Blogging is more than just a fun activity, it’s also richly rewarding — assuming you know your stuff. Getting paid to do something you enjoy is always great, but new bloggers who think they’re going to start bringing in advertisers and fans right off the bat often make the same blogging mistakes. Following is a list of 7 of the most common blogging mistakes, which are easily avoided if you’re aware of them.
7. Neglecting Your Niche
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Your blog should be based around a particular theme, niche, or idea. You can go with a broad theme, such as food presentation and photography, celebrity gossip, or advice and tips. Mom blogging is a popular choice as well, if you’re interested in reviewing products and sharing your day-to-day life. Check out popular blogs in the same spectrum, and try to fill a void in that area.
It’s often better to choose something more specialized, however. For example, if you want to start a blog based on DIY projects, have a specialty. Refurbish furniture from a specific period or only use one color scheme. If you choose to blog about food, make it your own. Share family or ethnic recipes, focus on lunches or soups. Or if you start a celebrity news site, put a different spin on it than everyone else. Give people a reason to read.
6. Forgetting About Social Media
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You can’t just start a blog and expect to get a ton of readers. You might have the best content on the Internet, but if your friends and family are your only readers, you won’t get very far. Take it to social media. Create a Facebook page for your blog, start a Twitter account, manage a LinkedIn profile, get Google+, and start a Tumblr as well (especially if you want to grab a younger demographic). Share information about your latest posts, along with pictures, funny anecdotes or serious stories.
5. Choosing the Wrong Blogging Platform
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What’s your domain? Who’s your host? What platform are you using? If you don’t know the answers to those questions or don’t understand them, you’re already making several blogging mistakes. When you decide to start a blog, you have two real choices: create a causal blog, or create serious revenue-generator.
If you’re just blogging for fun, sign up through WordPress, Blogger, or even Tumblr, customize your colors and photos, and get started. But if you want to make money, learn the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org — the latter is necessary if you want your own domain. You’ll need to find a host, register your domain, and then start customizing your layout.
Think about hiring out the customization work unless you’re good with web design, HTML, and CSS. Whatever you do, make sure your site looks good on desktop computers, tablets, and even the most affordable cell phones whose screen sizes maybe only as big as their cost. Don’t make your layout too busy, though. Stick to a single color scheme, avoid loud or obnoxious pictures, don’t play background music, and make sure the text is easy to read.
4. Going Down the Blogging Road Alone
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Sharing posts, blogs, and pages from other bloggers is also incredibly important. Why share? Because if you share stories from blogs in the same niche, then they’ll likely do the same for you. Their readers will notice and then head over to your blog to see what you have to say as well.
In addition, don’t write everything on your own. You don’t have to hire a bunch of other writers, but you should try to seek guest posting opportunities. Try to share posts on blogs that have large followings and solid rankings. By doing so, again, you’ll grab the attention of that fan base. If you invite popular bloggers to submit guest posts on your blog, their readers might come over to your page too. This is known as “karma blogging,” and neglecting it is one of the biggest blogging mistakes most newbies make.
3. Imagining Money Will Magically Appear
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Money doesn’t grow on trees and it doesn’t come through the Internet by magic either. If you want to make money on your blog, you have to sell advertising. You might pitch yourself to businesses and companies so they’ll advertise on your blog or you can sign up for Google Ads, which helps put you in touch with advertisers who want to share their products and services on popular blogs. Fellow bloggers might want to buy ad space as well, so that’s another instance where karma blogging could benefit you.
2. Making SEO No-Nos
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly changing. You don’t have to take a class or pay money for an expert content writer, but you should spend some time researching SEO best practices. Many bloggers mistakenly believe that if they stuff their blog posts with nonsensical keywords, they’ll hit number one in search engines for a given topic. That doesn’t work anymore.
Instead, always write engaging content that makes thoughtful use of keywords. If you’re selling something, like homemade jewelry, then use phrases like “homemade jewelry,” “DIY jewelry,” “artisan bracelets,” and similar phrases in your blog posts — but only when they make sense. Share pictures, use subheadings, write eye-catching titles, and prove yourself as an expert on your topic.
1. Ignoring the Importance of Comments
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Just as sharing is important, commenting is important as well. If you comment on other blogs and social media in knowledgeable, thought-provoking ways, you’ll also look like an expert. People will answer your comments, they’ll come to your blog, and you’ll increase your audience. You’ll become part of the blogging community in your niche, which leads to more readers, more money, and a better reputation. This increases your blog karma as well, and keeps your name out there.
Lots of people have blogs, but if you provide exciting, engaging content on various platforms, you’ll go far. What are some of the techniques you’ve used to make yourself a successful, knowledgeable blogger? If you are a newbie blogger, donít you think itís time you started avoiding these mistakes from now?
About the Author
Shaun Chatman is a well-published author on many authority sites. He lives in Dunedin, FL, and spends his free time playing with his kids or advising friends on SEO, online marketing tech, gadgets, finance and travel.