8 years into blogging, I’ve made so many beginner mistakes that cost me time, blog traffic, engagement and even money. So, to save you from making the same dumb decisions like I did during my too-young-to-realize rookie blogger days, below are some of my blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.
13 Rookie Blogger Mistakes To Avoid
1. Not using photos
I’ve always preferred text more than imagery which is why I never put any photos or gif into my post during my early blogging days. Big mistake.
Without photos, my post is bland, dry and boring.
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
2. Not learning about blogging
From SEO, engagement, ads placement to blog design – there are a plethora of things to learn about blogging. And one of the crucial things to learn is about the platform that you’re using. Be it the free sites like Blogger and WordPress.com or the paid/self-hosted ones like Squarespace and WordPress.org – you need to know about how the site works, what kind of things they offer etc.
I started my blogging journey with Blogger so after I went self-hosted, that is when I first know about WordPress and the difference between the free and paid version. Hence, when I create my post, I would write it using the WordPress.org which its interface looking like this.
And the free WordPress looks like this.
So why do I show you these?
Recently, I started to write my posts on the free WordPress as their mobile app is pretty good and it was then I found out that they have built-in photos searching feature. Like why didn’t I know this sooner?
You just need to click on the free photo library and bam! any keywords that you type on would be shown as the library is powered by Pexels.
This makes blogging much easier as I don’t have to find the photos, download it and upload it again on my media gallery.
So guys. learn. Google. Search on what platform you use and utilise it to your full benefits. Do not be like me.
3. Not linking my social media account with blog
Linking your social media account with blog would depend on whether you’re comfortable enough to let your private personal life known to the public. As for me, I prefer linking all of these with the blog to improve my blog page views.
But, it depends.
Google search still remain as my first source of traffic with Pinterest leading in second. If you’re uncomfortable with social media to promote your posts, please use Pinterest. It’s a game-changer for bloggers and with a bit of hard work and keyword research, you’ll find your blog having fixed visitors even without churning out new blog posts every week.
4. Turning off discussion/comments
This actually happens recently with my post on my experience studying Japanese at Tokyo Japanese language school. I accidentally turn off the comments for only that post which results in me to not receive any comments. #terrible_rookie_mistake. I lowkey expecting a bit of comment asking on the school or any study abroad in Japan stuff only to receive none.
Blogger, WordPress, Disqus – it doesn’t matter what you use for your blog or website, please remember to turn it on if you want to engage with the community.
5. Buying blog templates/themes on the whim
I’m getting better at controlling my urge to buy beautiful blog themes that I see but before I was terrible in making decisions. I still have 3 unused Blogger templates and 2 WordPress themes and some of them are not cheap.
So before you buy any plugins or blog themes for your blog; Google for tips, make research, ask yourself whether do you really need it or it just satan whispering evil for you to spend money on things that you don’t need.
If you’re using Blogger, check out my post below for free Blogger themes that are beautiful and mobile-friendly.
6. Writing blog post using short form/slang or like the Malaysian would say rempit/Wechat language
I don’t know how to explain this but
Yeah, please don’t.
7. Not mobile friendly enough
If I could repeat this 100 times, I ‘d repeat it for thousand. Having a mobile friendly blog site is IMPORTANT. Most people do their Google search on phone nowadays and not having a easy to navigate blog means you’re losing a sizable reader from mobile.
8. Ignoring my readers
I’m lazy. And also a proficient procrastinator. I have a very bad habit to reply to the comments after a week or so (it used to be a month) because I want to do it in one go.
9. Text too small/unreadable
A classic example of not putting yourself in your reader shoes. When we create our posts, everything looks perfect. The layout, the text size, colour etc. are readable because we see it from the creator point of view.
Try previewing the post and see if the content is still readable.
10. Too shy to engage with other bloggers/the blogging community
I look like I’m shy and yes I am. Some people could be outgoing online but I belong to those who don’t so it’s extremely nerve-racking to comment or saying hi to bloggers on the blog or social media. Especially when I need to comment in English and the bloggers are native English speaker. It gives me anxiety when I’m writing English due to fear of being attacked by grammar nazi.
Please be nice with me
11. Blog is too heavy and takes time to load
In general, people would less likely to continue waiting for a site to load if the loading process took more than 2 seconds.
Try check on free websites like seo checker or website size checker to see if your blog is overweight and need a major megabytes clean up. I have a plugin that I used to compress all my photos that you can find on the post below or click here.
12. Content formatting what?
Make it skimmable. Use heading. Bold. Italic. CAPITAL LETTERS. Short paragraphs. Make the words pop and attention-grabbing.
I didn’t even know how to use heading and their difference until last year LOL.
13. Not learning from other bloggers
Self-explanatory. This kind of rookie blogger mistakes to avoid post has been written by a lot of bloggers and a quick Google search would bring you to an abundant of posts.
Learn from them. Chance is you’ll find some tips and advice that you can apply to your blog right away.
Anyway, I’d love to hear yours. Tell me in the comment below *wink*