You would have seen many blogging tips from various experts. You may have even seen blogging tips in an Infographic. There is plenty of advice on what to do but there is a lack of information on what not to do. Here is a list of 25 Blogging Mistakes you should avoid. Make sure you are making none of them.
You can use any of our Infographics in your site with a link-back to us.
1. Writing for Yourself
This is the simplest mistake to fall into and thankfully it is also the easiest to get out of. Focus on your viewers and write for them. Posts like ‘what I did’ and ‘what I achieved’ can be created later when you have some experience and following. Produce content that will satisfy the person reading the content and not the person who produces it.
2. Not having a Niche
If you don’t have a niche then you can’t be specific; which means you can’t get targeted viewers. Without a targeted viewer base your income potential is low as the general group of people visiting your site will like something different from each other. You need to gather a viewer base that has a common interest using a niche. For example, sports gear is a general category but baseball gear is very specific.
3. Website is Not User Friendly
We live in the 21st century and people don’t have time to fiddle around your site. Make important things to the viewer visible and simple. Can the user get to the home page and/or blog page at any time? Is the website navigation simple and uncluttered? Are the categories easy to use and self-explanatory? Use a simple mobile friendly theme. Make sure you put the website visitor first when designing or changing anything on your site.
4. Poorly Formatted Posts
If you want people to read the full article or post, then the post must be formatted so it is easy on the eye. Use short paragraphs, sub headings, images and text formatting to break things up and easy to consume.
5. Not Using Engaging Images
Have you heard the saying ‘eye catching image’? Now imagine you have at least one of them on each of your posts. You get more engagement and you are creating a better user experience. Posts with images get more social media shares. You should take advantage of Pinterest the social media site dedicated to images.
6. Just Presenting a Snapshot of Your Brain
You had an idea and then started writing. An hour later it’s all done. This is not a bad tactic to use once in a while but to produce great content consistently you need some planning. Break down your topic into 5 or so subheadings and then expand on each point. Don’t forget to include an intro and a summary for your post.
7. Not using Conversational Tone
Write like you talk and make it casual. There is no need to get too fancy with words. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to prove anything to established bloggers. This will happen automatically and naturally when you grow with your blog. Oh, you don’t have to write like an author either.
8. Always Aiming for Perfection
This is the other extreme to the person who does not format their post. The perfectionist is never going to be completely happy with something or the other in their post. This could be images, formatting, wordings, headings and so on. Get over it, the perfect post does not exist. Limit the amount of time you spend on formatting and editing your post. Then move on to marketing your content.
Do you remember how buggy Windows 95 was? The blue screen of death almost always found a way to pop up every day. OK, if you are under 20 you have no idea what I am talking about! Windows 95 wasn’t successful because it was bug free, it was simply because it was the best available Operating System that could be used by a commoner at the time.
9. You are Not Editing Your Post
Editing is about making sure the message is clear and there is no distraction. If something doesn’t make sense then get rid of it. You have to format your post so it looks easy for the eye to read. You also have to edit your post so that it is easy for the mind to process it. Editing can make a good post better. It could be the difference between someone reading your content or not. If there is no continual flow then people won’t keep reading.
10. Inconsistent Blogging
This could be either inconsistency in the quality of the posts or how often you post. Make sure you have a routine and stick to it. If you are comfortable with two posts a week, that’s great as long the quality of the posts are good. Balance quantity with quality; don’t over commit yourself and compromise on quality.
11. The Lone Wolf
When I started blogging I was a lone wolf, I had no idea or concept of networking with fellow bloggers. I did not even know how to go about it. After about 10 posts that didn’t get too much attention (I did not market them well either), I experimented with a WOW content and that’s how 50 Blogging Tips – Infographic was born. This piece of content gave me the chance and confidence to go to authority bloggers and network with them. The rest is history and I don’t believe I am a lone wolf any more, I hunt with my pack. One more advantage of networking is it can open a whole new world of opportunities and possibilities.
12. Focussing on Quantity
We all understand the importance of quantity. The more posts you have the more opportunity it can be found by search engines, more keywords, more marketing and so on. If you only focus on quantity then you will be heading downhill. Quality is important too and need to be balanced. Commit to a quantity that is achievable each and every week and that does not dilute quality.
13. Headline is Not Engaging
Everything in blogging starts with the headline and a click. If your heading is bland then it does not attract a click. If there is no click then there is no action. Imagine the number of tweets per hour and it is so easy for someone to overlook your tweet. Two things that can make it stand out are: including an image and making the headline catchy. This is not just for twitter but also applicable to all social media platforms.
There is a science behind social media and here is an Infographic that can give you more details: Social Media Hacks that are Borderline Genius. Was that heading engaging?
14. Only Posting About Your Products and Services
New bloggers are eager to make some dough straight away. They can get excited and start posting about the products and services they endorse. They sometimes don’t have the patience to build traffic, then audience and then loyal followers. They go for the quick bang for buck upfront and they compromise building a brand. The quick fire approach can be a bit of a hit and miss.
15. Not Marketing Your Content
Oh boy! Where do I start on this one? As I mentioned earlier, I did not know how to market my content when I started. I had no readers or social shares for my first 10 posts. Now, I am not saying I have completely mastered this art but I am getting better and continually improving. Dropping your content in social media alone for your family and friends to see is not good enough especially if you don’t have a following.
You could use a social media content syndicator who can get social shares within their network. Do you plan to repurpose your content into a video or slides? These can be uploaded to various sites to get some traffic. Have you considered guest blogging to market your brand?
16. Making Things Complex
The simpler the content the more appealing it is to a wider audience. For example, not everyone understands SEO and it is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. Break things down and provide bare bone basics. Don’t assume a certain level of knowledge from your readers and if you do then link out to content that will help build up the knowledge. Stay away from using jargon or using expert speak (copying expert content) as is. In short keep thing simple, it works.
17. Not Taking the Time to Reply to Comments
Do you like incoming comments that only say ‘thank you for the post’ or ‘nice post’? I don’t and I don’t approve these comments as they add no value to the other website visitors. Similarly, do you think your website visitors like a simple reply saying ‘thank you’? They took the time to leave a comment so at the least return the favour. Not replying to comments is even worse. When you reply to comments you are engaging with people in conversation and sometimes these conversations can lead to ideas for content. Ideas and engagement are valuable allies so make sure they are on your side when you go to battle,that is the blogging battle.
18. Focussing Only on SEO
Most things in blogging need to be balanced, for example – quality vs quantity. Similarly, you need to balance SEO (search bots) with your readers (humans). At the start people need to click on your heading then click on ads or click on your affiliate links so you need to cater for them. SEO can only bring traffic, it can’t replace human actions and clicks.
19. Writing for Word Count
Let’s be honest, newbies are obsessed with numbers. One of the numbers is the word count. Don’t worry about the word count it’s just an indication of how long your post is. Write as long or as many words as it takes to get your point across. Don’t write a single word that defies this purpose. No one wants to read more than what they have to. How about being precise and to the point? Use a story if you have to. Don’t stick to a false principle of writing x number of words per post.
20. Not Collecting Email Addresses
The most common new blogger syndrome is not collecting email addresses. When bloggers start out they have to keep costs down especially when they are not sure if blogging is right for them or if it will produce enough income. You have to host your site somewhere so that is a must. So where do new bloggers cut down – their email list. If you are serious about a blogging career then start your list sooner rather than later. Your email list can be your biggest source of recurring traffic.
21. Your Conclusion Sucks
There are many people (in fact the majority) who come to your site and just scan your content; they don’t read unless there is something compelling. There are three things that can convert a scanner into a reader. The intro, an engaging image and the conclusion. Just because you write your conclusion last it does not mean it has to be stale. You may have put all your energy into producing the meat of the content but without the bone the meat cannot be held together. Writing an awesome conclusion that is no longer than 3 or 4 lines is the coolest place to get more social media shares or email subscriptions.
22. Slow Website
A slow website is like a slow death. If your pages take more than 4 seconds to load then you have a problem. People don’t like to wait. They don’t have time for you to buffer, stream and load. You will lose visitors, conversion and sales. Look under the hood now and take action. There are plenty of tricks that can be used to speed up your site like better managing your image sizes before uploading them. 100 KB is a good image size limit unless it is an Infographic of course. You can also get rid of unused or rarely used plugins.
23. Using a Free or Sub-Domain
Remember, we discussed new bloggers want to keep costs low at start-up? Well this is the extreme measure of keeping costs low. Using a sub-domain that looks like – ‘hostgator.yoursite.com’ limits your earning potential and you can’t use advertising like Google AdSense. You are limiting your brand and it’s growth by using a sub-domain. Ranking a domain for a keyword is hard as is and it is even harder for a sub-domain. Will people remember a sub-domain and will it be catchy? Ask yourself these questions before you start with the free or sub-domain. For a serious blogging career a brand-able domain name is a must. If you are on a sub-domain fear not as you can buy a domain name and move to your own domain.
24. Not Internally Linking Posts
This post has at least 3 internal links. Why? If you came to this site from a social media link or some other site you only know about this post. I want you to take a moment to check out at least one other post that is relevant and useful. I want you to stay on the site and see what else is there that could tingle your taste buds. Internal linking is the best form of free marketing so why not use it?
25. Content is Copied ‘as is’ from Someone Else
Warning! this is a cardinal sin and is punished by Google. This is also frowned upon by the blogging world. You are not providing any added value to your viewers by simply copying and pasting. At the least write your own intro for an awesome Infographic. Don’t just simply copy and paste the whole thing. Learn how to give credit and reference the source; it is not that hard and merely just a link.
You could still be ruling the blogging world with one or two mistakes from the list above but if you have multiple issues that need to be addressed then it could be catastrophic. So take action and make changes now before your kingdom comes crumbling down.
- Common Blogging Mistakes – BloggingWizard.com
- Beginner Blogger Mistakes – Blog.Hubspot.com
- Common Blogging Mistakes – CopyBlogger.com
- 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them – SocialMediaExaminer.com
* Special thanks to Zac Johnson for collaborating on this project.