12 Mistakes Newbie Bloggers Make and How to Avoid (or Fix) Them

Are you a new blogger? Blogging is full of challenges. Blogging is a language all its own. The technical aspects of blogging itself are challenging to most newbies, but there is so much more. Click the image to see the 12 most common mistakes that newbie bloggers make and how you can fix or avoid them in your blog! #blogging #wordpress #bloggingmistakes

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission or other benefit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Daily Change Jar.

Being a new blogger is scary.

You think you know what you are doing one second and totally lost the next. We all make mistakes when we first start out. It happens.

In this post, I review ten of the most common mistakes that new bloggers make and how you can avoid them…or fix them if you have already made them.

Mistake #1: Tinkering

What is tinkering? Tinkering is basically making small changes to your website that are generally useless. I also like to call this “The Perfectionist Complex.”

This is very common when you first get started. It’s easy to spend hours playing with plugins or trying to get a piece of code to work or figuring out how to change a font. Things that have a minimal ROI, or return on investment (or time spent).

Why it’s a mistake?

Tinkering can eat up a TON of your time and can keep you from doing the important things that will move your blog forward. Things like actually creating content, building your following on social media or connecting with other bloggers.

How to fix it:

Set aside a time to tinker. I keep a list of all the “little” things I have to work on in my free time (lol, oh free time…I don’t even know what that is!) And I only do them after I have some content is written or the bigger things done first.

Mistake #2: Not Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides you with easy to understand reports about your blog’s traffic and visibility. It highlights what is working and what you can work harder on.

Why it’s a mistake?

From the very beginning, make sure you have installed Google Analytics on your blog. Not only is it super exciting to see when you start to get visitors to your site, it is one of those things you should track on a monthly basis. If you have read any of my income reports, you already know I talk about KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators. These help you to take into account what you have done and the resulting traffic.

How to fix:

Sign up for the Google Webmaster Tools.  Learning about analytics and SEO can be confusing. If you don’t have a clue where to start, check out the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide from Google.

Mistake #3: Using a free blogging platform

Free blogging platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger are a piece of cake to set up but have many restrictions as to what you can do with them.

Why it’s a mistake?

Free blogging platforms have many many restrictions. Things like themes, plugins, and advertising are limited. You might be tempted to use these free blogging platforms if you are not “techie” as they are easy to use. However, if you are planning on creating an income from your blog, don’t bother with these.

How to fix it:

When you are setting up your blog, purchase hosting and set up a WordPress.org blog. My post on How to Start a Successful Blog: The Complete Newbie Guide goes into detail about how to set up a self-hosted blog. Still, need more info on all that goes into blogging? Check out my 14-day FREE email course here. 

Mistake #4: Not building an email list

I have heard so many bloggers say that they regret not building an email list sooner when they first started blogging. An email list or those people that have opted-in to receive emails from you. This is different than someone subscribing to your blog’s RSS feed or following you on social media.

Why it’s a mistake?

When you don’t have an email list you are missing out on massive opportunities. Even if you don’t sell anything on your blog, building an email list is critical to communicating with your followers. Whenever you write a new post or you create a product, you can easily communicate with your followers and let them know what is going on.

How to fix it:

Sign up for an email marketing service such as MailChimp, ConvertKit, or if you want to get really fancy, ClickFunnels.

In order to get more people to sign up for your mailing list, offer them an incentive. Just having a box that says “join our mailing list” isn’t enough anymore. Think about what your audience would like or what they could use. Take a look at The Daily Change Jar freebie vault for some examples.

You should also build out a series of emails that your subscribers will get after they opt-in. Make sure you are providing value over everything else. Don’t just market to them, people get sick of that real quick and will unsubscribe.

Mistake #5: Forgetting the alt attributions and descriptions in images

A what? Alt attributions are a bit of code that is attached to an image within your blog post. This communicates with search engines and people that use screen readers what the image is about. When you upload an image to WordPress, all you have to do is enter the description into a little box and you’re good to go.

Why it’s a mistake?

Unless you don’t use images on your site at all, you are missing a huge opportunity to help your site get found in search engines.

How to fix it:

Make sure when you are uploading your images that EVERY SINGLE PICTURE has an alt attribution and description.

Mistake #6: Hiding behind your blog

I did this when I first started The Daily Change Jar. I wanted to be separate from my blog, I didn’t want people to know about me. Putting yourself out there can be scary. But when you are hiding behind your blog you are publishing content that lacks YOUR personality.

Why it’s a mistake?

People like to follow people that they know, like, and trust. When they see that there is a real person behind the blog, they will be more likely to know, like, and trust you. In turn, they will then follow you.

How to fix it:

Put yourself out there! Add a picture of yourself to your blog’s about page. Tell a little bit about yourself (but not too much) or share personal stories in your posts. Ask your audience questions. Post videos. And overall, be authentic. You don’t have to be what you think people want you to be, be who you are and your followers will be naturally attracted to you.

Mistake #7: Not using affiliate links

Affiliate marketing is great! Affiliate marketing is a type of advertising that pretty much every blogger uses. You post links on your site and you get paid when people click through and purchase from those links.

Why it’s a mistake?

If you don’t have products that you personally sell, affiliate marketing is a great way to start generating income from your blog. You are probably already talking about different products or services in your posts. Use affiliate links for those as much as you can otherwise you are missing out on revenue.

How to fix it:

One of the easiest affiliate programs to sign up for is the Amazon Associate program. You can find a bajillion things to promote off of Amazon for just about any niche. Blog about food, link to kitchen gadgets that you use. Blog about fashion, link to makeup or clothing. What about travel? Link to suitcases and travel pillows.

When someone clicks on your link and purchases something within the next 24 hours, you make a commission. And the best part, they don’t even have to buy just what you linked to. So they clicked on a link for a $3 lemon squeezer and decided to purchase a new $750 trampoline, you get a commission for all of that!

Mistake #8: Not installing a caching plugin

Ok, so I’m going to get a little technical here. A caching plugin helps your blog to load faster by allowing your site visitors to store your blog’s photos and files on their computer, rather than having to download them every time.

Why it’s a mistake?

If your blog doesn’t have a caching plugin it will load slower and use up more server resources. You want to avoid this.

How to fix it:

There is a caching plugin that works very effectively called W3 Total Cache. It’s not a simple plug and play plugin (I broke my site the first time I used it!) so make sure you are using the tutorial when installing.

Mistake #9: Giving up

Giving up on your blog before it gets any traction. The old adage “if you build it they will come” DOES NOT apply to blogging.

Why it’s a mistake?

Blogging is not an overnight, get rich quick business plan. So many people give up too early and never reach their full potential because they think their slow start is attributed to their lack of skill or ability. This is simply not true for most people. Whether you are building a blog or a different kind of business, it’s not going to happen quickly. Success can take months of even years to achieve.

How to fix it:

Focus on your strengths. Try to do more of the blogging things that you are good at and do them as much as possible. Do you love writing but are intimidated by graphic design? Focus on building up your content and emails rather than creating graphics.

I’m sure you started (or want to start) a blog because it is something that you love to do. If you want to sustain that, then focus on the stuff you enjoy. The only way to really stick to it is to enjoy the process.

Mistake #10: Repeating without improving

Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This applies to your blog also.

Why it’s a mistake?

Continuing to do the same thing on your blog without growing isn’t going to get you anywhere. You must learn from your mistakes and change your processes to increase your chances of success.

How to fix it:

If you’re reading this post, I’m going to guess this probably isn’t a problem for you. You are doing research, you are growing. Even if you don’t have a blog yet, you are putting in the effort.

Keep growing, keep learning! Be intentional about it, set aside time each day to learn something new. Keep a notepad with questions that you want to answer to refer to when you have your “learning time.”

Mistake #11: Not being easily accessible

I hate it when I find a blogger that I really like their content or I have a question for them but I can’t get ahold of them. They don’t have a contact form on their site or an email address to be found anywhere.

Why it’s a mistake?

If you want to grow your blog, being able to connect with other bloggers is a must. It would be a shame if a company wanted to get ahold of you for a sponsored post but wasn’t able to contact you, wouldn’t it?

How to fix it:

It’s as simple as making a “Contact” page and putting a WordPress form on there. You can see an example of my contact page here. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that people can get ahold of you if needed. Heck, you don’t even need a form, just a contact page with your email address on it is a good place to start.

Mistake #12: Trying to be everywhere

When I first started this blog, I was trying to be on every social platform, in every forum and facebook group, and commenting on everyone else’s blog.

Why it’s a mistake?

Being a new blogger is overwhelming enough. It makes it that much worse when you are spending ALL of your time connecting and promoting and no actual time, you know…blogging. Something will suffer in the end.

How to fix it:

Pick 1 platform to focus on first. Get that down to an art, then move onto another. For example, I focus on Pinterest, why, well you should sign up for my free email course to learn all about that! I focus on Pinterest because it’s free traffic and it’s both a social network and a search engine. I schedule my pins using Tailwind which then leaves me more time for the manual stuff like connecting with other bloggers in Facebook groups.

And one last word of advice…

If you plan to monetize our blog, then it is your business and should be treated as such.

If you want to make money from your blog you should treat it like a business from the very beginning, not a hobby. A hobby can be too easily put off to the side when life gets in the way while a business is less likely to get pushed to the sidelines.

When you are first starting out it can take a long time to get paid. You work your butt off for what seems like forever only to make the minimum payout thresholds of $100. It takes time to build an audience but businesses take time to build. When you go to sit down to work on your blog, treat it like you are going to work. Set aside time and a dedicated (preferably quiet) space, get dressed, make your cup of coffee and get down to business.

I know this can especially difficult when you have kids, but I promise you that it’s doable. If I can do it with 6 kids (an infant and a toddler home with me all day) then I’m sure you can do it too!

You’re probably going to start out slow. And that’s ok. It takes time to build something that is worthwhile. Just don’t give up on your dreams before they become a reality. Surround yourself with people that support you not ones that will bring you down. There are a TON of groups online for blogger support, don’t be afraid to reach out.

Sharing is caring ?  [pin it] for later or  Facebook!

Want a Downloadable PDF of this post?

Enter your email below and access a downloadable PDF version of this post right away!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Are you a new blogger? What mistakes have you made?


Are you a new blogger? Blogging is full of challenges. Blogging is a language all its own. The technical aspects of blogging itself are challenging to most newbies, but there is so much more. Click the image to see the 12 most common mistakes that newbie bloggers make and how you can fix or avoid them in your blog! #blogging #wordpress #bloggingmistakes

How To Start A Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from setup to content to all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge