Avoid the 7 Most Common Blogging Mistakes

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

Find your blogging niche

Image via Flickr by waferboard

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

blogging with social media

Image via Flickr by Jason A. Howie

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

choosing a blogging platform

Image via Flickr by P4BLoX

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

guest posts on blogs

Image via Flickr by Rooster306

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

blogging for profit

Image via Flickr by davidm69

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

blogging SEO tips

Image via Flickr by Thomas Hawk

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

how to handle blog comments

Image via Flickr by the tartanpodcast

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.

49 Responses

  1. Rasheeda March 30, 2013 / 1:53 am

    This was a very helpful read as I am a new blogger myself, currently working on my first blog for a up and coming non profit organization. Thanks!

    • Shaun Chatman March 30, 2013 / 4:14 am

      Hi Rasheeda,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading it and found it helpful. All the best for your first blogging venture!

  2. Umre Turları March 30, 2013 / 7:00 am

    thanks for sharing. its good informations lol 🙂

    • Shaun Chatman March 30, 2013 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you, Umre. I am glad you liked it 🙂

  3. gaurav March 30, 2013 / 12:44 pm

    i think guest blogging is ignored by most of the bloggers …it,s big mistake.
    thanks ..it is useful article

    • Shaun Chatman March 30, 2013 / 1:05 pm

      I agree, Gaurav. But guest blogging should be mutually beneficial. Paid link insertions, spammy links, and low quality of content have all to be blamed. Back links are essential, yes, but not at the cost of quality content. However, I am seeing a lot of guest bloggers and site owners abusing what was once a successful way to provide quality info and get backlinks.

      Luckily, there are still guest bloggers and fantastic site owners like Melanie who put quality above immediate profits. I am just citing one example; there are many more.

      Thank you for reading!

  4. Jewel March 31, 2013 / 5:30 am

    I wasn’t conscious about guest blogging. That’s a reminder for me. Thanks for the step by step suggestions.

    Off topic: I want to build a popular community blog. But have no idea as a new blogger. Any tips please?

    • Shaun Chatman March 31, 2013 / 10:00 am

      Hi Jewel,
      Guest blogging is great for a site owner as well as a writer/company if you know how to use it and not misuse it.
      As for advice, I think you were asking Melanie, the owner of this blog, and not me? I am no expert, and the best person to advice you on this is Melanie herself cos the success of her blog speaks for her.
      For starters, just avoid these common mistakes, and I think you’re set. 🙂

  5. SAJID March 31, 2013 / 8:19 am

    Hahaha.. So true and the pictures you attached with these points are incredible… Most of the bloggers fail to the reason because they want money and blogging is not all about making money… SO we must take care of all these things to get success in our blogging career.

    • Shaun Chatman March 31, 2013 / 10:01 am


      Well said! My mantra would be ‘Passion’, and everything else will follow 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words; much appreciated.

  6. w.priyono March 31, 2013 / 2:30 pm

    thanks for share.
    nice ….

  7. Sue - The Spin Cycle April 1, 2013 / 7:18 am

    So simple. So true. So easy to forget. Thanks for putting the basics together in one post! Off to share this with 3,000+ bloggers @ Sverve!

  8. Serdar Kara April 1, 2013 / 7:18 am

    I agree with all the points. In fact I have been guilty of almost 6 of them myself. The key message would be make it easy on your readers!:)

  9. Michael April 1, 2013 / 7:42 am

    Social Media is very hard to neglect now a days due to its unlimited potential. Also, you have to be patient for your blog growth.

    • Shaun Chatman April 1, 2013 / 12:15 pm

      Thank you,Priyono. Sue, Serdar and Michael, so true!!! Thanks, guys!

  10. Asif Khan April 2, 2013 / 1:35 am

    Right Saun, you have mentioned them all in the correct order. The most important of all these days is Social Media. Most of the people around the world are using one or the other social networking site and to gain exposure, it’s really a must to be social.

    • Shaun Chatman April 2, 2013 / 3:28 am

      Thank you, Asif. Yes, social media cannot and should not be ignored at all.

  11. Lucrecer April 3, 2013 / 8:46 am

    Good post and solid advice!

    • Shaun Chatman April 3, 2013 / 11:20 am

      Thanks, Lucerer! Glad you found it useful.

  12. Berita Jawa Timur April 5, 2013 / 12:33 pm

    great article as usual thanks for this informative share this article explains about Common Blogging Mistakes… great keep going

    • Shaun Chatman April 5, 2013 / 12:43 pm

      Thank you for the kind words, Berita; glad you found it informative.

  13. Dhaval April 5, 2013 / 1:56 pm

    Oh now I understood wher ei am lacking.. From 1 week I am asking people that I am writing quality posts but I am not getting good amount of traffic.. The thing I am lacking is Social media promotion ! Tanks a lot Shaun! I owe you a lot 😀

    • Shaun Chatman April 5, 2013 / 2:02 pm

      Haha, better late than never, Dhaval; all the very best to you!

  14. Iain Robson April 6, 2013 / 4:17 am

    You outlined some great points.

    I think the reason why many people tend to make these mistakes is because they get overwhelmed by everything that you have to do when you start blogging.

    If it is their very first time starting a website, they are going to be scared and not know what to do.

    That is why I think having a blogging buddy who can help you through these types of things is a valuable.

    Many people don’t go this route, but it is worth it.

    Great post.

    • Shaun Chatman April 6, 2013 / 1:48 pm

      Thank you, Iain! ‘Blogging Buddy’ I quite like that. And I agree with all your points. Great insights!

    • Iain Robson April 6, 2013 / 2:47 pm

      You’re welcome, glad I could help provide a little bit of insight.

  15. Dream Holidays Guide April 6, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    great tips esp. on the guest blogging. I should try that. also agree on money doesn’t magically appear. some people think that once you have a blog it will automatically earn. thank you for sharing, very helpful for a newbie like me.

    • Shaun Chatman April 12, 2013 / 12:30 am

      Haha, that’s like saying having a car will automatically take you to your destination. Somebody’s gotta drive! Glad you found the piece useful, and hope it takes you to your destination faster.

  16. adam smith April 8, 2013 / 9:48 am

    Great information – thanks! 🙂

  17. Jessica April 11, 2013 / 10:32 pm

    Great information for new all bloggers really. Even when people have been blogging for a while they sometimes forget (or never knew) these important points. I love the point about money not growing on trees. It takes time, a lot of effort, and focus to earn an income from blogging.

    • Shaun Chatman April 12, 2013 / 12:32 am

      Jessica, spoken like a perfect candidate for blogging. Looks like you’re in this for the long haul. All the best to you!

  18. Shaun Chatman April 12, 2013 / 12:31 am

    Thanks, Ade and Adam 🙂

  19. Austin of Blow My Paycheck April 23, 2013 / 4:09 pm

    Thanks so much for these great tips. I am always trying to avoid pitfalls and make my website the best i can. These tips should really help.

  20. Jodi May 11, 2013 / 7:02 pm

    Thank you for making this easy to understand. Nice and concisely said. I guess I need to brush up on my SEO. Thanks for the tips.

    • Shaun Chatman May 13, 2013 / 12:09 am

      Thank you for reading and your kind words, Jodi. I am glad you found this useful.

  21. Restaurant Review in Mangalore May 20, 2013 / 4:12 am

    Nice post. Hitting publish on your blog post is not the end. Nobody will come rushing to your blog if they don’t even know about it. Use social media to your advantage.

    • Shaun Chatman May 20, 2013 / 4:15 am

      Thank you, RRM. I agree with you!

  22. James McAllister May 24, 2013 / 12:10 am

    Number 7 really speaks to me, and is one of the main reasons why I prefer creating niche website rather than blogs. Unlike blogs, niche sites aren’t expected to be constantly updated, so you can make a passive income with little work after the website is completed.

    If you do decide to go with a blog, make sure it’s a niche you’re passionate about so you don’t run out of content ideas, or get bored with your websites subject.

    • Shaun Chatman May 24, 2013 / 3:39 am

      That’s a great insight, James. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Miles June 28, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    This was very useful. Thank you very much.

  24. Dan July 22, 2013 / 4:29 am

    Wow an excellent and very detailed informative blog post explaining to us bloggers out there what to avoid. This will hopefully make us all successful bloggers like yourself!

  25. James Schiller | Mount Pleasant SC July 22, 2013 / 9:45 am

    Blogging should focus about sharing information on things that you are familiar with, interested in and actually know about. If you don’t have a clear direction about topics you want to write, then it will be hard to create relevant and engaging content.

    If you stick to your lane, it will be easier for you to interact with other bloggers who share the same interest. People will be convinced that you are an expert on a particular subject and they will visit your blog for tips and advice. Social media should also come hand in hand with blogging as it will increase the visibility of your posts and attract leads.

  26. Amrish July 29, 2014 / 6:35 am

    This post is amazing and with tons of practical advice. I have started a blog without any idea, it wasn’t very successful, but it was an initiation for something bigger and better. Failing is very good way of learning, but these tips are awesome, for avoiding obstacles and time wasting

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