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4 Common Blogging Mistakes That Prevent You From Growing Your Business

If you feel that your blogging efforts are taking you nowhere, stop what you’re doing. Now make sure you’re not making one of these common mistakes. Image by Christina T via Flickr.

Your blog is a great way to deliver value to your prospects and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

But if you’re not blogging strategically – with your business goals in mind – then chances are you’re preventing hoards of interested prospects from converting.

A successful content marketing plan shouldn’t only bring you visitors. If done right, it should also bring you thousands of new prospects and customers.

Our blog is – by a huge margin – our biggest source of new customers. We’ve done some stuff right, and a lot of stuff wrong (especially in the beginning). And we’ve learned a massive amount from both our wins and our fails.

Here are the four biggest, most costly mistakes we made early on. I hope that by sharing them, you can avoid the same fails and start reaping the benefits of a successful blogging strategy.

Mistake #1: Not directing blog readers to a landing page

Your blog posts aren’t sales pitches. And that’s a good thing, because your posts should be free, high-value resources that will help readers solve their problems before they buy.

But as a marketer, you still need to grow your business. And if you’re not leveraging your blog for growth, then it’s not an asset to your business.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to write posts to pitch your readers. But there are many things you can do to optimize your blog for prospects who are ready to convert.

One of them is directing blog readers to a dedicated landing page.

How do I know this is effective? Because as soon as we started to directly offer our service to blog subscribers by directing them to a landing page, we started getting significantly more conversions.

In the past, when a reader signed up for our email list, they’d get an email welcoming them to the list, and that was it. No pitch. Now, when a reader signs up, they’re taken to a landing page built just for blog readers:


We’ve started to use the same approach for our guest blogging, too. Before, readers who clicked on links to Groove in our guest posts would be taken to our homepage.

Now, readers are sent to a targeted landing page, customized for each guest post.

For example, a recent guest post on the Buffer blog linked to a custom offer page for Buffer readers.


Of the traffic that reached that page, more than 15% of them signed up for an extended free trial of Groove.

Setting up one of these landing pages doesn’t take long and it can be a game changer for your business. If you’re ready to create one, here are a few things you should include:

  • Make it highly targeted (for example, we welcome Buffer readers specifically in the headline) and thank the reader for enjoying the blog.
  • Share similar content to what they just read to get them more engaged with the blog.
  • Explain what your service is (and the problem it solves).
  • Offer a special blog-readers-only-offer (we offered an extended trial that isn’t available on our main site).

Mistake #2: Spending too much time writing

Running a successful blog is a big undertaking; it takes a lot of keeping your head down to write, edit and format.

When we first started blogging, 95% of the time we spent on the blog was on writing. The other 5% was spent on some scattered tweets and emails to try and get the content in front of others.

Writing post after post, it was so frustrating not to see much traffic or many shares.


After launching our new blog, we did a ton of research on content marketing and studied how other companies leveraged blogs for traffic and conversions.

One of the most surprising lessons was just how much more to successful blogging there was than, well, blogging.

The most successful content marketers I talked to all said the same thing: spend at least as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.

A plan for promoting your blog content

  • Research and compile a list of the influencers that your target audience likely follows.
  • Build relationships with those influencers; become active in their blog comment sections (not with link spam, but with genuine, high-value discussion).
  • Send influencers to-be-released drafts of your blog posts for feedback. Like us, you may find that the notes you get are invaluable in helping you make improvements to your content.
  • When you’re ready to publish your posts, ask those influencers to help spread the word. Chances are, the people who helped improve them will be more than happy to share them with the world.

Our outreach ended up leading to the $100K blog getting more than 1,000 subscribers within 24 hours, and more than 5,000 after the first week; a big change from our previous flops.


How much time do you spend writing vs. promoting your posts? Is it a 50/50 split?

Mistake #3: Making it too hard for people to sign up

If you’re not making it ridiculously easy for people to subscribe to your email list, you’re cheating yourself of loyal, long-term readers.

I knew we were doing something wrong when I got this email:


At the time, this was our pop-up email subscriber opt-in form:


Soon after I got that email, we added a prominent sign-up form at the end of every post with a direct call to action that made it clear why the reader should sign up:


The result? The new form nearly tripled our signup rate overnight.

And we’re not the only ones.

Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, set out to try and capture more email subscribers to his site, OkDork.

The change that made the biggest impact on signup conversion rates?

Adding a big, unmissable signup form to his homepage:


His conversation rate went from 3% to around 5%, nearly doubling with one simple change.

You may already have email subscriber opt-in forms in place, but they may not be as easy to find as you think.

Test different CTAs in different locations – simple changes can lead to dramatic conversion lifts.

Mistake #4: Letting people forget about you

Are your readers hearing from you regularly?

If not, there’s a good chance they’re forgetting about you.

Here’s why that’s bad:

A year ago, when posting once every two-to-three weeks, our open rates were low (averaging around 15%) and our unsubscribe rate was higher (around 3%) than it should’ve been.


When we started posting and emailing weekly, both stats improved significantly; open rates more than tripled to nearly 50%, and unsubscribes are down to under 1%.


Becoming a regular presence in your readers’ lives keeps them engaged and eager to read your content. Being erratic and disappearing from their inboxes for weeks at a time makes your email just another annoyance they didn’t expect.

How often should you post?

Unfortunately, there’s no single best answer here.

Derek Halpern says a few times a month is fine. Neil Patel, on the other hand, writes eight blog posts a week (I’m exhausted just typing that).

The only way to know what works for your unique audience is to – you guessed it – test for yourself.

But whichever rhythm you find works best for you, make sure your readers get used to hearing from you regularly and consistently.

They’ll learn to expect your emails and posts and you’ll get the benefit of having a loyal, engaged audience.

How to apply this to your blog

Just like anything else in marketing, blogging is a learned skill.

Even successful bloggers make mistakes. You’re going to screw up, and not every post is going to be a hit.

The important thing is learn, move on, and do better next time.

It takes effort, practice and a whole lot of mistakes to get things right and start turning your blog into a serious driver of new customers.

Do a gut check right now – are you making any of these common blogging mistakes? Correct them now and avoid a painful part of the learning process.

— Alex Turnbull


About Alex Turnbull
Alex Turnbull is the Founder and CEO of Groove, a customer support app for startups and small businesses. You can follow him on Twitter or read more at the Groove Blog.
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  1. Mustafa Gaziani

    Hi Alex,

    Very well written article. I found lot of interesting thing here and hope this post will work for me. Well, I gonna try all above steps that are mentioned in this post.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. raj

    Great post indeed with some high quality actionable actions. Will be sharing with my network.

  3. Aleks @ Food Juggler

    One of the best posts on blog improvement I’ve read in a while! I like that it applies both to high and low traffic blogs… advice that everyone can use.

  4. Lex

    Incredibly helpful advice, thank you for sharing!

  5. Daniel Daines-Hutt

    We are just rebuilding our entire site and adding a heap of new content, so these tips are super helpful!
    One of the main points we make to our clients, is that you dont always need new content-you just new new promotion of that content!
    Funny you never take your own medicine tho eh!?

  6. divya jain

    Hi Alex,

    Great blog post, I have added few more points to the same:

    1) Not Highlighting Key Takeaways -If the reader has to dig deep in for key points the likelihood is he would discontinue reading. Bolding and highlighting the key points will attract the readers and help me extract key points at a glance.

    2) Using Too Many Jargon’s – Bloggers think by using very flowery languages , industry jargon’s , lingo and vocabulary they will impress the reader but many times they loose the reader. Using big words is not bad but it has to be used in the right context.

    3) Do Check Spelling & Grammar – Incorrect spelling and wrong grammar will tun off the reader and he may never return to your blog. Use online free tools for spelling as well as grammar check before publishing the article.

    4) No Pop Up Ads Please – Ads appearing out of no where while the reader is intensely reading the blog post is very irritating and annoying for them.

    Here is the link for the entire post: 36 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid – http://digifire.in/2014/07/12/36-blogging-mistakes-to-avoid/

    Having your feedback would be nice.


  7. Mike

    I found that leaving the actual blogging to an expert saves me time. I can do final edits if desired, but I’ve found a resource that is posting awesome content for a reasonable amount; leaving me with time to do other things. However, keeping up on blogging information helps too (such as this type of info from you guys!)
    BTW if you’re interested in using the group I use for social media content you can email them at zessistantsolutions@gmail.com (as strange as it sounds they spend their time doing others’ social media and web content discreetly & get all of their customers via word of mouth basically). They are on FaceBook too if you just search their email. Thanks for the great info!

    • Mark

      Please stop promoting that crappy company guy – nobody looks at spam posts/comments and thinks hey, let me use this spammer’s services!

  8. Kristan Braziel

    Thanks for the great info, especially for providing the promotion plan. Very helpful nuggets all throughout this post!

  9. James Oliver

    This is great!

    How do embed that email signup form into my posts? I use WordPress-is there a plug in? I currently use the standard jetpack subscribe box on the right hand side of the page.

  10. jen

    Hey Alex

    I’m a huge fan of your content strategy and blog. You have done a phenomenal job. My problem is spending too much time writing, not promoting enough, and inconsistently sending emails to my list. I’ve pretty much won the crappy marketer’s trifecta. I think it’s about time to change that. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. TauYaMasepeng


    I should have read this sooner. Just what I needed. Thank you guys.

  12. Cătălin

    Very interesting article. Thanks

  13. Lynne

    Great article and easy to read and understand. Now off to get an email subscribe opt-in!

    I too spend too long writing the blog and no time promoting. Will try and correct.

  14. Jain Mayank

    Wow! Simple Wow. This article made up my day. My first visit to this website and have bookmarked it already.
    Just decided to change my subscribtion form. It was just too boring, will add some swag to it. :D

  15. Alona Martin

    Really a great article which is easy to read and understand it.
    Business Management

  16. Nikhil Singh

    Hey Alex !

    I agree that directing people towards the landing page is very important . It is the only way to convert our readers into potential customers . Otherwise no matter how many readers you get , you wont get sales .

    Updating blog is also very important as you have already mentioned . People are hungry of information . This is the main reason why blogs like mashable are so popular . A single person visits these blogs multiple times a day as they expect to find some new and interesting content there. . Thus they have a far wider readership .

    I loved reading this article !! This post was a rock !!!

    Keep producing such wonderful content !!

    Happy Blogging !!

  17. simi peters

    I thank God, I found this post, ’twas really worth reading above all, worth taking huge actions on…I beleive it will help grow my blog,do you mind sending me your email address for one-on-one interaction?

  18. Anna

    This is a discussion that never gets old!

    This month on my radio show, I am talking about blogging, and I shared your information with our audience. In my blog, I have made the same mistakes you are talking about. I have signed up for your newsletter and look forward to hearing more of what you have to say.

    Great insights for the novice and the veteran blogger.

    Keep up the good work.

  19. Graeme E

    Alex, thank you for this blog. Finally I read that a blog is work and promoting. I felt 1 a week was about all I could do and elsewhere I would see write daily. Maybe if I didn’t have a business to operate I could. Thanks again. I will follow you on twitter too!

  20. Bridgette

    Hi Alex!
    Great content here. I signed up for the $100k Journey email BECAUSE it was so easy to do and it was at the bottom of every post I read. I binged on reading your content and learned so much! I am going to implement that strategy and see where it goes. Thanks!

  21. Jeremy

    I dont just say this about everything I read. Seriously, this was hands down the most influential post I have read about blogging, ever! Not only did it simply tell me what to change and what to improve but it actually motivated me to do so. Many times you will read something and your like, ok i need to make a note of that, this was like, I need to go to work immediately and start implementing these four things, (because yes i am making all four mistakes). I think it may have been the before and after number shots. Whatever it was, great read! Thanks for infecting us with your knowledge.

  22. Start Blogging

    Alex, thank you for this post. Finally I read that a blog is work and promoting.

  23. launchers for android

    Amazing Post on Blogging Mistakes, I should have read this sooner. Just what I needed. Thank you guys.

  24. Sahadath Hossain

    Just a great article, you share valuable information. As blogger, we do a lot of mistakes. Blogging mistakes are harmful for our blog. We must learn about it before take blogging as our career.

  25. Rubel

    Hello Great Post Indeed about Mistakes, bloggers make these days.

    Personally, when I started my career in blogging, I was not sure, for whom I am writing for and what I need to provide to attract readers.

    Also, i was focused on writing for search engines as I wanted my posts to rank, but actually it was a big mistake from my side.

    As, I have learned over the past few months, we just need to cover the topic by maintaining quality and rest will be ok itself..

    But I sadly believe, many still not aware of this fact, they are still making tons of mistakes in blogging.

    So, they need to start reading more to get more knowledge and then proceed in blogging the right way.

    So, brilliantly described points.

    Keep up the good work.

  26. Mudasir Yasin


    This post is full of true facts and figure and explain the reality in a very good details. I use to keep learning the news thing online every day, so today plan to follow your blog for improving my skill and keep my blog healthy by using these tips and learning.

    Thanks for sharing such a great ideas.

  27. Brenda Smith

    I would must say that you just rocked in this article. :D

    It doesn’t matter, In which field you are working. You would definitely make mistakes and these mistakes will help you to learn something new. So we should never afraid of doing mistakes.

    In this article, the blogging mistakes which you have mentioned above are very much common which most of the bloggers or webmasters make when they start their blogging career.

    When bloggers like me do mistakes then It is obvious that they can’t generate that result which they want because of that mistake. When It happens, they again start doing all the things and tries to find what they did wrong in previous turn and then they find their mistakes and learn from that mistake.

    So some how, mistakes helped us to learn new things. Right? :D

    Most of the people think that doing mistakes will give them failures which they never want but they should understand that every successful person makes mistake at their initial stages and learn from them.

    Every successful blogger copied others article once in their blogging journey but later they learned and started writing by themselves.

    I would like to give a great Thanks to you for covering these amazing blogging mistakes which people can use to learn from them. :D

  28. tom george

    Hi Alex,

    Well written post sir! I think these might be the four biggest culprits why a blog suffers. It is an exciting time to be a marketer. Especially as online and offline marketing continue to merge into one. Thank you

  29. Solidworks download

    Great post..thanks for the article..i love this…!!

  30. Vineet Gupta

    Thanks for sharing useful insights about blogging.Reading this list is a great reminder for all of us because not only do we see these mistakes every day, but we have all probably made most of them as we learned and developed our skills over time!
    Over promoting yourself or your service is natural for most of us. Good quality content only comes from with-in and not from rehashing material you see everywhere

  31. Travis Knoll

    Pretty much all the dangerous blogging mistakes summed up in a single post. I find the most intriguing mistake that a blogger can commit is forcing the readers to take actions like facebook likes and sign ups. To some extent it is ok. Popups and optin boxes but some people make those options and popups unskippable which probably is detrimental in the long run.

  32. Munna Hossain

    Awesome article. It will be really helpful. This is very common among the bloggers that they do some mistakes at the bigenning of blogging. It is really harmful for our blog. I also did some mitakes at the bigenning. It was really disturbing. Your article help the newbies to avoid all the cmmon blogging mistakes. Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

  33. Mdu Result

    You’ve made some great points .

  34. Jeff @ Murnan Creative

    This is a great post Alex. The 50-50 time split really resonates with me. I spend so much time writing content and not enough on marketing myself.

    I also really need to improve my email subscribe opt-in, thanks for the suggestions!

    • Alex Turnbull

      Thank you, Jeff! Glad you found this helpful.

    • Mike

      I used to spend a ton of time working on blog too Jeff. I’m not that great at it & found my time doing Physical Therapy & running the company was much more my calling! LOL Seriously think about hiring someone to blog content for you. It’s hard to find awesome and affordable but I lucked out. If you’re interested the team I use is from zessistantsolutions@gmail.com and I’m sure they’d be able to help you. I’m always amazed at the content they provide. They’re very good to work with! Just a thought. I know how much time can be wasted trying not only to write your own content but to get it right and not have a bunch of mistakes after hours of your brain smoking! LOL