Do you think that I have always been successful in blogging?
Hell no. I also was a rookie and I have to say that I have made a shitload of mistakes in my first years and there was literally no blog that would teach you basic things and guide you.
Luckily for all of you, it is 2018 and there are many genuine experienced bloggers that really want to help newcomers, however they are also so called gurus that will give you advice that will only prevent you from achieving any good results.
In this post, I am happy to share with you the three most common mistakes that I see new bloggers make every single day and I have also made them myself in the early stages of my online journey.
I really do hope that you will greatly benefit from my own lessons.
Did you make any of these mistakes already?
Well, do not worry, it is not the end of the world or the end of your blog either, because I have some solutions for you. Just keep reading, my friend.
1) Focusing On Quantity Over Quality
I have been a blogging consultant for years and I see this scenario happen all the time with my clients:
New bloggers come and they create dozens of posts in a very short period of time but they are just a few hundred words long, even more, they contain very little valuable information and they are stuffed with keywords in every few sentences.
So there is no wonder that their blogs do not get any organic traffic from Google.
I would say that this method of creating content may work a decade ago but nowadays when there are so many blogs in every single industry, you have to create something really good, unique to stand out from the herd of thousands of competitors and get even noticed by the almighty Google.
If you want to succeed in any niche as a blogger, then you will need to write compelling and in depth posts that are at least 1,500 words long because otherwise, your competitors are going to outrank you very easily with their meaty content.
If you are blogging in, let’s say, a fitness niche, then go search for some fitness tips and notice one thing that the best ranking blogs will always have more long form content than the ones that rank worse.
Just ask yourself honestly, do you prefer to read very short posts that are very generic or the ones that detailed and highly informative and help you solve any issues that you might have?
I am pretty sure it is the latter.
However, there are a few successful bloggers that add short posts and yet they rank very well on Google. One of them is Seth Godin.
His posts are just about 300 to 500 words long, and some are even shorter.
So why does Google love his so much then?
Well, he is an excellent writer so his content is unique so much that you will not find something similar anywhere and he has written over 7,000 valuable posts and they always get tons of comments and each one of them is shared hundreds of times on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
On top of that, his blog has been linked to by hundreds of authority sites like CNN, BBC and Forbes.
So if you are new to the blogging world then you will need to write longer posts than your already established competitors have, in order to get any attention from search engines.
In 2018, short posts will not cut it unless you are an authority in your niche and you have been blogging for so many years like Seth Godin.
2) Using A Free Blogging Platform
Do you like free stuff?
Well, who does not like freebies… I do not know such person.
But if you want to start a blog business and you are not willing to invest just a few bucks a month in it and you go the free route then you can not expect your visitors and even Google to take you seriously.
I can understand those new bloggers that do not know any better can be easily tempted by ads and salespeople from blogging platforms that promise everything for free.
If you are thinking about starting your own blog today then do not fall for this trap because, yes you will save a little bit of money but you will be getting lots of headaches, problems down the road and you might even get your blog disappear out of nowhere.
There are tons of advantages of using such free services but I will mention only the biggest ones:
- You will not be able to make any money. Even the most popular free blogging platforms like WordPress.com will not let you to sell your Ebooks, add some ads or even an affiliate link to your posts. Yet, they will reserve the right to put their own unrelated advertisements all over your blog so they can earn some extra cash. So you can expect that once your posts start getting some visitors, they will start monetizing your traffic.
- You will get a shitty subdomain. If you decide to use Blogger.com then your website address will be something like: yourfreeblog.blogspot.com. It is not only super hard to remember but such name says that you are not serious at all and you are just dabbling. Even if you have an amazing content, your visitors will be reluctant to buy anything from you, listen to your advice or even revisit your blog in the future.
- Google does not like free blogs. I do not remember when was the last time I have seen a free blog rank high on Google for any competitive keywords. Every successful blogger will tell you that Google is the best source of awesome traffic which is free and very targeted so that is why you should not use such services like Blogger and WordPress.com if you really want to be found by thousands of your potential readers. One of my buddies has moved from WordPress.com to a self hosted WordPress.org a few years ago and he bought a real domain and after just a one month an organic traffic has increased tenfold.
- Non-existence support. What will you do when your blog suddenly crashes or even worse, when a hacker gets hold of your all data which includes all your posts, the theme that you are using and makes your blog inaccessible? Well, if you use a free blogging platform, then I really do feel sorry for you because you are basically now on your own because such services do not provide any good customer support to their clients.
- There are way too many limitations. You can not even make some really minor tweaks to the theme if you have some coding skills because you are not allowed to edit the code. If you use WordPress.com, then you can forget about installing any useful free plugins like Yoast SEO that would help you to get better rankings in Google, because guys from WordPress.com does not let you to add any plugins to your blog unless you upgrade to their premium plan that will cost you around $100 per year. With WordPress.org, on the contrary, you will be free to choose from thousands of themes and plugins and you will be able to customize your theme however you like.
If you have not discouraged you from using free blogging platforms then please take a look at my post titled why using a free hosting for your blog is a bad idea.
I just want you to save you from making a very costly mistake that I and millions of other people have made.
I would highly suggest you to get yourself a real host to save yourself tons of time, cash and headaches.
The one hosting provider that I currently use and I can, in all honesty, recommend is BlueHost for all kinds of people, especially for newbies.
The last week I have partnered with them since to get all readers of StartABlog2Day the best deal possible.
Now, if you use this affiliate link now, you will get be able to grab their basic plan for just $2.95 instead of their regular price which is 7 bucks and they will also give you a domain name completely for free.
Do you have already a blog set up on Blogger or WordPress.com? Well, do not worry then, guys from BlueHost will help you to move your all data over to their servers so you will not lose any posts, pictures, et cetera and you will be able to install a WordPress.org software on it within a two clicks of a mouse.
I have been using them for five years now and they are the best host I have ever used and I do not plan to change them any time soon (unless something really disastrous happens or they got bought out, both of the scenarios are highly unlikely to happen).
3) Having Too Many Ads
I hate to say this but the sad truth is that the vast majority of all new bloggers think that the more ads they put, the more money they will make.
As a person that has been making a living with blogs for over a decade, I can say that they can not be further from the truth.
The thing is that people hate ads in general (for a good reason).
Just tell me:
Do you enjoy watching a commercial after commercial on TV between your favorite television shows?
To be honest, I do not know a sane person that does enjoy watching them.
So you can expect that approximately 95% of all visitors will not spend more than five seconds on your blog that is loaded with annyoing ads, let alone click on any ads because once they see, let’s say, ten Adsense ads on your blog, an average visitor will leave your blog and never come back to your.
Another reason, why you should not have too many ads is because almost a half of the online world uses apps like Adblock which block all intrusive ads from their browsers.
So even if you put 100 Adsense ads on your blog, 50% of your readers will never see any of them anyway.
Also, Google is very smart so they will also notice right away that your visitors leave your blog so quickly and they do not any read posts at all (your bounce rate is way too high), so what Google will do is, they will significently decrease your rankings and they might even completely remove your blog from search engine results.
I know that it might sound very scary because it might happen to anyone who runs a spammy site with lots of annoying ad banners.
My good friend, Zack, got his whole domain blacklisted by Google one day, so people could not be able to find his posts anymore on any search results pages.
Guess why Google has done that to him?
The reason why he was so severely punished was because his blog had a very high bounce rate (something like 95% – which means that 95% of all his readers left his blog right away without reading even a post) due to over monetization aka having too many damned ads.
He had have to let that domain die (I mean expire) and build his new site from scratch.
You should limit your number of ads to one or two and really put yourself in the place of the guy that enters your blog for the very first time.
I know that setting up an Adsense ad is easy, since you just need to install a one plugin to your WordPress blog and then copy and paste the code from Google and you are all set.
But this kind of monetization is not profitable anymore because Google will pay you only a few cents every time someone clicks on the ad.
I will tell you even more, you will not only be paid pennies, but you will also lose tons of visitors that will clicks on ads because they will be send to potential competitors that will sell some products on their sites.
That is why you will never ever see any Adsense ads on this or any other blog owned by me.
If I ever promote someone else’s products, it is because I know that they are legit and can be very useful for my audience since I have used them myself and I found them really great.
I will not put five banners inside my content and five other ads in my sidebar, footer and in the header, not only because I am worrying that Google will punish me or my readers will say good bye to me, but also because I understand that the psychology of choice applies to online business.
Look, if you have two ads that promote your Ebooks or your online courses, then you make the very easy choice for your readers and they will buy one that interests them the most. It is easy pick, because one person prefers to read content and the other one prefers to watch videos.
But if you have twenty different ads and I visit your blog, I will not make any choice which means no sale for you, simply because my brain is overloaded with too many options.
So now I hope that you understand that an ugly and spammy looking blog with tons of annoying ads is not going to be profitable and successful.
Now, if you avoid just these three mistakes and you listen to the tips that I gave you in this very post, then you will be way ahead of thw most of new bloggers that make such errors unintentionally because they were lured by catchy commercials or they did listen to a so called Internet guru.
And looking back, I really wish that I would known about these things when I was starting out in the online world so I would not waste lots of time and money.
I want to know what mistakes that I listed did you make?
As always, if you want to ask me anything related to blogging, then you know what to do. Yes, please leave me a comment.