Many people start a blog with the idea that if they build it, they will come. However, that’s not the case. You can post your best content and hear crickets, time and time again.

If you want to have a successful blog that attracts plenty of traffic and sets the stage for monetization, there are important steps to take. More importantly, there are damaging mistakes to avoid.

Here are five things to avoid when running a blog.

Using Too Many Ads

Using ads to generate income for your blog is totally acceptable. It’s a great way to start monetizing and can be successful when done correctly. However, if those ads start to interrupt the flow of your reader or become distracting, you’re going to lose your audience. As a result, your income will soon follow.

Ads are only going to take you so far when it comes to monetizing your blog. You need to look at other, more scalable options that won’t detract from your user experience—for example, product development and guest posting. Remember, to be successful with a blog, you need to put your readers first.

Keyword Stuffing

If you’ve ever read a blog that seems redundant or digressive to the point of being annoying, you’ve probably stumbled upon a case of keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO strategy that’s meant to trick search engines into ranking your content. At one point, this was an effective strategy— until Google caught on.

There are two main concerns when engaging in keyword stuffing. First, it makes your content hard to read. When engaging in this practice, you could actually be turning away your readers once they’ve found you. You’ll also be damaging your SEO.

Google is now on the lookout for keyword stuffing and will penalize your site when (not if) it catches wind of it. The bounce rate from people leaving your page quickly will also push you down the ranks.

Not Focusing on Keywords at All

On the flip side of the equation, not putting any focus on keywords is another mistake. Keywords are an indicator of what your niche wants to read about at a given time. Being up-to-date on trending keywords can not only help your SERP rank, but it can also help you give your audience what it wants.

Using a simple keyword tool is the best way to pull keywords. You can also use free aggregators like Answer the Public to get topical inspiration for your posts.

Writing for Yourself

If you started writing your blog to share your passion for a certain subject, you aren’t alone. However, from a monetization standpoint, that will only take you so far. Instead of writing only what you want to write, you should be writing for your audience.

Look at this as an opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your niche. Maybe your passion is writing dessert recipes, which is great. However, your readers might also be interested in learning about ingredient substitutions, finding the best deals, and kitchen organization.

These things that might be second nature to you are actually an opportunity to extend your reach and engagement. You can also use the best AI writing tools that will help you in writing quality articles.

Getting Caught Up in Perfection

Editing your work and publishing a polished piece are essential for success as a blogger. Unfortunately, it’s also an easy way to get caught in a state of inaction based on fear.

Don’t let your desire for perfection lead to inaction. Your audience knows that you’re human and thus not perfect. While you should scan for typos and grammar, having a consistent posting schedule is more important than hitting the nail on the head every time. If you notice something you missed, you can always go back and add it later.

To be a successful blogger, learn from the mistakes of others. Reach out to the experts and, when in doubt, ask your audience how you can serve them.