5 Beginner Blogging Mistakes

Mistakes I made when starting my blog, and the things you can do to avoid them.

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

There are so many things I wish I knew when I started blogging, and I definitely made a fair few mistakes starting out. Looking back after a whole year of consistent blogging, I wanted to give some insight into 5 mistakes I made when I first started my blog (and tips on how to avoid them).

Be Original & Be Yourself

It’s easy when you first start out to slip into creating content that imitates popular trends or writers with thousands of reads.

Reading the work of others is a great way to pick up new writing techniques and popular blog formatting styles. However, there is a huge difference between writing about similar content or topics and outright copying, and you should be aware of the difference and make sure to keep yourself in check.

Exploring and finding your own writing style has a much higher pay off than copying those of popular bloggers, so it’s important to give yourself the time and space to practice your own writing style (which is something I regret not giving myself the time to practice).

Try:

  • Read 5 articles / blog posts and make notes on what you enjoy about the post or the writer’s style or formatting.
  • When writing your next post, have these points in mind, but don’t let yourself copy them exactly, use them to add to your own style and enhance how you would normally write a new post.

Be Prepared

Hands down the one thing that allowed me to write two blog posts (almost) every month last year was adequate preparation. Planning consistent content uploads is key to keep readers interested. It also helps in the long run, allowing you to write your posts and proof-read them way in advance of posting, giving you lots of time to tweak and perfect them.

Try:

  • Create an upload schedule for when you are going to post, be sure to put it in your calendar so you don’t forget.
  • Brainstorm some topic ideas for upcoming blog posts.

Don’t Be Afraid To Shout About Your Work & What You’re Doing

When I started my blog, I was so shy to share my work. I think the feeling that people would “make fun of me” for it (as if we were back in school) got the better of me for quite a while.

In order to banish these feelings of inadequacy, find a community or a group you can join where you can share your work to people you think might like to read it. If you write a tech blog, find a supportive tech community that has the space for members to share created content.

Try:

  • Every time you publish a new post, share it out on social media with a little introduction to the post as a call to action for people to read more.
  • At the same time, share a link to your new post in a tech community slack or discord (in either a blog sharing channel, or a space where self-promotion is acceptable).

Don’t Try To Be Trendy For The Sake Of Popularity

You will burn out trying to copy & stay up to date with the fleeting trends that fly through the tech scene.

Instead, invest time into writing about topics you enjoy or find interesting, and if it so happens that those topics align with those that are trending, it’s a happy coincidence. Don’t force yourself to write about a topic just because it is trending, write about things that you would actually want to read about.

Try:

  • Write a list of 5 topics you want to write about.
  • Take a look at the front-page of Medium or Hackernoon, what topics can you see? Do any overlap with your starting 5?

Have Fun, Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Creating your blog should be a fun project in which you can really explore and experiment. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, the most important thing is to enjoy what you’re doing. With blogging, you have the opportunity to explore new topics, learn new things and share your thoughts with the world. Make the most of it and don’t take it too seriously.

I hope these tips will help you if you’ve just started blogging, or maybe even encourage you to start if you haven’t already! Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and avoid these blogging pitfalls.

Software Engineer & Comp. Sci. graduate, writing about professional development, working in tech, and all things coding. https://www.elletownsend.co.uk

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