I’m sure you figured out by now that having a terrible blog is not anyone’s goal. Why would anyone want to pay money and spend time to own a blog if they don’t want anyone to read it? Here are just a few ways NOT to run a blog and the solutions to the problems.
1. Skip the research
Why would you need to do research on blogging? You’re just writing whatever you want and then posting it on a website and people will read it whenever they see it.
Wrong! Research is vital, not only to making sure your content is accurate and valid, but also to help you get the most engagement on your posts. If you want people to start reading your blog, write about things that not only interest you, but are also things that interest others. Research the best time to start sharing your Christmas recipes, what hashtags are trending on Twitter, and when is the best time to pin your latest round up post on Pinterest.
2. Don’t edit your photos
People really only pay attention to what’s written in the post and not the photos. You should spend all of your time focusing on the content. Most posts don’t need photos anyway.
False! Take the time to edit your photos and only post the best ones you have! I cannot stress this enough. Photos are what usually draw a reader to your blog. Make sure they aren’t too dark and that you crop out anything that may be too distracting. If you plan to add text to your photo, make sure that it is clear, clean, and concise.
Also, you should post a picture for every blog post you share so you can share it on Pinterest. These images make great photos to share on your Facebook page and your Instagram account so make sure they look awesome. And you don’t have to have a fancy camera either. You can even use your phone and some free editing apps to make your pictures look fantastic.
3. Post whenever you feel like it
If people like you what you write, you don’t have to post frequently. Just post sporadically to keep them on their toes.
Ok, seriously? This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re like me, you like structure and schedule and you like to know when to expect something new from whatever blog you are subscribed to. For example, I was subscribed to a blog that I totally forgot about until she finally posted after several months. It had literally been so long that I totally forgot that I had subscribed and I honestly had no idea why I subscribed in the first place. She only had a few posts and after I had read all of them, I got a little bored looking at her site, so I unsubscribed. I understand that sometimes people go through blogging breaks (trust me, I’m the main culprit of that), but only posting once every 3-4 months is not going to help you get a successful blog.
Schedule times for when you will write and post articles and have a planner and editorial calendar. It will really help you in the long run.
4. Don’t share your content on social media
If you want loyal readers, they will have to come find you blog by chance and then they will read all the posts and share them with their friends. You don’t need to do this yourself. You would be wasting valuable writing time.
This is probably the biggest lie. Social media is probably the absolute best tool to use for gaining more followers and readers for your blog. And, for the most part, it’s FREE (every blogger’s favorite word). Share your posts on Pinterest, tweet out a link to your latest blog post, and share an older post on your Facebook page. But also keep in mind that you don’t want to spam your followers with your blog posts. Share other fellow blogger’s posts, ask questions, invite them to share their own photos and blog posts, too. Engagement it key.
5. Write only for yourself – not your readers
You need to be real and genuine or no one is going to want to read what you have to say.
I agree with this one – to an extent. I’m not asking you to be fake. That would be ridiculous. I’m also not asking you to write about something that doesn’t interest you. That would also be ridiculous. However, when you first start out blogging, maybe it’s not a great idea to write about how your kids all have the stomach flu or about the long extended conversation you had with your cat. Now, unless that is all you really want your readers to know about you, that’s fine, but honestly, a lot of times what draws someone to a blog is a post that can help them learn something. For example, maybe you are an expert cookie baker. You can share some of your favorite tips on how to make the best batch of cookies. Or maybe you are a teacher. You can write about your favorite review games for your class. Then after you gain a good amount of readers, you can start telling about your daily life or some of your deep thoughts on things. It’s like making new friends. First, you meet them somewhere and you know what they like to do, but as you get to learn more about them, you learn how they think, how they respond to certain situations, and about their personal life. It’s all about balance.
6. Don’t read other blogs for inspiration
You don’t need to read other people’s blogs. You need to be completely original so you can stand out.
One part of this statement is true. You do need to be original. That’s what makes people want to read what you have to offer. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get inspiration elsewhere. I have a few favorite bloggers and I don’t by any means copy their blog design or blog posts but I do find inspiration for completely other ideas by just reading and studying their work. Find out what works for them or what you like from their blog and you can use it in your next blog post, social media share, or your blog design. Trust me, people won’t get offended if you use a similar idea to theirs. Link back to their blog in your post and they will love you forever (ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but I’m sure they won’t hate you!)
7. Focus only on making money
A blog is a good way to make money from home, so make sure you focus only on making money than on producing good content.
I am a very observant person and I can tell when a blogger is only in it for the money. They have ads all over their sidebars, they have affiliate links on every other line of content, and they are constantly sending emails asking you to purchase something from the link they shared. I not only get annoyed by it, but I usually unsubscribe, too. When you focus on the money, it’s probably no longer fun for you to blog anymore because all your focus will be on how much money you want to make.
8. Don’t make connections with other bloggers
If you try to make connections with other bloggers, you will just be wasting your time. Besides, you will probably never meet them in person anyway.
This one is wrong on so many levels. Making blogging connections is vital to growth and support. Your blogging friends will understand all the struggles you have with editing photos or dealing with your web host when it’s having issues. Plus, you can always find bloggers to collaborate with or swap guest posts.
9. Act like someone else – not yourself
If you want to get as much traffic as the big bloggers, then you have to be just like them. You should try to copy their perfect logo, page design, photo editing, and even their everyday life. Their house looks perfect and their kids are all clothed in matching attire, so you make sure you only take photos of that one room in your house that no one ever goes in.
Wrong. Manufactured perfection is not what people want to see. This is not to contradict what I said earlier, but you don’t have to make things look awful all the time either. If you want quality, loyal followers, show them who you are for real. Don’t try to copy other blogs just because they are getting more traffic. Who cares if they have pretty hand lettered printables to sell or a pretty chevron background? You be you and you will definitely be more grateful that you decided to be yourself. It’s hard trying to keep up with everyone else. Just be yourself and make your blog reflect the true you.
10. Don’t waste time proofreading
No one pays attention to grammar these days anyway, so there’s really no reason why you should waste your time proofreading every detail of your article.
This is so wrong. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have unfollowed an account or unsubscribed from a blog because of the poor grammar. I am by nature a “grammar Nazi” and even the smallest grammatical errors drive me crazy. Now I know, I am by no means perfect, and I’m sure that I sometimes miss an error or two (I’m working on it, though), but I at least read over everything twice before posting it because I want to make sure that things are spelled correctly and my thoughts have been written in a way that flows coherently.
Also, if you really want to work with brands and participate in sponsored post opportunities, brands aren’t probably going to consider your blog if your content is filled with errors and doesn’t make sense. Have someone else read over your article before you post it to make sure that you are presenting your best work.
Now I’m sure you can already tell that this post was written by the main culprit of these blogging mistakes. I am in no way perfect and I don’t have an amazing blog. I am not the expert on successful blogs. In fact, I am probably the expert on having a terrible blog. I did, however, not only write this post for myself, but I wrote it for you so that you can avoid making this amateur mistakes so you can have the best blog ever.
Do you have anything I should add to this list? Which of these mistakes have you made with your blog in the past? Let me know in the comments.