7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes

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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!

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

160 thoughts on “7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes”

  1. 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

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Jazzmine Woodard

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

  15. 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!

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