It can be really hard for beginner bloggers, – at first they don’t know what they should do with their blog, and don’t know who to turn to for help. Many blogs out there that offer tips and guidance for people just starting blogging are too technical and written in a language that not everyone fully understands to implement. Because of this, these brand new bloggers practically shoot themselves in the foot by making some very basic mistakes that ruin the potential of their blogs. Knowing what these mistakes are and learning how to avoid them can make the difference between having ‘just another’ blog, and one that people will notice.
#1 Not Self-Hosting
If you are serious about your blogging the self-host option is the only way to go. Not only that you have more space for styling and customization by your requirements, but you’ll also own your whole online property, and if someone wants to sponsor your blog in the future, you’ll appear much more attractive showing that you are in this for the long haul.
#2 Not Owning Your Domain
You don’t have to have your own domain, but again, if you want to be taken seriously by your future readers and professionals in your specific industry, this way you will appear much more professional. Choose something easy to type and remember, and consider a shorter version for sharing links, or use some online URL shortener like Google’s. If you want you can also use your domain on free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger.
#3 Having Unrealistic Expectations
If you thought blogging would be easy, you were wrong. When you put yourself into it you soon realize there’s more to running a blog than just writing a bunch of blog posts here and there. When you consider all the technical and marketing work that also needs to be done, writing becomes only half the battle.
Blogging is a serious and time-consuming commitment. If you want your blog to be more than just an online diary you can’t expect to put in just a few hours of work per week, but you must be dedicated as well as extremely patient because it certainly won’t get you rich overnight. The effort and good will eventually will pay off, but to be persistent you should make sure you are in this with your whole heart and soul (read this if you aren’t sure what to blog about).
#4 Not Enough Competition Research
Your blog’s target readers are already getting the information you provide somewhere else, on some other blogs and websites. When you have your blog set-up and running, you will need to “steal”, or at least “borrow” these readers and introduce them to your content. Quality posts are key to keeping them on your site, but in order to get there you must also do a research on your competitors and observe what they are doing to attract visitors. Also research your niche to be able to craft your blogging to the interests of those you want reading.
#5 Being Inconsistent In Posting New Content
Those of you who are having personal blogs can post new content whenever they feel that they can produce quality and informative piece that their readers will find interesting and useful. But, it’s still not clever to disappear for very long as the readers expect you and if you aren’t there they will forget about your site, and your social posts will disappear from their feeds if there’s no constant engagement. If you are blogging for business you will definitely have to be more regular with your writing, but even then don’t write just for the sake of doing it. No one unsubscribed from a blog because there was no post that week, but many people have done it because the writer is obviously stretching for content.
#6 Not Doing Enough Marketing
If you want success for your blog you must dedicate enough time to market it. Otherwise you may spend years waiting for people to find it on their own. Getting your blog URL in front of your target audience is a perpetual process. You are constantly competing with countless other blogs and websites that speak to the same readers. Quality content is essential, but marketing should also be a major part of your blogging activities. For starters, check out how to market your blog offline, and what other ways are available for you to start earning money from your blog.
#7 Being Too Shy To Engage With Fellow Bloggers
The perfects spots to attract readers for your blog are the blogs in your niche that they already read. You can first start commenting on these blogs, and if you feel you have something to say that can contribute to their readers instigate a conversation with the fellow blogger asking her or him to guest post. Make sure to include your URL in the byline at the end of the post, so this will generate traffic back to your site. Don’t hesitate to approach other bloggers, because though there are some who will reject helping you if you can’t offer something in return, most of them will remember how it was for them when they were starting out and give you their helping hand. Read this for more ways to reach out to fellow bloggers.
#8 Not Getting On Social Media From The Start
I know writing the blog posts is big enough work for someone who’s just starting, and adding more to it doesn’t seem like a good idea, but if you can’t find the time for maintaining your social profiles, you should at least sign up for the accounts and allow people to follow you when you officially launch the blog. Later when you do have the time, there will be someone to share with, and plus you’ll make certain there’s no one else using your blog’s name on social sites. At first, create pages on Facebook and Twitter, though depending on your niche you should maybe consider Google+ and Pinterest also.
Don’t forget to link to your social accounts on your blog – people won’t look for the buttons if there aren’t any; they’ll just assume you are not on these sites. Here’s what’s also important: Social Media Doesn’t Work for My Blog! Want to Know Why?
#9 Making Commenting and Social Sharing Too Difficult
Considering social media is one of the three pillars of SEO along with content and links, you must make social sharing as easier as possible for the readers of your blog and encourage them to share your content with their friends and followers on their social accounts if you want good ratings for your blog. Include buttons for the sites where you are active, on a visible position that’s most convenient for sharing. Installing them is very easy, just as any other WordPress plugin you have downloaded. Also make sure it’s easy for your readers to leave their comments under your blog posts. They won’t be much keen on commenting if on the way they need to leave their email, complete a CAPTCHA, and do all sorts of other things.
#10 Not Installing Analytics From The Get-Go
In order to understand where your readers come from, how long do they stay on your site, what they read, what they share, you need insights that only analytics tools can provide. You can’t manage your blog without this data, at least not in the direction of visitors’ growth and brand recognition. Use Google Analytics or check out some other tools useful for bloggers. But don’t allow yourself missing this crucial information for the success of your blogging.
Did I miss something? Maybe some of the more experienced bloggers here have something to add? Drop your comments below.