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12 Common Mistakes Made By New Bloggers

12 Common Mistakes Made By New Bloggers

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: Blogger by StockSnap via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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