Today we’re going to discuss the top 47 blogging mistakes, as I see it. I’ve been blogging full-time about 9-years now. During that time, I’ve made HUNDREDS of blogging mistakes. Sometimes, I just look back and laugh. Oh well, that’s how we learn.
Fortunately, I’ve also done a lot of things right. I tried to learn from each mistake and press on.
In this post, I want you to learn from MY blogging mistakes, so you don’t repeat them. If you’re experiencing a stagnated growth rate, or are having trouble building your blog’s traffic, it’s likely that you’re guilty of making some of these blogging mistakes.
Evaluating your blog in each of these 47 areas can make a big improvement to your blog. Keep in mind these are listed in no particular order. Enjoy the information.
Top 47 Blogging Mistakes
# 1: Bad Domain Name
It’s possible to make your first blogging mistake before you even publish your first post. Choosing a bad domain name can keep potential readers away. Be sure to choose something catchy, and easy to remember to help draw in readers.
Make sure you use a dot com domain. Try to keep it to two or three words and do not use hyphens. Ideally, try to make your domain name describe the purpose of your blog.
Choosing the wrong domain was one of my worst blogging mistakes, especially with my first and second website.
# 2: Bad Niche, Wrong Niche or Too Big of a Niche
Specializing your blog within the right niche is key to its long-term success. If your content is pulled in too many different directions, you’ll be unable to identify and target a specific audience. You also want a niche that isn’t too big, isn’t too small, and has a large enough audience for you to monetize.
For what it’s worth, it also helps to have have a niche you understand and are passionate about, although it is not mandatory. If you love your niche, you will never run out of ideas to talk about. Plus, it will help you stay motivated during the early years when your blog income is normally very small.
If the only reason you are blogging is to make money, I doubt you will survive the tough times, unless you’re writing about something you love.
# 3: Not Promoting Your Blog
As a blogger (or business owner) your job is to make the cash register ring. In other words, your blog is not your business. Instead, MARKETING your blog is your real business.
You need a written marketing plan for your blog and a marketing budget.
You should spend twice as much time and MONEY promoting your blog posts as you do creating them.
It’s your job to get your name out there so people can learn about your blog. Even the best piece of content is worthless if no one knows about it.
# 4: Not Capturing Leads
Failing to capture leads can put a serious dent in your blog’s profitability. Your blog should include landing pages and other forms that prompt users to input their emails and other contact information so that you can keep in contact with them.
Build your email list from day one. Use your popover. Have an opt-in form on every page. Do whatever you can to get people to subscribe to your email list. This will be your most valuable business asset.
In most cases, your email list will be worth even more money than your blog.
# 5: Poor Editing
As surprising as it may seem, several blogs seem to lack any real editing. It’s no shock, however, that poor writing (and editing) damages your blog’s credibility and drives potential readers (and affiliate partners) away.
You have a couple of choices with this option. First off, you could hire a freelance editor to proofread each post. Another option, especially for someone on a tight budget, is to write a post, forget about it for a couple of days and then come back to it to re-read it, spell check, and edit it before you finally publish it.
Also, keep in mind the Grammar Nazis are alive and well. I can’t even begin to tell you how many phone calls and emails I get about a random typo on my website. When someone contacts you about a typo, thank them for their time, fix the typo and drive on.
# 6: Being Too Scattered with Your Post Topics
You want your posts to be geared around a specific theme. Having scattered content confuses readers and keeps your blog from reaching its potential. Create a content plan for your website. Some people might call this a keyword blueprint.
Basically, you want a list of at least 100-200 keywords you will focus on for your first 100-200 articles. This will keep your blog on topic and allow you to work smart.
# 7: Not Blogging Enough
If you’re truly looking to make your blog successful, you should expect to put in a considerable amount of time and effort, especially your first year. Don’t just sit by and passively expect your blog to grow. It won’t. Blog regularly to start growing your follower base.
In your first year of blogging, blog at least 3 to 5 times per week. Anything less than that is unacceptable. Try to come up with at least three different 1,500 word articles each week.
# 8: Writing Like an Engineer
This is a common problem with many bloggers, especially the analytical type. While there’s nothing wrong with using specific jargon, per se, if your content is too dry and technical, you’ll severely limit your readership. Make sure to use language that is easily-understandable to anyone who accesses your blog.
If possible, write in a conversational tone, as if you are sitting across the kitchen table from a good friend. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and whatever you do, don’t be boring.
# 9: Not Replying to Comments
Comments are your chance to build a better relationship with your readers. By replying to comments, you can build one-on-one relationships with specific readers and grow your personal reputation. Ignoring them isolates your readers and damages your blog’s credibility.
What I have found is that the more I reply to comments, the more readers visit my blog. Each person who left a comment will return to your blog when someone replies to their comment. This can have a big impact on your monthly traffic.
# 10: Not Using Images
Your blog needs an eye-catching design, and you can’t have that without images.Though it’s true words are the backbone of your content, remember: pictures are worth a thousand words. Slamming your readers with giant blocks of text can be off-putting and keep potential readers away.
Ideally, you want to have at least 2-3 images per blog post. They should not distract the reader from the content. Instead, they should add value to the content. Make sure you include your URL on your images as well.
# 11: Not Citing Your Sources
When you use references, be sure to cite your sources. The last thing you want to do is try to pass off someone else’s idea as your own. You also don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement.
Citing others, however, boosts your professional image and reputation within your niche. Just put a references section at the bottom of your post.
# 12: Not Using Headers or White Space
The design of your blog is important in building your brand’s image. If you’re not using headers and white space to your advantage, you’re missing out on a powerful tool to make your blog eye-catching and easily-identifiable.
The last thing you want to do is crowd your content and images. You want people to be able to scan through your posts with ease.
# 13: Not Using Anchor Text Links
This is a common—and quite amateur—mistake. You want to make sure that you include your keywords as naturally as possible, especially when you’re posting internal or external links. Instead of writing “click here,” hyperlink your key words for better effect.
# 14: Not Adding Social Media Sharing Options
We’ve talked about how important it is for you to share your blog on social media, but don’t forget to give others this capability as well. By adding social media sharing options, you give readers greater flexibility in sharing your content and increasing your traffic. There are several free plugins you can use to help you do this.
# 15: Not Using Analytics
Successful content planning and marketing strategies require the use of analytics.Understanding the source of your traffic and which posts are most popular can better help you create content that is attractive to your audience.
Set aside twenty or thirty minutes each week to review your Google Analytics account. See which keywords and pages are the most popular. Focus on improving those pages. Add more words, better images and better monetization methods.
# 16: Not Sharing Your Most Popular Posts
Don’t be afraid to highlight your own work. Showcase your recent and most popular posts on your blog’s homepage or in the sidebar to boost your blog’s authority. Proper link backs can also boost your search engine standings.
There are several plugins you can use to make this easy. You can choose today’s most popular posts, this week’s most popular posts, most popular posts of all time, etc.
# 17: Not Building Your Email List
Email marketing remains one of the most powerful ways to capture leads and bring viewers back to your blog. Be sure you collect names and emails whenever possible. Use a popover and have a form on every page. As you build your list, make sure you stay in touch with your subscribers several times per week.
# 18: Giving Up Too Soon
One of the biggest issues I see with new bloggers is unrealistic expectations. They start a blog and think they will make money right out the gate. No new business works that way.
You must give yourself a fair chance to succeed. You should make a MINIMUM 24-month commitment to your new blog before you decide if blogging is or isn’t for you. Anything less than that, and you’re not even giving yourself a fair chance to succeed.
Be prepared to work for less than minimum wage for at least two years!
# 19: Hiding Behind Your Website
The last thing you want to do is hide behind your website. You don’t want to come across as a big corporation. Let your personality shine through.
Include a photo of yourself. Include a video of yourself. Include your phone number. Include your email and your social media accounts so people can get in touch with you. This lets you connect with your visitors on a personal level.
# 20: Low Quality Content
There are millions of blogs with shitty content. These blogs do not rank high in Google or normally make much money.
Your biggest key to success is to write captivating content. Write articles that are so good that people read your article and then say DANG, that is the best article I ever read about that subject.
Make your content so good that people want to share it with others. Do not post CRAPPY content. If you aren’t a good writer yourself, learn to write, or hire someone who can.
# 21: Not Using Bullet Points & Lists
As I mentioned before, no one wants to read a wall of text. If they did, they would be reading a novel. Your blog posts should be clearly divided and bulleted so that readers don’t feel overwhelmed. People love lists and bullet points. Remember that most people SCAN through a post, rather than read every word.
# 22: No Questions or Engaging Text
Do you routinely ask your readers questions? Does your content make readers think? If not, it’s too boring. And boring is never good. Include more engaging and interactive text to build a closer relationship with your readers.
# 23: Not Striking the Right Tone
The tone you use for your posts will of course depend on your niche, but be sure of two things:
- That your tone is appropriate for what you’re trying to say—don’t make it too personal, but also don’t make it so distant that there’s no personality.
- It’s more-or-less consistent—you don’t want to sound like a different person throughout your blog posts. This can be off-putting for readers.
Find your VOICE and stick to it. For example, my writing style is No B.S.
# 24: Bad Blog Titles
Spend some time on your blog titles. Here are a few good formats you could use:
- Top 10….
- How to ……
- 5 Reasons to…….
- 10 Tips to…
I’ve found that my Top posts do the best.
Your blog title is as important as an email subject line: it will determine whether or not the person reads the rest of your information.
# 25: Not Using Videos
People love videos. Be sure you include videos in some of your blog posts. If you can’t find a video, take some of your content, put it in Power Point slides and then record it as a video using ZOOM. If you love being on camera, that will make your life even easier. I would make sure at least 1 out of every 3 blog posts has a video in it.
# 26: No Sitemap
Your website needs a sitemap. This is simply a page on your website that has a list of every page you have ever created. A sitemap makes it easy for the search engines to see what content is on your website. There are several plugins you can use that will create your sitemap for you. Once you create a sitemap, be sure you submit it to your Google Search Consule and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts.
# 27: Trying to Manipulate Google
Lots of people try to do “black hat SEO” and trick Google.They participate in shady link building schemes, buy links, or do sneaky things to rank “higher” in the search engines.
Do not try to trick Google. They have more people on their payroll than you do. They have more experts than you do. Build your links naturally and organically one link at a time.The last thing you want to do is get the Google Slap.
# 29: No Internal Links
Make sure that you properly use internal and external links throughout your blog. Not only will this boost your rankings, it will make your page more user-friendly. Be careful to not have any irrelevant or broken links on your blog.
# 30: Not Cleaning Up Your Database
This is a mistake I made for many years. I just learned about it a few days ago. Your website has a database. The larger your website gets, the more “bad” files you will have in your database. There are plugins you can use to clean up your database in a breeze. Be sure you clean your database at least once per month.
# 31: No Website Backup
Back up your website. Do it daily. At a minimum, do it at least once a week. The last thing you want is your website to crash and not have a good back up file. Store it in a safe place, on your computer and at a third-party location as well, such as the cloud.
# 32: Not Removing Bad Links
Links can go bad. Websites shut down. Pages get removed. You need to check your outgoing links from time-to-time and remove the bad links. You can use a plugin such as Broken Link Checker. That’s who I use. When you find a broken link, fix it quickly.
# 33: Not Performing a Site Audit Regularly
Perform a regular site audit to know just where your blog stands. When doing so, check for any broken links, outdated content, or any unavailable pages. By doing this, you can increase your blog’s professional image and user-friendliness.
# 34: Not Networking with Other Bloggers
Ultimately, you want to position yourself as an authority within your niche market. In order to do this, it’s important that you establish a reputation with other bloggers in your field. Not only will this build your reputation, it will also help you grow your own blog as you take in new ideas.
Attend events. Form mastermind teams. Have meetups with other bloggers. Build strategic RELATIONSHIPS whenever you can.
# 35: No Keyword Research
Writing articles about the wrong keywords is a waste of time. You need to do your keyword research to find keywords that are in demand, but not overly competitive. You should optimize your posts geared around ONE specific keyword.
# 36: Not Sharing Other Bloggers’ Content
You want your readers to know that you are well-connected in your niche community. Doing so increases your authority and reputation to your intended market. It also helps you build a connection with other bloggers in your market.
Visit other blogs in your niche. Comment on their posts. Link back to them. Share their posts.
# 37: Too Many Sponsored Posts
Your own original content should make up the bulk of your blog posts. While affiliate marketing is a desirable tool to increase your blog’s profitability, having more sponsored content than original content will put off readers.
Make sure that your sponsored posts are secondary to unique content. Keep a minimum 10:1 ratio of regular posts to sponsored posts.
# 38: Poor Placement of Display Ads
Make sure that your ad placement is designed for optimal reading experience. Having unnecessary interstitial or hard-to-close pop-up ads can drive away readers and actually lower your blog’s profitability.
While ads are desirable, be sure they are placed so that they don’t interfere with readers’ experiences. Use text link ads over banner ads whenever possible.
# 39: Unrealistic Expectations
We’ve touched on this already, but it’s worth stressing: do not have unrealistic expectations when launching your blog. Remember, you’re not going to be an overnight success, and having your sights set too high will only lead to disappointment.
# 40: No Written Business Plan
Your website is a business. You need a written business plan if you want to be successful. You cannot wing it and become successful.
Determine your goals, your marketing plan, your daily method of operations, etc. Put some serious thought into this document, refer to it daily and update it often. Keep it to 1-2 pages and let it be the guidepost for your business.
# 41: Not Guest Posting on Other Blogs
Making guest posts on other, usually more-successful blogs is a great way to get your name out there. Be sure to guest post on a successful blog that is relevant to your niche so that you can build a better reputation with your intended market.
Make sure your posts are HIGH QUALITY and be sure to include an author bio at the end of each guest post, so you can redirect people back to your blog.
# 42: Not Allowing Guest Posting
Make sure you allow others to guest post on your blog. This helps build your reputation and your credibility, as it makes you appear as an authority in your niche. Plus, your guest authors will share the posts they write on your blog, which will give you added exposure.
# 43: Not Updating Old Posts
One of the best things you should do is update your old posts. Try to update EVERY post on your blog at least once a year, to keep things fresh, add new content, and rank higher in the search engines.
Consider adding 100-200 new words to every blog post every year. Include a few new pictures as well. You can even hire someone to help you do this.
# 44: Starting a Blog for the Wrong Reasons
If you’re starting a blog just to make money, here’s a word of advice: It’s not going to work out. Having a successful blog requires dedication and a passion for the subject matter. Readers are attracted to your drive, and if it’s not there, you won’t have a big following.
You want to be passionate about your topic so you:
- Never run out of ideas to write about
- Remain passionate, even during the tough times
- Write articles that are interesting to your viewers
One of the reasons that nearly 90% of all blogs are abandoned (the blogger quit) after just six months is because the blogger had unrealistic expectations and they picked a niche that didn’t excite them.
Don’t make that mistake yourself.
# 45: Boring About Me Page
Your about me page is one of the most important pages on your website, if not the most important page. Put a lot of thought into your about me page. Update it frequently. Provide a good photo, even a video. Include links to your most important pages and best-selling affiliate products. Share your story and be personable.
# 46: No Contact Page On Your Blog
You need a contact page on your website. It should include:
- Your phone number
- Your email
- Links to your social media account
- Your physical mailing address
- A form people can fill out to request information
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER. Don’t try to hide behind your website. You want interested clients and customers to be able to get in touch with you.
# 47: Picking the Wrong Affiliate Programs to Promote
When securing your affiliate partnerships, make sure that you’re choosing companies that positively reflect on your brand. The affiliate programs you choose should also be relevant to your niche and interesting to your readers. Make sure the affiliate programs pay you a generous commission, and ideally, a residual commission. If you’re only earning a few dollars per sale (or less) you are really missing out.
When possible, try out the affiliate products yourself first, to make sure they offer a real value.
Never recommend an affiliate product just to make a quick buck. The last thing you want to do is ruin your reputation by promoting something shady. Only recommend stuff you use yourself (or have used in the past). This is one of the worst blogging mistakes you can make: promoting stuff you do not really believe in yourself.
Starting a blog can be a lucrative long-term investment, but getting to that point requires a strategic plan—and a lot of work. Be prepared to invest your time with little short-term returns as you work to make your blog a success. By avoiding these top 47 blogging mistakes, you can help position your blog on the right path to success.
What are your thoughts? What do you think are the most common blogging mistakes? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. To your success!
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