In this post, want to go over the biggest mistakes amateur Blogs make and how to easily fix them in no time.
Here is an overview of what I am covering in my post and I hope it gives you head start on building a successful blog or website for your business.
Each section highlights a mistake you might be doing or something you are missing out on doing altogether and I am giving you my Pro Tip and Resources how to overcome these obstacles easy peasy!
Here is a quick overview! Let’s jump right in!
- Not being Self Hosted
- Setting the wrong Permalink Structure
- Disregarding your Blog Security
- Not getting help or making necessary business investments
- Not using the power of Social Media to Grow Traffic
- No Branding and a free Theme
- Not monetizing from the get-go
- Ignoring SEO and Google Traffic
- Not growing Blog Subscribers and an Email List
- Not creating a Content Plan
The most common mistake I see in amateur Blogs is that they are not being self-hosted. This means starting your website at a free service such as WordPress.com or Wix.com.
If you are blogging to side hustle for some extra money or you want to create a website for your business, you need to have a self-hosted website.
You can download my free and easy Step by Step PDF Guide on “How to Self-Host your Blog” below :
Self-Hosting means you OWN your Blog and by paying for hosting you get the creative freedom you need to start your Business. Click To Tweet
This is what you CAN’T DO if your amateur blog is NOT SELF HOSTED:
- Use Adsense to run Ads on your Site and keep 100% profit!
- Install Plugins on your Site!
- Install a gorgeous paid Blog Theme!
- Totally control the Branding of your Blog!
- Optimize your site for SEO and Google!
- Make money from your Site!
- Custom Domain! (it will always include something like YourSite.Wordpress.com or YourSite.Wix.com instead of just YourSite.com!)
- Using HTML and code
You can head over to the full Blog Post on “How to Start a Blog with Siteground that makes Money” here.
IMPORTANT: Please don’t freak out if you have already started your Website for free. You can just check out the blog post above where I talk you through how to safely transfer the work you already put into your amateur Blog to a new self-hosted site.
Another mistake I personally have made myself and I can still see in a lot of amateur blogs is not defining your “Permalink” structure right!
A permalink is the web address (URL) used to link to your content. The URL to each post should be permanent and never change. You can decide how your Permalink structure looks like in your WordPress settings.
It is set to default to include the day the post or section was published and the name of the post. Something like:
However, I recommend using post name alone as permalinks as your URL will look much nicer and cleaner like this:
IMPORTANT: Once you have launched your Blog and published your post – Please DO NOT change the Permalink structure of your Website. Once you change your URL no one will find that post anymore because you just changed the address without telling the internet!
You can redirect the old URL to the new URL with a redirection link however if you have an older website you can imagine how much work this would be as you would have to redirect every single URL on your Blog to the new one!
Here is how to set this up:
Settings > Permalinks > Choose Post Name as URL Structure
October 2018 my Blog got hacked and I honestly do not wish this upon anybody and for sure no amateur blogger!
Site security might sound boring but if you do not want to be the victim of a hack and see your site misused to create false information about you and your site on the web or worse your information exposed for everyone to see get yourself some blog security and backup in place.Site security might sound boring but if you do not want to be the victim of a hack and see your site misused to create false information about you or worse your information exposed for everyone to see get yourself some blog security! Click To Tweet
Personally, I would recommend you invest in a:
My favorite backup service is called Updraft Plus. This paid service helps you with hacking, serves crashes, dodgy updates and user errors who can all ruin your site!
You can create manual or scheduled backups of your site and restore your site directly from WordPress if something went wrong or your site is down!
Site Security should be on every amateur blogger’s radar! The internet is nasty and people will try to hack your site and use it for all kinds of wrong things!
This is why you need to have some security in place so who helps you against those attacks! I would recommend Wordfence Security for this.
Wordfence includes a firewall and malware scanned for your WordPress site. It blocks attacks from the outside and scans the inside of your blog for malware, spam, and malicious redirects and code injections.
Sounds scary I know but there is really no way of sugar coating this subject than to tackle it head on and secure your site.
Not investing and getting help to run your business or blog is one of the biggest mistakes I see in amateur blogs.
The problem is we are all getting very overwhelmed when realizing blogging isn’t as easy as we thought, or we did not make 10k/month right away as we read in some misleading post by a fellow XYZ Blogger!Blogging consists of thousands of little tasks! Click To Tweet
We need to be creators, managers, designers, and teachers while at the same time manage our finances and business, resolve IT problems and lead our business into the future as a leader and visionary!
The good news is, we don’t have to do it all on our own! We can get help and invest in our business.
Investing in your business and blog means you are taking it seriously and committing to your cause while risking losing money when failing!
The even better news is there are necessary and unnecessary investments when you start as an amateur blogger. Here is an overview of things I would like you to invest in and on what you can save for later:
- Siteground Blog Hosting ($3.95 – $11.95/month) get hosting here!
- Siteground Domain Name ($12/year) start here!
- Professional Blog Theme ($65 once) read more here!
- Secure your Site with Wordfence Security ($99/year) here!
- Site Backup with Updraft Plus ($42/year) backs up your site here!
- Hiring a Social Media Assistant. The overwhelm is real but until you are making a decent amount of money from your social media accounts I would start by organizing your posts with the help of social Media Schedulers:
- Advances Landing Page builder such as Leadpages. Landing pages are one-pagers where people can opt into your email list or buy your products. A lot of email marketing services provide basic “Landing Page Builder” and “Opt-in Forms” already and I would recommend starting with them using for example ConvertKit.
Not having enough traffic to your blog is the No.1 complaint I hear from amateur bloggers and can totally relate.
We are putting so much effort into creating our blog and content which then simply no one ends up reading!
This is frustrating!
I get it.
Now there are long-term strategies such as SEO and Google I will touch upon as well but social media can really help you get some traffic to your amateur blog much faster when you are just starting out!
I have created several guides on how to generate more traffic to your site with social media and it’s a personal passion of mine!
Here are a couple of my favorite and most successful posts on that topic:
- How to use Instagram to grow your Blog!
- The Ultimate Pinterest Guide A-Z
- Join our Facebook group for Daily Sharing Threads!
Branding is one of my favorite topics and a huge part of why I personally enjoy blogging so much. However, I see a lot of amateur blogs struggle with this!
Believe me, I am no graphic designer myself and I am constantly finding things on my site I don’t like or want to improve!
But there are a few tips I can give you which will help you improve the look and branding of your site!
Invest in a premium Blog Theme!Basically, premium blog themes help you get the basic design of your blog right from the beginning. If you are struggling with design, you can get premium themes designed by professional designers! Click To Tweet
All you have to do is adapt the theme which will structure your site with your brand colors and personal images. It is super simple but very effective.
There are more beginner friendly Themes out there as well as advanced Themes where you can totally customize your Blog the way you want it to look like. Personally, I love Bluchic Themes for Beginners and I have personally used the Victoria Theme for years for whatskatieupto.com. Read the full Blog Post on “The Best Blog Themes” here.
Currently, I am using the Avada Theme. This is an advanced theme which comes with a learning curve! However, if you are willing and committing to this Theme you will gain ultimate freedom for designing your site! Ps. The Avada Theme has been the No.1 selling WP Theme for over 5 years now crazy!
As mentioned before Blogging isn’t easy and it also usually doesn’t make you 10K a month just because you press publish!
I am sorry.
I am also sorry people are lying to you and making you believe blogging is a quick fix to making a ton of money without putting any effort in!
The good news is though, you can make money from your amateur Blogs!
The better news, you can start making money from your Blog from the get-go!
In fact, I urge you to implement some of the strategies I teach to make some side hustle income from the beginning!Making money from your amateur Blog will keep you motivated. It will keep you going when things are beginning to get complicated, hard and difficult! Click To Tweet
My favorite ways of making Money from a Blog which definitely works for amateur Blogs as well are:
1. Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate Marketing is when you promote a product or service on your Blog. When someone clicks that link and buys your recommended product, you receive a sales commission.
You can start by finding products in your niche which you would love to promote to your reader right away. Just apply to affiliate networks and then select products you know and love to recommend to your reader!
2. Selling services or your physical products online:
You can use Plugins and services like WooCommerce or Shopify to create a Store Site on your Blog where you promote and sell your own unique products, or you can start providing online services such as teaching a course online!
My favorite tool to create online courses is Teachable. It’s an amazing online Teaching Platform where you can host and sell your own online course. It super easy to put together and once you have uploaded your teaching material you can start earning money right away!
SEO and Google is where loads of amateur Blogs go way wrong.
Now, I totally get it SEO is something which takes a lot of time to build and if you are just starting out and not seeing instant effects of your strategy you are easily inclined to ignore SEO altogether.
This is a huge mistake.
Yes, SEO and ranking on Google take a long time to see the effect but this is exactly the reason why you need to start making smart SEO decision right from the beginning!
I am no SEO expert but I have invested quite the energy, money and time to learn as much as I can.
I still don’t particularly enjoy the topic, but I totally understand its importance to my business.Ranking high on Google and receiving a ton of organic traffic can mean the difference between succeeding or failing with your business. Click To Tweet
Social Media traffic is great, but you never really know what is going to happen and how they are going to change their algorithms.
Maybe Instagram decides to change its algorithm and all your traffic you build just “puffs” into thin air.
SEO and Google traffic is much more long-term and safe.
Personally, I recommend Mike Pearsons online Course “Stupid Simple SEO”. I have learned so much and he teaches complicated tech stuff in a way you can easily follow along!
Stupid Simple SEO is not always open for enrollment as he wants to dedicate enough time for the students who are participating.
I would recommend you check out his site and join the waiting list, so you won’t miss the deadline when it opens up again!
Starting an email list is the same as growing blog subscribers.
Once people are on your Email List (which you own btw. not like your Pinterest or Instagram followers which could disappear overnight) you can start communicating with them via email.Email is great if you are planning to sell your products or services to your audience. It is still the most effective way of selling to people because it's much more personal and professional than other strategies used on the internet. Click To Tweet
I am personally using ConvertKit to organize my email list and communicate with my audience.
There are a ton of other great and free email marketing services such as MailChimp which is great to start.
However, if you are really looking to take your amateur blog to the next level and making it professional, I would recommend using ConvertKit.
It uses advances feature such as “Automated Email Sequences”, “Targeting” or “Visual Automation” which are absolutely incredible to create email sales funnels!
I have written a dedicated post on ConvertKit which you can read more on here!
You should definitely start growing your email list from the beginning. Your audience and customers are one of your most important assets and you should use that to your advantage!
One final mistake I often hear from amateur bloggers is that they don’t plan and research their content ahead in time.
We are all humans and have good and bad days!
On good days we are organized and feel inspired.
On bad ones, we are struggling to get anything done!
It is very important to plan your content ahead of time in order to be able to create consistent, on topic, high-quality content!
You want to make your Website a one-stop-shop for all resources in your niche!I am using Trello to organize my Blog “To Do’s” and create a “Blog Content Plan”. It’s an amazing free tool to create lists, boards, and cards you can use to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way! Click To Tweet
Since I discovered Trello I am using it literally every single day to organize my professional and personal life.
Also, you can access it from your mobile via the app when you are on the go and from your desktop if you need a better overview.
It’s seriously a lifesaver.
Just create a list of content inspiration to spread your ideas into a sophisticated content plan so that you feel inspired also on days you are struggling a little bit more than usual!
Woop Woop you just resolved some pretty huge problems you might have with your amateur blog and you are on your way to kicking some butt with your awesome Amateur Blogs!
If you have any question with regard to any of the points above or other remarks I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Here is a quick overview of the biggest mistakes amateur blogs make and we talked about and you for sure need to resolve ASAP:
- Self-Host your Blog with Siteground
- Set your Permalink Structure to Post Name alone
- Secure your Site with Updraft Plus and WordFence
- Get help and make the necessary investments
- Use Social Media to Grow Traffic to your Blog
- Brand your amateur Blog and use a premium Blog Theme
- Monetize your site from the get-go with Affiliate Marketing and E-Courses
- Never ignore SEO’s and Google’s power
- Start growing subscribers in an Email List using ConvertKit
- Create a Content Plan using Trello
There we go here are my best tips for Amateur Blogs!
I wish you a lot of fun with your new site and I am always here for you if you have questions or remarks of any kind!
All the best
Ps. Did you already grab your Free Self-Hosting Guide? Having a Self-Hosted Blog is one of the key factors to successful Blogging. Download it for free below 😉
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10 Huge Mistakes Amateur Blogs Make and How to Fix Them!