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Amateur Blogger Mistakes

Lessons From My Amateur Blogging Mistakes So You Don't Make Them!

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If you've clicked on this post, it's safe to say you're thinking about diving into the world of blogging, and that's awesome. Starting a blog is an exciting adventure but also rife with potential pitfalls. Trust me, I've been there, done that, and bought the proverbial T-shirt when it comes to amateur blogger mistakes.

That's right, we're talking about those cringe-worthy blunders that almost every newbie makes when they're just starting out in the amateur - blog arena. Today, I aim to give you a blog launch checklist and outline some amateur blogging mistakes I wish someone had warned me about.

So, grab a notepad because we're diving into a checklist for starting a blog that helps you avoid the missteps I wish I'd known to avoid.

Amateur Blogger Mistakes

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Amateur Blogger Mistakes - Pinterest Pin

Not Having a Blog Launch Checklist

Let's start with the most foundational amateur blogging mistakes: not having a blog launch checklist.

I vividly remember my adrenaline rush when I was about to hit 'Publish' for the first time on my amateur blog journey. "I've written a blog post, and I'm going to share it with the world," I thought, blissfully ignorant of the whirlwind of elements that go into a successful blog launch.

Here's the thing: a blog is not just about writing. There's a technical and strategic side to it, too. A blog launch checklist can be your guiding light, helping you focus on things like:

  • Choosing the right hosting service: Don't go for the cheapest; go for the one that offers good customer service and uptime.

  • Setting up basic SEO: Think about keywords, meta descriptions, and alt text for images.

  • Making your website mobile-friendly: Many people will read your blog from a mobile device; don't alienate them. Your mobile performance score is extremely important to keeping users on your page.

The checklist for starting a blog is more than just a to-do list; it's your action plan, ensuring you don't miss crucial steps that could affect your blog's performance later. Let's dive into these amateur blogger mistakes so you don't have to make the same ones I did!

Amateur Blogger Mistakes - New Blog Checklist

Ignoring SEO - One of the top amateur blogger mistakes!

"I'm a writer, not an SEO guru!" I used to say brushing off one of the most critical aspects of blogging. Trust me, if there's one amateur blogger mistake you'll regret, it's ignoring SEO. It is THE main driving force of traffic to your site. It's what is going to get your amazing blog posts seen.

When I started in the blog world, SEO felt like a complex maze I didn't want to navigate. But let me be frank: ignoring SEO is like setting up a shop in the desert and not telling anyone where you are.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is what makes you visible. It helps people find your content when searching for topics you write about. A basic understanding of keywords, backlinks, and on-page SEO elements is necessary.

Don't make my mistake of publishing many posts and then wondering why no one but my mom was reading them. Invest some time in SEO; consider it an essential part of your checklist for starting a blog.

I took many courses, read all the websites, and did ALL the research, and I'm here to share my SEO secret that literally SAVED not one but TWO dead blogs. It's packed with SIMPLE steps to immediately implement to optimize your blog posts.

Please save yourself the countless hours and get all you need to know right here:

Poor Content Planning

This one hits close to home because I remember writing aimlessly during my initial blogging days. I touched on every topic under the sun, and, boy, was it a mess. Poor content planning is an amateur blogger mistake you don't want to commit.

Here's the deal: your blog should have a focus. Whether it's travel, tech, food, or fashion, a targeted approach attracts a specific audience. Your readers should know what to expect when they land on your blog. Are you a tech guru? A foodie who loves experimenting with recipes? Stick to your niche.

When planning content, think about the following:

  • Your target audience: Who are you writing for? What problems are you solving for them?

  • Content variety: Mix it up a little – tutorials, opinion pieces, reviews, and listicles can all be a part of your blog.

  • Posting frequency: Consistency is key. Don't publish five posts weekly and then go silent for a month. I recommend batch writing and scheduling them so the posting schedule is consistent.

In essence, think of your blog as a magazine. Each post is an article that should fit into the larger editorial focus of your platform. Treat it as such, and you'll provide your readers a much more cohesive and satisfying experience.

So, know the audience you are writing to and your niche.

Overlooking the Importance of Visuals For Your Blog

Okay, let's talk visuals! You may think, "Hey, I signed up to be a blogger, not a graphic designer." Trust me, I've been there. One of my classic amateur blogger mistakes was turning a blind eye to the importance of visuals. My blog was essentially a snooze fest—just monotonous blocks of text, one after the other. I thought my words alone could carry the day. I was wrong.

Here's the deal: We humans are wired to love visuals. Pictures, videos, and infographics catch the eye and enrich the reader's experience. In fact, articles with images get 94% more views than those without. That's a statistic you can't ignore.

When you're working on your blog launch checklist, don't forget to include:

  • Image sourcing: Whether it's stock photos or your own images, make sure they're high-quality.

  • Text formatting: Headers, bullet points, and even the occasional GIF can make your text more scannable and enjoyable to read. Don't overdo it with the GIFs, though. Too many can slow down your site speed.

  • Videos or podcasts: If relevant, these can make your blog posts come alive.

Adding visuals to your blog posts isn't just about making them pretty; it's about creating a more engaging and comprehensive user experience. Trust me, your checklist for starting a blog should have a big checkbox next to "include awesome visuals."

If you do not have a knack for taking good pictures, I recommend a few sites:

  • Canva - I recommend investing in a Canva Pro account. The Pro membership has so many amazing photos you can choose from. Plus, you can make all your branding, Pinterest pins, blog covers, etc., in Canva.

  • Unsplash - This is a free stock photography site. Lots of great options here!

  • Pixabay - Pixabay is another free stock photography site! A great option if you want free!

Not Interacting With Your Audience

Ah, this one's a biggie and often overlooked in the amateur blog world. I was so engrossed in creating content that I utterly neglected the few brave souls who were actually interacting with me. Comments were left unanswered, and emails were ignored. What was I thinking?

If you're not interacting with your audience, you're basically treating your blog like a one-way street. But the most successful blogs are communities where like-minded individuals can share ideas, ask questions, and even offer their own insights. When you interact, you build an audience and a tribe of loyal followers.

One of the big ways to connect is through newsletters. They are like the secret sauce that can really elevate your blog. Think of them as your direct line to your most engaged readers. While social media algorithms can be fickle, and SEO takes time to kick in, a newsletter lands right in someone's inbox, making it a personal and direct way to communicate. I recommend signing up with ConvertKit. It's a perfect platform for bloggers! Super use-friendly and lots of amazing tools!

It's invaluable for building a community around your blog, providing updates, and driving consistent traffic. Plus, it's a fantastic platform for exclusive content, offers, or insights your readers won't get anywhere else. If there's one item that deserves a spot on your checklist for starting a blog, a well-thought-out newsletter strategy is it. Trust me, you won't regret it!

So, consider adding "engage with my audience" to your checklist for starting a blog. Whether responding to comments, conducting reader surveys, or even asking your audience what they'd like to see more of on your blog, interaction can only benefit you.

Forgetting About Blog Analytics

"Numbers are for accountants, not bloggers," I naively thought. Let's chalk this up as another one of those amateur blogging mistakes.

Analytics isn't just about numbers; it's about understanding your blog's ecosystem.

Adding analytics tracking to your blog launch checklist can be a game-changer. Platforms like Google Analytics (which is free, by the way) can offer invaluable insights into your audience's behavior.

Amateur Blogger Mistakes - Google Analytics

You'll discover:

  • Which topics are the most popular? That way, you can create more of that content.

  • Where is your traffic coming from? Is it social media, search engines, or direct traffic?

  • User behavior: Are people bouncing off quickly or spending a good amount of time on your blog?

These analytics are essential for any blogger who wants to improve, grow, and perhaps even monetize their blog. You're essentially blogging in the dark if you're not monitoring these metrics.

I offer a free step-by-step guide to setting up your Google Analytics if you want to take a peek!

Spreading Yourself Too Thin on Social Media

Ah, social media is the double-edged sword of the blogging world. In my early days of amateur blogging, I had the enthusiasm but lacked the strategy. I was basically that person at a buffet who grabbed some of everything only to realize they couldn't eat it all. I thought I needed to be on every social media platform out there. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn — you name it, I had an account.

And you know what? That was one of the major amateur blogger mistakes I made.

Here's the thing: Each social media platform has its own culture, rules, and audience. Trying to manage multiple platforms effectively can be a full-time job. It's like juggling; the more balls you add, the more likely you will drop one.

Instead, focus on one or two platforms that make the most sense for your target audience and content. Do some research, maybe even a survey, and ask your readers where they hang out online.

Add this to your new blog checklist: "Identify the one or two most effective social media platforms for my blog."

I personally feel very strongly about using Pinterest as your main platform. Unlike other social media platforms, you don't have to pump out endless content to be seen. Instead, Pinterest acts as a search engine, which means your Pins can pop up on search queries for YEARS.

If you want to learn more about why I find Pinterest the most powerful and smartest social media tool to invest your time into, check out my "Top Reasons to Create a Pinterest Account for Your Blog" post.

It's not about being everywhere; it's about being where it counts. Quality over quantity should be the mantra on your checklist for starting a blog. Engage deeply with your community on those select platforms, and you'll likely see a much higher return on your time and effort.

So there you have it, my friends! From neglecting visuals to being an antisocial blogger and dismissing analytics to spreading yourself too thin on social media, these are some of the most typical amateur blogger mistakes I've made on my blogging journey.

Consider these warnings as items to add to your blog launch checklist. Trust me, a little preparation now can save you a lot of headaches later.

By exposing my amateur blogging mistakes, I hope your path into the blogging world will be smoother and more enjoyable. Remember, the road to success is littered with mistakes, but the key is learning from them.


Did you find this post helpful? I'd love to hear from you. Have you made any other blogging mistakes that you learned valuable lessons from? Don't be shy; share your experiences below!

Happy blogging, and always remember: the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

I hope this blog post helps you avoid the common pitfalls many newbies face. Good luck on your blogging journey, and may your blog flourish while avoiding these amateur blogging mistakes!

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