How to Easily Fix Those Vexing Amateur Blogger Mistakes

Amateur Blogger Mistakes
Many amateur bloggers ask me if blogging doesn’t work anymore … because they are blogging a lot but have yet to see any traffic or conversions. 
As I keep telling them, it’s not blogging that’s not working, but amateur bloggers tend to make some poor decisions and elementary mistakes that are so easily fixable

Writing the blog is among the final stages of blogging. Before that, there is much research and planning to do – which is where many amateur bloggers make the most errors. 
If the foundation decisions of blogging are not cleverly strategized, all the best writing in the world cannot save you. You must know your audience inside-out, decide the goal for each blog post, and identify the actions you want people to take after reading the post. Blog posts are not literary pieces; they should be treated as marketing communication for your brand.
So let’s begin counting the eight most common traps that most amateur bloggers fall into and how to fix these problems for better future results.

Contents ...

To find a special gift waiting for you on this page, click the button below to take a peek, before you read on … 

Your blog's content must differ from what else is on your site

The first and most elementary thing to know about blogging for your business is how to choose your blog niche carefully. Your blog should not be repeat of the content on the rest of your website.
For example, if your website is about green energy solutions that you offer as a consultant, the blog posts you write shouldn’t again be about your solutions, what you offer, and why they are good.
Instead you have to approach your blog as if you were a magazine publisher. What is the best magazine you can run that people will love to read on the larger question of “going green”?
If you think like a magazine owner, you will naturally include articles on your blog that people are interested to know on the wider subject of “greening” their lives. By oblique reference they will see that that your magazine (er, your blog) is from a reputed consultant with brand authority who knows about green energy inside out.
That is how your blog creates sales for your products. It has to educate, inform, engage, and include topics that a magazine would cover around the niche related to your business.

Darren Rowse  of ProBlogger makes a point all brands must take note of:

Darren Rowse

"I can hear a few blogging evangelists asking: Isn’t blogging ‘new’ media and why would we look to ‘old’ media like magazines to learn how to do it? Sure we should be innovating and working with the strengths of the medium of blogging – but a lot has been learned over decades of magazine publishing that we as bloggers could take on board and build upon."

Another opinion reinforces the same idea that blogs need to be thought of as magazines – it’s from the Content Marketing expert David Meerman Scott:

David Meerman Scott

"In order to implement a successful strategy, think like a publisher. One of the most important things that publishers do is carefully identify and define target audiences and consider what content is required in order to meet their needs. Publishers consider questions like: Who are my readers? How do I reach them? What are their motivations? What are the problems I can help them solve? How can I entertain them and inform them at the same time?"

The other advantage of thinking of blogs as magazine articles is that you will automatically know how to find a good quantity of blog topics. After all, a magazine pubisher needs new content issue after issue, and finds it, right?

The 8 mistakes of amateur bloggers and how to correct them

Here is my list of 8 critical mistakes amateur bloggers make – and solutions to correct them. Check your blogging strategy for these errors and rectify them, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the success that now eludes you. 
8 Fixable Mistakes Of Amateur Bloggers
(Please use this infographic with credits intact.)

1. Choosing the wrong topics to blog about? It's amendable!

Do you have some goals set for your blog posts to achieve? Have you set some markers for measuring brand authority improvement? This is the first question to ask yourself. 

When you don’t know what you want your blogging to do for your brand, it’s easy to make mistakes with the topics you blog about.

If unsure of your blogging goals, begin by deciding what marketing outcomes you want from your blog. Do you want your blog to give your brand more awareness? Do you want to use your blog to establish brand credibility, authority, and thought leadership? Or do you want your blog to incentivize sales of your products and services?

The second question is: what problems, pain points, or needs of your target audiences do you want your blog to solve or help with? Blog posts are meant to be helpful articles (around your niche) that give readers the answers to the queries plaguing their minds. That’s how you woo readers to trust you over time and buy whatever you sell. So make a simple list of all the problems your audiences may have that your brand can solve, and make these your first list of topics to blog about.

A great example of how Sparktoro works to hear audiences ...

Just type in a keyword you want to know what your audience is talking about. Sparktoro will tell you exactly how many people are talking about the topic, what the audience is specifically talking about online on the topic, where this audience hangs out, what else they are interested in following or engaging with online, and what they usually watch, listen to or read …

The tool is free to use for a trial, so go ahead and test it out!

Sparktoro Screenshot

2. Not solving people's real questions and pains? Get it right!

One of the things to be very wary of in identifying your target audience’s pain points (to solve with blog posts) is to know the real pain point behind the stated pain point. 

It may happen so often that people may not exactly tell you what ails them. They may not know themselves, at times, because they feel a vague uneasiness that is hard to put into words. At other times, the pain point may be embarrassing to talk about and may be couched in clever camouflaging words.

So how do you find out what the actual ailment is? An excellent way to handle this would be to set up a quiz with multiple-choice answers. This saves people from the need to speak of their pains themselves because they can tick the box that best applies to them. Another way to handle this is to ask them “what others in this position may be suffering from.”

You’ll notice that people talk freely about their pains when they think they are explaining what they feel others in this situation may be experiencing – without exposing these as their concerns.

A great example of questions to ask to ferret out pain points ...

It’s more than just target audiences who get stymied when answering questions about pain points. Sometimes, marketers also go blank or get tongue-tied in asking the right questions! To get out of the empty-mind rut, I asked some professional researchers what questions they may ask target audiences to get them to speak about their pain points. 

Here is a list of ten questions from my expert researcher friends. Try these the next time you are lost for questions …

10 Questions to Identify Pain Points

3. Having a poor blog design? Redo it with a smart strategy!

It’s an intuitive thing … most of us can tell a great blog design from a pathetic one. The minute you land on a poorly designed blog, you feel like running away as fast as you can from the clutter and messy look. Contrast the way you experience good design. You think you’ve landed in a place that lets you breathe as you read!

It’s often hard to put a finger on what’s wrong with a blog design except that you feel it to be too choc-a-bloc – maybe it doesn’t have enough white space around the text and visuals. There may be too many fonts of all sizes and shapes and way too many colors on the blog. The look isn’t harmonious.

These days, poor blogs are even harder to read for those who use mobiles as their primary devices. What looks great on a laptop can still look terrible because it’s been badly optimized for smaller devices like tablets and mobiles.

With most blogs, simple and spare is the look to go for. If you are using a readymade template, that’s fine … but choose one that’s clean, elegant, and polished. It must do good for your brand rather than show you to be less than the ultimate class. Readability comes from lack of clutter, simplicity of design, and logical, pleasing arrangement of text, headlines, and visuals.

A great example of how to create the perfect blog layout ...

Who better than Neil Patel, the Ultimate Digital Marketing Guru, to explain how to design the perfect blog layout? I’d advise you not to miss even a second of this important video, where he explains every nuance you have to be watchful about and why. 

The most important thing to learn from Neil Patel is that a blog design should help allow readers to read – as well as convert as many readers into subscribers. Neil’s got lots of ideas for that … 

4. Losing trust by blogging on a free platform? It's fixable!

If you want your blog to get the respect and authority status it deserves, you cannot afford to set it up on a free blogging platform – you need to be on a self-hosted one. What’s the difference?

A free blogging platform is free to sign up for an account, get a domain (such as, and set up your site. You can start your free blog with services like or With such a free account, all your website’s files are stored on your blogging platform’s servers.

The big problem with free blogs is that your site looks less professional than a self-hosted one, thereby losing brand credibility. For instance, your site URL may sound like a tag-on to the platform (like The plugins and design customizations you can use are minimal. You also have limited bandwidth, video time, and memory space, so you can do less with your blog. Also, if the platform owner changes his rules of the game at any time, your site, built up over the years, may have to make drastic changes.

A self-hosted blog is one where you buy space (as much as you need) from a hosting platform (like WPEngine or BlueHost). Your blog can have as many plugins and bells and whistles as it wants, and it can grow. Your files are in your hands to protect and preserve. You are the master of what you own.

A great example of differences between free and self-hosted blogs ...

For those unfamiliar with the terminologies, WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System). WordPress sites can be hosted either on their free platform, or you can get the files from and put your site on a space you want to buy as a self-hosted solution.

This wonderful infographic below from shows you all the pros and cons of making the right choice for you. vs infographic
(Infographic credits: Blogging. org)

To find a special gift waiting for you on this page, click the button below to take a peek, before you read on … 

5. Lacking a sound linking strategy? Learn how it's done!

You may not realize that an effective external and internal linking strategy can do wonders for your blog post rankings on Google and drive traffic and usage of your site from these links. Linking must be done to a strategy, and it can help improve your website’s user experience, credibility, and authority.

What is “external linking”? It involves including links from your blog posts to high-quality, relevant sources that can provide additional information or perspective on the topic you’re writing about. This can help to establish brand credibility and authority (because of good brand rub-off from the sites you link to). It can also help drive your blog traffic by providing readers with additional valuable and reputed resources to explore.

“Inbound linking” or “link building,” on the other hand, usually refers to actively seeking and acquiring links, leading to your blog, from other high-value websites. Every such link raises the value of your site and blog in Google’s eyes. Google treats inbound links from well-known high domain authority sites as a vote of confidence in your blog’s quality.

“Internal linking” is the third type of linking strategy you’ll need. It is about linking to other pages or posts on your blog. This can help improve the user experience by providing readers with related information – and can also help improve your blog’s search engine rankings by demonstrating your blog’s collective relevance and authority.

A great example of how different "link building" strategies perform ...

Undoubtedly, the more high-quality inbound links your blog can get from reputed sites, the better your SEO rankings and results will be. But how do you get those backlinks to your site when everybody is reluctant to give you those? Semrush surveyed the scenario and has a chart that shows all the methods by which you can get backlinks and which ones work the best.

From my own experience, guest posting works best for me too. Not only do I get “contextual links” from the text on my guest posts, but I also get referral traffic from the sites where I guest post.

Link building strategies chart
(Image credits: Semrush)

6. Don't have a visitor conversion mechanism? Create one!

A visitor conversion mechanism is a way of turning website visitors into customers or leads. It can be any action or series of steps that a website visitor takes that leads to the desired outcome, such as filling out a form to request more information, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter. Some common visitor conversion mechanisms include calls to action, landing pages, lead capture forms, and lead magnets.

If you don’t have any mechanism on your blog to capture those fleeting visitors and put them on your mailing list as subscribers, how will you keep nudging them via a spate of emails to return often to see what’s new on your site? You have to build the familiarity and loyalty of your site visitors, don’t you? Only when they learn to trust you, will they buy anything from you.

To make your conversion mechanism effective, you need a clear and compelling value proposition for the visitor. Make it easy for them to take the desired action, and provide a sense of urgency or scarcity to encourage them to act.

You could offer a “lead magnet” – a free downloadable resource such as an ebook, a template, or a checklist – to “ethically bribe” people to sign up for your mailing list. Lead magnets must be used with email marketing campaigns that further the connection with subscribers through further follow-up messages or offers.

A great example of research on different types of lead magnets... conducted research on various types of lead magnets on their blog, and have published the results chart below. The one’s at the top of the image are all “Blog Specific” bonuses, that they’ve called content upgrades. The ones below are generic types of lead magnets unrelated to the blog posts they are placed on. 

The results are there to be seen … for the more tailored lead magnets, the conversion rate ranges from 39-71%, but for the generic lead magnets, it ranges from just 8-26%. BloggerSidekick believes the only real difference to lead magnet performance is relevancy.

Lead Magnet Conversion Rates
(Image credits: BloggerSidekick)

7. Overspending on useless tools? Get just what you need!

A common – but huge – mistake that many amateur bloggers make is to think they need more tools if their blogs aren’t working as well as they should. Isn’t it a classic case of a bad workman blaming his tools?

There’s a sophisticated way of describing this kind of overspending on all types of useless tools – it’s called “frustration spending.” Your blog isn’t working? Maybe you need a better keyword tool, a more expensive grammar corrector tool, a social media automated promotion tool, or an AI tool that can even write your blogs for you …

This kind of thinking has been the downfall of many bloggers who need to realize that blogging is a long game to play, takes time, and pays big dividends if you are persistent, regular, and determined. As any good gardener knows, you can’t start digging up the roots of what’s growing – to start all over again just because it’s not growing fast enough.

Blogging has been likened to the Chinese Bamboo. Like any plant, the growth of the Chinese Bamboo requires water, fertile soil, and sunshine. But in its first, second, third, or even fourth year, we see no visible signs of activity. Our patience is severely tested. Then finally, in the fifth year – behold, a miracle! The Chinese Bamboo grows 80 feet in just six weeks! How? Well, had the tree not developed an unseen solid foundation, it could not have sustained its incredible eventual height! Blogging doesn’t take that long … but you get the gist!

A great example of a blog post creation workflow ...

Let’s face it. Nowadays, almost every blog writer is tempted to use an AI (Artificial Intelligence) writing assistant tool to get the early draft text for a blog post. But you cannot copy and paste that raw fodder into your blog. Your brand tone and style must be infused, and emotionally-engaging tweaks must be given to the content that only a human can do. You also have to pad up the basic AI information with samples, examples, anecdotes, storytelling, and other little touches that are helpful to your readers.

I found this graphic below (from IMeanMarketing) as I was researching and thought it was a valuable way for bloggers to plan their workflow with the tools they have. Notice how the author of this graphic suggests that everything in green can be AI-assisted and that only one part of the process needs your active intervention. You’re the best to decide if this works for your brand or if you want more human input!

(Image credits: IMeanMarketing)

8. Not promoting your blog posts? Get reach and visibility!

There is a common saying among expert bloggers that 80% of your effort should go into blog post promotion and only 20% into blog post creation. That’s how important it is to get the word out that your blog post exists and is worth reading.

What does blog promotion entail? Well, blog promotion refers to the different strategies and techniques you can use to increase the visibility and reach of your blog. The goal of blog promotion is to attract more readers to the blog … and, thereby, build a loyal audience of followers. 

There are many ways to promote a blog – including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and guest posting on other blogs or websites. Other strategies could include participating in online communities or forums related to your blog’s topic, collaborating with influencers or industry experts in your niche, and running paid advertising campaigns.

You may wonder whether blogging still works in this age of information saturation – and whether blog promotion is worth your time and effort. In The Hubspot State Of Marketing Report of 2022, 56% of marketers say blogging and blog promotion are still effective for lead generation. But they also say it’s how you promote new content, in the age of content overload, that is key. Look below for some easy-to-implement ideas …

A great example of blog promotion advice from Ryan Robinson ...

Ryan Robinson is an industry great … he gets 500K monthly traffic to his blog, so he should know what’s working and what’s not working in blog promotion. In the video below, he talks of his top five methods for great blog promotion, and he also discusses tools that help him. I agree with him that these five methods are the ultimate blog promotion methods if you can handle them yourself (or get outsource help).

Listen to this video especially to see why Ryan recommends the methods he does  … because it also shows you how his mind ticks. Mindset affects the method of blog promotion you use and succeed with!

Pro tips to take away in summary ...

1. Nobody, not even the most prolific expert blogger, ever gets everything right to succeed phenomenally in one stroke. Blogging is an art to learn gradually over time and experience. 

2. Don’t throw in the towel because things are not going right. Find out what fixes can set the ball rolling and implement them. Your blogging issues need to be first identified and then rectified.

3. Feel free to use my list of eminently practical steps to fix your amateur blogging mistakes. These are ideas I have used to grow my own and my clients’ businesses, and they can help grow yours too.

The important takeaway from all this is that blogging isn’t just about writing. It’s a form of brand messaging with many moving parts. Several issues can go wrong at first, but the good news is that they are all likely to be minor and easily correctable. Once you’ve cracked the knack, there will be no stopping you!

BONUS: How to get help with your branding and content marketing

Branding and content marketing are tough because they require a deep understanding of the target audience, a commitment to delivering high-quality content consistently, and ongoing optimization to remain effective. This is where an expert hand can be invaluable.

With cutting-edge knowledge of the latest industry trends and best practices, an expert can help provide the guidance and support needed to achieve the desired results.

Rather than slog at it yourself and spend time and money on trial-and-error, make it simple … let me help you.
Let’s have a free, no-obligations Zoom chat. We can locate the potential to power up your branding and content marketing. Let me know your goals and budgets, and I will offer you some readily implementable suggestions. 
If we’re a good fit for each other, you could consider outsourcing your branding and content marketing projects to me. I am confident I can take your business to an enviable position. 
Click the button below to book a free 30-45 minute online ZOOM meeting; we’ll take it from there!
Shobha Ponnappa

"I am committed to elevating my clients' branding and content marketing to a dominant position because I believe that a strong and distinctive brand identity, coupled with high-quality content, can be a game-changer for businesses. I've done it over and over for 40+ years and 125+ clients."

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Give yourself truly big benefits.

Get my weekly newsletter packed with cutting edge brand content tips, tricks, tactics, techniques, and trends. I scour the Net for you.

Use my Privilege Discount on all my products and services – at any time, without limit – as long as you’re uninterruptedly subscribed.

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Just fill in the form to join my community … we have big and small brands for company. You’ll stay on the speedway to growth.