If you just started blogging, it’s highly likely that you are making 1 or more of these 47 blogging mistakes. And if you are not currently making any money from your blog, it’s probably because you’ve fallen victim to multiple blogging mistakes on this very list.
Fortunately for you, we have not only outlined the most common blogging mistakes here in this post, but we also give you ways to solve all of these blogging mistakes once you are able to identify you are making them.
Trying To Be A Programmer
More often than not, when people get a brand new WordPress blog, they want to learn everything about it. And rightfully so. Where they go wrong is trying to figure out how to work with the HTML, CSS and PHP code that they know nothing about. They end up blowing their site apart and not knowing how to fix it. My advise here, hire a professional to customize your blog the way you want it.
If you need to hire a guy, post a listing on Freelancer.com
Writing Off Topic
This could be the BIGGEST mistake of them all. There is nothing more important on your blog than knowing exactly who you audience is and custom tailoring your content to suit their reading style, needs and most importantly, solve their problems.
Writing off topic, or off niche, leads to confusion and loss of readership.
Using Too Many Banner Ads
The inevitable downfall of MySpace was due to the over saturation of banners ads. Literally every pixel of space on that website was sold for profit, resulting in a site more cluttered and confused than Johnny Depp on acid in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
We can all learn a very valuable lesson from their failures. Let’s not make the same mistake with our blogs. Agreed?
Buying The Wrong Domain Name
There are numerous rules you should follow when buying a domain name, in fact, I have 13 rules on how to pick a domain name that you should follow before you decide and make your purchase. Failure to abide by these basic foundational rules, could result in your website or blog sucking, and even public tomfoolery.
Will you risk not knowing?
Lack Of Inspiration
Motivation and inspiration are like bathing, we recommend you do them daily.
Whenever I am at a lack of inspiration, I find myself Googling inspirational quotes in the form of Memes, you know, the cool pictures with quotes on them. In fact, these kind of images have been so inspirational and motivational in my life that I started keeping an archive of my favorite ones on my desktop. It wasn’t until recently that I realized you might benefit from them too. So I made a post.
Writing Terrible Emails
Email Marketing is an art form, and should be taken very seriously. Writing an email is like writing an ad. And if you know anything about copywriting or advertisements, you’ll know that you ability to craft a great one, dramatically effects your bottom line. The problem here is that we find a lot of newbies writing emails to their lists in a rush, and sending without even proof reading.
Don’t fall victim to this massive blogging mistake. Once you start generating some leads, write them great emails promoting your future blog posts.
Following The Wrong Business Model
Let’s face it, if you’re a blogger, there is a certain way you need to do things in order to see the results you want. There are a lot of business models online, and offline for that matter, that are all great. But what you need to do is identify which one is going to be best for you.
Buying Cut Rate Hosting
There is nothing more pitiful than watching your website crumble under the slightest influx of traffic. I get that you might be on a budget right now to start your online business, but fact of the matter is, if you can’t afford $5-$10 dollars a month in web hosting costs, you’ve probably got bigger problems.
I’d strongly recommend getting hooked up with a web host that will take good care of you, has 24/7 support, and 99.999% uptime. Lots of times you might get those promises, and the hosting company won’t follow through. That’s why we recommend Host Gator.
Not Understanding SEO
Another pitfall many blogging newbies fall into. And it’s often not even their fault because there is SO MUCH misinformation about SEO out there these days. Often, newbs will get sucked into back linking schemes and profile links strategies that really just ruin your entire blogs reputation with the search engines.
Our best recommendation for SEO is to do all the On Page stuff you need to on your blog, write for people and then go for viral syndication on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Because if people like your content, Google, Bing and Yahoo will too!
It’s safe to say that I did well in english class in high school. And that’s about the only class I got an A in. lol Spelling is kinda in my blood with my dad, and his dad both being writers. I didn’t really have a choice. From an early age it was engrained in me that spelling things wrong makes you look stupid. So even though I’m sure there are loads of spelling errors on this site, I try my best.
And you should too!
Using RSS Subscription
A huge blogging mistake I made when I first started blogging was that I did not collect RSS subscribers. Mainly because I did not understand the power of them.
RSS, if you don’t know, stands for Really Simply Syndication, and the way it works is, people can submit their email to your ‘RSS Feed’ in order to get instant and immediate updates when you post new content. But what I didn’t understand until much later in my marketing career was that emails often don’t get delivered to your subscribers inboxes, which means you, the marketer, lose.
But RSS, those emails come from the highly trusted servers of Google and WordPress, thus guaranteeing you maximum deliverability. We use Jetpack to collect RSS subscribers on Digital Bankroll.
No About Me Page
Quite possibly one of the most highly trafficked page on ANY website.
When someone comes to a website, and they want to know who runs it, they click on the ‘About’ tab. Therefore, you’re about page must absolutely thrill and chill you reader to the core. By doing this, you must ‘toot’ your own horn a bit. But that’s okay, I wrote mine in the 3rd person (not sure if it’s still there) and even though that’s kind of egotistical, it’s nice to be a narcissist once in a while.
I recommend you go all out on this bad boy.
No Contact Page
Another mistake I made on some of my early blogs. Not including an easy to find contact page. And in the beginning I did this on purpose cause I didn’t want to talk to people! lol Failing to realize that I WAS my business. Probably similar to how you are right now.
Making it easier to contact your leads to great opportunities. For example, just this morning when I woke up around noon, I checked my email to see an advertising deal from a big publisher offering to buy out ads on my site for 12 months straight. That means large up front lump sums of money for me! Yay!
Not sure that I will agree to the deal, but just sayin’, cool shit happens when you build doors.
Lack Of Navigation Organization
A massive mistake new bloggers make is often creating a navigation bar or menu that is completely irrelevant or confusing. This is a direct result of not having a clear vision of what kind of content needs to be published on your blog. Let me help you.
The navigation bar should consist of a Home link, perhaps a main page/post you want to drive a lot of traffic to that serves as a pillar post to other, smaller or deeper posts on your blog, and then a broad category that encompasses all the sub niches of your target audience. And of course your About page. 😉
Your Header Sucks
Don’t try to be a photoshop guru if you aren’t one. I love photoshop and am pretty good at it, but not even I am good enough to call myself a graphic designer. I outsource most of my graphic design these days because, even though I could probably do it, it would take me 3-4 times as long as a pro. It’s worth a coulple hundred bucks at that point.
If you need a cheap header, you can check out 99designs and make designers compete for your business, or if you are really on a budget, you can use Fiverr.com lol
Failure To Track Stats
Typical amateur mistake. Often times people just don’t know that there is a very simple solution to tracking every single hit that comes through your WordPress blog site. In fact, we use two methods of doing this on Digital Bankroll to make sure we get an accurate reading, or an average.
First, is JetPack Stats, compliments of Automattic and WordPress.com. They’re great and incredibly sexy. Second, we use a Google Analytics Plugin to connect Digital Bankroll to Google and get a really deep form of tracking. You need to use both.
Thinking Spam Comments Are Real? lol
One time a guy suckered me into a website consultation call, and since he tricked me on the line, I decided he was clever enough to earn some of my time. (don’t try that or I’ll electrocute you through the phone)
He told me he was getting like 500 comment a day to his brand new WordPress blog.
I said… “really?”
He said… “YES!”
I said… “did you turn on Akismet?”
And that was the end of the conversation.
You see, Akismet is a default spam trap for comment spam built right into WordPress, it comes with it on the fresh install. If you do not turn this on, you will be bombarded with loads of inappropriate comments, something in the hundreds, or even thousands per day. This will destroy your search engine reputation and get you deindexed faster than a a jack rabbit on viagra.
Turn it on.
Out Of Date Plugins
Security loopholes 101. When a hacker tries to break into your WordPress blog for whatever malicious reason it may be, the first thing they do is look for out of date plugins or versions of WordPress. It would be the equivalent of a Siberian Tiger preying on a wounded gazelle.
It’s an easy fix to protect yourself though. Simply just update all your plugins and you’ll be safe. We use a plugin called WP Manage to notify and automate, not only plugin and WordPress updates, but backups of our entire site. It’s a cool tool. You’ll like it.
Sharing Via Social Media Too Early
Don’t confuse this one with the next bullet. Sharing via Social Media too early means that you start posting content when you only have like 1 piece of content! lol Instead, build up a little bit of a stock pile before you go ape shit on the Social Media blasting. Once you have a lot of great content for your visitors to stumble through, a correctly placed Facebook Update or Tweet can stimulate a viral surge of traffic.
Sharing Via Social Media Too Late
Posting on Social Media too late does not refer to missing an opportunity, but instead it means posting too late in the evening. Often times, you will have the urge to send out a Facebook update about a cool new blog post that you finished at 3:00am in the morning, problem is, no one is up at that time to see it.
Facebook updates and Tweets have their most effectiveness around 9:00am PST and 6:00pm PST. Test my knowledge and tell me if I’m right.
Tracking Outbound Links
When you link out to another website, especially an affiliate link, you need to track its performance so you know if its worth your time to link there again.
Problem is, most new bloggers have no idea how to do this. We recommend using a cool plugin called Pretty Link to do this. It will track, cloak, and manage all of your affiliate links for you, so when you monetize, you know exactly how effective you are.
Step By Step Guide On How To Cloak Affiliate Links With Pretty Link…
Using A FREE WordPress Theme
Classic newbie mistake numero uno!
Nothing smells of an amateur blogger than using a free WordPress theme you found somewhere amongst the depths of the Internet. But cool part is, premium themes don’t really cost that much, and if you know where to look, you’ll find that you can get hundreds of themes for just a few dollars.
We recommend Elegant Themes for a deal like that…
Never Monetizing Your Blog
Sad fact of life, is that some people are scared to ask for money. They never put up any advertisements, and therefore, never make any money. Don’t make this mistake, but also see bullet #38 for more information on monetizing your blog.
When you do decide to monetize, AdSense is a great way for beginners to monetize and see some ROI right away. Advanced bloggers typically develop their own products lines or monetize strictly with affiliate marketing because it’s more profitable.
Improper Use Of AdSense Ads
Again, the stench of the brand new blogger is strong in AdSense covered blogs.
This is probably due to a few things, people often find out a about AdSense ads quickly because of the success of guys like Shoemoney and Joel Comm who have published multiple best selling products on the topic.
So new bloggers find out about AdSense, don’t buy the products, and cover their blogs in Google Ads hoping to make millions tomorrow? Nah dude.
One well and strategically placed ad is much more potent than 11 guesses, ya digg?
Not Building High Quality Backlinks
When you first start blogging, it’s pretty easy to get sucked into the illustrious lure of 1,000 PR 5+ back links aimed at your brand new blog. Then you buy it for $5 bucks on Fiverr and expect to dominate Google for “Make Money Online” tomorrow? Nah dude. lol
PageRank increases exponentially, so one high quality link from a website of 7 or 8 is infinitely more powerful than 1,000 spammy links. You get it?
Not Building An Email List
Huge mistake! Building an email optin list with Aweber is going to be your bread and butter down the road as you grow your blog. Because as the traffic to your website increase, so will the amount of email optins you get daily. If you don’t have a way to collect those leads, you’re losing money you don’t even know you could have had.
We use Popup Domination to serve the sexiest damn light box you’ve ever seen on a WordPress blog, and collect leads all day long like a boss!
Maybe you want it?
Never Email The Email List You Built
An ironic twist to many brand new marketers building an email list, is that once they do build it, they never email it? Da fuuhhhh?
Why would you go through the effort to build an email list, if you never email your list? We email out lists 5-7 days a week, and sometimes twice or even three times per day if we have a big promoting or live event going on.
You gotta think of it like communicating with your friends. If you and your buddies are going to the river today, you probably have to call them 3-4 times during that day to organize the event. And if you don’t call them, and they get left out of the fun, you’re and asshole.
Don’t be an asshole to your list, email them!
Spamming Your Personal Facebook Feed
Yikes! This one is pretty bad man. It’s likely that your personal Facebook feed is loaded with your friends and family members. So when you drop that link to your latest money making scheme, it’s gonna get weird.
This is what Facebook Fanpages are for. You build a targeted audience and get people interested in what YOUR blog is about. You build a loyal following of raving fans, and help them get to where they wanna be, and you get paid from affiliate links in the process.
Don’t create a Twitter account just to spam links to your new blog posts. While the occasional link to your stuff is totally cool, no one will follow you if you always talk about yourself.
Think about how the ‘cool kids’ in high school were cool. They just were.
Make sense? You don’t become cool, you just ARE cool. Know what I mean? Be that guy on Twitter.
Don’t add yourself you a million and 1 email lists. What will happen is that your inbox will become so full of promotional offers that you will never get anything done. You will get stuck in email hell, and you don’t want that.
Unsubscribe from any email list that does not serve you.
Inconsistent Posting Schedule
Another huge factor in a brand new blogs success, is having a posting schedule that is consistent. By doing this, it lets readers subconsciously know when you are going to be dropping new content. It allows you to capitalize on your blogs traffic momentum, meaning you post every time your blogs traffic starts to dip. And in the beginning, it will probably be every few days. That’s when you drop new posts.
Be consistent, and they will come to read your blogs from around the world.
Never Using Images
We gotta talk about beautifying your blog. It’s incredibly important that you always use AT LEAST one image in every blog post that you do. This just helps things remain sexy on your website.
Think of it as going to the gym for your blog, you’re keeping that physical appearance at it’s all time peak.
Sometimes copyrights on images can cause a problem, and buying the premium ones from iStockPhoto can get expensive really fast. That’s why we recommend you use CompFight to search the creative commons section of Flickr. In other words, images that are free for you to do with what you please.
Never Using Video
You gotta include video on your blog posts. Problem is, you probably don’t have any YouTube videos of you own yet, and if you don’t that’s okay because you can still use the videos of other people to get the same effect on your blog. True, it won’t be as powerful as using your own video, but it will make your blog more aesthetically pleasing.
My best recommendation would be to find YouTube videos that relate to your blog post topic and embed them.
Linking To Other Bloggers
Most new bloggers either don’t know that it’s a good idea to link to other bloggers, or they just don’t wanna share the link love.
This is how you will create a reputation for yourself inside the blogging community, get to know other bloggers, and get links back to you, when you publish epic content mentioning other bloggers. For example, if you have a favorite blogger, link out to them and say something nice or funny.
You’ll be surprised.
Accepting All Comments
That first blog comment is extremely exciting! And it’ll probably be a good one. But not all blog comments are good. As you grow your blog, you’ll no doubt encounter spam, maybe a few haters, and probably some dude trying to drop links on ya. You’ll see what I mean when it happens.
Just use your best judgement and do what ya gotta do.
Copy & Pasting Content
This is not the best of ideas. While there is a fine line between content curation and blatant theft, it’s this. If you are going to copy someones content, do so. But then write and intro and summary about it, and link back to the original source. The Huffington Post, Mashable and Tech Crunch do this all the time.
This is otherwise known as content theft. And while you may be tempted to do this when you first start your blog up, it will ultimately be your downfall, should you get caught. A good way to know, is to use a resource called CopySpace. If you are worried that you copied content, this will tell you.
But if ya have to use it in the first place, what’s that say about you?
Monetizing Too Early
This can also be a problem with new blogs that have an initial boost of success. The failure of MySpace could be talked about as trying to monetize too early, while others will say that they just over killed it with too many ads.
Putting a really bold banner ad on your blog when you first start up is probably okay, just make sure you justify its existence. And don’t over do it.
Spending Too Much Time On Design
Do not try to be a web designer if you are not one. Very simple, yet we have all been guilty of this. I know how much fun it can be to customize your WordPress blog when you first get it, and I also know how frustrating that can be.
My recommendation is to find a few blogs that you REALLY like and hire a designer to model the key features of the blogs you love the most.
Writing For Robots Instead Of People
In the early days of SEO, you could fool Google into giving you first page ranking by ‘keyword stuffing’ as they call it. This still works to some effect today, typically done in the ‘Launch Jacking’ strategy. But will get you banned in the long run.
Writing for robots means you use the keywords you want to rank for over and over again in your posts, so that it skews your results and boosts your ranking. Good for short term, bad for long term.
Just remember, that at the end of the day, it’s a human being who has to whip out the credit card and buy something for you to make money. Write for those guys.
Not Reading Other Famous Blogs
Just about every niche in the world will have famous blogs. You need to seek out, identify and follow these blogs and bloggers because they will become your future joint venture partners when you start to get a lot of traffic, and get big enough to play at their level.
Not doing this, I believe, is ignorant.
Guilty, guilty, guilty.
We’ve all procrastinated beyond what we should. And for most digital entrepreneurs, it’s something that we battle against every single day. Coffee is often a big help in this department, and so is working out or skateboarding (in my case) to clear your head and refocus on the task at hand.
Do what you can do beat procrastination.
Never Commenting Back
Always, always, always comment back to people who read your blog and leave ya some comment love. It’s very important to try and engage in a conversation with any and all commentors you have, because it will grow your subscribers, and keep them coming back as loyal readers.
People respond better when they know a real person is at the other end of the computer screen.
Not Replying To Personal Emails
Often times, you will get personal email about your blog, or frequently asked questions, I would often direct these people to comment on a post with their questions so that everyone can benefit from it. Or if its a more B2B related business matter, then maybe that’s when you reply just to their email.
Just be sure to respond to everyone, every time they leave you a message. I know that sounds like a lot, and it is, but it’s worth it.
Never Giving A CTA
CTA means Call To Action, and it’s typically what we do at the end of a blog post. It might be as simple as asking the reader to leave a comment, tweet, Facebook or Share the post, but it could also be asking for the optin, or even the sale.
You decide, experiment will all kinds of cool Calls To Action and see what you can get people to do?
Not Sharing Your Blog With Others
In the beginning, all you have is your blog. There is no one else talking about it. So while it may sound lame, you gotta tell others about it one by one. And sure you could do this through blog comments, through personal email, or even Facebook chat.
I might even suggest that you ask a few of your coolest friends or family members to leave some comments on your blog, to spark the conversation.
Being An Overall Wussy
It is quite possible that you are doing things on your blog that make you appear to be a wussy. If you’re coming off ass needy or overly self promotional, you will likely be classified as a wussy in the blogosphere.
You need to envision your blog as something that will become an ultimate resource for others searching for problems in your niche. Your blog provides solutions. Sometimes you will have the opportunity to monetize those visitors with an affiliate link, and other times the purpose of writing a piece of content will be to win traffic.
Always remember that you want to come off as the guy who’s here to help, because that builds trust, and at the end of the day, wins you traffic, leads and sales.
Which Blogging Mistakes Did You Make?
As you can now see, there are A LOT of mistakes that brand new bloggers often make. And hopefully after this post, you were able to see how you can fix many of them in your own business online.
I would love to have a discussion with you about which of these mistakes you were making, and remember, I was guilty of them all at one point or another so don’t feel shy to share you experiences in the comments below.
Maybe I am wrong about 1 or more of those 47 blogging mistakes? If I am, I would love for you to call me out and tell me what you think is right.
Let’s talk about it, just remember to play nice 😉