5 Common Blog Mistakes New Bloggers Make!

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Blog MistakesThis blogging lark is great, but you’re going to make mistakes along the way.  If you want to do it properly, help people, or make some money out of it, then there are a few simple mistakes that you need to avoid doing.  The success of your blog will be greatly improved if you follow these simple rules and don’t do these common blog mistakes new bloggers make!

Blog Mistakes New Bloggers Make!

1. Not Setting Permalinks Up Correctly

It really pains me when I see this because it is such an easy and quick fix! Your permalink settings will by default be set to….. well, default. This means your pages will look something like this ‘www.yoursite.com/?P=123’.

This is not very useful for your visitors and more importantly not very useful for Google!  You see, if you wanted to search for an ‘About Me’ page you would not expect to find it under ‘?P-432’ or something. The solution is simple, change your settings in the permalinks section on your WordPress dashboard to ‘Post Name’. This will improve things for you, and you will now have sensible looking page names.

2. Doing Zero SEO

How would you expect your page to rank without performing any SEO? Well, not very well. With correct and efficient SEO you can get bundles of traffic for free. I am not saying go out and blow your entire monthly budget on some company to do it (they are very overpriced in my opinion). You can do a little yourself, and something is better than nothing. After you have written your post, or ideally before, take a look at your target keyword or keyphrase. As a minimum you should at least do the following:

  • Include your keyword in your permalink
  • Include your keyword in your title
  • Include your keyword in your description
  • Provide ‘Alt-tags’ for any images you use

Just doing these four simple steps will improve the SEO of your post a great deal. A free Plugin to help you deal with all this and more is Yoast. Get it if you haven’t already.

Check out our helpful guide for on-page SEO to help you optimize your own posts and pages.

3. Not Responding To Comments Or Emails

This blog mistake really annoys me!  We are all in this business together and bit of common courtesy now and again shouldn’t go a miss. If people make the effort to comment on your blog post, then at the very least thank them! Do you know this person, probably not – they could be willing to help you out. Respond to emails too – I have a rule, I respond to all my emails within 24 hours, I expect the same. It’s not difficult, you either want my business or not.  If you can’t be bothered to write a simple line saying “Hi, received your email. Really busy at the moment, I will deal with your request very soon” then I can’t be bothered with you, and I will take my business elsewhere.

And I have done this, just the other day in fact. I know it can sometimes be a bit of a burden following up emails and blog comments. Here is a tip – do not respond immediately; dedicate a little slot once per day to do this.

4. Not Building An Email List

Email Marketing

The chances are there are a whole host of people who visit your blog and then never return. Quite sad isn’t it!

A very effective way of promoting your blog is through email marketing. Offer capture boxes, opt-in forms and RSS feeds on your blog. This way, there is a chance that they may sign up and subscribe to one of your offers and then almost certainly you can encourage them to return. We all know the term ‘The money is in the list’ but even if you are writing a blog not for money purposes, building a list is critical to any blog.

Learn how email marketing can increase traffic with return visitors.

5. Doing No Promotion At All

If you do no SEO, and no promotion how do you think people will find your site? Answer – they won’t!

Again, like the SEO blog mistake, doing a little is better than doing nothing. Get involved in some social media platforms. The big players like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are great arenas to promote your blog. With millions upon millions of people connected and using these social media sites, can you really afford to not be promoting through them?

You can get a Twitter feed setup in no time at all, in fact step 6 on my internet marketing course talks specifically about this technique. You should use as many as you feel comfortable with. Just recently I have been finding some success with some other, less well-known social media platforms such as Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram.

So there is a little list of common blog mistakes new bloggers make. I do not claim to be an expert and I have made some of my own blog mistakes along the way, but if you wipe out these five you will be in a much better position…… that much I do know.

Do you know of any other quick-fix mistakes? What blog mistakes have you made in the past? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About John Banks

John is a blogger from the UK, running his site JohnBanksBlog to help people with blogging, SEO and social media. He has just released his latest product "30 Minute Infographics" where he shows you step by step how to create your own using free web-based software. Watch over his shoulder as he makes one in just 30 minutes flat. You can learn more by following him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

  • Though this isn’t a “quick-fix” mistake, giving up to early is probably the biggest and worst mistake for new bloggers…

    • Hi Thomas! Totally agree with you here. Many new bloggers give up too early because they don’t start seeing results straight away. It’s a shame because if they can stick with it through the early stages (it can be tough I know) then it’s worth it.

  • Hi Thomas, yes i agree.
    Its very easy to give up with this, I think everyone goes through a period of self-doubt now and again. Also, not having a plan can be a huge mistake. Its so easy to jump from idea to idea without actually getting anywhere……

    • It’s SO important to have a plan when people start out blogging. Like you say, it’s easy to jump from idea to idea without getting anywhere. I think the best way to look at it is to view a new site/blog (whatever the subject) as a business. You have to have some sort of plan or strategy that you use so that you know where you want to take your site.

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  • Jason C

    I couldn’t agree more with your post. Most bloggers never do any of what you are talking about above and they still keep the old mentality of build it and they will come. It doesn’t work like that online and those who do even a very little bit fly up the ranks in very fast ways as a result.

    • Thats right Jason, little is better than none. After all, we have to start somewhere. Like you say, the “build it and they will come” method has long gone……

    • Hi Jason! Yes, I’m still surprised that many people follow the “build it and they will come” philosophy. If it was that easy, then everyone would be doing it!

      Just with anything else in life, if you’re prepared to put in the hard work and effort, you can make a success of yourself. The good thing about blogs is that you have the potential to reach A LOT more people if you do put in the work. 🙂

  • Kim Robey

    Just getting ready to get my feet wet in the blogging pond : ) Thanks for the information.

    • Welcome along to the blogosphere Kim! No problem on the info – just get in touch if you need anything……

      • Hi John! Thanks again for writing such a great post and answering people’s comments.

        Surprisingly, other guest writers seem to forget to interact with people leaving comments, which I always think is daft. They spend the time writing the post and then ignore the people giving them feedback. I always try to encourage writers to follow up on their posts by answering comments, so it’s nice to see that you are doing just that. Thanks John 🙂

    • Hi Kim, welcome to the site 🙂

      Blogging can be a great way to make extra money, or even a full time income, if you’re prepared to put in the work. Like I say in one of the comments below, the great thing about blogging is the potential to reach so many people online. You certainly couldn’t do that with many new offline businesses! All it takes is one good idea or one brilliant post and you could start to get lots of traffic very quickly.

  • Hi John, great points. Another big mistake is not making relationships with other bloggers 😉 Thanks for sharing
    Chris

    • Hi Chris! Yes, you’re right there. Building relationships with other bloggers is a very important aspect to running a site. One that many new bloggers probably overlook when they are starting out.

      • Yes – agreed. See you around the traps!

  • bmouck

    Thanks for the great points. When reading it seems like common sense, but easy to forget about, or miss. I am just starting a blog and will keep this handy!

    • Yes, I know what you mean. It’s all well and good knowing about these mistakes, but forgetting not to do them is another thing.

      I’ve found that getting into the habit of not doing them is the best way to approach it. That way, it becomes automatic.

    • Hi,

      Another quick and simple thing to add to this list that people often forget is adding a sitemap….. this is a great addition to any site. And very simple to add to any wordpress site as a plugin. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with myself or Matt if you need any help setting this up.
      Regards,
      John

  • Lynn Brown

    Fantastic list of common mistakes and, more importantly, specific information on how to correct or avoid making them in the first place! Absolutely agree with the importance of SEO (keywords) and responding to comments. There’s no faster way to lose a following (and potential leads/clients) than not actively engaging. Not to mention the fact that it is just plain rude to leave their comments hanging. Great article & advice! Thanks for sharing!

  • I suppose for new bloggers who haven’t been around long enough to be considered failures this may constitute good advice, remedial as it may be.

    • Hi Egan. I hope this post highlights some of the mistakes that many new bloggers make that can cause them to fail in the short term. Once you know what mistakes you’re making, it’s much easier to fix it.

      • I do apologize for the tone of my previous remark. I often open multiple tabs at once, and likely mixed up your post with one with a different title. That’s the only thing I can think of as to why I would have expected an article for more experienced bloggers (as evidenced by my remarks) when you clearly stated in the title that the post was meant for new bloggers.

        In any case, I do regret my earlier remark, and am scratching my head as to why I said that. The only thing that makes any sense is that I didn’t read the title before reading the post and got my numerous open tabs confused, believing I was reading a post with a much different title.

        • Hi Egan. Don’t worry about it! These things happen.

          I’ve made the same mistake myself by commenting on a post that I misread the title of.

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