The blogging world can be a complicated and competitive place. With so many bloggers contending for traffic, it’s important to avoid common blogging mistakes that are easy to make when you’re still learning.
Every blogger out there can tell you about errors they’ve made in their early blogging days. Let’s look at a few common blogging mistakes I notice on a regular basis so that you can avoid them.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here.
It’s important to make your personal corner of the internet a high-quality place to hang out and learn something new. Here are some mistakes to avoid to help make your blog a more enjoyable place for your readers.
Blogging Mistake #1 – Using a Small Font
Font size is more important than you may think. You want your readers to click through to your site and find a post that not only answers their question but is also highly readable.
Your default font size will depend on your theme. Personally, I use 18pt but my theme default was 16pt.
Often you can change your font size within your dashboard under Appearance>Typography.
Otherwise, you can use the code: <span style=”font-size: 18px;”> in the HTML section of your content to make the adjustment.
Avoid coloured backgrounds and overly thin fonts. Think high contrast and easy to read. You’ll keep readers on your site longer and they’re more likely to share your content if it looks good too.
Blogging Mistakes #2 – Not Building an Email List
If you haven’t started growing your email list, get started. Like, today!
Your email list is by far your most valuable resource. As long as you nurture your list and keep providing value, you’ll have access to an engaged audience.
Your list is YOURS. You own it. So it won’t be impacted by a sudden algorithm change. Social platforms are always changing. But your list is your insurance policy against unpredictable changes. Take care of your list and they’ll be loyal to you.
I personally believe MailerLite is your best bet for creating and maintaining your email list when you are starting out. It’s user-friendly and free for your first 1000 Subscribers!
Sign up for your free account HERE.
If you don’t know where to start, I highly suggest you head to Pinterest and follow Meera Kothand and Kate Doster. These ladies are my go-to email list experts.
Meera created an Email Marketing Template Stash and it is SO worth the small investment to help you grow your email list and keep your readers coming back for more.
The Email Marketing Template Stash
Related: Boss Babes to Follow on Pinterest
Blogging Mistake #3 – No Photos or Visual Interest
Not only does your information have to be good, but it also needs to look good! Meaning, don’t just write one big block of text and expect people to gobble it up. If there are not enough images to break up all the text, even if your content is good, your readers are going to get bored.
Especially on mobile view. Remember that on mobile view, your text gets condensed vertically. So what seems like a reasonable length paragraph on desktop, may seem long, boring, and too wordy on your readers phone.
Break up those paragraphs with something visual. If the content seems long but you don’t have a picture to use, there are lots of other things you can do to give the post some visual interest.
Some great ways to break up content:
• A related post you can recommend
• Horizontal banner ads for an affiliate program
• More white space (ie. shorter paragraphs with more spaces between them)
• An opt-in / subscriber box
• Large headings (hopefully in a bright colour that matches your branding)
• A line break
• Bulleted lists (like this one)
This can be a balancing act as you don’t want to make things SO busy it’s distracting. But keep things looking attractive enough to hold your reader’s attention.
Related Reading: How to Make Your Blog Posts More Visually Appealing
Blogging Mistake #4 – Not Getting to Know Your Audience
As you grow your email list, spend some time getting to know your audience better so you can keep providing value to them.
Try an interactive quiz using Typeform.com. People love a good online quiz. It can help you learn more about your subscribers and ensure you’re serving their needs.
Or simply ask your audience where they need assistance. Send out a simple email to your list and ask them what they’re needing the most help with. You can then split them into groups so you know what emails to send them. And of course which ones will not be useful to them. When you know what they want you can serve them better.
This will lead to fewer unsubscribes and a much more happy, engaged audience.
Blogging Mistake #5 – Not Focusing On SEO
When you need a recipe, a solution to a problem, or an answer to a question, where do you go? GOOGLE! You want to make sure Google can find your articles when users are looking for answers. Google is an incredibly important and potentially lucrative traffic source.
SEO can seem confusing and overwhelming. The hardest part is being patient! It takes time but can really pay off in the long run. Once you know how to write well-optimized posts, the traffic will come.
Do as much research on SEO as you can. It is so important to learn how Google, and other search engines work. It is well worth investing in some professional SEO training.
I found Easy On-Page SEO by SEO expert, Debbie Gartner to be a fantastic resource. This lady knows traffic! She gets around 350,000 page views a month! You can and will learn from her. The eBook is very affordable and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Check it out HERE.
Invest in SEO and you will not regret it!
Blogging Mistake #6 – Stretching Yourself Too Thin
There is a LOT to learn when it comes to blogging. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like there’s just not enough time to do everything. I often see new bloggers using every social media platform they can to get their face out there. And that’s okay! However, you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin.
It’s better to be on only a couple social networks and be highly engaged, than to be on ALL of them and not have enough time to give them the attention they need.
It may serve you better to be on only a couple social platforms so you have more time to focus on content, site quality, SEO, and email marketing. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to do it all. Focus on the most important tasks and grow from there.
Blogging Mistake #7 – Using Pop-Ups
This is a personal preference. But pop up subscriber forms are a big pet peeve of mine. I can’t tell you how frustrating I find it to be reading a blog post, trying to learn something new, and focus on the content, only to have a pop-up box take over the screen and interrupt my thought process.
I can honestly say I have never, not once, subscribed through a pop-up window that interrupted what I was doing. Generally, I close the window and try to find where I left off, but quite often, I’m left feeling slightly annoyed and have a hard time getting back into what I was reading.
Some may find them to be effective. This is just my personal opinion when it comes to creating an enjoyable experience for blog readers.
Blogging Mistake #8 – No Pinterest Friendly Image
I see this one quite often and it’s so frustrating. Especially if I really like the content and want to share it! Pinterest is a massive source of traffic for bloggers. It’s so important to make your post Pinterest friendly. Most importantly, you need to have an attractive, vertical “pin” image!
I’ve noticed this one repeatedly while participating in Facebook Group blog sharing threads. I find a link to a post within my niche, only to get to the actual post and find nothing but square or horizontal images to pin. Both of which are big no-no’s in Pinterest land. Pinning those images would make me look like a total newbie. ALWAYS have a vertical image suitable for pinning.
Blogging Mistake #9 – No Legal Pages
I think the legal side of blogging is something that gets put on the back burner quite often. It can seem scary and overwhelming to get all the right legal pages in place.
If you are providing consultations it’s SO important you have appropriate disclaimers/disclosures on your site. You may need to set up a legal agreement, depending on the services you offer.
If you haven’t set up the legal side of your blog yet you can start with this free legal course below by blogger/lawyer Lucrezia Iapichino at Blogging for New Bloggers. I highly recommend Lucrezia’s Legal Bundle Value Pack to fully set up your legal pages. But if you’re not totally sure what you need, the free Legally Blogs course is a great place to get started.
Blogging Mistake #10 – Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
You always want to be providing the best quality and highest value possible. Poor grammar and spelling will make you seem less credible and less professional. These small mistakes can hurt your blog, even if your content is good.
If this is something that doesn’t come naturally to you, I can’t say enough good things about Grammarly (it’s free, so check it out!) Take it from this grammar nerd who saw a big improvement in her writing skills after installing it. You won’t be sorry.
Blogging Mistake #11 – No Social Sharing Buttons
If you don’t have social sharing buttons on your posts, you make it that much more difficult for your readers to share it. Aim for social share buttons AND social follow buttons. I personally use the Shareaholic plugin for my social buttons.
I have also used the jQuery Pin It Button for Images plugin (which is free, btw).
It adds a “Pin It” button over images on your blog making it easier for readers to pin that nice vertical pin 😉
Blogging Mistake #12 – Too Many Ads
Lots of bloggers make a chunk of their income from ads. A common blogging goal is to be accepted into the big, high-paying networks, like Mediavine or Monumetric.
Some ads are ok. But when there are SO many ads it’s distracting from the content, this can make people bounce off your site pretty quickly.
I personally don’t have ads on my site because I just don’t like the way they look. They can be distracting and obtrusive. I want my readers to have the best experience possible.
Ads can slow your site speed as well, which is another reason I choose to avoid them. So if you do choose to place ads on your blog, do your research about which networks are best for site speed and be mindful of how they may impact the user experience.
Blogging Mistake #13 – Not Investing in Blogging Education
Free blogging courses tend to give the basics. An introduction to a subject, if you will. But more often than not, you get what you pay for.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great free courses available out there. But anytime I’ve spent money on my blogging education, I’ve always kicked myself for not doing it sooner. There is a reason the pros are charging for their skills and strategies.
The information in paid courses is generally valuable stuff, and therefore, should be paid for! You wouldn’t decide to become a nurse and expect to learn those skills for free. No, you’d pay for the education that will potentially pay your bills in the future. Blogging should be no different. You are investing in a future business. You should expect to put some money into your training.
Having said that, not ALL paid courses are created equal. Do your research before purchasing a course. You can ask around in Facebook groups for feedback or find reviews on Pinterest.
Don’t stress if you’ve read this post and realize you’re making these mistakes. I used the words “common mistakes” for a reason. Blogging is a never-ending learning process. Platforms and algorithms change. What works at one time might not a year down the road. Technology and strategies will always be evolving. Keep learning and you’ll keep growing.
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Blogging Resources I love and recommend:
SiteGround – I use SiteGround as my web hosting platform and I love it. They are trusted by the owners of over 1,900,000 domains! It’s secure, fast, reliable, and the customer service is AMAZING! I’ve contacted them for help for a few reasons and received outstanding support. Learn more about SiteGround HERE.
Tailwind – Is the Pin Scheduler of choice amongst most bloggers. Tailwind allows me to schedule my pins on the days I can’t be near my computer. It’s like a blog/Pinterest assistant. If you haven’t already, sign up for a FREE month of Tailwind HERE.
ShareASale – If you are interested in monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, ShareASale has got to be one of the easiest ways to do it! They’ve got merchants for every niche looking for affiliates to promote their products. Learn more about ShareASale HERE.
Grammarly – I saw a huge improvement in my writing after installing Grammarly. It’s the World’s leading checker of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and plagiarism. The better your writing, the more credible you will seem to you readers. Did I mention they have a FREE version? Check it out HERE.