Whether you’re a new blogger or somebody who has been blogging for many years, make sure you avoid the trapdoors to these fifteen common blogging mistakes which I come across daily in the blogging world.
Allowing spam comments to show in the comments section of a post.
Spammers are getting smarter at trying to deceive us by making their spam comments look genuine.
Be careful if allowing comments to appear immediately on your blog posts without any kind of moderation. Some spammers are leaving a first comment that doesn’t look spammy, before leaving further comments that contain links that lead to sales, business, gaming and pornographic sites.
If in doubt, hover your mouse over the web address of the person who has left the comment and preview the website in the window that opens. In most cases, you’ll know straight away if the comment is genuine or not.
If you’re still in doubt, don’t approve the comment.
Having broken links on the home page of your blog.
When was the last time you checked if all the links on the home page of your blog are working?
Just image losing sales of a book because links were broken, or the links to your social media accounts are not working? It’s unlikely that visitors will return if they keep finding too many broken links on your blog.
Links can become broken for various reasons. Ensure you check your links at least once or twice a month.
Click here to find out about some free to use broken link tools that will help you find broken links on your blog.
Having sharing buttons that don’t work.
If, like me, you get a lot of traffic to your blog from social media sites, make sure the links to your accounts are active. However, most importantly of all, make sure you’ve actually connected your social media accounts to your blog.
One of the biggest mistakes I come across are bloggers who have not linked their Twitter account to their blog. When I come to share their blog post, instead of their Twitter username appearing in the tweet, ‘@wordpress.com’ appears instead.
I could type in their Twitter user name, but do I really have the time to do that every time I share their posts? No! If I don’t have the time, other readers won’t either.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Having annoying popups that won’t go away.
If there is one thing that really annoys me, it’s being faced with the same popup that keeps popping up while I am reading a blog post or keeps appearing every time I visit a blog.
There’s nothing wrong with creating a popup to build an email list (in fact, many influencers recommend it), but give visitors to your blog the option to decline signing up. If possible, ensure that the same popup doesn’t keep popping up if they visit again and have already decided not to sign up.
If I can’t get rid of a popup, or the same popup keeps appearing every time I visit a blog, I’m more likely to unfollow that blog.
No ‘About Me’ page.
Most bloggers and readers like to know a little something about a blogger before they decide whether to follow or not.
When I visit a new blog for the first time, I want to not only find out what the blog is about, but I like to find out who the person (or persons) is behind the blog.
Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you.
Ensure you do not have an ‘about me’ page that says nothing except ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page.’
An ‘About Me’ page that has not been updated.
I recently came across an ‘About Me’ page, which had been put together with lots of care and attention. However, it hadn’t been updated in over two years!
It got me wondering if the author had achieved everything they wanted to do in 2017. The fact they hadn’t updated their ‘about me’ page told me that they probably did not care what new visitors thought about them anymore.
Ensure you update the ‘About Me’ page of your blog at least once every six months, especially if it includes links (which may have broken).
Authors – don’t forget to set up and keep updating your Amazon author page. Click here to find out how.
Demanding that other bloggers reblog or share their posts.
While there is nothing wrong with having sharing buttons on your blog posts, never demand (or ask) in the body of a blog post, people to reblog or share it.
If readers enjoy your post, then they are likely to share it. However, asking your audience to reblog or share a post in a manner that comes over as desperate is something that many will find off-putting.
Rather than demand, give readers the choice of whether they are happy to share the post or not.
‘Please feel free to share this post’ is far better than ‘Please, please, please reblog or share this post.’
Treat others how you would like them to treat you.
Never ignore anyone who has taken the time to read and comment on any of your blog posts.
Treat everyone who visits your blog as a guest. Ensure they are made to feel welcomed. With millions of other blogs out there, they can always go elsewhere … can’t they?
Think about it like this. You’ve invited a guest around for coffee and completely ignore them when they arrive. That’s what it will feel like if you ignore or fail to respond to any comments left on your posts.
Not responding to comments left on guest posts.
I’ve left comments on guest posts and never received a response from the guest blogger. Not only is it rude not to respond to comments, but it’s also not a very nice way to treat your host who was kind enough to publish your guest post on their blog.
Being asked to write a guest post is an honour. Never forget to respond to all the comments regardless of how long ago the post was published.
Leaving uninvited links.
Unless it is either relevant to the post you have just read, or you have been invited to leave a link, never leave a link to your blog in a comment (including any in a signature you use when leaving comments).
I recently had a comment left (that also contained a link to a post of the commenter) which said ‘share, share share.’ I saw it as an act of desperation in getting noticed. I marked the comment as spam.
I also recently came across a comment on another blog that included a link and said ‘I’m short of followers. Please follow me.’ There was no mention of whether they had read the post they’d left their comment on or how much they had enjoyed reading it.
When I first started to blog, I learned very quickly from other bloggers that leaving uninvited links was frowned upon and seen as spammy.
Adding too many ‘tags’ on a post.
WordPress recommends that you add between five and 15 (combined) relevant categories and tags to every blog post you publish. If you add more than 15, your post could be classed as spam and won’t show up on the WordPress reader. That could mean fewer readers to your blog.
Click here to find out what ‘tags’ are and how to add them to a blog post.
Not categorising all (or some) of your blog posts.
Categorising all your blog posts is essential, especially for a blog like mine which covers many subjects. However, even if you only blog about one topic, it’s still crucial to categorise all your posts.
Why? Here’s an example. I’ve just read a post you published about your grandmother’s recipe for the world’s best banoffee pie. I ask myself if you’ve published any other recipes and search for a recipe category. Unfortunately, you don’t have one, and you don’t categorise any of your posts (so they all fall under ‘uncategorised ‘).
I could do a search (if you have a search bar on your blog), but I want to check out all your recipe posts. The only option is to now scroll through all your posts looking for recipes that may interest me.
My blog post How To Make Categorising And Tagging Blog Posts More Powerful have more information about categories and tags.
Poor layout of blog posts on emails.
If you’re somebody who allows your entire blog post to be displayed in the body of the email sent to those who subscribe via email to your blog, you may want to check how it shows in the email.
I’ve come across some shocking displays of blog posts in emails. From the entire blog post being in one whole block, broken lines of text, photos and images not correctly aligned, it all makes the reading of these posts an uncomfortable experience.
Consider changing the email settings of your posts by only displaying part of your blog post in the email. That way, readers will then have to visit your blog to read the entire post.
Not only will this increase your visitor stats, but visitors may then discover your book(s) or read more of your other posts.
Not validating reblogs.
When reblogging a post, inform your readers why you are reblogging it. Why should somebody read a post that’s been reblogged if you haven’t told them why you’re sharing it? You must be reblogging it for a reason. Yes? Tell your readers what that reason is.
If you don’t have a good enough reason for reblogging the post, then don’t reblog it.
No ‘search bar’ available.
Recently, while writing a blog post, I wanted to include some links to some posts I had read on other blogs. However, I wasn’t able to find one of the posts I wanted to link to.
Even worse, there was no search bar on the blog concerned.
It wasn’t long before I gave up looking for that blog post. I didn’t have the time to hunt it down.
Most bloggers want their blog posts shared, don’t they? You can make it easy for readers to find what they are looking for by including a search bar on your blog.
Click here to find out how to install a search bar on your blog.
Once installed, open up one of your blog posts and check you are happy with where you have placed the search bar. Make sure it’s visible and accessible to visitors.
Remember, too, that you can use the search bar when looking for one of your own posts.
Do you have any examples of blogging mistakes you often come across? Share them by leaving details in the comments section.
Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.
170 thoughts on “15 Blogging Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid”
I had no idea I could add a search bar. Thank you so much for your tips.
You’re welcome. I’m glad they help.
Thank you for these amazing tips. I definitely have been making one – adding more than 15 tags to my posts. This could be one of the reasons that despite having followers, I hardly get readers on my posts. I can’t imagine my posts being that bad. I will need to add the ‘search’ button too. Thank you for your help. Appreciate it.
Posts containing more than 15 tags and categories (combined) don’t show up on the WordPress Reader, so it’s one of those rules every WordPress.Com user should remember. I’d recommend adding between six and ten and ensuring that the tags you’re using are relevant to the post. Another tip is to add tag words that you’d think a reader would use to find your post.
Thanks Hugh. I will keep it in mind. Used this tip for my latest post.
I’m checking my blog against all the other tips you’ve provided. I just added my Instagram account. I did not realize I needed to update my ‘About’ information. So working on it 🙂 Thank you so much.
Sounds like you’re doing a great job, Smitha. Keep up the brilliant job.
Thank you so much Hugh for the kind words.
Brilliant tips and hints Hugh and every single one of them essential. We do all of those on our blog apart from reblogging which we never seem to do. Not sure why. I think responding to comments is by far the most important thing as it’s critical to treat other bloggers as you would wish to be treated yourself. Great article.
I don’t reblog any posts either, Jonno. I much prefer to use ‘Press This’ when wanting to share a post because I think it gives the post a whole better look. You can add your own images to the share, as well as provide more details as to why you’re sharing the post with your readers.
The major problem with reblogging is that any images from the reblogged post are added to your media library, thus using up valuable space. Plus, I know of a couple of bloggers who have been fined for copyright infringement because some of the images on reblogs they have done were not free to use.
Thank you so much. I’m glad this post has helped.
People leaving links and requesting (quite often not politely) that you go read their blog always gets me.
I went through a period of getting so many requests I wrote a post about how not to ask people to view your blog.
I now respond to any of these requests with this link 😅
I know what you mean, James. Often, they haven’t read your post but want to make you and your readers aware of their blog.
Please include the link to your post. It sounds interesting, and I’d love to see how you responded to those comments.
I’m never motivated by a sell that is all in the other person’s interest. Add value in the comments I’m always curious to see what the person is about 😄
And thank you for the interest Hugh,
I generally say something like ‘I recommend reading this on asking someone to read your blog…,
Thanks for sending the link, James. It’s a fantastic blog post that I enjoyed reading. I’ve left my comments for you on the post.
Enjoy the new week.
Hi Hugh, really appreciate your interest in my post – thanks for reading, checking out my site and for the follow.
Have a great week.
Some great tips as usual Hugh, I will have to have a good look at my website to see if I’m making any of these mistakes!
Hopefully, you won’t find any, Alison. However, if you do, you’ll know how to fix them.
I was guilty in one respect
Putting my website underneath the comment 🙈
Something I won’t be doing again 😬
Thanks to your blog, Hugh, I’ve corrected all 15 sins, the last being too many tags. 🙂
Great to hear, Rob. I’m glad these tips are helping. Keep up the excellent work. Maintaining our blogs is like keeping our homes well maintained.
Oh dear. (eyes the clump of dirty laundry in the oven)
It is a good idea to repost this one, Hugh! A lot of good reminders to check on. I simply delete comments of a new commentor which only are done in order to bring their blog to attention. The appearance of a post in the email is another important thing that may be overlooked.
I agree with the layout of a blog post on emails, Erika. Some of them look terrible and would put anyone looking at them instantly off from wanting to read them. Images within emails are a particular problem, especially when the image impacts on the text of a post.
I like what you do with the comments from those who are trying to bring their blog to the attention of those who see their comment. I’ve found that those who do it, don’t often keep trying once they realise you’re not approving their comments.
That’s right, I cannot remember a single blogger trying it again. But I think that is simply part of their attitude. They hope to get you to follow them and don’t care at all anymore anyway…
You’re spot on about that, Erika.
An interesting post, Hugh. I think I am pretty good at 14 of these. I don’t categorise my posts and I don’t ever intend too.
Can I ask why you don’t ever intend to categorise your blog posts, Robbie? Categorising blog posts makes it far easier for visitors to find specific posts. Otherwise, they just all end up in colossal pile which many readers won’t want to bother sorting through.
All are excellent points.
The two that irritate me the most are (1) people who put links to their blog into the reply section — if I haven’t asked for one and (2) popups that won’t go away, or show up each time I go to the blogsite.
I’m bad at updating my “About” page, so I’d suppose it’s safe to say that many of us are violating at list one of the items on the list.
I agree entirely with what you say about uninvited links and popups. If I moderate a comment that has an uninvited link in it, I’ll edit the link out before approving the comment. I’ve found that they either don’t do it again or don’t leave any further comments.
I recently published a blog post about the ‘about me’ page, where I asked readers to check how often their ‘about’ page was visited. Most were shocked by how frequently it was visited and confirmed that from now on they’d update the page at least once every six months. I don’t think a lot of bloggers realise just how often the ‘about’ page on their blog is visited. Many of them also confirmed that they disliked visiting a site where the information was out of date.
I’m going to revisit mine again right now.
I agree Hugh, those pop ups are a nuisance aren’t they? I recently stopped following a blog that I really enjoyed, and have followed for years because all of a sudden they had huge pop ups that I couldn’t get around to read what they wrote. I sent them an e-mail, telling them how I enjoyed their blog but couldn’t get around the pop ups. I never heard back, and nothing changed. So unfortunately, I unfollowed them. It’s too bad because they wrote about interesting and meaningful things.
It doesn’t happen often but sometimes the writing is hard to read. I won’t even try to read something like this.
Lately I’ve come across some blogs that have social media buttons on the left side of the page that are so big they block the writing in the post unless you shimmy around to read it. Sometimes, if it is something I really want to read I’ll go to the trouble. But more often I won’t bother.
I’ll stop following someone who never responds to comments. One blogger I had been following for a while (and pinned a lot of their things) didn’t respond to my comments, so I unfollowed.
Yes, I’d ban some popups from blogs if I could, Lea. I don’t mind the ones where you can tick a box to say ‘no thank you’ and for the popup to never appear again, but the ones that keep popping up every time I visit a blog are the ones which I’d ban. They are so distracting when trying to read a blog post. Like you, I’ll unfollow a blog if I can’t get rid of the popups. Nobody wants their reading enjoyment spoilt, do they?
I’ve not come across the large social media buttons, but I’m guessing it’s a formatting error on the blog. That is why it’s so important to check your blog often and to correct any errors. Unfortunately, many bloggers set everything up, and then never do any housekeeping of their blogs. It’s as bad as inviting guests around to a home which has never been cleaned.
Thanks again for joining the discussion.
Thank you again for this helpful post. I just went through it again with my blog up to double-check it.
You’re welcome, Liz. I’m glad the post has helped.
Great advice, Hugh. I am bookmarking this to refer to often.
You’re welcome, Michelle.
Reblogged this on Its good to be crazy Sometimes and commented:
Do you do any of these?
A good post for dedicated bloggers, Hugh. Yes, those ghastly pop-ups – especially those on which finding the ‘x’ is hard. I just abandon the post. And yes, I’ve recently taken part in a guest post series, and am surprised by how many others in the same series have not replied to the many comments (like, all of them except me and one other, I think).
I imagine the ‘please please share and reblog’ thing is the blogging equivalent of writers saying ‘please download, read and review’, or having ‘check out my book’ or ‘buy my book here’ in their Twitter blog!
I’ve had bloggers who have those pop-ups who agree with me just how awful they are, Terry. Yet, they still have them on their blogs. I don’t understand why. And nobody has told me that it’s not possible to have a pop-up that says ‘no thank you’ and to never appear again when I next visit. They are fast becoming the most annoying thing I find when visiting blogs or author’ sites.
I don’t get the thinking behind not responding to comments and questions left on a guest post. It’s sad because I think it’s both rude to the host blogger and gives them a bad name too. It’s taught me not to leave any further comments on those posts. I make it a requirement that anybody who writes a guest post on my blog must respond to all questions and comments left on it. I’ve gone as far as to take down a guest post where the writer did not respond to any of the comments.
And don’t get me started on following an author on Twitter who then bombards me with messages to buy his books. In the end, I had to block him to stop the messages coming through. Grrr!