Well, a mistake is something that no one does it intentionally.
Similarly, an amateur blogger also makes many mistakes initially but obviously without knowing anything about it.
It may sound strange but this is the truth!
It is important to avoid these mistakes to see success in blogging.
So, to guide you all, I have brought few lessons that will explain what you should do and how.
But before looking at all the details, let’s first understand who can be called as an amateur blogger.
- 1 Who is an Amateur Blogger?
- 2 #1 Don’t just Give Up Very Soon!
- 3 #2 Choose the Right Niche before you Start
- 4 #3 Own Your Domain Name and Don’t Start with Blogger.com or WordPress.com
- 5 #4 Optimize Your Blog for Speed
- 6 #5 Do a Keyword Research Before you Write
- 7 #6 Create Quality Content
- 8 #7 Promote Your Content
- 9 #8 Keep Learning (the Ever Changing) SEO
- 10 #9 Build e-mail List From Your Blog Visitors
- 11 #10 Be Patient! Earning Money May Take a While.
- 12 #11 Do NOT Add More Advertises
- 13 Action Item
Who is an Amateur Blogger?
There is no specific definition anywhere about this to explain.
It is just the behavior of bloggers that define them as amateur or an expert.
So, based on the behavior, I could find the two set of people who can be called as an amateur blogger:
It is important to understand where you stand and then only you can think of changing the situation.
I started from the same place as a beginner blogger and went ahead by finding a solution to the problems I faced during the journey.
Trust me, the whole internet is filled with information but everything is just in bits and pieces. There is hardly a place where you can find what exactly you are looking for.
Just to address this and to put a full stop to the mistakes every amateur blogger makes; I have compiled a whole list of solutions.
Everything that I wrote here are all based on my experience on what to follow and what to avoid, what works and what does not, what to do and how exactly to do.
#1 Don’t just Give Up Very Soon!
Why have I kept this in the first place? Because 90% bloggers do this.
According to Orbit Media, only 1 out of 10 bloggers do things differently to get success.
This means 90% of the crowd just do the same thing over and over again and then finally FAIL and give up.
None of them just got overnight success. It took years for them to understand, implement and succeed.
And the same happened with me. I started blogging on August 2013 (link to my first blog post) and I got traffic only in August 2014.
It took a whole year for me to see the organic traffic.
See the below image that tells it all.
In my case, I was already in a full-time job so, it took such a long time to get traffic.
Well, that was the initial days. But now, after 9 years as a blogger, I have quit my job for blogging.
Blogging works… only if you believe and don’t give up.
If I or anyone of them had given up at some point of time, you would not be reading about all of us.
#2 Choose the Right Niche before you Start
The biggest mistake an Amateur Blogger makes is by not choosing a niche before hand. Let me explain!
See, you are not willing to do everything that your parents or friends suggest or force you do.
You have your own strengths and weaknesses in working on a certain topic, right? be it Maths, Science, Engineering, Commerce, etc.
Use your instinct. Ask yourself what you love to do or at least what you are good at!
Before starting in blogging, follow only those topics to create content where you are confident, knowledgeable, comfortable to cover.
Also, keep in mind to choose such a topic where you know that you can go with this topic for years.
Basically a niche is the topic on which you want to blog, if you do not know already. It might be Technology, Photography, Music, Travel, Blogging, etc.
Because, this is the only thing that will keep you motivated for years even if you do not see any noticeable results from your blogging efforts.
How I continued blogging without any money and without getting any traffic for a whole year?
It was my love for technology and I was enjoying writing about what I was sharing with the world.
That alone kept me moving in writing articles even if no one was reaching my blog nor I was making any money out of it.
So, How to Choose the Right Niche?
There is no single answer that works for all.
But to make it simple for you, I have broken this whole thing into few categories as below.
Choose a niche you love to write
You are the right person to answer about yourself on which topic you can cover for years without any outcome.
Ask the below questions to get more clarity on this:
- Do you have some information or knowledge that you want to share with others?
- Will this knowledge be useful for people? I mean, do you think that people do not already know about what you know.
- How good are you in this topic?
- Can you write content for many years in this niche?
If you have a clear answer for these questions then keep it for a moment till you get the other below answers.
Choose a niche where you never run out of Ideas
As I have already told in the beginning that bloggers spent years to see success.
That means you should have ideas to write for years, right!
Ask yourself again, can you write for years about different ideas in the same niche that you have chosen?
If you get the answer YES, then you should pick this niche and start blogging.
If you answer NO for this question, then you may have to choose a another niche for blogging.
While Choosing the niche, Never Choose a niche around a single Brand.
This is a very bad idea to build a blog around a specific Brand name.
First, you may end up with violating copyright law.
Second, you never know when the brand will be wiped out of the world.
Blackberry, Satyam Computers, Sahara etc.
Instead, you can build a blog covering the topics about the market these brands operate in.
Choose a scalable niche.
What is scalable in this context?
The short answer is: Anything that has a potential to grow.
Basically, a scalable niche is something which has the potential to grow in future.
Artificial Intelligence, IoT (Internet of Things), Online Education, Health and Fitness, Photography, Digital Marketing, etc.
To understand it better, let’s look at some of the niche that has a little or no scope to grow:
A Blog about Covid-19
Covid-19 is a hot topic in 2020 or may be in 2021, but it is not going to last longer.
#3 Own Your Domain Name and Don’t Start with Blogger.com or WordPress.com
We do not fear to lose money when we are buying products from new brands or order food from new restaurants.
But when it comes to blogging, we hesitate spend even a single penny.
That’s where people choose blogger.com or wordpress.com or any other FREE blogging platforms.
Going with free options means compromising on the name.
All of the free blog platforms give you a subdomain.
For example: yourblog.blogger.com, yourblog.wordpress.com like this.
You do not have a specific identity for your own blog.
Most of the platforms restrict you to install extra things on your site.
Also, most of the hosting providers now a days provides FREE Domain Name registration on their basic hosting plans.
I started with blogger.com but eventually I learned the benefits of having my own domain name hence created my own.
You can use GoDaddy or NameCheap to register your first domain name.
Once you have your own domain name, you should also choose a fast hosting plan and optimize your blog to respond faster for user’s queries.
#4 Optimize Your Blog for Speed
People hate to wait to get something when someone else is offering it instantly.
The same happens with page load time.
Imagine, a web page on your blog is loading very slow. Do you think your visitors will wait for the page to load?
Study shows that 57% visitors leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Recently I published and article where I have explained how improving the speed of my hosting has resulted in more page views and more earnings.
This is not known to many bloggers including an amateur one.
So, as a beginner blogger, how can you make your website faster? Focus on the below points:
- Buy a Good hosting provider and a better hosting plan (I will add more posts to help you which one is a good hosting)
- Choose a server which is using Server side caching like Cloudways, Kinsta, WP Engine etc.
- Add a CDN provider to offload all the static resources like css, js and image files of your blog
- Use Image compressor tool or plugin to compress and deliver large images
- Use and leverage Cloudflare Caching and APO (Automatic Platform Optimization)
- Use Flexible SSL setting if you are using Cloudflare
Here, I have just listed what a new blogger has to do to improve the site. If you want me to cover in detail, leave a comment on which topic you want an in-depth content, so that I will make one.
#5 Do a Keyword Research Before you Write
If you produce something that does not have enough demand, then your production is totally wasted.
This is an important thing that every amateur blogger makes a mistake.
When you write some content you must expect some readers at the end of the day, right?
But how do you know if people are searching about the topic what you are going to cover or if you have already created?
When you search something on Google, your search term is called as a keyword.
It is possible that there are so many people search for a keyword and it is also possible that nobody is searching for a certain keyword.
Searching about the demand of a certain keyword is known as keyword research.
You can use tools like Ubersuggest to get information about the search volume of a certain keyword. You can also search for keyword ideas for a relevant keyword.
Keyword research will give you what to cover and what not to.
For example, if you want to write some content about Photography.
You may get new keyword ideas like people might be searching for Photography ideas, Free photography courses, Photography online course etc.
Now based on the keyword research data, target a certain keyword and create content about that.
#6 Create Quality Content
Everyone on the internet says this. But, what exactly is a quality content?
Knowing about this is the basic requirement for an amateur blogger as well as an advanced one.
It requires skill and knowledge to create useful content for others.
In my opinion, a quality content has to be all of the below:
- Create your own content. Do not copy from others.
- Provide more information than what is already available on the first page of Google?
- Well organize or format your content. Add relevant headings, images, tables of data, etc.
- Add external references when you are presenting some facts or figures
- Spend hours of time before you publish a blog post
“If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Do not just rush to create content. Increase your skill, know more, research well before you publish any piece of content.
This is the only way to lead among the crowd.
#7 Promote Your Content
Just creating a product and not promoting or marketing it will be foolish.
Similarly, you will stay an inexpert blogger for the lifetime if you just create content and do not promote it.
People do not just use Google or any other search engine to search for content. They also use forums, social media to search for answers to their questions.
So, you can use those platforms to promote your blog posts. Let’s look at some of the ways you can promote:
- Search for relevant groups or pages on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked In etc. for people searching about the answers or topic which you have already covered. Answer them by placing a link to your blog
- Search Reddit or other private forums in your topic and promote your blog posts by answering to people’s questions or concerns
- Search YouTube for people looking for the content you have created. Reply them by placing your blog url
- You can also comment on other blogs if you feel you have a better content than them.
- Create your own Social Media group and invite people to join the group. Share your content in that closed group.
Wherever you place your links, just make sure that not to spam that place.
It is a slow process and will take time but this has its own benefits.
#8 Keep Learning (the Ever Changing) SEO
We write our content for people, that’s the first thing, but we also write our content for Search Engines.
Most of the blogs get traffic from Google or any other search engines.
SEO is all about understanding how a search engine works and writing content that will rank higher on Google (typically).
SEO keeps evolving with respect to time and technology.
If you are a new blogger or a pro one, you must keep yourself up to date with SEO.
Without knowing this you will not be able to rank your content on Google in the long run.
#9 Build e-mail List From Your Blog Visitors
How YouTube vloggers are able to earn more money with respect to time? Because of that subscribe button.
When a viewer watches a video and like it, and wants more videos like that, he / she subscribes to that channel.
Usually blogs do not have a subscribe button.
To replace that we have Contact forms, where we collect e-mail and some information about the visitor so that we can contact him / her in a later time about relevant content.
Almost every new blogger makes a huge mistake here by not building their own e-mail list.
Build your own e-mail list of the visitors so that you can mail back then later about new content or promote certain products etc to earn some more money from affiliate marketing.
#10 Be Patient! Earning Money May Take a While.
In today’s time one is starting blogging to earn money. Of course that is the most important thing.
An amateur blogger jumps right here first without realizing all the other factors are much important than this.
That is the reason I have kept it at last.
I earned my first $100 mark after 1 year of AdSense approval and then the second $100 took another 10 months.
That does not mean it will take the same amount of time for you.
Not many pro-bloggers were there to guide back then. But now, you have me. And that is why I have been covering all those aspects which will help you sky rocket your blog as early as possible.
My first $100 earning (June 2014 to April 2015)
Second $100 earning (April 2015 to March 2016)
#11 Do NOT Add More Advertises
Initially, earning money from your blog takes time, no doubt in that.
That does not mean you add a lot of advertises everywhere on your blog post.
Adding more ads slows down a web page to load and hence creates a negative effect on the user experience as well as SEO.
There is no ideal number and place but adding some 3 to 5 ads in the right place will result you in better earnings.
I published an article on how I earned more money from AdSense by moving the ad slots a bit from the existing number of visitors.
If your blog is already getting some traffic, then you can also try Ezoic platform that is known to return more revenue from the same traffic.
It took more than few years for me to go from an inexpert blogger to a pro blogger.
And the same goes for any career you choose.
Blogging is like any other job out there. It takes time to learn the in and out about that job.
If you stay string and persistent in learning more than you know, you will no longer be the same amateur blogger.
That’s all on this topic. Stay tuned for more blog posts on blogging.
If you are unable to get traffic to your blog, or not able to upscale your earnings then, ask for help.
You can use my twitter handle or Facebook page or you can just comment at the end of this post and I would be readily available to help you.