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How to Avoid Making These 21 Blogging Mistakes

Today’s episode is all about the mistakes I see bloggers making, and an honest look at the mistakes I’ve made along the way in my own blogging journey.

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • 21 mistakes that I see bloggers making
  • The mistakes I’ve made in my own blogging journey
  • How to avoid making these mistakes

Further Reading and Resources for How to Avoid These 21 Blogging Mistakes

How to make money from blogging


How did you go with today’s episode?

What did you learn from today’s episode? What mistakes are you making? What’s one mistake you’re going to work to avoid in future, and how will you make it happen?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Don’t forget to share a link to your blog.

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Good morning and welcome to the ProBlogger Podcast episode 46. My name’s Darren Rowse and today I want to talk about mistakes that I see bloggers making. If I’m honest, which I’m feeling today, mistakes that I have made along the way in my own blogging journey. We’re going to go through about 21 different mistakes. At the end of this episode, I’d love to hear what you would add to this list. You can do so by going to

One of the most common questions that I’m asked when I’m interviewed about blogging, whether that be in media or other podcasts, is the age-old question: what mistakes did you make that you wish you hadn’t made along the way or what mistakes do you see other bloggers making? I’ve got this stock standard three or four mistakes that I see all the time, but every time I answer that question, a whole heap of other mistakes sit in the back of my mind. Recently, I sat down and tried to write down all of the mistakes that I’ve made and all of the mistakes that I see other people making. I very quickly learned that there are literally hundreds of them we could talk about today. Today, I’m just going to pick about 20 of them, 21 maybe.

Like I said in the introduction, most of these things are not just things that I see other bloggers making in terms of mistakes, but they’re also mistakes that I’ve made along the way. I want to say right upfront, some of these things I could even work on right now 13 years after starting blogging. We could all improve. I’m just like any other blogger in that regard. These are listed in no particular order. They’re things that I’d encourage you to just ponder, is this something that I could improve on as I go through this list.

As I say, there are a whole heap of other ones that I could add and I’ve got another list of about ten others, but I kind of want to leave some room for you to add your own mistakes to what I’ve come up with today.

Let’s get into mistake number one. This is something that I see a lot of bloggers, or at least pre-bloggers, struggling with. The mistake is putting off starting the blog altogether. This is something that many bloggers struggle with because many of us are perfectionists and we want everything to be just right before we launch our blog. We want to have the perfect topic, we want to have the perfect first post, we want our design to look perfect. We want to have all the social media accounts set up, we want to have our hosting all set up, we want to have everything ready to go. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with being prepared and having everything lined up, the reality is that if we wait for everything to be perfect before we press go, then we may never press go.

I know of a number of bloggers, or at least pre-bloggers friends of mine, who have been telling me about the blog’s that they want to start for over five years now. In fact, I’ve got one friend who has been telling me about the blog that he wants to start which he’s been thinking about for over 10 years, almost since I started blogging. Whilst he’s got a busy life and he’s got some really good excuses why he hasn’t started, he’s got other projects on the go, every time I talk to him I say, “You could have started this 10 years ago just in a small way and seen what happens.” 

If you’re in that I’m putting it off stage, I want it to all be perfect, I want to have clarity around what my blog is going to exactly be, can I encourage you just to start. It may be by just setting up a simple blog on or It doesn’t have to be on your own hosting, it doesn’t have to be on your domain. Just start and see what happens and let things evolve from there. It doesn’t have to be perfect from day one. In fact, it never will be. Give up on some of that perfectionism and give it a go, get going.

Mistake number two is kind of at the other end of the spectrum. Some people put off starting, and that’s mistake number one. Some people give up too early, and that’s mistake number two. Blogs take time to take off. Each of my own blogs over the years has taken at least a good year, to two, to three, to four years before they get going. Get to the point where they’ve got decent traffic, get to the point where they’ve got decent income. The reality is, a lot of blogs never get going, but those that do take a long time to get going up.

I see a lot of bloggers giving up a range of points. The first point that a lot of bloggers seem to give up on is their two to three-month mark. This is, I guess once you start, you’ve been starting with a passion, you’ve been publishing posts every day and then you either get sick or you go on holidays, or you just get a bit disillusioned with the results. This is something that a lot of bloggers struggle with. The other point is a year into blogging. Often, bloggers get to that first anniversary of blogging and they look back and they think, “I’ve spent all this time and energy doing this and what results have I seen?” 

I would encourage you to look at your results. Sometimes, you do need to take a good hard look at them and decide whether you want to keep going. There’s nothing wrong with stopping, but if you do want to build a profitable blog, you need to have a long term approach to it. Don’t give up too early. Give it a go and certainly evolve what you do along the way. Try different things, but don’t give up too early.

Mistake number three is a big one, and this is not differentiating yourself from everyone else or echoing what everyone else is talking about. This is a really tough one and we probably should do a podcast just on this topic: how to differentiate yourself as a blogger. Because the reality is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of blogs, on almost every topic that you can think of. It’s really hard to come up with something that’s unique. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs about photography, which is what my main blog is about. Even when I started back in 2007, there were hundreds of blogs about photography. I had to really think hard about how I am going to differentiate this blog.

There are a number of ways that you can do this. I’m not going to go into great depth about it, but just some simple ones. Sharing your own opinion is one way you can differentiate yourself. No one shares the exact same opinion as you. Share your story, share your experiences. No one has the exact same story or experiences. Inject a little bit of your personality into your blog, whether that be your humor, or your story, or whether that be using a tool like Blab, which we talked about in a recent podcast or using video or a podcast in some way. You can inject a little of you, your personality, and a personal aspect into your blog.

You can also work on developing your voice. The way that you present, the way you write the tone, and the position that you take with your topic can differentiate you. You could be the companion, you could be the friend to your reader, you could be the teacher to your reader, you could be the journalist, you could be the artist, you could be the person who tells the cold, hard, ugly truth about your topic. There’s a whole heap of different voices that you can bring and this is a way that you can differentiate yourself. 

Of course, you can choose to produce a blog that aims to hit a different level. Digital Photography School, my main blog, I’ve tried to bring my companion voice to it, but I was also aiming for the beginner. That set me apart from a lot of the other photography blogs who were taking a more advanced level in their content but also teaching in a more professorial voice. Do whatever you can to differentiate yourself from everyone else and find unique and new ways of trying to speak about the topic that you’re writing about. It’s a tough one I know, but the more you can differentiate yourself and develop your unique perspective the better.

Mistake number four is all-around domains. Not blogging on your own domain and choosing the wrong domain. I’ll be completely honest, most of the mistakes that I’ve made in blogging have centered around domains. I reckon I have made almost every mistake possible on this front. Let me go through a few potential mistakes. 

Ideally, you want to be on your own domain. You don’t want to be on a hosted blog like a blog, or a Blogspot blog, or a Medium, or a Tumblr. You want to be on your own domain and your own platform if possible. I’ve already said earlier in this podcast that you might just need to start on one of those hosted options. That’s totally fine in the early days, but if you want to build a profitable, successful, and sustainable blog, you probably want to get your own domain.

When you choose that domain, you probably want to get the .com domain if possible, unless you’re trying to target a geographical area. If you’re an Australian and you just want to have Aussie readers, it’s probably okay to get domain. If you’re an organization and not-for-profit, you might be okay to get a .org domain. In general, you want to aim for a .com and you want to try and have a domain that’s relatively short, that doesn’t have a whole heap of hyphens in it like my Digital Photography School, which has three hyphens in it between each word. You want to choose something that’s memorable in some way.

If you don’t do any of those things, I guess you fall into the mistake category as I have. On ProBlogger, for instance, I started out on a .net domain. Digital Photography School, I had hyphens in it. My first blog, it was a even though I was going for an international audience. I made all of these mistakes. What I want to encourage you with these mistakes is that you can recover from them. My two profitable blogs today are on .net and the other one has lots of hyphens. It’s possible to do okay with this, but I guess here we’re trying to reduce any friction and reduce any problems that you might run into. You can recover from these mistakes and others.

Mistake number five, irregularity in your posting. You don’t have to publish every day on your blog but do try to establish a regular rhythm of posting. Regularity of posting is good for a number of reasons. One, it’s good for you as a writer. It helps you get into the rhythm. It helps you to establish getting into that flow of writing. It’s also good for your readers as well. If you are posting sporadically, like once one week and then 10 times the next week, you’ll find some of your readers will push back at that. If you establish a nice regular rhythm, say Mondays and Fridays, or Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, your readers begin to get into the flow of knowing when to turn up. You’re not going to overwhelm them with a whole heap of content and then nothing for three weeks. Your readers will really appreciate regularity.

It’s also really good in terms of establishing a good number of posts in your archives over time. If you publish once a week, you’re going to end up with 52 posts at the end of the year. If you publish three times a week, you end up with 156 posts at the end of the year. Whilst it doesn’t really matter how many posts you’ve got, there are certainly some advantages of accumulating lots of posts in your archives because that’s going to present different doorways into your site from search engines but also some social media as well. Establish a rhythm with your posting. You might want to start out a little bit lower than what you think you can handle and then increase that over time.

In Digital Photography School, I started out with two posts a week, and then I moved to three posts a week. Originally, I think it was Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then it went to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Then gradually, I moved towards five times a week every weekday, and then I went seven times. Today, it’s fourteen times a week, but that’s taken years and years and years to get to that high level of producing content. Regularity is really important.

Mistake number six is don’t be too apologetic. This is something that some of you won’t struggle with, but I do know some of you as bloggers feel bad about the fact that maybe you hadn’t published last week, so you start your next blog post with something like, “Sorry, I haven’t written for a while,” and then you explain why you haven’t written for a while and then you start writing your post. Whilst I understand that on some levels, the reality is most of your readers probably didn’t notice that you were away last week. Drawing their attention to it just shows something that they don’t really need to know. It can distract them from the post that you’re actually writing. Invest your time into building up your blog rather than highlighting its problems would be the advice that I give you around this.

Mistake number seven is focusing upon quick traffic more than focusing on your readers with your content. There’s nothing wrong with writing a blog post from time to time that is kind of designed to be shared with the hope that maybe it’ll go viral, maybe it’ll help you to find some new readers. If that’s the only type of blog post that you write, you could actually end up annoying your regular readers. Don’t just write blog posts that you think might go viral. Don’t just try and chase the eyeballs on the traffic. Actually think about who’s reading your blog and what kind of content they need to be presented with. Some of that content will never go viral.

Let me give you an example on Digital Photography School. We know that infographics do really well on our site. I actually published one just two or three days ago and it went crazy. It got hundreds of thousands of shares on Digital Photography School on our Facebook page. It drove a lot of traffic to our site. It was kind of useful and it’s kind of interesting. If I just shared infographics day after day after day, we’d get a lot of first-time visitors but we wouldn’t get so many people coming back the next day because an infographic by itself doesn’t actually bring about a change in our readers.

I know that if I want my readers to improve their photography, I need to write some content that may not get shared as much. I need to teach my readers about what is ISO, what is aperture, what is shutter speed, and some of these less sexy topics. I know that if I focus on that type of content, the content that actually brings about a change as the majority of my posts, that my readers are going to keep coming back day after day after day.

The way we kind of tackle this is once a week we’ll do something that’s a little bit more shareable. Then once a week we try and do something that’s a bit more engaging. Then once a week we do something which tries to get our readers to do something, so it has a strong call to action. The rest of our posts a week, so another eight or nine posts a week are really trying to teach our readers different things. You’re going to really mix up the types of content, but don’t focus on just getting the eyeballs. Focus upon building engagement and bringing about change in your readers with the bulk of what you produce.

Mistake number eight is all about clutter. There’s a lot of bloggers who really struggle with this. If I’m honest, again, my own blogs do struggle with this at times. We’re actually about to do a complete overhaul of ProBlogger’s blog because it’s getting a bit cluttered and a bit tired. It’s very easy for your blog to become cluttered. We start out with nice, clean, beautiful blog designs and then we just add that widget. We add that widget to the sidebar, or maybe we add something underneath the comments of our post, or maybe we just want to add another ad unit in. Maybe we’re going to add another element to our navigation or menu items, and then gradually, over time, we add more and we add more and we add more and we don’t take anything away. It’s very easy after a few months or a year or two to end up with this sidebar that has hundreds of links. Tens and twenties of widgets and all kinds of things in our navigational areas.

The advice here is to try and resist a little bit adding lots of things. When you add something, perhaps consider taking something away. Also to do a bit of a spring cleaning every now and again. Give it a good hard look. Perhaps, even ask someone else what they think of your blog design too. Maybe it’s time for a spring cleaning.

Mistake number nine is to write great blog posts with terrible titles. This is something, again, I have struggled with. I’ve been guilty of this over the years at different times. I spend hours writing my blog posts, sometimes I spend days on some of the longer posts. Then it’s very easy to just slap a title on it and publish it. After spending all that time on the content, slapping a title on it that isn’t really thought through can really cost you. It can be the difference between people reading that great blog post and just glossing over it. The people who do this best actually spend considerable time on their titles. Ideally, you probably want to come up with at least ten titles for your blog posts and then choose the best one. It’s actually probably something also to involve other people in if you’ve got other people who are willing to help with that.

If you’ve written a really great blog post, shoot it around to a few friends and ask them what they would title it as or give them some options to choose from. Take that extra time with your titles. It can really make the massive difference in your blog.

Mistake number 10, almost halfway now, is not defining a topic or a niche for your blog. I’m not talking here about your blog post, I’m talking about the overall topic of your blog. Most successful blogs have a well-defined topic, or a niche, or at least target a certain demographic of reader. There are certainly examples of blogs that don’t really have an obvious topic or a niche, but they usually have something that defines them. It’s usually the topic, it’s usually the niche, but sometimes it’s the type of reader they’re trying to attract, sometimes it’s the style of the blog or what they do. Whether it be humor, or whether it be essays, or whether it be thoughtful writing, there’s something usually that defines the blog.

I know some people are going to push back on this particular one, and that’s totally fine if you want to intentionally have a blog that’s about everything. That’s totally fine, but there are some costs associated with that. For one, you might find some readers find it really hard to know whether your blog is for them if it’s about anything and everything. It can be tricky unless you write it perhaps in a certain style, which may actually be what defines your blog. It may be hard to build that audience. It also might be hard to monetize if that’s something that you want to do. Particularly if you want to work with advertisers, sometimes an advertiser really wants to align themselves with a particular topic or a particular niche or a particular type of person. Also, monetizing with a product as well can be really tricky if your blog is about anything and everything.

Again, there are probably some examples of blogs out there that break this particular one and make this mistake on purpose. In most cases, successful blogs have at least some way of defining what they’re about that readers and others can hang their hats up on in some way.

Mistake number 11 is choosing a topic, or choosing a niche, that you have no real interest in. Another way to put this is to choose profit over passion. Again, this is another one that I made in the early days of my own blogging. When I first started to make money from blogging, my first blog that was commercial, was a blog about digital cameras and I reviewed digital cameras. It was quite profitable. It actually got to a point where I was making over $100,000 a year, which just blew my mind. I was like, “Wow. Can a blog actually make that much money?” It could through affiliate marketing, mentioning the cameras, but also through some advertising. 

I began, naturally, to think about what other blogs could I start and could I do the same sort of model with. I had, at one point, about 30 different blogs. One of them was about camera phones. That was something that I was kind of interested in. It was a new emerging technology and then I started to think about other blogs.

One that I started was about printers, which was a natural progression from the digital cameras because it was technology-related. It was around printing images but also documents. The reality is I didn’t really enjoy printers, I have no interest in printers. I don’t like them and they don’t like me. They kind of cause me all kinds of grief. It wasn’t something that I could naturally write about, but it was a profitable topic. Even though I didn’t have much traffic, it did make me some half-decent money, but it wasn’t satisfying. Also, it showed through in my writing. My readers, I’m not sure that there were any regular ones. It was driving search engine traffic mainly, but I’m sure that anyone coming to that blog could tell that I wasn’t really engaged with that topic.

I had about 30 blogs at one point, today I have two. They’re the two topics that most interest me. They’re the ones that I was able to sustain, but they were also the ones that I was able to build a readership around. I think that was because people could tell that I was engaged with those topics. It’s going to take some time to build a profitable blog. You might as well choose something that you got some interest in.

Mistake number 12, having too many ads on your blog. I don’t have a problem with putting ads on your blog at all. In fact, I would encourage you, if you’re going to put ads on your blog, to consider doing it from day one because it actually sets an expectation with your readers that this is a monetized blog. You don’t have to have that conversation with your readers in a year’s time about why you’re putting ads on your blog if they’ve been there from day one. You want to be really careful about how many ads you have on your blog. Whether they be banner ads or whether they even be sponsored content.

There’s a number of costs of having too many ads on your site. For one, it makes your site cluttered and less visually appealing. Two, it could disillusion your readers if all they see are ads and all they see are calls to action to buy this and buy that, but you’ll also run the risk of being penalized by Google for having too many ads on your site. Be a little bit careful about that. 

The last reason is that if you’re selling ads to advertisers, they’re going to get much better results if there are fewer ads on the site. If that advertiser is competing with 20 other ads on your site on your sidebar, people are much less likely to click those ads if there’s lots of ads there. In fact, they’ll become blind to them. If you’ve got one or two ads there, your advertisers are going to get much better value from that.

We actually know this from our event, our real-life event, which we have sponsors too as well. Some conferences have 20, or 30, or 40 different advertisers or sponsors of their conference. Last year we had three, three main ones. We know that if we have fewer sponsors, we’re able to deliver much better value to those sponsors. People will remember those sponsors. As a result of that, we’re able to charge more to those sponsors as well. It actually serves our attendees and the readers of your blog, but it also serves the sponsor and it also serves you. It’s better for everyone.

Mistake number 13 is being too insular, expecting your readers to come to you rather than going out to them. Many bloggers when they start, they think that if they build a great blog people will just find them. Build it and they will come. The reality is this doesn’t work in blogging. Unless you’ve already got some sort of established readership. If you do do something great and you build something great and you’ve already got readers, then they will spread the word for you. 

In the early days, particularly, you need to get off your blog. You need to identify where your potential readers are gathering and how you can interact in those spaces. Don’t just build it and don’t just expect people to come to you, go to them. This is something I know some bloggers really struggle with because they don’t want to be seen as self-promotional all the time, but you do need to come to terms with this. You don’t need to go out and say, “Look at me. Look at me. Look at me,” all the time. You can actually go out and just serve people in the places that they’re gathering. Be useful to them. That, in turn, will promote your blog.

Mistake number 14 is a pet peeve of mine, and it is blogging as your first blog, choosing the topic of making money blogging as your topic. I’ve seen a number of bloggers do this. They get into blogging and they look around and they think, “What’s the most profitable niche? Oh, the people who are making the most money from blogging are the people who are writing about making money from blogging. I’m going to start a blog on that.” It’s bizarre to me that someone would choose that as their first blog’s topic when they’ve never actually made money from blogging. Don’t make that mistake. For one, making money from writing about making money blogging is actually not that easy because there’s so many blogs on that topic. I personally found it’s much more profitable to have a blog about photography than it is to have a blog about blogging.

Choose something that’s normal, that a normal person out there would be interested in. There are more people with digital cameras than there are with blogs. There are more people who eat food than have blogs. There are more people who travel than have blogs. There are more people who wear clothes, and they’re interested in fashion than have blogs. Choose one of those topics. Something that you’re interested in and something that you can genuinely talk about that you’ve got some expertise or some experience with. 

It’s okay to have a blog about blogging. It’s okay to talk about making money online, but you’re going to have much more success with that type of blog if you’ve already done it on another blog or if you’ve already had some experience in that. By all means, choose to have a blog on that particular topic, but do it out of your experience of building a successful blog in some other area first.

Mistake number 15 is a strange one in some ways, it’s a bit of a big mistake. It’s hard to define in some ways, but it’s not being useful with your blog. The blogs that are most successful, that at least I read, are blogs that solve a problem. They’re blogs that meet the needs of their readers. People are much more likely to come back to a blog if it has an impact upon them, if it changes them in some way. Ask yourself this question, is your blog making a difference? Is it bringing about some sort of change? Is it solving a problem? Is it useful? Your blog doesn’t need to solve big massive issues like poverty and world peace and all these types of things. It might, it could actually be something really simple that is useful to someone.

Teaching them how to hold a camera, or teaching them how to make a soufflé, or teaching them how to be a better parent or giving them a laugh, making them smile or making them realize that they’re not alone. These things make a difference, they’re useful. They don’t need to be massive, but if they’re not bringing about some change or solving some kind of problem, you might want to rethink what it is that your blog is about.

Mistake number 16 is one that I see many bloggers falling for, and that is writing for search engines before they write for humans. You really want to focus on writing for human beings. That’s a hot tip for you, it’s a bit of a strange mistake to talk about, but I do see a lot of bloggers who are obviously writing content that is all about trying to rank highly in Google. I understand it on one front, Google can send a lot of traffic to your site if you work out how to manipulate it and how to rank high. The problem is if you do that at the expense of writing useful content for real people by just focusing on keywords and algorithms but not actually thinking about who’s reading it, then what’s the point of getting anyone to your blog anyway because they’re just going to disappear again. They’re not going to want to come back.

What I found is that if you write great content for human beings, for real people with real problems and real issues, and you can help to solve those problems, they’re going to want to come back. They’re going to start sharing your content with other people, which has the byproduct of helping you to rank higher in search engines. Search engines watch to see how people share your content, they watch to see how long people are spending on your content. If you’re writing content that engages people, that keeps people on your site for a long time, and that that they want to share you’re going to rank high in search engines over the long term. Don’t write for search engines. Certainly understand how they work, but keep in mind your reader as the first thing that you want to serve and the first focus.

Mistake number 17. Every time I share this one I see people going, “Yes, that’s me. That’s me.” This one is something I have struggled with over the years in different ways. The mistake is this, becoming a statsaholic. The lure of checking your stats, your metrics is completely understandable. They’re seductive, those metrics. It’s so easy to spend your time in Google Analytics looking at those real-time stats wondering why no one’s reading your blog right now, looking at which pages they’re reading. 

There’s other stats too that can be quite seductive. Maybe it’s the how high your blog is ranking in Google, or maybe it’s how many comments you’ve got, or how many page views you’ve had, or what your bounce rate is, or how much you’ve earned from those AdSense ads, or how many followers you have on Twitter, or how many likes you have on your Facebook page. Then there’s the temptation to start comparing your stats to other people. I know a lot of people just get completely sucked into one, looking at their own metric metrics but then two, comparing themselves to others and their metrics.

Whilst I think it’s good to understand how many people are reading your blog and how they’re using your blog and to watch some of those metrics, they can be an incredible distraction. They can actually take you away from creating great content. They can actually feed your insecurities and get you really down if you don’t watch that. What I would encourage you to do is to set aside time each week, specific time to check your stats. It may be that you want to set aside a few minutes every day to do that at the start and the end of the day. 

What I do is I start my day by checking my stats to look at what happened last night. At the end of the day, I do the same. Then once a week, I also set aside about an hour to really dig into my Google Analytics, and to really dig into looking at some of the social media metrics around my blogs as well. Then the rest of the week, I resist that urge. I try and keep away from doing that and focus my energy upon creation of great content for my blogs.

Mistake number 18 is something that I saw a lot four or five years ago maybe even a bit further back. This is growing your blog with link baiting or personal attacks. I saw this quite a bit particularly when I started ProBlogger, probably about 2007-2008. I saw a lot of bloggers who realize that they could grow their blog’s traffic by attacking other bloggers, by kind of baiting them, by attacking them or critiquing them in different ways. Sometimes they use satire, which was kind of bordering on the edge of attack, but sometimes it was just a blatant attack. Sometimes they did it anonymously as well. 

Whilst you can grow your traffic that way, the problem is that you also grow a reputation. The way that you blog impacts your brand. You will become known for the kind of approach you have to content. If you write snarky, attacking content you will become known for that, and that will be attached to you and it’s very hard to shake.

On the other side, if you spend your time creating uplifting, constructive, and life-changing content, you will also become known for that. Just be really careful about how much you do go into that kind of ranty, snarky space. There probably is a time to be blunt and to rant, but you want to be aware of how you balance that with different types of content on your site.

Mistake 19 now, I’ve got three to go. This is one that kind of taps into some of the others that I’ve already talked about but I think it’s worth saying. The mistake is not knowing why you’re blogging. Most of us, when we start out blogging, are not particularly clear about what our goals are or what our why is, but it’s really important, as you begin to blog, to work that one out. If you don’t have goals, it’s very hard to hit any goals and to have success. Yes, good things will come your way if you blog over time, particularly if you’re changing people’s lives. You really want to think carefully about the goals that you have. This really applies to all areas of your life. 

I try to set aside some time at the beginning of every year to come up with some goals. That helps me to keep on track over the year and to make progress. What I find is if I don’t have a goal, it’s very easy just to become kind of a bit lazy. You’ve got nothing to drive you forward with your blog.

Mistake number 20 is thinking that there’s only one way to monetize your blog. A lot of bloggers I know fall into this one. They see another blogger and usually, what I find is bloggers start blogging because they see another blogger. It’s usually one or a small group of bloggers that they admire and they think, “I’d like to do that.” They model themselves on that particular blog and they tend to think that that’s the only way that you can blog. 

The reality is when it comes to making money from blogs that there are many ways to monetize a blog. If you go to, you’ll see there, and I’ll put it in today’s show notes, a money map of 40 or so different ways that you can make money from blogging.

A lot of bloggers, when they start out, they think advertising’s the only way. That’s just one of many ways that you can monetize a blog. Don’t just think that there’s one way to do it. You’ll find over time that there are different methods that you can use that will work differently depending upon the size of your audience, the topic that you have, and the life stage of your blog.

The last mistake is thinking that you have to know it all to have a successful blog. I come across a lot of bloggers who have insecurities around different aspects of blogging. For a lot of bloggers, it’s like, “Yeah, I’m not technical enough,” or “I don’t know about design,” or “I’m not a great writer,” or “I’m not very good at marketing,” or whatever it might be. We all have an area that we don’t know a whole heap about when it comes to the technicalities of blogging. That’s totally okay.

When I started blogging I didn’t know how to make text bold on my blog for three months after starting. I am still, to this day, not very technical. I leave that aspect of blogging to someone else. The tools today are so much better than they were in those days as well so you don’t need to know as much. You don’t have to know it all before you start. When it comes to your topic as well, you don’t need to know it all either.

When I started ProBlogger, I’ve been blogging for a couple of years, but I certainly didn’t know everything there was to know about making money from blogging. I was very transparent with my readers about what I did know and what I didn’t know, what I was learning and what I already knew, the mistakes I made as well as the successes that I had. Be transparent with your readers, you’ll find that people are very forgiving of you. You don’t need to know it all.

Keep in mind with these 21 mistakes, that I’ve already been through today, that there are plenty of others that we could have talked about. I would love to hear the mistakes that you’ve made in your own blogging and the mistakes that you see other bloggers making as well. Also, really keep in mind that there’s a recovery from most of these mistakes. I can’t think of anything I’ve just talked about that’s not recoverable from. I’ve built a full-time business around my blogging despite having made most of these mistakes at one time or another. You can recover. 

Making mistakes is part of learning. It’s part of success. All successful entrepreneurs can identify mistakes that they’ve made. The key is to learn from them, to not repeat them, and to evolve what you do as a result of the mistakes and failures that you do have.

I want to encourage you to go over to our show notes. They’re at where I’ll have a few notes from today’s show. I’ll share some of the links that I’ve mentioned and some further reading, but I also would love to hear your comments on today’s show. Let us know the mistakes you’ve made. Let us know the mistakes that I’ve talked about that resonate most with you. Get to know one another as ProBlogger Podcast listeners. If you also got a moment to head over to iTunes and let us know what you think about the show in a review, I would be incredibly grateful for that.

Thanks so much for listening to the ProBlogger Podcast. 

I was recently at the Inbound Conference and I had probably about 40 or 50 people come up to me over those three days and tell me that they’ve been listening. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to hear and meet people who are listeners of this. What I’ve noticed is that the podcast listeners approach you sometimes with more warmth than the blog readers. There’s probably not a personality thing. I think there’s something about listening to someone that brings that out and about. I really do appreciate you listening and particularly those of you are addicted to it and waiting for our podcast episodes to come down the tubes every Monday and Thursday. 

Thanks so much for listening. I will talk to you in episode 47 of the ProBlogger Podcast.

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