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When starting a new blog, there is a lot to think about. It’s tempting just to jump in head first, but without proper research, it’s likely you’ll run into a few glitches – I’ve definitely had my fair share! This list of 10 things not to do when starting a blog, is a good place to start.
While you’ve probably researched all the things you SHOULD do. Now you need to know the things you SHOULD NOT do when starting a blog. Phew, there’s a lot to know right!
While there is a lot to learn when starting a blog. Don’t let it put you off!
I’m going to help you avoid as many of the common new blogging mistakes as I can.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, check out my beginner guide on how to start a blog from scratch
Let’s take a look at 10 things not to do when starting a blog.
Don’t Do These Things When Starting A New Blog
1. Don’t Start Your Blog on a Free Blogging Site
If you ever want to make money from your blog, it’s important to set it up on a professional platform. The free options like Wix, Joomla and WordPress.com can look spammy an unprofessional. Often they come with ads that don’t even make you money and will hinder a reader’s experience.
Of course, if you just want to practice your writing and not make a career from your blog. A free platform is great. Other free options to use are; Hubpages and Medium. A good idea is to start writing on these platforms for experience, then once your self-hosted site is set up, you can link people from those posts to your live site.
I set up my site with WordPress.org. It’s super easy even for a beginner to set up their own functional website. You can follow my step by step guide if you need help as a new blogger.
2. Don’t Try and Do Everything for Free
Another of the 10 things NOT to do when starting a blog is – don’t try and do everything for free. I’ve been here myself and I understand funds can be tight in the beginning.
But, if you want your blog to eventually generate income, it’s a good idea to invest some money into it and yourself. I tried to do everything for free in the beginning and now I look back I wish I’d invested more at the start. Some things worth spending money on are;
- A professional blog theme. There are free ones in WordPress, but the paid ones look far more professional and give a much better user experience. Just like any business, you have to think about your blog through the eyes of your customers (readers). Give them a good experience and they’ll come back. Top themes I recommend are from Elegant themes
- Technical and design help from experts. My first website I ever built, I did everything myself. While I was proud, I sometimes wasted days trying to do one thing and the design was awful. Now when I have a problem, I reach out to an expert on Fiverr, who are actually really affordable
- A quality hosting company. For only a few dollars a month, you can self-host your site on Siteground. I use these guys and they keep my website fast, offer topnotch security and are available 24 hours a day for support. Siteground are in my opinion the best choice for new bloggers. Get your 70% discount here
- A blogging course. While it is possible to learn a lot by reading content online. I learned much more after taking a course aimed at new bloggers. Having the exact steps written down for you to follow is invaluable. Take a look at the Genius Bloggers Toolkit which launches in September. This course is presented by Ultimate Bundles who really know their stuff. Get on the waiting list here
3. Don’t Just Write Content When You Feel Like It
The key to successful blogging is consistency. I’m still working on this myself and I know I need to blog more. Currently, with the time I’ve had, I’ve only been posting once a week. But once I’m settled in my new flat, I aim to up that to twice a week.
To build credibility and increase your blogs Google ranking, blogging regularly is key. The more content you produce around a subject, the more Google will see you as an expert in a niche and your domain authority will increase.
4. Don’t Forget to Promote Your Posts
It’s tempting to just write a post and hope it will get seen by everyone. I used to do this as a new blogger and believe me it doesn’t work!
The thing is, the work doesn’t stop after you’ve written an amazing post. You need to get your post out there on social media for it to be seen. Here’s what to do after writing a post;
- Schedule it to all your social media accounts
- Send it out to your email list and ask them to share
- Use Hootsuite or another scheduler to send it out on social media at least three times the first day, two the second and once the third. Not all your audience will see the initial release of the post
- Email/message any influencers you mention in the post. Some will reply saying thanks and some will even schedule your post on their own accounts
- Sign up for a free Viral Content Bee account. This awesome platform allows you to share other content for points. Then you use the points to get your own posts shared. This is a valuable way to get your posts in front of millions of other eyes like you never normally would as a new blogger
- Schedule the post to go out every two days on your Pinterest account to different boards. Share it to group boards and in tribes for others to re-share. Even after the initial Pinterest promotion, you can create fresh pins every 1-2 months for the post and re-schedule it again. Pinterest sees new pins as good as fresh content and it’ll give your post a new boost every time
Related read: 11 simple techniques guaranteed to increase blog traffic
5. Don’t Forget to Collect Emails
Getting your blog readers onto an email list is essential to long-term success. Many readers will visit your blog and you’ll never see them again if you don’t get them onto an email list.
A way to keep in contact and build up the know, like and trust factor is through email contact. Social platforms will constantly change their rules and accounts may even be suspended. This could mean losing your hard built up raving fans.
Your email list is yours and can never be taken away. You have complete control and it’s a great way to promote new products and new posts.
Get readers onto your email list by offering a free, valuable lead magnet.
You can start an email list for free on Mailchimp. But for more functionality and as your list grows, I can recommend Get Response. Here you can not only create email sequences but build landing pages, newsletters, forms, and funnels.
6. Don’t Ignore SEO
Another important point on 10 things not to do when starting a blog is DO NOT ignore SEO (search engine optimisation).
SEO is extremely important for building your blog’s authority and getting it seen on the first pages of Google. Learn SEO and you’ll learn how to get traffic to your blog.
SEO may seem complicated in the beginning, but don’t let that put you off. There is a lot to learn but learn it in stages.
Read up as much as you can about SEO from other experts online. Some great free SEO courses online are;
- Free SEO training: SEO for beginners (Yoast)
- SEO training course by MOZ (Udemy)
- On-page and technical SEO course (SEMrush)
- SEO foundations (LinkedIn Learning/Lynda)
7. Don’t Use Copywrited Images
Just because Google has a ton of images freely available. Most of them are copywrited and you shouldn’t just use them without asking the owner’s permission.
Think about making your own in Canva. Having personalised graphics on your site will set your blog apart from the rest. Canva has a ton of free stock photos available to use and you can add in your own text and logo.
Another way to find free stock images is to use free stock sites. Some of the best I know about and use are;
- Shopify Burst
- The Pattern Library
8. Don’t Dismiss Keyword Research
When I started my blog, I had no idea about keyword research. This means I was never basing my content around what people are searching for in Google. This meant, my blog posts would never be found organically in Google.
Learn about keyword research and start to write content around these keywords. Start with lower-ranking, less popular keywords. Then as your domain authority grows, you can start to compete for higher ranking keywords.
If you’ve already written many blog posts with no keywords in – do not fear. You can go back and update your posts with keywords that will help them to rank in Google.
The Yoast plugin is essential to help optimise your posts with keywords. Once it’s installed, it tells you what you need to do with every post to have a good SEO score.
If you’re ready to invest, I recommend Keysearch which is only $15 a month. Try it out here with a FREE 30-day trial.
9. Don’t Focus on Useless Tasks and get Overwhelmed
I’ve definitely been here as well – overwhelm is real!
There are many things to get done as a new blogger. But trying to do too much at once and getting overwhelmed is one of the 10 things NOT to do when starting a blog, if you want to last.
If you still have another job, you need to use your blogging time wisely.
Write down a list of things you need to do for your blog daily. But, only focus on the top three. And make sure these three things will actually have a positive effect on your blog.
It’s so easy to get caught up in things that won’t move the needle. For example, things like constantly re-designing your logo. Or spending hours agonising over your colour scheme.
Yes, these things are important, but it’s amazing how many hours can be wasted on these tasks. When you could be doing more profit-generating tasks like working on social media or your SEO.
Remember, the design of your blog can always be changed down the line.
Always plan your time the day before and have a list ready of things you need to get done that make a difference.
10. Don’t Focus on Making Money Over Getting Traffic
This point ties in with number nine. It’s not about how much you work on your blog, it’s the quality of work you do.
Two hours a day focusing on the right things will be far more beneficial than five hours faffing about on useless tasks. And, I know it’s hard not to focus on making money when you need it.
But, to get to the money-making stage, you need to get traffic to your blog. And once you have traffic, you need more traffic!
Traffic will be the lifeblood of your blog and will determine whether it lasts or makes money.
So, no matter how hard it is. Don’t worry about monetizing your site until you start getting a decent amount of traffic.
Too many ads will just hinder a reader’s experience and may put them off. When you’re a new blogger, you need to think about giving the best possible experience for your readers, to keep them coming back.
Conclusion — 10 Things Not to Do When Starting a Blog
Those are the 10 things you should not do when starting a blog.
As a beginner blogger, there’s a lot to learn. So don’t beat yourself up if you make any or all of those mistakes.
Most bloggers, even hugely successful ones make some mistakes.
Mistakes teach us a lot. Just learn from your mistakes, move on and share your experiences with others like I am here.
Let me know in the comments if you’re a new blogger? Is there anything you’re struggling with I can help with? I’d love to know…
If you haven’t started your blog yet, read my in-depth start a money-making blog guide here.
If you’d like to make passive income to supplement your blogging journey, sign up for my FREE 5-day passive income challenge here.
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