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.
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.
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