We were all newbies once and most of us are probably guilty of more than a few of these mistakes. I know I was when I started out! So here’s some tips on things you might want to avoid when you’re starting out.
1. Not having a niche
You might have a tonne of different interests that you’re just dying to share with the internet. But, the chances of finding readers that have that very same set of interests is small. You might love computer games and makeup and cooking and DIY, but it’s going to be hard to build a loyal readership if you try and post about all of those different topics in a single place.
It’s really important to pick a niche and stick with it. If you have a makeup site it doesn’t mean you can’t throw up the odd recipe if you really want too, but it should be a very occasional thing. Your readers are coming for the makeup, not for the recipes so give them what they want.
Having a single defined niche will make it easier to promote your blog and earn yourself a spot in the search results because everything is focused around that niche. If you absolutely want to post about all those things consider setting up multiple blogs, one for each niche, or having a multisite (having totally separate blogs is usually the better way to go).
2. Covering too much with a single post
Each post you write should be about a specific topic. Let’s say you write a post about your weekend bbq party where you include a tutorial for the cute DIY invites you made, and the amazing recipe for guacamole and one for the meat marinade, and a review of this amazing new outdoor blanket set you got. It’s too much!
Instead you could link out to a second post on how to make the invites, a third and fourth for the recipes and a fifth for the blanket set review. If you include all of those posts in one it’s going to be a confusing messy read. You’ll likely end up getting more views if you separate out those recipes and DIYs and reviews because a lot more people will be interested in finding out your awesome recipe for guacamole without having to scroll through a wall of text to find it.
3. Not proof reading
In my fantasy world of blogging I just tippy tap out a post on my laptop then hit publish and I’m done for the day. In reality that doesn’t work. Proof reading is so important so once you’ve finished writing go back and read your post over. Watch out for spelling mistakes, ramblings or tangents, sentences that don’t make sense. Edit your post until it’s perfect.
There will always be times where a sneaky spelling mistake slips through the cracks, but you want to be trying to catch as many errors as you can.
Once you’ve proof read and edited, go back and give it a quick read through again to make sure you’re happy before you hit publish. I like to read mine out loud, I usually find that it helps me catch any last little issues that I didn’t spot reading it in my head.
4. You haven’t found your voice
Finding the right voice for your blog can be tricky. With a lot of blogs you’re giving the reader valuable information and you need to find that balance of showing your personality in your writing while giving the readers the information that they came for. You don’t want to come across as a robot, but at the same time you don’t want to be bombarding your readers with ramblings that make it hard to find the real meat of the post.
5. Not Having a Design
You install wordpress, leave up the default theme and start posting away. You want your blog to stand out and be unique, and with a tonne of free themes out there there’s really no reason to stick with the same old theme that every other newbies got on their blog. Make your blog stand out, find a theme that shows off your style so that when people land on your blog they know they’re on your blog.
6. Going to crazy with your design
On the opposite end of the scale from point one is having a customisable theme and going completely crazy with it. You setup a million different colours and fonts to be used all over the place and burn your readers retinas out with an acid yellow background with turquoise text.
Take some inspiration from other blogs, look up colour combinations that complement each other and keep the amount of different fonts to a minimum.
7. Posting too many (almost) identical pictures
We’re all guilty of taking 2,135 pictures and then not being able to decide whether the one where our head is tilted slightly to the left vs the one where it’s tilted slightly more to the left is the best. That doesn’t mean you should post them both! Every image you include in a post increases the load time of that post so you want each one to have earned it’s spot. They should all be different enough that your reader doesn’t feel like they’re flicking through your camera roll.
8. Pictures sizes & quality
Ideally you want all of your pictures to be the same dimensions and quality. If you check out this blog you’ll see that every image spans the width of the post and are of a good quality. Over on my other blogs I live by the same rules. If the picture I want to use is too small I won’t use it, if it’s bad quality I won’t use it.
I love reading blogs where they’ve really put effort into choosing the images they use on their blog, it’s like a feast for the eyes. Start paying attention to your blog images and where you space them in your articles to break up the text and keep the readers engaged.
9. The wall of text
Walls of text are a huge turn off for readers, it just looks so intimidating! Breaking up your post with headers, paragraphs and images so you don’t strike fear into the hearts of your readers. You’re not writing a huge essay for university, you’re writing blog posts that should be engaging for your readers and unfortunately walls of text don’t look very appealing unless you find ways to break it up into more bitesized chunks.
10. Being a spammer
Nobody likes a spammer, and if you start out your blog life spamming it’ll take a long time to shake off that reputation in the community. It’s good to network and leave comments on other bloggers posts, but they should be genuine comments. If all you’re doing is leaving a link to your own blog and asking people to check it out then you’re probably going to annoy the very people that you want to network with.
Even if a blog allows you to link to your own blog along with your comment, make sure that you’re leaving a decent comment along with that link so that the owner of the blog doesn’t feel like you’ve just turned up for the free promotion.
What are the top mistakes you’ve been making with your blog? When I started out mine was not having a niche, I’d just write posts about whatever popped into my head that day. Needless to say it didn’t work out to well ?