This is a list of mistakes that are easy to make when blogging and building websites. To some extent, I have made all of these mistakes at some time. Hopefully by sharing them, the mistakes may be avoided. But, I think it is worth mentioning that the biggest mistake is not to try, experiment and learn from your mistakes. Even the top bloggers will make mistakes along the way, but these, of course, do not need to hold you back.
1. Pleasing Only Search Engines.
It is a mistake to judge your blog only on the position in search engine rankings, and how much traffic you get. I think it is important to get satisfaction from your blog, even if not many people are reading it. If you feel you are contributing something worthwhile it will inspire you to keep blogging. The strange thing is that quite often when we ignore search engine rankings, we start to do better.
2. Focusing on One aspect of a Blog.
If we spend all our time, trying to get links, the quality of our content will suffer. Also I find, writing content much more enjoyable than the process of promoting your blog.
3. Lack of Focus in Blog.
Most people stumble into blogging, with no clear purpose. My first blog was a personal blog, entries included diverse topics from “Credit Card Debt”, “cycling” “Fawlty Towers” and “the Spirituality of Advaita Vedanta” – If you happen to share these interests, I’d love to hear from you, but it is unlikely people will share your eclectic range of interest. The point is your blog should have a clear focus so people know what to expect. Posting on various topics confuses everybody; search engines, google adsense, and most importantly your readers.
4. Trying to Juggle 20 blogs at once.
I have at various times started various blogs, only to lose interest later. It is better to do a small number, or even one blog, well, than irregularly update more than you can cope.
5. Blogging on things that don’t interest you
I once started a blog on remortgage quotes in the UK. I soon stopped, why? – Because its boring and there’s nothing to write about. It might have a high paying keyword, but that’s no good unless you can create a good blog about it. If you blog because you have a passion for it, you will be less discouraged by lack of traffic and visitors.
6. Not acknowledging Comments and Visitors.
It is easy to feel, you don’t have much time to respond. However, responding to comments is a great way of encouraging a regular readership.
7. Reticence in Linking to Others.
There’s is a strong feeling that linking to others leads to a loss of Page Rank. Like misers, we try to hold onto our beloved Page Rank. But, does page rank actually matter? (does PR matter) By linking to others pages, you add to the usefulness of you entries; it can also be a good way to make contact with other webmaster.
- Tip: If an external link adds to your post and is useful to your readers – don’t hesitate; don’t worry about whether it is a high PR or not.
- Tip: Do be careful in linking to sites that are irrelevant and only have pages of recipricol links.
8. Obsession with stats.
OK, this is one mistake I continue to make; but, am I alone in finding stats pages really interesting?
9. Envy of Other Bloggers.
Sometimes we can be jealous of other people’s success. It seems whatever they do, they can get 1000s of traffic. Whereas on the other hand, we struggle to get anywhere. Everybody has these difficulties in the beginning. But, you don’t get anywhere by harbouring feelings of jealousy,
10. Over admiration of Other bloggers.
Don’t spend too much time lionizing A list bloggers. Appreciate others success, but don’t blog under the shadow of others. Have the confidence to develop your blog.
11. Criticising other bloggers.
Critical blogging may get a temporary boost in traffic; however, in the long run a critical blogging stance tends to alienate readers. It is better to highlight good things others do. It is also, always a mistake to get personal with criticism; always think carefully before criticising in comments, you may regret later.
The advice of Thomas Jefferson is always worth bearing in mind.
“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred. “
The same principle applies to commenting, and don’t forgot that whatever you say may last for a long time in electronic form. It can be hard to erase past comments.
- If you really feel it is necessary to criticise at least: give yourself time to change your mind, don’t post straightaway, and avoid personal criticism.
12. Lack of Blog Identity.
Don’t underestimate the importance of branding. It should be clear about what the blog is about. For example, I started off with 7 blogs on the same domain www.richardpettinger.com. However, I think it is something you will regret if the blog becomes successful. A good domain name is important. Net Writing is much better than www.richardpettinger.com/blogging/seo. (the forerunner to this blog). Similarly their are many bloggers who later regret having their blog on a .blogspot or .wordpress domain.
13. Irregularity of Posting.
Lack of posting frequency disappoints readers, especially those who don’t use RSS. Try making regular posting, use the odd short posting. (how to make successful short posts)
14. Too Much Advertising.
On different blogs, I have experimented with different types of google adsense. Once I had 3 big blocks of adsense. It looked pretty ugly, but also in the long term it can lead to less revenue. One well positioned block can give the same revenue as 3 big blocks and you will alienate less readers.
15. Not giving credit.
This is related to reticence of giving links, if you use others ideas, or even use content from elsewhere, make sure you acknowledge with a hyper link. Generally avoid copying content unless it is creative commons licence.
16. Over Emphasis on Design.
I once spent 10 hours trying to make rounded corners for a website. At the end of 10 hours, I had still failed to implement this very complicated CSS design. I had nothing to show for it but hours of frustration. Do you really need rounded corners? People come for content not to admire your rounded corners.
17. Incorrect URL structure.
On one of my first sites, the URLs were not optimal; too deep, and I used abbreviations rather than words. see optimal URL structure
18. Spending Time Changing URLs
The only thing worse than having sub optimal URLs, is wasting many hours changing them. I regret changing URLs to make them more search engine friendly. It created 404 errors, wastes time, and to be honest has little SEO benefit anyway.
- Tip: It is best to go forward rather than wasting time going backwards.
19. No differentiation of Blog
Although I suggested it is wrong to spend too many hours on design. I also feel it is a mistake to make no attempt to differentiate your standard blog template. For example, when I see blogs which use most common blogger template, I am more inclined to expect a spam blog. Just adding a logo can make a big difference. This blog is basically standard blogger template with a logo and a few tweaks: Economics Essays
20. Lack of Perseverance
Given how easy it is to write a list of blogging mistakes, I’m surprised I didn’t give up a long time ago. At times, you may lack inspiration to blog and post, but it’s a mistake to give up because success seems hard work. See inspiration for writing.
Do you have any blogging mistakes you would like to share?