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Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
These are the most common blogging mistakes that new bloggers make.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, keep reading to find out the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid if you want to be successful.
Who am I to give this advice? I’ve been blogging for over six years, and I’ve started numerous successful blogs. I make a full-time income from blogging, but getting to this point wasn’t easy. I made PLENTY of mistakes along the way.
That’s why I’m sharing the most common mistakes so you can avoid them.
Here’s what NOT to do as a new blogger if you want to be successful:
1. Not starting a self-hosted blog.
One of the biggest mistakes that new bloggers make is using a free blogging platform instead of starting a self-hosted WordPress blog.
If you just want to blog as a hobby and don’t ever want to make money from your blog, using a free blogging platform like WordPress.com or Wix is okay.
But if you want to make money blogging and turn your blog into a business, you NEED a self-hosted blog. With a free platform, you don’t own your content, and you’re extremely limited in the ways you can customize and monetize your blog.
With a self-hosted blog, you don’t have any of those limitations. All professional bloggers have a self-hosted blog, and starting one is easier than it sounds!
You can use a web hosting company like Bluehost, which is only $2.95 a month and includes a free .com domain name. They will also install WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com) which is the blogging software that will power your blog. Click here to read my step-by-step guide.
If you’re serious about blogging, it’s worth the $35.40 investment to start your blog the right way instead of being stuck on a free platform.
2. Not having a niche.
Another mistake that new bloggers make is not choosing a niche.
A niche is simply the topic that you blog about. Many new bloggers just start writing about any random topic under the sun, and this is not a recipe for success. Having a defined niche is important because it helps you get traffic to your blog, build an engaged audience, and establish yourself as an authority.
Some examples of blog niches include fashion, travel, beauty, food, personal finance, and parenting. I have a whole list of 150+ blog niche ideas here.
It’s possible to start a successful multi-niche blog (typically known as a lifestyle blog) but it’s a good idea to have a common thread tying everything together. For example, you could have a lifestyle blog for moms with multiple related topics like parenting, recipes, cleaning tips, and family finances.
3. Choosing the wrong name.
Something many new bloggers don’t realize is how important choosing a blog name is. It’s something that is actually a huge pain to change later.
Unlike a social media handle that you can change instantly, changing your blog’s name is a difficult process. Once you register a .com domain name for your blog, you will not be able to change it. And once your blog is established, changing its name can be detrimental to your traffic and branding.
This is a blogging mistake I personally made and a lesson I learned the hard way. I chose a name I didn’t love for my blog, and after one year, I decided to change it. I had to hire someone to help me because it’s a pretty technical process, and I didn’t want to break anything. It took months for my blog traffic to recover.
My recommendation? Take some time when choosing a blog name and make sure it’s something you can see yourself loving for years to come.
4. Picking the wrong WordPress theme.
One of the best ways you can make your blog look professional is by choosing a nice WordPress theme. Your blog’s design is the first impression it makes on a reader, so you want to make sure you have a good one.
WordPress themes are pre-made templates you can install on your blog to customize your blog’s design. You can easily change things like colors, fonts, and other small elements on your own without any coding.
When you start a blog, you’ll have the option to choose from lots of free and paid themes. If you have the budget for it, I recommend a paid theme.
My favorite themes for bloggers are from Bluchic and 17th Avenue.
These themes will give your blog a beautiful, professional design and come with detailed set-up options and access to customer support.
If you don’t have the budget for a premium WordPress theme, the best free WordPress themes to use are GeneratePress, Astra, and Kadence.
5. Writing the wrong kind of content.
Once you’ve done all the legwork of setting up your blog, you might think that you can just write about anything. That’s what a blog is, right?
Well… not exactly. If you’re just blogging for fun or as a hobby, then by all means, treat your blog as a journal and write whatever you want.
But if you want to make money blogging, you need to be writing helpful content that solves a problem or answers a question for your target audience.
Let’s say you start a travel blog before traveling to Paris. A journal-like blog post called “My Trip to Paris” written when you get home might be interesting to your friends and family, but it doesn’t really provide value to anyone else.
But instead, you could write blog posts like “10 Things to Know Before Visiting Paris,” “The Ultimate One Week Paris Itinerary,” and “What to Pack for Paris in Winter.” These are blog posts that answer questions or provide information that your readers may be searching online for. See the difference here?
You can still let your personality and personal experiences shine through in your writing (that’s why people like blogs!) but the focus should always be on providing value to your reader. That’s how you get traffic and make money!
6. Not publishing consistently.
Consistency is key when it comes to blogging. I’ve started multiple successful blogs now, and my strategy when launching a new blog is to publish as frequently as possible for the first two months or so to establish a solid base of content, and then drop down to a more manageable posting schedule after that.
There’s no “magic number” for how often to blog.
Quality over quantity matters, so it’s better to only publish two detailed, helpful blog posts per month than three short, fluff-filled blog posts per week.
The important thing is that you stay consistent.
Establish a posting schedule that you can stick to. It’s common to need 50-100 blog posts published before you start making real money, so that’s a good goal to aim for in the beginning if you need a target to shoot for.
7. Not starting an email list.
So many new bloggers overlook this, but it’s SO important. Not starting an email list is one of the top blogging mistakes bloggers make.
An email list is one of the most important assets you can have. Unlike a social media platform, you have total control and ownership over your email list.
Instagram or TikTok could shut down tomorrow and you’d lose all your followers and your platform, but with an email list, you have direct access to your audience. An email list is a great way to drive traffic and make money.
I have a complete guide on how to start an email list if you need help with this. I recommend doing this within your first few months of blogging.
With an email list, you can engage with your audience directly and send traffic back to your blog via email newsletters. You can also make money from affiliate sales, launching your own products, or newsletter sponsorships.
8. Getting caught up in perfectionism.
Another one of the biggest blogging mistakes is… perfectionism.
So many aspiring bloggers will try to wait for the “right time” to launch their blog or want things to be just perfect before publishing a new post.
Spoiler alert, there’s no such thing as perfection.
It may sound counterintuitive, but don’t spend too much time agonizing over your niche, your blog name, your blog’s design, or how one single blog post sounds. There comes a point where you just have to pick something and stick with it.
The beauty of a blog is that nothing is permanent (well, aside from your domain name, which I mentioned above!) You can always tweak your blog’s design later, or update old blog posts. The important thing is just to get started.
9. Focusing on vanity metrics.
Vanity metrics are a HUGE waste of time for new bloggers.
These are numbers that don’t necessarily impact your bottom line. As a blogger, the metrics I care about are my blog traffic, my email subscribers, and my income. The first two directly impact the latter for me.
For example, chasing social media followers just for the sake of it is a vanity metric. You could have 50,000 followers on Instagram, but if you don’t have a strategy in place on converting that into blog traffic or sales (or monetizing your following through brand partnership), it really doesn’t mean anything.
Another vanity metric I see many new bloggers worry about? Pinterest views and followers. Pinterest is a great source of traffic for bloggers, but you don’t actually need many followers for it to work. And “views” are a meaningless number. The only thing that really matters is how many clicks you’re actually getting to your blog — not just the views you’re getting on the Pinterest platform.
Rather than worrying about and chasing numbers that look impressive, focus on the things that will actually make you money as a blogger.
10. Trying to do it all.
Finally, a big mistake that bloggers make is trying to do it all.
When I first started blogging, I was convinced that I needed to establish a presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
I was spreading myself way too thin across these platforms, and I wasn’t even getting meaningful results from most of them (see “vanity metrics” above.) After a few months, I decided to focus ONLY on Pinterest since that’s the platform that I was actually seeing returns from in the form of blog traffic.
Similarly, I don’t even try to create video content for YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc., because that’s not my area of expertise. Even though that’s what all the gurus say you “should” be doing these days if you want to succeed.
Instead, I focus on writing blog posts and sending email newsletters because that’s what I do best. And guess what? It works super well for me!
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to do it all, and instead focus on your personal “zones of genius” that offer the best returns.
More Blogging Tips
This post showed you the biggest blogging mistakes to avoid.
If you’re looking for more helpful blogging tips, check out the following posts: