If there’s one thing I learned throughout my 12-year blogging career, it’s this:
Mistakes and failures are stepping stones to success.
It all depends on how you react, learn, and grow.
Fortunately for you, you don’t need to make the same mistakes in order to learn from them.
In this post, I’ll talk about 103 mistakes that millions of bloggers make.
You can browse them by category. Click any of the links below to jump to each category:
- Blog Content Mistakes
- Blog Promotion Mistakes
- Blog Design Mistakes
- Blog SEO Mistakes
- Common Blogging Mistakes
Let’s get started.
Blog Content Writing Mistakes
1. Publishing duplicate content
Content theft also negatively affects the perpetrator’s SEO once they’re flagged for duplicate content. Be careful, though, since you can also have duplicate content issues by reusing the same text across your blog.
2. Using a generic writing style
A lot of rookie bloggers create bland, generic-looking posts that don’t have a single drop of personality. To make your blogging brand more recognizable, hone your own voice and write like you’re talking to a friend.
3. Writing intros that are too long
If you take 1,000 words to introduce your post, your audience may lose interest before they reach your first point. This is especially true if your intro lacks a hook, like a mind-blowing statistic or an engaging story.
4. Not creating headlines with a target keyword in mind
Headlines without a focus keyword will make it hard for you to earn traffic and clicks. If you want to improve your headlines, try adding keywords near the beginning or end.
5. Using fluff to increase word count
Writing fluff to increase a post’s word count is a recipe for bad content. While long posts help your SEO, pushing for more words by covering unrelated topics will simply bore your readers.
6. Writing hard-to-read content
Put simply: low-quality content will cause any blog to fail.
I’m not just talking about grammar and spelling. Quality is also related to your blog content’s readability, structure, and visuals.
7. Referring to outdated stats
Misinforming your readers with outdated statistics is something they definitely won’t appreciate. You don’t want to be remembered as the blogger who’s too lazy to double-check the validity of their facts.
8. Alienating certain readers
Writing blog posts that insult a certain group of people, unintentional or not, will lose their trust and respect. Even if you’re trying to help them correct mistakes, always use a helpful and constructive tone.
9. Encouraging your audience to take sides
Dividing your audience, particularly when talking about controversial topics, is bad for your community.
People sometimes take two or more sides when talking about specific topics. If you insist on covering those topics, take an impartial stance and highlight the merits of each side.
10. Focusing on products rather than your audience’s problems
When blogging about products, focusing on features rather than your audience will make your content sound biased and promotional. Keep in mind that readers only care about how a product can help solve their problems.
11. Relying only on stock photos
Using only generic, royalty-free images will make your blog look bland and unoriginal. Stock photos aren’t bad per se, but your entire visual content strategy shouldn’t revolve around these images.
12. Guessing what your readers like
Basing your blogging strategy on hunches and “guesstimates” could leave you with heaps of content that nobody likes. Always have a data-driven approach when making big decisions for your blog, like keywords, content types, and product ideas.
13. Publishing thin content
Relying on thin content, like doorway pages and affiliate product content, will prevent you from ranking in search. Be sure your blog has plenty of informative content that actually has value in the eyes of readers.
14. Not using subheadings
Some first-time bloggers may publish content without subheadings – filled with long, intimidating walls of text. Not only does this affect the reader experience, it also reduces your chances of ranking in search engine results.
15. Taking readers to unrelated pages
Adding external or internal links to unrelated pages will confuse your readers – period. As a rule of thumb, only add links if they can help readers make the most out of your content.
16. Leaving readers with unanswered questions
Readers won’t be happy with your content if they still have unanswered questions by the time they reach the conclusion. This typically happens if you use “clickbait” headlines without regard for your audience’s expectations.
Repeating the same points over and over again in the same post will make it dull and uninspiring to read. Redundancy also includes the unnecessary repetition of words or using words with the same meaning, which may cause confusion.
18. Being too lazy to proofread and edit
Relying on the built-in spelling and grammar checker in Microsoft Word will make you miss other writing issues. Read your draft aloud to check its flow and use an automated proofreading tool like Grammarly to find advanced issues.
19. Publishing incomplete or unfinished posts
Some bloggers cut corners and publish a post that still lacks essential information, making their content inferior to competitors. You may feel this when writing a long listicle or “ultimate” guide that should be as comprehensive as possible.
20. Not using CTAs
No matter how authoritative and believable your content is, generating conversions will still be tough without CTAs (calls-to-action). Remember, when visitors are still deciding whether to act or not, a CTA gives them one extra push into converting.
21. Not creating evergreen content
Talking about popular trends can lead to a spike in traffic, but without evergreen content, your traffic will eventually flatline. This means your blog requires you to constantly churn out content to be profitable.
22. Attacking your competitors’ reputation
Writing hit pieces against your competitor is unprofessional and will damage your image in the industry. The same goes for spreading false information on social media.
23. Creating only text-based content
For a new blog, relying on plain-text posts makes it extremely difficult to hook your target audience. Bloggers with superb writing skills might pull it off, but they can still be outshined by those who use visuals.
24. Rushing blog posts just to meet a schedule
Rushing content out the door just to stick to a schedule could compromise quality. Don’t be afraid to delay your posts and give more time to revise and polish them to perfection.
25. You don’t fact-check
With the exception of satire blogs, websites that publish false or misleading information will destroy your blog’s reputation. And once you lose your audience’s trust, you may never get it back.
26. Lacking confidence in your own value propositions
You can’t convince anyone to become subscribers or customers if you don’t even believe in your own blog’s potential. A little confidence goes a long way when it comes to writing persuasive posts and launching content promotions.
27. Inconsistency with content quality and post frequency
Being inconsistent in terms of content quality and post frequency can kill your results and your motivation.
Remember, the best bloggers always write as if the reader is seeing their content for the first time. If a visitor comes across your worst post, they might assume the rest of your blog is the same quality.
28. Not promoting content on social media
Not having a social media campaign will cause you to miss out on getting instant traffic and exposure. Facebook marketing, for example, will funnel regular traffic into your blog content, including future posts.
Apart from Facebook, other networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are also great for generating targeted traffic.
29. Not promoting content at all
Publishing content without thinking about promoting them is a deadly mistake that will basically stop your blog from growing.
Don’t believe in “build it and they will come.” After publishing your post, spend time planning how you’ll spread it over promotion channels – from social media to forums.
30. Not building an email list
Without an email capture strategy, you’re wasting your blog’s entire traffic potential.
98 percent of users don’t convert into paying customers during their first visit. Rather than trying to convert the remaining two percent, show them a valuable offer in exchange for their email.
31. Sending spam
Spamming your email subscribers with valueless, promotional messages is a surefire way to lose their trust. While it’s okay to frequently send emails, be sure to have a user-oriented strategy with the right email marketing platform.
32. Being over promotional
Believe me – your readers will leave in droves if you only blog about your own brand and products. That’s why your content marketing strategy should focus on solving your readers’ problems.
33. You don’t care about analytics
If you want measurable results, start tracking blogging KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) like overall visits, traffic sources, and conversion rate.
34. Ignoring your audience (not building a community)
Without a thriving community, your audience may not feel compelled or involved enough to care about your brand. You also won’t be able to listen to their feedback and discover opportunities to improve your blog.
35. Turning down invitations
You’re wasting golden opportunities by saying “no” to invitations for webinars, speaking engagements, interviews, and other events. Not all bloggers are lucky enough to receive invitations, so be sure to make the most out of them.
Blog Design & Development Mistakes
36. Using hard-to-read fonts
Cursive fonts may look cool and elegant, but they might ruin the reading experience of your audience. Keep in mind that readability is an important factor in SEO and conversion rate.
37. Sticking with a shared hosting plan
A shared hosting plan results in slower load times and frequent crashes for blogs with steady traffic. While it’s perfectly fine to go with cheap hosting at first, you should know when it’s time to upgrade.
38. Not backing up
Without backups, the worst-case scenario is losing everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
I remember losing a day’s worth of blogging work after a faulty WordPress update. Today, I can work with confidence knowing I’m protected by automatic backups.
39. Not backing up before an update
Speaking of backups, installing updates on your blog without creating a backup may lock you out of your WordPress dashboard. Though updates are important, they sometimes lead to compatibility issues that can be easily solved with a rollback.
40. Not fixing broken page elements
Broken page elements – be it menus, sidebars, or footers – looks very unprofessional. One look and visitors may doubt your brand’s credibility.
41. Going for looks over performance
Building a good-looking website without thinking about performance could seriously hurt the user experience. If you load up on high-res visuals, animations, and effects, you may negatively affect your blog’s loading speed and readability.
42. Making complicated menus
Cluttered and complicated menus make it hard for readers to find the information they need. Unfortunately, this often leaves a bad impression as they leave your site and look elsewhere.
43. Editing your website’s parent theme
WordPress beginners sometimes customize their blog’s parent theme by mistake, causing them to lose their changes after an update. To prevent this from happening, be sure to create a child theme so updates won’t affect your customizations.
44. Building for desktop users only
Optimizing your blog solely for desktop devices means you’re ignoring the needs of roughly half of your audience. Keep in mind, over 54 percent of internet traffic came from mobile devices since Q1 2021.
45. Using a hard-to-remember domain
The wrong domain name can doom your blogging endeavor before you even publish your first post. One of the worst things you can do is make it hard to remember with special characters and numbers.
46. Adding clickable elements too close together
Putting clickable elements too close together can make the experience janky for users with a touchscreen device. Apart from smartphones, tablets, 3-in-1 computers, laptops, and certain desktop monitors have touch support.
47. Not updating your blogging platform
Keeping your WordPress themes, plugins, and core files outdated makes you susceptible to bugs and cybersecurity breaches. Not to mention you’ll miss out on all the great features that new updates come with.
48. Keeping demo content
In some cases, beginner bloggers forget to delete WordPress’s – making their blog look incomplete and unprofessional. Before launching your site, be sure to remove these posts along with any placeholder elements you used.
49. Picking a theme that doesn’t match your niche
Choosing a WordPress theme that’s meant for a different industry can be confusing or misleading to your audience. You may be able to catch a few eyes with a flashy design, but their attention most likely won’t last.
50. Picking themes overloaded with unnecessary features
If your theme includes store pages, interactive calendars, and other features you don’t need, you know you went overboard. Despite usually being more expensive, these heavy-duty themes can also slow your site down.
51. Implementing total web redesigns without a plan
New and overeager WordPress users sometimes change their site on a whim, which may lead to unexpected errors.
Instead of implementing changes willy-nilly, come up with a redesign plan. Even better, create a “staging site” where you can experiment with your blog’s design without affecting the live site.
52. Sticking with “admin” as your username
Keeping the default “admin” username makes you vulnerable to brute force login attacks. It’s considered one of the weakest usernames still being used today, be it on local networks or online backends.
53. Using too many plugins
WordPress plugins are extremely helpful, but relying on them too much can affect performance and make troubleshooting harder. Always give it a second thought and only install plugins with features you can’t do manually.
54. Downloading WordPress resources from untrusted sites
Beginners naturally want to acquire everything for cheap, but downloading pirated copies of plugins or themes is a serious risk. Bootlegged WordPress resources from untrusted sites may contain malware injected by hackers.
Blog SEO Mistakes
55. Enabling your site to be indexed while under construction
Allowing search engines to index your site while under construction means they’ll see all your broken links and placeholder elements. This will affect the SEO health of not just your page but your entire blog as well.
56. Forgetting to enable site indexing after site changes are finished
After doing a lot of work on your blog, forgetting to reenable site indexing means you’re blocking your own rankings.
57. Not adding internal links
Without internal links, you could be unintentionally inflating your blog’s bounce rate. That means readers are exiting your site after looking at your content, which is bad for user engagement and SEO.
58. Relying purely on SEO
Focusing solely on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can cripple your blog’s traffic potential. Not only does SEO take months to get results, it could also drain a blog’s budget, especially in competitive niches.
59. Not fixing broken links
Broken links will not only degrade your blog’s SEO-friendliness – it can also confuse and annoy your readers. Use tools like the Broken Link Checker by Atomseo to quickly spot and fix broken links.
60. Not compressing images
Uploading uncompressed, high-resolution images will have a huge impact on your website’s loading speed. This could single-handedly ruin the experience of your readers and your search engine rankings.
61. Spamming links
Outbound links are helpful, but unless you’re Wikipedia, having too many only makes it hard for users to focus. It also makes any page look messy and very uninviting to read.
62. Leaving outbound links to open in the same tab
Not setting links to open a new tab will break your audience’s focus as soon as they click. The good news is, this can be easily fixed with just a few clicks, especially if you use WordPress.
63. Optimizing different pages for the same keywords
Creating multiple pages that target the same keyword significantly diminishes your SEO results. In the SEO world, this is called “keyword cannibalization,” wherein your own posts compete for keyword rankings.
64. Not attracting natural backlinks
Whether you like it or not, link building isn’t possible without linkable assets. Some examples of this are case studies, statistics, infographics, and interview posts.
65. Not planning your keywords
Without keyword planning, you could spend a ton of time and effort on content that no one will read. To create content that will generate traffic, focus on keywords with favorable search volume and keyword difficulty.
66. Not having an SSL certificate
Without an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, hackers can extract sensitive information from your blog – including your users’ data. Getting an SSL also switches you over to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which can improve your search engine rankings.
67. Using long page URL slugs
Pages with longer URLs tend to rank lower than those with shorter and more memorable URLs. Keep in mind that a good URL can also inform readers about your post’s topic.
68. Using auto-generated meta descriptions
Auto-generated meta descriptions take the post’s first few lines, which are often truncated and ineffective in describing your topic. While meta descriptions don’t directly affect rankings, they help your site get more clicks on search results.
Common Blogging Mistakes
69. Forcing affiliate links into content
Even if your affiliate product is relevant to your niche, forcing them into your content could ruin your audience’s experience. If you want content that leads to affiliate commissions, build epic reviews, comparison posts, listicles, and guides.
70. Targeting a broad niche
If you choose a broad niche, you’re most likely pitting yourself against giant brands with vastly bigger budgets. After you target a niche based on your interests, “niche down” by focusing on a specific audience or product.
71. Choosing a niche just because it’s popular
Choosing your niche based on its popularity harms your capacity to create high-quality, insightful content in the long run. If you want blogging to be an enjoyable and motivating experience, pick a niche you’re genuinely passionate about.
72. Using unsafe passwords
According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, 61 percent of breaches are attributed to stolen credentials. So, unless you’re willing to risk it, consider using a password manager from reputable services like NordPass.
73. Writing 24/7
Bloggers are capable of working seven days a week, but it can quickly lead to creative burnout. That’s when you feel groggy and unable to concentrate on writing.
Be sure to rest for at least a day or two in a workweek.
74. Hiding your face (unless you’re blogging anonymously)
Unless anonymous blogging is your brand, not showing your face makes it a tad harder to connect with your audience. Humanizing your brand with a personalized About page, including your photo, will definitely help make your brand more approachable.
75. Ignoring your competitors
Blogging without even knowing your top competitors is like reaching in the dark for ways to succeed. Whether you’re looking for keywords or brainstorming content ideas, your competitors can tell you a lot about what works.
76. You go stagnant for months
Not publishing new content for months could make you lose all the traffic and momentum you’ve already built. It’s okay if you’re only gone for a few weeks, just try not to keep readers waiting for too long.
77. Pushing a sale too early
Showing offers early can put off potential readers who still don’t know who you are. Be sure your traffic acquisition channels start with valuable content – like guides and checklists – to build their confidence first.
78. Not having content categories
Keeping content in the “uncategorized” post category only makes things harder for your audience and search engine crawlers.
Content categories help search engines determine what your content is all about. More importantly, it gives readers another option for finding relevant content they’re interested in.
79. Displaying too many ads
Advertisements can slow your site down, annoy your audience, and ruin the overall look of your blog. If you choose to make money with ads, keep them at a minimum – the cons of ads outweigh the pros.
80. Chasing a “get-rich-quick” strategy
Going after “get-rich-quick” strategies in blogging is a huge waste of time and money. Rather than focusing on monetization, work on creating quality content and building authority – income opportunities will come to you.
81. You don’t set clear goals
Blogging without well-defined goals is like driving without a destination – you end up going nowhere. Goals help you manage your time and plan your tasks effectively.
82. You’re not learning
In blogging, the moment you stop learning is the very moment your brand’s growth stops.
If you want to compete with big brands, don’t just stick with what you know. Always make an effort to learn something new that will give you a competitive advantage.
83. Ignoring customers go after their first purchase
If you forget about customers just because they bought something, you’ll miss out big time on potential repeat purchases. Maximize customer lifetime value by sending discount codes, renewal bonuses, and promoting affiliate content they might like.
84. Letting leads go after they abandon product pages or their cart
Not reaching out to a customer who left after checking out your products could make you lose that sale forever. See it as an opportunity to address their questions, build buyer confidence, and generate a sale.
85. Being a copycat blogger
Being a copycat blogger will make you look like a lesser version of your competitor. Copycat bloggers borrow most, if not all, of their blogging strategies – from their headline ideas to their website design.
Multitasking or “focusing” on multiple tasks at once will hurt your productivity and quality of output. Science says there’s no such thing as multitasking; your brain is just switching priorities faster than you can keep up.
87. Making unrealistic promises
Promising your audience awesome things and not delivering will make them question your value propositions in the future. Don’t tell them “Results Guaranteed in 30 Days” unless you’ve proven it’s true yourself.
88. Jumping into blogging without a monetization plan
Without a monetization plan, a blog is just a hobby that requires cash to maintain. This essentially makes blogging impractical and unsustainable, unless you have the financial side of things already covered.
89. Staying in your comfort zone
What works today may not work tomorrow, and sticking to old strategies could put a stop to your blog’s progress. Get used to being outside your comfort zone and embrace challenges, like blog page redesigns and new marketing campaigns.
90. Selling irrelevant affiliate products
Promoting products that have nothing to do with your blog’s topic will most likely be ignored by your audience. Some readers may even be annoyed by these out-of-place promotions, which is detrimental to your branding efforts.
91. Mishandling your blog income
Not managing your blog income effectively is another reason why most blogs fail to thrive. As soon as you start generating profits, think of reinvestment opportunities that will scale your blog.
Must-read: How to Spend Your Blog Income Wisely
92. Hotlinking images
Hotlinking or embedding images from other sites to your blog can put you in legal trouble. Furthermore, you’ll end up with broken links once the rightful owner of the image deletes it.
93. “Stealing” content assets from other sites
Copying logos, branded graphics, and copyrighted images won’t be a good look for you – not to mention it’s illegal. If you can’t create your own, at least contact the owner and get their permission to use their assets.
94. Not protecting your content from being copied
Having your content stolen and published by someone else will affect your traffic and search engine rankings. You can easily stop content thieves with a plugin like WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click.
95. Being vulnerable to distractions
Frequently giving in to distractions can become a habit that will have a long-term effect on your productivity. It doesn’t matter if it’s social media, streaming apps, or video games – avoid distractions when it’s time to work.
96. Not getting help when you need it
Attempting to do everything yourself, including tasks outside your areas of expertise, could lead to subpar results. Getting help from qualified professionals will give you more time for the things you’re good at.
97. Giving up (after a few months of no results)
Giving up due to the lack of time or results is perhaps the worst mistake any aspiring blogger can make. Remember, blogging is tough, but you only really fail if you call it quits.
98. Not caring about your privacy
Putting your personal information in your blog is a security risk that could render you vulnerable to spammers and hackers. If you want to share contact information, only give them what they need, like your email or Facebook page.
99. Not creating a style guide
Without a style guide, you may publish content or social media posts that aren’t consistent with your brand identity. It also makes it difficult to hire freelancers who can help keep your content production in high gear.
100. Buying tools without research
Purchasing tools without proper research could make you waste money or even drain your blogging budget completely. Always do your research and look at alternatives before you click that “buy now” button.
101. Trying to be perfect (being afraid of mistakes)
Striving to create the perfect content is commendable, but you could end up getting nothing done if you overthink.
For example, you don’t need to have all details worked out upon starting a new strategy or campaign. Just go out there, take the first step, and let mistakes show you the way towards progress.
102. Automatically approving all comments
Automatically approving comments will make you a juicy target for spammers. Typically, comment spam includes links to shady websites that endanger your audience along with your site’s SEO standings.
103. Overpaying for tools
If you’re a new blogger, going for the most expensive plan offered by tools may cause you to go over budget.
Be prudent and go for entry-level plans that match your needs. Better yet, look for free alternatives and take advantage of trial periods.
Learning from mistakes is a surefire way to improve and eventually reach the top of your game.
Learning from other people’s mistakes is even better.
I hope the list of mistakes above helped you straighten out your blogging strategy. If you have any more questions, don’t forget to leave a comment below.
I’m also looking forward to any feedback or suggestion you may have regarding this post.