Amateur Blogging: How To Avoid Mistakes As A New Blogger
Amateur blogging is how every blogger started but that doesn't mean, you can't be a good blogger if you're new to blogging.
In 2018, I started my second blog – to say that I was committing amateur blogging mistakes is an understatement.
Amateur means being incompetent, and we don't want like hearing that word, right? If you're someone new in something, you are labelled as an amateur and in the blogging world, you're doing amateur blogging.
Amateur blogging can also be a term in blogging when you're blogging for fun and not being mindful if you're not earning money or not getting any views or traffic.
But if you are a blogger who has some goals to meet, you wouldn't just accept the fact that you're new, you're contented with that and do what amateur bloggers usually do.
When I started blogging, I didn't know what I was doing if I'm being honest. Yes, I was an amateur, and there's no shortcut before than to experience that phase so I could learn.
But I don't want you to live through that if we could help it.
I know you have such moments when you simply say; I wish I knew these things before I started blogging.
Just like me when I finally realized my mistakes years after creating this blog.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost to you.
The start of amateur blogging
If you're starting a blog, you can safely say, you're an amateur blogger. You are vulnerable to committing mistakes while you're still in the phase of amateur blogging.
Every blogger has his own story of how they started a blog.
A blogger doesn't start a blog like a pro unless he has experience in starting multiple blogs before.
In 2018, I created this blog through WordPress, but before I did it on this platform, I also considered other platforms like Wix and Jimdo.
In fact, I have already started sometime in 2018 on Wix, but not self-hosted.
That was a waste of time. And that is an example of a careless amateur blogger. I was that.
But you don't have to be careless and clueless while you're still starting a blog.
How to begin amateur blogging to pro blogging
– Choose a suitable domain name
Some say domain name doesn’t really matter as long as you have good content.
But for me, I still followed what I liked. I jotted down some names that would be suitable for my blog.
The wise thing to do is to check these prospective names on https://www.domain.com or on namecheap.com where you could also buy domain names.
It is heartbreaking and frustrating sometimes when you come up with a good name that you really like and after checking it, it’s not available anymore.
Pondering over a name for days doesn’t give you a guarantee that your blog would be noticeable and would gain an audience, fast and effortless.
People have different lines on their palms, that luck of blogging after a couple of days might have worked on others, but not on you, or on me.
So choose a domain name that you won't regret buying and using after years of blogging.
– Choose your platform where you want to blog
Now that you have a name for your blog, decide on which platform you would do it.
Regardless of how I liked Wix when I decided to make a blog and use Wix as a platform, I didn’t read many recommendations about it.
What I like about Wix is that it’s easy to edit, with no HTML codings which I have experienced on WordPress. 😉
But in the end, I still did it on WordPress (self-hosted, more on that later)
What I could also recommend using, or maybe if I didn’t opt for WordPress, I might have used Squarespace. I find it so neat and so simple and elegant. Check out this website builder here.
You have now your domain name and you’re on your chosen platform. Let’s say, on WordPress, it would look like this: www.iwanttodoblogging.wordpress.com.
Did you notice something? Are you satisfied?
Well, seeing my then blog with WordPress on it, I had decided I want to really own my blog and brand it as mine.
I'm sure you would want that too.
That’s why I purchased a web hosting plan.
– Self-host your blog
What is self-hosting by the way, and why should we self-host our blog?
I am not that tech-savvy, but I will try to explain it in my own words.
Self-hosting is when you purchase a web-hosting from a web host company like SiteGround and Lyrical Host so you can have more control of your own blog.
Here are the top reasons why you should self-host your blog:
- You can do anything with your blog because you own it and you're not dependent on the platform where you built your blog.
- You can monetize it through ads, for example, whereas if you're on a free plan on WordPress you have to pay to remove ads that WordPress published on your site (that you can't even monetize!)
- Your blog looks more serious and professional and your readers and visitors will also see it that way.
- You have a lot of free themes to choose from if you can't afford to pay for a paid theme when you're still a beginner blogger.
What is Web Hosting? It is a service that enables your website or your blog to be found by users on the Internet.
I had a hosting plan before on One, but I have read many recommendations about using a hosting plan.
There are these three hosting services that I have often read about on Google search and Facebook groups, namely: Bluehost, GoDaddy, Siteground and Lyricalhost.
I was using the GrowBig plan from Siteground (in the second year of blogging) and they also offer a free service for transferring your domain from your old web hosting if you buy this plan and the GoGeekplan.
Currently, I am using the hosting service from Lyrical host which I could only recommend.
You have a domain name already and a hosting plan, this would look like this www.iwanttodoblogging.com/net/org depending on what kind of domain extension you would use.
If you're still in the amateur blogging phase, you shouldn't hesitate in transforming your blog into a self-host one.
What could be missing? It looks empty and feels empty right?
– You need a design and a theme
When I was starting, I used free themes, but I wasn’t satisfied with their limited features.
Sure, you could buy the premium versions, but when you could buy a whole package of a theme that is cheaper than the premium version, why not go for it, right?
I have decided to have a clean and simple look, and I found it on Rima from Themeforest. I had no complaints; I was satisfied.
It has a lot of plug-ins and features if you would like to know more about it and the themes, check it out here. And oh, it was only below $25!
Yet, I wasn’t patient and I could have educated myself more about WordPress and the world of blogging and coding.
I want to get started already with a ready blog so I could concentrate on writing.
Realizations that hit me hard during my amateur blogging journey:
- Blogging would cost you money if you wanted to monetize it in the future and if you really want to get serious in bloggers and be taken seriously by readers, visitors, prospect clients and customers and search engines.
- Apart from investing in it, you need to work on it like how you treat your job.
- Like your job, blogging must also be mixed with fun, or else you’ll get burned out and be pressured. That’s a no-no.
If you have noticed my blog before, or if you’re familiar with the themes from Themeforest like Rima, you could have already detected that my theme is not from Rima anymore.
As I have said, I wasn’t that patient. That’s why I hired a web developer for designing my site, and I just had to say what I wanted to be done on my blog and how I wanted it to be.
Not more than $100 and I have a fresh look for my blog. Still, it cost me money, yet, I didn’t regret it.
Blogging is not cheap, else, you may get a cheap result too.
I also bought another blog theme called Victoria from Bluchic which is very easy to edit and customize since it comes with a guide too.
Check out their other themes which you would surely love!
Now I'm using Peachy by HeartenMade which I really love and if you're familiar with the original appearance of the theme, my site doesn't look like it anymore. Thanks to Kadence, I can customize my site on my own. Bye bye developer.
Now you may have a gorgeous blog, but is that enough?
– Make your blog or website GDPR compliant
Maybe you have heard about this on the web.
So is your website or blog GDPR compliant?
I didn’t know about it before but engaging with other bloggers brought me to reality. It is a regulation that protects the personal data and privacy of EU users.
Although this GDPR is applicable to the personal data of EU residents, this regulation is being enforced worldwide that collect this information.
For more information, check it out here.
What I find so shocking is to have discovered that if your website is non-compliant, you might pay $20 million, according to the Internet search result as my source.
I should have known that I would still consider making my blog legally compliant and protected. There’s a blogger and a lawyer, Amira, who sells a legal bundle that is GDPR compliant already.
You could read her blog post about protecting your blog and online business in 3 ways. Here's the link to her post.
Now that the blog is already legally protected, you may ask yourself, ‘‘What now?’’
Before I launched my blog, I had only drafts of articles that I wanted to post once my blog is ready.
Draft. That means not yet finished. I thought that was a mistake. I could have written more before I published my blog.
– Write and publish valuable content
Do you know what I find very amateurish in blogging? Writing about you. I mean, I noticed some bloggers with their first content as ”About Me”.
They published individual blog posts telling people who they are.
You all, we have a page which is only dedicated for that – the ”About” page, but that too, shouldn't also focus on you.
So don't do that. If you have a draft of that already, save that for your ”About” section.
Many people also ask before they publish their blogs, what type of content should they be publishing.
It depends on your niche. Write what people need to know or what they're finding answers for.
Research a problem and provide a solution that you know especially if you are an expert in a specific area.
If you're not an expert but have experience in a certain topic, you can also use that in providing answers in your blog post.
►How to write a valuable content
- Research a topic, and find relevant keywords about the topic so you will appear on Google, especially on the first page.
- When you're writing a topic, especially about finance and health, you should mention that you're not an expert and you are not liable for any damages should a reader apply the information in your blog post or article.
- Provide high-quality and legit sources of studies or research that are relevant to your topic
However, at some point in your blogging life, you will lose motivation or that great gusto to write more.
Yes, you could write and you like it, you might even be good at it but every now and then, writer’s block will going to hit you.
Before deciding to type on your laptop, you have already ideas on your mind, your brain is already drafting and typing in advance.
Now you’re all ready and set everything, you’re frozen on your seat, and don’t know how to start the sentence anymore.
It really sucks whenever it happens to me. Sometimes, it’s rather better if I write randomly.
Once ideas come, I have to write them down immediately.
There are some mistakes when I wanted to write and couldn’t come up with a single sentence. It could be my focus or my environment, which is the primary culprit why I am having writer’s block. Sometimes, it depends on time.
Waking up today, I decided I have to do my chores first before I dive into my laptop. It is sometimes too irritating when I am typing and realizing how messy my room or my desk is.
It drives away my concentration and my pleasure in writing.
What I find so suitable for writing is the morning after waking up, unless there are still more chores to be done or late evening, but not too late that my eyes are already heavy, and the lids droop already.
There may be simple things, but they play a big role in blogging and providing valuable content that your readers would love to read.
I have always this want to write, but sometimes the brain won’t cooperate with what my heart is telling me.
But if you don't want to stay in the amateur blogging stage, you wouldn't want to write things that are not and may not be relevant to your blog – unless your blog is about you and your life.
Read related post: 5 BEST THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU SUFFER FROM BLOG BURNOUT
– Your blog should not always be about you
Yes, you own your blog; you have chosen the name, and you have paid for it.
But darling, it’s not always about you.
I have told myself exactly the same thing after realizing it. If I want to monetize my blog, then I don’t have to publish my emotional baggage and rants every single day. Some people don’t want to read those things.
How can I earn through them?
You could post some personal things about yourself, especially if your blog is about more personal and fashion, but if your blog or domain name is about business or something educational and all your posts are about relationships and moving on tips.
Hmmm….maybe you have indeed made a mistake in your amateur blogging journey.
I might have forgotten to emphasize it, but choosing a niche before starting is also very important.
I have decided before to focus only on health, but I have realized I have a random mind and a spontaneous personality.
Not being able to focus on one subject, I have settled to have different niches on one blog, hence I have this name.
Some choose their niche before they start a blog, some don't and follow their heart.
But if you have a blog and you don't have a niche, you can read about a post blogging without a niche.
– Blogging needs maintenance
Like many engines, blogging needs maintenance too. I am not sure about other platforms, but on WordPress, some plug-ins and WordPress itself need updates. You need to see that your blog is still working, or still active.
Domain and hosting should be renewed too, if you only purchased the 1-year plan, or else you would lose all of it.
Your blog is not published for nonsense. It has a purpose, it’s for people to visit and read.
It’s not only for reading purposes, but it may also provide entertainment, information, and solutions.
Getting an audience or visitors for your blog is a wide topic, but the key points are social media.
I use Facebook Page and Groups in promoting my blog, I post on Instagram and also on Twitter, but they’re not enough. For some, that social magic works.
There is Pinterest, which I work on also because I heard it’s very effective in growing traffic.
– Blogging is not that simple
Blogging is just writing -if you think that way, then you're an amateur blogger who would always stay as an amateur and wouldn't want to advance in your blogging venture.
If you're serious about blogging, want to make it a business soon and don't want to be tied to amateur blogging, you should know by now that there's more to blogging than what you fantasize about.
You can associate blogging with writing, home office, or writing on your laptop holding a Starbucks coffee, but blogging doesn't end in writing.
That's actually the start of what's more to come.
Related post: Disadvantages of Blogging You Should Know Before You Start A Blog
To some, marketing a blog is one of the most challenging tasks of a blogger.
Aside from using Pinterest to drive traffic to the blog, SEO plays a big role too to gain organic traffic.
You will have to grow your email list and subscribers too, and learn how to make people sign up to subscribe and receive your emails every week or every month.
Read related post: How To Create Freebies For Your Blog + Free Canva Templates
Your post may be very helpful with your own photos, but it doesn’t show up on Google’s first page.
That means your blog may not be optimized or may not even be crawled and indexed.
As a beginner in blogging, those terms may make you hyperventilate and you may think of quitting already.
That's why you need to invest in learning too but it doesn't mean you will buy multiple courses that you can't even finish. You can start on YouTube for free content.
Buying $497 worth of a blog course doesn't give you a guarantee that you will become a pro blogger from your amateur blogging practices.
What you need are determination and patience.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you want that your blog will come a long way, it is better to apply what you're learning while you're still an amateur blogger.