As a blogger, it takes time to build up your page and turn it into something you’re really proud of. This journey comes with a few bumps along the way that admittedly I’ve been through – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes. I thought I’d write a post on easy and common blogging mistakes to make that I myself have made in the past and have learned from. Of course these aren’t rules to blogging and you can blog in whatever way you wish – it’s your domain after all! But to stop a few headaches and the risk of blogger burnout here are my own tips of what mistakes to avoid.
1. FOCUSING ON WORD COUNT
It’s great to have a target, focus on quality over quality, if you just can’t reach it then don’t write anymore; you’ll probably end up waffling and this will bore your readers. Focus on getting your main points down first and begin to extend each one.
2. RUSHING THE CONCLUSION
Don’t feel that you should brush over writing a good, solid conclusion just because you spent hours writing the rest and you want it finished. This is what brings your whole post together.
3. EDITING POSTS IN LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES
I spend around 30 minutes proof reading my post, even reading it out loud often helps pinpoint errors, whether it be spelling, grammatical etc. I make the changes as I spot them, that way they won’t be forgotten about. ‘Editing’ to me also involves alteration of the layout and insertion of images; just the small finishing touches that make all the difference.
4. NOT TAKING YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHS
I understand that taking photographs doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. Don’t be under the impression you need an expensive camera or fancy software. I wrote a post on how I take and edit my blog photographs, as well as cheap prop and background ideas for blog photographs. I always try to take my own photographs because I much prefer reading posts where the writer has used their own images as a pose to just grabbing bad quality ones from Google. Leading perfectly onto my next point…
5. USING TERRIBLE GRAPHICS
If you’re going to use your images from other sources, make sure they’re copyright free and good quality images. As importantly, don’t use a grainy iPhone picture either. Some natural lighting, a simple background and quick enhancements are all you need to capture a good photograph.
6. NOT SETTING A FEATURED IMAGE
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Your featured image is what initially attracts readers to your post and tempts them to click into it for a read. Have fun with it. Add some text to really make it stand out.
7. NOT SHOWING YOUR PERSONALITY
People want to see your personality shine through your posts. Be quirky, be different, be you. Don’t give readers something they can just Google and find basically the exact same post elsewhere. People will follow you because they like your content, but also the personality that pairs along with it.
8. PRESSURISING YOURSELF TO UPLOAD OFTEN
There are two reasons why you shouldn’t do this. The first being that you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for quantity. The second being you shouldn’t put extra pressure on yourself. Blogging is meant to be fun, not work.
9. TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF TOO MUCH
People don’t want to hear you waffle on about how your cat went missing last weekend, or that you had a bad week at work. Give readers a small update or some juicy gossip, but don’t let it dominate your post.
10. COPYING AND PASTING EVERYTHING
You must be original, not forgetting that this is majorly risky because you are stealing someone else’s content. You must try to keep a good reputation as a blogger.
11. BAD WRITING
Make sure your writing is tip-top. My number one rule is to make it sound like I’m almost chatting to my readers. I like to keep my writing casual but still structured and using all the grown up words. If I read back a post and it doesn’t flow, I tend to reword my sentences.
12. BEING TOO BLASÉ ABOUT THE TITLE
The title is what persuades people to read your post. It must sum up the entire post in around five words, it can be tricky. I find that including figures or percentages often helps get people’s attention. Let me know if you would like me to write a full post on how to create a good blog post title.
13. NOT RESPONDING TO COMMENTS
If people take the time to comment, take the time to reply to them. If I don’t respond to a comment, it’s because it’s genuinely been lost amongst the other notifications. I also love interacting with other bloggers.
14. NOT PROMOTING YOURSELF
Blogging is so competitive, and as a result it can be difficult to get noticed. I find the best way to promote your posts and get your blog out there, through social media. I’ve slowly built up my platforms over the last year and often update them with my latest posts.
15. HAVING A MESSY LAYOUT
There’s something so satisfying about finding a good, clean theme that I love, and then tweaking it to make it my own. I dislike blogs that have a messy layout. When I land on these pages, I’m very likely to exit them almost immediately if I can’t read text, if it’s too busy or it’s not clear where to start. The reality is that people are lazy and don’t want to waste their time.
16. NOT UPDATING YOUR ABOUT AND CONTACT PAGES
It’s amazing how quickly a blog can grow, and how easy it is for content to go out of date. Check your contact details are still correct and that you have an amazing About page that persuades people to browse through your blog and subscribe. Read this post on how to write a good About page.
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