Starting a blog nowadays is as easy as ordering a pizza. Literally anyone can have their very own blog up and running is as little as a few minutes. Since blogging has gained in popularity over the last few years, more and more people are trying their hand at it every day. The problem is that most of these people have absolutely no experience with blogging, and haven’t done enough homework on the subject to see what it takes for a blog to be successful. Many new bloggers think if they put up a blog, and start posting, that they will magically get visitors to it. Well, as most of us know, blogging takes work, and a lot of it. There are a lot of mistakes that I see a lot of newbie bloggers making, but I wanted to share 6 of the ones that really stand out to me. Hopefully this post will help some of the new bloggers along the way.
Mistake #1 Not Writing Unique Content
I have seen this many times. A lot of new bloggers want to have a successful blog, but get discouraged when they don’t see the amount of traffic they expected in the early days. They then turn to outsourcing cheap articles which usually have no personality, and are low quality, borrow articles from ezinearticles.com, or worse yet, buy a pack of PLR (private label rights) articles, and claim themselves as the author. The whole beauty of blogging is that you can say what YOU feel about a particular subject, and can share the things that YOU have learned with others. When you are first starting a new blog, it’s very important that you write your own unique content. Sure, as your blog grows you can have guest bloggers, or even hire some quality writers, but in the very beginning, I think you should do it yourself.
Mistake #2 Not Following Other Blogs in Their Niche
Many new bloggers don’t keep up with other bloggers in their niche. This is a huge mistake. Not only are they missing out on ideas for their own blog, they are also not getting to know the other bloggers. When you start to get to know other bloggers in your niche, you will start to find ways to help each other out. I’d recommend new bloggers to use Google Reader, and subscribe to as many high quality blogs’ RSS Feeds as they can. This way they can learn, get to know the other bloggers, and even leave comments for links back to their site!
Mistake #3 Using Free Hosted Blogs
This one should have been #1 because I really hate to see new bloggers do this. There is a massive difference between using a free blogging service, as compared to hosting your own blog on your own domain name. First of all, when you’re using a free blog service such as blogger.com, you are completely at their mercy. For no reason at all, they can shut down your blog, and all the work you put in will be gone! Also, the more content you write, the more you are building THEIR site! It’s much better to be in full control, and to reap the benefits of your hard work! I have seen some free hosted blogs that had close to 300+ posts! Could you imagine losing all that content? Bottom line, you should always host your own blog on your own domain name. You will make MUCH more money in the long run, and you’ll be in full control.
Mistake #4 Not Posting Regularly
This one is important. If you want to have a successful blog, you’re going to want to post regularly. I would say the minimum you should be posting is 2 times a week, up to as much as you want. Now, many bloggers have their own opinion on this, and that’s fine, but I think once a day is a good starting point. Do I do that on all of my blogs? No, but I should. Just be sure to keep fresh content on your blog each week, or people will get bored. Or even worse, it will never pick up!
Mistake #5 Not Allowing Comments
This one still boggles my mind. Maybe some new bloggers are terrified of getting SPAMMED? This is a big mistake. You want people to comment on you blog to let other people know that your blog is active, as well as to get your visitors excited about coming back! There are a bunch of plugins out there that can help you sift through all of the spam, and unless your blog is getting a ton of traffic, you won’t see too much of it in the beginning anyways. Comments are a good thing!
Mistake #6 Blogging for Keywords / SEO
Now don’t get me wrong. I like to write posts that focus on specific keywords myself, but when you write all of your blog posts this way, it becomes VERY obvious to your human visitors. Heck, it’s probably even more obvious to the search engine spiders. You should always write your blog posts for the people who read your blog, and gently place your keywords within your content. Yes, you can and should still use your keywords in your title tags, etc…, but just don’t go too crazy with it or your visitors will start to get annoyed.
Now, there are a lot of things that new bloggers mess up on, and this is normal. The only real way to learn everything is to just get out there and do it. If you are a newbie blogger, don’t get discouraged. Just keep on truckin’ and make sure you stay focused!
What other mistakes have you done in the past or have seen newbie bloggers do? Let me know in the comments below.