Blogging Mistakes I Made As A Beginner - Denelia Storm | Growing Your Business & You

Blogging Mistakes I Made As A Beginner

by - July 01, 2020



9 Deadly Blogging Mistakes You Might Be 

Making


With the one year anniversary of my blog right around the corner, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the mistakes I made when starting out. I was very ambitious when I created my blog and missed a lot of things in the process. Hopefully, because of this post, you can avoid making the same mistakes I did.

Psst...I need to let you know that some of the links below are affiliate links. It's not anything bad, this just means that if you make a purchase through one of the links below I might earn a small commission. (at no extra cost to you of course!) If you want to learn more about affiliate links click here to read my disclosure policy.


Mistake #1: Not Picking A Niche

This was probably the biggest mistake I made when starting my blog. Every article I read about starting a blog said that you should pick a niche but for some reason, I didn't listen. I started my blog off as a lifestyle blog with categories of study, blogging, reviews and entertainment. However, these were not topics I was passionate about and I soon realized this. Not having a niche was bad for several reasons such as:

  • It was hard to write content: because I was juggling so many niches I had trouble coming up with what to write. Now that I have a more concrete niche, It's easier to come up with content ideas for my audience.
  • I couldn't describe my blog: back when I was a lifestyle blogger, it was hard for me to answer the question "what value do you provide to your audience?" I would always say that I'm a lifestyle blogger creating content in XYZ but that wasn't enough to bring in an engaged target audience.
  • I was stressed: because I was writing content in so many different categories I had to become an expert in everything. I spent a lot of time researching on my computer in order to write new blog posts. 
  • I couldn't find my target audience: It was hard to find my target audience because I was writing for too many different people. 
  • I struggled with defining myself on social media: I couldn't properly brand myself on social media because of all the different content I was writing. Again this ties into me not being able to describe exactly what value my blog brought to my readers. 


How To Avoid This Mistake

Come up with a niche before creating your blog or if you already have a niche, further define it. This cost me a lot of content when I started niching down and I don't want this to happen to you. 

When picking a niche consider topics that you genuinely love and then break it down it as much as possible. For example, if you like cooking and want food to be your niche, determine exactly what type of food you're able to write about. Maybe you love Asian cuisine but don't know that much about it. In this case, Asian cuisine wouldn't be a good niche for you. Even though it's something you love, you wouldn't be able to make genuine content about Asian cuisine because its not your specialty.

Here are some tips for deciding your niche:
  • Pick something you love but also something you can write about effortlessly
  • Break down the topic as much as possible (this will help you build an engaged community of readers) 
  • Think if this is something you can write about long-term without getting bored or running out of ideas
  • If you're looking to make money blogging, consider if your niche is the best for making a profit

If you want to learn more about picking your niche, check out this interview I did with fitness blogger Lauren Hollie. In this interview, she shares exactly how she knew fitness was the perfect niche for her blog. 

Mistake #2: Neglecting Thorough Research

All these bloggers showing you how to start a blog in 15 minutes aren't setting you up for blogging success. It may sound exciting to start a blog as fast as possible, but in the end, you're not going to get anywhere. There is a lot of research that goes into creating a blog and I wish I did more before I started because maybe by now I would have been more successful. 

How To Avoid This Mistake

Do your research thoroughly before starting a blog. Take notes and learn as much as you can about everything to do with blogging.

I highly recommend investing in digital products such as Ebooks and online courses to fast track your learning. Not only do you learn everything in half the time when using digital products but you can also make money afterwards by becoming an affiliate. (if possible) 

Not investing in digital products as a beginner is another mistake I made when starting out and I don't want you to make the same one. Take it from me, you need to invest in your blog in order to be successful. 

Here are some topics you should research to get started. I will discuss the bolded items more in-depth later on in the post, so keep reading to learn how you can master them as a beginner. 

  • Blog post writing
  • Monetization
  • Graphic Design
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing 
  • Website Development
  • SEO

Mistake #3: Not writing enough content in advance

If you start your blog with only one post, you're going to be struggling for a long time. The only way to promote your blog is to have content to promote. Because I only had one blog post, I kept asking people to read the same post and wasn't able to use social media marketing to its full advantage.

It's easier to drive traffic to your blog if there is more to drive traffic to. 

How To Avoid This Mistake

Write 20-30 high-quality blog posts before launching your blog so you'll actually have something to promote. I know it sounds like a lot but if you do a little bit every day and set up a blog post workflow, 20 posts will feel like nothing. 

Also, if you write a bunch of content before launching your blog, there's no extra pressure of having to meet deadlines because no one knows about your blog yet. Then, when your blog finally launches you won't have to worry about constantly writing new content because will already have 20-30 posts written.

But what if writing isn't your strongest suit. Did you know there are a bunch of ways for you to be a blogger without actually writing your own blog post? 

The main part of running a blog is writing content. This is definitely something you want to learn more about before starting your blog. 

However, if you're not confident in your writing but still want to start a blog, there are ways you can do so. 

You can hire a Fiverr freelancer to write your blog posts for as low as $7!

The first way is to hire someone from Fiverr to write blog posts for you. Fiverr is a freelance service marketplace where you can find someone to help you with literally anything at a reasonable price. The cheapest writing services on Fiverr start at only $7 CAD. Fiverr is a great place to look if you're interested in hiring a freelancer to write your blog posts.

Not only will this save you time as a beginner, but most of the freelancers on Fiverr optimize their articles for Google search engines. This is another benefit of hiring a freelancer which will be good for you and your blog later down the road. 

If you're a beginner and don't have enough time to write blog posts or aren't a good writer, hire a freelancer on Fiverr for as low as $7 by clicking here.

Another place you can find someone to write blog content for you is Articoolo.

Articoolo is an online tool that uses computer AI to write high-quality articles for you in under a minute. Their technology can create unique content from scratch which you can later edit to suit your needs. All you have to do is type in what you want the article to be about and Articoolo will write it for you. 

Take a look at the video below to see how I used Articoolo to write an article (500 words) about content marketing. 



And the best thing about Articoolo is the prices! You can get 10 high-quality articles for only $20 and if you subscribe you save 50% meaning you'll get 30 articles for only $30/month. That's only $1 per article, it doesn't get any cheaper than this.

If you're ready to get started with Articoolo, click here to be taken to the site. Did I mention that your first article is absolutely FREE? You can get your first article written by Articoolo at completely no cost to you.

Mistake #4: Forgetting An Email List

I ignored the importance of a mailing list for about 4 months when I started blogging which is one of the choices I regret the most. As you grow as a blogger you will start to realize the importance of a mailing list more and more. Your email list is like an exclusive club filled with the most engaged readers from your blog. These are the people that are fully engaged with your content and want to stay updated about your blog. 

By neglecting to start an email list early on, I missed the opportunity to build my blog community and have a group of engaged readers. 

How To Avoid This Mistake

Join an email marketing service and create opt-in freebies for your readers before launching your blog. I currently use Mailerlite which is free for your first 1000 subscribers (I haven't reached that mark yet).

Mailerlite is beginner-friendly and has a bunch of features for you to engage your email list. With Mailterlite you can make a pop of subscriber forms, automate your emails and even create landing pages for your freebies. 

If you currently aren't using Mailerlite, you're really are missing out. Some of my favourite bloggers such as Amanda from The Rising CEO uses Mailerlite for email marketing. 

  Are you ready to grow your blog with email marketing? Great! Sign-up for Mailerlite for FREE by clicking here and receive a 20 credit sign-up bonus. 

One of the resources I really wish I used as a beginner was the Her Paper Route Email Marketing course. 

The blog Her Paper Route was created by an entrepreneur named Chelsea who currently makes about $12,000 a month from her blog alone. One of her sources of income is affiliate marketing which she promotes through her email list. 

If you want to see results like Chelsea and up your email marketing game (the course is beginner-friendly as well) I really suggest you take a look at her email marketing course here. 


Mistake #5: Not Using Social Media To Grow My Blog

Social media marketing is the easiest way to drive free traffic to your blog. Unfornently I didn't start taking social media seriously until two months ago. 

There is a lot that goes into creating social media accounts that are able to drive traffic to your blog, but at the time I wasn't willing to learn how to properly brand myself. 

Since using social media I have seen a steep increase in my blog traffic from only Pinterest and Twitter. I have over 500 followers on Twitter and over 175k monthly page views on Pinterest.

If you are just getting started with social media and want to start bringing free unlimited traffic to your blog, I suggest signing up for my FREE Social Media Starter Pack below. 


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How To Avoid This Mistake

Social media is now my blog #1 traffic source and it has become my niche, so trust me when I say that marketing on social media is the best way to grow your blog. 

Create social media accounts for your blog early on and brand yourself properly. Follow people in your industry and learn from them. As a beginner, I highly suggest creating a Twitter account because it is one of the easier platforms to master and there is a huge blogging community on Twitter that is more than happy you help you. 


Another social media platform you can use to drive traffic to your blog is Pinterest. Countless bloggers have seen crazy success with Pinterest and some of them use Pinterest to drive close to 100 000 viewers to their blog per month. 

Pinterest marketing is a little bit harder than Twitter but the end results are worth it. You can sign-up for Pinterest here and learn how to convert to a business account in this post. 

Here are more Pinterest resources to help you on your journey:


Mistake #6: Trying To Be Perfect 

I would beat myself up every day when I was just starting out for making silly spelling mistakes, missing deadlines and so many other things that weren't worth it. I thought the only way I could be successful was to be perfect.

Every time I worked on my blog, I would compare it to bigger bloggers and belittle my own accomplishments. This was an unhealthy mindset and set me far back as a blogger. 


You're not expected to be perfect as a beginner and I paid the price for trying to achieve that. 

How To Avoid This Mistake

Understand that nothing you do will ever be perfect because there is no such thing. We have to continuously make mistakes so we can learn from them and help those around us. There is no such thing as the perfect blogger or the perfect blog post, we are all just learning from one another and trying our best.

Don't waste time trying to be perfect. Spend your time mastering your craft and learning as much as you can to improve yourself each day. 

For quotes to stay motivated and inspired as a blogger, check out this Pinterest board. 

Mistake #7: Not Buying A Premium Theme

When starting my blog, I was very hesitant to spend money because I didn't believe I would get the results I'm was looking for. Now a year later, I truly believe that the only way to make money is to spend money and my first purchase for my blog was a premium theme. 

Using a free theme is like being trapped in a box. You can't customize it to your likings and stand out as a new blogger. If you're using a free theme the chances are that there are thousands of other blogs that look exactly like yours. How are you supposed to stand out as a blogger if your website looks like everyone else's?

How To Avoid This Mistake

Invest in a good premium theme for your blog. You can buy and get your premium theme installed by a Fiverr freelancer (which I did!) for less than $10. The downside of this is that you don't get access to continous tech support once the offer is complete. But Fiverr is still a good option if you are looking to save a couple dollars.

For those of you willing to spend a little bit more, Envato Market is the place to go. Envato Market has close to 12,000 premium Wordpress themes available for download. The best part is, all themes come with 6 months of tech support for those of you (myself included) that aren't tech-savvy. 

   Click here to go to the Envato Market and buy your premium theme today!

Mistake #8: Not Doing Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the ways you can make money from your blog with low traffic. I made my first affiliate sale with only 1000 monthly pageviews. However, that didn't happen until last month (almost 9 months after I started my blog. Yikes!) because I waited so long to get started. 

I wish that when I started my blog I signed up for affiliate programs and learned marketing strategies from other bloggers that have seen success with affiliate marketing.   

How To Avoid This Mistake 

Many people start a blog with the intention of opening up another income stream in their lives. If you want to earn profit from your blog there are many monetization methods you need to research beforehand. Some of these include:

  • Selling digital products
  • Ads 
  • Affiliate marketing 
  • Sponsorships 
If you're looking to get started with monetizing your blog, I suggest taking the Her Paper Route Blog Monetization Course. Chelsea (the founder of Her Paper Route) makes over $12 000/month from her blog alone. In this course, she shows you the exact strategy she uses to generate that much income from her blog. 

  Are you ready to start monetizing your blog? Sign-up for the Her Paper Route Blog Monetization Course here and learn how Chelsea makes over $12 000 a month blogging. 


Another way to make money by blogging as a beginner is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a form of passive income where you earn a small commission rate or sometimes set fee when someone makes a purchase through your unique link. 

One of the things I wish I did as a beginner was invested in my blog. Investing in your blog not only makes everything easier but saves you a ton of time from research things on your own. If you are a beginner getting started with affiliate marketing I highly suggest purchasing this affiliate marketing bundle by The She Approach. This bundle teaches you how to make your first $1000 with affiliate marketing step-by-step. 

To those of you interested in getting started with affiliate marketing I recommend signing up for the network Shareasale. Shareasale is an affiliate marketing network with over 3,000 brands all ready to work with you! The application process takes less than five minutes and new bloggers are almost always accepted. I was accepted with less than 100 monthly page views on my blog.

I'm currently using Shareasale to generate affiliate income from sites such as Tailwind and Grammarly. You cna do the same by signing up for Shareasale here.

Mistake #9: Not being consistent

Consistency is everything when it comes to blogging. You can't see results if you decide to work on your blog for only two days out of the week and ignore it the other five. 

I took so many breaks in my first year of blogging and suffered because of it. I started blogging last year August and by December I was averaging 3000 pageviews a month. However, I decided to go on a hiatus for 4 months and now I'm struggling to build back up my traffic.

If I blogged consistently for my entire first year, imagine where I could have been now. 

How To Avoid This Mistake

Set a good pace and work at that pace. Do your research and figure out realistically how much time you can dedicate to your blog per day. Create a blog strategy for your writing, promotion and monetization. 

To be a successful blogger you need to be productive. When you set aside time to work on your blog, you need to make sure that you are making the most of that time. A lot of bloggers struggle with productivity and that's why I created this free email course to help you on your journey. 

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Why Am I Sharing This

To help you of course! It's embarrassing to highlight all my silly mistakes, but my reason for making this post is to stop you from doing the same things I did. 

Please take note of everything I said in this post and learn from the experiences I shared. 

What are some of your beginner blogging mistakes? Let me know in the comments!