Blogging KidArielle asked me a few days ago if I could make a post about the most common mistakes a beginner blogger does. So I took up the challenge and compiled a small list of  not-to-dos and how to avoid them. I actually made a few of them myself in my beginner and initiating first months of blogging. There’s no shame in that, no one’s ever been born scholared  or educated, we learn from our experiences and from our mistakes. So the purpose of this article is to open some eyes and hopefully help you build a better blog.

1. Not blogging on self-hosted blogs. I see this everywhere and I’ve gotta say this is one of the most capital mistakes you could make as a blogger. A big chunk of the blogosphere is made out of free-hosted blogs, such as the ones Wordpress and Blogger provide. What’s wrong with a upkeep free  blog? Well you have very limited control over your work, blogger or whatever service you use can delete your posts or blog whenever they feel like it, most of the times you have trouble monetizing your traffic and because it’s plain old unprofessional.

I’m not saying that blogger or wordpress blogging services are bad or anything like that, they’re actually a great way to get used to the platforms, but nothing more. If you’re blog actually becomes popular, you’ll gonna have a real though time switching to self-hosting, as you lose a shit load of subscribers, visitors and incoming links. Spare yourself the trouble and buy some host space and a .com domain(or whatever), it’s dirt cheap these days.

2. Not blogging out of passion, but out of lust for money. Nowadays a lot of people start blogs just to gain a extra income, hoping they’ll make a easy and quick buck. If they’d blog for long enough, they would know there’s not such thing as easy money in the world of blogging, or internet marketing for that fact. You have to work a lot and be persistent, or to be persistent and constant in your work you have to be fueled by passion or else the the 1-2 first week enthusiasm will die off soon and you’ll have a another dead blog on your hands. Stop posting about mesothelioma or  whatever adsense high paying keywords works and start blogging about what really matters to you.

3. Design cluttering. I’m more then certain you’ve seen all over the Internet blogs that are plain and simple horrific and unaesthetic  beyond any  measure. Eye hurting color combinations, way over crowed sidebars, hard to read content, spammy banners and links everywhere. If you’re reading this and you identify yourself with the above, the dude de-cluster you shit now! A blog is like a greeting card or a mirror of yourself, when someone sees and reads a blog they associate it with the author. Take simple cleaning measure like you would do with a overstacked desk, put everything away and start from the top. This time don’t add useless garbage anymore.

4. Commenting issues. I just hate it when it’s just to complicated to comment on a particular post. Some people make the mistake of making the commenting process to complicated and time consuming, especially if they make the user to register an account. Some people make a even greater step backwards and turn off commenting all together. That cuts off reader interaction, one of the major principles a blog is built upon.

Also as a blogger you have to keep reader interaction at all time, that means you have to actively participate in the discussions or debates, by responding to comments. A simple thank you for commenting can do wonders, you can take this to a even higher level by sending responding readers a thanks you e-mail in which you show your appreciation for their response. This is a excellent technique if you have a really new blog and you’re in desperate need of faithful readers. Commenting on other blogs or on the ones belonging to people who comment on yours is often neglected. Make a commenting schedule every day. Your comments will be returned.This really a broad field that I will expand upon in a future post.

5. Stats show off. I really don’t like it when people brag about their stats, and I really stay away from those who have bad one too. I wouldn’t call it exactly wise to put out half of siderbar worth of ranking icons and things like that, that says: rank 10412, or 2 visitors today, or 4 feedburner subscribers. That’s totally a turn off of readers, so my advice is that you immediately take them down. Keep just a feedburner chicklet, if you have a few hundred, as a sign that you’re a established and you can also put something like monthly general stats  in your about page, or preferably in our advertising space, again only if their really impressive.

6.  Bad content and text formating. A lot of people write in a very poor, most of the time unreadable manner, forgetting that they are actually exposed on the web and anyone can read their posts. Take some time and read a few (good) blogs for a few weeks and understand how blogging and writing works. Learn to make decent headlines, insert representative images, brake your content into paragraphs for easier reading, use a spell checker to avoid common typos and grammar mistakes (mozilla has one built in) and lots and lots more.

Also I’ve seen a lot of people steal content from others and “making them their own”. Most people think that’s ok to just copy/paste someone else’s work, but this not only unethical, but also illegal, so you might risk a low suit. Plus there’s no real benefit to it, as search engines nowadays know how to spots copycats and cheats, so you won’t get any real traffic. Blog about what you know best, no matter how bad the end result might be, you’ll eventually learn more about your field, develop your own writing style and ultimately be a authority on your domain.

7. Early monetization. Being rewarded for your hard work is a normal thing, but don’t do it from the start and never do it excessively. First establish yourself a readership, a decent amount of traffic, subscribers, inbound links etc. Once you’ve done that you can safely put some adsense, or other PPC, here and there, but so to not distract readers from your content or bug then too much. Most people, including myself, hate over monetized websites with ads everywhere and won’t spend more then 3 seconds on your website.

Oh  and on a similar never cheat and click your own ads, you’ll be banned and trust me there isn’t a question of if they find out, it’s when. Is a fist of dollars worth losing a possible stable income? I think not.

There are a lot more, but these are the most common and the most serious ones. If you’ve found any of the points above familiar, then take the necessary measures to fix them.

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  1. Bull3t

    Neat, you do fine some nifty little things to post about - I always lack ideas. Thanks for this, though.

  2. Keith Johnson

    Very good article. Many Thanks.

  3. Steven Snell

    Number one is huge. If you want to accomplish anything other than a personal blog to connect with friends you need your own domain.

  4. Chip

    I agree with you. I made some of this mistakes myself, but I managed to get over and now I’m writing tips and tricks about it. Just like you.

    I agree most with the last point, the early monetization, as I see lots of new blogs with lots of ads and when I look at the number of comments per each article, the average is 2, maximum 3. Why advertise for 2 or 3 commentators? When the articles will have 50+ comments, you’ll know you have to make the move. Until then, write quality content, write more quality content, and comment on other related blogs.

  5. Andrew

    I think originality is also a key. I see so many similar blogs out there and there’s only so many that can make it.

  6. Tibi Puiu

    @Chip: I couldn’t agree more.
    @Andrew: You’re absolutely right; originality is a must. See point 6.
    @everyone else: Thanks for the replies.

  7. samulli

    Just stumbled upon your site through a link somewhere. This is a great post. I couldn’t agree more. All newbies should read this before starting a blog. :)

  8. Dojo

    Excellent article. I agree with most of the things you have mentioned in here. It’s true that many beginners just think about the way they want to earn and forget that any project (blogging included) takes a lot of time and you do have to spend some money too … it’s not free ;)

  9. KP

    Great article, you have covered very well on the top mistakes the people make. I agree 100% with your first mistake, why use a free-hosted blog. The domain and hosting fee is low and affordable now and it makes it more fun to have full control on personal blog.

  10. Thomas Sinfield

    Not having your own domain is the biggest turn off for me. I pretty much leave instantly, unless they have some amazing content.

  11. CatherineL

    Brilliant article. I don’t understand people who turn off comments either. The whole point of blogs is being able to share ideas.

  12. Lynne

    All very excellent points! Thanks for taking the time to share these ideas with all of us. :-D

  13. Sherrilynne Starkie
  14. Roger

    I like your points but disagree with your first one. I have blogged on self-hosted blogs. I never got much traffic, even after advertising with Google Ad Words. I finally shut it down.

    I now Google for free over at vox.com. I get lots of hits. I have a pretty good Technorati rating of 487,964 and a 17 Authority, all for free. I make a few bucks from Amazon from click-throughs.

    While I still have a self-hosted URL, I am holding on to it until I come up with ideas or sell it.

  15. Roger

    I meant blog for free…not Google. Sorry.

  16. AnneTanne

    I agree on most of your points, but I’d like to add one: English is not my native language, and therefore it’s sometimes difficult to read English that isn’t spelled correctly.
    Reading in your article ’so you might risk a low suit’ makes me wonder for a while ‘low suit’, what’s that? Oh yes, sounds like ‘law suit’. And ‘to complicated’? Oh, ‘too complicated’…
    if their really… instead of if they’re really…

    This may seem trivial to a native speaker, but when it’s not the language you’re currently ‘thinking in’, it’s actually interrupts the fluency of reading when you constantly have to wonder ‘what does that mean? oh yes, sounds like….)

    Oh yes, I do realize that this comment isn’t fluent at all… but I’m not blogging in English, and I read and reread my Dutch articles in order to prevent spelling errors.

  17. Tibi Puiu

    @AnneTanne: spelling and spell checking is something I really try to improve nowadays. I’m a really busy person and often write articles in a hurry, but that doesn’t mean I don’t at least check my articles once or twice for spell checking, it’s a big mistake not to. Unfortunately I didn’t check this post at all for spelling and other grammar errors, if you read it carefully you’ll find loads of them, I know I did, but the important thing is that it’s readable and that people understand what I mean through my posts.

    Grammar and spell errors are truly one of the mistakes bloggers often do, I do it all the time (not a native one either), but they’re just minor one, that will annoy just the more English savvy readers. Thanks for your contribution Ann, spelling and English will definitely be a subject in onee of my future articles. Oh and I’ll efinitely read my posts twice before posting, if I want users to respect my blog I better start respecting my work as well.

  18. Krissi

    Great post! I think even some of us “seasoned” bloggers could take a second look at our blog(s) and make a few changes based on your observations! **goes off to check/change cluttered design…**

  19. Justin

    There’s only one blog that I read that doesn’t allow comments. Often, I am frustrated that I can’t reply to the blogger’s opinions, but he has some great content, so I keep coming back.

    Cluttered design is what I hate the most. Take some time to make the thing look neat and professional. There’s little chance that I’m going to click on any of your 100+ blogroll links.

    Usually, I’d recommend getting a domain name. However, WordPress.com blogs are the best bet if you don’t want a domain name.

    Stat counters should really only be used when you gain a lot of readers.

    Great post. I pretty much agree with what you said on everything. Just make sure you narrow down your topics to just a few and come up with original content.

  20. Yara Korayem

    I do appreciate your efforts in these blogging tips to guide others well. God bless you.
    About read proofing though, you have typos yourself. You’re exerting beyond this though again, so it’s ok.

    We need to emphasize as well that if someone have typos, they are thought to be not serious & caring enough about the reader & their own posts.
    Although they might be worth reading, they really turn off & drive away readers.

  21. Averil Henry

    …how’d you do that! lol teach me! :)

  22. Tibi Puiu

    @Averil: do what ? :D

  23. Averil Henry

    ..did you automatically get a message that someone had linked to your site?

  24. Tibi Puiu

    Yeah I get automatic comments linking to posts that link back me; their called trackbacks and their a automatic feature from wordpress. You can disable it or enable it from your local control panel.

  25. Marko Novak

    good and clear informative resource. Thank you for sharing

  26. Paul

    Some great tips that I’ve fallen victim to!

  27. Simlock verwijderen

    You missed one mistake which the most of beginners make. This mistake is that they are only focused on MONEY. They will over-optmize their blog with advertisements like Google and so on. You have to know that you first have to win the notice (attention) of your blog readers and build up an comprehensive loyal readers. At that stage, you can focus yourself to monetize your blog.

  28. Software downloaden

    I am starting blogging on my own website. But I do it only to submit some articles and not for the PG.

  29. snyhol

    Well written article! Thanks for sharing.

  30. sbs başvuruları

    I was searching article like this. I liked your writing style thanks for this article

  31. spellingbee

    I found your article via Lorelle at Wordpress and although some of your points are valid, I am sorry but how can you comment on the lost art of blogging and offer advice to new bloggers when you are unable to spell, spellcheck or write cohesive sentences?
    As Yara Korayem commented some visitors to your blog might be put off by the typing and spelling mistakes as it difficult to read your posts.

  32. Jonathan Hernandez

    thanks for being an excellent resource of mesothelioma info

  33. Denim Geek

    Just come across your post, been running a blog for 4 years now, all newbies should read this before starting, you offer good tips.

  34. Ben

    I like when people show the keywords they rank for and how much traffic it gets. That makes it easier to devote time to out rank them in google.

  35. Pure Logic Solutions

    Thanks for your insight! That was very good :)

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