As an amateur blogger, you are prone to making mistakes.
It is natural to make mistakes when attempting anything new and amateur blogs are no exception.
I made mistakes, so did most of the bloggers I reached out to. Some very successful bloggers told me that as amateur bloggers, they made stupid mistakes which cost them 2-3 years getting no results.
But is making mistakes the only way you can learn? Wouldn’t it be better not to make mistakes at all? Is there a way to avoid mistakes, as an amateur blogger and still be successful?
Of course. We can learn from the mistakes of others. That’s how smart bloggers get successful fast.
All the best blog sites were once amateur blogs and have made their share of mistakes, so you are not alone.
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.Eleanor Roosevelt
This is exactly what I will help you do, avoid the crazy mistakes found in most amateur blogs.
As an amateur blogger who is just starting out and on a tight budget, the temptation to cut corners and to go with everything free is one of the biggest hurdles and the main reason for most newbie mistakes which cause trouble in the long run and delay your chances of becoming a successful blogger.
So what are the mistakes that every new amateur blogger inevitably makes? Let us list them one by one and learn so we can avoid them, and our blog does not end up looking like one of the many amateur blogs but a professional one.
Let us avoid making these common amateur blogger mistakes in our blogging journey.
37 Mistakes that an Amateur Blogger will Make.
So let us list all 37 amateur blogger mistakes.
1. Amateur Blogs Use Free Blogging Platforms
While this may seem like a tempting proposition to a new amateur blogger when starting out on a tight budget, it is a big mistake and a sure-shot way to plot your own downfall.
I learnt this the hard way after wasting almost two years seeing no results with my amateur blogs.
Getting a custom domain helps establish your credentials as a professional blogger.
You get the complete freedom to control all aspects of your blog and adjust the look and feel of your blog exactly as you want it to be.
A distinct and unique design will set your blog apart from other amateur blogs and make it look professional.
The Disadvantages of Free Blogging Platforms.
Lack of Control
You will not have full control over your blog, and there are limits on bandwidth, memory and monetizing options which limit your opportunities to make money.
You can Lose your Data.
If you unknowingly violate any of their policies, I have known free blogging platforms to delete your account without warning, which means you can lose years of hard work.
You will never rank on search engines.
Google does not consider blogs hosted on free platforms as professional or serious enough, and so they never show up in search results.
That is fine if you are creating amateur blogs for fun or as a hobby. But, if you plan to make money from your blog, then a custom domain rather than free platforms is the best way to go.
2. Choosing Cheap Hosting to Save Money.
Blogging is a long-term game. The best blog sites have been around for quite some time. So it helps to keep the future in mind before taking crucial decisions.
Good hosting can help you rank on Google.
As an amateur blogger, you must understand that speed is an important factor for ranking on Google, and good hosting will provide you with the speed that you need to stay ahead of the competition.
Good hosting ensures your blog is never down. Your data is automatically backed up, so you don’t worry about losing data and are free to concentrate on other important blogging jobs.
Good hosting provides you with top-level security features, so you never have to worry about your blog being hacked.
Cheap hosting will slow you down, literally. With cheap hosting, your blog pages load slowly, and every second delay in page load means you lose money.
Every second makes a difference as you can see from the statistics below. These stats are from Google!
My recommendation for good hosting, which I use for all my blogs, is Hostinger. The best blog sites are successful because they have fast page load times, along with other crucial factors, unlike amateur blogs.
Hostinger is the best hosting you can get for your money. I did use cheaper hosting in my early days to host amateur blogs which was a frustrating experience.
Hostinger is the best hosting for a blog because of the advantages it provides.
- Super Fast Page Load Times.
- Top-Level Security.
- Free CDN from Cloudflare.
- Free SSL [enabling SSL is a crucial ranking factor]
- Free Domain Registration.
- Unlimited Website Hosting
- Free Unlimited Email Accounts
- Free Daily Backup.
- Managed WordPress.
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee.
- 24/7/365 Support.
Hostinger is the best choice for your blog.
3. Amateur Blogs Choose the Wrong Domain Name.
When choosing a domain name, always go for a domain name with a ‘.com’ TLD.
If you find that the ‘.com’ TLD for your preferred domain name is not available, your next best choice should be ‘.net’ or the ccTLD for your country [e.g. ‘.ca’ for Canada or ‘.it’ for Italy].
But the ccTLD’s will give the impression that your blog is country specific and intended for a particular country only.
That’s okay if you want it to be so, but if you are targeting a global audience, then a ‘.com’ TLD is a must.
Check availability of your preferred domain name HERE.
Choose a ‘.org’ or ‘.co’ TLD only if your blog is related to an organisation or a company.
But never go in for any of the low-level TLD’s like ‘.info’, ‘.agency’, ‘.biz’ or any of the around 1500 TLD’s that are available even if they come cheap (which is very tempting for a new amateur blogger) as it will be a huge mistake.
This one factor can be the difference between amateur blogs and a professional one.
To get the perfect domain with an exclusive 10% off sitewide at Domain.com. Apply coupon code DOMAIN10.
4. Amateur Blogs have Bad Blog Design.
As an amateur blogger, it is easy to get carried away by blog design.
There is an overwhelming desire to make your blog look pretty, but a pretty looking blog doesn’t equate to great blog design.
As an amateur blogger on a tight budget, you are trying to stretch your WordPress free theme to its limits.
I mean WordPress free themes are meant to give you a preview of the features of a particular theme. They have all the useful features locked up, available only to paid users.
Have you ever looked at a successful blog and wondered how they have created such a great blog design. The reason is all the successful and best blog sites use the paid version of a good WordPress theme.
A good theme has to be lightweight to ensure pages load fast and also offer lots of features without slowing it down.
I have used many themes and purely by trial and error, realised that the best WordPress theme available right now is Astra.
I do not recommend that you try the trial-and-error method as it is a waste of time and effort, because, every time you change a theme, you are back to square one and have to design your blog from the ground up, all over again.
Go for the paid version of Astra. It is light, fast, and has all the cool features to make your blog successful.
5. Using Free Themes.
Using free WordPress themes is something which no professional blogger will recommend, but a big temptation to an amateur blogger.
In fact, most amateur blogs have free themes.
What an amateur blogger must realise is that blogging is a business.
All the best blog sites are run like a business.
Be willing to think like a business owner to be a successful blogger.
Money spent on acquiring a good WordPress theme is an investment into your blogging business and your own future.
All the best blog sites rely on good paid WordPress themes, and you should also do the same.
As mentioned before, Astra is the best WordPress theme available right now. It is fast, lightweight and very customisable.
6. Writing Without Planning or Keyword Research.
An amateur blogger will often just pick a topic and start writing. Big mistake.
It makes little sense if no one is searching for that topic online, you will end up with no one ever reading your blog post.
Keyword research will tell you exactly how many people are searching for a topic and even the exact words [keywords] that they are using to search for it.
Ideally, target keywords that have a large search volume but low competition.
Keyword research tools like SemRush will help you unearth low competition keywords, which is crucial to help you rank higher in the search engine results and to generate organic traffic to your blog.
7. Not Investing in a Keyword Research Tool.
Blogging is a numbers game, and you need to drive traffic to your blog to succeed as a blogger.
As a new amateur blogger, will have few visitors in the beginning, but you will have to work to increase that number slowly and steadily.
Organic traffic or traffic directed to your site from search engines results plays a huge part in this.
And as you already probably know, keyword research plays a huge role in deciding whether your blog will feature prominently on search engine result pages.
Keyword research requires specialised tools like SemRush.
As an amateur blogger, you are only as good as the tools you use. This is especially true for keyword research.
Without the right tools, you might just as well be driving blindfolded and never reach your destination.
Orbitmedia’s annual blogging survey 2020 shows that though most bloggers are aware of the importance of keyword research, most of them don’t do it. Many amateur bloggers will pick a subject to write about because they are comfortable with it. This is a mistake.
As the graph below shows, only 25% of the bloggers said that they ‘always’ research keywords for their posts.
The same report also highlights the importance of keyword research as it shows that bloggers who invest in keyword research reported better results. This is one of the key areas where most amateur blogs fail.Bloggers who research keywords get better results. Click To Tweet
8. Amateur Bloggers Use Copyrighted Images.
Most amateur bloggers do this out of sheer ignorance.
If you like a certain image or infographic that you have seen and would like to use it in your blog, don’t just download and use it.
This is unethical and illegal.
Always contact the website owner and ask permission to use a particular image or infographic. It will surprise you that most will let you use it if you agree to give due credit and mention the source of the image or infographic in your blog.
You can create your own unique infographics using sites like Canva.
9. Amateur Blogs Don’t Keep a Check on Page Speed.
As you get more and more creative with your blog design, you instal many plugins, all doing various things to make your blog look cool.
Sure, your blog now looks cool with all the bells and whistles. With ‘exit intent pop-ups’, ‘sliders’, ‘opt-in forms’, fancy fonts and much more.
Many amateur bloggers do not realise that as the number of plugins goes up, so does the page load time. You must regularly check the page load speed as low page load speed hurts SEO.
As an amateur blogger in the early stages of your blogging career, it is difficult to comprehend that even using certain types of fonts (i.e. using web fonts) can increase the page load time of your blog.
10. Amateur Blogs are not Mobile-Friendly.
All the successful & best blog sites are mobile-friendly.
Ensuring that your blog is mobile-friendly is important, as over 60% of searches in the United States happen from mobile devices.
In developing economies, this figure could be even higher because not everybody in these markets can afford a laptop, but nearly everyone owns a smartphone.
As an amateur blogger, you must keep this in mind and ensure that your blog is mobile-friendly.
11. Amateur Blogs indulge in Plagiarism.
What many amateur bloggers don’t realise is that it takes a lot of hard work to create an original blog post, so copying someone else’s work and reproducing it as your own is a disgusting thing to do.
Besides, Google is very good at identifying duplicate content, so you will risk getting penalized and thrown out of their results altogether. So it is not worth it.
That said, what if someone copies your work? How will you know?
You can use tools like CopySentry to keep a lookout for you and warn you by email if someone has plagiarised your work.
12. Amateur Blogs are Irregular in Posting Content.
What is the ideal posting frequency? The answer to this is-‘whatever works for you!’.
It is important to ask, what is a blog? How is it different from a website? The very definition of a blog suggests that the chief characteristic which differentiates a blog from a website is that a blog is updated more frequently compared to a website (which has more or less static content).
Regular posting of new content, and updation of old posts, plays an important part in this.
Many amateur blogs totally neglect this aspect.
Whichever may be the posting frequency that works best for you, just remember to be consistent and always keep ‘Quality’ over ‘Quantity’.
As an amateur blogger, If you can post every single day and still produce high-quality content, then do it.
The Orbitmedia 2020 Blogging statistics survey seems to suggest that bloggers who post more frequently are more likely to show better results.
Use various methods like Google autosuggestion, Reddit and Quora to find content ideas.
As an amateur blogger, you may find that posting every day may be a difficult task, at least in the beginning.
So even if you can only post every alternate day, weekly or even monthly, it is still okay as long as you stay consistent and produce high-quality content.
Brian Dean of backlinko.com, one of the leading experts on SEO posts an average of one post per month and his blog still gets over 100,000 visitors every month.
13. Failing to Build an Email List.
As an amateur blogger, it is easy to forget about building an email list because you are too busy with creating content or designing other aspects of your blog.
An email list takes time to build, so it is better to start as early as possible.
Yes, it is one of the difficult and time-consuming blogging jobs that you will face as an amateur blogger.
Email marketing is the most effective form of online marketing because it is targeted, personal, and helps you build a relationship with your readers.
So isn’t it enough to rank on Google?
Organic traffic from search engines like Google will still be the key driver of traffic to your blog, but what if Google changes its search algorithm and your blog no longer ranks as well as it used to or you unknowingly land up with a penalty from Google?
This can mean a loss of traffic until you work out a solution.
Your email list comprises readers who have willingly signed up for your content and can help you tide over such situations.
Use professional tools like Constant Contact and start building your email list now.
There is even a 60 day free trial with no credit card required for US and Canada subscribers.
14. Not Concentrating on Content Quality.
Amateur bloggers often make the mistake of prioritising quantity over quality.
Creating quality content demands time and effort.
Readers visit your blog looking for answers to problems, and if you aren’t able to provide satisfactory solutions, they will move to a different blog.
A high bounce rate is bad for SEO.
As a new amateur blogger, do not make the mistake of compromising the quality of your content in the quest to increase the frequency of your posts.
So whatever may be the frequency of posting that works for you, always remember that the quality of your content and consistency is what will make a difference.
Don’t get me wrong. Building backlinks is important.
High quality ‘dofollow‘ backlinks from high authority websites are what you absolutely need to improve your domain authority and improve your ranking on the search engine result pages [SERP’s].
But don’t go looking to build backlinks from day one when you hardly have enough posts on your blog.
This is a common mistake that most amateur bloggers make.
In the beginning, concentrate solely on creating high-quality content.
Only after you have around 20-30 high-quality posts should you think about backlinks.
In the meantime, you can look to create some ‘nofollow’ backlinks through blog commenting.
This will also help you connect with other bloggers in your niche.
16. Not Learning SEO.
As an amateur blogger, it is easy to be overawed by the complexity and technicality of SEO, but you have to learn about SEO if you want your blog to rank on Google or other search engines.
You must always be on your toes given the ever-changing nature of search engine algorithms and constantly brush up your knowledge to keep abreast of latest happenings in this field.
There is a lot of information about SEO on the internet and, you must invest your time and money to study because it is the only way to stay ahead of the competition.
Download a handy SEO toolkit for your ready reference.
17. Not Writing for SEO.
Even if you, as an amateur blogger, recognise the importance of keyword research, incorporating the keywords in your blog post without seeming laboured will happen only with practice.
Do not engage in keyword stuffing, as it will get you penalised.
A common amateur blogger mistake is to neglect related keywords, key phrases, LSI [Latent Semantic Indexing] keywords and synonyms.
As an amateur blogger, it is important that you not only learn everything you can about SEO and keywords but also incorporate them into your blog.
18. Writing only for SEO and not for People.
Once convinced about the power of keywords and using them in your blogs for SEO, you could make the mistake of forgetting about your reader.
Amateur bloggers in their eagerness will sometimes use keywords in their posts in a way that seems unnatural and contrived.
This has a negative effect on user experience.
While writing for SEO is important, it is equally important to always keep user experience in mind.
19. Amateur blogs Ignore Social Media.
As a new amateur blogger, it is easy to make the mistake of ignoring social media.
Social media may not directly influence SEO, but it can drive traffic to your blog.
As your post gets shared and retweeted, it gains visibility, and it is more likely that someone will like it enough to link back to it, giving you a valuable backlink.
20. Not Promoting Blog.
It is not enough to only optimize your blog for SEO.
As a blogger, you must promote your blog using all avenues at your disposal.
Promote your blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, answer questions on Quora, create an account on Reddit, Tumblr and Medium and leave comments on other blogs.
This will not only increase the visibility but also generate traffic to your blog.
Though most of the backlinks generated through social media posts and blog commenting will be ‘nofollow‘ and have no direct effect on SEO, many amateur bloggers make the mistake of thinking they are worthless.
You will still rank better than a competing blog post that has no links at all.
The exception is backlinks from Tumblr, which are ‘dofollow‘.
The comments section of some blogs will also allow you a ‘dofollow‘ link back to your blog post.
Google for ‘commentluv enabled’ and you will get a list of sites with lists of such blogs.
21. Not Sharing Other Bloggers’ Content.
Is the competitive streak in you stopping you from sharing other bloggers’ content on your blog?
Don’t. Although it is common to refer to other bloggers in your niche as ‘competition’, in the world of blogging (blogosphere), it is more of a give-and-take approach that works.
If you don’t share other bloggers’ content, how can you expect them to link back to your blog?
By linking to other bloggers’ content in your blog, you can build relationships with other bloggers in your niche.
You can also speed up your own progress by learning from senior bloggers in your niche, which will otherwise take years to learn on your own.
22. Not Investing in Tools & Plugins.
The most common amateur blogger mistake of all.
You postpone investing in tools and plugins till after you have made money from your blog.
The fact is that without the right tools and plugins, you never give yourself the best chance to make money in the first place or take so long that you will give up before you reach your goal.
To give yourself the best shot at success, arm yourself with at least the basic tools.
In case you are confused about which ones to start with, I will recommend that you start with the bare minimum that you need.
I will list below the absolute basic stuff that you will need to succeed in blogging and my recommendation. This is the stuff that I use and know is value for money.
23. Choosing the Wrong Niche.
This is an easy mistake to make as a new amateur blogger.
Don’t choose your niche based on what you read or heard was a profitable one for blogging.
The real question is whether it is a niche you are comfortable with? Do you have a passion for that topic?
If not, you will soon lose interest and cannot produce your best content consistently over a long period.
Chances are that you may lose interest and give up.
There are hundreds of niches. Choose one that you have a passion for, and you won’t go wrong.
24. Not Planning Ahead / Schedule for New Content.
This is the primary reason many amateur bloggers are inconsistent with their posting frequency.
Crafting a blog post is a time-consuming process.
You start with keyword research and after careful study finally, home in on a topic.
Then carefully study the top 10 blogs which already rank (on Google) for that keyword.
You note down all the keywords, related keywords, LSI keywords that each of them are already ranking for. You then do a detailed keyword gap analysis.
SemRush is the best all-in-one SEO research tool which can help you do all the above.
Once you have decided the topic, you research thoroughly and then finally get down to the actual writing of the blog post. This is time-consuming and in order to not mess up your blogging consistency, you must prepare ahead and have at least 5 to 6 blog posts ready in the bag at all times.
You must also plan and have a time-table of what you are going to post and when instead of making the typical amateur blogger mistake of randomly posting with no planning or strategy.
If you are a one-person blog, then a simple excel sheet will do nicely.
If you are a team, you may be better off using a content calendar or an editorial calendar to ensure that everybody is on the same page.
25. Not Using A Proofreader (Grammatical Errors & Spelling Mistakes).
Even if you are totally at ease and have a good command over the English language, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will creep in now and then.
You could proofread your posts manually, but minor errors may still slip in unnoticed.
Many amateur blogs are full of spelling and grammatical mistakes.
As a new amateur blogger, you must invest in a proofreading tool like Grammarly to cut out the guesswork and make your blog free of spelling and grammatical mistakes.
26. Using Only Text.
This is a common mistake to make as an amateur blogger in the early stages of your blogging career.
Many amateur blogs have blog posts which contain only text. This is boring.
Be sure to include images and infographics in your blog posts to engage better with your reader and keep interest level high.
Use professional tools like Canva to create beautiful infographics.
If possible, also try to include a video or audio file.
27. Comparing Yourself to More Successful Bloggers.
It is hard not to compare. We do it all the time.
“Comparison is the best way to judge our progress but not with others, compare your yesterday with your today.”Anonymous
Early in your blogging career, it is tempting to compare yourself with more successful bloggers in your niche.
But remind yourself that the people behind the most successful and best blog sites have been at it for years while you are just beginning.
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”Tim Hiller
Every successful blogger started off just like you did, as an amateur blogger and exactly in the same situation that you are in now, but they persevered and became successful.
Comparison kills creativity, so stop comparing and start creating.Comparison kills creativity, so stop comparing and start creating. Click To Tweet
28. The Imposter Syndrome.
So you have finally zeroed in on your niche and you are eager to write your first blog post.
For example, let us assume your chosen niche is ‘Literature’ and your first blog post is going to be about ‘How to become a successful writer’.
You have just crafted your first blog post of 3000 words or more and are ready to hit the ‘publish’ button when a crippling fear stops you.
As a new amateur blogger, you ask yourself what qualifies you to coach or advise others on how to become a successful writer when you yourself have achieved nothing remotely close.
You feel like an imposter. This is a feeling that every new amateur blogger has felt at some time, most often at the beginning of their blogging journey.
Imposter syndrome can be draining emotionally and cripple your efforts to succeed. It can make you procrastinate and stop you from achieving your dreams.
This article titled ‘How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Writer‘ from nybookeditors.com addresses this issue. Just replace every occurrence of the word ‘writer’ with ‘blogger’ as you read it.
So next time you feel unsure about your ability to succeed as a blogger, don’t let the fear stop you.
Don’t let fear make you procrastinate. Just get up and get it done. Start your blog with confidence. Don’t wait till you are ‘ready’.The Key to Success is to Start Before you are Ready – Marie Forleo Click To Tweet
29. Not Guest Posting.
Let’s face it. Guest posting with the sole intent to build back links is against Google’s guidelines.
But as a technique to build brand awareness, showcase your expertise and generate traffic to your blog nothing else comes close.
As an amateur blogger, you may be guilty of low self-confidence. You think no one will post your content on their blogs. This is a mistake.
Sure, you will face rejection, but who hasn’t.
J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series who has sold over 450 million books and is worth more than $1 billion, was rejected by twelve different publishers before Bloomsbury agreed to publish her work.
Reach out to fellow bloggers in your niche and build a relationship with them before you approach them with a proposal to guest post on their blog.
Reach out to as many bloggers as you can in your niche till you land your first guest post.
30. Not Ready for Long Game / Giving Up.
Sure, you can make money from blogging, but nobody said that blogging is some ‘get rich quick’ money-making scheme.
Prepare yourself mentally to play the long game. Many amateur bloggers have been guilty of giving up too quickly.
31. Amateur Blogs Have Poorly Formatted Content.
Poorly formatted content results in suboptimal user experience and increases bounce rate.
Make your content easy to read by the use of proper formatting.
Remember to always,
- Use short sentences,
- Keep paragraphs short, consisting not more than 2-3 lines,
- Make good use of headings,
- Use bold text to highlight important points.
- Use a table of contents for ease of navigation,
- Use lists or bullet points,
- Fonts should be easy to read,
- Font size should be at least 16px or higher, and,
- Use the right colour combination [black text against a white background is the easiest to read].
32. Amateur Blogs Have Thin Content.
Amateur bloggers often make the mistake of producing thin content (i.e. pages with a low word count).
Google rewards in-depth content that deals with a topic at a deep level, rather than a short and shallow post that contains just a few hundred words.
Thin content harms the ranking of not just that specific page, but of your entire domain.
Many amateur blogs are guilty of this.
As the graph below shows, the average length of posts which rank in the top 1 to 3 positions in search results is close to 2500 words.
33. Writing For Word Count.
Convinced about the need to publish long-form content, you decide to write a 3000-word blog post.
Be careful to not make the classic new amateur blogger mistake of writing to achieve the target word count.
In your quest to create long-form content, do not lose sight of quality. Don’t add meaningless words and sentences only to increase the word count.
Quality matters. If your readers do not find value in your article, they will quickly leave. This will increase the bounce rate and create a negative impact on both SEO and ranking.
34. Not Engaging with Readers.
As an amateur blogger, you have a ton of things to do, and it is all too easy to make the mistake of forgetting to engage with your readers.
Get started with building an email list, reply to every comment that you receive on your blog posts.
Write in a conversational tone like you are talking to a friend and always address your readers in the first person.
35. Not Reaching Out to Other Bloggers.
It is surprising that in the blogging world so many of your competitors are actually willing to help new amateur bloggers, should you reach out to them.
Connecting to bloggers in your niche will allow you to learn, collaborate, help each other and even find an opportunity to guest post
36. Having too Many Ads.
As an amateur blogger, it is easy to get carried away by advertisements or affiliate links in your eagerness to monetize.
In the early stages of your blogging carrier, concentrate more on providing value, solutions to problems and building trust, so that your readers realise that you genuinely care and trust you.
In the beginning, your primary goal should be to publish quality content and build a loyal audience.
Too many ads strewn across your blog make you look pushy, like you are trying to ‘sell’ and people will instinctively resist.
Having too many ads also affects user experience and increases page load time, which is bad for SEO.
There is nothing wrong with monetizing your blog. You must do it. Just don’t make the mistake of going overboard with it.
37. Not Prioritizing Blogging.
This one must be the top amateur blogging mistake of all time.
Thinking of blogging as something that you do in your free time and hoping to devote more attention and time once you see results.
Creating a successful blog demands an investment of your money, time and attention.
I am not saying that you should give up your day job to concentrate only on your blog, at least not in the beginning.
All I am saying is that you will need to work harder and longer every day in the beginning if you want to become a successful blogger.