17 Common Blogging & SEO Mistakes – Do You Make These?

SEO Mistakes

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So, you have scoured the internet and implemented all the different SEO strategies that you have found (both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques), yet you still can’t seem find your site on search engines and hardly anyone visits your blog!  I bet you are wondering why and you are feeling frustrated.  Well you are not alone.

You are amongst thousands of people who optimize their blogs, assured that they are all set for that coveted ‘Page 1 Ranking’ in Google. But, it’s not long before you realise that you don’t rank anywhere near Google’s first page, or the second page … third page … tenth page even!!!

You can’t work out why. You watch your hopes for a top rank, along with that better lifestyle you hoped your blog would bring you, disappearing in front of you.

The truth is, you’re making some BIG, costly, SEO mistakes.  Some of these mistakes may surprise you, whilst some might look a little too familiar.  Here are 17 of the most costly SEO mistakes you might be making on your site:

SEO Mistakes

1. You Write Too Much On Your Blog

You think that content is king, so you write every day on your blog because you think that will get Google to notice you.  You believe this SO much that you end up writing content just for the sake of it and end up just producing (or worse, spinning!) very low quality posts because you quickly run out of ideas.  Worse still, you may even get bored.

Google has been tightening up on the quality of blogs that rank in their search engine for a while now. Some of the old SEO strategies that once worked, don’t work any more. Writing low quality content stuffed full of keywords just to get ranked is one of the strategies that doesn’t work any more.

Still, you keep writing the same old stuff… just in case.

2. You Count The Comments You Get, But Never Respond To Them

Yes, you like getting comments.  They make you feel good, make you feel noticed, liked and interesting. You like to count the number of comments you get, but you never respond to them.

You don’t engage with the people who have taken the time to get in touch with you because they liked what you have written.

When you don’t reach out and thank them, answer their questions or simply chat with them in the comments section of your site, pretty soon your readers will get bored with you.  They will view your lack of a response as being uninterested or suffering from a lack of manners and end up going elsewhere, never to return.

3. You Don’t Interact With Other Bloggers

You spend most of your time working on your blog; creating content, optimising it for the search engines, stressing about web design, etc.  However, all this work never seems to pay off in bringing in more traffic.

All the time that you spend focusing on this side of your site, you are neglecting the equally important aspect of interacting with other bloggers.  You could make life so much easier for yourself by reaching out and engaging with other bloggers.  Blogging, at the end of the day, is all about community.  You need to interact with both readers (mistake #2) AND other bloggers to help spread the word about your site.

4. You Follow All The Latest Trends

This one, that one – any flavour of the month, you follow it because you think maybe this one will be your ticket to getting noticed by Google, making money on your blog, or just getting noticed – period.

5. You Are Obsessed About Your Blog’s Design

Be honest now.  You spend a lot of your time worrying about whether your blog looks right. Whether it looks “pretty”, has a cool looking logo or whether it’s got the latest “thing” that some guru tells you will make all the difference.

All this time that you spend obsessing about this is time wasted not creating quality content that your readers want to read. The kind of quality content that Google loves and could be driving traffic to your site!  Is it any wonder you’re invisible?

6. You Write Robot-Junk

SEO Mistakes

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No one that visits your site can read your articles, even if they wanted to.  You have spent SO much time optimizing it, making sure you fit in as many keywords as you can, that it ends up being a load of gobbledygook. It’s simply just robot-junk! Not only do search engines hate this, but more importantly, people reading it (or trying to at least) hate it more.  Why would people want to visit your site if they can’t understand anything?

No wonder you aren’t getting any traffic!

7. You Don’t Make Friends With Powerful People Online

You think these powerful people (these big bloggers with popular blogs and oodles of readers) won’t be interested in you.  You just think you’ll get ignored, so you don’t even try to get noticed by these powerful people. You care too much about page rank

Your obsession with ranking high on Google makes you forget about who really matters when it comes to blogging. You forget that it’s your readers who matter most of all.

Google notices how much you’re over-optimising your content and forgetting about your readers. The likelihood of your getting de-indexed when making this mistake goes up considerably.

8. You Stress About Social Media 

You want people to Tweet your stuff, “Like” your content on Facebook, +1 your articles on Google+, Re-pin images on Pinterest, share posts on LinkedIn, etc.  You want as many followers, friends, fans, etc. that you can get, so you end up following anyone and everyone.  As many as you can.

You spend so much time stressing about things like:

  • Have you got it right?
  • Have you followed the right people?
  • Have you circled the right people?
  • Are your comments or tweets hilarious?
  • Have you linked to the right stuff?
  • Have you got a profile on every social media site out there?

You spend all this time stressing about social media just to get ranked, that you don’t notice… no one cares!!! No one cares about you or your site because you are neglecting to spend that time producing quality content.

Social media is a great way of interacting with people and spreading the word about your site, but you have to have something worth sharing in the first place.  If you don’t, then it’s pointless.

9. You’re In The Wrong Niche

That’s right.  Like it or not, you were in such a rush to get stuck in and make money on your blog, that you forgot the first law of blogging: Pick the right niche for you!

Not every niche will end up being right for you.  You may have picked your niche because you thought it would make you money fast or you thought that it would be really simple. There is no fast or simple way to becoming successful!  You have to put the hard work in to making a success yourself, so you may as well pick something that you are interested in or are passionate about.

10. You Are Just Another Sheep

You haven’t created a unique “voice” for yourself, so much so that you simply sound like every other blogger. Your content ends up being just a carbon copy (or worse, an exact copy!) of content you see on other blogs.

You think that by doing what everybody else is doing (and getting ranked in Google for) must be right. Following the herd just makes your blog boring and uninteresting. For this reason, no one visits your site, no one reads your content, no one listens to what you are saying because they have heard it all before. No one knows you exist.

You’re just another sheep! Baaaa

SEO Mistakes

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11. You Don’t Guest Post 

You don’t take the opportunity of getting noticed in the fastest and most effective way.  You spend all your time focusing on content for your own site, you neglect to write for other blogs.  The more you do this, the more afraid you feel that your writing isn’t good enough.

Guest blogging is a great way to spread the word about yourself and engage with a new audience.  Not only that, but it allows you to get to know other bloggers and build connections.

12. Nobody Cares About Your Niche

Your rush to make big bucks is blinding you to how money is actually made on the internet.

Making money on the internet is fine. It’s okay. But you were in such a rush to make money quickly. You just picked the brightest, shiniest niche.

But, just blogging to make money is seriously damaging your ranking.

13. You’re Out Of Touch With Your Readers

You don’t spend time reading other blogs or interacting on forums where most of your readers hang out. This means you don’t know what your readers are thinking, what they are saying and doing.

You’re out of touch with your readers. You can’t “get in on the conversation” as you don’t know what the conversation is. How can you expect to write about subjects that they are interested in if you don’t know what their worries or woes are, what their problems are, etc.

Like we mentioned earlier, blogging is a community.  A community that you must be a part of if you want to be successful!

14. You’re Just A Self-Absorbed Jackass!

You think blogging is all about what you have to say.

You never make the effort to step out of your tiny blog world and get out and about in the rest of the blogosphere. The comments sections of other sites can be a great way to see what readers really want.  It can be a great place to see what people are thinking and what questions they are asking other bloggers.  You never know, a simple comment could inspire you to write a whole post.

Make time to respond to comments on other blogs (as well as your own) to get noticed by the readers there.

15. You’re Obsessed With “Making Money”

Okay, so you want to make money so that you can quit your day job or maybe you just want to make enough money to put aside “just in case”. That’s okay. That’s good thinking, especially when times are so unstable and you want to make sure you can ride any storm that hits you.

But there is a BIG difference between earning money and letting big, flashy, Dollar signs blind you.

Being in a rush to make money only makes you poor. Why? Because your obsessing about making money turns people off. No one will listen to you if you are always bragging about how much you made or how much you are going to make, especially if it isn’t true. Your blog will be less lively than a night club at breakfast and you will never create your nest egg.

Your blog will ultimately fail because people won’t read your blog.

16. You Have No Real Idea What Your Blog Is About!?!

Oh boy! Is this mistake a killer!

Is your site about technology? Is it about fashion? Is it about cooking, shopping, gardening, etc? Is your site about you or is it about your readers? Is about all of these, and everything in between (especially if it makes money)?

You jump on one bandwagon after another. Each time you think this one isn’t bringing in the money/traffic, you jump onto another, then another, then another….

You lose track of what you’re doing. You end up getting frustrated and bored, or worse still, you end up abandon it and giving up.

How can you hope to build a successful site if you don’t know what direction your site is going? How can you hope to attract regular readers if you end up switching topics every week!

17. You Don’t Link To Relevant Content On Other Sites

You’re blinded by your own importance.

You don’t include relevant links to other peoples content.  Content that introducing your readers to relevant, useful and simply just great content on other sites.

Google takes just as much notice of the links that go out from your blog as it does to links coming in to your blog.  Take advantage of this by linking to relevant content where appropriate.

If you are thinking that by linking to other people’s content, you are going to lose traffic, you’d be wrong.  People appreciate sites that share with them useful information, whether it be their own or other peoples.  They are much more likely to come back to your site if they think that it is a good place for quality information.  And as a bonus, sites are more likely to link back to your site if you are generous with your links.

Are You Guilty? 

Do you make any or all of these blogging & SEO mistakes?  It’s okay to admit it.  Blogging is hard work and you know that SEO is important.

You’re smart enough to realise that what readers are interested in, and look up to you for, is your help and advice, your interesting ideas and opinions, your solutions to their problems, and they’re interested in you as a blogger too.

Truth is, all these SEO strategies won’t work without remarkable content on your blog.  Your best SEO strategy to get ranked in the top 10 in Google is the quality of your writing. You need to write remarkably well to attract readers attention.  Remarkable content is content that makes your readers want to share it with their friends, followers and everybody they know. This means that,  in order to be remarkable, your content has to be interesting, vibrant, full of new ideas or a new take on what’s going.

Here’s a quick and simple remedy for how to write remarkable content and really rank in Google…

Your Cheat-Sheet For Writing Blogs Posts That Get You Noticed (& Ranking High In Google)

It all starts off of your blog!

In other words, you need to…

  1. Go and spend time hanging out on other people’s blogs and reading them.
  2. Read the comments and look for any questions people ask.
  3. Engage with people in the comments section and the individual whose blog it is.
  4. Hang out with other bloggers.
  5. Network! Send some bloggers you admire an quick email telling them that you enjoyed reading their latest blog posts.

When you’ve done this for a month or two, you’ll discover that you know so much more about your potential readers. You’ll be able to write remarkable content because of all this new information.  Your remarkable content is more likely to get noticed by Google because  its quality will be a lot higher than most of the stuff that gets published online.

More people will be talking about you and sharing links to your content on Twitter and Facebook which will also get you noticed and get you climbing up the rankings. Better still, you’ll start getting linked to by big, popular blogs too.

And then put the best SEO strategy of all to work for you… writing good quality blog posts!

So, What Are You Waiting For?

Start writing your remarkable guest posts for other people’s blogs.  Use your remarkable content to market yourself as a blogger to watch out for and subscribe to. Not just on your blog, use it to market yourself on other blogs where your readers hang-out currently.

Write. Practice. Write. Read other popular blogs.

Are you ready to get ranked in search engines for being remarkable?

About Tom Southern

Tom helps bloggers to pick a profitable niche and make their blogs successful. If you want to discover how to pick a profitable niche get your FREE copy of Profitable Niche Formula. You can learn more by following him on Twitter or Google+.

  • Andi the Minion

    Fantastic post Matt and Tom, while reading it I started to smile as I seem to do the opposite to many of these which can only mean that I am doing things right, probably not as much or best as I should be but at least I am doing things right.

    Content is king but as you say, write way too much weak stuff for the sake of writing and what good is that going to do you in the long run? It probably will do more harm than good.

    Comments, I don’t get huge amounts of comments but I do try to reply and chat with people. I also try and build relationships with other bloggers including some who I would consider out of my league, What is interesting is that many of them are not only happy to hear from me they are happy to chat.

    I think developing your own voice is vitally important as you need to be distinguishable from everyone else. As for keyword stuffing you hit the nail on the head, some posts are so riddled with long tail keyword phrases that sentences make no sense and do come across very robotic. I try to avoid it, so much so I have written posts completely key word free which probably isn’t great but then again I want people to read my posts and walk away understanding what I wrote.

    Thanks for a great read and speak soon.


    • Hi Andi!

      Kind words, thanks.

      You make 2 great points:

      1. Bloggers do like to engage with other bloggers. It doesn’t matter how big or new your blog. Bloggers are a engaging crowd!

      2. Developing your own voice is essential to creating uniqueness for your blog.

      It’s this voice that readers bond with.

      As for writing posts without keywords, I think you did yourself a favour there because what matters more is that you were writing with your readers fully in mind.

      Readers can tell this and it’s such a relief to read genuinely Reader-friendly posts. It all comes down to the fact that if you want your blog to make money for you, attracting readers is essential.

      And readers are attracted by solution-strong writing that helps them overcome obstacles and achieve what they want to have. Do this – and you’ll get tons of readers wanting to spend money with you (and feeling good about it).

      Cheers Andi! Thanks for adding to the conversation.

      • Thanks again for the excellent post Tom! Think the points you made were spot-on. Like I say above to Andi, most of these I know that I am doing right, though there were the odd couple that I need to work on to improve.

        • Appreciate your support, thanks Matt.

          Reminders to keep on your toes to always improve is always a good thing, especially when you’re in a people-business like blogging.

    • Hi Andi!

      Tom did a great job writing this post. Reading it for the first time, I was a bit like you. I seem to be doing the right thing in most circumstances, although there are a couple where I thought “I need to work on that!”

      I’d totally agree that many other bloggers are happy to chat with readers, as it is a great way to build a community around a site. I think I have connected with more bloggers in the comment section (both here and on other sites) than any other method.

      Keyword stuffing does seem to be decreasing, though I still stumble upon the odd site that still thinks this is a good thing to do.

      Cheers for the comment (as always). Speak to you later 🙂

  • A+ Tom.

    You nailed it.

    #1, 5, 10, 12

    and especially #15.

    People are so thirsty for money its like geez dude relax.

    Have you ever been to south Miami where people run up to your car trying to sell everything from clothes to fruit to kids toys its crazy.

    Some bloggers come off just like that.

    Listen folks its about creating VALUE first then you get the money.

    • “Listen folks its about creating VALUE first then you get the money.”

      Hey Freedom! You’re are so right. It’s like “Wooaaah there! Let me catch my breath.”

      Readers can tell if a blogger is genuinely interested in giving good advice, offering real solutions. In return, readers show their gratitude and interest by making these
      bloggers popular. It’s win-win (with value included).

      1,5,10,12 & 15 – You’ve picked the critical points that stop bloggers achieving their goal. Nice one, Freedom. Glad you joined in the conversation.


      • I always get put off by bloggers that are SO obsessed with “making money”. They can be quite intimidating as they are always “SELL, SELL, SELL” or “BUY MY STUFF”, etc.

        There is nothing wrong with using your site to make money, but if you do it too aggressively, all you achieve is scaring readers away.

    • Hi Freedom!

      Wow, Miami sounds crazy! I think someone was drunk if they ran up and started trying to sell me some fruit. 🙂

      #1, #5, #10, #12 & #15 are all great points, but I’d also add #16 into the mix.

      I have lost count of people emailing me asking for help with their site, only to see that they don’t really know what their blog is about. They will write about lots of totally unrelated topics, and wonder why they aren’t getting any traffic. Making sure you know exactly what your niche is can be THE most important step when starting a blog.

  • Coach Comeback

    Well done Tom.

  • I’m def guilty of the ‘no-niche niche’ which I need to tighten up in 2013. I need to just figure out what I really want to stick to and stick to it!

    • Knowing that’s what you have to do is half the battle.

      I think it’s more important to think in terms of topics, rather than in niches.

      Blogging by its very nature is a social platform. So, traditional business strategies, like niches, and competition, are not as important to bloggers as they might be.

      You could look at focusing on what topics get you going; what it is about them that spurs ideas for you.

      Pick one or two that really inspire interest for you.

      Figure out how these two topics link.

      That link could very well be *your* topic.

      Great thought provoking comment Avgjoegeek! Thanks.

    • You are definitely not alone here! Many bloggers can struggle to figure out exactly what they want to focus on. At least you know where you are going wrong, so you can address the problem. Too often I see bloggers give up when they aren’t getting the traffic they’d like.

      Keep at it and try to stick to a niche that you are passionate about. If you can do that, I’m sure that you will find success.

  • Secret Insider

    Excellent post Tom and Matt, some seriously good points here, all right as well, I am not as good as I could be due to time commitments but I try to deliver quality content without the hard sell, ideally I want to build up a following, a network and relationships with people before I try to make money from blogging.

    I see sites that are full of keyword based articles and adverts all over the site but no name attached to them, no one replying to comments or showing any sign of life. I cannot help but wonder why would they want a site like that.

    • I know the sites you mean and I don’t really see the point in them either! Dead sites are like ghost towns, no one is going to move there because there is nobody else to talk to.

      Sites need to build a community to be successful. As that community grows, it attracts more & more people – it has a knock on effect. That’s why new sites need to be patient when they first start as building up that initial small community can be the hardest part.

  • You’re right! The best thing about quality content is that people want to share it, no matter who they are. People will always want to link to and share quality with their friends/readers. The hard part of course is producing that quality content, but that does get easier with practice.

  • Tania Belkin


    I like #2 ,3, 4, 7 and 11, providing that you are motivated by a higher purpose and you are blogging to help your audience:)

    • Totally agree! You have to be motivated to do more than just “make money”, you have to genuinely want to help/inform your readers. People can see right through people pretending to help and will be put off if they don’t think they are being treated fairly.

      • “People can see right through people pretending to help” – Never a truer word, Matt! Phoneys talk funny! ~ as someone once said to me.:)

        Readers are attracted by integrity. They flock to bloggers who, not only speak their “language” and offer genuine help and advice, they flock to bloggers who offer them solutions to their problems, and can talk to them about the problems they’re having in easy, recognisable ways, that show how much they understand. That’s the key.

        Cheers Matt! Merry Christmas!

    • “…you are blogging to help your audience” So true Tania! Absolutely agree with you there.

      I’d add that you should only blog if your intention is to give something of value to others: solve a problem, etc. That’s the only way to truly succeed – give others what they need to succeed.

      Cheers Tania!

  • Hey guys great post, I’ve just started getting into blogging in a big way. I suffered from too many people telling me you’ll never make any money byblogging. But I’m building up a blog day by day and have a second one that I’ve just started a 30 day blog challenge with. I was going to blog about similar points which is how I found this page. Glad I did I’ll be back!

    • Hi Scott! Don’t let the doubters put you off. I’m not going to lie, it can be hard making money blogging (especially when you first start out), but it’s not impossible. You just need to put the hard work into making it work, that’s all.

      Blogging can be a great stepping stone to other things as well. A blog can be the building blocks to creating an online business. In fact, it can be beneficial to treat your blog as a business from day one. Look to introduce different income streams (i.e. create a product, sell ad space, hire your services out, membership site, etc.) and build up your site that way.

      Good luck to you Scott and let us know how you get on.

      • So true, Matt! blogging is a business. A lot of people forget that. Or they think it’s their blog that’s going to make money for them, but their blog is just a platform for their business, just as a bricks-and-mortar shop is a platform for a business.

        What makes the money is the product or service you provide.

        Content is just your marketing tool. It creates readers who you then have to turn into customers. Then you have to keep them as customers by providing excellent content. I think a lot of bloggers miss this point too, which is why many bloggers struggle to make money through their blogs.

        You’re so right to state how important it is to create a product or service as soon as possible. These products and services can’t be separate from content though. They have to be part of the content. In other words, content has to be marketing them all the time, directly and indirectly.

        What it comes down to is that Content isn’t king – it’s your marketing tool.

    • Hi Scott! Good for you for not letting nay-sayers stop you from doing what you want to do. You’re half way to achieving your goal just by that alone.

      Your blog is a business and creating a successful, profitable business takes time. Most of all you need a plan. Your 30 day blog challenge sounds interesting. You’re right to take it one day at a time.

      Your best way of making money blogging is to know from the outset what it is that you want to achieve with your blog – and making clear to your readers what it is *exactly* that you want them to do, e.g. sign-up to your email list, etc. Let me know if you’d like some further information on doing this if you want by replying to this comment.

      Either way, keep us in touch with your progress and looking forward to seeing you again.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Scott.

  • Hire SEO Experts India

    All the efforts
    you put in the blog post is appreciable. Entire blog is informative. Looking
    forward to read more blogs and contents from you. Wish you luck!

    • Thank you!!!

    • Thank-you. I’m grateful to Matt for accepting my guest post. I enjoyed writing it and engaging with you and other commenters here and, who knows, you could read a few more guest posts from me in 2013, if Matt likes what he sees 🙂

      • You are always welcome to write for us in the future Tom. Just get in touch 🙂

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  • Thanks for the tips! I definitely need to do #17 more.

    • You’re not alone! Many people forget to link to external sites in their posts. Some even think that it is bad (as they think they are sending traffic away), but that isn’t true.

      Search engines LOVE sites that link to other quality content. It shows that you are committed to providing value to your readers, who will themselves appreciate the links. External links are good and should definitely be encouraged!

      Thanks for the comment Jessica! Merry Xmas 🙂

    • Hi Jessica! #17 helps a lot in getting links and ranking. Matt’s right about the SEO love this gets you. But more than that, when you link out to popular sites often, you benefit from reciprical links: getting links back to your site from these same popular blogs. Not only does that get you big SEO love, it also helps you create relationships with popular blog owners, which can be priceless.

      Let me know if you need any further tips for linking out to relevant sites. Cheers! 🙂

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  • Hasan

    Jackass tips. I’ll start guest post soon.

    Thanks for the post.

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  • Nivas

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for this post. I was searching for the ‘niche’ to start with a blog. Information in your blog was excellent to provide the information required to start with a blog. Suggestion required – I am planning to to start blogging on Success and Happiness and I love these subjects. Do you think this is the right direction to start with?

    Thanks again!!

  • I agreed that the SEO is a skill that takes time and can sometimes make you little bored, but a quick research of keywords is right before posting. Getting how to implement SEO strategies correctly with your niche takes time and research. In case, talking about the benefits of SEO, search optimization is nothing but the Marketing, is to get your content availability & findability to users from search engines…

    Having the URLs to your site posts from the search is necessary, and its the purpose of SEO. You can’t just sit and expect for the world to come to your blog posts, rather you need to drive yourself to the world first so that it start to catch your content.

    I wouldn’t pay to much but enough time on SEO. All you require to think about the keyword research for PR, link-building to authority sites for DA. I prefer SEO optimized template, SEO plugins & still forcing SEO better up to the stage where I wish this word or that in the title of the post that’ll cause more organic traffic.

    Once you study the SEO & its techniques, you then get used to thinking about posting with that. I notice it’s more necessary to create quality content & build onpage SEO skills as you go. With SEO, you’re just delivering your content to search engines more user-friendly, and I recommended to stay to basic SEO tips, and your blog will be better for it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about SEO…

  • Pam Dollesin

    Good thing and I’ve read all these, imagine! I see myself in some of those mistakes and I gotta take an action like right now! Every single one of those are facts! Thanks Tom!