In life when people are faced with similar circumstances the majority of them will make similar decisions. So why can’t this law apply to blogging?
I have found that new bloggers regardless of technical expertise begin with an almost identical perspective to the blogging world. They all tend to share ideas about what blogging is what their expectations are from blogging. This is why it's possible to make a post like this. We can assume the majority of bloggers make the same mistakes when that start out (I made the same ones when I started) we can guess what mistakes new bloggers will make when they start blogging. Highly successful people are those who don’t just learn from their own mistakes but the mistakes of others. So, to help all bloggers out there I thought I’d make a list of all the common major blogging mistakes I have found consulting bloggers so that you can learn from them and make them right for yourself. I'm flipping this guide on its head.
These aren't your typical 50 blogging tips for beginners but 50 things you must NOT do if you want to be a successful blogger in 2018 :) I have made many of these mistakes myself ;) but time and experience has taught me how important the little things can be. So, while some of these tips might seem a bit mundane at first. Always remember that bad mistakes become bad habits and bad habits online translate into one thing only: failure.
Here are 50 Blogging Tips For Beginners (of mistakes you must avoid if you want to become a successful blogger):
- Writing Disposable (Throwaway) Blog Posts
In SEO, there is a term that “Content is King.” I personally feel that this statement is quite mild... In my opinion, content is not just King but Queen, Judge, Police, Husband, Wife and everything else online. If you have low-quality bad content I can guarantee you that you will fail. Just like a building your blog's foundation is the content you create and weakness in your blog posts means your blog can come tumbling down anytime (Google algorithm updates anyone? :/)
- Not Networking with Others in Your Blogging Market
You can never win in the internet world by isolating yourself; you must keep up with trends and the only way to do that is by actively networking with other bloggers in your blogging niche. Keep your friends close and your enemies’ closer. Blogging is a cut throat world and you must have a pulse on the competition if you want to succeed and actually make some money blogging.
- Not Utilizing Social Networking to Promote Your Blog
The world has shifted to social networking and not utilizing is the equivalent of denying to use electricity in favor of medieval technology. Social media has become huge in getting your blog exposure and helping to build blog authority. You should work on making your posts "likable" and "shareable". Use lots of images and try to incorporate punch lines which can be tweeted. Remember you're always one viral moment away from world wide fame ;)
- Going Off Topic in Your Blog Posts
I always loved going to the Zoo when I was younger. I loved the Lions. I loved the Tigers. I loved the Rhinos. I loved the Elephants. I loved the Penguins. I loved the Zebras. I loved the Hippo’s. I loved the Giraffes. I loved the Flamingos…… Get it? On the Internet no likes their time wasted.
- Not Being Consistent
This is the number cardinal mistake that bloggers who fail make. You must be consistent. Just like working out how it’s better to do 15 minutes of exercise regularly then spend 5 hours in the gym once a month. Bogging requires daily regular effort. So even if it’s just a small 300-word post or a couple tweets, try to make your blog better every single day.
- Spamming Visitors
This should be self-explanatory. Your visitors are everything! So, if you have finally grown a mailing list of say 1000 members on your self-improvement blog, please don’t send them an email promoting a dishwasher…
- Writing Long Essays Without Breaks
No this isn’t freshman year English. Please don’t write in that very unintuitive ugly APA style with no headings or separation. When It comes to blogging, readability is key and if your post looks like a chore to read, 9/10 people will skip it (Including me. Sorry! J)
- Making Your Blog Design Complicated
The more, easy, intuitive and simple your blog design is the better. So skip on that full-screen video clip that plays on launch or that really cool menu that’s moving around the screen.
- Using Bad Headlines
Which headline would you rather click? Option A. some facts about fast food Option B. 39 Mind-Blowing Facts About Fast Food That Will Open Your Eyes The answer is option B if you didn’t get it.
- Having A Slow Website
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s means if you’re website takes 3.5 seconds to load 4 out of 10 people that visit your blog will say goodbye before they even read a word let alone buy something. I recommend you use Googe PageSpeed to analyze where you can improve. It will give you a breakdown of your web page and the requests a user must make to load your blog. The best fix to this is to always invest in a good web-hosting provider. I personally prefer and recommend BlueHost but there are huge variety of options you can choose from.
- Adding Too Many Links to Your Blog
Like the don’t spam your visitors point above. It’s important you keep links to a minimum especially if their scattered inside of your blog posts. Always think of links like doors, while they are useful too many can very easily make the user experience not very great.
- Bad on Page S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization)
Yes, yes I know it’s now a new world and SEO is not as important as it once was. But this doesn’t mean its disappeared. I would argue that SEO has transformed into
- Spinning Content
Don’t be lazy! Visitors and Search engines can see right through it. The content on your blog is what makes you unique. The content is what attracts visitors and the content is what makes money. If you are simply spinning ideas and content from competitors how will you stand out? Focus on quality over quantity and work on producing content rich posts that are unique and special to your blog.
- Writing Only for Search Engine Robots Instead of People
“Hi carrot blog readers! This is a carrotific post about carrots on my carrot blog that teaches you carrot readers how to grow carrots and sell carrot cake, carrot rice and carrot bread” Trust me keyword-stuffing just doesn’t work. Maybe 15 years ago it might have but modern day search engines see right through this black hat tactic. Stick to making quality content that people want and everything else will work itself out.
- Not Guest Posting or Not Allowing Guest Posts On Your Blog
If you want to go fast travel alone but if you want to go far you must travel together. The Internet is a large web and simply registering a domain and writing a few posts won’t cut it. You must collaborate and work with other bloggers online to create a reputation for yourself. You can only be considered an expert if other proven experts say you’re an expert.
- Not Using Images on Your Blog
You know what they say 1 picture equals a 1000 words and this is 100% true for blogging as well. Images are extremely important in today’s day and age. People identify more with visuals than anything else. Images make your posts more vibrant, more easy to consume, and more easy to share on social media. What is easier to understand? The Image or its textual description?
- Not Using Video on Your Blog
Expanding a bit on the above point. Video is also a very important tool you can use to engage visitors and improve the quality of your blog. Maybe convert a couple of your posts into videos and see the response you get. They don’t work for every blogging niche but can be very effective in increasing your blogs authority.
- Having Too Many Affiliate Links on Your Blog
Cardinal rule #1 don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Your visitors are your blogging life source. Don’t spoil your relationship by shoving advertisements down their throats! Like for me on CodeofLiving I only recommend things which I have personally used myself. A good way to stay honest before promoting some item on your blog is to ask if you’d recommend this item to your mother or your siblings.
- Making Blog Content Overcomplicated
The graphical function of your traffic times the integral of the number of people who purchase items from your blog is the derivative of the number of times people click the first link on your home page… Technical jargon doesn’t always make you look smart. Blogging by nature is targeted towards everyday people. So, don’t overcomplicate things which can be said in an easier way.
- Not Making Your Blog Scalable and Mobile-Friendly
More than 60% of visitors of visitors to CodeofLiving are mobile visitors. It’s crucial that your blog is mobile-friendly and scales for different screen sizes. Displaying a desktop view to a mobile user gives visitor a very bad user experience which translates into higher bounce rates and less sales.
- No Link Building, Internal and External
As mentioned above don’t overdo it but also don’t neglect it. Hyperlinks or links for short are what make the Internet function. Without a good linking scheme not just do you make it difficult for users to navigate your website but you make it difficult for search engine spiders to crawl your blog.
- Falling to Listen and Adapt to Visitors
You will make mistakes as your blog grow and you will “never” be always right. It’s important that you always stay in a mindset where you are constantly adapting and changing to meet the needs of your visitors.
- Lacking Quality Content
Search engines are a business and only want the absolute best posts on the front pages to provide their customers. By writing a low-quality post you are positioning yourself to join the million other results at the back of the line. When it comes to blogging "Quality" should always be your mantra.
- Not Being Responsive to Visitors
You will only make money from your blog and become a pro blogger when you act like a class-act professional with your visitors. This means replying quickly to emails, being polite to users, and replying on comments. Users only buy from blogs that have a type of soul or life to them and this life will come from you. If you’re always there for your visitors trust me they will have your back as well.
- Being Impatient and Negative
Blogging is not for the weak and timid. It especially is not for people who lack in patience. Everyone sees the elite bloggers who make thousands of dollars every week in passive income but they don’t see the thousands of hours they put in behind the scenes. Blogging is a full-time job and you will only see real success if you are willing to put in many hours of effort for the long haul. Don’t give up! :)
- Blogging without passion
Many new bloggers start blogging for the wrong reasons. Unless you have passion for your chosen topic you will never be able to capitalize and make your blog successful.
- Sacrificing content over design
A lot of bloggers spend countless hours making their blog look pretty but don’t give even half of that time to writing content. This vital mistake is what stops them from becoming successful. Good content is always king.
- Not targeting a certain market
Without a target market in mind your blog can never have a true vision and it will always come across as vague.
- Blogging only for money
All of the people who start blogs while dreaming of riches never succeed. Blogging is something that takes passion especially when it gets tough.
- Plagiarizing and copying others works
You can find thousands of blogs on the internet that plagiarize and steal posts from other blogs and pose them as their own. These bottom feeders never succeed because search engine logarithms have become so advanced that they can easily latch them out.
- Not having a search box and sitemap
A search box and a sitemap are two things which are very fundamental for your visitors to navigate through blog or website.
- Expecting fast results
Any blogger who thinks that they will get fast results is either uninformed or is lying to themselves. Blogging is step by step process that takes many years to flower. It can take up to 2 months for you to simply get listed on Google.
- Not making goals
Blogging without having a defined goal in mind is like shooting an arrow without having a target; It’s useless and a waste of time. For every blogger goal making is something that should be happening all the time.
- Having a Bad layout
Your blog shouldn’t be a maze to navigate through. It should be designed in a way that is easy for the user and in way in which it properly displays your content.
- Having unreadable font
I have seen many new blogs that seem so focused on color scheme and design that they ignore the fact that there fonts are unreadable. People come to blogs to gain information, if they can’t read your blog then there’s no point of it even being there.
- Writing about a topic unfamiliar to you
A lot of new bloggers have this problem. They are new to the field and don’t have expertise when it comes to particular topics; this is perfectly fine. What the issue is, is that when these bloggers write about these topics they come across as fake because they are using other peoples content and knowledge as a starting point.
- Using too many ads on one page
The first time I learnt about AdSense I filled my entire blog top to bottom with ads. It wasn’t until I received a complaint that I took notice and found that too many ads are not just bad to users but for S.E.O as well.
- Not promoting your blog
Some new bloggers make the key mistake of just relying on search engines and nothing else. This is sometimes the reason for their failure. The more you promote your blog the more back links you earn and therefore the higher you will rank.
- Picking a bad domain name
Your domain name is what defines and labels your blog. So if you choose a bad one you’re stuck with it forever.
- Having poor hosting
Many new bloggers either don’t do enough research or cheap out when purchasing their web hosting. This mistake haunts them down the road especially when they get more traffic and their site begins to slow down. So find a good professional web-host like BlueHost that will scale as you grow and give 5 star service.
- Expecting returns without hard work
The reason why a lot bloggers give up is because they begin expecting returns without a lot of hard work and effort. They set themselves for failure.
- Not optimizing whatsoever for search engines
Many new blogger tend to set a blind eye to S.E.O for reasons beyond my understanding. Maybe it’s the learning curve or just the sheer size of the task but whatever the reason, you must get over it and give S.E.O a big chunk of your attention.
- Allowing spam comments
Spam comments don’t just ruin the reputation of your blog they look really bad. You should try to implement some sort of a spam blocker like Akismet or Capthcha.
- Forgetting to involve readers
New blogger don’t generally receive a lot feedback or comments and this is one of the reasons why new bloggers sometimes turn a blind eye to this part of blogging. Your readers are what keep your blog going and the best thing you can do for yourself is to keep them involved and satisfied.
- Sacrificing quality for quantity
A lot of bloggers come along the statement “Content is King” and begin to pump out a lot of low level content. Unfortunately all that effort generally goes to waste because search engines don’t rank these low quality posts compared to better higher quality ones. So never sacrifice quality for quantity and always keep in mind that one good solid post is a lot better than a bunch of low quality ones.
- Not guest posting
Most new bloggers don’t understand the value and importance of guest posts. Guest posts don’t just bring you a boost in traffic but they provide you with a valuable back link to your blog.
- Not Being Personal in there Writing
This is one mistake that is found almost universally in all brand new bloggers. They write like they’re writing a news report or an article. They never get personal and make a connection with the reader. This is one thing that can only develop over time so you should start write away.
- Having spelling and grammar mistakes
Spelling and grammar is important to any blog as it firstly has a huge effect on your users and secondly it affects your on page S.E.O.
- Always trying to sell something
Many new bloggers get caught up in the whole making money hype long before they have any credibility or authority in their field. This in turn makes them across as scams and destroys their blog before any real money can be made.
- Not having a newsletter subscription
A newsletter is a very strong tool to keep users engaged after the have left your blog. Most blogs implement this quite late but it should be one of the very first things you do. If you haven't already started emailing list, I highly recommend Aweber. They have awesome service and make it really easy for beginners.
So, that’s that! I feel this is a pretty complete guideline of things NOT-to-do while blogging. If you can truly avoid and learn from these mistakes, I can personally guarantee that you will God willingly be successful! If you have any more suggestions, please leave them in the comments and help your bloggers out.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself”. ― Eleanor Roosevelt
If you have any other suggestions or tips please leave them in the comments and help your fellow bloggers out.
Best of Luck!