A newbie in blogging – just like in any other domain – is bound to make a lot of mistakes. While some of these mistakes are correctable as you gain experience, some really do cause long term damage to your blog in terms of its reputation, brand value, search-social visibility and readership.
When I look – several years – back, I realize that I did commit too many blogging mistakes some of which were due to misguidance by other amateur bloggers (whom I thought are my heroes based on their public claims). I thought of writing this quick tips guide so that young bloggers get to focus on what they should.
Common Mistakes committed by Amateur Bloggers
While there are so many initial errors that a newbie might commit, for the sake of brevity, let me put across the important ones in the following bullet point list.
Not Branding your blog
If you want to start a professional blog, it’s important that you take care of the following things from day 1 itself:
- Have a custom domain name (i.e. a self-hosted blog) instead of writing your content at free sites like blogger.com or typepad.com
- Host your blog on a good hosting provider. Read my last post on how to get started with a self-hosted blog pretty quickly
- Have a good theme (if possible a custom theme) with a good logo
Further, you may have to structure your content (in terms of good categorization, SEO friendly URLs etc) to help with your site’s maintainability and visibility in long term.
Not minding your Language
In an effort to churn out posts after posts, a lot of amateur bloggers tend to make a lot of grammatical mistakes, cause typos and skip punctuation. Good quality English is not only a good experience for your readers but apparently good for SEO as well. So spend time on editing and proof reading your post or even get it read/corrected by a good friend before posting.
Not concentrating on a particular Niche
It’s ideal to get started with a blog with ‘very specific’ topics in mind that you can write on your blog. Typically, it’s not a good idea to have a ‘junkyard’ blog where all kinds of topics are produced without any content structure. Every time, I started a new blog with multiple niches in it, it has failed to score in terms of generating traffic and money.
So, pick a niche (ideally what you are good at or a real life hobby) and start writing. If you encounter a new interesting niche, start another blog for that.
Too focused on stats
Your blog statistics are the results of good content that you produce and hence STOP worrying about stats. If you are too bothered about Google page ranks, Alexa etc from day one itself, I must warn you that you are wasting your valuable time and energy (I confess that I had wasted a lot of my time munching these numbers)
(Note: These stats include even revenue generation focus that one needs to avoid initially)
Not Networking enough
In order to promote your content, it’s important that you be in touch with the like-minded bloggers and their content (similar to your niche, that is) so that social love flows automatically to your blog. This is a very important aspect that you have to keep in mind throughout your blogging career (I am sorry, I am poor at that at the moment). Well, they are preacher type bloggers who just deliver content without any dialogue and still be successful – but they are rare.
That’s pretty much about the most common mistakes. There may be other points but not as important as the ones mentioned here or they are sub-points of the above. Nevertheless, let me know if you have more to add based on your newbie blogging experience.