog takes to load, it increases the chances of them bouncing away.
Especially on mobile devices, always test it for yourself. When you post something on your blog go ahead and test it.
Mistake #12: Thinking That Valuable Content Is Enough
If only it was that easy.
The truth is, it’s not enough.
Just depending on writing valuable content alone won’t move the needle. If you want your content to do well, you must actively promote it.
Waiting on Google to send you traffic is a BAD strategy.
Don’t just write and hope that people will find your content.
There are millions of other blogs competing for rankings in the search engine. So, you must get your hands dirty and promote your best pieces of content.
Make sure you’re following a blog traffic game plan.
Mistake #13: Not Using Any Analytics
This isn’t an option.
You must track how your readers are interacting with the content you create.
You have to know how people are finding your blog. Whether through Google search, Pinterest, or Facebook.
Whatever source most of your traffic is coming from is where you should focus 90% of your effort until you master and dominate it.
For example, most of your traffic is coming from the Google search, then you want to step up your SEO game.
If it’s Pinterest, you have to create native pins that are long and appealing to the eyes.
If it’s Facebook, you want to make sure that you’re creating short videos or images that will get tons of shares.
Another thing is that you want to make sure you’re tracking the bounce rate. If readers are only spending 10 seconds on your blog, then something is really wrong with the content.
May you’re not be answering the question they searched for.
Or you have not been giving them what you have promised from whichever medium you send the traffic.
The lower your bounce rate is the better blog ranking you’ll get. It basically tells google you’re doing a great job at answering the user’s question.
By keeping track of how readers interact with your blog, you’ll be able to see where they are falling off.
Mistake #14: Having Too Many Ads And Plugins
There’s nothing wrong with monetizing your blog with ads.
But overdoing it can be a nightmare for your readers. I’ve seen blogs that have up to 7 ad units in a piece of content and on top of that pop-up videos ads.
That’s just crazy!
How do they expect the user to read the content with ads popping up every 20 seconds?
The user will just click away and never return.
Here’s the thing, you must ALWAYS think from the user’s perspective.
Having too many ads and unnecessary plugins will kill your blog’s user experience and slows down the loading speed.
With WordPress plugins, you want to narrow down only to the important ones.
Don’t get every single fancy plug-in that comes out on the market. It’s just going to add more weight and slow down your blog’s loading speed.
Keep the blog extremely light.
Yes, you can use pop-ups to collect emails when giving a free guide or training course.
But annoying ad popups are a big no-no.
Google is placing a lot more weight on the user experience. So, make sure your blog has a good one.
There are a lot more mistakes…
But these are the most common ones for new bloggers. I will be updating this post with more in the future.
Remember, mistakes slow down progress and the sooner you fix them the faster your blog will grow and decimate the competition.