When I started blogging, I was a bit all over the place. I didn’t really know what I was doing or where to go for more information. Heck, that’s still the case now, even after almost two years of blogging (!!!). There are a lot of things I wish I had known before I started blogging, and one of those things is what blogging mistakes I was making. I would have saved so much time if I had known these things when I first started!
So today I’m sharing with you 5 blogging mistakes newbie bloggers often make when they first start blogging, and how you can fix them!
You’re not creating Pinterest-optimized images.
I’ll be honest with you here. Pinterest is the #1 source of traffic for most bloggers. In my case, Pinterest represents 76.75% of all of my traffic. It brings thousands of visitors to my blog every month. It’s the one thing I wish I had understood sooner as a blogger. If you’re not using Pinterest properly, you’re missing out on a BIG size of your targeted audience!
But success on Pinterest doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just post any image on your blog and hope for the best. You need a Pinterest strategy.
How to fix it
- Create pins that follow the 800×1200 format. Optimized pins for Pinterest are large and long. And make sure your pins are vertical! Pinterest favors pins in that format.
- Create a template for your pins. Honestly, this is my #1 tip when it comes to mastering Pinterest. Create a template and a stick to it! You can also come up with a couple variations of your template, just in case. Having a template is such a time saver and is definitely a big part of a strategic usage of Pinterest! How are your readers supposed to recognize your content if you change your template every time you have a new post out?
You’re not using social media to its full extent.
For most people, social media is just a way to keep in touch with friends
and to stalk other people. (HA!) But for bloggers, it’s entirely different! Social media is a great way to connect with other bloggers and promote your content. If you’re still using it solely for personal matters, what are you waiting for?
How to fix it
- Create social media profiles for your blog. You probably already have social media profiles for personal matters. Some people decide to use them for their blog too, and there’s no problem with that. I personally prefer to have two separate accounts, because not everything that I post on my personal account will interest my readers, and vice-versa. I recommend having two accounts, but that’s only because that’s what I feel comfortable with. Honestly, the choice is yours. If you do not have any kind of social media profile yet, then I highly recommend you get some for you blog!
- Use your Instagram captions to promote your website/product. Forget artsy Instagram captions. If you’re not using Instagram for promoting purposes – like ever, then you’re doing it wrong! I’m not saying that you have to ditch artsy and insightful captions altogether, but you should consider using them to promote your blog every once in a while! Instagram may not be a big traffic referrer in my case, but I try to let my followers know every time I have a new blog post out. If you’re not promoting your blog on Instagram, then you’re missing out on a huge chunk of your audience!
- Promote content other than your own. 80/20 is the general rule on social media – meaning you promote other people’s content 80% of the time, and 20% of the time is your own. Promoting other people’s content also puts you as an authority in your niche, because you’re sharing other great resources to your readers! It’s also a great way to network with other bloggers.
- Don’t just be on promoting mode 24/7. I don’t know about you, but I just hate it when the only thing I see on someone’s Twitter account is links to their blog post. I need you to get a little bit personal here! If you’re promoting all the time, it makes you less human in your readers’ eyes. Share anecdotes, your inner thoughts, and ask questions! Get creative!
- Interact with your followers! One of the strategies that work best for growing your social media platforms is to interact with your followers. Leave a comment on their Instagram picture, reply to their tweet, comment on their post on Facebook… Not only does it show that you care, but it’s also a great way to make friends!
It’s all about you.
One of the mistakes that I made when I first started blogging was making my blog all about myself. Of course, it’s your blog so you should be writing about things that you like and showcase your personality. But to a certain extent, your blog is not all about yourself. You have to remember that people are narcissists. They like when you’re talking about them.
How to fix it
- Create content that resonates with your targeted audience. Find topics within your niche that you know your audience will enjoy. Not sure what your audience likes? Ask them! Check your analytics, create a survey or a Twitter poll… Just ask! You can often be surprised about what your audience truly wants!
- Make the content about them, but tell your own story. Remember when I said that people like to hear about themselves? Then that’s exactly what you have to do! Give the people what they want, but intertwine your own story with it. Then you’re sure to have created the best blog post ever!
You’re not engaging with your readers.
Readers are what keep your blog alive. It baffles me when I see those big bloggers completely ignore their readers. I mean, who do you think you are? Do you think you would even be where you are right now if it wasn’t for your readers? So don’t leave your readers hanging dry! If you want to keep them, you have to interact and engage with them on some level!
How to fix it
- Ask questions at the end of your posts and on social media. It can be hard to generate engagement. One of the best ways to do it is to ask questions! That will give your readers ideas on how to engage with you.
- Reply to comments. When someone leaves you a thoughtful comment, the least you can do is reply to it. I mean, that person has taken their time reading your post and leaving a comment, so the least you can do is take some time to reply to it!
- Interact with people on social media. Leave a thoughtful comment on an Instagram picture, reply to a tweet, comment on Facebook… Create relationships with your readers!
You’re not using your stats.
One of the biggest blogging mistakes you can make is completely ignoring your analytics. I know, numbers are not everything, but they are an important thing to consider! Your stats can tell you a lot about someone’s blog and business, and if you’re serious about blogging, then you HAVE to start caring about them.
How to fix it
- Use Google Analytics. If you’re haven’t installed Google Analytics on your blog yet, GO DO IT RIGHT NOW. It’s honestly the best thing that you’ll do as a blogger (and it’s completely free!). It’s not that complicated, and once you’ll have it, you won’t be able to live without it. I know WordPress and Blogger have their own way of showing your stats, but Google Analytics goes so much more in depth! There’s a lot of stuff that WordPress and Blogger won’t tell you, but Google Analytics will.
- Keep track of your stats in a spreadsheet. I suggest that once a month, you go ahead and write down your stats. Not only is it a great way to analyze your blog and to track your progress, but it can also be a lifesaver when it comes to creating your media kit or when you’re applying to collaborate with a brand.
- Check your most popular pages are and create related content. One of the things I use the most on Google Analytics is the popular pages section. To find it, go to Behavior > Site Content > All pages. You’ll find what pages are performing best. Now, if you know that those pages bring a lot of visitors to your blog, why not try to create similar content? Is there a topic in those post that you went over quickly but that you could detail more?
Blogging is an evergrowing industry, and we will always be learning. I am learning something new every day! Everyone has their two cents on the matter, and maybe what worked for me won’t work for you. The important thing is, it has to remain fun! I think the worst blogging mistake you can make is not having fun.
Are you making any of these blogging mistakes? What do you consider to be the biggest mistake you can make in blogging?
On a totally unrelated note, April 24 marks my second year of blogging! To celebrate the occasion, I’m hosting a Q&A that will go live on the day of my second blogiversary. So send me your questions! You can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also leave your question down below! It can be about anything – college, blogging, or something completely random or personal!