10 Mistakes Bloggers Make And How To Fix Them

I started my personal blog ScottAlanTurner.com in 2015. I share my past money moron moments and all the things I’ve learned along the way to becoming an early retiree. I love helping people with their finances.

Along the way, I built a very successful blog in a short period. What’s more amazing is I hardly spend any time blogging. Most of my time is spent hosting my show and answering listener questions about money.

ScottAlanTurner.com is my first blog, and I wish I could tell you it was smooth sailing, but I wasted a lot of time, money, and brain power on stuff that didn’t work.

If you want to be successful at anything, find someone who’s done what you want to do and do what they did.

Here’s my list of mistakes you should avoid so that you can become a successful blogger faster.

Mistake #1 Not focusing on writing

What it is

Also known as shiny object syndrome, it’s constantly getting distracted.

Why it’s a mistake

I spent the first six weeks of my blogging life not writing for my blog. I did work on about 50 variations of my logo and trying to get the layout ‘just right’.

It’s easy to try every blog add-on you can find.

Guess what – what your blog looks like doesn’t matter if you haven’t written something.

How to fix it

Go write!

I have a rule I live by each day in my business – get the most important stuff done first. Then if I have extra time – 30, 60 minutes or whatever – I’ll mess around with the low priority stuff on my schedule. Or go check out shiny objects.

Mistake #2 Using free blogging services

What it is

Choosing a writing platform that looks unprofessional and is inflexible.

Why it’s a mistake

Free blogging services like

  • Blogger.com
  • WordPress.com

limit you to what you can do. If you want to build a house exactly like you want it to look and have it function as you want it to function, you wouldn’t rent. Renting means you can’t knock out a wall, redo the kitchen, or even paint the walls.

How to fix it

Pay for hosting. All of them come with a money-back-guarantee. If you decided you don’t want to blog ask for a refund and move on with your life.

I recommend Bluehost for first-time bloggers. Check out my How To Start A Blog Step-by-Step Guide to to get discount pricing. Bluehost is what I used to start ScottAlanTurner.com and two prior businesses.

Mistake #3 Not building an email list

What it is

Having a way you can stay in touch with your readers.

Why it’s a mistake

Ask any blogger who’s been blogging for a couple of years, and they will tell you the same thing – ‘I wish I had started my email list sooner.’

Everyone has email, and everyone reads their email. When you want to let as many people as possible know about a new post, product, or your wicked awesome vacation, you send a newsletter.

How to fix it

Use a free service like SumoMe to start collecting email addresses. Once you have setup your blog, sign up for SumoMe. It’s free, and it will give you all those annoying popups in a jiffy.

You’ll also need a place to store those addresses. I use MailChimp (also free).

Mistake #4 Writing inconsistently

What it is

Writing only when the mood hits you or you have some extra time.

Why it’s a mistake

Think about your favorite radio show, TV show, band, or book series. What if it disappeared for five years? Would you still be into it? Doubtful.

You’ll lose your audience if you don’t deliver on a regular basis.

How to fix it

Keep a content calendar and stick to it. Commit to a schedule, even if it’s writing once every two weeks (a minimum in my opinion).

Mistake #5 Not proofreading

What it is

A well-written article shows you’re educated and a trusted source of information

Why it’s a mistake

People can’t stand poor writing. You’ll lose readers and get nasty emails from people telling you how bad your writing is.

How to fix it

This is my writing process:

  • Write in Evernote (free)
  • Copy/paste into Grammarly (free)
  • Accept or reject Grammarly’s suggestions
  • Read the entire article out loud
  • Copy/paste into Byword (free, Mac only) to format the article
  • Publish

What isn’t in there – hiring someone to proofread. Reading aloud is the best proofreading you can do.

Mistake #6 Not using affiliate links

What it is

Affiliate marketing is a type of advertising. You get a commission (the affiliate commission) if someone clicks on a link from your blog and then purchases the product your article linked to.

Why it’s a mistake

At some point, you’ll be talking about products on your website. Even if it’s the new pair of shoes, you bought. If you’re not using affiliate links, you’re missing out on earning affiliate income.

How to fix it

The easiest (and free) affiliate program to join is Amazon Associates. The world’s largest online store can earn you commissions for just about anything. If you link to a book you’ve read or like, and someone buys that book after they clicked your link, boom, income.

There are lots of affiliate networks, but Amazon is by far the biggest and easiest to start.

Mistake #7 Not installing a caching plugin

What it is

Caching lets your blog send the page to visitor’s faster.

Why it’s a mistake

Website speed is critical. Nobody is going to wake 30 seconds for your blog page to load. Google also rewards faster page load times in their search engine rankings.

How to fix it

On WordPress install the W3 Total Cache plugin (free). Here is good tutorial on how to do it:

Mistake #8 Not improving

What it is

Relying on your existing writing skills – whatever they are.

Why it’s a mistake

Nobody starts out as an expert writer. It’s a learned and practiced skill.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you don’t critically analyze your writing and figure out how to improve it, your blog growth is limited.

I made the mistake of not listening back to episodes 20–50 of my show. When I finally did, I found the audio quality was not up to my standards. It was a problem that could have easily been avoided.

How to fix it

Read other popular blogs and ask yourself what makes them popular. Duplicate what works for others.

Read books on how to become a great communicator and storyteller. Implement what you learn.

Mistake #9 Using copyrighted content

What it is

Copying images or content from other websites without permission

Why it’s a mistake

It’s illegal, and you could be fined and have your blog shut down

How to fix it

Use free/low-cost stock photography. You can Google ‘free stock photography’ and find tons of sites.

I use Adobe Stock and pay $1 per image. The search feature saves me time, and time is money.

When referencing other articles include quotes and citations. Do not copy entire articles without written permission

Mistake #10 Not installing google tools

What it is

Google provides free tools to analyze your website and provide user information.

Why it’s a mistake

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Analytics about your visitors provides valuable insight into how your website is performing. Over time do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.

How to fix it

Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. Read the webmaster material that Google provides.

Where to go from here

If you haven’t started your blog, it’s time to get your blog going. Read How To Start A Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide.  Then it’s time to start writing!

Know that mistakes are part of the learning process and everyone makes them.

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10 Mistakes Bloggers Make And How To Fix Them

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