Congratulations! You’ve successfully started your own blog and are ready to go live. You can’t wait for the visits, views, shares, and comments to come pouring in. However, if you’re making some of the most common blogging mistakes, you may be acting as your own worst enemy and hamstringing your efforts from the start. To make sure your blog is as successful as you want it to be, review these top blogging mistakes and make sure your blog is free of them before you go live.
Choosing the Wrong Niche
Make sure your blog covers a topic that you know something about, and also something that you enjoy writing about. Your enthusiasm will eventually wane and will be challenged on those days when you don’t get a single visit to your site, so make sure you’re spending your time on something you actually care about. Also, when your enthusiasm for a subject is lacking, your audience can definitely tell and that will hurt your blog’s performance.
There is one caveat, however: if you want a lot of followers and the potential to make money off of your blog, you do need to focus on a topic that has enough of a following. You’ll need to find just the right balance of a topic with an actual market and something that you care about.
Not Investing in the Right Structure
If you want your blog to be successful, you should invest some time and research into finding the best host and content management system for your purposes. For most blogs, a basic WordPress site will be sufficient and will offer you a web host option, but for others, you may want something with more bells and whistles.
Also, make sure you really invest the time (and money) into getting everything squared away for your site so that visitors don’t run into a bunch of broken links or unfinished pages.
There are a few different web hosts out there that you can use—look at what each one has to offer and some of the reviews before making an arbitrary decision.
Worrying About Quantity over Quality
If you want your blog to be something that people actually utilize to inform themselves in one way or another, then make sure your content reflects that. Even if you’re creating a blog that is for more personal reasons (e.g. a travel blog), you’ll still want to have thoughtful posts, rather than posting just for the sake of posting. Eventually, your followers will get tired of that and stop looking at your blog altogether.
Not Understanding SEO
If you don’t understand how to utilize SEO (search engine optimization) tools, then your blog will likely languish in the depths of the internet, nowhere to be found. SEO will help Google and other search engines find your blog when someone is searching for a related topic that matches your site’s SEO. Do your research to make sure your website has what it needs to rank high enough for search engines to find it.
If you want people to visit your blog, you’ve got to offer something that’s worth their time. If you only post content once a month or once a week, visitors and followers will likely lose interest. We live in a fast-paced world where information and entertainment are available at the tip of your fingers—if your blog doesn’t provide entertainment on a regular basis, people will go elsewhere.
In addition to posting regularly, you also want to make sure your content is informative and engaging. Frequent boring posts are no better than infrequent entertaining posts.
Having an Ad-Filled Blog
Yes, ad partnerships (such as Google AdSense) can help your blog bring in a little cash, but it may be a false reward. Many visitors to your site will get annoyed with excess ads and will opt to visit a different blog that doesn’t have any ads instead.
At least until your blog is very well established, take a pass on the very small income that an ad partnership may bring in and focus instead on keeping your blog clean and ad-free.
Sacrificing Efficiency for Looks
There are many cool and exciting layouts and font texts out there, but it’s important to remember that your viewers need to be able to actually view your content. If you use a text that is too hard to read or if you have a distracting layout, it could be enough to discourage a visitor from following your blog or coming back.
You Use Your Blog as Your Diary
Unless this is truly the purpose of your blog (in which case you’re not trying to reach a large audience nor make any money off of it), don’t treat your blog as your diary or a random brain dump. You don’t need to write down everything that comes to your mind. Have a personality, but don’t think that it is because of your personality that people will visit.
There are a million blogs out there and a million people that think they are the funniest, most creative, most interesting blogger. Don’t fall into that trap. Rely on good content, excellent writing, and some data and evidence for any claims that you make, and the search engines and curious visitors will reward you. Also—proofread, proofread, and then proofread again before publishing any content.
Your Content is Unoriginal
Sometimes new bloggers are just so excited to get their site up and running, that they take shortcuts with their content. If you offer content that is not original, you are not only running into potential plagiarism problems, but you’re also not going to entice anybody to visit your blog. Even if the information has been around for a hundred years, you’ll need to have your own research to back it up and a new way of presenting the information.
If you’ve found yourself to be guilty of one or some of these mistakes, never fear, you can still be helped. Before you go too far down the wrong path, take corrective action to undo any potential negative consequences from these actions. Keep this list in mind both now and in the future. These mistakes can bring down even the best blogger and are important to keep in mind for as long as your blog may live.