7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes

blogging mistakes to avoid, blogging for beginners, blogging tips, millennial blog

Wondering what the biggest blogging mistakes new bloggers make? 

ICYMI, you can submit you questions on ANYTHING to me using the contact form. My responses might just appear on the blog! This reader’s questions focus on how to price yourself and ask for payment when getting started. She asks:

“I am a new blogger and have noticed a lot of contradictory information out there… I want to avoid going back and fixing things, so I ask you, what are the biggest mistakes you see new bloggers make?”

This was legit perfect timing since I've been wanting to write a post on biggest blogging mistakes! Thank you for writing in!

7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes:

Forget Their “WHY”

We all start blogging for one reason or another, typically it's to build a community. To find connection. So many of the bloggers I speak with share stories of being bullied, or feeling “different.” Their blog is a way to find that connection they've craved. People need people. No matter what the situation or content. We need one another to bounce ideas off of, lift one another up, and cheer each other on. Even if your “why” isn't community, still get clear on it and write it down somewhere you can refer back to.

[RELATED] Writing Your Life's Mission Statement

Pro tip: If you're “why” is to get insta-famous or make bank, then maybe do something else. Having a “successful” blog is one of the most time consuming processes. Unless you are coming out the gate with some serious connections and money to invest, you will put in an exorbitant amount of time. If your end goal is to be insta-famous, I promise it won't happen fast enough to keep your attention (unless you go on the Bachelor and make it past night one).

They Skip Promotion

When I first started blogging, I heard that you should spend 20% of your time writing and 80% of your time marketing said content; #MindBlown. While that's a huge split, if you're trying to turn your blog into a business (whether full time or a side hustle) you 100% need to promote. Even if you're goal is community, not monetization, you still need to promote. How else are your future friends going to find you??

If you fall into the latter camp of non-monetizers, adjust the split. Spend about 40% of your time creating content and 60% of your time promoting. When I say promoting, I mean the obvious, posting to your social channels. But promotion also includes engagement. Responding to comments on social media and engaging with other people's content. Essentially making friends with your audience and as an audience member of other people's audience.

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Don't Network

To build off of the tail end of the last one, bloggers need to network! This can look like a ton of different things. Commenting on someone's blog and Instagram posts whenever something new comes up (that repetition will make them more likely to engage back with you!). Asking someone for a digital coffee date. Starting an interview series to get some one-on-one connection that provides them some value (access to your audience). You will NEED friends in the blogging world. Whether it's to cross promote each others content, strategize, or just to stay motivated when you feel like giving up.

They're Inconsistent

Like I've said, blogging is no small feat. It takes an intense energy and focus to build it up, particularly when it comes to remaining consistent. LBH, raise your hand if you've promised yourself you were going to eat healthier or get to the gym more, did really well for a week or two then stopped ???

Yeah, blogging is like that. It's truly a lifestyle change or choice (depending on how frequently you post content and the type of content). If you are trying to be a lifestyle, fashion, or beauty blogger, it's 100% a lifestyle (because that's basically your brand #duh). So if you aren't ready to spend all day erryday thinking about your content and what moments in your life are content worthy, then maybe only post once a week! Seriously, that's OKAY! Its better to cut back on your content calendar than put out crap content.

The key is to create a realistic schedule and stick to it. Even if nobody reads, stick to it. People are creatures of habit, and like the predictability of a posting schedule. Plus they want to know that you are a person of your word. Think about it like this: if you have a friend who you go to yoga with then grab a post class juice every week, your relationship will grow and flourish. If that friend starts to flake out, you will probably make other plans and find someone else to go to yoga and juice with.

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Bad Writing

Alright so this is a bit of a doozy. The obvious: poor grammar and spelling. Listen, I get it, my blog is full of typos and grammar issues. The reality is our brains can't proofread our own work. It compensates for what we intended to write. No matter how many times I proof read or use tools like grammarly, there are still issues. The key is to at least make the effort to reduce grammar and spelling issues. — Seriously, if y'all knew how many times I proofread you would die. 

The next part of bad writing: thinking your audience cares about you.

Harsh, I know, but true. If you're just starting out, your audience doesn't know you from the next person and unless you're jet setting every weekend or Emily Rose Hannon, nobody cares. You have to make them care slowly over time.

The last point about writing I'll make: it's plain boring. Listen, you don't want your blog to read like a ratchet chick's text message, but you also don't want it to read like your MLA formatted term paper. Remember how I just said your audience doesn't care about you? Well your writing is how you get them to care! Don't tell people about your life (because like I said, why would they care?) show them your personality through your writing, and in turn, they will start to care about your life! https://giphy.com/embed/h5HtVfU8FNwZO

Consume Too Much OOPC

OOPC = Of Other People's Content

To the point above, I think a lot of people's writing ends up sucking because they are trying so hard to emulate someone else's content. Keep your eyes on your own paper in the blogging world. Sure, there will be some posts that it seems like every blogger and their mother are writing about (like this one for instance), the key is to do it in a way that's true to your voice.

Moreover, it will help you avoid the comparison paralysis trap. Write about your experiences, thoughts, and opinions. If you're sticking to your “why” (read #1 in this post) then you shouldn't worry about everyone else's.

[RELATED] 3 Secrets To Growing Your Blog

They Don't Invest In Themselves

If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, then you have to start by taking yourself seriously as a blogger! Full disclosure, I am typically of the DIY camp. I don't like to outsource and prefer to teach things to myself. Unlike a lot of bloggers who start blogging, then add services, I did the opposite and was a digital business coach for a year before starting my blog. I knew the ins and outs of basic web design, branding, and promotion. My background gave me a leg up in my first year of blogging, but I got to the point by investing in myself first and continuing to do it. https://giphy.com/embed/YiSZXjrh5PtQs

When launching my coaching business, I hired a business coach, purchased a domain and professional hosting, and hired a professional photographer. All of it was an investment in my future as a coach, which later turned into an invest in myself as a blogger. The skills were easily transferred and led me to launch blog coaching as an additional service to business coaching.

Even after getting picked up as an expert quote on sites like Forbes (who I write for monthly now), Brit + Co, Dailyworth, and so many more, I kept investing myself. I bought courses like BossPitch to help me pitch and work with brands. I also took the BEST Pinterest course to help take others through the exact steps I used to grow my blog traffic by 750% from Pinterest!

>>> Grab The Best Pinterest Course here! <<<

Speaking BossPitch… doors are closing tonight! ICYM my post on how to connect with brands for sponsored posts, a quick reminder:

BossPitch is the course to teach you the ins and outs of pitching brands directly and taking control of the income your generating from your blog! Finally you will have the tools to negotiate your worth, find and contact brands, and only do sponsored content that's on-brand for you!

For each person that signs up using my affiliate link, you will also get:

A FREE 60 minute 1-1 session with me to talk about anything blog/business related + one piece of your writing work shopped!

Meaning I'll give you all my thoughts, feedback, and expertise!

To learn more about BossPitch, you can read about it in the post I linked above or watch a replay of our live Q+A from last week! Remember, doors close tonight and Erica doesn't know when it's going to relaunch!

>>> Sign Up For BossPitch NOW!! <<<

This post was originally published on 5/31/17.

158 thoughts on “7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes”

  1. Im doing well on the first six, I am about to start “investing” in my blog I need pin scheduling and a better blog design! I do spend, it feels like, 1% of my time creating content and SO MUCH time promoting! I need to find a bit better balance I think

    1. haha yeah that’s how it’s supposed to feel unfortunately I think! haha! It’s a lot of hustle that people really cant imagine until they do it!

  2. As always great tips. I totally agree. I probably have made most these mistakes in some way or another along my path. It’s definitely all a learning game!

  3. Marsha Jones Youmans

    Very good reminders. I am guilty now and then of being inconsistent and definitely saw the results of that.

  4. Thanks for the tips, new to the blogging world and this provided a lot of insight on how to strategize to make my blog more productive.

  5. Great tips! They’re all points I used to work with beginner bloggers on when I was a lifestyle editor for a small millennial women’s site. Spot on! My other tip is to try not to do everything at once. There are an overwhelming amount of things to consider when you’re just starting out, but it’s a good idea to pick one or two things to focus on a month and work on those – like strengthening your Instagram while posting consistently. Then the next month, add in Facebook. It’s a great way to practice all of the things you need to learn without feeling like you need to do everything at once!

    1. Totally hear that! It can be small, like even choosing 2-5 people and commenting on their instagram every day or one of their posts each week. Then starting a convo via insta-stories! It doesnt need to be a full on digital coffee date

  6. This is such a great post! staying consistent is so key! I love blogging and this was a great refresh for me.
    Keep up the good work, beautiful!

  7. Great tips! I think I’m doing ok on most of your tips.There are two things I should invest more time in. One, in promoting. I do promote through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc, but not enough yet. Second, my English. I blog in two languages, and English is not my first language. I think I’m doing ok, but I should expand my vocabulary and pay more attention to the grammar rules. Grammarly does help a lot though!

  8. Um, bookmarking this page ASAP!! These are such great tips, I’m still “new” to the world of blogging and trying to find my foot, fellow bloggers and more. These are seriously great tips and I know I’ll be referencing this page a lot in the future!
    -Erika (myrevampedlife.com)

  9. Stephanie Parrell

    Alot of really great points here. It is so important to have your own vision and ideas, those who really make it there own are the ones I like to read.Not the carbon copies.

  10. Promoting is huge! Its so important to get your blog out there on social platforms!

  11. promoting and networking is my DOWNFALL – I know this and I work at it (but I’m in a blog identity crisis which I think is most of the problem)
    consuming too much of other peoples content can be really damaging. Not just for how it impacts your content, but also comparison (thief of joy!)
    great post Rachel 🙂
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    1. HAha you have so much going on though! What’s the crisis your experiencing (like I know your blog identity haha but more details please!) haha

    2. I was about to say, common Rachel you should know what I’m about by now 😉 I feel like I’m quickly approaching a crossroad where I need to decide to either throttle WAY back on the blog, or dedicate more time to it (which I don’t really have) to make it worthwhile. I know I can’t continue on with what I’m doing because it’s not bringing me enough joy/satisfaction.. but I still want to keep GOING… but I don’t know if I can do MORE.
      I think I just need a shakeup.

  12. YES YES YES, thank you for this post! Knowing your WHY is so important but I think sometimes it’s something we forget. When I first started blogging (which was only a few months ago), I never realized how much goes into the PROMOTION of my blog posts. It definitely takes up the majority of your time but is 100% necessary to grow your readership.

    Thank you again for sharing these 🙂

  13. Yes! These are great points! I struggle with consistency and reading to much of other people’s content. I’ve really enjoyed your blog!

  14. Great tips! I have a few that I need to work on! Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. thesophiadiaries

    Loved these tips, and I love how these were all the mistakes I was making for the first 3 years of my blogging life xD even though it did some of the work, I never realized how much it took hahaha

  16. These are all great tips! I am still trying to navigate the ropes of getting started with my blog and there is so much to learn! I appreciate these tips and have pinned them for later reference!

  17. April Kitchens

    I’m working on networking more. Finding networking events in my area as well as hosting my own events.

  18. These are all so true! I’m sure I’ve made most of these mistakes along the way. I admit I can’t do all the right things all the time, but I am definitely finding a balance that works for me!

  19. These tips are so true! It’s crazy how many mistakes I made at the beginning. Bottom line is, I love to blog so I try to remember that when I have a hundred other things going on.

    1. That’s all that matters! I set 3 must do’s each day, and anything else beyond that is icing on the cake! We will never be able to do it all

  20. These are all SO true! The first one truly resonates within me! I’m coming up on my 4th YEAR blogging and OMG my why got LOST. Like it floated away like a butterfly. I love re-finding my why and hopefully I can find my love for blogging again. Thank you for sharing these great tips!

  21. Ashley Vickney

    love this! I’m definitely inconsistent with posting, and when I’m consistent my page views are way up! Also I love the network part of blogging!!

  22. Baby Bears Mama Bear

    So true ! I also started my blog and did not do much to promote it. These are great tips ! Thanks for sharing !

  23. I love the “if your goal is to get insta famous it probably won’t happen unless you go on the Bachelor and make it past night one” hahaha. SO True! Okay but as for the real tips they are so spot on! Engaging with other bloggers is so important when it comes to building community and promoting (though I am bad at it I am working on getting better). I think it is so important to physically write down your “why” even if you’re the only one who sees it. Sometimes you get swept up in what other people are doing in the blogworld and it’s easy to lose track of your “why” especially if you forget what it is. I try and check in with myself and remind myself why I blog, why I love blogging and what my goals are. A lot of times the things I get wrapped up in and get deflated by don’t tie in with my why anyways!

    1. Haha thank you! Yeah I think you’re why definitely shines through as well as your personality! I think whenever I feel deflated its usually a sign something is off too

  24. Awesome post, as always, Rachel! I couldn’t agree more with all of your points – but especially about writing quality. I have been floored by how many bloggers very clearly do not proofread their writing a single time – it’s like a stream of consciousness that they assume everyone will find fascinating solely because it’s on a topic that others have found success with. They’re clearly investing time in posting multiple times each week and promoting their posts, but the quality just isn’t there. It breaks my heart and makes me want to offer to help, but god knows that’s a rabbit hole that I don’t have time to go down! In short, great advice – thank you!

  25. These points are sooo good. Consistency is probably my biggest struggle… and I’m still trying to find my way with promotion and finding what platforms work best for me. Thanks for the tips!!

    1. You’re welcome! Definitely start off slow with posting then! It’s better to have a bunch of stock piled content on the back burner, while learning the ropes of promotion!

  26. I need to work on being more consistent – something that I’m always struggling with. I think I just need to work on being more disciplined on working on my blog when I come home so I can stay on top of projects instead of napping.

  27. Jennifer Schmidt

    This is amazing! I am trying to work on all of these all of the time but sometimes I fail. I need to invest in my blog but it is hard spending money. Even though I know that I need to spend money to make money.

  28. AMEN. being consistent is really kicking my butt, but also finding my voice in my writing — like you said, you want your readers to care over time and sometimes finding the appropriate tone is hard to convey through typed text!

  29. Caroline Murphy

    Thanks for pointing out the “comparison” point. Sometimes I feel like what is trending is what people want to read and I feel like I too have to post about it! I’m glad to hear I’m not alone and we can get caught up in it.

  30. Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    These are so perfectly on point! I definitely forget to promote sometimes, but then no one reads any content… and that stinks! I am in the process of remembering my why right now… especially with this new sweet baby!

  31. Jordyn Upchurch

    These are such awesome tips! About a month ago I finally nailed down a do-able schedule for me and slowly but surely the readers are coming-it’s amazing!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  32. Investing in yourself is extremely important. It’s totally paid off for me to invest in my blog where I can.

  33. Consistency on publishing new posts is a big struggle for me as I love to promote my work all the time. I try to make sure that I am getting new content flowing on a regular basis.

  34. The investing part has been hard for me but I’m learning that the more I invest, the more I get back. I also took Boss Pitch and loved it!

  35. Such great points, I’m busy improving my skills for both my blog and my day job and this has been super helpful, thank you!

  36. Yes! I am such a believer in keeping to a manageable schedule.I start working full time on Monday, and that sadly means cutting down on how often I post to my blog. While I don’t want to do this, I know it makes the most sense. 1 good article a week is better than multiple, half assed articles a week.

  37. Alissa Carpenter

    For the first several months I totally neglected promotion… like would spend hours on a post and then tell no one about… lol. Huge mistake! 🙂

  38. These are excellent tips! I’ve been blogging for a little over 2 years now, and I still find it really hard to be consistent when I post! It just gets so crazy with school and jobs and everything. That being said, I’m going to try to write a bunch of posts this summer so I’ll have something to fall back on once school starts back up!

    Hannah | the swirl | http://theswirlblog.com/

  39. I’ve been blogging for 6 years and still am working on this stuff! I’m pretty decent about promoting, but on the channels that are best for me – unfortunately for me, Twitter has kind of gotten the kickback. I need to get back into it more!

  40. Good tips, I never really started to notice any increase in blog traffic until I put some real time into promotion and I really notice it on the days when I don’t do it because my views dip.

  41. Kristen Rodriguez

    Loving all of these tips! This post came at the perfect time, too. I have been blogging *seriously* for a few months, and all of these will help me get on track to growing successfully! xx, Kristen @ A Classy Fashionista

  42. These are seriously amazing tips! I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years and even still, they are so important. Blogging = writing, so being a good writer (including knowing correct grammar) is KEY.

  43. Loved these reminders. I need to work on promoting more! Ive posted my “why” on my office wall so that I don’t forget! This is a post i’ll be coming back to, for sure.

  44. I love this post! So many important factors go into blogging and it’s so important to remember all of them!

  45. These are great tips! I used to be so bad about not networking, but it is so important!

  46. Elizabeth Johnson

    I love this! First, I love “rachet chick’s text message” hahaha! Second, when I first started I consumed way too much of other people’s content. It was tough to keep my head straight with my own mission. I have to be careful when it comes to that. I love this angle on blogging. Great post!

  47. Great tips for beginners like myself! I have to remind myself of my “why” from time to time, and am super excited I splurged and signed up for BossPitch!

  48. Thanks for sharing these mistakes others have made so we can learn from them. I’m a semi new blogger myself and I don’t want to be making these! You had me in tears with the ratchet chick text message conversation reference! Thanks for sharing again! Love your blog, always keeps me smiling

  49. I definitely fall into some of these categories. I am SO inconsistent lately – just over the past few weeks – better change that soon!

  50. These are really great points! I need to find more time to engage with others. I just struggle with working full time plus trying to manage everything else. I’ve started blocking off time as an “appointment” so that I can’t cancel or flake.

  51. It is so easy to compare yourself to other bloggers. But I find that I am much happier when I focus on creating content and promoting it. Plus, by doing that I find I have little time to be perusing other blogs!

  52. I’ve noticed that when bloggers forget WHY they started blogging in the first place (or if it was simply to “make money”) they don’t do well. I have worked hard to keep my blog consistent with my why over the last 10 years and I’m totally happy with where I’m at now 🙂

  53. Sharon Glascoe

    Ugh I need to remember to keep investing in myself and the blog. That’s such a good point! Thanks for this awesome list!

  54. I have to agree! Inconsistency is so hard, but necessary! Same goes for networking! It is a hard thing to get figured out when you’re first starting off if you’re not used to it!

  55. Really good tips! While it’s great to read other people’s content to see what they’re doing well, I agree that often people just copy ideas for the sake of having something to post and it ends up being boring.

  56. yes! These are all soooo accurate! I had never really thought of the consistency in the sense of a yoga partner before… but I totally get it! Actually love that metaphor!

  57. I’m still continuing to learn about blogging and the networking part is SO true. You do need friends in this blogging world to support you! xx

  58. Bad writing is a big pet peeve of mine, I always try to get my mom to proof my work if I feel I am off!

  59. Networking was the biggest one for me I think! I needed to get outside my comfort zone!!

  60. I was nodding my head through this entire article, because I made every single one of these mistakes when I began! I still struggle with consistency in the fall, when my FT job takes up all of my time. But I’m always working on ways to fix that. This is a great post!

  61. All so true!! I still struggle with several of these and I’ve been blogging for 3 years! Blogging truly is hard and there is so much more that goes into it than people realize.

  62. Marijanna Vukovic

    Very true! There’s no doubt it’s tough and will be tough always. But thank you for making me very aware on seomthings I need to change.

  63. Oyinkan Ogunleye

    Consistency and remembering the “why” is soooo important! It keeps you on your feet and reminds you why you need to keep going even when you don’t feel like it.

  64. Brittany Daoud

    I really like that you included the “people don’t care” aspect. It’s so true! I have another blogger friend who seems to feel like she’s owed page views or likes or followers on IG simply because she exists as a blogger. I feel like keeping in mind the fact that you’re just you and the majority of the world has no idea who you are can keep you humble and also from getting too discouraged if growth is slow!

  65. Great post! Love how you pointed out the importance of investing in yourself. Sometimes it can be tempting to delve into advertisements and paid promotional posts for products you don’t believe it, but its so important to remember to stay true to your brand and your own voice.

    1. It definitely is! I think it’s better to start with 1 post a week and have a few ready to go before adding in another post to your consistent schedule. That way you can stay on top of it

  66. I totally have to cut back on the amount of content I was taking in because it was too much and overwhelming. I also deal with the proof reading issue. No I write the post, put it in grammarly then have the computer read it back to me so I can hear anything that might sound funny.

    1. It’s so helpful. If you’re using a Mac, highlight the part you want to listen to, go to edit and the speech function and select “Start speaking” and it should work. Some Macs have function keys set up.

  67. Jazzmine Woodard

    This is great, Rachel! The point about promoting including engaging via blog and social comments is really spot on. Thank for sharing.

  68. I love this post! Every single thing you said is so true. I’ve been trying to work harder on so many of these things especially the proofreading. It’s hard to find that healthy medium between cool post with great spelling and MLA paper.

    1. HAHA the balance is so hard! I always tell clients, to write like you are talking to friends. That’s your voice. Don’t over think it. Then your editing just takes it from a stream of consciousness to an organized flow.

  69. i am so guilty of forgetting to promote haha… especially in the last few months with my full time job I’ve totally abandoned any promoting! these are all such great points, amazing post (as usual!) girl x

  70. Being inconsistent is the killer of blogging. Its so hard tho sometimes! Thats something I need to be better at.

  71. Great post! This is exactly what i needed to hear! I definitely lack in the promoting aspect of blogging, so this was a great reminder for getting that ratio in check. Thanks!

  72. Investing in yourself is so important. You need to spend money on growing and developing.

  73. This is great, as always. (Clearly, I’m going on a TCM binge in the airport right now – thanks for the layover entertainment).
    I have been SO BAD about being consistent recently and have been beating myself up over it. I can’t seem to find that work, blog, life balance. I’m working on it though. Interestingly enough, the question my readers ask the most is how I balance everything. To which, I laugh – because I don’t do it well. I can’t wait until I figure out this balancing act and can share my secrets. Hopefully after I get a new job, am no longer in a long distance-ish new relationship where I travel every weekend, and figure out my health stuff, I’ll get my act together again.
    This post really inspired me to get it together soon so I can start implementing all these tips and start investing in my blog again. I really want to start making money off of it one day – and to do that I need to post consistently again and have new, relevant content up there on a regular basis.
    Thanks for the inspiration, love!
    xoxo Lauren | Glitter & Grandeur

    1. Ahh! I have no idea why it took me so long to see your comment Lauren! Sorry! IT’s funny though that I’m seeing it RN, because I’m struggling so much with balance and I’m supposed to be a work-life balance expert so I’m laughing right there with you! haha – I hope you’re feeling okay and that the job and blog are going well!

  74. Yes yes yes! 100% all of these – and you can’t really skip *any* of them and be truly successful. I’m struggling with my WHY on my own blog right now, but I hope I will reconnect with it again soon!

  75. My Veteran Woman Life

    These are all spot on! It’s so important to be consistent and to also write properly. I’ve come across many blogs that have poor grammar and punctuation, as well as just not staying on a set topic in the post. That is something that will keep me from coming back to their page.

  76. These are all such important points. I find myself spending more and more time on promotion these days, and I think it totally pays off! It’s something that’s easy to forget about, especially when you’re just starting out. I also feel like if content is king, consistency is queen! xx

  77. I laughed when I read about how much you proof-read, I do the same thing. I do care about my readers and their thoughts on how I write, what I write about and if they feel its qualitative. Great article with many pointers to follow.

  78. I need to network so much more! I used to be so consistent with that. But now I’m so behind on it! This is a great reming to make some time for it. At least for a few minutes everyday.

  79. These are amazing tips, R. When I first started blogging I didn’t understand promotion — the 20-80 breakdown was huge for me!

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