10 Blogging Mistakes Most Bloggers Make

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Executed by mistake is a Creative Commons image by the moog.

Sometimes it takes years of blogging to notice your most obvious mistakes. I’ve been blogging for several years privately, then a few professionally and still do on several business blogs. By now I have made most mistakes you can make as a blogger I guess. I’m not the only one though.

Most bloggers make the same mistakes either by neglect or due to the limitations of the medium and software itself.

In many cases you have to make the decision to change your ways to stop making the most common mistakes. Here are 10 blogging mistakes most bloggers make and you probably do as well.

Embedding videos from YouTube etc.
Most bloggers embed YouTube videos on their blogs. Vimeo is also popular. There are plenty of other services as well. Some even embed Hulu videos. YouTube videos often get removed aka deleted or censored. Even a teenager managed once to take down several videos on fake copyright charges. I can’t watch many YouTube videos from Germany because they contain copyrighted music.

Vimeo is  less restrictive but people also remove videos on their own sometimes. Hulu videos can’t be watched outside of the US. So for all of these reasons you have an empty screen on your blog. Many posts don’t contain anything beside a video so such a post is dead, even more dead than a dead link. I know because I learned the hard way.

Tweeting instead of blogging
Some people obsess about Twitter. In a way I do as well and sometimes I tweet away my ideas or the sheer time I’d spend on blogging otherwise. Consider each idea you have for blogging before you tweet it. Everything tweeted is lost after a few minutes. Whatever you blog is yours and lives on for ages unless you use a third party service like Blogger or WordPress.com perhaps.

Submitting your own blog post on social media other than Twitter
Many bloggers still tend to submit their own postings to social sites like Reddit or StumbleUpon. It doesn’t work that way. Most of these sites either limit that or downright ban self submission in many cases, especially for business blogs. Don’t do that. Make other people discover your content. Socialize on social media but don’t self promote to get some traffic.

Using 125*125 display ads
Banner ads are dead but everybody uses them on blogs these days. Some WordPress themes even come with predefined banner ads areas. They look ugly, nobody clicks them and your bog appears spammy when it’s plastered with blinking ads. Use text ads instead (I’d recommend Yahoo) and affiliate ads but only very good ones matching your content.

Blogging too often or not often enough
In recent months SEO 2.0 has turned too silent for a good blog. Over the years I’ve noticed that 3 to 5 posts per week are best for a blog. 2 weekly posts are the minimum and more than 5 in a week lead to overload. Many blogs these days blog less often and look more like static websites this way.

When not blogging regularly you lose attention, people start to forget about you.

Several posts a day in contrast lead to an information overload nobody can digest. This way you get more and more casual traffic from search and social media but you overburden your loyal readers. Your loyal readers are the backbone of your blog though. Don’t annoy them.

Automating content creation
Many services offer ways of syndicating content. You can post content to your blog automatically this way you posted on Google+, Twitter, Delicious or elsewhere. This scares away your loyal readers as well. I did just that when testing the Twitter tools integration on SEO 2.0 I disabled the weekly Twitter digest as it’s low quality cross posting. You can add Google+, Twitter or Delicious in the sidebar instead so that it doesn’t pollute your RSS feed.

Creating “blog spam” postings
The “blog spam” kind of blog post seemingly will never die. They contain only a link to the source and short description of it . Basically it’s just wasted time. Your blog turns into an obstacle between the reader and the real source. In case you don’t have any value to add don’t blog it at all. At least add your opinion beyond “this is great” or collect a few links.

Not socializing enough
Blogs aren’t islands. They only strive as part of the blogosphere. Bloggers who don’t socialize enough with other bloggers and social media users can’t get popular in the first place or they turn to one way communication in case they already are well known. In both cases the overall quality of the blog deteriorates. Never forget your blogging and social media peers. Link out, vote and contact them on a regular basis.

Not updating old content
Most blogs have a huge archive of blog posts which get plenty of visitors from search who bounce after noticing that the post is outdated and the links broken. Make sure to revisit your old postings, update and fix them. You may even republish them once the update is substantial enough. Also write for longevity aka “evergreen content”  in the first place. Nobody cares for yesterdays news tomorrow.

Not focusing on best postings
Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has written about it years ago. One of the most common issues with blogs is that they don’t show the most popular postings on top. Plus like mentioned above many popular postings are outdated. I’ve been testing many “popular posts” plugins for WordPress. I haven’t found the perfect one yet. I’ll tell you once I do until then I use a simple text widget from WordPress.

Do you make these blogging mistakes as well? Do you miss some common mistakes by bloggers in this list? Tell me about it. I made all those mistakes above myself and noticed afterwards so it’s easy to recognize them on other blogs.

Last updated: February 15th, 2013.