In this post, I’ll be sharing with you guys the top 7 challenges you’ll face as a beginner blogger. Before starting this journey, I had read thousands of articles about how simple and easy it is to start a blog and make money online.
I know I could have bought a course about blogging and saved myself the trouble. But I was broke as hell.
And to add to it, I had read hundreds of people complaining that the majority of the courses are just baiting to buy more courses. So you would need to have well over $200 to spare just to learn the basics.
Nope, can’t afford that.
Look the thing is that, I needed some genuine consolation in all the challenges I was facing. The majority (not all of course) of the “how to start blogging” blogs make the journey seem so easy and effortless.
Trust me, it’s not. BUT it’s worth it.
So I wanted you guys not to feel less competent about yourselves if you are stuck in a roadblock. Yes, Challenges are there and yes, you will feel completely trapped and overwhelmed at times. But don’t worry; you’ll get the hang of it in time.
Looking back on my journey up till now, I compiled a list of challenges I faced as a beginner blogger.
So here it goes:
1. What should I blog about?
You read hundreds of blogs telling you to blog about what you ‘love’ and are very passionate about. You see all these pretty successful blogs having a defined tone and vision.
And the more you see them being sure of themselves the less you feel sure of yourself.
“How in the world am I going to be like that?”
They look so well established and successful. And lastly when you see their income report, Wah! It’s the final blow. You feel like surrendering.
You aren’t even sure if you want to eat pizza or a burger for dinner and here you are required to build a blog around your area of interest and find a clear niche. At the very start, it can become very overwhelming and nerve-wracking.
But I can promise you this. The dots will connect along the way.
2. You don’t believe in yourself
Okay, you got the niche and decided the topics you want to blog about. But the only person stopping you from your success is yourself.
You don’t feel like anyone would ever read them.
“I mean come on; there are thousands if not millions of blogs that write about the same niche. Who in the world would ever want to read mine? Besides, in between all these successful sites, I can never snag the 1 page of Google search results.” (the second page is where you can hide dead bodies)
You see your site sitting in a corner to God knows where. Perhaps at the very end page of the search results. And at first, it really seems impossible to picture yourself truly successful.
But it’s doable. You can easily get traffic through Pinterest, Quora & Reddit. And even Medium.
Also Read: 14 Mistakes I Did That Failed My First Blog
At the start, it’s no use focusing on SEO so much. Since Google takes at least 8 months to 1 year to take you seriously. So focus on marketing your blog elsewhere.
3. What should I name my blog?
Yet another dilemma. Especially so, if you don’t have a defined vision or niche.
For instance, you picked two or three niches and you don’t have a defined tone in either of them, so how are you supposed to name your blog?
After all, once you choose it you can’t change it. It seems daunting and you are stuck.
You spend a lot of time searching for a unique domain name in the domain name generators. But you find none that catches your eye, even if some do; they are already taken.
So what to do?
What I did after wasting days, was to ditch the domain name generators and just pick a name that resonated with me.
Took me just 5 minutes.
Of course, you need to check if the domain name is available. But it’s very likely that you can come up with a unique name.
Now that is not to say that they aren’t useful. They are, and I would recommend testing them a few times so that you can get the picture of how you would wish to name your blog. And who knows, maybe you will find a satisfying pick there.
One thing to remember if you don’t have a clear vision yet is to pick a name that isn’t too specific. It will save you trouble. Besides, I would recommend first defining your vision (at least 70%) before you purchase your domain name.
4. What theme should I pick?
The most pronounced challenge most beginner bloggers go through. You know, getting caught in that shiny object syndrome. You google the best themes for your niche and then you see a whole list of attractive themes. Some are paid and some aren’t.
You scroll down the list and see a theme that catches your eye. You think this is the best for your blog. But you feel like you can find better and you scroll down a bit more then another one catches your eyes. This cycle repeats and you just can’t seem to get out of it.
No theme just feels good enough.
I can’t tell you how much time I wasted that I could’ve put into things that actually added value to my blog.
Of course, a good theme greatly affects your bounce rate but I overdid it and in the end, I picked an extremely minimalistic theme just so I could get started.
I was literally exhausted.
You can really avoid that by clearly defining what you want your blog to look like. You can chart out your layout on paper or notepad. List down the things you’ll have on your blog. Eg. About me, contact, legal pages, a few categories, newsletter, portfolio, products, services, etc.
Here is a post I made about the best themes for your WordPress blog.
The thing is that when we look at the demos we tend to forget that as beginner bloggers we won’t have as many things to write on our homepage. For example Testimonials, e-books, courses, etc.
Subtracting all of that, you get a very simple and empty homepage. So keep that in mind when selecting your theme.
Pick one that makes your posts stand out.
5. The free demos are lies
I can’t emphasize this enough. Most of the demos if not all you see on the WordPress theme directory and think that your site is 100% going to look like it, are all fake.
You can’t make your site look that good without technical knowledge or by purchasing something premium they list or by downloading a bunch of plugins that’ll slow down your site. And you won’t know this when you download the theme demos.
You see all those beautiful sites and think why isn’t your site that smooth, but nothing worth keeping ever comes free (most of the time).
I see most beginner bloggers struggling with this and just feeling defeated. Building a site is overwhelming enough, especially for those who don’t have a single technical bone in their body, yet another thing adds to the plate.
I would recommend if you can’t afford to buy a paid version then use a minimalistic theme.
What I have noticed is those simple themes don’t really require you to buy all those add-ons. It saves both time and energy. Also a bit into your blogging journey, you will have to buy a paid theme anyway since it comes with many benefits you wouldn’t get on free themes.
6. Themes and Plugins clash
This one was the scariest one for me so far. I was testing out themes for my site and I had just unknowingly installed one that clashed with the active one. As soon as I clicked on activate, boom; I got the message:
“There has been a critical error on your website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions. Learn more about debugging in wordpress”
Various questions were popping into my head. Is my site lost? Can I access it again? Who do I need to call for help? What the hell is debugging?
I spent so many hours trying to fix it. Thankfully I finally got it fixed but it was really scary.
See, the thing most beginner bloggers aren’t aware of is that; some plugins and themes clash, resulting in technical errors on your site. But in no way your site is lost.
Though you can’t access your WordPress dashboard and there isn’t any need to, since there are many ways to recover it. WordPress sends you an email for instructions. There contains your URL error details.
Don’t panic and examine closely the URL they provide which contains the error. There you can know if the clash is in the installation of themes or plugins. Once you find out it’s a piece of cake. But if you still aren’t able to find out, reach out to WordPress support.
7. Learning Keyword Search
Perhaps the most important yet annoying part of this journey.
As a beginner blogger, I had no idea what keyword search was. What I did know was to just build a blog and start writing my first post. Hey but no, there is more to it than that.
And at the start, it was a lot for me to take.
Long-tail keywords, Focus keywords, SERPS, SD, CPC, DA. All these terms were just flying over my head. Not to mention in all the places I had to place the keywords. It took me a while to get the hang of it.
No wonder SEO is a multi-billion dollar industry. Even now, I have a long way to go.
And I am pretty sure most beginner bloggers struggle with this. Thankfully Ubersuggest and Google keyword Planner really make it easier at the start. Their free versions are enough to get going in the beginning.
Of course, you’d need to upgrade later. But they are more than enough for beginner bloggers.
Starting a blog is just like starting any other thing. It’s not going to be easy and without challenges.
Overcoming it is what will make you grow as a person. I know it sounds cliché but I have been through this myself and I am still going through with it. And I’d be lying if I say that I didn’t become a better version of myself.
I admit that not every day is going to be productive. Sometimes you’d want to cozy up in a blanket and binge on Netflix. You would have no idea what post to write and you’d just be staring at the white page of your wordpress editor.
At the start, there will be hiccups, but as you keep pushing through it, you will gain momentum sooner or later.
So, there you have it!
Tell me in the comments if there is any other challenge you are currently facing or faced as a beginner blogger that isn’t on the list.
*there are some affiliate links in the blog so if you use them I will get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you! Happy blogging.