Find me a blogger who has never made any blogging mistakes, oh wait, you can’t. There are none. Blogging is a journey, and just like that it’s loaded with ups and downs (kind of like traffic spikes), and full of mistakes. We’ve all made them. As I learn from my mistakes I like to write about them to help others, hopefully, avoid them! If you haven’t read my first article “My Biggest Blogging Mistakes” jump over and read it now. It contains a lot of the more fundamental mistakes I made in the early stages of my blog.
Six of my Biggest Blogging Mistakes
Blogging Mistake #1: Writing outside my area of expertise.
I just did this the other day, oops! Yeah, that was a blogging mistake. I wrote a post about backing up your wordpress database, and gave instructions only on how to backup your files… overlooking the database entirely. I’ll spare you the complex technical details, but when I submitted the post to a social network I was confronted with a comment that told me straight up, basically ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about’. Thankfully the commenter was kind enough to link me to some articles and enlighten me! I was also able to update my post (read the updated post here), and apologize to my readers… Hopefully I don’t have to do that ever again! I learned my lesson. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, verify your information, and check your sources, before hitting publish!
Blogging Mistake #2: Cluttering the sidebar with ads.
The sidebar on my blog used to contain a handful of 125 x 125 ads that sat right near the top of my blog staring you in the face as soon as you came to visit. I also know I’m not the only one that makes this popular blogging mistake, and it certainly is a mistake. For one, they’re an eyesore and they take away from the overall minimal design of my blog. Two, they don’t get clicked on there, people tend to avoid the obvious ad spots. Using Google Analytics you can take a look at click data right on top of your website, find out exactly what people are or aren’t clicking on. This is valuable information which has led me to ditch numerous plugins because of non use, and rearrange things on my blog so they are more likely to get clicked. I also removed in content google ads because I felt they were too distracting from the post. It’s not all about money! The blog has to look clean as well. Point three, they were robbing me of key real estate that I needed to use to brand my blog… which also takes me to mistake number three.
Blogging Mistake #3: Not branding my blog properly…
There are two mistakes that have happened in this realm, the first is the fact that I am still without an official logo. Although I developed a simple one on my own, it’s not what I want to stick with so I’ve used it very casually. Not having a logo is likely something that is hurting me from establishing myself in a greater measure online… unfortunately this is a mistake I am still making, and will have to rectify really soon! But the biggest branding mistake I made was not clearly identifying the blog and myself “above the fold”. Rather then get into the details on that one, you can read more about that here.
Blogging Mistake #4: Using too many plugins, and social shares.
Plugins can really slow down the load time of your blog. Now that google takes load time into consideration when ranking pages, too many plugins can also affect your page rank! Plugins also can be counterproductive by simply adding too much clutter and noise to your blog. Simpler is often better. See if you can’t grind down to the meat of what your readers are after, and the tools / features that they need. Remove everything else! If you are curious about the load time of your blog, you can use Pingdom Tools to check it out and get an incredibly detailed report. I also made a point of removing social share icons for networks that my content would not be relevant to. I have found that you are articles are more likely to get retweeted, stumbled, or dugg if there are only a few options to choose from, rather than a long list of social network icons!
Blogging Mistake #5: Allowing a third party to manage my comments.
This could possibly be the biggest blogging mistake I have ever made (so far!). When I abandoned Disqus and switched to the simple WordPress comment system, I was able to install a handful of reader friendly plugins that have seriously enhanced my blog and more than quadrupled my comments! Want to know more about how that worked, and what plugins I’m using now? Find out here.
Blogging Mistake #6: Failing to do keyword research on individual posts.
The final mistake I’ll mention in this article is how in my early blogging days I did not do any keyword research on individual posts. I now take the time to research keywords, before I begin writing and am able to implement keyword phrases into my post titles, first sentences, last sentences, and also into h1, h2 tags etc. I’m learning to be conscious of my keyword density, and to seek out keyword phrases with low to medium competition. I use Google AdWords: Keyword Tool for my research. I know there are other options available, but I’ve not explored yet. SEO is probably one of biggest areas of learning, and so I’m certain other SEO related mistakes will jump out in future articles!
Share Your Blogging Mistakes and Help Others Learn
Okay come on out, I know I’m not the only blogger that has made mistakes like these! Let’s start the conversation, what mistakes have you made. You are now officially encouraged to leave a comment. Are you willing to share your blogging mistakes to help others learn?