Newbie blogger mistakes I made after two months blogging

My two-month blog anniversary was on January 29, 2021. I have really mixed emotions about it right now. On the one hand, I’ve learned A LOT. On the other hand, it’s been really tough making so many mistakes and learning from them. I thought I would compile a list of my newbie blogger mistakes after two months of blogging.

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This list is a compilation of the mistakes I’ve made while blogging, which are mostly technical mistakes. Prior to launching Native Mommy Lawyer, I had zero experience with running websites and blogging. Some of these are downright comical; I’ve had to laugh sometimes after realizing a mistake.

1. Delete demo content

I don’t know if this happens to other people but it definitely happened to me. After importing demo content from a downloaded theme, I never bothered to delete the content. I have no idea why, it just wasn’t on my radar. That’s how clueless I was.

When I downloaded a word count plugin to check the word count on my site, I had 30,000 words with a handful of posts. What?! Yes, it was all the ‘lorem ipsum’ content that I imported for a theme.

To make matters worse, all of this demo content had been crawled and indexed by Google for my site, and it was online! So when I did a site check, the first pages and posts that were coming up were demo content. Facepalm.

Learn from my mistake and delete demo content. Or better yet, don’t even import it, to begin with. By the way, I’m not even using that specific theme anymore.

2. Use headers properly

I’m not an SEO expert but I know that headers, their placement throughout an article, and the keywords used in the headers do matter

They should have a structure within your article, for example, H1, followed by H2, etc. If you want to divide an H2 section further, then you should use H3 headers for that, and so on.

Initially, not knowing this, I used only H4 headers throughout all of my articles. No H2 or H3 headers, only H4. Why? Because I didn’t know better and I thought they looked nice.

After learning how headers should be structured, I had to go through all of my articles and redo the headers. Thankfully, I only had to do this for about 10 articles.

3. Domain name too long

Make sure that you have an easy-to-remember domain name that flows and that is not too long. But don’t spend too much time overthinking this.

Last month, I had no regrets about my domain name and it’s definitely easy to remember. When I signed up for a domain email this month, which is “[email protected],” I realized that my domain name is a bit long.

Now, I would prefer that it was slightly shorter but there’s not much I can do about it at this stage. For those who are just starting, make it short and catchy!

4. Not optimizing images

According to WordPress, “large high quality images should be kept between 100K and 60K. Smaller images should be closer to 30K and lower.”

Optimizing images will help with page speed, which is an SEO factor. When I first started, I was uploading images directly from my phone to my media folder and I had a lot of images that were at least 800 kilobytes.

Now, I make sure to run all of my images through TinyPNG and then use an image optimizer plugin.

5. Don’t press random buttons when updating your name or host servers

newbie blogger mistakes

We don’t all have the luxury of hiring people to make changes to our servers when we need them. Some services require changes to your servers, which can get really technical and are amongst the biggest newbie blogger mistakes.

So, when I signed up for a domain email address, I had to update some DNS records with my name server. I did just fine with the technical part, then I pressed a button that, unbeknownst to me, reset my name servers.

I had no clue what happened until I signed up for Mailerlite and they told me my site was down. My first reaction was disbelief, how did this happen?! Then, I felt overwhelmed because I didn’t have the skills or knowledge to fix it.

The issue was eventually fixed after I contacted customer service for both my name and host servers but it was still a pain. My site was down for a day and a half.

On the upside, I was pleasantly surprised by Namecheap’s customer service via chat. It was really simple to request a customer service representative and they were able to help me fix the DNS records. The representative even stayed online with me and made sure I entered the records correctly.

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This segues right into my next newbie blogger mistake.

6. Sign up for website monitoring alerts

I signed up for website monitoring alerts after my website went offline. It turns out that one of the plugins I am using has the ability to alert me when my site is down. So, I turned that on.

I’m grateful that I made this mistake early on with very little site traffic. It would have been a bigger deal down the road with more daily traffic.

7. Analyze your plugins and delete what you don’t need

This is probably one of the biggest newbie blogger mistakes I’ve made. Each theme and demo import automatically downloads a bunch of plugins to make the theme work properly. 

Since I changed my theme three times, I had a lot of random plugins. I would say that Astra was the worst offender for downloading plugins. 

One day, I sat down and started reading about each plugin and figuring out whether I needed it or not. It turns out I wasn’t using many of them.

They were probably causing a lot of bloat and affecting my site speed, so I started to delete them one by one.

8. Don’t delete cache everyday

Before I installed my CDN, I was working with a cache plugin. Generally, a caching plugin instructs a server to store some of the data from your site so that it loads easier and faster for the next person who visits.

Caching only works when you build up that data and information over time. Therefore, deleting your cache every time you log onto WordPress counteracts the purpose of the plugin.

Therefore, don’t be like me and delete your cache everyday without knowing what it’s actually doing.

9. Get WordPress hosting if using WordPress

When I signed up for my hosting, the provider offered shared hosting and WordPress hosting. I chose shared hosting without knowing the difference between the two.

WordPress hosting is specifically fine-tuned for better performance and management on WordPress sites. With shared hosting, you can download other content management systems or build your own sites.

Apparently, WordPress hosting has better everything for WordPress sites specifically. In reading about my particular server’s WordPress hosting, they also offer built-in caching so you don’t need a plugin, amongst other benefits.

I’m doing fine with shared hosting right now but if I could start over again, I would probably go with WordPress hosting.

10. Using keywords with high search volumes

When you’re starting a brand new blog like mine, you are probably not going to rank on Google’s first page for keywords with high search volumes.

Well, I didn’t know that and some of my keywords had very high search volumes, like 8,000 searches or higher per month. In the beginning, I thought higher was better, which was not true for a new blog.

I eventually had to go back through earlier articles and modify my keywords to long-tail with lower search volume.

By using long-tail keywords with low search volume, you can rank on Google much faster. With this keyword approach, Google has ranked 8 of my 31 articles so far in two months.

Final thoughts on newbie blogger mistakes

newbie blogger mistakes
Dreaming of blogging on the beach

Before I started blogging, I romanticized the notion of writing, managing a website, and earning passive income. That sounds like a dream job, right? 

Well, I’ve learned blogging is not all roses and rainbows. I’ve found that it’s actually a lot of work and the learning curve is very steep. I’m learning new things every single day and this isn’t even my full-time job.

Maybe someday it will be the glorified day job that I dreamed of, but that’s not the case right now.

I do know that if you have enough passion for something, you can never fail. Some of the most successful bloggers have literally failed their way to success and that gives me hope.

I’m sure that I will continue to make mistakes and that’s okay. I hope this article prevents you from making the same newbie blogger mistakes as me.

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