9 Mistakes That Will Screw Up Your Blog9 min read

After months or even years of thinking about it, you finally decided to start your own blog. You sat down at your desk, maybe planned for a few hours, gathered your thoughts, and punched the damn keys.

Feeling a bit nervous, a bit excited (you weren’t sure what you were feeling) you eagerly waited for stuff to happen. After all, it’s all about writing and clicking on that blueish little Publish button, is it not?

Well… the feedback you receive is the kind that makes 95% of bloggers quit. Soul-crushing silence. That’s enough to break even the toughest warriors.

What happened? Where did you go wrong? Where are all the readers?

Mistakes. That’s what happened. I know, because I’ve been there. I made my fair share of mistakes. Some of them I even fixed. Now I am working on making new ones.

But let’s just focus on the ones that can, should, and must be fixed.

In this day and age, anyone can start a blog. But without readers, it’s not a blog. 

I know, I know. Some of you are itching to hit that comment box with something like, “I write for myself, I do not care if I get readers or not.

If you were only writing for yourself you’d be doing it in a journal. You write in a public blog, on the Internet, because you want to be read. Admit it. It’s going to work out so much better for you in the long run.

You might even consider this as the first mistake: not admitting that you want readers.

Yes, getting readers is complicated. And yes, it’s hard. And yes, most of you will get frustrated and quit. Some of you will persevere, while others will want to figure out what’s wrong and how they can improve.

1. You’re all me, me, me

Talking about what happened to you. What you did yesterday. Or the day before that. Telling cute stories as if this were some sort of high school reunion.

You could do that. It doesn’t mean anyone will read it though.

Even though people do love stories, even though the human element is what connects almost anything to everything else, it’s not that simple.

It’s difficult to pull it off.


Because we vastly overestimate how interested people are when it comes to our lives. Hint: they’re not. In the real world, or in this virtual world, most mimic interest out of politeness.

Yes, you have a story. I get it. But we all do.

But think of it this way: if husbands rarely listen to their wives complaining about a crap day at work (I’m so going to get in trouble for this) then what makes you think some strangers living thousands of miles away would?

Storytelling is one of the most fascinating things you can do. It connects people on such a level that they almost become one. They mirror each other, even their hearts begin to sync. But it’s one hell of a skill, and it takes years and years to master.

How can you get away with it?

What we love more than anything are stories that teach us something. Not only that, but we love the underdog winning. That’s the only story worth mentioning.

How did you overcome the most difficult moments in your life? What did you learn from them? How did those experiences shape you?

A rags to riches story is interesting because most people can identify with the rag, and can dream about the riches. The rich part is what makes it so interesting, in fact. It’s the fact that it makes people think that they, too, can do it.

But telling people what you had for lunch yesterday or that you hurt your toe by stepping on some legos…

2. You obsess about everything (but the content)

You focus your time and energy on SEO. Keywords, backlinks, and all that jazz. You buy all sorts of tools, read all the resources you can find…

I believe SEO to be mostly a waste of time. Google’s ranking algorithms are not difficult to predict, but impossible. And they change. And any so-called SEO expert if he were being honest would tell you the same thing.

Next, you obsess about the way your blog looks. The design of your blog is important enough for you to spend money on a custom theme. You take the utmost care of what goes where. You just want it to look stunning, make people fall in love.

Does it matter?

Not at all. Most of the time, as long as they can somehow find their way around you blog, your readers don’t give a damn about your custom designed theme.

3. You do not network

I wrote about it here and here.

Building connections with fellow human beings is essential to the success of your blog. It’s probably the second most important thing you can do, behind providing great content.

What I mean by this?

Reply to comments. That’s a great way to start. Focus on creating true connections with those who read your blog. Find other bloggers. Read their stuff. Comment on their stuff. Ask them if they’d like to be interviewed by you, if they’d like you to guest blog for them…

It’s not magic, and it takes a lot of time and patience, but it does help your blog. A lot.

4. You are hoping to “go viral”

This is a big misconception, one I have been guilty of in the past. Even though you are not seeing any results, then you must persevere and keep going and one day it will happen that this one post you wrote will go viral and turn you into an Internet sensation.

Look, I’m all about perseverance. And even I am guilty of being too perseverant, and forgetting about the other aspect: changing one’s strategy.

It’s mostly about the incremental. You need to grow. Otherwise, it’s all just wishful thinking, and it won’t help you reach the audience you deserve.

5. You are obsessed with stats

It’s not all about stats. Traffic. Numbers. This isn’t Accounting 101.

Stop checking those damn stats every minute of every day. It’s a complete waste of time.

6. You are not consistent

Yes, consistency is key to building a great blog. People need to know what to expect, when to expect it.

No one cares when you write an apology for not posting for six months. As a matter of fact, few will even remember who you are.

7. You already quit in your mind

This one of the most common mistakes. That’s why people tell themselves they’re only blogging as a means to save their souls from damnation. Or that they’re not popular because they’re not lucky. They have such a particular niche that there are only six other people in the world who can understand them. And five of them don’t have Internet access.

Okay, I get it. When you have 200 followers and you get 20 view every time you post something, it’s easy to get discouraged. To lose hope. But writing whatever comes to mind and not giving a damn is not going to help you increase your audience. It’s not.

Granted, popular blogs tend to become popular fast. I grew mine from 0 to 20,000 followers in little over seven months. But… there’s a but, yes… you must not take into consideration your current situation, but rather the possibility for growth.

What I mean by that is that you need to keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars. Work hard on becoming a better blogger, and don’t get sidetracked by the lack of results.

Results always, always follow personal development. Or, in this case, blogging development.

You can always become better.

Thank you for reading today’s pep talk! Now on to the next mistake.

8. You post too often

Guilty as charged. But, I have a pretty good excuse. I have been doing this for so long that people have come to understand this (somehow). What I mean by this is that I have a lot of repeat readers. People who actually read every single post, which makes it okay to post this often.

As a beginner though, it’s not sustainable, and unless you provide great content, absolutely fantastic content, odds are you’re going to piss people off a lot more often than making them appreciate your time and effort.

9. You do not spend enough time writing the best content possible

Your primary focus should be content. The better it is, the faster you’ll grow your blog. It shouldn’t, however, be your only focus.

This is what makes blogging so tricky. Because it’s quite a paradox. Yes, you need to provide value, to over-deliver, to give people what they want. But it’s also important to promote, to network, to learn, to expand…

And you have to make people care. That’s what makes the difference between boring and interesting. It’s not the information, but how it’s presented.

So, ask yourself… do people care about your blog? What have you done to make them care?

So, what should you do?

The answer is kind of simple. You figure out what people want to read. What they’d love to read from YOU. That’s the idea.

I always think of blogging as a man trying to seduce a woman, so to speak. And he’s talking and talking, and bragging, and you know, explaining stuff, and how much he can bench press and how much money he makes, and she’s constantly looking away, looking down, doing all sort of things to keep her distracted.

Why is that? Why do you think something like that happens?

Because he wasn’t paying attention to her. He wasn’t talking about what she wanted to be talking about.

Blogs usually fail not because their content is bad or they didn’t add enough backlinks or because it’s all a scam and it’s all about luck and no one cares or understands what they’re all about.

That guy would be having the time of his life talking about how much he can bench press and how much money he makes if only he talked about it with the right people. The kind of people who care about those sort of things.

Women love to talk about art, romance, social dynamics, they want to hear interesting stories, made to laugh.

Getting sidetracked there a bit.

Anyway. Blogs fail because their authors never stop to think what it is that their readers truly want to read about. Because the truth is that if you write about the stuff that matters to a lot of people, then your blog will grow. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it “wrong” by most experts’ standards.

Listen to your readers. Ask them what is it that they’d like to read more about.

And if you don’t have any readers yet, don’t wait for them to come to you. Go after them. Network. But do it with a bit of grace and diplomacy.

I’d like to know what are some of the mistakes you’ve made and how you fixed them.

Also, I do want to know about some of the issues you’re having, and maybe I can help you fix them.

Lastly, if there’s any topic you’d like me to write about, do share that with me in the comments section below.

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

230 thoughts on “9 Mistakes That Will Screw Up Your Blog9 min read

  1. I’m totally new to Blogging! I’ve just posted my 1st story, a few days ago… and I hope to write more soon. Thank you for posting the Do’s and Don’t of Blogging… I’ll keep them in mind.

  2. I found this post more interesting than the one featured on Discover. In general the ‘7 ways to do this, 5 best places to visit, 16 things not to do’ style of blogging puts me off but you do raise some very interesting points, Christian. Thanks for making me think. 🙂 🙂

  3. Love reading your tips! You write informatively and relatably. You have nailed my weaknesses. I am loving this experience but really am a novice. I just want to help weary parents and make people think a little and maybe laugh.

  4. This post was really insightful, very helpful for beginners! I was thinking that you’d need to post extremely often to even attract potential readers, but I guess I forgot that then there’d be posts forgotten from the beginning. Would love if you could take a look at my posts, and I welcome any improvements!

  5. I can’t get down with the blanket statements* about “men” and “women,” (this isn’t the first blog post where you do so) but… there’s a but, yes… I genuinely appreciate your content and will probably read more. Thanks for the encouragement and insight you’re providing the community. Just… maybe be less sexist? Maybe?

    *You described bored body-language perfectly, but the solution isn’t to just assume women like to talk about “stuff women like to talk about,” it’s to /ask/ the /person/ what /she’s/ interested in. Maybe something like “what’s your workout routine? I mean, you clearly workout, right? No?? What /do/ you like to do for fun?”

    1. As much as I like the advice, I too was taken aback by your statement of what women like. I’m a woman and I assure you that I like to discuss a lot of the same things that men like to discuss. As your reader I think you should care about that.

      1. You’re doing the same thing…

        What do men like to discuss about? Are there universal topics? I like to discuss about romance? Does that mean I am not a man? What does it mean? I am confused.

  6. Nice write-up, however I think it is impossible to know what millions of bloggers like and want to read. It is down to the individual – that secret place in every mind. I think every subject and feeling under the sun will find itself being read and enjoyed by the individual who has found what he is looking for. It is my opinion that low comments and follows are associated with a selfish society. Bloggers write blogs and sit back and wait for comments and likes to pour in – that is all good and well, but blogging is not just about oneself, the blogger must have a relationship with the blogging community. The two must go hand in hand. It is vital to respond to comments (as you said), and which I have noticed bloggers often don’t do. Likes are not a big deal, as the chances of a liker having actually opened your blog is just about zero. A good thing is to broaden your knowledge – I am an artist and enjoy nature and poetry, but I do not just visit these sites – I expand by following bloggers with completely different interests to mine and this for me is ‘the spice of life’ and it helps me grow as a blogger, in the meantime, I will keep on ‘slogging’, but happy days are ahead.

  7. Nice post here. I’ve been in the blogosphere for 14 months now, I try to improve on my contents on every post but readership turns out quite below my expectations. Although I have always wanted people to see me through my contents, my brand is the way of expression for me. #dokechukwu

  8. This is very helpful especially to me as I have just started in the world of blogging. I started sending my URL to friends and posting it to my social media accounts. I am very much guilty of #9 haha! To be honest it is more difficult for me to finish one article if I always check if it has best content, I let the words flow in my mind and type them. Also, I am trying not to be so sensitive or conservative on my writings, if the readers doesn’t like what they read, or it fuel their anger, better, at least I got some reactions. Btw, can you write something about topics usually people are interested to read nowadays? Thanks! ❤️️

  9. Thank you so much for this article, I’ve read many like this with similar concepts before but this is the first one I’ve actually found helpful. As a brand new blogger, I really appreciate this, thanks!

  10. I am a beginner blogger and you have provided me with such relevant content and helped my own focus on content. Thank you for what you do, and keep doing it. You are appreciated and have a reader for life! That’s me!

  11. I find this very interesting! I instantly thought I blog for myself but thinking about it I obviously don’t 😏 I also am guilty of doing too many posts of my paintings in one day. This is because I paint so quickly 🙄

    I have also kept down the number of people that I follow because I actually take the time to read and comment on their work when all I want to do is paint 🎨

    I have some very loyal followers but it is rare that I achieve over 20 likes on a post. I had to smile when I created a logo for someone and they got over 40 likes praising my work.

    My aim of this blog now is to be noticed by someone who would want to publish a story written and illustrated by myself.

    Money is not something that I wanted to achieve from writing a blog, seriously money is not that important to me, getting messages across to other either through artwork, poetry or writing is.

    Thank you for this post, it has really made me think 🤔

    Elaine 🌹

  12. Thanks for another great post, interesting, informative and helpful. Many ideas to ponder over especially connectivity and networking. Have a great day.

  13. Great post! I agree with most of it, except I completely underestimated how much people wanted to hear about my person life (I don’t really like to talk about myself) but my personal posts actually started getting more attention so I started writing more of them.

  14. Excellent post! I am guilty definitely on some of these. Mainly- I don’t network. But I post it here and here lol what do you mean that’s not enough 😉

  15. Yes, confront the question which is guaranteed to get readers if it is answered honestly. For example:

    How did you overcome the most difficult moments in your life? What did you learn from them? How did those experiences shape you?

    Thank you Cristian!!

  16. Great post, Christian. You sum things up well and are very concise. That’s something I struggle with and need to work on. I also think that as a blogger we need to decide to some extent whether we are writing to the masses or a smaller niche group. I do a bit of both. As much as I love the stats, I also write quite a few posts aimed at helping people and even if they only get read by a few people but it makes a difference, that would make my day.
    Best wishes,

  17. I got your blog by searching through the Reader section of WordPress.com. I found this article an honest no-nonsense approach to blogging mistakes. I am a new blogger trying to engage with my audience and really like articles from other bloggers who tell stories that are interesting and informative at the same time. You are not afraid to tell it like it is.
    Most blogs I read are the same-old-stuff or just plain boring. I am trying to find bloggers who are willing to kick it up a notch and engage the reader with true life events and honest advice for their audience. This blog does that. Thanks.
    Stephen Key

  18. Wow, how do you get 455 likes and only 15 comments? How can someone read and “like” this blog and then not respond to it? You asked what are some mistakes I’ve made? One is thinking I posted something and then finding it in my “drafts” a month later! I’ve learned to check carefully to be sure it’s really posted. The other mistake I made was not responding to comments readers made. I’ve got a new WordPress app on my cell phone now and I get a notification when a comment appears. So, hopefully I have a handle on those two “mistakes.” I’m sure I make others that I have not addressed yet. Thanks for continuing to post your helpful tips.

      1. Well, that’s better! I must have miss-read it. Seemed rather improbable. And it was! Glad you have folks giving you feedback.

  19. This is a GREAT read. I thought it was interesting how you said that SEO isn’t as important as people crack it up to be. I am asked how much SEO experience I have for every marketing job I interview for! But I think you make a good point that if you focus most on networking and creating great consistent content, that could take you really far. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more from you!

  20. This piece of writing was actually making me prepared as I am going to post my first blog soon. It was nice of you to explain everything in detail. Simple, composed and entertaining.

  21. If i have to admit as a (newbie) blogger a great mistake, this, is that i spend so much time on social media and non specific topic forums typing and debating and making jokes and following the trends instead of trying to gather some work and thoughts on a place like a free personal blog. But as they say it is never too late. Right?

  22. Wow, this’s really open my eyes wide.
    I’m a newbie as a blogger, I thought I was years so late to start a blog, and know nothing about it. But this gives me so many hints. Thanks for this kind of advice! It helps a lot!

  23. I hate that I am a brand-new blogger… and so very late to blogging. I made my first post this week and, of course, I already made one of the nine mistakes – my post was all about me, me, me… and it taught nothing! I certainly need to study blogging and start networking.
    Thanks for the tips!
    Take care ,
    ordinary and me

  24. Hi There, You offered so I will ask. I write a blog while bike traveling. I write about the places I travel and also about the things I learn about life along the way. I have a small following, my readers seem pretty engaged when I am on the road. There are a few issues with the model. I only take a few trips a year, I blog everyday while I am on the road and then am silent for long periods, up to 4 months in the winter. The inconsistency could be the issue. It seems I pick up a few new followers each trip, but I am not posting enough to increase networking.
    Have you seen many blogs that are successful that have this type of sporadic scheduling?

  25. This is so great. Sure I’m guilty of being inconsistent and still checking stats lol. I’ve had my blog for a number of years and though I have a few followers I can honestly say I want more. Networking is not something I do. My close friends don’t even know I blog 🙄. I too am clueless too technical aspects of blogging. What is SEO? (Insert nervous laughter) No I’m serious what is it?

  26. Perseverance is definitely the way. For a long time you’ll be speaking to an empty room, but you just have to get through that barrier. I’ve had so many blogs, abandoned most of them. This is the one I’ve kept up the longest.
    Another mistake is too many tags. So many people make that mistake!

  27. Hey thank you so much for this.. I have just started and your article really helped a lot… I have made a mental note and will make sure not to make them. ☺️

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