For success in blogging, first correct mistakes

You might have read many tips for success in blogging. But they do not work the way they should, because bloggers make mistakes that they can easily avoid. 

Not only new, even established bloggers often ignore the blogging craft. In the present post, I share common blogging mistakes, and also tell how you can avoid them.

In the next post, I will give a list of blogging mistakes that have ethical and legal overtones. 

You have started a blog but...

Let me assume that you are one of the two types of bloggers: either you have already started a blog or you are new to blogging and are thinking of creating a blog now. 

You might have some (or no) knowledge of blogging. Chances are that some of your friends might have blogs, and one or two of them often boast about the money they have made out of the blog. You might have seen that a friend's blog is quoted by others for its good articles or photos. 

You know the subject (at least that is what you think) and you can write some articles on the blog's subject, which people will like to read. Or, you might have thought of starting blogging without much expertise, to earn some pocket money.

Perhaps you have also applied the SEO tricks that you read on the web and even paid a few dollars for promoting the blog.

Whichever type of blogger you are, you are prone to making mistakes on the blog, which look small but impact the blog in a big way. These mistakes make your blog unreadable/ dull and boring. And your blog does not receive much traffic.

Without going into the thory of why some things work and others do not work well on a new (even established) blog, let me take you straight to what you should NOT do on the blog. If you take care of such mistakes, the chances of your success in blogging improve in a big way.

1. Improper blog title

Look at your blog's title carefully. If it does not relate to the subject of the blog or is too abstract or witty to make good sense, you must change it. Luckily, you can change the blog title any number of times as it is not related to the domain name (or URL or web address) of the blog.

Let's see some examples of poor titles:

  • Mayank's Blog (no relation with topic; this title can be OK if Mayank wants to profile himself on the blog and he does not write on specific topics)
  • Yoga for everybody (too broad, commonplace)
  • Mystery that I am (abstract)
  • Homepage (no title given)
  • Start a blog effectively (action oriented, but not clear about what specifically lies in the post)
  • Reducing belly fat (passive)
  • Recipes from the far east (passive heading; also not defining the geographical region clearly)
2. Poor post headings

This is similar to having a poor blog title. If you are one who does not bother about the headings of your posts, change that habit. If your posts have headings that do not prompt readers about what the post talks about and they are not sharp enough, you need to revise them.

Passive, too descriptive, confusing post headings are not liked by readers; they also are not easily indexed by search engines. 

It would help to look at the headings of your old posts and make them direct, action filled, even provocative. A heading that tells the reader that answer to his problem lies in the post. Modern search engines also love good titles that directly answer search queries.

CoSchedule headline analyzer is an excellent free tool for improving headlines.

3. Poor display and Clutter

If you believe that writing is good enough for a blog, think again. Your blog is like a newspaper or magazine, and if you do not spruce it with visual elements, it will look too boring. 

Put photographs or other types of images, even videos, to support the written part. When putting images or videos, make sure you have the right to use them.

Many things matter in deciding the appeal of a website (including blog), and nothing destroys the appeal more than clutter - too many elements scattered aimlessly. Too many widgets. Too many columns. Too many photos and video thumbnails. Too many different blocks of texts.

I have seen many blogs in which there is weird coloring of text or background. This looks childish - and should be used only on kid blogs or blogs on creative/ performing arts, not on other type of blogs.

Keep your blog neat and clean, the way a good homemaker keeps his/ her house. A bad web design (and a good website design that is spoiled by too many elements), both make the blog unprofessional and clumsy. 

4. Poor readability

We are still on design, not on the quality of writing (the next point). 

Some actions by bloggers that reduce readability are: 

  • reverse text colour display [white text on black background]
  • poor contrast between the background and the text: light text on light background or dark text on dark background
  • background image with varying contrast
  • too fast or too slow scrolling text
  • animated text
  • animations over text
  • too narrow reading column
  • unconventional experiments with font and text display
  • prose written with central or right alignment
Do not let your blog's great content suffer just because you have made it such that it irritates the reader. 

Also make posts as big or small as would suit your blog's personality. If you can write only short posts, you should better be writing on Facebook or Twitter. If you write too long posts, don't forget to make sections with distinct sub-headings and to put images so as to break monotony and improve understanding. 

5. Poor writing skills

When you don't care for language and proof, your reputation as a blogger goes down. People might forgive sloppy writing and errors on a personal blog, but not on a professional blog.

Some of the common problems with writing are:

  • ‘I-don’t-care’ attitude towards language. This happens because of attitude and sometimes to hide language illiteracy.
  • random experimentation with language
  • grammatical mistakes
  • proofing mistakes (wrong spellings, improper use of punctuation marks, wrong capitalization, etc)
  • language not easy and flowing for the web: long-winded, sentences; long paragraphs; no text variation and highlighting, especially when a large number of things are discussed; very long posts [and refusing to break them into two]; using obscure expressions and quotes; linguistic show-off
6. Irregular posting

You create an outstanding blog with a great design, highly relevant domain name, great content and what not. You write a few great articles too. But after that you take a long break, thinking that visitors and money will keep flowing in.

Don't do that if you want visitors to come to you regularly and look for updates. Without visitors coming to it, the blog would die. Don't let that happen.

7. Not doing any promotion, especially offline

To think that the quality of your writings will propel the blog does not pay on the web, unless you already are a celebrity, a popular influencer or a recognized expert.

Your blog is like a small shop in the crowded market. Unless you tell people about what you sell, people will not know about the shop or its merchandise. They will pass by it without pausing and making a purchase even if your product is best in the class. You need to put a good sign board, maybe a signage at the turning, perhaps also an advt in the local paper and a pamphlet inside newspapers.

If you do not engage with fellow bloggers, flaunt the blog on social media, submit the blog to directories, send emails to your friends and make the blog posts friendly to search engines, very few people will visit the blog. 

You must promote your blog even if you do not want to make money out of it. Since blogs are a more serious way of expressing oneself than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp, the blog will wither away if you do not promote it on your social networks and also through email etc. 

8. Too much money-seeking, too early

I have also seen some less bloggers putting many advertisements on the blog without letting the blog to mature and establish itself.

A big number of people, especially young adults with engineering/ IT background, are drawn to blogging and website-making just for earning quick bucks. Their blogs are stuffed with keywords and they apply SEO tricks to earn money by fooling users and search engines.

Too much money mindedness can derail you from your path to being a successful blogger. If you are not passionate about a subject but want to blog because it will get you BIG money and QUICKLY, you better look at other avenues of money making. 

9. Dividing time un-intelligently

If you spend disproportionately big time on one aspect of blogging, you are likely to ignore other important aspects. The result will be that the ignored area will act as a bottleneck in the growth of the blog.

If you give too much time to many areas but you do not have the capacity to keep doing so, it may lead to burnout. I have seen many bloggers concentrating on writing only OR doing SEO all the time while writing poor content OR socializing too much but not writing enough. Many bloggers give up when they find that they cannot cope up with the work.

It is not that too much work is involved in blogging but bloggers get exhausted when they do not use time intelligently. So, divide time between writing, optimizing & making the blog appealing, promotion and monetization.

blogging success tips: avoid mistakes

Let me end this post by repeating what I said at the beginning: for success in blogging, it is equally important that you avoid mistakes. I will talk about more mistakes that bloggers make, in the next post. Till then, good bye!