This is a guest post by Lauren Bailey. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guest post guidelines.
In some fields, the idea that it’s necessary to learn from your mistakes is a wonderful idea. In education, children learn from their mistakes in a safe environment. In flight simulators, pilots learn from their mistakes while safely planted on the ground. And athletes learn from their mistakes on the practice field in preparation for the big game.
But how can bloggers learn from mistakes without facing the consequences? Unfortunately, there’s really no way to make a mistake on a blog and have it go unnoticed. And in this competitive and fast-paced environment, a mistake can seriously hurt your traffic numbers, advertising revenue, and search engine results standings.
Instead of learning from our own mistakes, we can learn from the mistakes other beginning bloggers have made. Hopefully, this list can be extremely helpful to you; however, if you have made a mistake that’s not on this list, please share it with us! We could all learn from it.
1. Plagiarize Or Duplicate Your Content!
Whether they realize it or not, some bloggers plagiarize content. Maybe they don’t mean to cause any harm, but technically this is stealing other people’s work. Other bloggers do steal content on purpose in order to boost traffic!
In any case, it’s a good rule of thumb that if you do blog about someone else’s content or include portions of that content, then you should attribute that source and link back to the other person’s blog.
2. Forget About SEO
One of the basics of good blogging is to know about Search Engine Optimization strategies. New bloggers don’t often know about these, so they won’t include keywords or meta tags in their posts. They don’t realize the importance of backlinks. Then they wonder why they don’t get any traffic.
Avoid this mistake by looking up SEO strategies. Read about what SEO really means. Read Google’s official blog to understand how they manage search engine results and algorithms.
3. Write ‘All Over The Place’
Have you ever read posts by a blogger who can’t seem to make up his or her mind as to what to write about? The new blogger writes about his pets, the latest baseball score, some two-year old internet meme involving cats, and the occasional gadget. How frustrating was it to read? Very frustrating, I bet. This is a common mistake new bloggers make: they can’t seem to focus on a specific topic, and because of this, they’re writing is ‘all over the place.’
Avoid this mistake by knowing exactly what topics you’re going to cover in your blog and follow through on this commitment so that you’re readers know what to expect when they visit your blog.
4. Blog Once Every Blue Moon
Of course, new bloggers also get frustrated with how much work it takes to blog successfully. Because of this, they forget to blog. They get involved in other things. They blog once in a blue moon.
Avoid this mistake by following a regular blogging schedule. Even if you get blocked, you have to force yourself to blog every day. Blogging takes discipline.
5. Clutter Their Blog With Ads
These are perhaps some of the most annoying blogs out there. New bloggers think they can immediately monetize their blog, so they put up all these ads that take away from the content. They might see some profit initially, but once their traffic dries up, those profits will too.
Be careful in the kinds of ads you use and how you place them. The best blogs incorporate ads right into the template in such a way that they are not intrusive, but still manage to get good clicks.
6. Let Spam Dominate The Comments
New bloggers often don’t understand the concept of spam comments; I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a blogger respond to a spam comment! The terrible thing about spam comments is they get in the way of serious discussion. They may make a post appear popular, but really they just scare serious readers away.
Look up a great spam management application. Many blogging platforms have these built in, but you might find a third-party widget that gets the job done well. In any case, make sure you watch your comments section; even the best filters let some spam through.
7. Ignore Their Readers
New bloggers don’t often realize how important it is to use their blog as a way to communicate with others, especially their readers. Readers read blogs in order to get information and make connections with other bloggers. Sometimes new bloggers overlook this fact; they don’t realize that the blogging community is made up of all sorts of interesting people with whom they should interact.
Don’ t make this mistake! Respond to emails and comments. If you’d like, accept guest posts. Do everything you can to cultivate relationships with your readers! The connections you make will pay off, believe me.
Lauren Bailey is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges.