10 Blogging Mistakes Most Bloggers Make
Sometimes it takes years of blogging to notice your most obvious mistakes. I’ve been blogging for several years privately, then a few professionally and still blog after 15+ years.
By now I have made most mistakes you can make as a blogger I guess. I’m not the only one though.
Most bloggers make the same mistakes either by neglect or due to the limitations of the medium and software itself.
In many cases you have to make the decision to change your ways to stop making the most common mistakes. Here are 10 blogging mistakes most bloggers make and you probably do as well.
Embedding Videos from YouTube etc.
Most bloggers embed YouTube videos on their blogs. Vimeo is also popular. There are plenty of other services as well.
YouTube videos often get removed aka deleted or censored.
Even a teenager managed once to take down several videos citing fake copyright charges. I couldn’t watch many YouTube videos from Germany because they contained copyrighted music.
Vimeo is less restrictive but people also remove videos on their own sometimes.
Many posts don’t contain anything beside a video so such a post is dead, even more dead than a dead link. I know because I learned the hard way.
Tweeting Instead of Blogging
Some people obsess about Twitter. In a way I do as well and sometimes I tweet away my ideas or the sheer time I’d spend on blogging otherwise.
Consider each idea you have for blogging before you tweet it.
Everything tweeted is lost after a few minutes. Whatever you blog is yours and lives on for ages unless you use a third party service like Blogger or WordPress.com perhaps.
Always remember who you work for: yourself or billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg? When you publish on Instagram you create content for someone else’s website for free.
Self Promoting on Social Media
Many bloggers still tend to self-promote their own content to legacy social sites like Reddit or Hacker News.
It doesn’t work that way. Most of these old school social media sites either limit that or may even block you right away.
Even on Twitter or Facebook you need an audience first.
Some sites even downright ban self promotion algorithmically in many cases, especially for business blogs. Don’t do that. Nobody will even see your content!
Make other people discover your content. Socialize on social media but don’t solely self promote to get some meager traffic. Let others share your content!
Using Display Ads
Display ads are dead but many bloggers still use them in the hope to aka some “money online”. The sad truth is that these ads rather ostracize.
Nobody clicks banners due to the widely spread banner blindness and proliferation of ad blocking.
Your blog appears to be spammy when it’s plastered with blinking ads. Use text ads instead and affiliate links but only leading to very good products matching your content. Sadly, these are hard to find though.
Ads are not a good business model for blogs in general. You need the proverbial “huge traffic” to make significant money with ads. For most bloggers ads of any kind will rather tarnish their image than earn money.
Blogging Too Often or Not Often Enough
Over the years SEO 2.0 has turned too silent for a good blog. I’ve noticed that regular posting is best to build an engaged audience. Otherwise you have to rely on Google.
You can do it once you established yourself like Brain Dean of Backlinko or you have ti invest many dozens of hours per post to get there!
2 weekly posts are the minimum to make people return of their own accord frequently. More than 5 in a week lead to cognitive overload.
Many blogs these days blog less often and look more like static websites this way. They have to build an ad hoc audience each time they publish then.
When not blogging regularly you lose attention. People start to forget about you.
Several posts a day in contrast lead to an cognitive overload nobody can digest. This way you get more and more casual traffic from search and social media.
On the other hand you overburden your loyal readers. Your loyal readers are the backbone of your blog though. Don’t annoy them.
Automating Content Creation
Automated content ostracizes your loyal readers.
I did just that when testing the Twitter tools integration on SEO 2.0 I disabled the weekly Twitter digest as it was low quality cross posting though.
You can add Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest in the sidebar or footer instead so that it doesn’t pollute your main feed.
Creating “Blog Spam” Postings
The “blog spam” kind of blog post seemingly will never die. They contain only a link to the source and short description of it. Basically it’s just wasted time.
Your blog turns into an obstacle between the reader and the real source.
In case you don’t have any value to add don’t blog it at all. At least add your opinion beyond “this is great” or collect a few links to provide context. Add something of value, whatever it is.
Not Socializing Enough
Blogs aren’t islands. They only strive as part of the blogosphere. Bloggers who don’t socialize enough with other bloggers and social media users can’t get popular in the first place.
Many bloggers turn to one way communication in case they already are well known.
Not Updating Existing Content
Most blogs have a huge archive of blog posts which get plenty of visitors from search who bounce after noticing that the post is outdated and the links broken.
Make sure to revisit your old postings, update and fix them.
You may even republish them once the update is substantial enough. Also write for longevity aka “evergreen content” in the first place. Nobody cares for yesterdays news tomorrow.
Not Focusing on Best Postings
Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has written about it years ago. One of the most common issues with blogs is that they don’t show the most popular postings on top.
Another common issue is that many popular postings are outdated.
I’ve been testing many “popular posts” plugins for WordPress. I haven’t found the perfect one yet. I do use Koko Analytics though and they let you show your most viewed posts as a text widget on WordPress.
Do you also make these blogging mistakes? Do you miss some common mistakes by bloggers in this list? Tell me about it.
I made all those mistakes above myself and noticed afterwards so it’s easy to recognize them on other blogs.
* (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons image by Ghost of Kuji