This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure.
When it comes to blogging for beginners there are several areas where I often see things that are stifling potential growth.
The good news is that they are all easy fixes.
The suggestions that I’m going to share with you today will take your blog from just ho-hum to a business that will stand out amongst the crowd.
They are simple concepts but when you’re new to the game it can be difficult to see the woods for the trees.
There’s just so much information to soak in (trust me, there always will be!). Being a successful blogger means that you never stop learning.
However, to avoid becoming overwhelmed it is important to focus on just a few important things that you can put into practice right now.
This is my blogging for beginners list of mistakes to avoid. It’ll set you apart and put you ahead of the game.
Blogging for Beginners Mistakes to Avoid:
1) Cluttered Design
When it comes to blog design less is more. It can be so tempting to go crazy designing your blog and lose sight of what really matters.
Your content is key. Your blog design should be there to frame it and point people towards it.
Yes, graphics and design are fun but if it gets to the point where they are distracting readers from your content then they are no longer working effectively.
Think about your user and how their experience is going to be.
Is the text clear and easy to read?
Are they able to navigate your blog easily?
Can they find your social share buttons without having to search for them?
The ‘less is more’ approach can also be applied to the images you use. Especially your pin images.
Stick to two maybe three colors and fonts. Make sure the fonts that you use are clear and able to be read without having to squint.
Be aware of how you layer your colours as well. Certain colors are just naturally difficult to read when placed over another.
2) Having all Your Eggs in One Basket
When it comes to blogging for beginners one of the most important things that I could recommend you do is to diversify.
How do I mean?
Well, I’m talking about two areas in general:
Firstly, in your traffic sources.
Pinterest is a really awesome way of gaining traffic right off of the bat.
I talk all about my strategies for setting up your Pinterest account for success in my free email course. Just sign up below.
I love Pinterest for how little effort you have to put in to get great results. However, I would strongly urge any new blogger not to only put your efforts into Pinterest.
SEO is where it’s at.
You might not get immediate results (in fact, you almost certainly won’t) but there are long-term rewards.
If you’re completely new to the blogging world, then SEO will probably feel way over your head so here’s a simple breakdown:
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
Basically, it is learning how to get the Google gods to rank your content high in search results.
There are some very simple things to implement right from the beginning that will help you in this area.
Having the Yoast plugin installed on your blog is a great start!
However, this post isn’t “Blogging for Beginners: How to Practice SEO” so I’m not going to talk much more about it.
All I’m going to say is that your best bet is to work on both Pinterest and SEO right from the start. That way, if one caves in, you’ve still got a backup.
If you do want to do some SEO research, then Backlinko is a brilliant resource!
The second area where it is important to diversify is in your income streams. For the same reason as mentioned above.
If one falls through, you have another.
There are multiple ways to earn money from your blog:
- Product Sales
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
Just to name a few.
Pick at least two to start with. And although I’m advising you to diversify here, I’m also going to advise you not to pick too many things.
Remember less is more. Keep things simple to begin with. Learn them and implement them consistently and then take on more.
3) Not Utilizing Pinterest
If you are a beginner blogger and you are not using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog then you are missing out BIG TIME.
Seriously, it is a wonderful platform for getting your content in front of readers and growing your audience.
Read my post for how to start a Pinterest account and set it up to drive traffic to your blog from the get-go.
Take the time to learn how to get started and you will not regret it.
I use Tailwind to automate my posting which saves me so much time and gets my content in front of readers with a lot less effort on my part.
4) Having A Million Pop Ups
There is nothing that will make me click off a blog faster than annoying pop ups that get in the way of what I want to see.
If this is the first time that I am seeing your blog and immediately
Not sign up.
That sounds mean, but I’m not trying to be.
The truth is, why would I sign up to your mailing list when I don’t even know who you are or what you offer?
Show me that you have some value first and then I might consider joining. Sell me on your content and I’ll consider giving you my email address.
The same goes for social media pop ups. If I really want to follow you, I’ll be more than happy to use the widget on your sidebar after I’ve read some of the content on your blog.
Pop-ups can be especially annoying for mobile users (which by the way usually makes up the vast majority of readers) so it is important to be very mindful of that.
Not only will you not gain subscribers but you’re also going to lose potential readers as well.
Pop-ups aren’t entirely out of the question, but they have to be used sparingly and done in the right way.
Generally, I think they’re better to be used when you’ve been in the blogging game for a while and have a solid strategy in place.
Personally, I don’t use them at all on either of my blogs (I have in the past) and don’t have any plans to for the time being.
5) Using Poor Quality Images
Whether you like it or not the quality of images that you use on your blog will either draw readers in or send them away.
You don’t have to be a photographer to have great images on your blog. Just make sure that the ones that you do use are in focus and clear.
If you don’t have photos of your own to use then there are several free websites where you can get great stock photos:
This is especially important when it comes to creating Pinterest images.
6) Not Starting a Mailing List
There is a misconception out there that you should wait until your blog gets a certain amount of traffic before you create a mailing list.
This is entirely false.
Having a mailing list is yet another way of diversifying your traffic.
It is a valuable asset for both now and the future.
Whether you plan to sell your own products or not, setting up forms so that readers can subscribe is something that you need to do from the start.
Social media is all well and good but there are so many distractions. Being able to send an email directly to a reader’s inbox is so much more powerful!
Head over to my post where I walk you through how to start a blog and you’ll find a list of my favourite email providers.
Speaking of mailing lists, you can sign up to get first dibs on all my content via the form below!
7) Not Monetizing from the Start
Do not, I repeat, do not wait to start monetizing your blog.
Yes, you will likely make very little (if anything) when you first start, but having the option of making an income is vital.
You could apply to Google Adsense if you’d like to put advertising on your site, or another great option is to apply for affiliate programs.
Check out my list of affiliate networks here –> 22 Affiliate Programs You Need to Know About Now
You don’t have to plunge straight into all the different avenues of monetizing your blog but I would encourage you to at least start focusing on a couple right from the start.
This blogging for beginners list of mistakes is by no means comprehensive. The truth is, we all make mistakes when we start out.
You’ll find your way and learn a lot in the process.
In the meantime, take this list and make it work for you!
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Hey there! I’m Christine and I’ve been blogging since February 2017. My parenting blog, Christine Keys is both my passion, income and creative outlet.
I’m a qualified nurse but now I’ve been able to create a lifestyle where I can make money while also staying at home and raising my three young children.
My new passion is to teach other moms how they can do the same!
I love to create beautiful things and to constantly be learning. When I’m not blogging or wrangling my three crazy kiddos, you’ll find me binging out on Netflix.