10 Extremely Common Blogging Mistakes, Are You Still Making Them?

Guest post by Harrison Li
Oh well… blogging mistakes, it’s not like the most unique-est thing you can ever hear from the blogosphere, like, seriously, everyone knows about them but are you still repeatedly making the same old mistakes? Time for a little self-check.

1. Not Updating Your Blog Enough

The right blogging frequency had always been a question that cannot be answered, well the answer is it’s industry specific, meaning it depends on what niche you are in. Blogs that post less than 5 times a month don’t necessarily mean it’s bad, it’s just the matter of how detailed and valuable each one is. Time to ask yourself whether you produce enough content.

2. Not Proof-Reading Posts

This is a goner. If you never re-read your posts for at least one time, then you’re considered as a content rusher. One little mistake can ruin your image and impression for a lifetime. If you see anything that needs to be reworded, just do it, don’t be lazy. A word of advice: don’t proof read your content again on the same day, read it the next day and I guarantee you can spot new and obvious errors you accidentally made.

3. Writing For Stephen Hawking

The main difference between a blog and a website is the writing style. A website is of pure information but a blog needs to be written with a friendly conversational voice. The advice you will hear a million times, write like you were talking to a friend. So make sure your writing style fits your audience and that it makes them feel like they are actually reading from a blog and not Wikipedia. Plus, this encourages more comments.

4. Copying Someone Else

You have also probably heard this a million times, but it may not be fully clear in your mind. Copying is always bad and it doesn’t only apply to content, as they all say don’t duplicate content. Copying applies to everything you find both offline and online, whether it’s a picture, an audio podcast or just a simple concept. If someone introduced it first, it’s theirs, don’t try to copy someone else’s stuff, you will result in having very poor credibility, reputation and impression.

5. Doing Heavy SEO

Search engine optimization is obviously a great thing to do for your blog, just because it gets you organic traffic and authority, but there are side effects if you produce content solely for search engines. SEO’ing means you’re writing for bots, and that is against the law of blogs: writing for readers. Of course, I’m not saying you should stop doing any more SEO, but you need to watch out for how many keywords you are stuffing into your information as well as developing poor content.

6. Not Replying To Comments

This is to be honest the worst thing you can ever do to a blog, if someone left a comment, there must be something you can talk back, even if it was for feedback like “nice info thanks for sharing”, well, act professional and reply nicely like “Hey X, thanks for stopping by I’m glad you liked the post.”, just act professional and you will keep your brand image safe. Not to mention comments is key to what differentiate blogs from websites! Here are 8 tricks to use if you don’t know what to comment.

7. No External Promotion

Whatever you do to your blog, how much time or efforts you dedicate to it, without promotion, there will be no results, no traffic, no one is going to know about them, you are just going to be as dead as [insertnegativecreature]. A good way to counter this rule is by following a time schedule, in your early stages of blogging, you will have to spend 3 times as much time externally for promotion than for your own blog. Promotion could be in many forms, ideas: social networking, commenting or most effectively, writing guest posts!

8. Not Writing Quality Content

I’ll repeat the “content is king” saying again, if you don’t provide value in your content to your readers, there’s, to be honest, no point in publishing it on to the web, it will be the same junky spammy stuff that already exists. A wise thing you could is, after each time you have written a piece, you ask yourself a question “what will this post teach my audience?”, “do my audience know this already?”, and so on, use a checklist.

9. Not Tracking Statistics

Use Google Analytics today. If you haven’t, you’re losing out plenty of potential readers, you could have acquired more loyal readers, used smarter SEO, generated more sales, improved any particular content to the highest extent. Analytics allows you to see what has been read the most, what pages got the most views and where the traffic came from, if from search engines, what keywords (and much more). By using the tool effectively, you can make little tweaks that will greatly improve your overall blog performance.

10. Not Reading From Authoritative Sources

Don’t tell me you’re the best blogger in the world, that you know every single thing happening around the blogosphere, every latest trend. No matter who you are, you’ve got to keep up with the latest news and technology around the web, don’t stay behind, you need to advance when it’s time to. For me, I read from many blogging blogs almost everyday, if there is important news, chances are that they write about them before I do.

So far, so good, ask yourself these questions, are you or your blog making these classic mistakes? If not, you’ve just become a better than average blogger, you’ve still got more work to do. Here’s a little summary.

Self Checklist

  1. Are you posting regularly?
  2. Do you proof-read your posts?
  3. Are you writing like Wikipedia?
  4. Did you copy someone else’s ideas?
  5. Are you keyword stuffing?
  6. Do you reply to every single comment?
  7. Do you promote your content/blog?
  8. Are you writing valuable content?
  9. Are you tracking your website’s stats?
  10. Do you read other blogs?

For a detailed blog post checklist visit here.

Mind sharing with me any special experiences you have had with these mistakes? Let me know something I’ve missed, in the comments below and I’ll be sure to talk back!

Harrison Li is a 14 year old blogger who shares in-depth blogging advice and marketing strategies you’ll find no where else, don’t believe it? Meet him at Blog Lectures and start reading his newsletter..

Comments

  1. For the time being I’m working to improve no.1 – somehow i have a high research time. Also, it’s important to check if your posts address the right crowd. I try to make my articles as accessible as possible, but I have to admit that my readers belong to a certain niche, so I need to satisfy them first.

    • Harrison Li says:

      ahh that’s right Mia, identifying what your target audience wants and likes is very important, or else things you post becomes irrelevant, which is certainly bad.

  2. Hi Harrison, great job for such a young blogger. I think you covered all the points that I would use to give advice to new bloggers. One thing I need to do is check my Google Analytics more often, that’s a great way to see where your traffic is coming from and how long they are staying on your blog. Thanks!

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey IIeane, thanks for your sincere praise, I know I know, you are professional enough to even read these tips, right? Yup Analytics is quiet important if you want to know your audience!

  3. Another popular mistake is to start too large. Google’s Matt Cutts once said that a blogger should first cover a small niche within the niche and then expand to other topics once the blog naturally grows and attracts more visitors.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Andreas, that’s very true, I actually regret starting my blog too big, I should have only focused on either blogging or marketing and not both at the same time, ahh well it’s very true we should start small and build up gradually.

  4. I would add a 11th – Bad headlines.
    A good headline gives the reader an idea about what they are about to read and therefore make them want to click on the post..

    all the best

    • Harrison Li says:

      oh right ahaha simon, headlines are extremely important as well these days, not back then, but right now, it’s crucial, both the meaning of the post and the attractiveness needs to be mixed together, I agree with you completely, sad I have missed this step.

      Cheers, wish you success,

  5. I agree with all these points. In fact I have been guilty of almost 6 mistakes myself. I think the title of a post is one of the biggest factors. My most viewed posts have noticeably the most enticing titles. You’ve done well for sharing these tips. BTW Harrison, loved your blog “Blog Lectures”.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Oh man, I feel terrible for not including “not writing attractive headlines”, well thanks for the sincere praise John! I love your blog’s domain name too, especially the word monster ahaha! It’s catchy!

  6. Nice job Harrison. All very good points for a new blogger to follow.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Tatum, thanks for your comment, when pro bloggers know these stuff is pretty much the basics and useless to them, they won’t even bother to comment, but you did! Thanks for your kind words :)

  7. All good tips. You’re basically saying ‘write smart’, but managed to open it up quite nicely.

    You seem to also know that the X top/common/best blog posts get most hits ;)

    • Harrison Li says:

      haha Fiksu, I feel sad that I have forgot to write a mistake about headlines, you’re the third person to tell me about that, well you must be really smart or else you wouldn’t be able to point that out, right?

  8. This is a pretty good checklist Harrison. I always like to keep things organized in checklists to make blogging easier. In the 3rd mistake, i would also like to add to not make your blog all about you. if you care about readers and try always to provide them with things they eagerly need, then you got a loyal audience.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Edgar, I totally get what you mean, be a little personal with my words and at the same time deliever the appropriate and relevant information to the audience, am I right?

  9. Hi Harrison! Looks like I breezed through your checklist with flying colours! (Glad I’m doing something right for a change!)

  10. I’ve been guilty of sin #3 on occasion, but in my defense I write about a somewhat specialized subject (San Diego real-estate) and gear it towards a certain specialist audience (people interested in San Diego real-estate).

    • Harrison Li says:

      Oh right Alex, I forgot to mention that point is actually industry-specific, so if you write for a audience about houses, the target reader is probably an adult and that means academic writing is essential. Great reminder!

  11. Great article. Yes you right. heavy SEO will put bad impact on the site’s search visibilty.

  12. Great list, I found a few things that I was doing. Stepping outside of your own mind and playing towards your target audience is one of the most difficult things for me (writing for Stephen Hawking). What do you consider the most helpful for tracking statistics, and how do you use it to influence what you do?

  13. I’m going to test how well you apply #6!! Haha, just kidding, looks like you do a great job of responding to comments. This was a really great post, and I think I’m going to print out your checklist and keep it nearby. It’s always handy to have a reminder of good practices nearby!

    Paula

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hehe, I have never not replied to a comment ever, but I will soon break this rule, only beginner bloggers need to follow it. Lol thanks for your thoughts, that made me giggle too.

  14. Great advice, Harrison. Replying to comments is the best way to show that you care for what your readers say. Making posts too large is a common mistake too, I think.

  15. Darryl Burma says:

    Harrison,

    I believe I scored 10 out of 10, I’m sure there are other areas I could improve in though. Great list you compiled there by the way.

    However, I do operate a few different blogs and could probably promote them a bit better, but I do the best I can.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Darryl, then you must be a really successful blogger! Ahh promotion is the hardest part of all I reckon. Good luck though :)

  16. Hello,

    To be honest, when I was a blogger, I never even approved some empty platitude such as, “nice info thanks for sharing,” much less replied to one…

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Sonny, totally agree with you, if there’s nothing they can find valuable to say, then just shut up, right?

      • And what sucks the most is that you know they didn’t read your article. I would rather they had read the article and disagreed with me on (specifically) “this, that, and the other…”

  17. Hi Harrison!

    How I so agree with you!

    Especially in the point where you say, “when you copy someone else”.

    Honestly, when I visit a blog, and I notice that this blog copied from another blog, I will never visit this blog again.

    I guess everyone else is the same :)

    Kimi.

  18. Very well written Harrison …

    Strongly agree with your points, especially the #6 one …Many bloggers leave the comments without replying !! Truly said that one should atleast praise the commentator for his comment :)

    • Harrison Li says:

      well all beginner bloggers that find comments scarce of their blogs definitely need to comment back, but for people like Darren Rowse, it would take him years to reply to all comments heh! Well thanks Salman for your praise.

  19. Excellent points, but I think that pretty much all of them can be summed up in one statement:

    Take what you do seriously.

  20. Posting frequency is probably the one I struggle with the most, which is probably the most important one. I mean, you can’t make mistakes if you’re not even posting! lol. Great list to keep handy!

    • Harrison Li says:

      thanks Brittany, lol that made me chuckle because it’s too true :D well quality comes over quantity, even if you post one really good post each month could be enough.

  21. Harrison -

    I’m sure you get this all the time, but are you REALLY 14? You know so much! Thanks for the tips, I will be sure to keep this in mind so my own blog doesn’t crash and burn soon. ;)

    Laurie

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Laurie, I get that question a lot, it’s all about research, and right now before i get into highschool i spent quiet amount of time studying (about blogging) this is something I got. Oh and your site is pretty innovative, is it down or just me, hahaha :D

  22. Glynis Jolly says:

    I guess I’m naive. All ten as the basics for having a blog that is going to do anything at all. It’s sad to think that there are those who are expecting success without doing the work.

  23. I Too believe that not regularly updating the blog is just like killing your blog gradually. Also never copy any thing from any one. I

  24. All of these are really good points. I think that I struggle with proofreading the most. I have no problem picking up on the grammatical errors of others, but when it comes to my own it is harder for me. I guess it is, because I have looked over it so much that mistakes can slip through the cracks. Two sets of eyes are better than one. That is why I always try to let someone else read over my work. Great idea on re-reading the post the next day.

  25. Thanks for sharing this tips. It’s good once in a while to freshen up bloggers on the do’s and don’ts in blogging.

    It is important to update your blog often enough and be sure to write original quality content. And be sure if someone comments on your blog, reply to them. They would really appreciate if you comment back on them.

  26. It is a very nice and informative post for bloggers especially for neophytes. Thanks for sharing such common blogging mistakes and we should keep in mind such points especially not replying the comments and doing heavy SEO.

  27. Thanks .I also make these mistakes.But posting daily is not possible.

    • posting daily is not so needed but yes try to make a time table and follow them. for example you can make a time table who allows you to post in one day or two day gap.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Hey Sibin, sorry for the confusion, posting frequency does not actually mean you have to post everyday, it’s just that you need to post “enough” quality content, I’ve seen someone who posts one very good post each month and she gets more comments than what 13 of my posts get in a month.

  28. I know some swear by using hosted blogs but if you want ultimate control of your blog it is best to do it on your own domain and hosting.
    SEO is also very important

  29. An author’s bio adds credibility to your blog. I’m not saying you have to have a whole “about” page, although that is nice, I’m just saying to give your readers a couple of sentences explaining who you are and what you are all about

  30. I think its important to mention that you should always look at the content and audience of your blog – is it for your business or is it personal and keep the two very seperate. I found this hard to do at first and also keeping the content in the blog updated. I often write articles in advance so I can feed them in when I have a really busy week and know I will not have much time to do any blogging. I also take advantage of any one offering help for them to word document interesting ideas so that I can use these as well in a busy week. You can visit my blog at http://gloven.co.uk/blog

  31. Great advices but all of them are not mistakes… If I say that you mistake is that you don’t make 4000$ daily – it isn’t a mistake, it’s lack of something.. same goes for some of the advices. But I aggree to all of them!

  32. Number 3 (posting like wikipedia) resonated with me. I have a history blog that focuses on Caribbean history. I publish children’s ebooks about the Caribbean but my blog is really focused on the adults in these children’s live (teachers, parents, librarians) and I want to appear authoritative. Sometimes my posts are long and border-line academic and other times they are “neat to know” snippets. Right now I think this is a good mix because my readers seem to like to actually learn something. But I don’t have enough traffic yet to be able to really judge this. Two things I’ll use from your post: blog more often, and try to sound more approachable while still providing quality information.

    • Harrison Li says:

      Oops, sorry, I forgot to point out the fact that it’s industry specific, so if someone blogs about history which is you, then writing academically and professionally would be an essential thing to do, writing personally is only for blogs with a topic that isn’t too information-based.

      Yup, Jacqueline, that’s a really good approach, and it’s very true that writing academically will make you authoritative just like an expert at your niche :D It also builds credbility and trust because it’s more difficult to write such content!

  33. I like the one about “not replying to comments”. People forget that a comment is the start of a relationship. If you reach out and engage those who visit your blog, you build a social influence and this social engagement means more trust/credibility.

    It’s a cycle that people forget about.

    • Harrison Li says:

      You’re totally on the right track Barry, well I really only reply to comments that has genuine meanings in them, not like nice info, you know… It’s very true what you said about trust and credibility, definitely! Ana from Traffic Generation Cafe and Glen from Viperchill could be our role models!

  34. one of the most viral mistake a blogger make is not implementing SEO in his blog. If you are using wordpress i must insist you go for AIO SEO, the best of all the SEO plugins.

  35. A lot of mistakes for me *0*

    Everybody want their sites to be the first page search of search engines Because it mean more time people visit their site SEO is help but in long times High Quality Sites is the best way to get more traffic and people love to read good articles and Quality Content

    Thankyou for your interesting post sir

  36. Great job. This is what every blogger should read and be aware of. I totally disagree copying someone else – how could you even call yourself a blogger if you stole someone else’s work?

  37. Quality content. and regular post are two of the most difficult factors that a blogger should take care of in order for them to get more audience. The only problem with some is their commitment… I know some bloggers who already set-up their blogs for automatic posting wherein some posts don’t really make sense at all.

  38. Nice tutorial.Thanks for sharing common blogging mistakes even I do sometimes such mistakes and this article is a good reminder to avoid such mistakes.

  39. Stanford, This is a great list. It is definitely the top priority, stop waiting and start blogging. I like the link about sneeze pages. I have been reading his posts but somehow missed that one. Thank you!

  40. Shana Williams says:

    Hey Darryl, then you must be a really successful blogger! I totally disagree copying someone else – how could you even call yourself a blogger if you stole someone else’s work?

  41. These are all really great points! The checklist you included is perfect and something that I have now printed out so I can refer to it whenever we are getting ready to post a blog!

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