Every writer has a story to share about the blogging mistakes they made at the beginning of their careers. Seasoned bloggers say there’s no such thing as a mistake, only lessons learned. Let’s put the words of wisdom aside for a second and help you to avoid some of the early day blunders if you can.
Alex Lysak shares some of the best tips to keep in mind as you grow your blog. He’s a trusted SEO specialist and a regular guest writer on various blogs. You can learn a lifetime worth of wisdom from him and the Scanteam bloggers.
Let’s take a page from the experts on blogging for beginners and avoid the common pitfalls.
1. Choosing the Wrong Platform
It’s understandable; free blogging platforms have fantastic marketing campaigns that make it very enticing and convincing to fall for. Most of it also offers free plans that most new bloggers need when they’re starting.
Providers like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace do sound easy to set up and offer loads of free templates. It’s not a wrong place to start from, but in the long run, you’ll end up wishing you invested a bit more for the usability offered by WordPress.
The essential cost of setting up on a WordPress platform is currently at about $65 per year, and worth planning for if you’re serious about your blogging career. When you pay for hosting platforms, you’ll end up with a more professional looking blog and have plenty of tools to help grow your blog. Free hosting sites will fill up your space with ads and popups, trying to cover its expenses of offering you open space.
2. Choosing a Difficult Name
Your domain name should be easy to remember. If a potential follower searches for your domain and gets it wrong the third time, they’ll get frustrated and search for something else.
Keep it relevant and catchy without using unusual grammatical or spelling methods. Less is more when it comes to selecting a domain name.
3. Broad-Spectrum Topics
We get it; as a new blogger, you want to share as much as you can, trying to capture your audience with informative content. What the old-timers will tell you, however, is that readers enjoy bite-size chunks of information more. Your content should pack a punch of knowledge with as little words as possible.
- Choose a precise and well-defined topic
- Be concise and don’t play around with words to fill a page.
- Give your readers value for their time and high-value links to your affiliates.
Some excellent tools can help you nail your blog topics, such as automated topic generators. Don’t be shy to use whatever is available to help you streamline your blog.
4. Trying to Write for Everybody
You’re not chocolate; you can’t please everybody. One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is writing about everything. The best advice we can give you is to find your niche. When you write about what you know and have a passion for, it will never seem dull.
If your interest and knowledge are about plumbing and sanitation, don’t waste time writing about kitchen equipment. Focus your time and your energy on your area of expertise. In that way, readers will know where to go when they’re looking for advice on how to fit their new taps.
5. Making the Blog Too Personal
Your blog’s personality should have a life of its own and not be a copy of yours. Yes, it’s heartwarming to share some personal tidbits now and again, but write a novel if you want to publish a diary.
Readers should get to know you through your writing style, not by personal accounts of your day-to-day life. If you’re blogging to build a career from it, you’ll focus on your niche markets and consumers. People read blogs to learn impressive new facts about a specific brand or product. Teach them well with valuable information, and they’ll keep on returning to your page.
6. Writing for SEO Points and Not for People
You’re writing for people, not algorithms. It’s essential to stick to the blogging tips shared by expert SEO guru’s, but keep it real. Readers will know if you’re writing for them or only to maximize your affiliate links.
When you write, imagine that a good friend is sitting across the table from you and using words that are part of your everyday vocabulary. Don’t try to sound like somebody you’re not. You won’t be able to keep it up, and your audience will see right through it.
7. Not Being Consistent
You must write and upload content consistently. If needed, set up a calendar to remind yourself when your audience expects to hear from you again. Planning is a part of your blogging career. Long before you post your first article, you should have a few week’s worth of content ready to upload.
With this said, don’t spam your subscribers daily. Publish good quality content at regular intervals. You want your readers to get excited when they receive a notification from your blog, not annoyed.
8. Publish Without Editing
Blogging is a very personal way to communicate with an online audience. The quality of what you publish is a direct reflection of how much you value your audience. If a reader has to find mistakes continually, it’ll make them feel unvalued.
There’s no reason to publish content with unnecessary mistakes. Online tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway are but two of many products that’ll help you edit and perfect your writing.
9. Not Proving Your Point
If you’re writing about a specific topic that you had to research, link your research to your article or cite your sources for your audience. Without it, your readers will lose trust in what you’re stating.
When you link your researched sources, it increases your website authority with your readers, and ultimately with Google. It’ll increase your online visibility in the long run, so this point should become a habit when writing blog posts.
10. Writing Each Blog in a Different Style
Although there are various types of blog posts, your template should remain recognizable. You can create a set of templates for a variety of topics you write about. You can create a template for reviews, one for a “how to …” blog, and so forth.
Once you’ve created templates and section headers, it’ll become increasingly easier to find the content of value. Your template outline also helps you focus on the core ideas or information you want to share and narrow down your research.
Each blogger will make mistakes in the process of becoming a great writer. Some of these tips might help you get there a bit quicker. Your blog is your business and should represent your brand well. The sooner you can work out the little kinks, the sooner you can start connecting with your audience in a valuable way and increase your following.
Your ultimate goal is to build lasting relationships with your subscribers for affiliates to want to be associated with you. Blogging is an excellent way of sharing your passions with the world out there and making a living from it. Persevere, learn, adapt, and change until you find your perfect style and audience.
Alex Lysak – CEO of ScanTeam / Digital Marketer. Alex is working in online marketing since 2011, his main areas of expertise are marketing research, social media marketing, and SEO. During 9 years of experience, he has helped many products and startups to develop marketing strategies and to implement them further.