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12 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid

Blogging is a passion that can be very rewarding but on the other hand is also very frustrating from time to time and all bloggers would agree that its not for everyone. Blogging Mistakes Top 12

As a blogger you do sometimes question whether it is worth it and sometimes it just seems to not be happening… “I can’t think of a new topic so just hang it.. I’m going surfing”.

There are blogs that have become global information hubs for their industry or niche and are generating hundreds of thousands of viewers and there are a select few that generate millions of visitors so getting the basics right can be very rewarding as a blog builds subscribers and traffic and revenue starts to pay the mortgage, a holiday or even a lifestyle.

We all make mistakes with our blogging and I have certainly made quite a few, but if you are not stepping up to the plate to have a swing you are never going to hit a home run or even get to first base. Here are some mistakes that many bloggers have made from time to time that if avoided can minimize some future pain.

1. Not being consistent with writing and posting on your blog –  you need to do it regularly whether that be once a week or 2-3 times a week or 5 times a week. It is publishing and just imagine if a weekly newspaper decided not to publish its weekly sunday newspaper. your readers would start not showing up.

2. Not using your own domain name (I know it is easier to use hosted blogging platforms but you do not have control of the domain name, not doing this will cost you money and time in the future if your blog starts to produce serious traffic)

3. Blogging for the wrong reason (blogging requires passion and you will not be able to sustain the effort if you are doing for the wrong reason eg “Just for making money” if you do it for the right reason the abundance and money will follow.

4. Writing poor headlines for your posts (Learn to write great headlines, this is essential to make them click the link as your headline passes them by in Twitter or in the RSS feeder)

5. Procrastinating so just start & Just Ship It – don’t delay, procrastination is deadly as there is no time like now and nothing is achieved by thinking about starting something but never pulling your finger out and getting stuck in. There is a saying “Paralysis by analysis”

6. Not promoting your blog and yourself – I have noticed there are a lot of bloggers that post and forget and that’s exactly what happens their forgotten. If there is one thing you do and that is promote your posts on Twitter and not just once. A great post that has received great comments and traffic should be promoted constantly why should only 1,000 people hear about it, why not 10,000. also don’t forget to also automate the posting of your new blog posts into Facebook and LinkedIn after hitting the publish button.

7. Not implementing a subscribe feature on your blog from day one (both RSS and Email) – As your subscriber base grows alerting them by email or in their RSS feeders that you have just written a great new post is providing a base foundation of readers that visit your blog everyday.

8. Becoming obsessed with your blogs stats – it can become an unhealthy obsession and defocussing – don’t monitor them constantly just get back to reading and writing

9. Not persisting – It takes an incredible amount of dedication and focus and discipline to be successful. Top bloggers have been at it for years and years.

10. Not continuing to invest in their blogging and educate themselves with the latest trends and technologies that will leverage their blog to the next level.

11. Not providing valuable content for your readers that they want to read and helps them solve their problems and provides answers. Finding out what blogs get the best traffic helps you understand what they want to read

12. Not having clarity and focus on who your target audience is. Remember who you are writing for as blogs that write about everything will not attract a tribal following of fans.

So what do you think are some other mistakes that bloggers should avoid? In fact if you add to this list in the comments below I will create a new blog post with more blogging mistakes to be avoided provided by you the readers with links to your blogs.

Jeffbullas's Blog

Comments

  • Here are a couple more: Not proofreading your blog, and not responding to comments.

  • Focusing on making money before working to grow the subscriber base/email list.

  • Erin Monahan

    Lurking on other blogs. Why not contribute to the conversation? BUT if you leave a comment, it’s gotta be sincere. Commenting on somebody else’s blog just so you can drive traffic to your own blog is rude, dude.

  • Yup, all these are very much true, and also the ones in the comments here… And I must say that I’ve made a few of these.
    But making mistakes is a great thing, if you learn from it!

  • Excellent tips. I think one thing is to write because we need to and not because we deserve readers. We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Sure, we have a blog, sure we put ourselves out there. But ultimately, we only control what we control.

  • I agree with pretty much everything you said, except for the publicity point. Yes, you should try to make your blog noticed, but the only ways you really mention are Twitter and Facebook (both of which I am against). It’s true that those could be the best way to draw in traffic, but not the only ways.

  • Liac333, you mentioned you’re against Twitter and FB. Why?

  • Gio B

    What other ways are there do draw traffic to your blog appart from Twitter and Facebook?

    • I’m against Twitter becaue a large amount of people use it to say pointless things like “getting a snack”. And you can’t really write anything meaningful because of the character limit.
      I’m against FB becasue all of my friends are addicted to it (it’s affecting their work) and my friends who arn’t addicted advise me not to get it.
      You can also draw some blog traffic by commenting on other peoples blogs like mad (just in case you were wondering).

      • Thanks, liac333. You make a great point that you need to give love to get it, and commenting on blogs is a great thing to do if you want that back.

  • I’ve been penning a blog for 5+ years, Jeff, and I’ve gotten quite good at it. I focus on B2B demand generation, and have come up with ways to publish at least five times a week. That’s not easy, but it can be done if you really think like a publisher and are on a continual hunt for great content.

    I welcome a visit from anyone. Thank you.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    http://www.fearlesscompetitor.com
    President, Find New Customers
    http://www.findnewcustomers.net

  • you hit the nail by saying “Becoming obsessed with your blogs stats” – but difficult to implemnent , i realised that google anlytics is not tracking my post so got disturbed , but as u say , should move on . Thanks

    @vikaspgoel

  • I hear you,,Jeff,, I’m just starting to blog and I am a retired carpenter are’nt there progams that teach the format to writing a good blog and not just general conversation and never getting to the point.I will do the reading or what ever it take I ready got a bunch from your blogs .I can’t agree or disagree I’m for enough a long yet.

  • Really nice wrap up, I enjoyed reading your rules and remembering some good incentivizers. While I am still getting adjusted to posting regularly, I think the harder part in doing it is to always write good content. Sometimes, ideas come easier when you don’t think in terms of a calendar. But I do admit the importance of sticking to a schedule.
    It’s also important to keep a list of ‘brainstormed’ ideas that may land upon you, so you don’t get a writer’s block.

  • I always have problems with procrastination or distraction! Sometimes, with the WHOLE Internet at your fingertips and “open in new tab” as an option, it can be hard to focus!

  • Hey Jeff,

    Great job with this outline! I love every single one of them you have on this list. I loved it so much that I just added your link of this article to my post of the day. So you should have a trackback from me.

    Have a great weekend…
    Josh

  • Jeff you knocked it out of the park with this article. I found it to be timely, powerful and to the point. Keep the good stuff coming. I love reading your stuff!

    Edward Munoz

  • “Think like a publisher.” This is a statement worth gold. Thanks!

  • This is a great list! (Glad Josh posted the link to it!)

    Not replying to comments is a common mistake I see. There’s just something about that interaction that cannot be replaced.

    Thanks for this!

    Susanna

  • This saids it all. What more can you add except to implement it.

  • Great ideas in the comments as well as in the as the list you put together Jeff! My favorite is not getting to obsessed with traffic stats. This is key!

    (Thanks Josh Garcia for letting me know about this post!)

  • As a baby blogger, I probably need to make this entire a list as a poster and put it on my wall over my laptop. It’s so easy to be sucked into any one of this mistakes so easily. Thanks for such a good reminder!

  • Only stated blogging ten days ago and find it really addictive! Thanks for the great times – now figuring out the technical side of connecting to fbk and Twitter feed etc is my next gray area! Great tips, consistent quality content is the key!

  • Here are my ideas:
    1. Have someone who wants you to succeed know your plans so that person can help “push” you when you have down days.
    2. Write yourself a mission statement. I know you mentioned demographics and content, but it does help to have that mission statement in front of you.
    3. In my experience (and we’ve been doing quite well) Twitter and FB friends will help you if they like you. So make relationships, not just advertisements.
    4. Besides commenting on your own and other people’s blogs, be good about subscribing to the ones you like. Give the love and you’ll get it back.
    5. Be relentless about offering to do guest posts. It isn’t much extra work to share a post with a new audience.
    6. Decide in advance your boundaries. For example, will you let someone else post your work before you put it up on your own site? Will you give away media rights?

    Thank you for this helpful post. I like to learn and improve. And I love to start at GA. Someday I’ll even understand it!

  • Again Jeff, thank you for a great post. I started blogging about two months ago and see that I’ve already made almost every mistake on your list.
    Finding content is a big challenge for me right now.
    it sounds like a well thought out plan will help in the long run.
    Until next time,
    Yoli

  • Great post Jeff! I’ve been in the Paralysis by Analysis segment for years. I knew how consistent I needed to be once I finally decided to come out into the sharing culture, that I so profoundly believe ever since I first thought how I could use a blog as a powerful tool of communications. I had a hard time thinking how I could fusion it with the rest of my life and projects. I must say I have a deep block about publishing that has led me to become a sort of Diogenes acumulator of preproduced work: essays, posts, photo projects, scripts, videos,… you name it.

    So I’ve been looking for the perfect social media setup, in order to depart from a solid ground, and not find myself in the mist of another blocked paralysis. Besides, I was looking to evolve some iniciatic projects, at the macro level, that had to come first in order to redefine my future towards postproducing all those halfwaytrhough personal projects. It’d be nice to find out what sort of planning and social media infrastructure you use to keep up the feedback and optimizing your own time.

    Besides, my interests are sort of wide, so I can see how I will rapidly fall into the too many topics subjetc. Maybe I’ll divided them up into diferent blogs, or define a macro structure, sort of what you mention in your Zappos post. Anyway, any aditional thoughts on that will be really helpful.

    Hopefully I’ll come out soon enough (I’m still in the not using my domain name, sort of trying to keep a low profile as learn how to do it right…) :S

  • “Blogging for the wrong reason” (mistake #3) really shows. Every time! You won’t ever get loyal following/readership if you’re committing this one.

    Also, DevineLines and Susanna Hess have added “not replying comments”, which is a big mistake; but even a bigger mistake is Having a Closed Comments Policy at your blog. If you don’t want interaction, you shouldn’t be blogging.

  • Thanks Jeff, I´ve made some of the mistakes and I am still making mistakes.. Continuous education is vital that´s why I read your blog and all the comments people make. Someone might have something interesting to say, so always read ALL comments if you´re interested in the topic.

    Continuous education could also avoid:
    – Spelling mistakes
    – unprofessional look of blog
    – no contact information on site
    – unclear what the person is intending with the blog (one day it´s neighbor´s kitty cat, tomorrow it´s the bad day at work, maybe the day after it´s about shoes..)
    – a blog that doesn´t show the real person writing it (short bio or picture are good)
    – no “share” button

  • How appropriate this comes at me today as I published my first blog post. (A very humbling experience so far I might ad. You guys make it look easy.) I know I will get a lot wrong but it has been fun setting up. Looking forward to learning a lot and feeding my passion. Thanks for some great thoughts as always.

  • Everything in this post is pretty much spot on, but I believe blogging for the wrong reason is the main reason why blogs don’t gain followers. Forced posts with no passion or humour always seem to fall on deaf ears.

  • I think the biggest mistake is not being original and just doing a ‘copy-paste’ from some good site. People are more likely to visit that site from where you have copied, not our blog. Its better to provide a short summary of what you have read at a site and then give your own opinion.

  • Great ideas in the comments. Always great to stay alert with stuff the seems so easy but are in fact extremely crucial to a web site survival. Thanks again.

  • There are really great pieces of advice here! We can all learn from one another and make the blogging world a better place to live. I keep a note book with me at all times to jot down ideas that come out of know where at unexpected times. I refer back to this when ideas are at a stand still. Just my little tip :+)
    Lisa
    LeafandInk.com

    • Theabsolutemost

      great idea..i have a journal that i quickly turn the pages and jot down ideas..thanks

  • Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for publishing this great informative article; it’s very helpful, indeed! I’ll continue to reference it to be sure I’m covering all the vital points. Awesome, great job! 🙂

    Peace,
    D.A. Colvin

  • Jeff– Could you expand a little more on “How To Write “Killer Headlines”? I would so sit at your feet to know some answers to this question..:)

    • I’d love to hear more about that too. I actually think what you did, Keri, is quite a good shot: starting a headline with the words ‘How to’ and then follow with something attractive, a good keyword that is specific and to the point. That works especially well for Squidoo; am I right?

  • Your timing of today’s posts was fantastic and appreciated. Finding your voice and not being discouraged are also great success criteria.

    Some really good information. Thanks for sharing.

  • These ideas give me courage to continue to write blogs. I really enjoy the challenge and the sharing of my ideas. However I do not get much traffic.
    However it has sure helped in finding my writing voice.
    I will resolve to comment on blogs that I find interesting and I can make a contribution.

    • Theabsolutemost

      It is so hard to find your writing voice but I read somewhere that a writer mentioned to write how you speak…sometimes it can be over analyzed…

  • I would definitely add “neglecting to proofread.” I tend to dismiss writing that contains numerous misspellings and poor punctuation. How can I expect the writer’s advice to be of high quality if his writing isn’t? Bloggers, like other publishers, should have a second and/or third set of eyes review the work before it is made public.

  • Good succinct advice.

  • Well that’s superb article! I agree with pretty much everything you said, except for the publicity point. Yes, you should try to make your blog noticed, but the only ways you really mention are Twitter and Facebook (both of which I am against. thanks for the sharing

  • Wow!!! I have no words for this great post. I should bookmark this site for my future reference.

  • Thanks for a great post! Great affirmation 🙂 And I’ll second the request for a post about headlines!

  • Cal Ford

    Very important to learn the difference between their and they’re, and your and you’re, for example.

  • Post like these give me hope. There’s been far too many instances when I’ve ran into such issues. I think procrastination has to be the biggest one I’ve tried to overcome followed by consistency. Thanks for the good suggestions.

  • Post like these give me hope. There’s been far too many instances when I’ve ran into such issues. I think procrastination has to be the biggest one I’ve tried to overcome followed by consistency. Thanks for the good suggestions.

  • I think number 12 was most important (and hardest) in my learning process. As I’m sure others do, I started out with a vague idea of what I was going to post about and started with a random collection of subjects. As a result my blog was tailored to my own interests (meaning my target audience was only people very similar to me!). Posts ranged across a number of subjects meaning shallow visits, high bounce rates and low return visits. 

    I took a critical look at my blog after a few months (and sought advice from people I consider my target readers). This lead me to narrow my focus and have really noticed both the traffic results and it has made blog inspiration a lot easier. It can be good to start with a wider focus while you learn the ropes but I’d suggest getting a outsider’s point of view after a few months to see how you can improve your focus. Focusing on a smaller area of expertise means you can do a much more thorough job. When starting out you can get excited by the prospect of appealing to huge numbers of people, however it is far better to work on providing greater value to a smaller audience, the traffic numbers will follow!  

    • Theabsolutemost

      Nicole,

      Very true.  I was in a similar situation with my blog.  I had a spectrum of topics I wanted to discuss but I thought about traffic as well ..I realize my focus on traffic and stats was discouraging me from focus on what was it important: my content…

      focus on a specific expertise and growing my specialty from their is so much better for me.

      mannie

  • Katie Parvin

    Hi Jeff. Great post. I have a quick question–when promoting yourself and your blog, is there a line you shouldn’t cross? I don’t want to come across as promoting myself too much but I want to get my name out there (i just started a new business). 
    Thanks!

    • Thanks for the question Katie. It is all about the content. Let the content speak first.
      Don’t hesitate if you have won an award to tweet it or put it on Facebook.
      eg
      Honoured to be one of the 2012 Winners of the Social Media Examiner Top 10 Social Media Blogs fb.me/KCjmLduH
      Also put up credibility banners or icons that people can quickly see when they arrive that let them know you have some “standing” in your niche or industry. It might be the number of Twitter followers or subscribers via email or Facebook once you have built up a following. There are some of those on my right banner. 🙂

  • Jason

    Jeff,

    Great content, I am glad that I continue to click through on your tweets.  As a new blogger, I am hesitant on self promotion, I guess I feel a bit guilty “spamming” my network with my recent content-don’t get me wrong I am highly passionate about what I produce.  Is this something you experienced?  Or did you dive right in?  I do read like-minded blogs and comment when I can-any other suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Jason E. Stevens

  • Thanks for these tips. I’ve got a couple of things that I need to do differently!

  • Lyn

    Once again, thanks for a very informative post. Food for thought as always and the point about attention grabbing headlines, something I must work on.  Thanks

  • Hey Jeff, 

    I am doing everything but one point, i.e, i don’t really know who is my target audience, i write about social media on my blog and i try to be unique with my content and but till now i haven’t achieved what i feel i deserve, i am maintaining my blog since 1 year now.

    • THanks for the comment. Try and think of what type of market you want to engage with and create content that you think would solve problems and educate that audience.

  • Hello Jeff! I would suggest it is a mistake not to encourage your readers to respond and interact with you through your blog content. You’ve show an excellent example of doing that well here of encouraging interaction vs. just broadcasting your content.

    • Interacting and engaging is always important. Sometimes the challenge is finding the time as the volume and traffic increases

  • Siobhan Brennan

    Very good post Jeff. Have been guilty of points 4 & 8 in the past but am trying!

  • Wes Bleed

    Trying to write so formally that you lose your personality and uniqueness…not to mention take a lot longer to write your posts.

  • Every single thing you mentioned on your list is true. I would say that
    the most important thing is a great captivating content. That is the
    whole purpose of any blog. And once you got great content on your blog,
    you need to work very hard to get it discovered by people. That’s the
    only way to success!

  • Thanks Jeff. Some important tips on blogging here. Thanks for sharing them. I’ve been blogging for a long time over at http://www.fearlesscompetitor.com if anyone would like to stop by and visit.

    Jeff Ogden

  • I must admit I’ve made a mistake by been obsessed with my stats. From today God willing I’ll concentrate more on my writing than the statistics. Thanks for this reminder.

  • Renee Giraldy

    So true blogging with integrity means little to a lot of people

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  • Thank you for presenting your points and providing this information. I have learned something about this topic.

  • Sandy

    Great article. Thanks. I needed to make sure I wasn’t doing any of these (pending: change my domain). http://poetsandheartbreakers.blogspot.com