Everyone new to blogging makes mistakes, in the beginning, I made more than I can remember. Today we will cover some of the common blogging mistakes to avoid for beginners.
In the beginning, it will be a steep learning curve but once you have written a handful of articles it will come more naturally to you.
With practice comes perfection.
Not Answering the Question In Your Article
One of the most common mistakes is not answering the question that your article is meant to address.
It is very easy to talk about something that you are passionate about, but when it comes to blog articles there must be a question that you mean to answer and then answer that question.
It is okay to add more information but keeping it around your main question is the key. For example, if your question is “How to tie your shoelaces,” make sure that your article is a step-by-step guide for tying your shoelaces.
While you could touch briefly on other aspects of shoelaces such as materials used to make shoelaces, but the point here is to focus on one area, how to tie your shoelaces.
So, when writing blog articles make sure that you answer the question that your readers come to your article looking for.
Using A Slow Hosting Provider
One of the key factors to rank higher on Google is page speed. Your readers should be able to load your website pages quickly.
If your page takes forever to load on the reader’s device, they will end up pressing the back button which is a bad signal to Google. This tells Google that the reader didn’t like your page and can affect your ranking position in google search.
Let me try to explain this without getting too technical.
To keep Google happy your blog should load in under 2 seconds. I know this is crazy but it’s what Google is looking for.
You can speed up your website by taking certain steps such as:
- Caching your website.
- Using optimized images.
- Using a light WordPress theme etc.
But the thing is if you take all of the above steps but your hosting is slow then your speed is limited due to slow hosting.
When someone loads your website page on their mobile phone, the first set of data that is uploaded to their device is hosting information, if this takes 1.5 seconds then you only have half of a second left for everything else to load such as images, text, theme & plugins data, etc.
This is why it is very important to have fast hosting.
For example, if 2 identical articles are written by 2 sites with the same domain authority that answer the same question google will give priority to the page that loads faster.
You would think all hosting plans are the same but they are not.
People who are new to blogging usually end up purchasing the cheapest hosting plan available, which usually is the slowest. Many people have made this mistake including myself.
When it comes to choosing your hosting provider, paying a little extra so your pages can load quicker is worth it.
I recommend Cloudways for many reasons:
- Great value,
- Great customer service,
- Very good speed.
- Managed hosting (your own IP address)
Cloudways is who I use for this website you are own just now.
If you can’t afford managed hosting at the moment then I would recommend SiteGroud that offers shared hosting.
Avoid EIG Hosting companies.
EIG is an umbrella company that owns many hosting companies, they are known to overstretch their servers by putting too many websites on each server, which causes websites to load slow.
Some Hosting Companies Owned By EIG
Quantity vs Quality – Writing Articles
When people first start their blog, they try to publish as many articles as they can.
We are taught in the beginning, the more articles you have on your blog, the more traffic you will get, and in return, you will earn a better income.
I was the same when I started my first blog, over 5 years ago. In my first month, I published one article every day. Even though I had around 30 articles published, they were not that great.
Quantity vs Quality
Even though quantity is important, however, if the quality is not good then the quantity doesn’t matter.
For each article you write, give yourself enough time. This way you can write an article that is not only very informative for the readers but also well research and structured.
Google will rank articles high if they provide its readers with value for their time.
Bad SEO Used In Your Blog
You will be surprised to know how many people don’t know how to write SEO-friendly articles. In the beginning, when you first start blogging, there is so much to learn that some people forget to learn this vital skill needed to rank on Google.
To be honest I was in the same boat when I first started. There is a lot to learn when it comes to SEO but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature when you write your articles.
Your blog content (articles) needs to be written in a way that is not only user-friendly but also Google-friendly.
Google likes structure when it comes to blog content.
- In short SEO friendly articles would be structure using heading tags (H1-H6), Title tags, internal links to name a few.
- Short paragraphs that don’t fill the whole screen on mobile devices.
- keyword stuffing is a no-no.
For a more detailed article on how to write SEO friendly article please click here.
Not Publishing Consistently
Your blog is your business, and you need to put the work into it. Writing articles is not always easy, and there are days when I have no desire to write.
Just like someone who has to go out to work every day, you should be working on your blog as much as you can, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to publish an article every day, some days you can be doing the research, promoting your articles, etc.
In order to produce enough articles for your blog to be full of content, you have to write.
Treating your blog as a full or part-time job is important. Schedule a time in your calendar every day where you spend time on your blog writing, not necessarily writing a full article each time.
It does not have to be perfect, leave the proofreading to later, the key is writing, the more you write the easier it becomes.
Make a hit list of articles that you plan to write and whenever you get writer’s block you have a list of articles you could be writing.
You don’t need to publish an article every day, Some bloggers publish 1 article a week. I usually publish 2-3 articles a week. As long as you publish constantly and not one here and there.
The bottom line is if you do not write consistently, you cannot expect your blog to deliver the results that you are hoping for.
Google likes to see an active and growing website and publishing articles consistently will help you look good in Google’s eyes so your articles can rank better.
Not Using Wrong Size Images
Uploading large images to your website is one of the main factors that can cause a website to load slowly on the users’ device.
Many new bloggers take photos taken on their smartphones and upload them to their blog, without optimizing them, this is a no-no. Photos that are taken on a smartphone or even a camera are huge in size and will slow down your website.
Google likes websites that load fast and in Google’s eyes that is under 2 seconds. For a page to load in under 2 seconds it needs to be small in size, I usually aim for under 1Mb. A photo taken with a smartphone can be anywhere from 5Mb to well over 9Mb.
So, you can see how a website can become very slow if you have multiple images on your page that are not optimized.
There are a few things you can do to reduce the size of an image without losing its quality.
Here are some steps you can take before you upload them to your blog.
- Resize your images.
- Compress your images.
- Use a plugin such as ShortPixel that does all the hard work for you.
For a more detailed article on reducing photo size for your website please click here.
Bad Spelling And Grammar
Let’s be honest, reading something with a lot of mistakes can lose your interest. The same applies to your readers, as content creators, we need to make sure our spelling and grammar are as best as they can be.
I don’t know what I would do without my spellchecker. haha
When you finish writing your articles, don’t publish them right away. Get someone to read over them first or use a program like MS Word that has a “read aloud” function. You will be surprised how many mistakes you will find with this method.
There is one thing that many bloggers overlook and that is the location of their traffic. Ask yourself this, where is the majority of your traffic coming from, is it the US, UK, Canada, etc.
If you are targeting the US traffic or UK traffic, you might be surprised to know how many words are spelled slightly different, for example:
- US: organization / center / meter
- UK: organisation / centre / metre
If you are targeting traffic from the US then you will need to make sure that you are using the correct spelling for your US-based readers.
The same will apply if you are targeting traffic from the UK or any other country.
Again, the most important step to take after you finish writing an article is to go back through it and look for any spelling or grammar mistakes and if possible get someone to read it too.
Sometimes when you read the same thing over and over again, you are more likely to miss mistakes made. Leaving it aside for a few hours will help you be more focused.
I also like to use Grammarly, I find this software to be very helpful. It’s compatible with PCs and Macs and worth every penny.
Choosing The Wrong Niche For Your Blog
Choosing the right niche for your blog is one of the most important steps you can take. If you get this wrong from the start it can cause major problems later.
Some of the common mistakes you can make when choosing a niche for your blog.
- A niche that they are not too familiar with.
- A niche that they would struggle to write enough content for.
- Choosing a niche that they are not interested in.
Before you choose a niche, you should ask yourself the following questions.
- Do I have a genuine interest in this niche?
- Can I write at least 50 articles?
- Is this a long-term or short-term niche?
For a more detailed article on choosing the right niche for your first blog please click here.
Don’t Use Too Many Plugins
As mentioned earlier, not optimizing your images will cause your website to load slow and we all know Google dislikes slow loading websites.
Installing too many plugins on your WordPress website can also slow down your website.
I know when I was new to WordPress I downloaded so many plugins because they did something cool and then later I found out that they also slowed down my website.
When it comes to installing WordPress plugins on your website,
only install plugins that you need not want.
You should only install the plugins you need, the less, the better.
In the beginning, it can be very difficult to know which plugins you should be installing. I have written a separate article that will show you which plugins you should install for your blog, this covers image optimization, cache, security, and much more.
Avoiding these mistakes will not only help you become more productive but will help you rank better in Google search.
Even though blogging has a steep learning curve in the end it is worth it.
If you are considering starting a blog then I highly recommend it. Not only can it give you financial freedom, but nothing is better than being your own boss.
We hope this list of blogging mistakes to avoid for beginners has given you an insight into what you should and shouldn’t do as a new blogger.
If you have any other tips or advice please share them in the comments.
Let’s share and learn together.