It is six months since I started my blog. And it has been a tumultuous journey with a few successes and failures. Journey of a new blogger is lonesome with nobody to guide him/her through. As a result new bloggers tend to make lots of mistakes which can prove to be expensive. Below are top 10 mistakes that new bloggers should avoid:
Focusing on Quantity Rather Than Quality
This is one of the fundamental mistake committed by new bloggers. Many new bloggers think that publishing more number of posts will bring in more visitors and make their blog popular quickly. With this false perception in their mind, they tend to write too many poor quality articles. Rather than making the blog popular, these low quality articles end up damaging the reputation of their new blog. It is better for bloggers to focus on writing a few high quality articles which can make the visitors to share the content with others and follow their blogs regularly. In my opinion, a minimum of 20 high quality blog posts every month is good enough content for both new and old blogs.
Copying Content (Plagiarism)
Gone were the days when search engines turned a blind eye to duplicated content. Search engines now penalize blogs with copied content and they may even ban websites from showing up in their search results. Copying content will seriously damage the reputation of new blogs in the eyes of visitors. Never copy content from other sources and it always better to do a plagiarism check through some free online software like Dupli Checker. Images from other sites too should not be copied. Taking screen shots of images and websites is a good practice in case when copyright free versions are not available.
Putting too Much Focus on the Blog’s Theme
It’s true that the theme of a blog is one of the primary determinants of its image in the minds of the visitor. It is because of this that every blogger puts a lot of emphasis on his blog’s theme. New bloggers keep changing the theme of the blog too often which can confuse the visitors. Some bloggers even think that using a premium (paid) theme is a must even for new blogs. While it is true that paid themes have more features; some of the best free themes too have good features and many of them are even responsive. New bloggers can just select one good free theme or an inexpensive paid theme and start their blogging journey. Changing the blog’s theme often in the initial days of a blog should be avoided at any cost as it can seriously impact the blog’s brand image. Well established bloggers don’t change their blog’s theme more than once in a year.
Neglecting Social Media
The future of the Internet belongs to social media. No wonder Google is not leaving any stone unturned to make its Google + a success. Social media helps bloggers to make their blogs popular. They also make it easier to follow a blog. As many people keep following many blogs depending upon their interest, there is no way that they will type on a blog’s URL or bookmark it in their browsers. Following the blogs on social networks like Facebook and Twitter is one of the easiest ways to keep track of the updates of their favorite blogs. Search engines also prefer the content which is most actively shared on social networks. Hence, new bloggers should make their content available on as many social networks as possible. It is also recommended to have the blog’s profile on small and upcoming social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. The impending demise of RSS also makes social media a key to blogging. Sharing blog posts on social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, and StumbleUpon regularly can also make more people aware of new blogs.
Thinking of Making Money Too Early
Many new bloggers think that they can start making Money from their new blogs within a couple of months of starting their blog. The fact is that a steady flow of income from blogs needs a lot of traffic which takes time to build up. There is nothing wrong in showing some ads right from the day a blog is started. Some advertising networks like Qadabra give easy approval even for new blogs. But don’t expect any substantial revenue in the first 6 – 12 months. Expecting money to flow in quickly can sometimes even lead to frustration.
Not Being Patient
Blogging is a profession which should be practiced. New bloggers should understand blogging by reading several online sources and most importantly by experience. It will take time to build a good blog and understand the several intricacies of blogging. Many new bloggers think that traffic will start flowing immediately after they start publishing content. Reaching the target of 1,000 unique visitors itself might take at-least one year in the case of most bloggers. Unexpected things like algorithm updates from Google might hit the traffic of new blogs severely. My blog started getting 500-600 unique visitors per day within 3 months of its launch. Google’s Humming Bird update killed 3/4th of that traffic suddenly. All I could do was to understand about the new update and start making changes to my blog. There are lot of budding bloggers who quit blogging unable to cope with such shocks. Lack of patience makes lots of new bloggers to quit blogging thinking that they can’t make it.
Not Following Other Blogs (Your Competition)
It is important for new bloggers to follow other blogs in their niche. This helps them in understanding the type of content that is published on other blogs and the strategies followed by them. Getting ideas for producing unique and high quality content is key for long-term success in blogging. Following other blogs can help to know the type of content published in similar blogs to yours and also know the topics which are not covered by them.
Not Being Up-to-Date
Bloggers should be always keep themselves up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of blogging in general and their blogging niche in particular. Updates on the latest features added to WordPress, new SEO practices, new algorithm updates by Google, etc. should be followed by all new bloggers to keep their blogging journey smooth. But many bloggers don’t keep themselves updated and tend to search for information only when there is a need or when they face a problem. The fact that blogging is a part-time job for new bloggers and that they can’t allot more than 2-3 hours for it everyday further complicates the problem. Following good international blogs written for other bloggers like PROBLOGGER and Boost Blog Traffic as well as active participation in online forums can keep new bloggers up-to-date on the latest developments.
Putting Too Much Emphasis on SEO
It is true that SEO is crucial for building traffic to a blog. Many new bloggers tend to put too much emphasis on SEO and neglect creating good quality content. The importance of PageRank and keyword ranking is getting less and less important as Google is rolling out newer algorithm updates. There is no point for new bloggers in spending money on keyword research tools like SEMrush till they build a good quality blog. SEO itself will not help unless a blog has top class content. Instead, new bloggers should focus more on basic link building and on-page optimization of their blogs before they expend their money and time on serious SEO.
Not Promoting their Blog
A new blog should be treated just like a newly released product into the product. No body will know about new products unless they are properly advertised. It is not just enough for new bloggers to submit their blog to search engines for indexing. Blogs should be actively promoted by multiple means like commenting on other blogs, writing guest posts, participating in online forums, etc. Bloggers with some budget can advertise their blogs on social networks like Facebook and Twitter and get more people to follow their blogs.