Disclosure (full version here): Some of the links you’ll encounter are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I may get a commission. Thank you!
Quick Summary- Beginner bloggers make all kinds of stupid mistakes. It’s not their fault. They don’t want to make them. They’re amateurs who just don’t know better.
I’m sick of seeing it and I want to help. So I wrote a guide that can perhaps help you avoid at least some of these blogging pitfalls.
In my guide to common blogging mistakes amateurs make I cover:
13 ways you can screw up your blog for good and kiss it goodbye.
How to beat those mistakes by becoming a pro you’re meant to be.
If you want to come out on top of all unsuccessful blogs and bloggers out there- you better keep reading.
And as a reward for your hard work, I’ve prepared a bonus chapter right at the end.
I know you’ll love it 😀
Table of Contents
7 Dangerous Mistakes That Destroy New Blogs Like Nothing Else Does
These mistakes are dangerous, they’re fire !
If you make just one of them, you’re facing an uphill battle. If you make two, then you can call it quits because your blog is doomed to fail.
But you can avoid them and here’s exactly how.
Mistake #1- Picking a “Lucrative” Niche
Nearly all niches are profitable (yes, even weird niches like landscaping equipment), but profit will never come to you if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.
The most common mistake newbie bloggers make is chasing big money; and trying to replicate in verbatim someone else’s stellar success.
This doesn’t work and it won’t work for you.
It’s because you probably underestimate the amount of work that went into creating success. You also forget that today’s blogging superstar was yesterday’s working-hard-have nothing-yet-to show-for-it blogger.
They stuck it out and they succeed in the end.
But you will never reach that happy conclusion unless you chose what you love.
Pick a niche you’re interested in and your chances of making money with your blog suddenly explode through the roof.
Mistake #2- Not Going With Self-Hosted WordPress
You might be thinking that it’s a smart move to start with a free website and once you begin earning money, switching to self-hosted WordPress.
That’s sounds like a good idea, but is actually a trap for you.
Here are 3 quick reasons why:
#1- You Didn’t Invest Money, so You Don’t “Have” to Succeed
Investing some of your dough, especially when you don’t have a lot of it serves to light a fire under your ass. You’ve committed and you better make it work.
And you’re going to make ti work because you CAN do it.
That kind of feeling is missing when you go with a free website. In fact it’s the opposite.
Going with a free option lulls you into this kind of thinking:
“Hey, I spent zero dollars on this.
Even if I fail, no biggie”
Except that it is a biggie.
Why would you do anything if you don’t intend to give it your best effort? You’re wasting your time and time is more precious that a few measly dollars.
#2- You’ll be on Leased Property
These are all platforms that let you build a free website through them. The problem is that if you’re a free user, you don’t own your site, and even your content.
So they could one day wipe you out out of the blue.
Imagine working like a dog for God knows how long,and then one day waking up to see it all gone.
Not a pleasant feeling, no?
Well, with self-hosted WordPress, that can never happen.
#3- It’s Unprofessional to the Core
It’s very rare for someone to blog on a free platform and achieve anything significant with it.
I’ve been blogging for 5+ years and I’m yet to find a single example of a successful BlogSpot site, or Weebly, or Wix.
#3- Not Doing Keyword Research/Writing Willy-Nilly
Targeting keywords is always important. But it’s crucial for new blogs who have low domain strength and are strangers to Google’s algorithm.
Whenever you write content targeting keywords, you’re building relevance for your site in Google’s eyes. So you rank easier and faster.
But also, targeting a keyword helps keep your article focused and centered on helping the user.
For example, the target keyword for this post is “common amateur blogging mistakes” so I make sure to do thorough research, make an outline (I used Clearscope to help me) and list out all mistakes commonly made by amateur bloggers.
But I don’t list all possible errors bloggers make because that would be an overkill and it would actually dilute the value of my article.
sometimes company politics demand that there’s an article on the blog which doesn’t target any particular keywords. This is usually the case with large corporations, and not with individual bloggers and solopreneurs.
For example, this article from Van Wagner talks about how Van Wagner launched a new website to capitalize on the growing interest and search demand in hybrid and virtual event hosting.
It doesn’t target any particular keyword and is actually a press release probably already distributed across hundreds of sites.
SEO value of such a post is null, but it has to be kept on the site because of company politics.
#4- Not Producing Enough Content Early On
Writing content is tough, and that’s why so many blogger procrastinate on it. And that’s a dangerous mistake.
Content is what will get you rankings;
Content is what will get you links;
Content is what will get you authority in Google.
Content is the basis for everything and if you don’t have a lot of content, you don’t own an online business.
Pro tip: when I say “content” I mean “quality content”. It makes no sense to produce garbage on your blog. And it makes total sense to go slow with content production as long as your articles are truly worth reading.
For example, it took me a solid 4 days to produce my Smart Podcast Player review. It was a pain, but totally worth it as that review is making me several hundred dollars per month on autopilot.
However, since that page is pretty lucrative and my hungry competitors are trying to overtake, I’ll have to go back and enhance my review even more.
This time I’ll create a beautiful infographic to really illustrate my points. And if luck serves me, that infographic will attract me some good links as well:)
That’s my strategy for this blog and it’s starting to pay off.
After a mountain of frustration though 🙂
#5- Copying Content From Other Blogs
I’ll be quick with this one because it’s painfully obvious. I even hesitated to put it on the list here.
You can’t scrape content and republsh it on your blog. Not only is that probably illegal, but its’ also against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Do it, and especiallly in bulk and you will never rank, period.
Want proof? Proof that even insanely strong websites can’t successfully syndicate content and fool Google?
While the copy is buried in the supplemental index.
So, if even one of the strongest website in the world can’t get away with content duplication. How could you do it, with you small and weak blog?
Mistake #6- Building Backlinks too Quickly
I love link building. It’s the hardest but also most rewarding part of SEO
That’s why I started building links to this blog as soon as I got it indexed in Google.
And that was a big mistake
I can’t prove it, but I suspect that building links too quickly caused my site to be in a sandbox for longer than it should’ve been. And it definitely caused me to focus less on content creation.
Don’t be like me. I learned my lesson the hard way and am telling it here so you don’t have to err in the same way.
Bottom line: publish 50-80 articles before you build a single link to your site.
And for indexation purposes, make sure you have XML and HTML sitemaps.
Pro tip: some bloggers buy into the hype of more links=better rankings. So they use a press release service to send mass amount of links to their homepage, or worse to their inner page.
The problem with that is that press releases have been so overused in the past that Google completely devalues those links, or even considers them as a link scheme.
There’s definitely still room for quality press releases, but not the way most bloggers use them.
#7- Selling Links to the Highest Bidder
I understand the allure of link selling. It takes 1m of your time and you get some sweet money your way fast.
But I suggest you refrain and not do it. For the future of your blog.
Because link selling is against Google’s guidelines. If you engage in it you’re setting yourself up for a penalty and those are never fun.
Remember, even a link that you sold 5 years ago can come to haunt you in the present.
#8- Not Having a “Hire Me” Page
Your goal as a new blogger is to start making money off your blog as soon as possible.
SEO takes time and ads cost money, so the easiest way to start earning immediately is to offer your freelance services.
For example, before going full time with affiliate marketing, I was a freelance writer for hire, and I sustained myself with writing for clients while building my business day and night and ever spare moment.
Pro tip: you need a service page even if you’re not a blogger who’s trying to survive online.
In fact, if you’re an online business then you must have a central page where you can sell your services.
For example, this site sells software development services, and they have an excellent money page where they sell their services in words (including a helpful FAQ) before giving potential customer an easy way to contact them and get a quote.
6 Common Mistakes Amateur Blogger Make Daily- Avoid These Even as They’re More Annoying Than Dangerous
These mistake are not dangerous.
They will not destroy your website if you commit them.
But they will slow you down considerably, so I suggest you avoid them right away.
#1- Not Linking Internally
Internal links are SEO gold, if you know how to use them right. They pass authority from page A to page B. And they pass relevance (via anchor text) from page A to page B.
Internal links are so helpful for SEO that it’s almost a sin not to use them on your blog. However, consistent internal linking is a pain in the butt.
It’s just too damn hard revisiting every post on your site and adding links to your newly published article.
There no way to do it fast
Except that there is. Read my pro tips to learn more.
Link Whisper is a premium plugin, and if you can’t afford it you still shouldn’t give up on internally linking your articles.
That’d be a major mistake for your SEO.
Instead, I suggest you wait 3 months until you’ve publish 20-40 new posts, and then set aside a whole day and add internal links manually.
Yes, you lose a bit of time and your SEO suffers in the meantime, but it’s still better than not using internal links at all.
Pro Tip #3- Use the Widget Area
Here’s a hack that most newbie and amateur bloggers don’t know about. They can use the sidebar area to display relevant internal links to the posts they’re on. Because the links will be super relevant, the CTR will be abnormally high.
External links can carry visitors away from your site. True.
But they also show your expertise on the topic (to both Google and humans). And they show you’re aren’t some shady affiliate marketer who’d do anything to trap people on their property.
Always have links open in a new tab. And not just external links. Internal links too.
For example, this link to my AccuRanker review opens is a new tab, even though it’s my content on my site.
It’s because I’m a considerate webmaster 😎
I don’t want you to lose you place here. And I want to to check out my review because you might be interested in a superb keyword rank tracker.
#3- Ignoring Social Media
Social media traffic is not worth much compared to the sweet, organic Google traffic.
However, for new blogs who have little content and even fewer backlinks, social media is the fastest way to get initial trickles of engaged visitors.
And this initial traffic can help you grow because they can spread the word about your brand.
Another benefit of social medial is connecting with other webmasters.
By being active, and by generously and selflessly sharing other blogger’s content, you will get on their radar. Then they’ll start to share your stuff back and since they’ve been in the game for so much longer, they’ll have much larger audiences than you.
Think of the free exposure…
#4- Spreading Yourself Too Thin
This mistake is tightly connected with the previous one.
If you’re a newbie blogger. If you just started blogging yesterday and you have two articles posted on your website;
This is what I learned at Wealthy Affiliate btw. They helped me, a total noob, get a head start with this blogging thing.
Check them out!
another way of spreading yourself too thin is by applying and getting accepted into too many affiliate programs, and then trying to promote them all and failing miserably.
Heck, forget about promoting them all! Even just being an affiliate for so many programs at once will inundate your inbox with merchant’s email, and unless you’re using a tool like InMoat (my favorite tool) for inbox management, you’ll be asking for trouble.
#5- Subscribing to the Perfect Word Count Myth
You probably read that Google likes meaty posts and that article with more words rank higher on average in Google. There’s some truth to that, I’ll admit it.
Heck, even this post you’re reading I could’ve included 3 or 4 amateur mistakes, 600 words in total.
Instead, I opted for 13 mistakes because I want to make the best resource on the web.
But the truth is that “perfect”word count depends on the query. Some queries demand very short, to-the-point articles.
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