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The Most Common Blogging Mistakes that Not Only Beginners Do
Have you ever wondered what consequences your blogging mistakes have on your blog?
Did you visit a blog only to rapidly abandon it a few moments later because something pushed you away?
Something that made you think: There’s no way I’m going to find what I’m looking for on that blog.
I guess you know exactly what I mean.
How can you be sure that your blog doesn’t fall under this category?
By reading this post & applying the tips that you’re currently missing!
Not in the mood for reading? Watch our video version of our post instead:
Note that you need to be honest with yourself, your work & your blog because that’s the only way to identify your blogging mistakes and weak points & improve them.
You may think that such things are not important to your blog due to your currently low traffic. But if you plan to really grow your blog’s traffic & success, you have to avoid or fix the following mistakes.
Here’s a list of mistakes that push a reader away & I often encounter them even on popular blogs:
Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1: Website’s Overall Look, Theme & Design
This is a game-breaker, that’s why I place it first on my list. Your blog’s design can make a huge difference, so pay attention!
Would you rather read this?
As a blogger, you have to focus on so many little things & it’s totally normal to miss some details. However, your blog design shouldn’t be one of those things.
First impression matters… & it matters a lot!
We people are made to judge something in a matter of milliseconds (0.1 seconds), depending on how it looks. Websites are not an exception!
You can observe it on yourself once you visit a website for the first time.
It’s such a pity to spend so much time and effort to create high-quality pieces, only to publish it on a bad-looking blog. It’s something that I often notice on small/new blogs.
Successful blog design doesn’t equal to complex things, countless options for the users or fancy features. Quite the opposite actually.
As you can see on this infographic, an attractive website should:
- Be simple to navigate
- Lots of white space (it’s more comfortable to the reader)
- Optimized for mobiles (a responsive theme can do the job automatically)
- Simple but beautiful/attractive colors & images
Fortunately, you’ve no excuse as there are plenty of WordPress themes (even the free ones) to help you. You can easily customize them to match your content, brand & personality.
Almost all CMS (blogging platforms) offer free themes, so don’t hesitate to research it if you’re not using WordPress.
Here are some resources to help you pick one of the best Free WordPress themes:
I totally understand that many bloggers work with a tight budget, that’s why I’m providing these free resources.
But personally, I’m a huge fan of the premium theme I use on this blog. It totally transforms the overall look of my blog and offers a much better experience to the reader.
Further, it lets you choose one of the thousands templates and options or make your own (I’m using it in less than the half of its full potential). Not only that, but it also includes beautiful Social Media “Share” & “Follow” buttons (you can see them on this post) and attractive email opt-in forms!
I recommend it to anyone who is serious about his/her blog, you can preview it here. (Disclaimer: I’m a proud affiliate of this theme. This means that I will receive a commission if you purchase any product after clicking this link, at no extra cost to you)
Mistake #2: Too Small & Hard to Read Fonts
This is one of the most common blogging mistakes!
Nobody likes to read blog posts written using small fonts, especially if they are hard to read (e.g. script-fonts)
Larger and easy-to-read fonts offer a much better reading experience.
According to Mediavine (one of the largest ad networks) they also increase your SEO rankings because:
- Larger fonts are more mobile-friendly
- Users stay longer & interact more with your site
A small detail can have such a big impact!
How to increase your font size on WordPress:
Most themes have a default font size of 12px. The recommending size (that many high authority sites use) is at least 16px, but you can use even bigger. I have set mine at 18px.
Hopefully, many themes let you change your blog’s font size on all posts & pages.
Every theme has different settings path. Usually, you can find the font settings by clicking (on WordPress back-end):
Appearance -> Customize -> General Settings -> Typography settings.
If you increase your font size, you should also increase your line height (the space between your sentences). The recommending number is 1.6-1.7.
Mistake #3: The Absence of Must-Have Pages on the Primary Menu
The following pages not only help you establish authority and trust among your readers, but they also rank your site higher on Google’s eyes
The pages that every blog must have on its navigation menu are:
“Contact me/us” Page
Surprisingly, even some popular blogs make it difficult to find it or they don’t include it at all.
You should definitely make it easy for readers & brands to reach out to you.
You can achieve that by placing a “Contact Me” form (using a free plugin like Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress).
Also, you should give to them an email address. Ideally, upload a photo of it to prevent bots from capturing and spamming your email.
“About us/me” Page
Despite the fact that all blogs have an “About us” page, they miss critical elements to connect with their audience.
A perfect “About us” page includes:
- A strong hook
- The benefits that a reader will gain from you
- Proof and testimonials
- Your personal story
- An opt-in form to capture email addresses
I won’t expand this more, because Pat Flynn has an excellent video to help you craft a perfect “About me” page:
No matter if you use your “Blog page” as your homepage or not, you should include a button on your navigation menu that directs the user to your latest blog posts.
These pages don’t look good on your primary menu, so it’s OK to place them at the bottom of your homepage. You can see mine if you scroll at the bottom of this page.
Actually, most users don’t care about these pages. But as I mentioned earlier, Google does. Search engines rank higher websites that include these pages, as they index them as more authoritative & trusted.
Further, they become mandatory in more & more countries, so you have to include them on your blog.
The grand majority of blogs (that don’t generate an income) uses free policy generators. I’m not a lawyer to guarantee you that they are 100% safe & legal. However, I’ve never heard of someone having a problem using free policy generators.
Find the most suitable free policy generator for your site here.
If your blog generates a decent amount of income, you should consider investing in professional legal templates.
Although this kind of page is not mandatory, it’s a nice way to promote the tools you use (through affiliate programs) or products you have created yourself (e.g. eBooks, courses)
Check this post to find out what method the majority of bloggers recommend to drive traffic from Social Media: Which Social Network is the best for driving traffic to a blog? Poll + 21 Actionable Tips from Experts!
Mistake #4: Wrong Formatting
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen posts like “The 10 Best Summer Destinations”, without including any numbers or subheadings.
- If you’re going to publish a list post, always include numbers in your points.
- Always include subheadings (Heading 2 & Heading 3). Use Heading 1 only on your post title. Don’t use it in your post’s body as it confuses search engines.
- Leave a lot of white space and break up your paragraphs. They shouldn’t include more than 2-3 sentences each. You’ll notice this kind of formatting on all popular blogs.
For more information about creating & formatting high-quality posts, read this one: How to Create High-Quality Blog Posts
Mistake #5: Not Proofreading
Except using a grammar checker-tool like Grammarly (the free version works great), make the final proofreading yourself. Grammar tools don’t catch everything.
After you finish writing your post, let it rest for a few hours or even a day. Then, proofread it one last time or even better, let someone close to you do it.
Mistake #6: Not Optimizing Your Posts for SEO
I’m not talking about complex strategies to acquire backlinks. I’m referring to some basic, On-Page SEO optimization.
I actually saw better results just by implementing LSI keywords on my posts. LSI keywords are phrases relevant to your main keyword that help search engines to better understand what your content is about & rank it accordingly.
By doing this your posts will eventually bring some results from Search Engines with low effort.
Mistake #7: Keeping a Post’s Default URL
A default URL usually contains the title of your post, resulting in a long & ugly link.
Before you publish a post, consider making it shorter because it:
- helps search engines to index it easier
- offers better usability
- looks better & more professional
Make sure to include your main keywords in your new URL.
Don’t change your already publish posts’ URLs as it can cause broken links which is a bad indicator for your blog.
Mistake #8: Using Unedited Stock Images or No Images at all
It’s common to use you royalty free pictures & you should do it.
However, try to edit your images with a free tool like Canva, especially the “featured images”.
Not only they look more professional, beautiful & unique, but they also don’t appear as duplicated images on search engines.
While duplicated (not unique) images don’t hurt your rankings, they don’t increase it either.
Check my post with the 9 Best Sites with free stock photos for Pinterest & Blogs!
Bonus tip: In addition to editing your images, write an “Alt Text” using relevant keywords. This slightly improves your SEO.
Mistake #9: Not Optimizing your Blog for Pinterest
I guess you’re already familiar with Pinterest, so I won’t expand more about how good it is & why you should use it. It’s the biggest traffic source for many websites & blog niches.
The vast majority of bloggers have their blogs optimized for Pinterest.
That’s why you should take it a step further:
- Always include a Pin-able image optimized for Pinterest. It should be 2:3 ratio (600x900px at least) & have its pin description on its “Alt Text”
- Use a free plugin like “AccessPress Pinterest – Pinterest WordPress Plugin”. It lets you have your favorite board on your sidebar, follow buttons & more
- Make sure that your Pin-able images have a “Pin-it” button or you have placed easy-to-find “Share” buttons (at the end or the start of your post)
This leads to my next point:
According to Adweek, 99.8 & of Social Share Buttons are never used.
So, don’t feel bad if you don’t receive any shares!
Of course, this has to do with the quality of the content. It should be share-worthy & most blog posts are not.
If you at least hope to receive ‘Social Media Shares” other than “Share Mine & I’ll Share Yours” threads on FB & Twitter, make them really easy for the user to find & use.
Test your buttons to see that they actually work. Sometimes plugins stop working or you don’t have set them up properly.
Mistake #11: Not Offering a “Freebie” for Collecting Email addresses
You already know that starting an Email List is the best way to:
- connect with your most hardcore fans
- better understand your audience
- Promote your own or affiliate products
- Establish trust & authority
- Get traffic every time you publish a new post
The average office worker receives more than 100 emails daily.
The spam filters are stricter than ever & the last thing an online user wants is to receive even more emails.
In order to capture email addresses, you need to give something of value. Check our post about the “10 Most Effective Email Lead Magnets” you can use to increase your subscribers.
The most common mistake I often see many blogs doing is just placing an opt-in form with the tag “Subscribe to our Newsletter”.
What kind of value does it provide? If a reader wants to learn about your latest posts, he/she can simply enter your website. He/she doesn’t have to give his email address.
Mistake #12: Slow Loading Speed
Unbounce claims that:
- 46% of online users hate waiting for pages to load
- sites that load in 5 seconds or less see 70% longer sessions on average
Further, a faster loading site:
- receives higher conversion rates & lower bounce rates
- Better ranking on Search Engines
- Improves user experience
How to immediately improves your site’s speed for free:
a) Use a free plugin like “ReSmushIt” or “Compress JPEG & PNG Images” to reduce the size of your images. These plugins work automatically every time you upload a picture.
Smaller-size images = Faster loading speed
b) Use a service like Cloudflare and select the free plan.
Let’s not get too technical. Cloudflare (DNS) is a service that speeds up your site significantly, by distributing faster your site’s data. Also, it protects your site from malicious threats.
You only need to make a few clicks to change your domain servers & you will boost your site’s speed in about 24 hours.
If their instructions about changing your Domain Name Servers are not enough, try a search on Google: “How to change Domain Name Server + “the name of your hosting provider” (Siteground, Bluehost, Lyrical Host, iPage, etc).
Don’t worry, it’s really simple to do.
It is used by almost all popular websites you know. If you want more info, a quick Google research will convince you.
If you don’t have thousands of daily visitors, its totally free plan will be enough for your blog.
Mistake #13: Providing No Value
This is a mistake that new bloggers often do.
Do you wish to get traffic, generate an income & be a successful blogger?
Then, you need to provide value to your audience.
Before you start writing your next blog post idea, ask yourself:
- How this post will help my readers?
- Does it help them solve a problem?
- Will it educate them or teach them something
- Does it contain useful resources & tips?
Mistake #14: Posts Are Not Centered Around Your Audience
If you’re not a famous star, posts that are centered around yourself will not go far.
Not many people will be interested to read how you spent your time in Sydney. Also, a post like this will never rank high on search engines.
You can talk about the exact same thing, by changing the perspective.
Instead, write a post about “10 Things You Must Do in Sydney”. You can describe your adventures there while giving tips for anyone interested as well.
Check our post on how to craft perfect Headlines: Grow Your Traffic: 13 Tricks to Make Them Click Your Headlines (Back up by 4 Studies)
Mistake #15: Not being Consistent
Despite the fact that this tip seems simple, it’s the #1 reason why the vast majority of the bloggers fail.
Identify any “obstacles” that prevent you from being consistent & try to eliminate them.
On the blogging world, being consistent is probably the most important thing.
It takes daily & consistent effort in order to succeed as a blogger. It requires consistency on your:
- Blog content. If you promised your readers that every Friday you will release a new piece, do it. It’s ok to miss a day, but not every time.
- On your Social Media Channels. That’s why Social Media schedulers are so effective.
- On your email letters. Having am already-written campaign or some emails makes a difference.
Creating and organizing a blogging/content schedule will greatly help you.
You can use a free tool like Trello to write down & track all your tasks.
Upgrade Your Blog to the Next Level!
Before you start producing high-quality content, invest some time to create an attractive blog design. Choose the right theme and create all the necessary pages., along with using edited stock images.
Keep in mind that bigger fonts always look better. The same applies to well-formatted and edited posts that are free of grammatical mistakes.
To increase your traffic, try to optimize your posts for SEO and Pinterest. Try to use LSI/relevant keywords and place easy-to-find “Social Media Share” buttons. Keeping your URLs short & decreasing your site’s loading times have an impact as well.
Last but not least, you need to provide value to your audience with posts that are centered around them. Take it one step further and create a freebie for them in order to attract them into your Email list!
Which of the above-mentioned blogging mistakes are you guilty for? Write us on the comments below!
See you there!