Blogging is amazing and can become a means of livelihood for anyone who is willing to do it right. Just like any other occupation or work, blogging has its own rules and regulations that must be followed with diligence or else you will end up frustrated. Let us look at Top 10 Mistakes That Beginner or New Bloggers Make that can end their promising blogging career even before it truly begins.
1. Wrong Motive for Blogging: I have been approached many times by young people who ask me how to start their own blog and before I even start explaining, they follow it up with the question of how they can make real big money from blogging like the big names in the blogosphere. Well, I guess most people who are reading this also have the same question in mind. How To Make Money From Blogging? Well there is money in blogging. We have people who are making millions from blogging. However the truth is that starting up a blogging career with money as the number one motive is not good at all. For one, blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes months and most times years of dedication, quality content for the money to start coming in. So what is the right motive for blogging? The right motive is to provide your readers with useful information that they will be thankful to you for. Whatever niche you choose in blogging, the right question you should be asking yourself is: Am I dishing out information that people need, that someone will come across and say \’Yes! I found it!\’? If your answer to that question is YES, then you have started blogging with the right motive.
2. BLOGGING IN THE WRONG NICHE
You have to really sit down and think carefully about what niche you want to blog in before even starting a blog. You don\’t have to blog about everything. In Nigeria where I come from, once you say you are a blogger, the first thing that comes to mind of people is that you are a news and entertainment blogger. In fact, 95% of all bloggers in Nigeria are blogging about news and celebrities and entertainment gossip. So the problem in such a place is that almost all want to blog in the same niche. This niche is over-crowded already and entering that same niche as a newbie in the blogging industry will be detrimental to you as a beginner. Before you post a story most times, 500 other blogs have already posted it.
Instead, look for a niche, a topic or range of topics, that you are passionate about and that people find interesting but still has few people writing there. It could be cooking, movies, fashion, relationship or what have you.
3. IMPATIENCE IN BLOGGING
As noted in the first subheading above, blogging requires patience and perseverance for you to succeed. You have to be patient and work on your blog day and night. You have to make research also on how to succeed and apply the findings that work. Unfortunately today, the internet has many mant blogs that are lying dormant because those who started them taught they will sart making money the next day but when it didn\’t work that ways, they became ex-bloggers.
4. PLAGIARISM (COPY AND PASTE) BLOGGING
Many beginner bloggers in a bid to have enough content and more audience will start looking around the web for contents. Then they will copy the contents and just paste on their blogs. This happens mostly in the news niche and tech niches. Well the truth is that any blogger who does this is digging his or her blog\’s grave with every post.
This is wrong for the following reasons:
a) Search engines will rank your blog low if you are into plagiarism. Google especially hates this and your search engine optimization will only get worse.
b) You will not get Google adsense: One of the major Don\’ts of google adsense is that you Don\’t copy other people\’s works. You have to be original in your contents and if you ever copy parts of other people\’s works, please give them the proper credits.
c) Your readers will find out and run away: If your readers find out that you are an expert in copying and pasting other people\’s contents then they will gradually just walk away from your blog to the place your source the original contents, one after the other.A lot of people don\’t find it appealing at all.
5. TOO BUSY TO REPLY COMMENTS
When people visit your blog, they want to feel wanted there. Many of them have questions that need answers and when they ask and you are \”too busy\” to respond for many days and weeks then you will start loosing people who would have become die-hard fans of your blog.
So no matter how odd their questions and comments may seem, always find time to respond at least until your blog becomes a multi million venture when you can employ people to do the answering. And always answer politely.
6. USING PICTURES FROM SEARCH RESULTS
Another very wrong thing to do is to use any picture you find on search engines in your blog posts. Worse still is just to copy the images and post on your blog. Wrong wrong wrong! The images you are grabbing may be copyrighted and you are on a very dangerous legal path by just grabbing them without permission. Secondly, the images may not be properly named and this will lower your chances on search engines whhen people search for images related to your post. A picture with a name like \’img.00000ji000000\’ has less chances on the search engines than a picture with the name \’Social-media-icons-2016\’.
You also have to take care of the Alt value of your images. Alt is used in images for accessibility. In case the image does not load fully or the reader is using a screen reader due to visual impairment, he or she will have an idea of what should be there. eg, for a person using a screen reader, if you do not add an Alt value to your images, the space that contains an image will be blank but if your alt value is maybe \”Photo of a blogger\”. The screen reader will read that out loud for the blind person browsing your site. You can simply make your own pictures using Photoshop or corel-draw or even some phone applications. You can also download an image and edit it and rename it to give it an air of originality.
7. MAKING ERRORS FREQUENTLY
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. I have read article on BBC and DailyMail websites that had typos or grammatical mistakes. However we do not stone them to death for that because they have many more articles without errors. In fact the articles that have errors are like a few stars in the whole galaxy. New bloggers have to be extra careful in their write-ups. You can install ad-ons on your browser ( if you are using chrome or firefox) that will check your typing for mistakes, although most computers come with in-built spell checkers.
It is very important to proof-read your articles before hitting the publishing button. You can even ask a friend who is good in English ( if you are typing in English) to read through your work before you publish. If you write a word twice your spell checker will not point that out. So read at least once again before posting.
8. WRITING TOO SHORT OR TOO LONG ARTICLES
People are busy and usually want you to get to the point. So writing verbose articles will not help. You will have readers who are bored. Your articles should be concise and easy to read. Your blog is not the best place to show people all the big words you know. No one wants to have a dictionary close by just because he is reading your blog, well unless your blog is used to teach grammar. So keep it simple and cool. Use more of short sentences and short paragraphs. These will make the reader\’s eyes find it easier to read through.
However it is not advisable to write very brief articles unless when necessary.
The article should not be too scanty. 250 to 300 words is ok unless you wish to write less or more for personal reasons. For instance this kind of article just had to be up to 1,500 words. Couldn\’t help that.
There are word count web applications you could use to count. You can use wordcounttools.com or wordcounter.net and more out there to see how many words you have typed in.
9. USING SUB-DOMAINS and POOR BLOG DESIGNS:
In as much as sub-domains (yourblogname.blogspot.com or yourblogname.wordpress.com etc) are free to use, they do not give you the required look of professionalism that you need to stand out there. They also lessen your chances of getting Google adsense verification on time.
Your blog should also be properly designed with appropriate favicon, logo (if you can get one) and proper text colour and size. Don\’t allow your sidebars to spill over to your main article and vise-versa. Do not use images that are too large or too small either. Setting your picture at extra-large if you are using blogger is ideal. Also add captions to your images always.
10. LAZINESS and WRITING LESS FREQUENTLY:
To get readers and make them fans of your blog, you have to become a master in your niche of blogging. One of the ways of doing this is to write as frequently as possible. Ideally, no day should pass without you writing and posting one article at least one rich article. Don\’t be lazy. Success in blogging does not happen overnight. You have to be enthusiastic and energetic and keep writing until you write your way to success. Most readers will not subscribe to your feeds if they see you post very few times in a month.
I sincerely wish you success!
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