There is one complaint I hear most often from beginner bloggers: “No one reads my blog!” Sound like you? Rest assured, we’ve all been there.
After doing several blog audits, I’ve identified 5 common blogging mistakes that are holding you back from increasing your traffic. Here they are:
*There are affiliate links below, meaning I get a commission if you decide to buy through my link (at no extra cost to you).
Top 5 Blogging Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Blog’s Traffic
#1 Your blog posts aren’t thorough.
Look, unless you go into it intending to write the BEST blog post out there about a topic—DON’T write it! Too many beginner bloggers are trying to publish every day, thinking that consistency and frequency are what matter most. They’re not. Publishing the BEST blog post out there once a month is better than a mediocre blog post every day.
Google LOVES longggg posts. But not just long posts that are long for the sake of being wordy. Google wants to see thorough, detailed blog posts that answer the questions its searchers are searching.
Here’s the process I always tell my blog audit clients to follow EVERY time they want to write a new blog post:
- Think of a topic you want to write about.
- Google that keyword.
- Open up the top 3 search results in separate tabs (CTL+click+Open in new tab)
- DO NOT copy those! Simply read them all with a critical eye and notice what they left out! One up each of them. Add in details they failed to include.
#2 You’re targeting a very broad, one-word keyword.
Blogger, if you want real traffic, you need to understand SEO. Too many bloggers don’t understand keyword research and try to target VERY broad keywords.
An example of this common mistake? Let’s say I want to write a blog post on making cold brew coffee—but I try to target the keyword “coffee.” See the problem here? If someone goes to Google and types in “coffee,” what are they trying to accomplish? It could be anything! Maybe they’re trying to find coffee to buy. Maybe they’re looking for a coffee shop nearby.
What’s a better keyword? “How to make cold brew coffee.” It’s specific. If someone searches “how to make cold brew coffee” in Google, guess what they’re trying to do? That’s right! Make cold brew coffee. This is what’s known as a “long-tail keyword.” Go after those. Don’t go after broad keywords.
#3 You’re targeting a keyword NO ONE is searching for.
This mistake is kind of the opposite of the previous one. Here’s an example: targeting the keyword “best cat cafes in Milwaukee.” Maybe that blogger thinks, “Hey, I’m being specific! That means I can rank #1 in Google for this keyword! There’s probably low competition for this keyword!”
Okay, so let’s head over to Keysearch (the keyword tool I use) and check the keyword “best cat cafes in Milwaukee.”
Um… The blogger was right. There IS low competition for that keyword. In fact, there’s NO competition for that keyword because NO one is searching for it! Sadly, there is a serious lack of interest in cat cafes in Milwaukee…
A blogger probably COULD rank #1 in Google for this…but what good is that if no one will ever find it?
ALWAYS check a keyword in Keysearch (or another premium tool) before you waste time trying to target it!
#4 You’re wasting time on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
If you wanna be an “Instagram influencer,” that’s one thing. But if you want to make REAL money through your BLOG by sending traffic to it—Instagram is a waste of time. Let me say that again: Instagram is a waste of time if your goal is traffic to your blog. That platform is not made for sending clicks to a website. Think about it: You can’t click an image; you can’t even make LINKS within a caption. The best we have is “link in bio.”
If you must use social media, use Pinterest. It’s meant for driving traffic—all images link to a website. It can send tons of quality traffic fast.
#5 Your blog isn’t self-hosted.
Ugh…I still see this: Bloggers claiming they want to be professionals, bloggers claiming they want to make money blogging, yet their blog is a free WordPress blog! (Think blog.wordpress.com) Um, no!
If you want to monetize your blog, you NEED to be self-hosted. This means you own all your content. This means you have the power to customize in ways you can’t with a free blog.
The best web host for bloggers? In my opinion, it’s SiteGround. That’s the only web host I use and recommend. I used to use Bluehost, but can no longer recommend them after the problems I kept running into.
If you’re ready to switch to self-hosted SiteGround, here’s a blog post on how to switch from Bluehost (or any web host) to SiteGround.
If you’re ready to finally launch your blog, here’s a blog post on how to start your blog in a few easy steps.
Guilty of One of These Blogging Mistakes? There’s Hope!
Did you realize you’re making one of these blogging mistakes? Hey, the first step to solving a problem is being aware of it, so good job!