7 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make (and how to fix them)

No one is perfect.

Except maybe Jude Law, but that’s neither here nor there 😉

In my last 8 months of blogging, I’ve discovered that SO much of what’s involved is purely trial and error. There’s no one “right way” to do things. Everyone is different. Different things appeal to different people, work better for different niches, etc.

But I have noticed some common trends of things that don’t help anyone. Things I’ve been guilty of and wish someone gave me the reasoning behind it so I’d know to change it up sooner!

Today I want to share 7 common mistakes we bloggers make. You don’t know until you know, right?? Or you might have been told, but never understood WHY. Let’s change that.

 

Mistake #1: Not having an email list, or a way for people to sign up for one.

I put this as #1 because THIS WAS SO ME. I remember reading other blogs early on and thinking “why do these people harp so hard on the email list thing? I don’t get it.” Come 3 months later I was kicking myself for not listening sooner.

The fact is, you don’t OWN your social media accounts. If your Instagram account got shut down or deleted or marked as spam somehow, how would you reach out to your followers?? I’ve actually seen this happen to people, and it’s scary for a business that relies on contact with an audience!

The way to prevent that is having an email list. Facebook could get shut down tomorrow, but there will always be email. JUST DO IT.

I know it might seem daunting. It was pretty confusing for me in the beginning but I think I’ve gotten it down a bit more now. The important thing is just to begin. Ya gotta start somewhere. Email me if you need help, I’d be happy to assist any way I can!

I recently switched from Mailchimp to MailerLite for my email list and it’s free up to 1000 subscribers, so that’s nice. No cost to start up! It’s also very user friendly.

 

Mistake #2, not being 100% yourself all the time and falling prey to comparing.

When I first got into blogging, I got sucked into the trap of comparison and emulating all of the fashion bloggers I follow. I tried to style myself like them and write like them in hopes that it would help me grow and that I’d be happy. I wanted so badly to be like them because their lives look so glamorous!

But inauthenticity doesn’t EVER help you grow, y’all. People can sense that ish.

It’s SO EASY to get wrapped up in that and see what others have and want that. Instead of comparing yourself, set that as a goal for yourself. “I will get to a place where I’m financially stable enough to purchase a Louis Vuitton bag and not eat Ramen for a month after”. It’s great to strive toward something, but don’t ever get down on yourself for not being where someone else is. They started somewhere, too!

The best thing about blogging is that every voice is different, an everyone’s voice carries value. It’s GOOD that you’re different. Standing out is fantastic! The world doesn’t need another little clone of a popular blogger. They need a new unique edition of you. So give it to them! Always be yourself.

 

Mistake #3, not treating your blog like a business. 

If you want to blog as a hobby, then that’s awesome. But most people hope to monetize their blogs and have a little side hustle goin’ on. Or, like me, you want to take your blog full time!

If you want your blog to BE a business, you have to TREAT it like one. I think the first thing that goes into that is learning as much as you can to improve yourself as a blogger and to improve your page.

There are TONS of free resources out there that are dedicated to helping you make your blog better. The blogging community is nothing if not helpful and resourceful! I love it.

The next thing, probably once you’ve been going for a little while, is to invest a bit in your business.

When I decided I really wanted to take my blog full time, I switched from Blogger to WordPress and decided to self-host with Siteground per the recommendation of another blogger that I trust.

It’s literally been the best decision I’ve made so far for my blog. I love Siteground and will always, always recommend them. I’m currently working on a re-design for this site (shh that’s a secret 😉 ) and it’s a bit confusing as I’m not a technical person, they literally help me all the time. I take FULL advantage of their 24/7 chat.

So if you’re thinking of upping your game, get started self-hosting, and invest in a theme you love.

 

 

Mistake #4, not planning ahead. 

Another thing that goes with treating your blog like a business! Take your posts seriously and set a schedule. Check out different editorial calendars.

Consistency is a huge part of blogging. Even in the beginning, it’s important to set yourself up for success later.

Note: you DO NOT need to post 5 posts a week. I swear every blogger thinks they need to post every day starting out. But you should focus on creating QUALITY content instead of just worrying about getting a post up every day. Really put work into what you’re writing instead of just writing to have something up.

Pick the days that you’re going to post every week, month, whatever. Tell yourself “I’m going to post on these days consistently” and make it a point to plan ahead what you’re going to write for those days. This takes so much of the stress out of blogging that can come when you’re trying to come up with ideas!

Keep a list of ideas ready to go for those days when the creative juices just aren’t flowing like normal. Trust me, you’ll have those days! Having a list of ideas to work off of is really helpful when your brain is too tired to fully function.

 

Mistake #5, not optimizing your blogs SEO.

What is SEO? It’s a big term for bloggers! It stands for Search Engine Optimization, meaning making sure your blog comes up in the top search results.

How do you make that happen? Keywords!!

When people search for things, they search in easy, common sense phrases. If I want a dinner recipe, that’s what I’m going to type into Google. I won’t search for “the most amazing meal for dinner”.

In this example, “dinner” is a keyword, but if I include “dinner recipe” in my blog title, it’s much more likely to pop up when people search.

It can be tempting to use a frilly, fun name for your blog posts, but the best way to get them SEEN is to name them in ways that people will search for the kind of information that’s in the post.

When naming a post, you want to title it the way you would search for the information you’re including. Resist the urge to make the title mysterious. Be as straight forward as possible!

 

Mistake #6, trying to be perfect.

Hey, I get it. It’s hard to show our work if we’re not 100% pleased with it. But have you heard the saying “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever did”? Your blog will never be perfect, so try to accept it now and make it easier on yourself haha.

If you don’t put it out there in it’s imperfect state, you can’t get better! I think failing is crucial to personal development and business development because you learn the way NOT to do things and make those mistakes again.

You have to let go of trying to make every detail perfect. It will hold you back!

Too much thinking means not enough doing. Just do it (Nike style) and get better as you go. We’re all a work in progress.

 

Mistake #7, not catering to your audience, or catering to too large of an audience.

Starting out I thought it was best to cover a whole broad range of topics. The more the merrier, right?!

Wrong.

It’s actually better to cater to a smaller, more specific audience. Let’s think about an example:

Let’s say you write a post about an awesome vegan brunch recipe. Someone comes across it and goes to your page to read the whole thing. They love it and decide to look around at what other vegan-related things you have, but there aren’t any. They will most likely leave your page and not come back thinking this was a one-off thing.

Now let’s say your site caters to vegan based things. Products, how-tos, recipes, beauty. That person is MUCH more likely to become a fan and come back, right? Because that’s what they’ll associate your site with.

It’s common for us bloggers to think that we can please everyone (or to try to!). But it’s better to find a target audience to try to please instead because it builds more credibility for you and more value for your audience.

Hone in on one or two topics you truly love and are passionate about and see if they can work together. This is called finding your “niche”. And I promise it’s better to have a smaller one because you gain a more loyal following that way! You become to go-to for that subject, which is what you want, isn’t it?

Also keep in mind which of your posts perform the best because THAT is what your audience wants to hear from you. Listen to them; it’s about them, not you!!

 

Do you have any tips or mistakes you’re familiar with that you want to share?? Or have you made any of these? I’d love to hear below!

Happy Friday!!

XO,

Dani

Leave a Comment

7 Comments

  1. Jessi wrote:

    What a great post. I am a pretty New blogger and I admit I have done a fea of these (I recently started an email sign up) thanks for sharing this.

    Posted 7.13.18 Reply
  2. Sharon wrote:

    Great read thanks for the SEO reminder!

    Posted 7.13.18 Reply
  3. Love this blogpost, fab website!

    Posted 7.13.18 Reply
  4. Renae Lee wrote:

    I have made all of these mistakes! For me, the biggest hang up is the comparison. Not necessarily the content, but the success of other bloggers. I would love for my blog to take off and provide some extra income but the process can be a little discouraging.
    I also loved that you mentioned planning ahead. I have gotten into this habit the past couple months and it makes sitting down to work much more exciting and productive. I already know what I need to work on/complete that day so I am more focused and efficient with my time.
    Great tips, girl!

    Posted 7.13.18 Reply
  5. Lauren wrote:

    Great tips! I wish I had know all this back when I started my first blog!

    Posted 7.13.18 Reply
  6. Alyssa wrote:

    I love this! I have to confess I am still guilty for number one. I KNOW how bad it is. I KNOW how much I need one, but I am just so nervous to set it up for some reason! Reading your comments motivates me to get it taken care of. I definitely want to get my email list set up.

    Posted 7.13.18 Reply
  7. I really love this post. I am new to blogging and want my site to do the best it can from the beginning. These are excellent tips. I certainly thought the exact same thing about the email list. I am also struggling with the title to my blog. I started a beta blog to get the hang of things, but I want to cover more than just housekeeping. I’m not quite sure of my niche yet, I feel like I could go so many different directions.

    Posted 7.15.18 Reply

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  • Simple is always better. I tried so hard to figure out what I was going to wear for Easter. I spent a good hour trying things on the week before. I sent my sister tons of pictures asking her thoughts. In the end, I wasn’t really satisfied with any of them for some reason so I decided to just go with an outfit I know I love and feel good in. For some reason wearing white just makes me feel super put together. And I managed to not spill anything on myself or get chocolate on my pants which is a major win y’all. .

We don’t need to overthink things so much. It just causes unnecessary stress. I do like to plan ahead because it saves me time, but I also should have realized sooner that the dress I was trying to make work just wasn’t working. Even though I love that dress, it doesn’t flatter me how I want it to and it might be time to let it go. Don’t be afraid to let go of things that don’t give you exactly what you need. You don’t have to settle, something else will always come along. Or you probably already have something else in your closet (or life, this isn’t limited to clothes!) that’s even better than what you’re trying to make work!
  • Happy Easter 🐰❤️
  • Casual Good Friday ❤️ this was yesterday’s work outfit but I jazzed myself up before we went to church with Jakes mom and stepdad last night. I cried like a baby. Good Friday always both kicks my ass and reminds me how blessed we all are. 
The beautiful KC weather this weekend is so exciting!! I’m so happy when it’s Spring weather 😍 Have a beautiful Saturday!!
  • “There is beauty in simplicity”
My simple wardrobe makes me so happy and I love the seemingly endless possibilities I have with it. Having a love of neutrals really works well for me with this! 
Happy Good Friday ❤️
  • The only things in my life these days are the things I really want there. This isn’t limited to the stuff in my house and the clothes in my closet. This includes my job, relationships, hobbies, everything. I’ve even started eating better as a by-product of simplifying my life and I just feel better over all. .

By removing the things and people that don’t make me happy, I have more time and energy for the things that do that I used to put off and not prioritize like I should have. We spend so much of our lives being “busy”. But what are we busy with? Most of it is actually unimportant when you break it down. .

I say no to things much more now and that allows me to spend more of my time relaxing and enjoying life. I used to constantly feel rushed or like I should be doing something. If I wasn’t moving, I felt like I was wasting my time. But the truth is, resting and just being home with Jake and the boys is my happy place. It brings me so much joy, so that’s what my priority is. .

Having more time to just BE has been amazing. Being more picky in my relationships has helped me really value the ones I hold most dear and has brought me to an amazing new job because I wasn’t willing to settle for anything less. Respect yourself and your time and prioritize the things that matter most to you. Life’s too short to live any other way.
  • “When you love what you have, you have everything you need.” So many wonderful things have happened since I simplified my life. Changing my outlook on life wasn’t really intentional, but I’m so thankful it happened when it did. I was kind of at a breaking point. Fed up with where I was and how things were going with my old job. Struggling with depression and comparison. I knew something had to change but I had no idea what. Simplicity was that thing. .
.
Now, I spend way less time on social media. I deleted Facebook off my phone and haven’t  looked at it in weeks. I’m much happier without it. I read a lot more. I’m getting much better at ignoring the impulse to pick up my phone and when I am on it, to compare my life to the perfect pictures people post. I even cut a few inches off my hair! 💇🏻‍♀️ I want things as easy as they can be right now. It takes a lot of stress out of my life. Try to go a whole weekend without social media and see how awesome it feels!

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