Every new blogger makes their fair share of mistakes. Here are 6 of the most common ones made, so you can avoid making them yourself!
1. Using Google Images
This one is listed as number 1 because it seems to be one of the most used and abused, misemployed faux pas, many new bloggers make.
If you didn’t capture an image yourself or pay for it through a stock photo website, you have zero rights to use it.
Thus, it’s important as a blogger (or any creative) to familiarize yourself with image licensing, to determine what you can use freely, what you can use under a condition, what you can use and modify, or what you simply cannot use at all.
If you’re planning on using images for your website and you’re looking for a free alternative to paid stock photography, look for photos licensed under the “Creative Commons Zero License”, also known as “CC0”. This license means that the original creator of the image has waived all copyrights and any other neighbouring rights over their work. The Creative Commons Zero License, in simple terms, means you can alter, copy, distribute, and use the images, for free, without having to credit anybody for them.
The most popular CC0 stock photos include Unsplash, StockSnap, and Pexels. They are all impeccably easy-to-navigate websites, with loads of images, and best of all, most of these images are high-quality, thus they won’t scare your readers away from your blog.
2. Verging Plagiarism
Every blogger first starting out looks to others as a source of inspiration. There’s always someone out there that you feel like you can connect or relate to, and since they’re so experienced and successful, you find yourself constantly on their website. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What’s important to remember is the fine line. The fine line between being creatively encouraged and then being a straight up copy cat.
The reason this happens so often with new bloggers is because they’re still in that growing, awkward phase of trying to figure out which direction their blog is going to go, and more importantly, what their blogging voice is. There’s no evolution just yet because newbies are just beginning to learn. And it’ll definitely take some time before that expansion into harnessing your own voice and being your own blogger will take place.
So, do your best to differentiate when you’re inspired and then “too inspired”.
3. Still Using a Free Web Hosting Platform
Using a free website platform is a bad idea on many levels.
Unless you’re only a hobby blogger, and you have no interest in growing your traffic or making money from your website, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be self-hosted.
Not only does it look inferior to self-hosted websites, it also comes off as unprofessional. Selling $200 jewellery from your website or offering blogging advice through your website domainname.wordpress.com looks dubious.
The worst part of it all, is that if you don’t cough up the money to host your website, you straight up do not own it. Your free hosting provider can shut you down whenever and however it wants, without notice.
So, although your intellectual property is yours, nothing else is.
Signing up for self-hosting only costs what a cup of coffee does a month, so if you’re able to, definitely take that route. You’ll have your own website, you’ll look more professional, and search engines will be able to begin sending you blog traffic.
If you’re interested in starting your self-hosted blog, I have an easy step-by-step tutorial you can follow along with.
4. Avoiding Investments
By no means do you need to ball out on your website with every expensive gadget and gizmos aplenty when you’re first starting out. Take your time and wait until your blog grows and you’re receiving a good amount of income to pay for different upscale tools and softwares.
However, if you’ve been blogging for a few months, it may be time to consider a few investments here and there to improve the look and functionality of your website. This could be in the form of a new theme, signing up for a new email marketing service, or even investing into a new camera.
Investing in your business pays off. If it makes your life easier, it’ll most likely make your readers lives easier as well.
5. Ignoring the Power of Pinterest
Pinterest is by far the most useful and necessary tool for bloggers and small business owners. It allows you to maximize your reach and allows your content to be shared all over the world.
Pinterest isn’t only a social media platform, it’s also a search engine. Meaning: Pinterest users enter what they’re looking for, and you, lovely blogger, should be popping up first thing!
It’s also completely content-driven. So, unlike other platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest users are always on the hunt for blog posts, information, and ideas, which gives you the perfect opportunity to get your content out there and be seen.
If you want to learn more about growing your Pinterest and receiving the recognition you deserve, check out my 80+ page e-book, Pincreasing Blog Success. It contains absolutely everything you need to know about how to optimize your Pinterest account for business and growth.
6. Comparing Yourself to Others
We’ve all been there, whether it’s in our personal lives or business lives, we naturally compare ourselves to other people.
This is especially discouraging when you first begin blogging because you’re examining the contrast between your beginning and someone else’s successful result.
It’s important to remember that the bloggers you look up to have been in your shoes before. We have all felt the struggle, on different levels and in our own way.
Many of these successful bloggers have been at it for many, many years. They’ve cried through it, they’ve wanted to give up at times, and they’ve all had the same doubtful thoughts you do.
But you know what? They were persistent. And you should be too.
With hard work and determination, you can get to a successful place too, with your own blogging style. Nothing is built overnight, so allow some calmness to enter your soul, ride the wave, and take your own journey.
You got this.
What has been your greatest challenge as a new blogger?