Blogging is more than just words. Some amateur bloggers learn this the hard way; losing money, time and motivation.
This doesn’t need to happen to you!
In this article, I have listed the 11 most common, and costly mistakes I see many amateur blogs have but I’ll also explain how to fix and avoid them.
I’ve made some of these mistakes myself when I started blogging 🙁
From my personal experience running 4 monetized blogs I will share practical examples, valuable tips to create engaging content for your audience, how to monetize your blog, and debunk some myths.
For example, is it good to be on all social media platforms?
If you want to know the answer keep reading, I have put my blogging experience in this article so you don’t make the mistakes many have!
- Not Having A Plan
- Overlooking Legal Issues
- Not Knowing How To Monetize Your Blog
- Not Promoting Your Content Or Your Brand
- Trying To Be Active On All Social Media Profiles
- Not Having A Target Audience / Niche
- Neglecting The Needs Of Your Audience
- Receiving Blogging Advice From People Unrelated To Your Niche
- Neglecting SEO
- Overspending On Expensive Tools
Other helpful blogging articles :
- How To Setup A Blog In One Weekend
- How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
- 31 Blog Post Ideas For Beginners (That Need Traffic Fast!)
- How to Start a Sports Blog In 2021 (Earn Extra Cash!)
Some links on here are affiliate links. If you click them, you’ll help out my blog, and I’ll get a commission. AT NO EXTRA cost to you! I try to provide useful information, so if anything is helpful please let me know!
1. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #1 – Not Having A Plan
To achieve any goal in life, it’s crucial that you have a plan, and set deadlines, right?
The same happens with blogging!
If you want to have a successful blog that helps you earn monthly passive income, you have to consider creating a business plan that helps you achieve your blogging dreams.
NEWSFLASH- If you treat it like a hobby, it will only be… a hobby. But if you treat it like a business, it will make you money like a business 🙂
How Do You Write A Business Plan For A Blog?
It is not as difficult as it sounds. A business plan for a blog should contain 5 essential points:
- Niche/Target Audience – Understanding what your niche is about and what type of audience you want to reach will help you focus your efforts on being the best in your niche which will help you create valuable content.
WHO are you speaking to in your articles? Busy parents? Adventurous travellers? Gardeners?
- Monetization Strategy – Do you know how you’ll make money with your blog? By understanding how you’ll make money you will know better what type of content to create and where is the best place to promote it.
Note- Here are 6 ways you can make money from your blog
- Traffic Sources – Where do you plan to get the majority of your traffic source? Maybe only Google, but what about Youtube, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest?
Regardless of your decision, you have to learn how to optimize your content to send traffic through that medium.
- Budget – Have your bills clear, it is important to not overspend and know how much money you can afford to invest in this new adventure.
- Deadlines – Without deadlines things don’t get done. This will keep you motivated but also in check to optimize your workflow and make any necessary amendments.
In the end, having a blog is not only about writing and publishing content, it also implies considering different business aspects to ensure your success.
Also, do not overcomplicate the business plan phase, you can write your plan in Google Docs or your notebook, what matters is that you write down your thoughts and start with a clear mind of your why, when, and how.
2. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #2 – Overlooking Legal Issues
You don’t want to get sued and lose money, right? 🙂
Whether you are a blogger or not, I think no one likes that, and you can protect your blog and streams of income if you get informed.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, so this is NOT legal advice, please remember to ask a professional in this field for further information about your case.
How Can I Make My Blog Legal?
To legally protect your blog and create a secure website for your readers, your website needs 3 essential things:
- Legal disclaimers and disclosures – to protect your readers from making uninformed decisions and guarantee they know if you are earning money through affiliate links for example.
- A Terms and conditions page.
Maybe you are still a little confused about why you need these pages and legal disclaimers, below is a brief clear explanation of why they are important.
These policies are not required by law, but they are extremely important for securing trust with visitors and maintaining their confidence in what they view on your website.
Why Do You Need Legal Disclaimers And Disclosures On Your Blog?
Legal disclaimers let your readers know they have to consult with a professional advisor before making any decision regarding health, money, or legal matters.
Just like the disclaimer you saw early on where I stated I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
On the other hand, disclosures are required by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and they help your readers know if you will get paid (or have been paid) for the content in your post.
Just like the one you saw at the beginning of this post about affiliate links 🙂
Plus, there are other things you could consider to strengthen the legal security on your blog such as:
- Create A Terms and conditions page – this tells your readers what you expect them to do with the content on your site and it also states what you can legally do if they violate this agreement.
- Proper accreditation – avoid plagiarism and always give proper accreditation to other people’s copyright content and images. Unless it is free to use without accreditation.
Insider Tip- You can use the FREE plugin, WP Autoterms, to help generate the appropriate legal pages for your blog 🙂
3. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #3 – Not Knowing How To Monetize Your Blog
Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash
If you are just starting out in the blogging business world, it is natural to be confused and overwhelmed by the quantity of information on the web.
Nonetheless, please take your time to consider how you will earn money as this will determine the best type of marketing strategy you need to do.
Let’s see two practical examples to illustrate this!
- Case #1 – Do You Want To Earn From Sponsors?
Blog sponsorships are a great way to make money with your blog.
Just like Youtuber influencers accept sponsors to talk about their products in their videos, you will do the same, but on your blog!
Excellent! How Do I Start?
Pro Tip: Only accept brands that resonate with your core values and interests, this will make your readers trust you when you speak, instead of thinking: “is this valuable or…this is just for the money?”
Also, if you are interested in learning the best expert tips to earn from sponsored posts I recommend this course: Making Sense of Sponsored Posts Course.
I bought it for myself, and thanks to Michelle and Alexis I learned how to find the best sponsored posts for my blog, what to charge, and how to set higher rates!
Plus, they give a FREE Media Kit to make you look more professional when approaching brands (which helps you charge more moola!)
- Case #2 – Do You Want To Sell Digital Products?
Digital products are one of the best ways of earning money online, as it is easier and cheaper to scale than physical products.
What can you create?
You can create different products that help people organize their business, budgets or even fashion outfits if you are a fashion blogger!
Some products you can create are:
- Online courses
- Or even stock photos if you are a photography blogger!
- Note: Even though I mention Etsy, the knowledge you will learn is also applicable to create printable products that can be sold directly on your blog too!
Finally there are different ways to monetize a blog that amateur bloggers don’t know about, blog sponsorships and digital products are just two of them!
So, after being able to earn $10k a month, and launching 3 more monetised blogs, my blogging experience tells me there are 6 basic ways you can monetize your blog:
- Display Advertising
- Blog sponsorships
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital Products
If you want to learn more about how to monetize through each of these channels, check out my article How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners.
Where you will get a list of the best display advertising companies and the minimum requirements to get accepted!
4. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #4 – Inconsistency
When creating a blog, it is natural to want results quickly, so if you do not see a satisfactory result in weeks, it is common to get discouraged and stop posting regularly.
Yet, this is one of the biggest mistakes amateur bloggers make, consistency and patience are key in the blogging game.
How Long Will It Take To See Results From Blogging?
This will highly depend on your monetization, marketing strategies, and consistency in delivering high-quality content.
The most common advice is to wait 12 months or more to start seeing a steady monthly income from your blogs.
However, this does not mean you have to wait 12 months to start earning some money.
For example, taking me as an example, my blog did not earn anything before from affiliate marketing, however, I took this course and after 3 months I earned my first $300 thanks to affiliate links 😀
Plus, I also give workshops and courses about earning passive income with your blog, and I know it is possible to earn some money with your blog within 3 or 7 months with dedication and a good strategy.
In my SEO workshop I teach you how I increased my traffic from 7k views a month to over 100,000 views a month, in 7 months!
Therefore, don’t be discouraged and maintain your consistency because it is 100000% worth it!
Insider Tip- I want you to imagine creating a blog is similar to building a new house. Every new blog post is a new brick for the house. You just need to keep writing content and then one day, your house will be built and you WILL earn from your blog!
5. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #5 -Not Promoting Your Content Or Your Brand
This is a very popular amateur bloggers mistake. There is absolutely no point in writing blog posts, and no one reading them. You don’t help anyone and you also don’t earn anything from your blog!
Although it is not entirely essential at the beginning of your blogging journey, it is still important to not neglect the importance of content and brand promotion.(focus on writing good content first)
This can be made through social media or link-building strategies, such as guest posting which can be a great way for your new blog to earn more exposure and have different sources of traffic.
Note – A guespost is essentially an article you write on another site, for free, so you get more exposure to their audience and link back to your site. (Google likes it when other sites link back to you, it shows authority )
Some excellent guest posting tips are:
- Type: ‘Guestpost + niche’ , to find sites looking for guest posters. Example : ‘Guest Post travel blog’
- Craft a pitch where the owner of the blog realizes you have read their content, spotted possible content gaps, and understand their audience
- Provide an interesting content idea that will bring value to their audience
- Write a click-worthy headline and easy to read article
- Tip. Use the FREE headline generator tool
- Write your bio with a clear call to action( eg. follow me on my Instagram/ Pinterest account)
- Reply to your guest post comments! This will increase engagement with the audience which leads to better conversions and clicks to your website ( or even more guest posting opportunities!)
As for social media, remember to use the best channel for your niche and stick to it.
Let’s see some practical examples of why it is important to choose the right social media platforms for your niche!
- Case #1
Let’s imagine you are an SEO consultant in Atlanta, you could optimize your LinkedIn Account with keywords to get found easier by clients that want an SEO consultant in Atlanta.
Plus, if they see an easy-to-read profile, and your blog posts in your Linkedin feed then they might click on it leading to reading information about your services on your webpage and bang! New client on board!
- Case #2
On the other hand, if you are for instance a yoga kid teacher in NZ you could use Instagram to create fun and engaging Instagram stories and posts to start building a loyal audience.
So, even though Instagram may not be the best medium to drive organic traffic to your blog, it is an amazing place to build a strong community that could later buy your courses, teaching classes, and digital products!
As for link building, creating content link-worthy such as articles with resources, tools, analysis, and custom graphics is an excellent way to naturally attract links to your website.
So essentially :
1- Write awesome content
2- Promote it on the right social media channels like Instagram ,Facebook, Pinterest , Linkedin, Twitter – whatever suits you!
6. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #6 – Trying To Be Active On All Social Media Profiles
Speaking about social media platforms, amateur bloggers usually think: the more the merrier, right? Wrong.
When you start you don’t have to be on all social media platforms, even when you are a veteran, you don’t have to!
Being on all social media platforms can actually harm your blogging efforts as this is a time-consuming task.
The best social media channels vary based on what type of niche you are in.
So, instead of trying to be in all places, stick to the best channel for you.
For example, if your blog is about photography topics:
- Youtube, and
are the main social platforms you should be in since their designs promote visual content.
However, if your blog leans towards news and informative articles, Twitter or LinkedIn could be a better match.
- Tip: Pick 1-2 platforms to focus on at the beginning, grow your audience on them, and then you can ask that same audience to follow you on other platforms you want to be which will help you grow faster.
Also, if you are looking for the best blogging courses for beginners who want to use Pinterest check out my article Best Pinterest Courses to Help You Explode Your Website Traffic!
7. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #7 – Not Having A Target Audience / Niche
Many bloggers end up writing about their lunch , gardening tips, relationships hacks and also career tips.
This confuses your audience, so keep it niched down and focused.
This is one of the most common mistakes many amateur bloggers make which brings serious disadvantages such as:
- Google is not clear what your website is about therefore it sends you less traffic as one of the most important aspects of ranking is being an authority source that people trust.
- Your audience gets confused as they don’t know what exactly is your website making it more difficult to gain their trust and make sales.
- Your competitors have an advantage as you are not focusing on one niche. Therefore it is harder to rank in any topic because your domain/blog authority is low.
- You lose money, as you don’t have a niche it is harder to create valuable content because you don’t have a target audience, which means low-quality content, and low sales.
However, it is possible to choose a niche that can grow and transform into a broad general niche.
For example, if you like pets you can start talking about Bengal cat care tips, then you can talk about other cat care tips, and after a while when you have more domain authority, you can start targeting more broad topics!
This is very cool and a good business approach as it will allow you to grow your business and maybe in the future sell your blog for big bucks!
- Pro Tip: If you want to grow your website and sell it in the future, don’t choose a very niche name like ‘www.bengalcats.com’, this is a common amateur bloggers mistake, but instead a more general name so it is easier to grow and sell.
If growing and selling websites interest you, check out my article Website Flipping: An Ultimate Guide to Making Money in 12 Months, where you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of this profitable business model!
8. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #8 – Neglecting The Needs Of Your Audience
Another common amatuer blogging mistake is not creating content that answers the queries of your readers
Let’s take the keyword: ‘best shoes for models’ as an example. If you search for that keyword you will find this:
If you analyze the top results and questions you can see the people searching for this keyword want a list of the best shoes for models.
Another interesting finding is that the majority of articles on the first page have men on the title, so maybe the audience searching for this keyword is mostly male!
So, if you do not analyze what your readers want you can end up creating content with an inaccurate approach that results in low clicks.
For example: which are the best model shoes for women? which may not be a bad topic but is not what people are searching for with this keyword!
Also, regarding your audience needs it is essential to create a connection with them, whether by answering their questions in your blog comments or social posts.
This will result in an engaged audience that will trust you more and perceive you as a trusty source they can rely on and eventually buy from if they wish so.
Pro Tip: Another great source for connecting with your audience, keeping in touch with them, and promoting your content is through an email newsletter!
9. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #9 – Receiving Blogging Advice From People Unrelated To Your Niche
This may sound weird, as you may think “why?” After all, if they are successful, why shouldn’t I listen to them?
That’s not what I am saying, you can listen to successful bloggers and follow their advice BUT you have to put that advice into context.
All niches are different hence what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.
This is why it is convenient to pay more attention to those people that have blogging experience within your niche, as they’ll know from experience the in’s and out’s of your market, and what are the best tactics to have success!
Confession- When I started I took advice from a big fashion blogger who told me to ignore Google (SEO traffic) and focus on Pinterest. For ages I thought I was a failure as I couldn’t get the same success on Pinterest.
Turns out, my audience is not on Pinterest! I looked at all the successful personal finance bloggers in my niche and realised they all focused on Google traffic. So I did that and found lots of success!
Pinterest loves visual niches like fashion, DIY, home decor and food. But no one goes on Pinterst to look up ways to save money on bank loans, they google that stuff. So listen to the people succeeding IN YOUR NICHE.
10. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #10 Neglecting SEO
If you want to rank in Google and earn a living from your blog, you have to learn SEO.
I understand this may seem overwhelming but SEO is not as scary as it seems, especially if you start with the basics that will help you drive traffic to your blog.
To achieve this you need 2 things:
- Keyword research
- Creating valuable SEO content
Here are the basics of keyword research and creating valuable SEO content.
Choosing a keyword helps you rank in Google as you are creating content for a specific query.
So, it is best to target easy keywords, which usually are long-tail keywords.
For example, the best shoes for short men is a long tail keyword while shoes is a generic keyword.
To check the difficulty of keywords you can use free blogging tools for beginners such as the free MozBar chrome extension, and check the DA (Domain Authority) of your competition.
If the difference it’s too broad (e.g your DA is 1, and your competitor’s DA is 90), then it is better to look for another keyword.
On the other hand, if you have the budget I will recommend using keyword research tools, the one I use for my blogs is keysearch, which is an easy, affordable, and amateur blogging-friendly tool!
Creating Valuable SEO Content
As for creating valuable content, you must place your readers’ needs and questions first and provide as much valuable information as possible.
However, it is also important to know how to format an article so it is pleasing to read, for example, you can:
- Write short sentences and paragraphs instead of big text blocks
- Add images to illustrate what you’re saying
- Use common words that people can relate to
But, if you want a comprehensive guide with tons of tips for writing, engaging, and SEO optimized content for beginners, check this article where you will also find links to amazing blogging tools and resources.
11. Amateur Bloggers Mistake #11 Overspending On Expensive Tools
Last but not least, one of the most common beginner blogging mistakes is to think you need to have the most popular tools to achieve success.
One example is Semrush or Ahrefs which are indeed great SEO tools for keyword research.
However, they are very expensive for a beginner that is still not making money with their blog.
So, if you don’t want to fall into the distressing situation of saying goodbye to your savings it is advisable to only pay for the tools you need at the beginning.
Which are those?
- the domain name, and
- if possible a keyword research tool.
With that, you can start your blogging journey!
Besides, you can use free blogging tools for beginners, and once you have gained some money you can upgrade or switch to a premium tool if you wish so!
Pro Tip: Did you know a great free tool to get blog post ideas for amateur bloggers and even veterans is Reddit and/or Quora? Those are great places to find undeserved topics that you can write about and it’s totally FREE to use them!
Which amateur bloggers’ mistakes did you not know?
It is hard to have an amature blog and wonder why you haven’t had success, losing motivation and second-guessing about your choices.
This is why I hope this amateur bloggers article has been a helpful guide to guide you on the right track and know that with the right strategies, blogging tools and resources you can achieve your goals and earn money from your blog!
Start making your dreams come true.
You can do it!