11 Mistakes New Bloggers Make

Today’s guest post is about new bloggers and the typical mistakes they make.

The post is written by John Smith, who wants to warn newbies up front in order to avoid failure.
So I’ll let John do the talking.


There are hundreds of millions of active blogs online right now.

New blogs are still being created every single day.

Unfortunately, most of these new blogs never make it.


Because new bloggers commonly make the same mistakes time and time again.

Here are the 11 mistakes I’ve seen new bloggers make.

  1. Not knowing what you want to write about
    If you want to attract a loyal base of readers, you have to pick a topic to blog about and stick to it. You can’t be blogging about turtles one day and bicycles the next. You’ll lose readers. By focusing your blog on a particular niche, you attract readers who are interested in this subject and who will stick around as long as you continue writing about it.
  2. Copying what everyone else is saying
    Don’t be another “me too” blogger. There is already way too many of those. Say something new. Even if you’re covering the same news and topics, you can find a fresh way to approach them. You don’t always have to share the popular opinion. Be yourself, and let people know what you really think.
  3. Using copyrighted images
    Images are a great tool for spicing up a blog post, but you have to make sure you obtain the pictures legally. In other words, don’t just rip them off of someone else’s website or blog. Sign up for a free stock photo website where you can legally get all the images you desire.
  4. Not linking out to others
    Linking out to others is especially important for new bloggers. Whenever you send out a link, the other blogger is alerted with a trackback. This puts you on their map, because more times than not, they’ll come check out your post to see what you had to say about them. This increases the chances of getting links back from them, and it could present future guest blogging opportunities.
  5. Using the basic template that comes with WordPress
    The simple truth is people judge blogs by their design. The design makes your first impression with new visitors. If you use the basic template that comes with the blog, readers will think you’re new and not to be taken seriously. That isn’t to say you have to get a pricey custom design. There are plenty of great free WordPress themes online. You just have to search for them.
  6. Allowing spam comments
    One of the first things you should do is activate the plugins in WordPress that block spam comments. There’s nothing that screams “newbie” like a blog filled with spam comments.
  7. Not commenting correctly on other blogs
    Blog commenting can be a powerful strategy for increasing name recognition and driving traffic back to your website. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to comment on other blogs. The wrong way is to leave meaningless comments (e.g. Good post!) or spammy comments (e.g. Come check out my blog!). The right way is to leave comments that actually add value to the conversation.
  8. Ignoring the power of guest bloggers
    If you’re trying to get the word out about your new blog, one of the best ways to do it is to bring in some guest bloggers. By letting bloggers who already have a following post on your blog, you can attract readers fast. Sign up on My Blog Guest, and post your guest blogging opportunity. You’ll get a lot of responses from people who are eager to post on and promote your blog.
  9. Giving up on blogging too early
    We’ve all seen viral videos that seemingly come out of nowhere to get millions and millions of views. Unfortunately, a lot of new bloggers think that’s how it’s going to be for them. They expect instant success with their blog, and when it doesn’t happen, they give up, writing blogging off as a fad that doesn’t get results.
  10. Not proofreading closely enough
    Yes, blogs are a little more casual and laid back than say a newspaper or magazine article, but there is still some level of professionalism that’s expected. You can’t have a blog that’s riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors. It undermines your credibility, and it gives cynical readers ammo to take you down.
  11. Trying to do too much too soon
    Blogger’s Burnout is a very real condition. This happens when you try doing too much and you just get tired of dealing with it all. Look, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your new blog, but pace yourself. There’s no need to work on it 24/7. If you do, you’ll burn yourself out quickly, killing your blog before it has a chance to grow.

What are some other new blogger mistakes you’d add to this list? Share your favorites by leaving a comment!

John manages the nursing scrubs website NursingUniforms.net, one stop online shop for branded lab coats, scrub tops and all kind of medical uniforms.

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32 thoughts on “11 Mistakes New Bloggers Make

  1. Robin Alley says:

    Well, I’ve been blogging now for around a year now. Although it’s pretty casual. I’m not a total newb though.

    But tip 4 caught my attention in particular. Do you have any recommended reading on trackbacks. I’ve heard the term but I’m out of the loop or something because I am certainly making this newbie mistake — I don’t know how to check my trackbacks or anything about them! (Although I do link to other sites occasionally.)

    Thank you for the informative post!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent post.

    I’m definitely a victim of mistake #9, I started a blog, and a few days later, ended a blog. #11 too, I want a complete site and I want it now, I’m horrible at gradually building a site.

  3. roy says:

    Hi.I have go through your post and it is very helpful.During the beginning of my blogging it is quite confusing to decide a topic because there are too much thing that i am interested.Finally when i am streaming a local radio then i came a thought.Instead of listening here why not create my own one.Then its done.I got my own one.

    Your post is really help to get further into blogging because im still need to learn and a lot.

    Roy Spilner

  4. Frank says:

    This is a great post.. I’m starting to feel 11 as we speak.. So far my biggest problem is with SEO and Backlink.. but otherwise on the most part i’m following your rules.. You can also add not to use free hosts as a very large majority of them give you space let you build up your site then hijack them..

  5. Robert says:

    The thing about sin 11 is that, althought it is a common trap to fall into, there are many ways to avoid burnout, even if you want to blog every day.

    I read somewhere about looking through social networking like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon etc to find posts that are popular and interest you, and then just blogging about that.

  6. Gary David says:

    Nice post John! I agree that a site should grow gradually, a lot of newbies became victims of this. They want to accomplish everything in 1 day or 1 week, they don’t realize that it should not work that way. especially in list building, they want to have thousands of subscribers over night. What they do not know is the fact that it is a business, they don’t treat it as a business. Building a website is different from building a business. We can build a website in a day or two, but building a real business could take more than a year.

    Thanks John for this wonderful post.



  7. Jake says:

    I am guilty of using more than half of these at minimum. I resolved to start with something smaller like creating a niche website or blog and then promoting that. Its just important to remember your target focus, and not overload yourself. Blog about one topic not everything at once like I see so many people trying to do.

  8. New blogger tend to read less and write more in my view. They should read lot, especially on SEO and blogging. Blogging is an art and by reading lot one can understand the art properly. New blogger need to do another thing – they should take social media seriously from the beginning.

  9. Dave Duncan says:

    I think it is key to blog on a topic that genuinely interests you as opposed to blogging purely for the point of making money as there is a greater chance of blogger burnout then. I enjoy writing my blog where I provide help to Best Men with tips of best man speeches, toasts and duties. I enjoy writing the blog as having been a best man myself I know the stress that best men are under.

  10. What a wonderful post. You have highlighted some of the most important mistakes that most new bloggers make.

    From the above, I think that giving up too early is usually the main reason why most bloggers never make it.

  11. Peter Carr says:

    Hi John,
    Very interesting post. I have made some of the mistakes you have listed, especially with themes. I think i have cracked it now tho. I am very interested in guest blogging so will be going to check out your link now.

  12. @ #11, how does someone know when they are going too hard? What is a ‘good pace’? Between writing content, maintaining and improving the blog, marketing and social media…as much fun as it is, I can definitely appreciate a blogger becoming overwhelmed, especially if even with such a workload there is little to know monetary return.


    • Case Stevens says:

      The pace of building your blog, as well as building your online business, should be one that you can maintain on a long term.
      If you are able to write 2 posts a day continuously, then that’s a good pace. If your workload only allows you to write 1 a week, then that’s a good pace.
      Of course it’s a fine line what you can produce and it will vary over time, but you shouldn’t become overloaded and pressed by deadlines while you already know that you can’t keep it up.
      I think that was was John meant in #11.

  13. I guess it has always been everybody’s dilemma (most especially to those who are not actually writers) to think about their topic on their blog. Sometimes the content is just not that interesting to the readers. Anyway, I like your post. It helps most especially to those newbies who are into blogging yet don’t know what to do and where to start. Aside from that, I was able to sign up with the link you just gave me. The photos were great and thanks for sharing BTW.

  14. Sakshi says:

    I fully agreed with points (5, 10)which i also made mistakes when i was newbie in blogging field. Most important thing is to focus on our content. And specially this post will helps a lot to newbies.

  15. William says:

    What a good post about educating bloggers, John. I really like the point 10, 11. Guest blogging – that’s the best strategy to reach your post to more targeted audience while getting backlinks to your website.

    By the way, thanks for sharing free stock photo site link that I never come and across before.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I like this article. I agree with this. Blog writers and Comment writers need to consider the following in order to see the better result:

    3)Effectiveness(Impact to the readers)

    They need to Keep trying and don’t burn themselves. Its not worth it if they’re gonna burn themselves out.They need to treat it as their passion. Don’t consider it as a Job but to consider it as their Hobby. Newbies can’t expect to see or to get everything perfect at first and besides nothing in this world is perfect. we can only make it better. Patience is a virtue and Good things happen to those who wait.

  17. You’re right Case, I also feel that if you love the niche that you’re writing in it’s hard to get overwhelmed.


  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m a bit of an old dog at blogging (since the early days of MovableType) and I think this is a really good list and you’ve taken it to eleven in the Spinal Tap tradition. I do want to add one thing to point 11. Burnout is a real issue. I’ve seen to many good blogs die an early death. I think it not only happens because you do too much too soon, but because the expectation of reward is too high. Manage your expectation and write good blog posts and the rewards will be far greater than pageviews and adsense clickthrus.

  19. Amy says:

    Another point would be to find the balance between you and your audience. your blog has to be about something you are passionate about and to serve your own itnerest, but if it becomes to much about you and not about helping the people who read your blog then you’re going to turn your audience off.

  20. Paul says:

    Okay, well, Im just about guilty of all 11 of those. At least I was guilty when I first started blogging.
    I am beginning to behave myself a little bit better now, but its more out of over eagerness and stupidity that I still make mistakes, rather than any real naughtiness on my part.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Very great post…I know a good way to start off when it comes to writing a blog is to buy an aged domain. If you buy an aged domain with high page rank of 2-4…you’ll have a great start.You can’t have the blog hosted on a resellers account it needs to have a separate ip address…It’s just something to consider when starting a blog.

  22. logo says:

    One of the most important point which bloggers miss out is promoting their blog through SEO.Metags must be added so that search engines can pick up the blogs

  23. Case Stevens says:

    Looks like you’re on the right track DB! 🙂

  24. Anonymous says:

    I fell victim to #11 first, then completely for #9. I guess I have to copy this article for my next blogging project. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Daniel Sharkov says:

    I have to agree that finding a niche to write about is really the hardest thing for new bloggers. At least that was my case when I started two months ago. Before finding a subject to write about, I was almost ready to quit. The 9th mistake is also a common one and I was on the road of making it, when I was seeing that the traffic was so low. Newbies should definitely read the article as it can be of a good use. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Chad Walls says:

    I am new to blogging and hence reading up on a few tips to perhaps help me write better comments and improve my own tutor blog which is still in progress. I was hoping that someone might be nice enough to explain what is meant in comment four about “trackback”.

  27. Case Stevens says:

    Yes, it sometimes feels like a lot of blood, sweat and tears Kervin. But, in the end, those who persevere will win!

  28. used says:

    I think one mistake, that even the pros can make is on the domain name. You really have to becareful of what domain name you choose once you start, because more than likely if you choose the wrong one you will be stuck with it, unless you are able to get it changed before you really make it big. One of the biggest mistakes I personally made was getting a personal domain name with a dash between the first and last name, it was a horrible experience to say the least. Just picture this… you are talking to someone, and you want to give them your website URL, but you can’t just simply say the name, you have to explain to them that there is a dash in the middle. Sounds easy to explain, but try explaining it to someone who is not as experience on the computer! So the biggest suggestion I can give, is just to carefully plan out a plan before you begin your blogging path, think before you take action.

    Till then,


  29. Website says:

    I think that 8 and 11 go hand-in-hand. Pretty much every blogger starting out will be super-enthused, post like crazy, then burn out whortly thereafter – it’s a normal process (we all get bored, right?). Sticking to a realistic posting schedule is one way around this, but getting someone else (or better, several others) to share ‘burden’ is a good way of avoiding this kind of problem. What I wouldn’t give for a twin some weeks … !

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