Every day hundreds of people around the world log onto the internet and start new blogs with the click of a button. With so many bloggers on the internet it can be difficult to establish a creative, popular, fresh blog that stands out from the crowd. Avoid this handful of common newbie mistakes and secure your place in the blogosphere…
Mistake #1: Failing to regularly update the blog with new content.
This is probably the most common mistake with blogs. By nature blogs are meant to be updated. If you want to stay fresh, you need to add new content from time to time. Do your best to be consistent and set up a schedule for yourself. Commit to posting once a week, twice a week, three times a week, whatever works for you. Once you get in a routine it will be easy peasy.
Mistake #2: Missing out on opportunities to gain visibility through SEO (search engine optimization).
You need search engine rankings if you want organic traffic from Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The good news is if you’re using WordPress as your blog platform there are a lot of plugin options that can help you overcome this mistake. If you pay attention to your SEO from the beginning it’s much easier to maintain. If you skip this step originally and have to go back later to fix it, it becomes a time consuming chore.
Mistake #3: Using overly decorative or obscure fonts.
If you want people to read your blog, make it easy to read. Simple as that. Use a fancy font in your logo or header as an image, but for the main text of the blog use an easy to read on screen font that’s universally compatible – like Arial, Verdana, or Georgia.
Mistake #4: Failing to take advantage of social networking sites with share buttons.
People like to share things they like, so make it easy for them. Add a social plugin like Socialize or SexyBookmarks to make it easy for them to tweet, Facebook like, pin to Pinterest, or whatever social media action fits your audience best.
It’s easy to get carried away here, so I recommend finding out where your audience hangs out online and choose your top three social media sites and display buttons for those. You can add one or two more if you want to have options. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest all seem to be the cream of the crop for a lot of bloggers right now.
Mistake #5: Posting or duplicating content without giving due credit.
If you’re quoting someone that’s totally okay and perfectly acceptable as long as you do it right. Use a blockquote and link back to the place or person you’re quoting where applicable. Don’t copy the entire page if it’s something long, just quote a snippet and then use a link where your reader can find more information.
If you’re using images, make sure you have permission to do so. Don’t assume that because you found it on Flickr that it’s sharable. Check the copyright. If in doubt, always ask.
Learning from the mistakes others have made in the past can help you truly make your mark in the blogging world. Avoiding these five newbie missteps will put you on the right path to having a great blog that readers enjoy coming back to.