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If you’re here it’s because you have finally decided to start a blog, and we are all for it! Starting a blog is one of the best ways to earn income from home and it can even become almost 100% passive if you have the right strategies.
But we also know how overwhelming it can be and there are learning curves that every newbie blogger has to experience.
We want to make sure that you are not making the same mistakes that many amateur bloggers have made (including us) when you’re starting out.
That is why we have listed the top 13 common mistakes that most newbie bloggers have made so you can avoid them and proceed with a bit more confidence than we did.
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Pros and Cons of Starting Amateur Blogs
Before we share with you what mistakes to avoid, let’s talk about the pros and cons of starting a blog, so that you can make better decisions on whether starting this platform is right for you.
Pros of starting a blog
First and foremost, it is one of the best ways to share your knowledge and passions with the world. When we started The Offbeat Life blog, for example, it was because we wanted to create resources to help others start online businesses and start working remotely.
After years of working consistently, it has become a huge part of our business and we are lucky enough to be able to earn an income doing what we love from our blog, and we want you to do the same too!
Another reason for starting a blog is that it will allow you to work from home. Since most of the work you will be doing for your site is to write compelling and high-quality content, it can be done anywhere, and having this freedom is a huge perk for any amateur blogger.
Lastly, creating passive income from your blog is one of the biggest reasons why you should be starting your site today!
What is passive income you ask? Well, it means you will be doing initial work such as creating articles, and digital products for your blog, and then make money even when you are no longer actively working on it. You can create passive income from your blog with affiliate marketing, digital products, ads, sponsorships, and more.
Cons of starting a blog
Although there are a ton of reasons why you should be starting your own blog, there are also some cons to this lifestyle and business.
One of the biggest is that it can take a long time to start earning money from your amateur blog. In a study done by Life Hacker, they found that around 81% of bloggers never made more than $100 blogging, while only 8% made enough to support themselves from their site. This goes to show you that without the right strategy and persistence it can be a tough road ahead.
Another con to starting a blog is that it does have a lot of competition. With as many as 600 million blogs and over 7.5 million articles being published daily, you will have a lot of rivals for readership.
With that said, there will always be room for amateur bloggers who have tenacity, persistence, and patience to commit to this platform. If you are willing to take the time to do great work and market your content, it will only be a matter of time before you can see results.
Avoid these Top Mistakes Most Amateur Bloggers Make
Now that you have a better understanding of the pros and cons of starting amateur blogs, here are the top mistakes you should avoid before you get started.
Not choosing the right niche.
This goes without saying, but if you are thinking of starting a blog, you must choose the right niche. Of course, you are free to talk about anything you want, but if you want to create income, you must become an authority on a specific niche, otherwise, your audience will be confused and they will most likely read a post and not come back.
On the other hand, if you choose a specific niche and only write specific topics that are in that realm, over time you will be considered an authority and you will be able to attract the right audience for your website.
By choosing a niche, you will also make the work a lot easier in terms of searching for the right topics to write about, since you are more focused and it is not all over the place.
A great exercise to practice when you are starting to choose your niche is to make a list of what you are passionate about and what you are an expert in. If you are able to combine both, then you may have the perfect niche for you.
But keep in mind, even if you are not an expert in a particular subject but you have the passion and drive, you can become an expert in the long run. So if expertise is the only thing holding you back, don’t worry. Give it a try and who knows what can happen!
Not self hosting.
Many amateur bloggers are often unsure about how to host their site, which is why they often make the mistake of not self-hosting.
What is website hosting you ask? Website hosting will allow your content to be seen on the internet. So without it, your blog will not be published, which means no audience and no income.
Most newbie bloggers get confused with the type of hosting that they need and will often use a free platform like Wix, and WordPress.com.
Although you get the perk of free hosting, it also means that you will have a lot of limitations such as restrictions on storage and bandwidth which will limit your growth and can slow your website, resulting in a bad user experience.
That is why we recommend a paid hosting platform like Bluehost which is not only affordable starting at only $2.95 a month but is also a domain that you own!
Choosing shared hosting is a perfect choice for bloggers just starting out, and of course, you can always upgrade your hosting when you need more power and bandwidth. Bluehost also has reliable 24/7 service, which is ideal since we are sure you will need some help to set up your site in the beginning.
Not learning SEO.
If you want to start a successful blog, then learning SEO is crucial. Many amateur bloggers start without familiarizing themselves with SEO and this is a huge mistake because you are leaving a lot of traffic on the table!
What is SEO you ask? It means search engine optimization. In order to properly optimize your site, you will need to learn how to find the right keywords to include in your blog posts, understand backlinking and so much more in order to rank on the google search engine.
If you are confused, don’t worry, we were too. It took us almost two years to finally start learning SEO on The Offbeat Life blog, and we wish we learned sooner because once we started implementing the right SEO strategies we were able to gain more readers. Right now 75% of our readers are coming from organic traffic which would not have happened if we did not use SEO strategies.
If you are looking to learn more about SEO and how to properly implement it to your site, we recommend using SEO Buddy’s – SEO checklist which is an easy to follow checklist that will show you the exact steps you need to take in order to rank on Google searches.
What we love about this program is that it not only teaches you about SEO but it also comes in a checklist form! This means it encourages active learning, making it so much more effective than your typical e-courses.
It is so easy that even amateur bloggers can get on the first page of google. So no need to waste time researching, it has everything you need in one checklist.
Having an Ugly Website
Even though quality content is king when you are starting a blog, making it appealing so that it attracts your ideal reader is also important. That is why investing in a good theme is crucial to a successful blog.
You want the look of your website to be easy to navigate but will also lure your readers to want more. We know it can be tempting to settle for a free website, and don’t get us wrong, we did the same thing too when we first started.
But with just a bit of investment, you can find beautiful themes where you can plug all your information without having to do any of the hard work.
We are partial to WordPress sites and our favorite platform where you can find beautiful themes is through WPEngine – Genesis Themes. This platform is a one-stop-shop where you’ll find the right look for your site but you can also get your web hosting there too!
Not Link building
Many amateur bloggers think that creating content is enough to rank on google. But this isn’t true at all, there is still more to do in terms of marketing, and link building is a big part of it.
What’s link-building you ask? Well, it is the process of getting links from your site to other similar niched websites so that you are able to build authority for your page.
Why is this important? By building authority, it shows Google that your website can be trusted and your site deserves to be placed on the first page of google.
A few ways you can build links is through:
Guest posting: meaning you will be writing articles for other websites that are in a similar niche as yours so that you can build the authority for your page. You can start guest posting by simply pitching to other blogs and providing them with original work that they would want on their page.
Creating internal links: by creating internal links you will be linking one page to another page on your website. But keep in mind, with any links you are creating, you want to make sure that it is naturally placed in the content and it makes sense to the article.
Getting featured in larger publications: one of the best ways to get link building is by getting mentioned in large publications. This may seem a bit intimidating, but we can assure you that it is not. One way to do this is by pitching yourself to writers and editors of the publications that you would like to be featured in. Again, you want to make sure that your story is relevant to what the writers are interested in.
So when you are writing your content, make sure to not just focus on your topic but also how you market your article through link building.
One of the biggest mistakes we see with amateur blogs is not having consistency with their content. Meaning, they may write 3 articles one week, and only one article the next month.
We know it can be tough to stay consistent especially if you also work in a 9-5, but you have to make sure that your content schedule must be consistent along with its quality. Otherwise, you will not gain traction and it will not grow into a successful business.
In order to ensure that your content is consistent, make sure that you are being honest with how much you can do, and when you decide on a schedule, stick to it!
Not collecting emails
Another common mistake that we have seen in many amateur bloggers is not collecting emails right from the beginning. For many, this is because they are unfamiliar with the process and unsure how to entice their readers to provide their emails.
In order to collect emails from your readers, you have to make sure that you are giving them content that they will be interested in learning more about.
For example, if your article is about how to sew a dress, you do not want them to sign up for an email all about fixing cars. So, make sure that your content is relevant to your audience’s interests.
When you are ready to start collecting emails, we recommend using Flodesk, it’s the exact platform that we use for our own site. We love it because it is user-friendly and very affordable.
Flodesk also has beautiful templates that you can use, so if you aren’t creative, no need to worry, this platform has everything you need to design beautiful emails for your readers.
Not planning and batching content
If you want to avoid being overwhelmed, you have to create a plan and batch your content, otherwise, you will always be playing catch up. This is a common mistake for many amateur bloggers and we also became a victim of this too.
What does batching mean? It means that you are creating multiple articles and any other content in advance so you are ahead of the game.
Once you get into the groove of planning and batching, you will always be caught up and the overwhelm will lessen.
Not promoting your posts on social media
We see this all the time, you create your amazing content and then you’re just waiting for it to take off. Weeks and months later, you’re still wondering why your article is not ranking on google and there are barely any views on your site. Then you’re wondering what went wrong.
Well friend, it’s because you missed a big part of the process, which is to share your content on social media. If you are like so many others and feel cringe just thinking about creating social media content, don’t worry you can always recycle your content.
What this means is you can take snippets from your article and create graphics from your best quotes. This will allow you to reuse existing content without having to do too much extra work.
Another strategy that will make your life easier is to start scheduling your social media ahead of time so you can just set it and forget it!
One of the platforms we love that helps you schedule all of your marketing needs in one place is CoSchedule. This scheduling platform allows you to do more with less time.
Not investing in your blog
As a newbie blogger, we understand that you may be hesitant about spending money on your site. But you also have to understand that if you plan to make this into a business, you have to make sure that you’re able to provide the highest quality content along with your services.
Yes, there are a ton of free resources out there, but we can tell you first hand, it lacks the services that you will need to turn your amateur blog into a full-fledged successful website that will rake in viewership you need to create income.
We suggest creating a budget for yourself so you are able to control the spending, while also investing in your business so that it can succeed at full capacity.
And we can tell you personally that when we finally invested in our blog, it not only made enough money, but it is now paying for itself!
Not creating high-quality content
If you think that blogging is just writing a few paragraphs and calling it a day, then you’re sadly mistaken. With millions of blogs that are out there, the competition is tough, which means you have to step up to the plate and provide your readers the best information and content.
That is why creating high-quality content is extremely important in order to become successful and have longevity in this business.
This goes without saying – plagiarism is bad. Not only because you are copying another creator’s content, and claiming it as your own, but Google is extremely smart and will punish you if you are dumb enough to copy someone else’s work.
So, please DO NOT plagiarise. You can create similar topics because let’s face it, you do not need to reinvent the wheel to start blogging, but you do have to make sure that you are putting your own personal spin on the information.
Impatience – giving up when they don’t see results right away.
Did you know that most blogs fail in the first year? That is because this platform is not a place where you should expect to get rich quickly or skyrocket to fame right away.
It takes a lot of time, energy, and learning to find success and you will need to fail a lot of times before you can get the results you want.
So if you are blogging and do not see your desired outcome after a few months or even after a year, do not worry. Your strategies may just need more time to take effect, or maybe it is time to take a look at your systems and see what changes you need to make.
We are almost four years into this blog and we are still learning and failing, so believe us, you are not alone!
Now that you know the 13 common mistakes that most amateur bloggers make, it is time to go out there and start your own blog.
If you are dedicated, patient, and willing to fail before you can succeed, we are sure you will find long-term success.