8 Common Mistakes New Bloggers Make

When I started my blog back in January of 2016, I never knew that I would be so into it. It was a way for me to document my daily life and keep memories, and no one ever read it. I didn’t share it to friends or family (though I don’t share this blog to anyone else haha) and it was my secret hideout. Along the way, I improved the ‘quality’ of my blog, started writing longer and genuine posts and started gaining an audience. All of these mistakes here are something I learned during my year-long journey and hopefully, it will help you to avoid them.

this post contains affiliate links to bluehost and amazon.

trying to create the ‘perfect blog’

I am personally very guilty of this. I tried to create a perfect blog and tried to do everything at once. Even if you ‘perfect’ your blog one day, it’s going to have problems the next day – speaking from experience. I’d say, work on the functions of your blog – navigation, sidebar, footer, SEO, and other things – before you start decorating your blog. Decorating can be done over a long period of time, but your blog functions will always have problems even if you fix it. Adding on, the functions of your blog and your posts appearing clearly to your readers will be more important if your blog has a good theme or not.

posting every single day

I remember when I first started my blog, I started posting every single day. This, my friend, gets very tiring and lowers the quality of your posts. It’s not that it may annoy people (though I’ve seen people get annoyed), but it’s the fact that you’re wasting potential quality posts by spending less time and research on it.Β I’d say, give yourself at least two or three days in between posts. This way, you can do other things such as promoting and drafting your next post in the process.

not creating an editorial calendar

This leads to my next point – create an editorial calendar. I’ve stated this multiple times before, but an editorial calendar willΒ save your life. I’m not even joking – an editorial calendar helped me organize my life and separate my blog to-dos from my life to-dos.

If you don’t like the digital way (this was created on Google Sheets), you could always go purchase a planner. Here’s one I use for both school and blogging.

I also offer consultations sessions for planning your content. Take a look here!

ignoring seo

This is another thing I’ve been saying frequently – utilize SEO. There are so many free and paid plugins you can use, and a main is Yoast. Simply search Yoast in your plugins and you’ll find it right away. If you don’t like Yoast, go to plugins and search SEO and download whatever works for you.

9 Common Mistakes New Bloggers MakeClick To Tweet

spam comments

This goes two ways – receiving spam comments or creating spam comments. I’ve used Askimet (another free plugin) and protected myself from over 2,000 spam comments. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of bloggers leave comments on my blog and others’ blog as well, saying, “Love this post! Check out my blog too! (links blog)”. Not only is this rude to the creator of the blog, it gives potential audience the image that you are this “annoying blogger who comments heartlessly on other bloggers’ posts”.

Despite this, I’ve seen a beautiful girl named Charmaine, commenting genuinely, not only on my blog, but others’ as well. If you’re a blogger and you follow many other bloggers, you’ll recognize her from the comment section as well!

having poor quality images

As a travel blogger (at least what I call myself right now), photography always has been my priority. However, getting away from the fact that I photograph my travels, I also photograph my office supplies, camera, and dry flowers to use as blog photos. My photos are very different from most blogging photos – they’re not white, they’re not perfectly laid out, and they’re not filled with cute pink and gold stationaries. However, they do help my readers from taking a break from all this reading they have to do.

By poor quality, I mean blurry, underexposed, a screenshot of someone else’s photograph online, or maybe even worse, a stock image that still has the company logo in the middle of the picture. There are plenty of resources out there that offers free images you can use – here’s one in Pinterest I found for you.

not deciding on a specific topic

I was guilty of this when I first started – I wrote on a variety of topics and ended up confusing myself as well. I get it if you write about a few topics constantly; I write about travel, blogging, lifestyle, and school. However, you should try to avoid changing your topic each post or even during your post. Yes, I’ve seen bloggers who start with one topic and end with another, in one post.

I offer consultation sessions on discovering your niche. You an check it out here if you want!

using a free host

If you read a blog post about blogging tips, this one is something you can’t miss. I personally use Bluehost’s prime plan which I bought when it was on sale for around $100 for three years. Quite a deal, isn’t it? Hosting can get pretty expensive, but I’ll share how to get inexpensive hosting on Bluehost.

This is the normal prices you’d see when you go to Bluehost. They all give you one free domain when you sign up.

If you choose the basic plan,one year with every single add-on marked off will come you $71.40. Not the most inexpensive out there.

However, when you wait in that section (picture above) long enough, a small pop-up shows where you can get a great deal for so much less. I believe the same process works for the Plus and Prime plans as well.

In this deal, you can get three years of hosting for $95.40, along with free domain privacy and site backup pro, options that we unchecked before.

Unfortunately, Bluehost has removed their “cancel anytime and receive what you left behind” service, where if you cancel anytime, you can receive the rest of the money that you didn’t spend according to the time. However, I think three years for $95.40, which is literally $31.80 per year, is a pretty big deal for starting bloggers. If you dislike Bluehost after three years, you would have saved up so much more money than using the regular fee for three years.

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  • I wish I would have read this a year ago when I started my blog. I’m still learning as I go but some mistakes made in the beginning follow you through the life of the blog…

  • Great post! I’m not new to having a blog but I am fairly new to “blogging” as an industry. (Hope that makes sense!)

    I’ve been working a lot on SEO and improving my photography but I really need to get a calender sorted and stop leaving half-written posts in my drafts for weeks or even months on end… πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the tip!

  • Yes to the calendar! I totally started neglecting my blog this past spring semester because of grad school. I’ve recently found a planner that I bought and forgot about last year and it doesn’t expire until the end of this year, so I will definitely be using that. So many good tips for beginner bloggers!

  • SUCH a good post! I’ve been blogging for three years and have been too scared to go self-hosted. Now I feel like it is starting to bite me in the ass. I swear, I am going to take my blog self-hosted at the end of this year/start of next year. I guess I’m just worried about all the silly things, like, what if I accidentally delete my blog? Believe me, I would find a way to do it haha. I have heard such good things about BlueHost. I’ll probably sign up to them when I do bite the bullet and go self-hosted. I LOVE the look of your blog! You’re nailing it πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for sharing this πŸ™‚ It was very helpful as I’ve only been blogging for just under three months. There’s certain things about my blog that I know urgently need improving such as navigation and the design of it but, like you said – Stuff like that can wait. I’m planning on leaving it a couple of months and then buying my own domain and doing it up. I’m slowly learning things as I go along like, you edit your main photo for this MUCH better than I do so, I guess as you go along you pick up tips and tricks. Thank you for talking about Yoast, SEO is something that really confuses me so, hopefully that will make a bit more sense.

    Have a great week πŸ™‚

    Chloe @ http://www.girllgonerogue.blogspot.co.uk

  • Hi! I just want to thank you for this post! I just launched my travel blog a couple of days ago, and it was really great reading what not to do! So thank you for that!
    Btw. I love your blog! It is so helpful in so many ways for a newbie like me πŸ™‚

  • Thank you so much. I can definitely admit guilt to the part on writing everyday leaving room for either errors or not being able to separate myself from blog-to-dos vs. things-to-do. FYI: the images you use are awesome!!!

  • All of these are so true! I did many of these things myself when I first started out. The worst was probably trying to make the perfect blog.

  • what a refreshing post! one of the mistakes I made was thinking that I would (or had to) post every day. once I realized that I didn’t have to and I created an editorial calendar, I became a lot more consistent.

    and this is such a lovely blog by the way πŸ™‚

  • Hi Grace! You have a beautiful website and I really enjoyed this post! I started my blog just over a month ago and I appreciate your advice. I’m really enjoying myself and my new adventure but there is definitely a learning curve! Sending you good vibes!
    Jen
    http://Www.wavesandwillows.com

  • Hi! Thank you so much for these tips. I’m a new blogger, and I’ve experienced a lot of challenges with my website. I just switched to a paid site with WordPress from a free site with Wix, and I’m finding the transition to be a bit challenging. I have definitely made some of these mistakes with my blog! This post was very helpful. Your photography is so inspiring, and it’s given me some ideas for my own content!

  • Hi! This soooo sounds like me when I very first started my blog two years ago. While I haven’t been consistent with it until recently, I can definitely feel a huge difference just from reading about blogging that little bit longer. Beautifully put together post and your pictures are a breath of fresh air πŸ™‚

  • Posting every day’s really challenging.

    It takes a while to do the research, plan your pictures, take them and edit, add captions and links. Then there’s the actual post. πŸ˜‰

    Less frequently and good quality is definitely the way to go.

    Loving the calmness of your theme here.

  • All great tips! Some I’m still working on and some I’ve definitely learned along the way. I agree that photography is key for me!

    – Katie

  • I don’t know how people post every single day. With all of the planning that goes into preparing a quality post, it has been hard for me to put out on a week. I get wanting to increase your stats, but that’s why social media is for. I live by the 80/20 rule when it comes to content.

    This is a great list and I hope others find it to be helpful.

    xx,
    Aitza B | petitelypackaged.com

  • These tips are spot on! I’m going to look into creating an editorial calendar – that’s the one thing I hadn’t thought about. Thank you!

  • You are right on with these tips! My main struggle is still creating an editorial calendar though! I think I’m going to try to use a planner rather than an online calendar to see if that works for me.

  • These are some great tips! I definitely struggle with having a calendar and I can see how that would help me! Pinning this to some of my blogging boards for others to read. Also, you have a beautiful blog!! xx

  • Ahhhh this is so helpful! I definitely need to up my photography game. And that editorial calendar will be a must-do when I go back to school this semester!

  • Great post! I’m guilty of a few of those as well. I find SEO is super important and so is a blogging calendar. It just helps keep you organized and on track with your goals

  • I’m starting my blog up again, and can relate to a lot of the mistakes you mentioned. It’s so easy to get caught up on trying to create the perfect image, when there is other content lacking! I will keep these in mind!

    xx,
    Daeyz
    http://www.daeyz.com

  • I’m new to blogging so this is perfect! It’s like a crash course for me! Definitely following for more words of wisdom!

  • Thank you for this post!! I am still new to blogging and I needed to read this! Editorial calander is one of my biggest mistakes!! Starting it tonight!

  • The spam comments from other bloggers are the worst. I get why they do it but quite honestly if I see that a reader took a genuine interest in crafting a comment I’m far more likely to click through to their blog. This is a great post. I’m scheduling it to be shared on twitter!

  • I must admit, that I am horrible at leaving comments and sometimes I reallo dΓ³ think it’s a nice blog…. ack, must get more creative πŸ˜‰ And YES I so agree on the calendar!! I would be completely lost without it, it also makes me get off my lazy bum and write!

  • You are so right. I’ve seen all those mistakes on others and it cringes me. The whole “nice blog” post really annoys me. It feels like those auto responders we get on our IG page. And when I see a blogger with a free site, its screams “unprofessional” to me. Its like a business having a yahoo.com email account.

  • I’m so flattered you mentioned me! Your blog was one of the first I followed because I was instantly attracted by your blog design and you had super nice photos (I can only wish I could photograph as half as well as you).

    I’ve made a few mistakes you mentioned here… like using a free host – twice when I moved from Blogger to WordPress.com – and being obsessed with my blog theme. I was always trying to create the perfect blog, nitpicking at unimportant things that wasted my time… it wasn’t until I really let go that I finally started creating good content (well, in my mind, anyway, haha).

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com