Nobody’s perfect. When you are just starting to blog, it’s easy to make mistakes because of your lack of knowledge and experience in the field. It’s also possible that you screw things up as you go on publishing new and new posts.
So, to make it easy for you to consider certain points if you are thinking of starting a new blog or to put you back on track if you have run off course, we enlist here 12 common mistakes made by new bloggers.
1. Writing long paragraphs
A long, tedious paragraph without dividers is a common mistake made by every new blogger. Well, you might have put an extraordinary effort in collecting information on the topic and you pour it down.
But readers have been found to be discouraged by long chunks of sentences. Research has found that in average, a reader reads about less than 20% of your writing. Plus, add the fact that people on the web have shorter attention span than other people. So, make sure to have short paragraphs with suitable heading, spaces, bolding so that it feels easy and good to read.
2. Not having pictures or using them the wrong way
Well, if you don’t use any pictures or use small, unclear images in your blog, be ready to take the brunt of it. Remember that a picture speaks more than a thousand words and that visual stimuli are the trick that you can use to your advantage. So, don’t think twice. Use good quality, big images, charts, even clipart to break your paragraphs to turn it into a beautiful piece of writing.
3. Having inconsistent publishing schedule
Many bloggers publish large number of articles at a time and then don’t publish for a month or so. Well, if you do like that, you’re at a terrible loss.
It’s always better to make a publishing schedule so that your audience can anticipate the date of your new publication and can come back at that particular time. If you don’t publish for a long time, your audience will be discouraged and may not show interest in your writings. You can write a bunch all at once and set a publishing schedule that is regular!
4. Not going self-hosted
It’s all right to have a free blog through WordPress or Blogger if your audience are only your friends and family. But if you want to reach lots of people or want to make money eventually, you should consider going self-hosted.
You can buy hosting from companies like One, FatCow, and GoDaddy. The choice of web hosting obviously depends on your requirements. Bluehost is ideal for new bloggers with multiple plans and offering the privilege of reaching someone in customer service if needed.
5. Violating copyright
Many new bloggers commit the mistake of putting someone else’s photo and adding credit by placing a link. It’s violating the copyright hands down because you weren’t given permission to use the photo by its owner.
Be sure to use your own photos or free images. If you need to use images other than yours, you can use Creative Commons images on sites like Flickr. Similarly, don’t copy-paste written content that belongs to other people. Be creative and original.
6. Ignoring SEO
You just can’t ignore SEO if you are to grow your audience. You mightn’t be able to compete with other established sites but you should still never ignore Search Engine Optimization. You will get good traffic to your site if you get the hang of it. You can download the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin and get started by using it to get target keywords on which you want to rank.
7. Not optimizing their blog’s permalinks
Naturally your blog’s permalinks will be set to something like blogname.com/?p=123 which is not friendly for search engine. It will give no information to Google whatsoever about your post and so, you are bound to lose lots of audience.
The solution is to change permalink settings to show your post or page name after main URL. Take for example the URL of this particular post is http://www.lifehack.org/356773/common-mistakes-made-by-new-bloggers instead of something like http://www.lifehack.org/356773/?p=123.
8. Not adding social media sharing options
The more, the merrier. You will always want to build your audience. But you can’t do it effectively without social media sharing buttons. Who would go through rigmarole of copying your link and pasting your URL when it can just be a button away?
So, social media is a must. But don’t put it at the bottom of your blog. Studies have found that putting social media sharing buttons on top- and left-side of your blog will have best results. Adding them is pretty simple too.
9. Not replying to comments
If you don’t reply to comments on your blog, it’s a blunder. You must reply to comments politely, positively and professionally. It would disappoint and discourage your audience if you don’t take the time to make conversation.
If you make good conversation, exchange more ideas, it will encourage other people to start conversation too and will allure new visitors to visit your blog regularly. Some readers will even just skip to comments section to see what others found useful before going through your content.
10. Not showing recent/popular posts
Some clever readers will want to check out your most popular posts and recent posts to gauge you if you are worth following or not. So, be sure to make it easy for the audience to find your popular and recent posts. So, put it in sidebar or homepage where it’s clear and easy for the audience.
11. Not giving email subscription option
You should offer email subscription to your readers. Many bloggers just offer RSS subscription feed which isn’t not as friendly as email subscription. So start an email list from the start itself and make it easy for readers to sign up with links on your pages.
12. Expecting quick results
You might expect instant results from your blog like making money but you should make up your mind that it’s not possible. With growing bloggers and more competition, you should be patient.
Your audience will grow at slower rate than you’d expect. But they will grow! So keep up the good work, create good content and be consistent. You will eventually get results.
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